Religious Language Is Meaningful

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‘’Philosophers have proved conclusively that religious language is meaningful’’. Discuss. The religious language debate is not concerned with whether or not God exists or what God is like. It’s sole concern is with working out whether religious language means anything or not. On one hand you have the philosophers who believe you can speak and write about God, because God is reality. On the other hand, are the Logical Positivists who claim that statements about God have no meaning because they don’t relate to anything that is real. There are a number of philosophers who claimed to have proven conclusively that religious language is meaningful, for example Aquinas’ theory of analogy. An analogy is an attempt to explain the meaning of something which is difficult to understand and forming relations through attributes or relations that are similar. Aquinas rejected univocal and equivocal language when talking about God. Religious language often attempts to describe the attributes or qualities of God. This is hard because God is generally not something we have direct experience of, whereas most of the things that language refers to are things that we can experience e.g. love, walking, hair. So when we say ’God is good’, we need to know that we are using ’good’ in that sentence. In univocal terms this would be claiming that God is good in some way that humans are, Aquinas rejected this as he believed God to be perfect. Because of this, imperfect humans can’t be good in the same way that God is. In equivocal terms, this would mean that God is good in a totally different way to humans, Aquinas rejected that too. He argued that if people speak equivocally about God, then it cannot profess to know anything about him as it is saying that the language we use to describe humans or the experienced world around us, doesn’t apply to God. Aquinas believed that there
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