Religious Language

Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

(Philosophy) Mind Map on Religious Language, created by jodiehall on 05/27/2013.

Created by jodiehall over 6 years ago
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1 Cognitive (realist) language which deals with factual statements which can be proved to be be true or false empirically or are believed to have factual content. truth is independent of humans we find it
2 Non Cognitive (anti realist) not to be understood factually but understood in a different ways (symbolically or meta physically) we create truth ourselves
3 The Vienna Circle 1920-30 part of a wider movement logical positivism. Switched the debate from an issue of truth and talking about God to that of meaning
3.1 highly influenced by David Hume 1711-1776 divided all statements into two types. ANALYTIC: true by definition but tells nothing about the real world meaningful and true. SYNTHETIC: needs to be verified by sense experience
3.2 a statement can be meaningful but false if it is open to sense verification (all dogs are green)
3.3 verificationist principle 'statements are meaningful if and only if verifiable by sense experience'
3.3.1 A J Ayer is a logical positivist and adapted the verification principle to get rid of problems in verifying historic events. distinguishes between 1) verifiability in principle and practice 2) strong and weak verification historical events have strong verification such as findings and accounts can be meaningful
3.4 the principle itself is meaningless as it cannot be verified by sense experience is a circular argument does not meet its own criteria
3.4.1 God does existence and God does not exist are both meaningless so where does this leave us
3.4.2 does not fit with modern science atoms cannot be verified
3.4.3 keith ward argued that God s existence can be verified as God himself can verify his own existence
3.5 RM HARE did not think religious language was factual but did not think they were meaningless. they are meaningful because they are like 'bliks' a way of looking at the world which has significance for the believer.
3.5.1 B MITCHELL contemporary disagreed with FLEW as he believed they can be falsified with problems such as evil.
3.6 supports the claims of life and death and religious experience and the design argument
3.6.1 saves wasted time discussing God
4 John Hick Eschatological verification ESCHATOLOGY: the branch of christianity that focuses on the end. death heaven and hell
4.1 if someone believed there was a purpose to life the verification principle would say this is meaningless. Hick suggests this can be verified eschatologically (after death) believer will be shown right or wrong
5 LUDWIG WITTGEINSTEIN 1889-1951 early view was that of verificationists the limits of language are the limits of the world. religious language is meaningless as it cannto refer to anything.
5.1 Later Wittgenstein LANGUAGE GAMES statements about God are not statements about a being that exists they are part of a language game
5.1.1 meaning does not come from the fact it refers to but from the context. (the blood of christ would have a different meaning in a lab and in church )
5.1.2 meaning cannot be secured by setting uo a relationship between words and things (we have words with a number of different meanings) when we use words to refer to different applications
5.1.3 the criteria for knowing the meaning of a word is whether others understand you or not. meaningfulness is determined by language users and not reality
5.1.4 we get meaning wrong when we do not apply them in the right way. not wrong because of reality or meaningless
5.1.5 God is love we are not describing a reality but learning the way in which we can talk about God. what is true for ourselves
5.1.6 DZ PHILLIPS neo-wittgensteinians offer an account of religious language that denies the distinction between meaning and truth. claims that language is grammar- the rules of the religious game that determine what can and what cannot be meaningfully said.
6 ANTHONY FLEW FALSIFICATION for something to be meaningful it must be falsifiable
6.1 influence by KARL POPPER philosopher of science. argued that science moves from theory to observation. theories are true until some evidence counts against them. they are falsified
6.2 applied to religious language he concluded that religious language is meaningless. this is because there is nothing that can count against religious statements they cannot be proved true (verified) or false (falsified)
6.3 a statement is only meaningful if we know what counts against it
6.4 REALISTS a statement is true if it corresponds tot he state of affairs it tries to describe a theist about god says we cannot know whether a statement is true or false but the truth is to be know
6.4.1 BASIL MITCHELL wanted to show that statements are meaningful even if they are not verifiable or falsifiable. Flew was wrong in his supposition that believers never allow anything to count against their beliefs. used parable of the partisan to explain that religious language cannot be verified or falsified
6.5 ANTI REALIST would argue that God has no existence beyond the human mind and language but talk about God is meaningful because it is coherent with certain religious groups
7 THE VIA NEGATIVA negative way says it is not posisble to talk about God all that can be said is what God is not God is mystery
8 ST THOMAS AQUINAS 1225-1274 rejects negative way and univocsl and equivocal language
8.1 univocal having one meaning (if language about God has the same meaning as it has when applied to things in spatio-temporal world then this would mean that God is part of the universe aquinas rejects this
8.2 equivocal is language capable of being understood in different senses (if this is the case we would never fully knwo what language abot God meant)
8.3 ANALOGY distinguishes between two types: analogy of attribution and analogy of proportion
8.3.1 ATTRIBUTION: we share in gods attributes god is the cause of everything we derived from god. love, faith Does not apply to evil.God is in evil but not the cause. something is evil because it falls short of what it should be. it is logically impossible for God to fall short of whatever it is to be God
8.3.2 PROPORTION: good qualities belong proportionately not evil qualities Gods attributes are proportional to Gods nature in the same way as humans attributes are proportional to human nature
8.4 Avoids anthropomorphising God as language about god is not taken literally
9 METAPHORS can be used to enable us to see what we previously couldnt (poems, books) is a irreducible and irreplaceable form of language that can give a real truthful insight into reality
10 MODELS 'three persons of the trinity' language that is hard to put into conceptual language. they are needed in science and religion desciribes something real that is beyond description. we grasp things metaphorically and then crate models
10.1 REALIST VIEW: models directly picture reality CRITICAL REALIST VIEW: models try to picture something that is true but cannot be done adequately IDAELIST ANTIREALIST: models are human inventions we impose on reality no connection with reality
11 SYMBOLICALLY PAUL TILLICH have deep communication power and can evoke participation in the reality to which they point uses the example of a national flag and a christian cross they grow out of the individual or collective unconscious they open up levels of reality which would otherwise remain hidden
11.1 in his book he talks about symbols being able to express the ultimate because it transcends the capacity of any finite reality to express it directly believes symbolic language can be true although it cannot be falsified
11.1.1 The virgin birth can be seen as a symbolic story and not historical. does not mean it is not true it is true in the sense that it conveys symbolically the truth that jesus was the son of God
12 CARL JUNG 1875-1961 analyses the human psyche in terms of the unconscious and the collective unconscious. collective unconscious does not depend upon a persons history it is an inherited disposition. archeotypes arise from the a priori structure of the psyche.
12.1 God is an archetype of a manifestation of the deepest level of the unconscious mind and collective unconscious and for this reason is often experienced
13 MYTH RUDOLPH BULTMAN 1884-1976 contemporary thought demands a modern scientific view of the universe which interprets reality in terms of cause and effect. this excludes the possibility of miracles defined as a supernatural event. accepts myths as a true statement of the way man may understand what it means to experience life
13.1 myth is important but in order for modern man to grasp its truth such ancient thought forms must be dymythologized or reinterpreted. it expresses truth clothed in the symbolic language. meaning of myths do not lie in its description about another world but what it is expressing about human existence in this world
13.1.1 EG the resurrection it not physical but jesus opened peoples minds to God although not with empirical evidence it is still true
13.1.2 Demythologizing removes the clothing (rituals and stories~) and leave the inner truth but does this work and are details lost. people today find the statements of the bible incomprehensible and therefore reject them just because they are clothed in forms of mythological thinking . we need myth to be able to speak about God

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