<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="utf-8"> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /> <title>Note: Christian Tractatus (Theo Todman's Web Page)</title> </head><body> <a name="Top"></a> <h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages</h1><hr><h2>Christian Tractatus</h2><p class = "Centered">(Text as at 18/12/2010 19:58:05)<br><br>(For earlier versions of this Note, <a href="#TableOfPreviousVersions">see the table at the end</a>)</p><hr> <P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">This document constitutes my philosophical thoughts on the validity of Christianity. Its name and format are modelled on a well-known (and, of course, infinitely superior) work by Ludwig Wittgenstein. So as not to deceive the unwary, this evaluation is reluctantly negative. I am not a scoffer, so the evaluation is a serious one. However, I cannot see how Christianity or any other religious system can be made to work without either intellectual compromise or denuding the religious system of content. <BR><BR>The text of this document has not had a major overhaul in almost the last ten years, so my ideas have probably moved on somewhat in the interim. Readers may find the style rather inclined towards ex cathedra statements. This is because the document was written as an attempt to structure my views on these subjects rather than to seek to justify them in exhaustive detail. The web-based format does allow expatiation ad infinitem, and I will seek to progress in that direction in due course. <BR><BR>The document revolves around 20 basic assumptions into which my argument is broken down. I'm not yet happy that these are the best 20 and that there are no redundancies. However, given the whole document is geared around these fundamental tenets, I feel reluctant to change them until I have a clearer idea of how the structural change would affect the entire argument. So, we're stuck with them until inspiration strikes.<BR><BR>These 20 primary points of the argument, together with 4 appendices, are as below. <BR><ol type="1"><li>The world is <a name="1"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_172.htm">open</A><SUP>1</SUP> to investigation. </li><li>Knowledge of the world is acquired from <a name="2"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_173.htm">experience</A><SUP>2</SUP> under the interpretation of reason. </li><li>No knowledge is <a name="3"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_174.htm">certain</A><SUP>3</SUP>. </li><li>The world obeys a number of fairly simple physical <a name="4"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_175.htm">laws</A><SUP>4</SUP>, which form the modern scientific worldview, which is fundamentally correct. </li><li><a name="5"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_176.htm">Truth</A><SUP>5</SUP> is related to simplicity. </li><li>It is important for our <a name="6"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_177.htm">beliefs</A><SUP>6</SUP> to be true, especially if we intend to pass them on to others. </li><li>Christianity is a <a name="7"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_178.htm">public</A><SUP>7</SUP> statement about the world, not merely a private religion. </li><li>The claims of Christianity are based on <a name="8"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_179.htm">historical</A><SUP>8</SUP> experience. </li><li>The <a name="9"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_180.htm">Bible</A><SUP>9</SUP> is the most reliable record of the historical events on which Christianity is founded. </li><li>Christianity requires a reliable, but not necessarily <a name="10"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_181.htm">inerrant</A><SUP>10</SUP>, Bible to validate it. </li><li>Biblical claims are to be <a name="11"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_182.htm">validated</A><SUP>11</SUP> in the same way as any other claims related to matters of fact. </li><li>From the viewpoint of internal consistency & style, the Bible gives the impression of being a generally <a name="12"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_183.htm">reliable</A><SUP>12</SUP>, but not inerrant, document. </li><li>There are <a name="13"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_184.htm">problems</A><SUP>13</SUP> with the Biblical model of the world & its history. </li><li>Christianity does not conform to the requirement of presuppositional <a name="14"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_185.htm">simplicity</A><SUP>14</SUP>. </li><li>There is no worthwhile subset of Christianity as traditionally understood that conforms to the modern <a name="15"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_186.htm">worldview</A><SUP>15</SUP>. </li><li>A worthwhile <a name="16"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_187.htm">reconstruction</A><SUP>16</SUP> of Christianity, in conformity with the modern worldview, has not been demonstrated to be possible. </li><li>Christianity cannot & should not be defended solely on the basis of <a name="17"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_188.htm">faith</A><SUP>17</SUP>. <BR> </li><li>It is not self-evident that the world, or the individuals in it, have a <a name="18"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_189.htm">purpose</A><SUP>18</SUP>. </li><li>Pascal's <a name="19"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_190.htm">wager</A><SUP>19</SUP> is not to be accepted. </li><li>It is better to remain <a name="20"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_191.htm">silent</A><SUP>20</SUP> than to make a pretence at knowledge. </li></ol><HR><BR><U><B>Appendices </U></B><BR><ol type="1"><li>Acts 28 <a name="21"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_192.htm">Dispensationalism</A><SUP>21</SUP>. </li><li>Biblical Numerics & <a name="22"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_193.htm">Chiasmus</A><SUP>22</SUP>. </li><li><a name="23"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_194.htm">Spiritual</A><SUP>23</SUP> Beings in the Judeo-Christian Tradition. </li><li>Non-theistic <a name="24"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_1/Notes_195.htm">Ethics</A><SUP>24</SUP>. </li></ol><HR><BR>To find out more about each statement, click on the hyperlink to the underlying document, where the statement is broken down into more detail and, where possible, justified. <BR><BR>For a concatenation of the whole document in topic-title sequence, follow <A HREF="../ChristianTractatusConcatenatedNotes.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>.<BR><BR>Please address any criticism of or suggested improvements to this paper to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</P> <br><hr><h3 class = "Left">Printable Versions:</h3> <UL><li>Follow (<A Href="Notes_Print/NotesPrint_170_0_P_D.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>) for level 0 (with duplicate footnotes indicated), and </li><li>Follow (<A Href="Notes_Print/NotesPrint_170_0_P.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>) for level 0, and </li><li>Follow (<A Href="Notes_Print/NotesPrint_170_1_P_D.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>) for level 1 (with duplicate footnotes indicated), and </li><li>Follow (<A Href="Notes_Print/NotesPrint_170_1_P.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>) for level 1, and </li><li>Follow (<A 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WIDTH="10%" class = "BridgeRight"><strong>Length</strong></TD> <TD WIDTH="70%" class = "BridgeLeft"><strong>Title</strong></TD></TR> <TR><TD class = "BridgeCenter">26/09/2007 20:41:17</TD> <TD class = "BridgeRight">4199</TD> <TD class = "BridgeLeft"><A HREF = "Notes_170_39351862.htm">CT Introduction</A></TD></TR> <TR><TD class = "BridgeCenter">15/08/2007 08:32:38</TD> <TD class = "BridgeRight">4201</TD> <TD class = "BridgeLeft"><A HREF = "Notes_170_39309356.htm">Christian Tractatus</A></TD></TR> <TR><TD class = "BridgeCenter">13/08/2007 12:01:26</TD> <TD class = "BridgeRight">2118</TD> <TD class = "BridgeLeft"><A HREF = "Notes_170_39307501.htm">Christian Tractatus</A></TD></TR> <TR><TD class = "BridgeCenter">12/08/2007 10:17:46</TD> <TD class = "BridgeRight">2331</TD> <TD class = "BridgeLeft"><A HREF = "Notes_170_39306429.htm">Christian Tractatus</A></TD></TR> </TABLE> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><TR> <TH WIDTH="25%">Note last updated</TH> <TH 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