Belief in Fiction

Any successful author of fiction knows that in order to make their stories believable the story must incorporate some selected facts.  These may include verifiable locations, historical persons, proven scientific principles, and the like.  Then, once the main character has been fleshed out with distinguishing traits and endowed with some burning aspriation, he ventures forth through the selected facts and his adventures illustrate some  purpose.  And with this formula we have just described the basis of all the “revealed” and “holy” stories that millions of persons subscribe to.

Any successful author of fiction knows also that deep within every person there is a hungry need for escapism, and concepts of awesome circumstances provide this.  The stumbling block for those dedicated to “holy” stories was that necessity to incorporate a certain amount of verifiable facts as substructure upon which or around which assertions of miraculous events could be presented and pointed to as “proof” of the legitimacy of the supernatural claims in the story.  But inclusion of a few select facts and use of half-truths do not legitimatize supernatural fantasies.

In Old Testament literature the low percentage of truths that have been incorporated as points of reality are blunted by the fact that characters such as Abraham, Moses, Jacob, David, Solomon, et al  have never been confirmed–not even after over one hundred years of archaeological digs.  On the other hand, some obscure political persons and even some  priest-class persons from the alleged times of the story-characters have been verified.  That peculiarity may be traceable to the priest-authors who composed them for political purpose around the 8th century BCE.

Likewise, the only verifiable characters mentioned in New  Testament tales are to be found only in peripheral roles.  This fact so bothered one of the earliest of the Christian apologists, Origen (185? – 254?), that he laboriously sifted through the then-existing records in Jerusalem, Capernaum and Rome seeking some verifying record:  he found nothing that ever verified activities of a divine mortal named Jesus, let alone any mention of the twelve apostles said to be devoted to him.  Nor could Origen find any record of the “apostle” Paul anywhere except in later revised Christian writings.

It is certain that if even one of the many miraculous events claimed to have happened in the “holy” accounts had actually transpired there would be mention of them in writings of neighboring cultures.  The favored pretext used to sidestep this curious non-awareness of neighboring people is that god kept it all hush-hush just for the benefit of a select few.  The inference in that seems to be that god did not much care for the rest of his diverse creation, which sounds a bit neurotic.  Still he must have changed his mind because he suddenly became willing to sacrifice his “only begotten son” to revitalize attention to himself in that same little region of planet Earth known as Palestine.

Apparently this god-favored planetary region still needed a bit  more attention-grabbing excitement to brighten his boredom so he later contacted a traveling desert merchant named Mohammed for additional promotional work.  It seemed reasonable that some lively dialog would thus be generated which would prove conclusively that the Palestine region was indeed holy land.  As for the care and enlightenment of the rest of the planet or even the universe, apparently they could just go hang.

When story points don’t quite add up, isn’t it prudent to maintain caution in accepting unsubstantiated claims written down by priestly storytellers as truth?

2 Responses to “Belief in Fiction”

  1. modestpurple Says:

    good points…

  2. Thank you for post. It is really imformative stuff.
    I really like to read!

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