Saturday, August 18, 2012
The Nature of Language
Every word we utter is a metaphor- words are not things, but they are symbols and signs we associate with things and situations and ideas.
On this view every idea - including those of science- are metaphors and linguistic structures. If you want to use the word "myth" unfortunately it does have pejorative connotations that are especially offensive in a religious context and cause one to be misunderstood.
I think the idea of a "linguistic model" maybe communicates better and also can be seen to apply equally to science- as we know the paradigm shifts of science are shifts in linguistic models of how we see reality, and I think that terminology used also in religion is preferable. It also illustrates I think the similarity between science and religion by calling them both "linguistic models" even though science indeed is an objectively verifiable linguistic model- meaning that we all can verify scientific models, whereas the model we use in religion is only "verifiable" by lending subjective meaning to a person's life.
Based on this view there is a very real sense in which religious experience- subjective as it is- is just as subjectively "real" to the individual experiencing it as science is to all of us. One is subjectively real the other is objectively real.
Anyway, that's the way I "model" the difference, for what it's worth