Analogy

Evaluation of the use of analogy for ‘God-talk’

Strengths

1. Defects the problems raised by equivocal and univocal language

2. Shows religious language is not absurd and can provide some understanding of God.

3. It avoids anthropomorphism.

4. Hick argues that enables to make statements yet still preseve the mysterious element to the Judaeo-Christian God.

5. Affirm the nature of the deity to the believer as well as allowing the believer to believe they are in a purposeful relationship with the deity

Weaknesses

1. If we say John is bad is that also a refection of God’s attribute? How do we know which analogies are appropriate to God.

2. Duns Scotus argues that it is vague and leaves us unable to understand God and his actions.

3. Assumes similarity between humans and God which is difficult to accept if God is an external being which is completely different to humans.

4. In respect to the analogy of proportion, is it really possible to make comparisons between necessary and contingent beings, its like comparing apples and pears.

5. Why bother with religious language if God is mysterious? It is far too neat – is the believer just trying to have his cake and eat it.

6. Patrick Sherry points out the believers usually use religious claims literally not analogically.

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