This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Atheists for Jesus

Shane McKee's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Shane McKee

Oh dear - the old fake trichotomy again - mad/bad/god. A couple of comments on this: firstly, it is extraordinarily insulting to anyone who has had mental illness, and is just a reinforcement of old Victorian stereotypes of the "insane". CS Lewis (for it was he) should have been ashamed of himself for coming up with it.

Secondly, it completely ignores the possibility that Jesus may have felt he was being called upon to do god's work in what he said, just like the zillions of religious people that inhabit our planet. I think it's safer to use the term delusion, like RD does.

Thirdly, there is the issue of Jesus being misreported. The Gospels are riddled with contradictions and non-sequiturs, yet one thing Jesus very explicitly did *not* do was go around proclaiming himself to be the messiah - other people tended to do that on his behalf (most notoriously Saul of Tarsus, the syncretist fanatic.

Fourthly, even if Jesus *did* claim to be "The Son Of God", it is not entirely clear (in fact it is extraordinarily unlikely, nay impossible) that he would have believed it to mean that he was "divine" - in fact, in several reported passages, he explicitly *denies* it. So *even if* he was the Jewish Messiah, there is no reason to make the daft leap into thinking that he was claiming divinity. And Messiahs (even resurrected ones) were two a penny back then. It's not Jesus' fault that his subsequent "followers" distorted not only his message and ethic, but his very person.

Jesus was Jewish, following in the tradition of the Galilean Hasid (read "Jesus the Jew" by Geza Vermes for further enlightenment on this). He was not the first to come up with his ideas, but they did seem to strike a chord. In fact, if anything (according to the bible) Jesus took the blasphemy challenge, and with the parable of the Good Samaritan made it very clear that *religion* is entirely unimportant; it is our ethic towards our fellow man/woman that is important.

Jesus needs rescued from Christians; whether that should be by Jews or atheists is an open question. To say that he was "a good person" is more than adequate.

Personally, I think that if Jesus had been around today, he would have been an atheist.

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 02:12:00 UTC | #26480