A Moment of Clarity, Please
Reading the blogs and comments by this site's members has been a rewarding, satisfying, enriching experience; thank you all. You've helped me to a clarity I'd like to illustrate with the following true story.
Some years ago I did business with a certain printing vendor. We worked together on several projects over many months. He always conducted himself professionally and seemed like a regular guy. One day after going over some proofs, he pulled me aside and confided that extraterrestrials lived among us disguised as humans. He revealed that they had landed on the pyramids thousands of years ago and conducted experiments in alien-human hybridization. I listened thoughtfully, nodding so as not to annoy the crazy person, got him out of the office as fast as I could and managed to never see him again.
Now imagine yourself in a similar situation; a seemingly normal person whom you've known for some time feels that you're trustworthy enough to let you in on their secret. Although they have no empirical evidence to support their contention, they believe with all their heart that thousands of years ago a woman got pregnant without having had sex. If that wasn't amazing enough, the resulting person could transmogrify matter, turning water into wine and materializing bread and fish out of thin air. And as if that wasn't incredible enough, he could reverse death itself! Indeed, he came back to life after being dead for three days and then levitated into the clouds.
Now, I ask you: why on earth would any sane, rational human being not put as much distance between themselves and this obviously deluded individual as possible, just as if they had been spouting about alien abductions?!
Humans have been searching for understanding of the world around us since we gained sentience. Luckily, we've answered many perplexing questions. Do horses pull the sun through the sky each day in a chariot? No, nuclear fusion inside a gravitationally bound ball of plasma a couple million kilometers away comes into view as the ground below our feet spins on a planetary axis. Even if we can't see the hydrogen atoms collide or feel the globe spin, pretty much everyone agrees about that it is real.
Unfortunately, despite thousands of years of inquiry by billions of brains, there are still some very vexing issues that we haven't yet answered. What happens to us after we die? Are we alone in the universe? Is there a purpose to our existence? We can speculate all we want and believe anything we dream up but the fact remains that we don't know.
It is possible that space aliens walk among us and it is possible that that Jewish girl wasn't just pulling one over on her parents. We may never know for sure. One thing that I am pretty sure of, though, is that killing each other over life's imponderables isn't going to get us any closer to the answers we seek.