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Beyond Pandora

Beyond simple curiosity, this is Thinking Too Much. If you're interested in philosophy and/or wild theories, you've come to the right place.

Location: Australia

Paddling somewhere between a mad scientist and an organisational artist. Indecisive, inconsistent and often incoherent.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Australia's Third-Favourite Book

I was raised and brought up a Christian, but I've been one only in name for a long time now.
This is a large part of the why:

Christianity is based on the idea that Jesus was both human and divine (God). The only proof there is to support this is in the Bible.

You can argue back and forth forever about the validity of the Bible, but the truth is that you can never know for sure because you were not there when it was written.
The Bible cannot be proved to be either true or false, in the same way that no one will be able to prove (for example) that Jane Eyre is fact or fiction 2000 years from now. The difference is that Jane Eyre's story is not of earth-shattering importance. (Important, yes, but not earth-shattering)

IF we assume that everything that the Bible says about Jesus is absolutely true, then early Christianity was the only true religion. But that doesn't change the fact that religions evolve and branch out over the years as the original intentions are slanted one way or another. There is no reason to believe that Modern Christianity is any closer to Early Christianity than any other breakaway religion is. If Jesus had the Truth, then I'm sure that Truth has been lost by now.

And that is not good enough for me. I'm not prepared to sacrifice myself - or other people - for a religion that is either based in fiction, or is one that has gradually lost its truth over the 2000 years since it's conception. And I'm not prepared to think that people who would do just that are at all reasonable.

But - and this is the important point that I want to make - even if it can be proven that somewhere along the line, someone has made something up (if Jesus had been telling a huge lie, or if events of Jesus' life had been altered to suit the authors, or if Jesus himself is entirely fictional), then we are probably still better off for having the Bible, because it provides us with that ideal - a person who works for good beyond his/her own life. That is a hero we need to know about, think about, and argue about - whether or not they are real.

...So, on reflection, I don't mind so much that The Bible beat Harry Potter, Cloudstreet and The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy on Australia's Favourite Book list.


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