My friend Jerry here NBC Evening News validates the Bible « Why Evolution Is True. points out something I’ve long wondered about: how can any responsible, intelligent person cite the bible as documentary evidence of, well, of anything?
The bible is ancient myth. It’s certainly fascinating myth that can be interpreted in many different ways. For me, I see religious myths (and that includes Greek and Roman myths too, which I grew up on [our bookshelves had mythology collections but no bible]) − along with their contemporary religious outgrowths − as societal unifying factors that soothe human anxieties about death, and offer the strength that groups can provide. (For people like me, who derive strength from individuality, religion is pretty useless.)
In any case, that’s the more or less benign way I view religion. And anybody who has read my series on the global war against women knows how I view the malignancy of religion.
Archaeologists and religious scholars dig for factual and scientific evidence that can prove or disprove these ancient religious myths. And what experts find is wonderful to read about. But, as Jerry says, no one has yet found proof that one specific man named Joshua, or Jesus, actually existed. And until someone does, I don’t believe in any such character − no more than I believe in Zeus − as more than just unifying symbolism.
But major media have apparently gone the way of minor media, when NBC reports:
“The Pope prayed at the spot where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.”
As Jerry Coyne comments, “Really? Shouldn’t there be an ‘allegedly’ in there?”