In his discussion about the relation of science and religion in Chapter 5, Ninian Smart raises questions that cover the issue of the different realms, or levels, of language. With regard to science, observation and measurement are of major importance. With regard to religion, some of the topics of relevance relate to myths (in the original Greek sense of “stories”), numinous/mystical experience, and doctrines (particularly those that are concerned with pointing to what lies beyond human experience).
Scientific language describes and explains. Religious language expresses commitment, especially as it relates to meaning in, or the purpose of, life. Thus, science and religion, Smart argues, have different roles and areas to which they apply.
Consider the following point for discussion:
Do you accept or reject Smart’s view relative to the notion of “two realms” of language–that is, one religious, the other scientific? Give your reasons, either for or against Smart’s position.
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