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"'God is life' and 'God is love' are meaningless statements" Examine the reasons why some philosophers might agree with this statement.

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Introduction

a) "'God is life' and 'God is love' are meaningless statements" Examine the reasons why some philosophers might agree with this statement. b) Explain and assess the claim that such statements as 'God is life' and 'God is love' have meaning for a believer. A plain factual statement is usually easy to understand for example; 'my dad is a man', this is easy to understand because the listener would know what a dad is because they have one as well, and they know what a man is, and it shows that my dad is alive at the time of me speaking about him. People, may however, argue about the concepts behind every word, for speaker and listener, but common sense tells us that the majority of people would know what is meant by this. However, religious concepts are not bound by these rules; there can be no such thing as 'a plain factual religious statement'. There are two philosophers in particular that wrote about religious language in relation to statements such as; 'God is life' and 'God is love', these are AJ Ayer and Anthony Flew. ...read more.

Middle

He is intangible, invisible, and elusive; we never see any evidence that he exists. Your gardener has been reduced bit by bit to nothing'. Flew claims that the same could be said for statements about God's existence, love or power. You can qualify the attributes of God down to nothing. He says religious language reveals that God's literal existence is not provable, literal in this sense means to do with the world. Therefore, some philosophers may agree with the statement "'God is life' and 'God is love' are meaningless statements", because such statements are neither analytical (correct by definition) or synthetic (provable by experiment or experience). Thus such statements are impossible to verify. On the other hand, some may argue that, taking Flew's conclusion to be correct; that religious language reveals that God's literal existence is not provable, to back up their argument because if God existed in a literal way then he would not be God. Religious statements such as the ones in question are accepted as being different from verifiable ones. One thing that makes them different is the different use of vocabulary in them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fidelity of faithfulness is different from that of a good human being; the fidelity of a husband and wife to each other is not the same as the faithfulness of the guide dog to its owner. One assumes it is somehow on a higher plane. The same is true of God's goodness - it will be on a higher plane than ours, but we can appreciate it by analogy with our own lives. Wittgenstein made the same point, by using red; saying that red per se is ineffable. An idea of redness can only be illustrated by things that are red. The same is true for metaphysical, ethical and religious truths. Language cannot state something it can only show, or try to describe. Therefore, many believers may argue that such statements as the ones in question do have meaning for them, because they are not supposed to be taken in a literal sense. Believers in God; will realise that they are not supposed to be taken literally, unlike others who may not realise this. In the same way as metaphors and similes are used by religions to get their point across, but the problem with these are that some might not understand them. 1 AJ Ayer, Language Truth and Logic Thomas Taylor ...read more.

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