Once he's all grown up you can discard the pretense and flip all of them off. But for now continue to giggle at the nonsense and nod your head a lot.
I never told my son and daughter what to believe or not believe. I left it all up to them. Which makes absolutely no sense when we in fact sent our daughter to Catholic school until the sixth grade. She spent many periods sitting outside the principles office because she questioned everything. Funny thing about Catholic school, there were a couple of Hindu worshipping students, one of Islam, my daughter the atheist, and a few kids that were presbyterian.(sp?) We sent her to Catholic school because the local public school was shit. When we moved to the next town over we enrolled her in the public school where she professed her atheism to whom ever would listen. But we live in Northern New Jersey not in the southern bible belt. She told us that there are a large number of fellow class mates who don't buy into the supernatural mumbo jumbo.
I"m not Christopher Hitchens Militant atheist...Yet!; so I tend to pick my battles or just passively walk away from the loonies. As I age I more and more come to resemble the caricature of the cranky old guy and most times don't give a rats ass.
I think the message of Jesus (radical compassion and forgiveness, extending the Golden Rule to everyone) makes it obvious he was not a fictional character. Buddha and Mohammed are considered to be real, but also have a lot of myths grown up about them.
ok Simon...that is on same level as we come to expect from theists!
so if a comic book hero says some wicked pissar stuff it must be that the hero exists? or if a legend passed down over generations orally is reputed to say some inspirational shit he must have lived?
I think there are two possibilities:
1) some genius made the stories up and wrote them down;
2) some genius called Jesus actually lived, and other people wrote the stories about him down, along with some myths.
Either way, an actual real live genius was involved.
What was genius about him? I find most of the stories rather banal. I find nothing very original about it as most is a rehash of earlier axioms, especially the Golden Rule. What did he do between the ages of 3 and 30?
As an aside, why did Einstein become the poster boy for genius?
TJ beat me to the punch
A continuity editor would have been an improvement, let alone a writer who plagiarized other sources almost verbatim.
Simon...you've got to snap out of this Jesus delusion. He didn't preach radical compassion and forgiveness, he preached limited compassion and forgiveness. Every kind thing he said can be found somewhere in the Psalms or the Proverbs and tiny snippets of non-vicious behaviour and lessons in the other books.
I admit that much of Jesus's narrative seems a gazillion times more humane than most of the horrid derranged text of the old testament...and in a sense by comparison it really is astoundingly nice. But in reality he said stuff you can find in literature well before he came along in multiple countries. In fact...you can find it in the complete works of Shakespeare or the Harry Potter series...though note...you won't get any of the very very bad stuff Jesus said!
You say he preached radical compassion...he did not. One day he preached some compassion...the other day he said horrible mean things. He expected his deciples to hate their family, he expected them to repress their natural sexual urges (otherwise gouge their eyes out), he approved of God's homosapienocide during the flood. He asks you to forgive your neighbours and yet he says multiple times that he will never forgive those who don't believe in him...as they will burn forever. Simon...is that forgiveness? Anyone can say "forgive your enemies" it's another thing to do it in practice. He forgave Judas but won't forgive billions of ordinary good people condemned to endless pain and misery. He told his deciples not to insult people and then he insults most people calling them stupid. He claimed all people similar to him that came before him were sinners. He describes himself (god) as a slave driver who beats his flock. He asks people to be compassionate towards others who are stuck in a difficult life, and yet he then says the decendents of those who killed the prophets (not fault of their own) will pay for their parents sins by torture. Is that compassion? Jesus says that if you forgive others then god will forgive you...and yet he claims that those who speak badly about the holy ghost will never be forgiven and will burn. He did after all not come to bring peace but the sword...remember? Jesus says even if your brothers sin against you seven times...you must forgive them...yet he was critical of the Pharasies for not following Gods law and killing those children who cursed their parents. Simon...this isn't forgiveness let alone radical-forgiveness. He preached to love your neighbour and honour your family and yet was bitter and mean when his diciples asked for a few days to go burry their families. Jesus, in his douchey tone says: Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
As you can see...the jesus narrative has some ideas which compared to the old testament sounds amazing, but anyone who puts the individual first and has a rational mind can figure that shit out. Harry Potter portrays each and every one of the goodness that Jesus recommends (he even heals people) and yet he doesn't do cruel things, never forgive, show contempt for the unfortunate, think of the sins of the fathers, terrorise people through fear or torture etc.
Jesus did not preach radical compassion and forgiveness. He said some lofty sweet sounding lines of advice and then spoke and did the opposite. He offers nothing that a reasonably intelligent person who is at least moderately doesn't already know...and then garbles it up and twists it and confusing it by preaching the opposite and often doing the opposite.
Better to go with Harry Potter. At least the author admits (and every non-crazy person knows) it was all made up.
Jesus did not preach radical compassion and forgiveness. He said some lofty sweet sounding lines of advice and then spoke and did the opposite.
What is yer favorite example of that? (Seriously, I'm new at this truthy Bible stuff.)
These are just four of the many many many examples throughout the NT. No biblical debates please.
Compassion. Jesus seems to care less that people are crying and grinding their teeth in agony:
This is what it will be like at the end of our age. The angels will separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be crying and teeth grinding. 13:49-50
Forgiveness? I think Jesus is one hard core bi-polar character:
And everyone who says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but those who desecrate the Holy Spirit's name will not be forgiven. Luke 12:10
Not sure where the forgiveness is in egging on people to continue their parents sins and then condeming them to eternal torture (with a slice of forgiveness?). He also insults them (something he told his deciples to never do) and seems to relish their bloody fate:
So you admit you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? You will find the blood of the truly good people of Earth upon you. Matthew 23:31-33
And here he is showing absolutely no compassion for a stranger whose father has died and told a stranger to not take care of his responsibilities or give anyone notice as he jumps on the bandwagon:
Jesus told someone else to come with him. But the man said, “Lord, let me wait until I bury my father.” Jesus answered, “Let the dead take care of the dead, while you go and tell about God’s kingdom.” Then someone said to Jesus, “I want to go with you, Lord, but first let me go back and take care of things at home. ”Jesus answered, “Anyone who starts plowing and keeps looking back isn’t worth a thing to God’s kingdom!” Luke 9:60-62
The consensus, given mostly by biased religious scholars (though they may be right) is that a man named Jesus was probably crucified, likely by the romans, around more or less where the story says it did and within a decade or so of the time the stories say.
That's it. It could have been the Jesus we all read about, or it could have been a kind popular guy who was in the wrong place and the wrong time and got arrested and executed.
There is no reason to believe (nor reliable evidence) that this person who was executed had any of the qualities the bible says he did.
Until that kind of evidence shows up, the default view stands...Jesus as described in the bible...is speculative fiction.