Updated: Mar 6
A year ago, I mildly debated a left-leaning individual on freedom of speech. Somehow, I made references to the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita. "I don't think any of that happened", he resisted. The conversation abruptly ended. The bar was loud and he had to leave, but I suddenly was fascinated with how often Christians pile up evidence to prove Jesus' historicity and how often left-leaning atheists dismiss Gods/prophets as mythical.
I was fascinated. I still am. In my last week in the US, my stats teacher, a Christian, asked me to read Lee Strobel's "The Case For Christ". To satisfy my obligation as a student one last time, I obeyed. Of course, I was not pleased when I returned the book three days later. Mr. Strobel had dedicated several chapters in the book investigating the historicity of Christ. "Does it even matter?" I asked her. "Does it even matter if Christ existed or not? What does any of that have anything to do with the veracity of Christian claims?"
Consider Tom & Jerry -- a cat chasing a mouse. Do cats not hunt mice, rats, and birds? That Tom was fictional doesn't change that.
Consider Gandalf's lines in the Lord of the Rings-
"True courage is knowing not how to take a life, but when to spare it."
“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.”
That Gandalf was fictional is no evidence whatsoever to deny the truth claims here. In other words, truth is independent of the positor. It is futile to debate the credibility of the positor. What matters is the veracity of his claims. If his claims can be reasonably established, they are true regardless of his existence. If they can be reasonably refuted, they might be wrong. So long you are stuck on debating historicity, you haven't even begun your journey in truth. And that to me, is fascinating.