Short thoughts on the futility of language


Rosetta_Stone

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If 2 or more groups disagree on the meaning of a word, communication is futile. When scientists use the word ‘theory’ they have a certain meaning. When creationists hear the word they attach a completely different meaning to it. And when working class people hear the word they just us it pejoratively, as in ‘its work in theory’, which means it does not work. (Like in a users manual)
what does the word theory mean? I do have my theories about it…

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Perspectivism is good, but hardline postmodernist relativism in the end dissolves all meaning that could be. Just as with post-structuralism and the futility of the meaning of words we need to find a balance or we have nothing left.
The other option would be completely naive though. To think that my perspective (or that of my tradition, the Western modern enlightenment tradition for example) is completely objective and not just the best but also ‘the right way’ to look at a certain thing. Same with the meaning of words, if we thing words can have a fixed meaning we will only get frustrated and confused in the end by the real world…

The question is how to find this balance…

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Ultimately what we need is not theories about God, but God Himself, who is the ground of all reality. All theories about and descriptions of Him are unable to describe Him (even the male pronoun I use now is lacking a lot, as is the word God) Living connected to God is the only way to be alive in the end…

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One response to “Short thoughts on the futility of language

  1. Agreed. God is a given. In more general terms, not speaking of the existence of God, I like what Hayden White says. We need to think in terms of possibilities. Multiple meanings of a word opens us to constantly be transformed by new ideas, to open up our minds, to never settle. In a way this is very Biblical.

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