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28 AUGUST, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1. What is meant by saying that religion is noncognitive? (2013/15)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • jaish

    Religious language is non-cognative is to say that religious statement are neither analytical nor can be empirically verified. It is supported by A.J.Ayer, Carnap, Flew, Braithwaite and R.M.Hare.
    According to Ayer and Carnap, religious statements are the expression of feeling and emotions of the religious persons. As per Ayer, only that statement is meaningful which is either analytical or empirically verified. It is therefore, religious statements are meaningless from the cognitive point of view. In fact, they are pseudo-statements but important from emotive point of view.
    Carnap-meaningful statements can be of three types that is tautology, contradiction and contingent but religious statements are do not fall to either of any category, that is why they are meaningless from cognitive point of view.
    With the help of Falsification theory, Flew has also maintained that religious statements are meaningless because theist will never accept any statement against God. And only that statements are meaningful cognitively if there is possibility od falsification.
    In the same way Hare has also maintained that religious statements are non-cognitive and prescriptive in nature. And as per, Braithwaite, religious languages are of moral assertion, hence not cognitive in nature.
    But it is also fact that there is no verification to verify the verification theory, so it is also meaningless in the same manner. If we apply the weak verification theory then anything can be justified. If statement cannot be falsified then there is no sense to call it meaningless.
    According to wittgenstien, to examine the religious language in physical context is meaningless. Religious language should be determined only in the context of religious meaning and meaning of word id determined by its context.