Friday, May 31, 2019
Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Nature of Religious Language Essay -- Languag
Ludwig Wittgenstein once believed that languages function was to name objects and the meaning of language was found in the objects for which it stands. He later rejected this and centred on how language works and is utilise, believing that problems of spectral language come from misunderstanding its usage. Wittgenstein was no longer concerned with the truth or falsity of language but the way it is used and the functions that it performs, as he said Dont ask for the meaning ask for the use. Wittgenstein recognised that language is equivocal as words have many different meanings, such as the word pen whose meaning changes in different contexts. He saw language as a game, which like all games had its own set of rules. Different contexts or forms of life be like different language games with their own self contained rules. Those not involved in a particular language game effectively become non-players and so the language holds no meaning for them, howe ver, this does not give the non-believer the right to dismiss unearthly language as meaningless. Wittgenstein used the example of soul to illustrate the problems of trying to use words in the wrong language game. He felt that the problems stemming from the word soul are caused because people try to see it as a physical object. Such problems would disappear if people realised that the physical object game didnt apply in this case. It was argued that language is a social product, therefore individuals could not have their own private language as one could not be certain that language was being used correctly. Wittgenstein therefore rejected Descartes ... ... Religious believers are also involved in other language games because they are involved in other aspects of life. This means that religious language is not totally isolated and there will be some common ground with other language games. This may suggest that the non-believer may be able to unde rstand religious language and decide if it holds any meaning for them. It is also argued that if anything, non-believers may be able to understand religious language cleanse than a believer, as they can be more objective about it. It seems that Wittgenstein was mistaken as seeing religious language only being transparent in the context of religious belief. Many religious statements entail a truth which is not dependent upon context, but statements such as Jesus died to bring salvation are though of as true for everyone.