Religious language is meaningless
Flew claimed that Religious faith is like this — unfalsifiable and therefore meaningless.
He believed that the meaning of a ritual is defined by the language used by the speaker, who is defined culturally as a superhuman agent.
Phillips argued that because of this connection, religions can still be criticised based on human experiences of these secular events. He believed that symbols cannot be invented, but live and die at the appropriate times.
Many philosophers challenged the verification principle and rejected it.
Explain how logical positivism challenges the meaningfulness of religious language
Two people look at the same patch of land — one sees the weeds and claims that it is uncultivated land and another sees the shadows of paths and claims that it is a garden whose gardener is on holiday. He argues that even if some beliefs about life after death are unverifiable, Hick's belief in bodily resurrection can still be verified. Ayer was enormously influenced by the Vienna Circle and became extremely involved with the An Investigation into the Meaningfulness of Religious Language words - 11 pages usage of language. The book was reprinted after the war and caught the mood of the times. Analogy of proportion is where the analogy is understood in each case as proportional to the nature of the being. A main critic was John Hick. They believed for a statement to be deemed meaningful we had to be able to verify the truth hood through our empirical senses. He offered a demythologised Christology , arguing that Jesus was not God incarnate, but a man with incredible experience of divine reality. He uses an example Samuel Becket's "Waiting for Godot": A play sans meaning words - 6 pages religious ambiguities because Godot represents God; the ambiguities themselves hold the true significance. The Vienna Circle adopted the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements : analytic statements are those whose meaning is contained within the words themselves, such as definitions, tautologies or mathematical statements, while synthetic statements make claims about reality. This raises the problem of how and whether God can be meaningfully spoken about at all,  which causes problems for religious belief since the ability to describe and talk about God is important in religious life. Reflecting on the nature and possible meaning of religious language is a similar exercise. Aquinas argued that we only have our day to day language which we can use to talk about God.
He believed that any statement about God is symbolic and participates in the meaning of a concept. Ramsey proposed that the models used modify and qualify each other, defining the limits of other analogies.
He was unconvinced by Aquinas' theory of analogy and argued that God's attributes must be completely different from human attributes, making comparisons between the two impossible.
In the analogy, a father sees his children at the top of a burning building.
He persuades them to leave, but only by promising them toys if they leave. The central problem with religious language is that if religious words are signs, they point towards something that we cannot see, hear, touch, smell or taste… nor even understand in a complete way. Ayer was enormously influenced by the Vienna Circle and became extremely involved with the An Investigation into the Meaningfulness of Religious Language words - 11 pages usage of language.
It would become meaningful if you know how to do this. The parable tells the story of two people who discover a garden on a deserted island; one believes it is tended to by a gardener, the other believes that it formed naturally, without the existence of a gardener.
Language game theory shows that religious language is meaningful
Attempts by John Hick and Richard Swinburne to argue that religious claims are in principle verifiable and falsifiable with reference to the afterlife are unconvincing. Morris argues that such criticism can be overcome by modifying Hick's parable to include multiple travellers, all with different beliefs, on the road. Analogy of attribution relates to the belief that God created and sustains the world. He argued that religious believers tend to adopt counterpart rationalisations in response to any apparent challenge to their beliefs from empirical evidence; and these beliefs consequently suffer a "death by a thousand qualifications" as they are qualified and modified so much that they end up asserting nothing meaningful. Religion is not only a matter of the character's beliefs, but is also an important factor in the dilemmas and situations they confront. Hume regarded most religious language as unverifiable by experiment and so dismissed it. He believed that any statement about God is symbolic and participates in the meaning of a concept. Flew definitely has a point. As Kuhn, Hanson and Berger said, no observation is neutral. He maintained that religion cannot be denounced as wrong because it is not empirical. Katz believes that religious language is an imperative and an invitation, rather than a truth-claim. He distinguished between a sign and a symbol. Paden believed that a myth must explain something in the world with reference to a sacred being or force, and dismissed any myths which did not as " folktales ". This raises the problem of how and whether God can be meaningfully spoken about at all,  which causes problems for religious belief since the ability to describe and talk about God is important in religious life. In a way, this is what Iris Murdoch gestured towards in her version of the Ontological Argument.
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