Date: May 15, 2013 05:34PM
"Language-game" is a Wittgensteinian notion that refers to the primary language and the actions into which it is woven within a particular form of life (e.g. Mormonism).
In a theistic way of life, the "language-game" consists of how, for example, the way Mormons live their religion gives meaning to the language they use. The Mormon language-game is language-as-use, which is different than the conceptual framework of the language itself employed to make assertions about the Mormon faith, or the beliefs or theology. For example, the word "testimony" finds meaning in the Mormon language-game, not by the concept of "testimony" as commonly understood, but rather by the practice of "bearing testimony" peculiar to the Mormon way of life, or the practice of the Mormon faith.
On the other matter, I oppose all forms of theistic or religious teaching, upbringing and social conditioning or indoctination, or raising a child superstitiously, or to believe in the existence of gods, angels, spirits, spirituality, prayer, good and evil, the plan of salvation or eternal purpose, fate, life after death, eternal families, the preexistence, heaven , hell, the devil, ghosts etc..
I propose, rather, raising children as free-thinkers with a naturalistic perspective without superstitious, moralistic or metaphysical foundations, as well as with a natural appetite and curiosity for learning, but with a critical and reasonably skeptical mind-set, and a value for intellectual integrity and epistemic responsibility.
I do not think that anyone needs religion or beliefs in gods or an afterlife in order to thrive or survive, and there is ample evidence that human beings can survive and thrive without such beliefs or language-games.
We are social animals, but the natural need for communitas does not require religiosity, and is certainly not confined to religious community.
Religion may be here to stay as a vestige of our superstitious nature, personal and collective "stupidity" (Welles), "basic biological situation" (Faber), and existential angst (and related "Denial of Death"; Becker), but I for one (and I'm certainly not alone, though admittedly in the minority) think the world, including ourselves and loved ones, and especially our children. would be far better off without religion, as commonly conceived, and particularly theism.
I can see nothing that might be considered necessary to human well-being offered by religion that cannot and is not offered in virtue of a purely secular society, and I argue such in Ch. 8, the Epilogue and PPS of the book.