Philosophy of Religion A2- Religious Language

archiebw's version from 2016-04-21 11:35


Question Answer
What view on God did Bertrand Russell hold?God is not available in our vocabulary, to our reason, or to experiment and testing.
What example emphatically shows an attempt to describe God? (go on)The ninety-nine names for Allah in Islam, including 'The Gracious', 'The Merciful' and 'The Giver of Life.'
Name four uses of religious language.To make truth claims, express feelings, perform and prescribe.
What is an example of a religious truth claim?'There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.'
What is an example of a religious expression of feelings, and when does this occur?'We are truly sorry, and repent all our sins' before taking Holy Communion.
What is a criticism of religious language to express feelings?This stirring up of emotions evinces that religion is no more than hysteria.
What is a compliment of religious language to express feelings, and who said it?Religion encourages people to discipline their emotions in the right directions, and Peter Donovan.
What is an example of religious language used performatively, and why is this misleading?'I now pronounce you husband and wife', and because this 'performance' does have a real effect.
Name three negative adjectives describing God. Immortal, invisible, incorporeal.
Who argued the 'via negativa' was the only way to speak truthfully of God, and what was he?Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and a sixth-century Christian mystic.


Question Answer
According to Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, how can God be approached?Through a 'cloud of unknowing'.
How is Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite influenced by Plato?He believed the soul's search for God can be held back by the mind's desire for understanding.
Who was the 'ship' guy?Moses Maimonides.
What is 'the ship guy''s quotation?"He who affirms attributes of God [...] unconsciously loses his belief in God."
Who criticises 'the ship guy' and what does he say?Brian Davies, and "only saying what something is not gives no indication of what it actually is." "Suppose I say that there is something in my room, and suppose I reject every suggestion you make as to what is actually there. In that case, you will get no idea at all."
What is an objection to the 'ship' argument?When we arrive at something by process of elimination, we need to know before we start what the different possibilities are.
Of what religion is the 'via negativa' a prominent feature, and what is it describing?Buddhism, and the nature of reality.


Question Answer
How does the 'via negativa' not constrain God ?It does not give Him point of reference that is within the physical world.
How does the 'via negativa' free us of complications?Statements are literally true and do not need interpretation.
Who wrote the essay 'Theology and Falsification' and what did he have to say?Antony Flew, and by the 'via negativa', we argue God out of existence by 'a thousand qualifications'.
Why might a religious believer be persuaded from the 'via negativa'?Many scriptures make positive statements.
What term does Aquinas use to show what we can say of and know of God is limited but still exists?'Via eminentiae'
What must we understand when we make positive statements about God, according to Aquinas?It has to be an analogy.
What's it called when two words are used in exactly the same way, and in a different way, respectively?Univocal and equivocal.
What are the two main types of analogy, and what do these mean?The analogy of attribution, where there is a causal relation between the two things, and the analogy of proportionality, where the words are different in proportion.
Which type of analogy do we use when discussing God?Analogy of proportionality.
Who has a conventional response to Aquinas, and what does he say?C. Stephen Evans, and we can still accept God of knowledge is limited as long as we understand enought to be able to worship.
Who says we can use 'models and qualifiers' in regards to God, and what are examples of these?Ian Ramsey, and 'righteous' and 'everlasting', respectively.


Question Answer
In addition to analogy, what is another form of a positive truth-claim about God?Myth.
What is a myth?A story which is not necessarily historically accurate, but which conveys important truths.
What is difficult about the Creation stories in the Bible?The writer doesn't specify whether the story is intended as a myth.
What are two weaknesses of myths?Myths are likely going to be more meaningful to people from a specific location and time, and they might be invested with unintended connotations subsequently which will distort them.
Suggest why myths might be passed down from one generation to the next. The stories are often lively and memorable.
Why are myths greater than the sum of their parts?Because many layers of meaning can be conveyed within one myth, so people can return to them and find new ways of relating them to their lives.
What word means 'relating to the attribution of the cause of something' in a mythical context?'Aetiological'.
Why do some Christians reject that the Bible contains myths?It seems to them that it comes too close to suggesting the words are false.
Name an ancient story which seems bizarre to the modern mind.The turning of Lot's wife into a pillar of salt in Genesis 19.
How do some Christians explain the stories in the Old Testament that are more difficult to believe?They came before Jesus came to reveal the complete truth about God.
Who advocated the 'demythologising' of the New Testament, and in which essay?Rudolf Bultmann, and 'New Testament and Mythology'.
Who advocated Jesus was not literally God in human form, in which work, and who supports this?John Hick, 'The Myth of God Incarnate' and God becoming human was to be found in myths predating the New Testament.


Question Answer
Which group of people would certainly be against Hicks' claims?Conservative Christians.
Why is it argued the central supernatural elements of the New Testament should not be viewed as myths, and to which fallacy does this pertain?Because then Christianity would be viewed as little more than good advice, and 'appeal to consequences'.
What is difficult to know with myths?What are the important truths and what is the embellishment that can be stripped away.


Question Answer
Who made a distinction between signs and symbols, and who disagreed?Paul Tillich, and John Macquarrie, respectively.
In addition to conveying meaning, what do symbols do?Allow the individual to add his or her interpretation, so they can also be part of private religion.
Why mention the hammer and sickle?For some, it might be a symbol of hope, for others, repression.
In what else but language do religious people use symbols?In art, architecture, and body language.
Who said "Anyone uttering a sentence must know under what conditions he calls it true, and under what conditions he calls it false."Friedrich Waismann.

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