Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Religious Language Michael Lacewing

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Religious Language Michael Lacewing"— Presentation transcript:

1 Religious Language Michael Lacewing

2 Univocal language Objection: this doesn’t do justice to the transcendence of God. Talk of God is univocal. A word is univocal if it yields a contradiction when affirmed and denied of the same thing Duns Scotus

3 Aquinas on analogy We must extend our terms before applying them to God. Talk of God is by analogy.

4 Analogy of attribution Organisms are literally healthy (or not); food is healthy (or not) by analogy. Food that is healthy causes organisms to be healthy. Organisms are literally healthy (or not); food is healthy (or not) by analogy. Food that is healthy causes organisms to be healthy. To say ‘God is love’ is to say God is the cause or ground of all love. To say ‘God is love’ is to say God is the cause or ground of all love. Two problems: Two problems:  Is God literally the cause of love?  Does ‘love’ apply literally to us and analogically to us? Or does it apply literally and in the first instance to God?

5 Analogy of proportion But if we don’t already know what God is, how do we know what it means to say that God loves in a way appropriate to God? A human father loves in the way and sense appropriate to human fathers and God loves in the way and sense appropriate to God.

6 Ayer’s verification principle All meaningful statements are either analytic (true or false in virtue of the meanings of the terms used) or empirically verifiable (can be shown by experience to be true or false or to be probably true or false) ‘God exists’ cannot be shown true or false in either way, so it is meaningless

7 Replies The verification principle is neither analytic nor empirically verifiable. Therefore, by its own criterion, it is meaningless. Therefore, this criterion is false. The verification principle is neither analytic nor empirically verifiable. Therefore, by its own criterion, it is meaningless. Therefore, this criterion is false. Hick: religious language is empirical: ‘eschatological verification’ Hick: religious language is empirical: ‘eschatological verification’ Wittgenstein: religious language is not empirical, but is meaningful Wittgenstein: religious language is not empirical, but is meaningful

8 Wittgenstein Meaning is given by use. ‘God exists’ is not used to assert an empirical claim. ‘God’ is not a thing. Meaning is given by use. ‘God exists’ is not used to assert an empirical claim. ‘God’ is not a thing. Religious language expresses a commitment to a way of living or assessing life Religious language expresses a commitment to a way of living or assessing life

9 Tillich: Symbolic language Symbols ‘partake’ in what they express. Symbols ‘partake’ in what they express. Our understanding of God takes the form of symbols, e.g. ‘the Way, the Truth, the Life’, the Resurrection, the Cross. Religious language tries to express this symbolic meaning.

10 Three implications of symbolic language Understanding symbols and finding the words to express their meaning doesn’t follow any obvious rules. Understanding symbols and finding the words to express their meaning doesn’t follow any obvious rules. It is not possible to give a literal statement of the meaning of a symbol. It is not possible to give a literal statement of the meaning of a symbol. We need to be sensitive to the fact that symbols ‘point beyond’ themselves. We need to be sensitive to the fact that symbols ‘point beyond’ themselves.


Download ppt "Religious Language Michael Lacewing"

Similar presentations


Ads by Google