I thought the idea was neither profound nor thought-provoking.
Sorry you couldn't find anything thought provoking there. Maybe I can change that now.
As you know, I did find that thought provoking - intensely. I have thought about it quite a bit for several decades, ever since I became aware of Wittgenstein, analytic philosophy, logical positivism, and the philosophy of language. These ideas more than any others informed informed my present understand of the relationship between reality and thought about reality. After so many years of studying and contemplating these matters, I have become a clearer thinker,t and have a clearer idea about what I think and why I think it, an essential element of critical thought.
How could it be dishonest? Did you mean that Wittgenstein didn't mean it? If so, a better word would be sincere or insincere.In fact, I suspect it was not even honest, and harbors an agenda.
And what agenda do you suppose might served by such a comment? I can tell you what the his stated agenda was: to clarify the relationship between reality and language, and to develop guidelines to identify language which was actually about nothing.
His philosophy of language and its methods have been as damaging to religious dicta as the philosophy of nature and the methods that we call science. For example, Wittgenstein would say that words are as meaningful or as meaningless as the discernible phenomena to which they refer. In the case of a word like "[the] soul," that would be nothing at all at this time. He would conclude that the word had no real world referent, or that if it did, until that referent could be shown to manifest in some way that affected physical reality, it was indistinguishable from the nonexistent. Quite a few religious words fit into this category, such as angel, holy, and even god.
You're free to decide that for yourself, as I have done.Who decides when the study is of the "real"?
Evidence based thinkers use empirical methods, which is what the quote speaks to. As I indicated, if a word to has no discernible referent in the world, then it is indistinguishable from the nonexistent. This acknowledges the possibility of things existing in some sense in causally disconnected domains, which by definition have and cannot have any effect on us. This does NOT include a god capable of affecting our world, which must be causally connected to our world to affect it.
Much of the best thought on the subject is related to Wittgenstein's comment. Consider these ideas, an amalgam from various Wiki articles:There is an abundant body of thought suggesting much of what we see as real is, in fact, not real.
The early Wittgenstein was concerned with the logical relationship between propositions and the world. Logical positivism ... embraced verificationism, a set of theories of knowledge that combined logicism, empiricism, and linguistics to ground philosophy on a basis consistent with exemplary examples of empirical sciences. The logical positivist principle [is] that ... the object of philosophy is the logical clarification of thoughts. The logical positivist movement became a major underpinning of analytic philosophy.
The term analytic philosophy can refer to [a] broad philosophical tradition characterized by an emphasis on clarity and argument (often achieved via modern formal logic and analysis of language) and a respect for the natural sciences.
Philosophy of language is concerned with four central problems: the nature of meaning, language use, language cognition, and the relationship between language and reality.
I hope you find something thought provoking here.