Jesus was no Philosopher
Jesus made big promises that never came true. He was judgmental, intolerant, inconsistent, egocentric and ethnocentric. He failed to give clever or comprehensive solutions to life’s conundrums. Most of his teachings lack the detail to make them meaningful. Dogma without reasoning and explanation does not cut the mustard as philosophy.
Good philosophers are seekers of truth and wisdom who propose answers to the mysteries of life and the universe after a reasoned analysis. They see through gloss to discover substance. They may occasionally come up with profound one-liners (aphorisms) such as
“E=mc squared” or “I think, therefore I am,” but these are the products of elaborate reasoning. Jesus’ numerous one-liners only proposed unsatisfactory simplistic solutions to complex problems.
Good philosophers have open minds and are genuinely interested in others’ opinions. They do not assume or pretend they alone have all the answers. They care enough about their audience to document their ideas with precision and detail. They are aware that one day their ideas may appear outdated. Much of what Jesus said was a dictatorial diatribe that failed to do any of this.
Truly inspiring words in great books, poetry, or speeches have a timeless coherency and consistency to them. Jesus’ teachings, as a whole, do not.
Some Christians claim that everything Jesus said was perfect because he was god, a circular argument. Faith cannot rescue Jesus’ words from the scrutiny of a modern critical public.
Some Christians claim it was the fact Jesus became a man that is what matters; that Jesus’ primary purpose was to save the world from its sins. Paul invented this idea, and Paul had obviously never heard Jesus’ teachings. Paul, the true founder of Christianity did not consider his Christ a philosopher, yet Paul wrote volumes pushing his own philosophy.
Many Christians believe Jesus revealed God’s will, yet it seems those Christians are not considering Jesus’ words objectively. Perhaps these Christians should be asking why Jesus did not do a much better job, one that left better quality instructions for future generations.
Many Christians too easily accept any of the thousands of books and articles that try to explain, harmonize or “contextualize” Jesus’ sayings. All this commentary is heavily manufactured; it resorts to arbitrary interpretations rather than simply taking what are said to be Jesus’ words at face value.
The Mind of an Omniscient God
Can anyone imagine an omniscient God agreeing with Jesus? The power and depth of her thinking would be infinite, so she would hardly be obsessed with the traditions, prejudices, rewards, and punishments of the ancient Jewish and Roman world, because she would be bigger than that.
If, hypothetically, Jesus were an omniscient god, he would not be offended by this honest assessment of the Gospels. Jesus would be confident enough to be indifferent to anyone’s opinions, and he would know people were only using the critical faculties he gave them. Maybe those who imagine Jesus is God should not be offended either.
If Jesus is a God, he must be very disappointed in those who consider the Gospel’s truthful.