• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the study of Religious Language

Extracts from this document...


Transfer-Encoding: chunked (bi) EXAMINE THE CONTRIBUTIONS THAT TWO OF THE FOLLOWING MAY MAKE TO A STUDY OF RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE: * ANALOGY * MYTH AND SYMBOL * LANGUAGE GAMES Religious Language is about the way in which we speak about God and religious belief. Religious Language is about the way that we speak about God and religious belief. It is concerned with what people believe and why they believe and why they believe it. It includes worship, morality, dogma and practice. Religious language includes descriptions of the nature of God, descriptions of religious belief, technical religious terms and ordinary words that have a special religious meaning. The main problems with the use of Religious Language are that it is difficult to use human words to describe a transcendent God who is above and beyond all human experience. Human words are inadequate and this can cause misunderstandings. To use human language to talk about God is to anthropomorphize him. Some people believe that it is impossible to speak meaningfully about God. God is a metaphysical being, beyond the laws of science, which make him difficult to discuss. These cause some people to believe that religious language is meaningless and cannot be used as proof of Gods existence. St Thomas Aquinas argued that we cannot speak literally about and argued that we therefore can only use religious language as analogies. ...read more.


The language game is not about making true statements for everyone, but about communicating with others in the same game. Therefore, religious language is meaningful for those within the religious language game. Even though it may appear meaningless for those not in the game. Each game has its own criteria of coherence, which can only be understood by playing the right game by the right rules. He applied the same argument to the understanding and use of Religious language. He argued that when religious language misinterpreted outside of the game it is a ?category mistake? as the language is only meaningful within the game. The argument of Language games contributes significantly to the study of religious language as it defends religious language for believers against those who don?t believe that religious language is meaningful. It is also very relatable as it is true of other games as well making us be able to see how it works in relation to religious language. (bii) DISCUSS THE VIEW THAT RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE IS DEVOID OF MEANING. Religious Language and its meaning are arguments that in many cases people believe need verification. Even if a statement makes sense if it meaningful even if you don?t agree with it. When applied to religious language the term meaningful argues for whether the person believes the statement makes sense. ...read more.


Braithwaite argued that religious language is about the way in which people should behave towards each other and that; therefore, religious statements are meaningful because they express an intention to follow a certain code of behavior. Hare claimed that when religious believers use religious language they use it in a unique, special way. This he called a blik, a unique way of seeing the world, which cannot be proved true of false. Religious believers use religious language to express their believes which are important to them and make a difference to their lives in a way which can be empirically observed. Religious language he argued therefore is meaningful as it expresses an intention to follow a certain code of conduct. I believe that Hare?s argument of bliks is a good argument as it explains that although religious language is not meaningful to others to the believer it is extremely meaningful as it shows their intention to live their lives according to God?s teachings. In my critical analysis I believe that Religious statements should be taken in a anti-realist manner, they should not be taken literally but understood in other ways such as metaphors, symbols, or myths. The statements are meaningful for the group that are saying them however for non-believers they are meaningless. However, religious language is a way for believers to express their faith and therefore should be taken as meaningful to them. But, religious language as proof of God?s existence is meaningless. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Religious language is meaningless, Discuss

    The first man who believes there had been a gardener believes there is a God whereas the man who believed there had been no gardener doesn't believe in God. There are several critics of the falsification principle. Richard Swinburne says religious statements are non cognitive, and there are statements we

  2. Free essay

    Language game

    The language in the game is non-cognitive, because it is not about making universally true statements, but about communicating meaning to other players in the same game. Due to each distinct life form having their own unique language, it means that it's almost impossible for others to criticize who in

  1. In what ways may suffering create philosophical problems for religious believers? Outline two solutions ...

    of good and evil, there could possibly be freedom to either obey or disobey God. Both good and evil were unknown: how therefore could Adam and Eve choose to do either the right or the wrong thing? The fact that God's creatures chose to disobey Him would seem to suggest that there was already knowledge of evil.

  2. The verification principle offers no real challenge to religious belief. Discuss

    He gave the example, all humans beings are mortal in a strong sense without killing every human being , this is clearly impossible to do but a few people would doubt that all human beings are mortal, as all human observations to date suggest the truth of the statement human beings are mortal.

  1. God is most clearly revealed to humanity through scripture. Discuss

    Revelation through religious experience such as miracles often draws a person closer to God and the person feels enlightened and if experienced probably reveals more about God than any scripture ever will. This religious experience will likely hold huge significance to the person but the experience is often hard to

  2. Religious language is meaningless. Discuss.

    Some people may say that logical positivists are failing to understand the meaning behind religious language. It is meant as non-cognitive and is meaningful on a personal level for believers. The logical positivists have taken the assertions as cognitive which aims to portray facts about God/universal truth claims whilst many

  1. Compare and Contrast the Philisophical Contributions of Nietzsche and Mill to our understanding of ...

    The herd are not in control of their lives, for they live by a set of principles that are not their own. Christianity as a form of tyranny takes over the individual. We self mutilate when we feel guilty. Nietzsche says we shouldn't feel guilty, as its better to do

  2. Philosophers have proved conclusively that religious language is meaningful. Discuss

    God is the source of love and life, therefore it is possible to speak of ?the living God? or to say that ?God loves us?. The analogy of proportion occurs when a word is used to refer to a quality that a thing possesses in proportion to the kind of reality it possesses, e.g.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work