Religion by definition is dependant upon belief.
You may be interested in the book Buddhism Without Beliefs
by Stephen Batchelor.
If there is no belief, then what does religion have at its foundation? Where is the evidence without the necessity to believe?
The conclusion makes sense to me, but not because of the premises here. You're right to say that groups of worshipers develop their own jargon, but this is similar to the jargon of philosophers. It is very possible to learn that jargon.
God in this case in relation to religion, is the jargon
. Such Ayer refers to in the first chapter of Language, Truth and Logic
- entitled 'Elimination of Metaphysics'. In which he ultimately aims towards the demarcations of sense and nonsense, he goes about this via his verification principle which has different stances which were problematic at the time of writing, but in later life he corrected himself. He then goes about his second chapter, 'Funcion of Philosophy' stating what Philosophy is
and what Philosophy is not
. Such as the problem of induction. He comes to the conclusion that great philosophers are analysts NOT
Ayer then defines the nature of philosophical analysis, which is explicit definitions against definitions in use - which leads to linguistic phenominalism.
Ayer then faces the problem, how does the empicicist account for certainty? This is where the rationalist would normally take the high ground over the empicicist. Ayer solves this problem with conventialism, which is 'we don't allow it to be anything else
' and that the language is certain, as it is devoid of factual content. Such as intension: certain = we don't allow it to be anything else. Extension: what the words refer to.
Baiscally Ayer's major concern is what we can talk about significantly. The job of philosophy is to analyse within sience. "The meaning of a proposition is the method of its verification."
He is on my reading list. But I'm not so sure about the idea that all meaning is derived from language. Seems the other way around. Prior to language, did human thought have no meaning?
Yes, human thought does have meaning. BUT it lacks intelligible meaning
. That is as it is not capable of being apprehended by the intellect alone. Prior to language - the nonsense was not conversed was it? (Yet such a proposition from myself is nonsensical due to there being no way of me verifying such a thing, there are no texts or recordings of what it was like before language existed. Yes - you may try and pick what i refered to apart with the use of cave paintings etc - that itself was the beginning of a language, of communication, and yes it began in experience, with the public verification of sense data, allowing the ability to share what may be verified!
Sure, they are mentioning something - their beliefs. Without a similar experience, discussing those beliefs with someone might be difficult, but hardly impossible.
I do agree, it is possible to learn the 'private' religious language and discuss it with other people. But to be able to do so with significance, the statement must be tautologous or you must be able to verify it at least in principle, otherwise it is devoid of meaning, it is not part of the public language.
Ultimately the job of philosophy is to elucidate, talking of nonsensical matters is hardly analysing and clarifying, because by their very definition, they cannot be verified.
I've read the Hume. But this treatment assumes that religious discourse is necessarily metaphysical. To answer Hume's question, in this context, I would say that the ideas of believers are derived from their experience.
Ok, well, your statement is valid, if there are other people able to share your experience, and then verify it. If there are not, what is the difference between me hallucinating or simply having an illusion? It may be the case that what you experienced was the case. But for it to be the case, it must be publically verified. A private experience is nonsensical, and therefore should not be discussed (in relation to philosophical debate ofcourse, I am not disputing your beliefs, only your ability to converse the topic in philosophical debate).
Through experience. Verification is more difficult. That's up to the individual - I cannot verify my God to another, no one else can verify theirs to me. You simply have to have the experience. I can verify that my shirt is green because I can bring you the shirt and you can see the color. But I cannot bring you to God, you have to bring yourself there.
I agree completely that you obtain knowledge through experience. I am ofcourse an empiricist myself. Thus I do agree. But what i strongly disagree with is 'I cannot bring you God, you have to bring yourself there
' From what you are saying, it is only possible for someone to experience God if they take to the experience - similarly create the experience. If this was possible - would people not do this daily? would they not do it together? because if they did experience God together and could verify that they were experiencing God i would agree that it was an intelligible statement, and thus allowing discussion. But untill you can provide a test, even in theory for the existence of God, God remains metaphysical and therefore cannot be discussed.