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Page 1

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Language

Contents:
Language games
Analogy
Symbol
Myth
Verification Principle
Falsification Principle
Introduction
Is it possible to say anything meaningful about God?
What is the problem of talking about God?
Can we talk with any meaning about God?
Language Games
Wittgenstein
o Concerned with the way language is used and the…

Page 2

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D.Z. Phillips
Uses Wittgenstein
Religion has doctrinal statements
These determine what it is to talk meaningfully about God, determining
what can and cannot be said about God
Does not attempt to describe the divine being
Simply the doctrines that explain how we can and cannot talk about God
Endgame of…

Page 3

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Obedient
o Human is faithful ­ how?
Protective
Loyal
o Some similarities between the two, but also differences ­ analogy
Example 2 ­ Good (also Hick)
o Assumption: there is a connection between God and humans, as
God created humans
o Humans are good
o God is good
o God…

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o Many symbols used for God are anthropomorphic (father, teacher,
guide, lover etc.) ­ but also use stories, items, words...
o People can relate to anthropomorphic symbols more readily than natural
elements, as these did not give an idea of a personal relationship
o Paul Tillich
o Successful symbol participates…

Page 5

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o Symbolic story
o Come from the people, rather than a single author
o Influenced by local events, culture, geography, environment, seasons,
etc.
o Connected to rites, drama, etc.
o Give roles for gods and goddesses
o Biblical Stories
o Biblical stories could be classed as myths
o Fundamentalist Christians…

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o "It is impossible to use electric light and the wireless and to avail
ourselves of modern medical and surgical discoveries and, at the
same time, to believe in the New Testament world of demons and
spirits"
o Dawkins
o "... much of the Bible is ... just plain weird,…

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o Therefore statements which attempt to say something about the world
are factually meaningful if experience and observation can establish
these statements as probable
o Logical Positivists who accept this weaker version, therefore, allow more
statements to be defined as factually meaningful
o However, many thought that this weak sense…

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o Language games ­ Wittgenstein's "don't ask for its meaning, ask for its
use"
o R.M. Hare ­ bliks
o "Ways of regarding the world which are in principle either
verifiable nor falsifiable"
o When believers use religious language they are using it in their
own unique way
o Believers…

Page 9

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o (Comes from a very liberal, Christian respective ­ evangelicals
would not agree, as they think the stories are literally, synthetically
factual)
o Hick
o Does not believe religious language is factually meaningless
o Religious language is meaningful and is in principle verifiable (y
the weak version)
o Tells following…

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