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(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)
The experience 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.
- It is to be noted that I am making the assumption here (that will be further elaborated later) that, whereas scientific theories are based on experience (singular & general), Christianity is based on experiences (plural & particular).
- This distinction is necessary because, while an individual scientific experiment results in a particular experience for the experimenter involved, the repeatability of experiments means that particular experiences pass over into general experience as the results are thoroughly validated.
- However, Christianity rests on particular experiences that are not repeatable. This is because these experiences are either historic one-offs (eg. the experience of the empty tomb) or are personal (and private) experiences that cannot be repeated at the behest of the original experiencer or by others.
- Regular ability of some individual or group to perform miracles would, of course, form part of general experience that could be validated. Unfortunately, no such gifted individual or group appears to be around today.
- Christianity must, therefore, be rooted in a chain of transmission of experience that is ultimately grounded in personal experience.
- With respect to the experiences of Christianity, as for experience generally, the longer the chain of transmission, the less likely the experiences are to have been transmitted reliably.
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