Comment by Derek on July 4, 2011 at 5:01pm

I don't understand why the third option is usually left out:

 

Either

 

1. Jesus was the son of God.

2. He was lying and insane.

3. He did not exist but was cobbled together as an amalgam of previous myths.

 

Based on all the available evidence, I tend to lean towards three.

Comment by Mike Glickman on July 4, 2011 at 9:18pm

Point well taken, Derek. In as much as I agree with your leaning towards option #3, what I don't understand is how a billion people believe option #1.

Scientists tend to prefer the simplest answer to explain things. Options 2 or 3 (which aren't mutually exclusive) by so far provide the most likely answer to the Jesus story, it isn't even that interesting a debate, except for the fact that so many people choose door #1.

Comment by Derek on July 4, 2011 at 9:43pm
I have friends who are practising Christians but completely reject option#1. Now that I do not understand. It's like they know it's nonsense but are afraid to throw it out completely. That kind of cognitive dissonance must hurt.
Comment by Mike Glickman on July 4, 2011 at 9:52pm

Well, they're not really Christians. That is about like me saying that I'm a PGA Tour Golf Pro. While it sounds good and I'd really like to be one, the fact that I can rarely break 95 would suggest that a PGA pro is just not what I am.


If you reject the premise that Jesus was the son of God, you are, at best, culturally Christian.

 

I know what you mean though; I have a "Catholic" friend who is a critical thinker and readily acknowledges that religion is made up, but he will not call himself an atheist or even agnostic. In his mind, he's still a Catholic.

Comment by Derek on July 4, 2011 at 10:04pm

Right. It's the in-group thing they find hard to ditch; namely the sense of community, the ocassion of going to church in and of itself must be hard to throw out. It's about throwing out your lifestyle and your identity and starting from scratch.

 

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