This week I want to talk about the relationship between the Gospel Hypothesis and the Bible, but before we get to that there’s one more set of consequences I want to look at. In many ways it’s the most important set of consequences we’ve looked at so far because of its subtle yet pervasive influence on how we perceive the very question we’re investigating.
If the Myth Hypothesis is true, if the Christian God does not exist and the Christian Gospel is merely the product of centuries of myth-building by well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) mortals, then the inescapable consequence of God’s non-existence is that His absence from real life is going to be universal. Every moment of every day of every human life is going to be lived in the absence of God, no exceptions.
Such absolute consistency of experience carries with it a unique peril for the honest inquirer, because we are not born omniscient. We have no innate knowledge of how the world is supposed to be, we merely discover how the world is, and this discovery determines what we will consider “normal.”
Thus, the peril for the honest inquirer is that learning from experience will cause us to become biased in favor of the conclusion that it’s perfectly normal and natural for God to be absent. Who needs to think about whether or not God should show up in the real world when our whole life, and everyone else’s, clearly demonstrates that God’s absence is the default condition? We do not question it because we do not perceive it. It has always been there, since before our individual brains were mature enough to reason, and therefore it becomes part of our broad, unthinking premise of how the world is.