Paul Tillich and language as symbol- He makes a distinction b/w signs & symbols. Signs: do not participate in what they symbolize, i.e. w/o knowing what the signs mean, they make no sense. They only point to a statement but have no other effect. Symbols: powerful & take part in the meaning of what they symbolize. Hence, a symbol communicates more powerfully with us. Tillich believed that religious language was like a symbol. 4 main functions of symbols 1. Point to sth beyond themselves 2. Participate in what they point 3. Open up levels of reality that are otherwise closed 4. Open up levels of soul corresponding to levels of reality Tillich- symbolic language operates like music/ art/poetry. They can have a profound effect upon us that can only be explained in a limited way. Being-Itself: Tillich- religious language is a symbolic way of pointing towards the ultimate reality, the vision of God called "Being-itself" which is sth on which everything depends. Tillich- we came to knowledge of this through symbols which direct us to it. Religious language as moral assertion:
Braithwaite was concerned not with what religious statements are, but with how they're used. Religious statements are moral in content & intention & can therefore, be verified, bcz they change one's behavior. Braithwaite- bcz religious statements, eg. "God is the almighty Father" result in action, they have meaning. Religious belief, hence, religious moral assertions are based upon: a) Commitment to live a particular life b) Religious stories- Braithwaite- religious people don't have to rely upon these stories as being empirically verifiable & can just use these stories as an influence. "It is untrue, that the only intellectual considerations which affect action are beliefs: all the thoughts of man determine his behavior; including his fantasies, imaginations, ideas of what he would wish to be, propositions he believes to be true. So, for Braithwaite, religious statements are meaningful bcz they result in particular action & way of life that can be verified.