Jesus Was Not the Best We Can Be

skylarkyu (from my channel page):

Hi, this is the best series I have ever seen. The episode on Spong resonated a lot with me. I was just wondering if you consider yourself a Christian in the sense that Jesus (the man, with no theistic implications) was seemingly the first human to create a mass societal movement based in positivity, compassion etc and being a Christian is simply a reflection of a person trying to emulate these ideals? Perhaps in the way students of Psychiatry might thing of themselves a ‘Freudians’ or ‘Jungans’.


When I first learned his positions, I identified not only with Spong’s position on Jesus and being a Christian, but also on retaining a reformed concept of God.

After years of reflecting on those ideas, I have decided that they both still just give too much primacy to Jesus and the concept of God. There have been too many amazing people throughout history to claim that Jesus is THE quintessential model for human behavior. While his ideas were revolutionary at that time for that particular Mesopotamian culture, they are far from advanced enough for human beings now.

Jesus’ ideas simply aren’t advanced enough to evaluate the effects of human behavior and attitudes on a global scale, such as how individual homosexual children as a group are affected by a global change in the perception of homosexuality.

Another example of a situation that Jesus’ ideas aren’t advanced enough to fully evaluate is abortion. Most Christians simply cite the commandment to not kill, because this is the extent of what Jesus was cognitively able to address in his time, when safe abortions were not even possible. This ignores the possibility of increased suffering both for an individual child and its parents, for parents who are not ready. It also does not address the issue of overpopulation and how it creates increased suffering for the entire world by overburdening our natural resources.

These are just two examples of how Jesus’ ideas about morality aren’t advanced enough for the modern world and there are many more.

Promoting Jesus as the archetype of human thinking will ultimately hold us back from seeing the best possible changes we can make in ourselves, which are far beyond what he was able to achieve so long ago, before modern advancements in culture, thought, and technology.

5 comments on “Jesus Was Not the Best We Can Be

  1. HS says:

    I’d add that students of psychiatry haven’t considered themselves “Freudians” or “Jungians” for decades now, as neither Freud’s nor Jung’s schools of thought have retained much clinical relevance as we have begun to learn more about neuroscience. Freudian and Jungian thought is now mostly confined to literary theory, not sciences of the mind.

  2. bruce says:

    Along the same lines. i think most religions should be adaptable, and they were, when they were still oral. People could apply the basic moral lessons in a way that adapted to the times. But since we have written them down they are now seen as immutable and not subject to alteration of any sort. So a story about jesus could have incorporated new social changes were not for the bible being the unalterable word of god. so jesus as a moral character is stuck in the past, still preaching a message that was applicable to his time.

  3. Well OK, then.

    Of course, Jesus would speak metaphorically on several topics, and while he was speaking to the mindsets of 1st-century apocalyptic peasants, he talked about universal, spiritual truths. These are wide-ranging, relatively open in their meaning, and subject to re-interpretation. They’re not meant to be specific. I’m actually reading some stuff on spirituality right now…

    The secular idea behind Christianity, for example, is to provide solidarity for the universal community, do the right thing, and provide for a better future. It also holds that our goal is not only to recognize how limited we are (we avoid anthropocentrism as a result), but also, in doing so, to realize our full potential, persevere, and gradually “conquer” suffering and death throughout the world. Some Christians even go as far as trans-humanism…

    While this may not be “specific” to one period or another (and we all know how many Christians abuse their own book), it still is an ideal that embodies the desires of the human spirit. This is what interest me about Christianity.

    To HS: believe it or not, you can still hold to Jungian psychology and neuroscience. This involves the “minimal” interpretation of the collective unconscious.

  4. This topic scratched one of my itches… Hopefully I don’t look like I’m shilling my old posts here; they are on topic. I was reviewing old tweets to delete meaningless drivel, and I wandered to @Evid3nc3 and was motivated to read this entry. I have many posts where I point out how principals we attribute to the best thinking of Jesus (setting aside if he existed or if he said the things), are counterproductive to a well functioning society. Here are the links in date order from oldest to newest.

    “X( – Forgiveness without Reckoning”
    “X( – Eternal Redemption”
    “X( – The Golden Rule. [fail]”
    “X( – Do not! do unto others as…”
    “X( – Failed Golden Rule”
    “X( – Religious Confession #Fail”

    And since their is a strong precedence that the popular ideas of Plato were where Jesus would have first heard them, I’m indicting the Greeks as well.

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