Religious Language

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  • Religious Language
    • Key terms
      • anti-realist: belief in the idea of God
        • non-cognitive: statements are not meant to be taken factually. they can be true for me and false for you
          • Coherence theory of truth: truth claims can be made regardless - they are believed to be a true to  a particular family
            • Non Verifiable: a claim that is not capable of being proved true
      • realist: belief in the being of God
        • cognitive: factual statements can be proved true or false. can only be true OR false
          • Correspondence theory of truth: truth claims correspond to how thing really are, d can be proved to be so
            • Verifiable: a claim/ statement can be proved to be true/ state the conditions in which it could be proved to be true
    • Verification Principle - AJ Ayer
      • 3 types of statements that are meaningful
        • Analytic Statements
          • true by definition
        • Mathematical Statements
        • Synthetic Statments
          • subjected to empirical testing
      • Logical Positivists (Vienna Circle)
      • For a statement to be considered meaningful, it as to be verified by our sense experieces
    • Falsification Principle - Anthony Flew
      • religious statements can neither be proved true (verified) nor false
        • religious believers do not accept the evidene that counts against (falsifies) their belief
      • concerned with what, in principle, would make something false
        • 'in order to say something which may possibly be true we must saysomething which may possibly be false' - John Hick
    • Solutions - ways to say it is possible to talk about God
      • Analogy
        • univocal language - words have the same meaning
        • Analogy of Attribution
          • based on causation
        • Analogy of Proportion
          • when a word us employed to refer to  a quality that a thing possesses in proportion to the kind of reality it possesses
      • Metaphor & Symbol
        • Symbolic Language
          • goes beyond that to what the believer feels about what the symbol conveys
          • they go beyond factual and objective understanding
            • they  are supposed to convey religious facts but cannot be verified
          • anti realist
          • Paul Tillich
            • believes that religious language is more symbolic than literal
              • symbols help describe something that can words
            • J Randall agreed with Tillich
              • non-cognitive (cannot be proven)
                • religious language does four things
                  • arouse emotion which makes people act
                    • inspire community action
                      • allows someone to express their experience in a non-literal sense
                        • clarifies our experience of God
            • symbols do four thing:
              • they point to something beyond themselves
                • they participate in what they point to
                  • they open up level of reality that are closed
                    • they open up dimensions of the soul
      • Myth
        • Emile Durkheim - myths are a construct of society and they change as society changes since they reflect the values of society at that time
        • Karl Jasper - myths are stories about God that express intuitive insights and carry meaning
        • John Macquarrie - myths are a fictional story conveying objective truth
        • Rudolf Bultmann - Bible is not literal and that the biblical are myths
          • need to demythologise the Bible to find out what it is trying to tell you
      • Via Negativa & Moral Claims
        • The Initial Problem
          • statements about God use language that are not empirically verifiable
            • reject statements like "God is love"
        • to find out what God is like, you need to know what he is not like
    • Language Games - Ludwig Wittgenstein
      • Wittgenstein rejects the VP
      • What does language mean in our community?
      • Language cannot be meaningless nonsense if you do not understand what it means
        • non-cognitive & coherence theory of truth
    • Kantian Gulf
      • Made by Kant
      • God = noumenal realm
        • not verifiable
        • metaphysical
        • "the truth in itself"
      • humans = phenomenal realm
        • our experiences and perceptions of things
        • verifiable
        • physical

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