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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 20/04/2018 12:28:48)

(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)

The claims of Christianity are based on historical experience.

  1. It should be noted first of all that the propositions of Christianity, as of any other world view, should be believed in, if at all, based on knowledge. I shall seek to demonstrate that historical knowledge1 is the only reliable source of Christian knowledge. I shall then consider whether this knowledge is sufficient to establish Christianity's claims.
  2. Reason is relevant to Christian belief because any system of beliefs must be internally consistent2 to be true.
  3. As has been demonstrated, no substantive statement about the world can be known based on reason alone, but only on experience3 interpreted by reason. This fact applies equally to the statements of Christianity.
  4. The experience4 forming the basis of Christian belief may be either personal or received at second (or more remote) hand from others who have had personal experiences.
  5. Personal5 experience is therefore seen to be the basis of Christian belief.
  6. There are no personal experiences available today6 that would form the basis of a reasonable belief in Christianity.
  7. The experiences on which Christianity is founded are of a historical7 nature.
  8. The above may not be taken to imply that present day Christian experience is unimportant8. It is clearly central to a normal Christian life. What I am suggesting is that these experiences cannot bear the weight that some might like to place upon them. These experiences are insufficiently certain to form the basis of belief.
  9. The above contention, that Christianity is based on historic, not present experience, requires an explanation as to why the situation of today differs9 from that of certain other historical epochs.

Printable Versions:

Previous Version of this Note:

Date Length Title
12/08/2007 10:17:46 1809 Historical Experience

Note last updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
20/04/2018 12:28:48 179 (Historical Experience) CT Introduction

Summary of Note Links from this Page

Christian Experience Experience 2 Historical Change Historical Knowledge 2 Internal Consistency
Personal Experience Personal Experience - Contemporary Personal Experience - Historical Personal Experience - Importance  

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.

Summary of Note Links to this Page

CT Introduction        

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.

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