Saturday 28 December 2013

I am a Christian simply because Christianity is true. But why does that strike modern people as an absurd claim?


I became a Christian because Christianity is true.

Its truth is not overwhelming. However there are certainly sufficient grounds for belief in the truth of Christianity - and certainly no compelling reason to reject Christianity on the basis of logic and evidence.

(Christian belief is a choice, needs faith.)

Nor is absolutely everything about Christianity true, not every small detail - and maybe not even the mass of Christian claims - but fundamentally and in its essence Christianity is just True, True, True...


I became a Christian when I realized that - in this respect - Christianity was exactly the same as Science - which I had believed-in since a small child.

Take the above passage and substitute 'Science', 'Scientist' or 'Scientific' for Christianity and Christian.

That is what I recognized, and what I have since believed: Christianity it true; just as Science is true, in the same kind of way.


And just as with Science, if you are doing Science (rather than merely expressing opinions about it) you must choose a theory; if you reject a particular Scientific theory then you can only do on on the basis of believing another different theory - or else you cannot do Science.

(If you are doing science you are believing a theory, many theories, whether you know it or not. A real scientist knows his theory.) 

Well, you can chose not to do Science and thereby avoid choosing a theory to believe; but if you choose to live then you must choose a religion to live by; and if you are living, then you are believing a religion, perhaps many religions, whether you know it or not.


Of course Christianity is above Science, more than Science, and in a sense necessary to the development and continuation of Science as a social activity. What I mean here is that the structure of what it is to mean that something is True is analogous between Christianity and Science.  


If you choose to believe Science as true (real Science, the best Science) - or believe a particular scientific theory; then you can legitimately choose to believe Christianity in the same kind of way, on the same grounds, just as rigorously.

That is what I discovered.


Stimulated by re-watching:

See especially 5.50 - 10.15 minutes. 

But watch the whole thing - it contains some marvellous stuff.



The Crow said...

Theory and living are different things. Living is being alive. Theory is a projection about how you might do it. So is religion.

So, to me, religion is about how to do it, rather than doing it.
It has its place, before the deed is done, the mystery unseen. But once the smile lights up the seeker's face, what use, then, for theory?

Wonder said...

Why specifically for Christianity though?

To be a Christian you believe in the existence of God, yet that can mean Judaism most obviously, or Islam.

Also I question whether becoming Christian has much to to do with truth claims. That's a very rare approach, very academic.

For most it seems to be an emotional response, sometimes based on some kind of inner experience, ideally but sadly infrequently a revelation. More commonly it's just a social group that feels good.

I have to take the bait and say the reason claiming Christianity is true strikes modern people as absurd is because it seems absurd: contrary to logic, making strange and unsupported claims, unsupported by historical research.

Your blog is interesting because you tackle such matters as pluralism versus monism, the very extremely serious problem of suffering in relation to God's power and intentions, and God's limitations in the War on Heaven.

Your views are not the norm, however, so why think that people should believe any standard representation of Christianity as being true??

Bruce Charlton said...

@W - "Your views are not the norm"

Oh, for heavens sake! This blog is for those people that it might help. There are a few. That is who I write for. Not 'the norm'!

Wonder said...

Oh, Bruce got irritable! Thanks for the warning about that in your earlier post.

I know you don't write for the norm. That is obvious.

You don't appear to be asking why modern people see Bruce Charlton's view of Christianity being true is absurd though.

You're asking more generally, in regards to Christianity in general, but you know the answer already, so I think it is natural to be puzzled by your assertions.

I can follow and even agree with your distinctions about God's limitations, suffering, and so on, yet that does not equal becoming a Christian. So far.

I'd still be interested in knowing why Christianity specifically. Why not Judaism, for example? If the issue is the existence of God and following Him...

Bruce Charlton said...

@W - "...why modern people see Bruce Charlton's view of Christianity being true is absurd though. "

That's easy to answer - because they don't understand science.

"why Christianity specifically. Why not Judaism, for example?"

If you are a Jew, start practising. If not the choice is essentially Christianity or its major rival.

But there is no limit to the questions and objections that can be raised. The evidence allows for a decision either way: it depends if you want to be a Christian.

George said...

Thank you for sharing the video! A fantastic Sunday watch, I appreciate it very much.