from Wittgenstein Lectures on Religious Belief:
Although, there is a great temptation to think we do. Because we do talk of evidence, and do talk of evidence by experience. We could even talk of historic events. It has been said that Christianity rests on an historic basis.
It has been said a thousand times by intelligent people that indubitability is
not enough in this case. Even if there is as much evidence as for Napoleon. Because the indubitability wouldn’t be enough to make me change my whole life. It doesn’t rest on an historic basis in the sense that the ordinary belief in
historic facts could serve as a foundation. Here we have a belief in historic facts different from a belief in ordinary historic facts. Even, they are not treated as historical, empirical, propositions. Those people who had faith didn‟t apply the doubt which would ordinarily apply to any historical propositions. Especially propositions of a time long past, etc. What is the criterion of reliability, dependability? Suppose you give a general description as to when you say a proposition has a reasonable weight of probability. When you call it reasonable, is this only to say that for it you have such and such evidence, and for others you haven’t? For instance, we don‟t trust the account given of an event by a. drunk man.
Ludwig I know you don’t do footnotes but if you had referenced Whately’s Historic Doubts concerning Napoleon Buonaparte then that would have added to the texture of the argument in that one could look at the solution that is offered there which is essentially the one that you struggle with. The seeker must put on ‘the mind of Christ’, be ‘of Christ and of the truth, be in Whateley’s usage ‘candid’. He is pointing towards the archaic:
free from bias; impartial.
3: Free from malice; favourably disposed, kindly - 1800
4: Frank, ingenuous, sincere in what one says 1675. (S.O.D.)
Ludwig: Yes, yes, yes, But. I can’t argue with that. It escapes me. It’s a country I’ve heard of but have no way of getting to. I don’t believe its imaginary. Don’t come at me with your imaginal, that’s altogether too big of a serving. Don’t you see, there’s no there there.
Moi: Don’t bring her into it or we’ll never get out of here.