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Religious 2
Language…read more

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Religious 3
Language
Religious language talks about religious and spiritual concepts such as the
nature of God and the afterlife; things outside our senses.
Some people argue that it is possible to speak meaningfully, truthfully and
factually about these issues (e.g. Aquinas) others argue that it is not (e.g. Ayer).
COGNITIVISM VS NON COGNITIVISM
A major philosophical distinction in language is made between language which
expresses knowledge and language which does not.
Cognitive Language expresses facts and knowledge.…read more

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Religious 4
Language
Fundamental principle of Logical Positivism was that only propositions that
can be verified empirically have meaning.
Logical Positivists accept two forms of verifiable language:
Analytic propositions- which are true by definition, either because (a) this
is required by the definition of the words used ­ e.g. `this circle is not a
square', or (b) because they are mathematical ­ e.g. `2+2=4'.
Synthetic propositions- which are true by confirmation of the senses ­ e.g.…read more

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Religious 5
Language
or (b) subject the hypothesis to any new or further forms of testing. Perhaps a lot
of what we take for knowledge defies strict verification.
THE FALSIFICATION PRINCIPLE
Devised by Anthony Flew
He said religious statements are meaningless
This is because nothing can count against religious statements.
Christians hold belief to 'God is good' no matter what evidence is offered
against this.
For Flew, a statement is only meaningful if we accept that there is evidence
that may falsify it.…read more

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Religious 6
Language
Bliks are not necessarily untrue (some are sane and some insane), but they
are groundless.
JOHN HICK.. responds by arguing that there are reasons behind religious beliefs:
experiences, Scripture, etc. He also objects that there is no way to distinguish
between sane or insane bliks, and the judgement that religion is insane could only
ever be arbitrary.
OTHER OPPOSITIONS TO FALSIFICATION..…read more

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Religious 7
Language
We are now looking at attempts to say that religious language can be used
meaningfully, only not in a direct or simplistically descriptive sense. Philosophers
like Aquinas and Tillich try to show how our language might relate to God.
Aquinas.
Aquinas argues that we can't say anything positive that is literally true of
God, human language limits God, reducing his attributes to what we know
from our experience and understanding.…read more

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Religious 8
Language
The basic idea is that humans possess God's qualities because we are created in
his image (Genesis 2). Yet, because God is perfect, we have his qualities in a lesser
proportion.
Hick explains this by giving the example of faithfulness. Humans can be
faithful to each other, in speech and behaviour, and so on. Dogs too can be
faithful, but there is a great difference between this quality in a person and in
an animal.…read more

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Religious 9
Language
SYMBOL.
Paul Tillich-
He made a distinction between signs & symbols, his main point being that
symbols are not signs
The difference is that symbols 'participate' in the object represented
EG.…read more

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Religious 10
Language
non-religious symbols. Does this mean that religious language has no special
significance?
LANGUAGE GAMES
"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent."- Ludwig Wittgenstein
"Don't ask me for the meaning, ask me for the use."
Wittgenstein changed his ideas since the time when he influence the Logical
Positivists
Wittgenstein observed that just like games such as football and Rugby,
language operates according to rules.…read more

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