Religious Language Is Meaningless Discuss

Topics: Philosophy of language, Analytic philosophy, Morality Pages: 3 (1217 words) Published: February 2, 2012
The debate here is do ethics and religion deal with fact or opinions. There are two types of ethical statement descriptive and normative. Descriptive ethical statements such as “most crime is carried out by young men” are verifiable which means that they can be proved as fact or fiction. The key areas pf philosophical debate during the 20th century concern meta-ethics and meta-physics, where the meaning of what is said takes central stage. For instance what is the nature of language and how can statements be shown to be true or false? If we want to fully understand morality we must analyse the meaning of the key moral terms used, what it means, what it does and how it may be verified. Take the word ‘good’; we may describe it in an absolute way, “this is a good essay” or in a relative way, “compared to the previous one, this essay is good”. Or in a utilitarian way, “this essay will get a good result” However none of these uses or descriptions actually tell us what the word good means. G. E. Moore stated that ‘good’ could not be defined in his book, Principia Ethica. You just know what is good by intuition; you can speak about something being good without knowing how to define it. A weakness of the view that ethical terms have a meaning that we can intuit, but not define, is how can we be sure that our intuitions are correct? Also, why, if my moral obligations are self-evident, do I have dilemmas over conflicting duties? The issue of verification is also raised; intuition may be considered to be a meaningless concept itself, since it is non-verifiable. The meaning of language and the principle of verification was at the forefront of debate in the 20th Century movement known as Logical Positivism. Philosophers such as A.J. Ayer, writing in Language, Truth and Logic and members of the Vienna Circle, wanted to be able to break down language into its simplest components. All meaningful propositions were divided into two categories, analytic and synthetic. Analytical...
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