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‘the Theory of Language Games Does Not Solve the Problems of Religious Language.’ How Far Do You Agree? (20)

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By marmaladesmith
Words 593
Pages 3
Jamie Smith

‘The theory of language games does not solve the problems of religious language.’ How far do you agree? (20) Wittgenstein originally supported logical positivists, but then came to reject the verification principle. His argument is that the meanings of words are in their use, the function they perform as agreed on by the group using them. He states that each activity has its own language and shows this in his toolbox analogy ­ the items in the toolbox (hammers etc) are all tools, but without knowing the specific use and function of the tools, their understanding is superficial. He argues that this can be seen in religious language. Language games exist in all forms of human activity and life, but people not in the game will be unable to understand the use of this language. If people don’t understand the language then it will seem meaningless. Religious belief has its own language and a non­believer will find that because they aren't in the game it is meaningless to them. An outsider can’t claim that because they don’t understand the language or the game doesn’t make it any less meaningful, it just doesn’t make sense to them. I agree with the statement to certain extent. Wittgenstein argues there is a system for which religious believers can use language as a valid form of evidence towards their faith and God, and language games supports this. However, this approach doesn't help people understand what others are saying. A person (for example, an atheist) needs to accept the fact that people (religious believers) are using a specific language in context that may or may not be shared. A person can’t be confident that they understand the language being used in the same way the speaker intends for it to be understood ­ there is the problem of ambiguity. Also, language games don’t solve the problems of religious language…...

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