The above interview is probably one of the the better, honest discussions I’ve seen in awhile regarding the nature of current politics.
It echoes my “everything is ideology” ranting, but Jonathon Gottschall takes it a step further: our ideology-making at the macro/political level amounts to nothing more than immersive storytelling.
Ideology, even ideological storytelling, can sometimes unite societies, but persistent vilification of fellow citizens will ultimately tear it down. With the internet, the “gatekeepers” of knowledge are gone, so it’s up to us to be skeptical…and humble…about the narratives we tell ourselves.
That’s really the only option we have.
So now comes the hard part of apologizing to those we vilified, and then the even harder part of forgiving those that vilified us.
I recommend watching the entire interview. If you have a right-wing or conservative perspective, you might think they’re dunking on you at the beginning, but they eventually turn that skepticism on their conversation and themselves.
He’s an excellent biblical scholar, but a little too conservative for my tastes as a historian. This occurred to me while I was watching him get ambushed by both Christians and atheists during a Zoom call.
If I’m correct in my understanding…and remember I’m a dumbass…then Ehrman’s argument regarding our access to the original intentions of the New Testament texts are completely lost. We cannot know what “Mark”, for example, originally wrote. Not only would this be true for all biblical texts, but virtually ALL ancient texts as well.
In my view, this is an extreme form of skepticism which throws our understanding of history out the window. The entire historical record would be in jeopardy, a point which Ehrman himself seemingly concedes (unless, of course, the record can be confirmed by other sources i.e. archeological, DNA, etc.)
I guess this sounds extreme-having to take the accuracy of ancient historical accounts basically on faith (especially when they sound plausible, but lack supporting evidence)-but what other option do we have until the facts prove otherwise?
I suppose this line of reasoning is how Ehrman can reconcile his certainty that Jesus existed with his extreme skepticism of the historical accuracy of the Gospels.