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Discuss the study of Religious Language

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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