The Functions of Language in Science and Religion
Schmidt claims, "Invariably, talk about the holy is driven to contradiction and paradox because it must speak of the infinite in terms of the finite." (p. 83) But, "contradiction" and "paradox" would immediately disqualify any scientific claim. Schmidt thinks that this is perfectly acceptable in religious language because religion bases all its aspects on a supernatural being, God. People believe that God exists yet they cannot see him in the usual sense of observing things. On the other hand, science only supports the existence of substances that we can see in reality and verify their existence. Through thoughts, people tend to find the existence of God. On the contrary, God is far beyond what we can think or even imagine, we cannot define his presence and ways of working yet they are evident in all aspects of life. He is unconceivable and indescribable-no one can substantiate his existence in the same way that science can substantiate the existence things in the universe. Religion employs the thoughts of people to try to reach that what they know they cannot reach-the infinity of God.
Science and religion work under instructions. While contradiction and paradox are unacceptable in science, they are the pillars of instruction in religion. Every single virtue in religion obtains its validity from its opposite. For instance, light would hold no meaning without darkness in the same way as ‘care’ and ‘abandon’. The paradoxical nature of reality substantiates religious rules. Contradiction and paradox give religious life an understanding that puts life in perspective and guides people on what they should do. The understanding of paradox and religion takes one beyond the illusion of the opposite and brings one into harmony with him/herself and God.