Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
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14-10-2012, 11:59 AM (This post was last modified: 14-10-2012 04:43 PM by Bucky Ball.)
Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
So, I've been having a discussion with a really bright lady on YouTube. We have been talking about "reification", and the Reification Fallacy. Is not the very idea of "god", and many of theism's attendant themes, (that there is a "goal" for "life", "morality", "purpose", (absolute) "truth" etc etc, just examples of the Reification Fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification

We would not be talking about "god(s), (or "goals", or "absolutes") if our brains had not developed language patterns, and abilities, in very specific ways. Have you ever actually seen a "goal" ? Nope. It's a construct, which is 100% dependent on, (and does NOT exist apart from), human language. (as does "meaning", and "purpose", for example).

Does anyone ever have a conscious "notion" or idea, which is NOT dependent on language ?




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Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

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14-10-2012, 12:56 PM
RE: Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
(14-10-2012 11:59 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Have you ever actually seen a "goal" ? Nope. It's a construct, which in 100% dependent on, (and does NOT exist apart from), human language

Word!




The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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14-10-2012, 01:30 PM
RE: Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
(14-10-2012 12:56 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  
(14-10-2012 11:59 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Have you ever actually seen a "goal" ? Nope. It's a construct, which in 100% dependent on, (and does NOT exist apart from), human language

Word!




Yeah, I knew that was coming. Dodgy

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

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14-10-2012, 02:22 PM
RE: Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
A youthful Wittgenstein on youtube 60 years after he died. Who'da thunk it. Bravo young man. Bravo. [Image: bravo-7466.gif]

Breathing - it's more art than science.
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15-10-2012, 11:40 AM
RE: Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
I agree, only I would say that those things aren't independent of human minds.

The individual human mind is influenced by current and past ideas (his environment) which make up ideology and belief structures so the individual mind yes these ideas are not entirely originating from his own individual mind.
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15-10-2012, 12:58 PM
RE: Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
We need to isolate several babies having as little interaction with them as possible and see what happens in the same spirit of that movie made in the early to mid 90's. Anyone have a clue what I am referencing? In all seriousness there are certain concepts that exist only because of language, and language definitely affects the way we thing about the world around us but certainly some concepts exist regardless of language.

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15-10-2012, 03:05 PM
RE: Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
(15-10-2012 12:58 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  . . . language definitely affects the way we thing about the world around us but certainly some concepts exist regardless of language.

An excellent recent NY Times article by a respected linguist:

Does Your Language Shape How You Think?

Fascinating . . . and at times mind-blowing. Highly recommended.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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16-10-2012, 01:37 PM (This post was last modified: 16-10-2012 01:40 PM by TrainWreck.)
RE: Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
(15-10-2012 11:40 AM)I and I Wrote:  I agree, only I would say that those things aren't independent of human minds.

The individual human mind is influenced by current and past ideas (his environment) which make up ideology and belief structures so the individual mind yes these ideas are not entirely originating from his own individual mind.
My research has lead me to describe that particular environment to be "Culture."

Next thing you you know, you'll be making fun of people who call themselves, "independent and critical thinkers," like I do.
Tongue

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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17-10-2012, 04:38 AM
RE: Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
(14-10-2012 11:59 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Does anyone ever have a conscious "notion" or idea, which is NOT dependent on language ?

Yeah, but I can't tell ya. Big Grin

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17-10-2012, 05:08 AM
RE: Reification Fallacy, "god(s)" and human language
You know, I actually had to write a paper on linguistic universalism/relativism (Chomsky's ideas or the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis) for a semantics class (quite some time ago); found it rather interesting then and still do... I remember making references to the Newspeak of 1984, in which the expression of unorthodox thoughts is near impossible... yet it said nothing about the existence of such thoughts...

Plus, there's the linguistic distinction between langue and parole (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langue_and_parole) and we usually think about parole when talking about language shaping thought or vice versa...

What I wanted to say (and went about it in a rather roundabout way, as usual), is that while I agree that language does influence ideas, it does not create them; and would even go as far as to say that ideas/thought do more influencing than being influenced...

After all (one final going back to my linguistic educationWink), they say that language is all about making infinite use of a finite means, thus that every single language under the sun is capable of expressing every single idea (even if it does not exist in the culture of its speakers and is completely foreign to its mindset), it may do so in a very long and explanatory way but it'll still manage to express it...

Well, hope that made some sense (it did in my headSmile).

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