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"What men call social virtues, good fellowship, is commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter, which lie close together to keep each other warm." - Henry David Thoreau
The Question, and My Answer
You find yourself born into a dirty, messy, troubled, dangerous, insane world under a sentence of death. You have found that men, as more than one philosopher has observed, truly DO desire to be deceived. You find yourself compelled through experience to acknowledge a deep seated perversity in the mind and soul of Man.
You see that the spiritual world of 7 billion men is hopelessly philosophically and spiritually fragmented where Christendom accounts for about 1/3 of the religious orientation, where Islam accounts for about 1/4, where the balance is made up of the rest, with Judaism accounting for an insignificant number yet with an undue influence upon the civilized world. You see that not one religion, ideology, organization, denomination, sect, or belief system is in a majority. You see there is nothing but fragmentation and minorities.
You have been raised a fundamentalist Christian where:
You have learned that the Bible, the cornerstone of Christianity, has its Old Testament based on redacted, dimly understood ancient Hebrew and Egyptian mythology. You have learned that it is hopelessly mistranslated into English on top of that. You have learned that just the discovery of the Ebla tablets pushed one scholar to say that as much as 25% of the Old Testament needs to be retranslated. You have already learned for yourself that the numbers and many of the scenarios are physically and/or scientifically impossible, even granting miracles.
You have learned that the best secular Koine Greek scholars laugh with derision and scorn at the way the New Testament is translated. You have learned that the Gospels of the New Testament are hopelessly contradictory in many of their accounts. You have learned that we have almost no original manuscripts of the gospel material, and that the foundation for accepting most of the New Testament material as genuine and not forged or contrived is tenuous at best. You have learned that the selection of the New Testament canon was probably somewhat if not primarily political and arbitrary.
You have learned that some of the scenarios in the synoptic gospels are patterned in form and content after the Roman Senator Seneca’s plays. You also have learned that there are many parallels between the accounts about Jesus and the ancient Egyptian god Horus and other mythological warrior heroes. You also have learned that the origins and authorship of almost all of the New Testament are unknown or highly suspect.
After looking at a couple of Greek-English interlinear texts of the gospels, you see that the published English translations are wide of the mark in some important places or on important issues. After learning some Greek and personally translating the Gospels for yourself by heavily relying on Greek reference materials, you see that even the most learned theologians do not understand what Jesus claimed to be, why he came, and what he is offering. Not one that you can find even applies to a critical analysis the simple standards of evidence used in our courtrooms. Even the 200 scholars of the Jesus Seminar throw out the ONLY gospel in the New Testament that purports to be an eyewitness account, that is the most historically defensible, that deals with the real issues, and that makes the most sense.
You have read a half dozen books such as The Passover Conspiracy, The Pagan Christ, Revolution in Judea, all purporting to show in various ways that Jesus was a constructed myth, or a real man but a sham, or greatly embellished in the crucial aspects, or incredibly rich and connected, or a political zealot, etc., now made into something exotic and otherworldly by the followers. You have seen that some of the world’s most intelligent men born as Christians, men of admirable integrity like Ernest Renan, John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgewick, et al, lost their faith while thinking and learning. You have seen that wonderful men like Voltaire, Rousseau, Spinoza and contemporaries struggled to free Europe from the dark, oppressive control of superstitious Christianity and bring it into some form of reasonable enlightenment.
Now in the age of enhanced communication and travel, you find the world to be a cacophony of confusion where there are thousands of voices all claiming to have the truth and assailing you with powerful calls to come their way, with alluring promises of universally desired payoffs if you do. You see that, when men are doing their best to persuade you, they are mostly only trying to convince themselves of what they say they believe. You now see the world on the brink of a most terrible World War III fostered by incompatible religious belief.
In the first 35 years of being available 24/7 for serious, open, honest discussion, you have found only one man, a dear friend, that would systematically dedicate significant time to actually go over the fundamental issues and the gospel material point by point in logical study and discussion only to find that he was fatally flawed, too old, too tired, too wasted to open his mind all the way; and he committed suicide. You see that most men would actually rather die than take intellectual and spiritual responsibility and change what they believe in a fundamental way,.
After 40 years of studying the ancient astral catastrophes through ancient accounts, mythology, geology, astrophysics, petroglyphs, etc., and studying the surface scarring record left on the moon, Mars, and other moons and planets including the earth, you see the material can be understood to make coherent sense within the paradigms of the Saturnian Reconstruction of Ancient Times and the Electric Universe paradigm.
After 40 years of honing your understanding with other serious paradigms such as the Holographic Universe, the Collective Consciousness, the Morphogenetic Resonance Field, and the Bicameral Brain Mind, you have developed sensible answers for paranormal phenomena that are more reasonable than to ascribe them to God or a fantasy devil.
After 55 years of scientific learning, and more recent consideration of the Electric Universe paradigm and the Saturnian Reconstruction, you see that scientists in the fields of geology, paleontology, biology, genetics, astronomy, psychology, mythology, et al, all have major anomalies to deal with that should force seeking a different paradigm and yet they often don’t even have much of a clue as to the major forces or factors at work in their fields.
After conversing with several people who claim to have talked with God, you find the conclusion TO BE inescapable that they are all deluded into thinking that bicameral brain communications resulting in visions and voices are the special revelations from God. In the face of all this, after you have suffered the "slings and arrows", significant vicissitudes of life, when even the gospel writer John gives five laments in his first three chapters about the efforts of Jesus not working, and when you were not there to SEE with your own eyes and HEAR with your own ears, where ALL you have to go on is 2000 years of failure and disappointment, and black letters on white paper giving tenuous and sketchy accounts, where all seems to be shifting sand:
What IS it that could or would convince you that Jesus IS who he said he was and that you should take what he said most seriously?
I just wouldn't want the character, purpose, values, plan and behavior of the Creator to be any other than what Jesus portrayed them to be.