A2 PHILOSOPHY: RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE: SYMBOL, MYTH, ANALOGY

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Mind Map on A2 PHILOSOPHY: RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE: SYMBOL, MYTH, ANALOGY, created by courtneybispham on 06/08/2015.

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A2 PHILOSOPHY: RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE: SYMBOL, MYTH, ANALOGY
  1. ANALOGY
    1. AQUINAS:
      1. suggests that language about God should be understood as analogical, as an alternative to understanding language univocally and equivocally
        1. rejected the via negativa
          1. rejected univocal: attributes of God are part of his necessary essence
            1. rejected equivocal: would never learn anything about God this way
              1. God is infinite, how can the finite grasp the infinite
                1. ANALOGY provides a middle way, there are 2 types of analogy:
                  1. ANALOGY OF ATTRIBUTION
                    1. establishes a casual relationship, can call God good, he is the cause of all good
                    2. ANALOGY OF PROPORTION
                      1. qualified by the nature of what it is being applied too
                    3. he thought it was possible to speak of God positively in non-literal and analogical terms
                    4. RAMSEY
                      1. used analogy to argue that it is possible to speak meaningfully about God
                        1. God can be used as a model
                          1. insight/disclosure into the qualities of God
                        2. STRENGTHS
                          1. given the infinite nature of God and the finite nature of humans, analogy provides an appropriate way to speak about God which is neither empty nor to be taken literally
                            1. gets past the problems of univocal and equivocal langauge
                              1. avoids anthropomorphism
                              2. WEAKNESSES
                                1. must be assumed that language applies equivocally for analogy to work
                                  1. SWINBURNE: questioned what is wrong with univocal language: can legitimately speak of God's existence and of our own
                                    1. assumes qualities of God
                                  2. MYTH: stories conveying meanings and truths. They point to realities which cannot be expressed in other ways
                                    1. HICK: "not literally true, does not literally apply, invites a particular attitude in its hearers"
                                      1. VATTIMO: we have our own myths which shape our world
                                        1. MACINTYRE: cant split myths from reality, from a religious perspective, they are meaningful narratives which express basic human concerns about existence, they have the ability to communicate fundamental truths
                                          1. KAREN ARMSTRONG: "big bang is mythical language for scientists"
                                            1. Do they convey liberal truths? Truth about the nature of human existence, could equally be expressed once narratives have been demythologised
                                            2. STRENGTHS
                                              1. ways of conveying religious beliefs easily to younger generations (memorable)
                                                1. makes via negativa unnecessary
                                                  1. communicates universal themes
                                                    1. can be applied to all cultures relevantly
                                                    2. WEAKNESSES
                                                      1. did scholars intend their narratives to be myths?
                                                        1. devalues meaning
                                                          1. no external criteria allowing us to judge
                                                            1. stories were once viewed as truths, it is only now that they are regarded as myths
                                                          2. SYMBOLS
                                                            1. evoke an understanding of God
                                                              1. BULTMANN: teachings in the Bible, apocalyptic language of the NT lies in early Church teachings in mythical forms
                                                                1. TILLICH: open up new levels of reality. They are different to signs, and make it possible to say something meaningful about God. Not to be understood as saying something literal about God. God is not just one thing,.
                                                                  1. symbols have meaning beyond themselves, they are important in evoking meaning
                                                                  2. REALISTS believe thereto be something ultimately real which all our symbols of or about God refer to
                                                                    1. HICK: religious people use their own culturally bound symbols.
                                                                      1. symbols of "love" and "being" participate in the divine reality without actually being the divine reality.
                                                                        1. inner connection means the symbol chosen is never arbitrary
                                                                        2. STRENGTHS
                                                                          1. provides a way to talk about God
                                                                            1. symbols are potent for what they stand for
                                                                              1. universal resonance as conveyers of meaning
                                                                                1. avoid anthropomorphism
                                                                                  1. metaphoric
                                                                                  2. WEAKNESSES
                                                                                    1. come on to take a literal meaning
                                                                                      1. DAWKINS: leads to the conclusion there is no real truth
                                                                                        1. TILLICH fails to explain what it means to say that things participate in what they symbolise
                                                                                          1. ambiguous
                                                                                            1. possess no literal meaning
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