Everyone, even atheists, have a belief structure. I was taught to stretch my beliefs to check on how strong they are. This may be why I’m about as close to being an atheist as possible w/o actually being one. It also my explain my love of speculative fiction as it stretches the mind to wrap around new concepts.
Imagine, if you will, that Jesus as known in the Bible existed. That he really was a historical figure and that while some of his exploits may have been… embellished over the years he did exists as written in the Bible. How would that change your belief structure? Better? Worse? No impact what so ever?
Ok, now imagine that the while Jesus did exist, much of what happens in the New Testament was by multiple people whose acts ended up being attributed to Jesus. Again, how would this affect your belief structure.
And lastly, what if everything in the New Testament, and old for that matter, is fictional. Written to keep the populace in line and explain the unexplainable. That you had irreparable truth that the words contained with the Bible were, in fact, fiction. How would your believe structure stand up to such knowledge?
My belief structure is above all flexible. Some might say this means I never stand for anything. I prefer to think I stand for it all. I understand some peoples need for an exterior framework to help hang their beliefs and morals. I understand people who have no need and are highly moral in their own way.
This exercise is also about figuring out what your belief structure is. If you don’t know what it’s made of or rely too much on that external framework it’ll never survive a serious hit. It may not go down immediately but eventually it’ll crash and take you with it. Shoring it up with more external platitudes and support doesn’t help the underlying weak structure, it just keeps the bad design up longer.