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7 Cards in this Set

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Verificationism

'A proposition is only meaningful if it can be verified by sense experience'


^'the statue is beautiful' is meaningless


^religious language is meaningless



Ayer:


-people make propositions that are meaningful to them, but the only propositions meaningful generally are those that can be verified


Practical verifiability: statements can be tested in reality


Principle verifiability: statements verifiable in the long term



Strong verification: things that can be verified by sense experience


Weak verification: things shown to be probable


^ayer then acknowledged that there was little difference



Weaknesses of verification:


-shrodingers cat: it is possible for a statement to be meaningful without being verifiable


-the definition of verification is unverifiable in itself


-Wittgenstein: verification is more suited to the physical world than to belief

Falsification

A proposition is only meaningful if it can be falsified by sense experience


^this is a way to demarcate scientific statements from other types of statements (ie gravity vs astrology)


^religious statements are not meaningful



Flew (the parable of the gardener):


-believers will allow nothing to falsify their beliefs, like the gardener



-God talk is meaningless and unfalsifiable



Hare and Mitchell respond to Hume:



Hare (the lunatic and bliks):


-bliks are not falsifiable and do not make factual claims


-bliks are meaningful to the individual



Mitchell (the story of the gardener):


-belief in God requires significant faith, like the persons belief in the stranger


^tpoe does not stop believers believing



-the strangers arbitrary actions resemble gods


-theists are not blind to the problems of faith, but their faith is larger than this

Via negativa

God is a transcendent being beyond human comprehension, therefore God can only be spoken about in negative terms



Plotinus: links to plates form of the good:


-the form is separate and beyond, this helps to understand how ineffable God is



-we cannot talk about God with our language as God is transcendent and this anthropomorphises him



Maimonides: the only positive statement that can be made about God is that he exists



Weaknesses:


-the vicious circle: surely talking about the negative also implies the positive


-what is God: if we keep stating what God is not, is he anything at all?

Wittgenstein

'Whereof one cannot speak thereof one must remain silent'


^you cannot understand a language game unless you are part of it



-meaning of words are determined by the game, thus meaningful if spoken about correctly within the game



-religious terminology is meaningful within the language game of religion



Weaknesses:


-fideism: faith is more important than reason, if no one outside of the game can understand, no statement can be falsified, all language is meaningless


-external rationality: no external rationality prevents any type of debate

Myths (bultmann)

"Myth is that manner of representation in which the unworldly and divine appears as the worldly and human"



Religious myth: a story in which God is seen to act in a human manner


^this causes people to loss sight of the meaning of the story



Bultmann:


-bultmann looks for the kergyma (proclamation) which is what theology attempts to communicate


^presents the issue of mythology, myths obscure the kergyma



-the bible needs to be demythologised to find the meaning



Weakness of Bultmann:


-gadamer: attempting to find the kergyman is in vain, we cannot achieve an objective view of text since we can't except we our prejudice

Analogy

Aquinas:


Language means something concrete when applied to God, however it does not mean the same as when applied to humans



Univocal language: means the same no matter how it is applied


Equivocal language: different meaning when applied to different things



Analogy of attribution: some words can be used for God and Humans and mean the same, these are part of Gods nature or judge



Analogy of proportion: 'dog is good'- the dog is a proportion of good, 'God is good' God is the whole of good


^we don't fully understand what is meant by the whole of a term so we use analogy



Weaknesses of analogy:


-analogy assumes similarity between God and humanity, it is difficult to see how our language can describe an ineffable God

Models and qualifiers- Ramsey

-words tell us something about God but not everything (like models)


^models need to be qualified to gain insight



'God is good' -model


^this concept of good is different to the human concept of good - qualifier



-religious language is model that leads to a better understanding of God when qualified