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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)


Prima facie, being founded on remote, extraordinary events counts against a system. The sort of dubious events I have in mind are unrepeatable events not explicable within the nexus of normal scientific law. Again prima facie, the more extraordinary the alleged events on which a system is founded, the less likely it is to be true.

  1. We must be careful of circular reasoning if we form a negative evaluation of Christianity. If we define our world view to be one in which the "spiritual" has no place, we should not be surprised that Christianity, which is founded on spiritual presuppositions, has no place in it either.
  2. Nonetheless, a way must be found of evaluating spiritual claims, otherwise there is no logical way of preferring one set of spiritual claims to another (ie. of preferring one religion to another) or of arbitrating between those who accept "the spiritual" and those who don't.
  3. I reject the view that an acceptance of "the spiritual" is a fundamental position that cannot be argued for or against. One who accepts the spiritual must have reasons for so doing. One who rejects it must have some approach to those aspects of experience that the spiritual is said to explain.
  4. Since Judeo-Christianity posits the existence of one physical-spiritual world, rather than a dualism, or a denial of one or the other, the Christian should be able to argue for the place of spiritual values and entities within the world.
  5. Hence, the more elements in Christianity that are contrary to, or absent from, our everyday view of the world, the more problems we have with Christianity as an integrated system.
  6. We now proceed to evaluate the areas of friction between the Christian world view and the consensual modern western secular world view.
  7. A number of criteria may be seen to be relevant for judging the goodness of fit of the Biblical model of the world with that developed from secular observation, theory & historical research. The strictures that may fairly be placed on the Bible are that it should display the following attributes :-
    • An historical perspective that is consistent with the records of secular history.
    • A cosmology that is consistent with reasonable observation.
    • A psychology that agrees with our experience.
    • An ontology that does not postulate impossible entities.
    • A cosmogony that is credible within the modern world view.
    • A teleology that is credible within the modern world view.
    • A morality that the common man would not find repugnant.
    • A world view that is recognisably the one in which we live.
  8. It will be seen from what follows that I do not think that the Bible stands up to all criticism in the above areas.




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