But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
V. Appellant's Caveats
& Up the Rabbit Hole!
- First, the caveats to keep in mind.
- Our goal here is simply to judge the possibility that Jesus actually WAS the prophesied Messiah. Currently, we are not concerned about the rest of normative Christianity, and we can decide that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah -- or that the preponderance of evidence favors that verdict -- without accepting normative Christianity. We can investigate later, if we wish, the extent to which normative Christianity stands the test.
- Whoever Jesus was, and whatever he was trying to convey, he was driven, as well as constrained, by the specifics of his LANGUAGE, CULTURE, AUDIENCE AND MESSAGE -- and we should expect that some of our natural interpretations of what he and his apostles were saying would be misguided…
- And especially, WE AREN'T AS SMART AS WE THINK WE ARE.
- We have never been as smart as we thought we were.
- Based upon past experience, we should expect profound changes in our scientific worldview in the next decade or two (let alone century or two).
- It’s always been that way -- only now, profound changes occur overnight.
- We humans (especially us intellectuals) should not take ourselves so seriously…
- After all, as a chicken's understanding of reality is to human understanding of reality, human understanding of reality COULD be to perfect understanding. We humans trying to understand reality could be like worms trying to understand calculus.
- And then, our perception of life could be analogous to a dream…
- And finally, as you mull through the various claims and counterclaims, keep "Jabba's Razor" in mind -- i.e., Sarcasmos non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. (Sarcasm must not be multiplied beyond necessity). In other words, the least sarcastic argument is usually the correct one...
On to specific objections: