Theological noncognitivism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language – specifically, words such as "God" – are not cognitively meaningful. It is sometimes considered as synonymous with ignosticism.


Theological noncognitivists argue in different ways, depending on what one considers the "theory of meaning" to be.

One angle holds to the claim that irreducible definitions of God are circular. For example, a sentence stating that "God is He who created everything, apart from Himself", is seen as circular rather than an irreducible truth.

Michael Martin writing from a verificationist perspective concludes that religious language is meaningless because it is not verifiable.[1][2]

George H. Smith uses an attribute-based approach in an attempt to prove that there is no concept for God: he argues that there are no meaningful attributes, only negatively defined or relational attributes, making the term meaningless.

Finally it is claimed by some theological noncognitivists that to be an atheist is to give credence to the existence of a concept of something for God to refer to, because it assumes that there is something understandable to not believe in.[3]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]