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HUMA 1160 ~ TEST 3.doc

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York University
HUMA 1160
Stanley Tweyman

HUMA 1160 9.0 THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND HUMAN UNDERSTANDING THIRD TEST MONDAY February 25, 2013 Students are permitted to bring a lined sheet of paper containing 8 lines (in normal handwriting) for each question (=24 lines in total). Question 1. is worth a total of 40 marks; question 2. is worth 60 marks. Question 3. is an optional bonus question, which if done satisfactorily, will raise your final mark on this test by a half grade (e.g. from C to C+; B+ to A). 1. Describe and assess the three views of religious language discussed in class Intro  This answer will argue that none of these views suceed in showing that religious language is meaningful. 1. anthropomorphism: language about God is lateral and inevitable 2. mysticism: language abt god either not be used or used fregunately/ frequently? 3. analogy: language abt god should be used both in terms of similarities and difference Criticism 1 P1 God has desires P2 Desires can be had only for something one lacks P3 However God is infinite and so he lacks nothing Conclusion: Therefore the anthro. either has to deny that God has desires that God is infinite Criticism 2(God not planned for himself, but what God has created) P1 God has plans P2 Plans are needed only for something which is dependent P3 However God is omnipotent and so does not depend on anything Conclusion: Therefore the anthro. either has to deny that God has a plan or that God is omnipotent Criticism 3 P1 God wills, desires, plans, thinks etc P2 Willing, desiring, planning, thinking etc. all happen in time P3 However God is eternal and so does not do anything in time Conclusion: Therefore the anthro. either has to deny that God has these mental activities or that God is eternal  Planning is nothing about god himself, he will desires plans and thinks about his creations Cant will doubt or plan unless you have a MIND…. Criticism 4 (more general version of crit 3) P1 God has a mind P2 All mental activity happens in time P3 However God is eternal and so has no mental activity in time Conclusion: Therefore the anthro. either has to deny that God has any mental activity or that God has a mind. _____________________________________________________________ Dialectically, nothing meaningful can be said about God, assuming that religious language is eternal and unmoral, in which case the proper behaviour in terms of religious language is silence. This is the position of extreme mysticism. P1 Extreme mysticism says that religious language is meaningless P2 The proper behaviour is silence P3 However, atheist and skeptics hold the same position, even though they unline the extreme mystic, don’t believe in God Conclusion: Therefore the view of religious language endorsed my extreme mysticism is untenable.  There view of religious language is that it shouldn’t be used at all ___________________________________________________________ Dialectically, this takes us to another view of mysticism according to which religious language must be used and understood figuratively and equivocally P1 Modern mysticism Maintains that religious language is figurative and equivocal P2 Figurative and equivocal language allows for meaningful P3 However all fig, language must be reducible to literal language if the former is to be meaningful Conclusion: Therefore, modern mysticism is subject to the same criticisms as anthropomorphism  Some truth to this (above) but not the whole truth  Ex. You are the apple to my eye  How are you suppose to articulate in literal language of wht God is Dialectically, this takes us to another view of religious language which is analogy. According to the position, religious language is abt both similarities and differences between God and ppl. P1 Analogy maintains that religious language is about both the dim and diff between god and ppl P2 The terms of comparison and contrast between God and people P3 However the conditions of verifiability, according to which meaningful language is such diff the user can specify under what empirical conditions his or her claims are true or false (Flew) something that cannot
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