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Am I Wrong?
Entry 1106, on 2009-10-24 at 18:00:06 (Rating 3, Skepticism)
One of the reasons I write blog entries and debate people on the internet is so that I can get a reality check on my own beliefs. I don't like using the word "beliefs" because it seems to put me in the same category as believers such as religious people, spiritual people, conspiracy believers and people with strong political views, but I hope that my form of belief isn't really the same as that.
Of course no one is perfect and there are sure to be some areas where I have unreasonable biases, but I hope that these are considerably more reasoned than most. Of course, how would I know? Many people genuinely think they are right when they are obviously wrong so I could easily be in that category too.
There are two areas where I think I might be unreasonably biased. First, I think Christianity is based on a huge conspiracy, the greatest the world has ever seen. Considering I criticise other people for following conspiracy theories that is a bit worrying. The other area is in politics where I have an obvious left bias. I don't take this to any sort of extreme and I think I'm very pragmatic but again, everyone sees their own views that way, even when (in my view) they actually tend to the political far right.
So what about this great "Jesus conspiracy" - what's all that about? Well I think Jesus never existed which is quite an extreme view because even atheists and other skeptics usually think the Jesus stories are based on some sort of real historical figure. So making Jesus both a real person and a religious figurehead obviously required a huge conspiracy to be created first.
I am prepared to be proven wrong on this and it wouldn't make a lot of difference to my overall worldview because even if Jesus did exist he was clearly totally different from the character in the BIble. The reason I doubt his existence is that there is just no credible evidence that he existed outside of the BIble and the Bible stories are contradictory and inconsistent as well as being written many years after the alleged events by people who weren't even there. Believing the Bible is a total joke and no other book based on such obviously flimsy evidence would be taken seriously.
And despite all the challenges I have put out, no one has been able to show me a single record of Jesus' life written by an actual witness at the time. Other events were recorded in detail so why not those which involved Jesus and were allegedly so miraculous?
So I really think I have good reason to believe the Jesus conspiracy really exists but the difference between me and other conspiracy believers is that I am totally relaxed about being proven wrong. I just want to know the facts. in fact, I think its fairly likely that a historical figure might exist that loosely matches the Biblical Jesus character but I would be totally astounded if there was any evidence of the miracles!
So what about my left political bias? I think that is more relative than absolute. I am certainly to the left of many of the people I debate with - after all that's why I debate them in the first place - but I don't think I'm far left in any real, absolute sense.
These are some of my key political beliefs (there's that word again): I want tight controls over business and have little faith in laissez-faire economics, I think its everyone's social duty to ensure a decent standard of living for all people even if that involves paying tax, I don't think long prison sentences or the death penalty is an effective deterrent in most cases, I don't think the private sector can be relied on to be genuinely innovative in all areas, I don't think foreign investment and privatisation is the best option in most cases.
Note that I don't want to do away with private enterprise, I just want to control and moderate it. And I don't want more leniency in criminal prosecution in every case, just the recognition that it is counter-productive in most instances. And I'm not totally against foreign investment, I just think that key assets are better controlled by people more closely connected with where they have to operate.
Does any of that really sound like extreme left politics? It doesn't to me but if it is extreme left then I say bring it on! I really don't care about labels of left, right or center. I do care about what works according to evidence and history, not ideology as it is usually practiced by conservatives and libertarians, as well as extreme liberals and socialists.
Looking back through my blog I can see a few occasions where I have indulged in a bit of rhetoric or hyperbole to make a point, or maybe when I was a bit upset about a particularly egregious incident involving my political or religious opponents. But overall I think I have been quite sensible and offered compromise solutions which are quite easily justified.
So in answer to the question "am I wrong" I would say, I really don't know. But if I am wrong I still think I am right in having the opinions I do, especially since I am prepared to change them if the evidence is sufficiently compelling.
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