Scientists, in their constant search for answers, don't often worry about how silly they look doing it. After all, if they were too self-conscious, science would still have no idea how farts work. And that's the great thing about science -- even the most ridiculous inquiries wind up answering questions you didn't even know you wanted to know. You're welcome.
6 What if You Put Three Crazy Jesuses in the Same Room?
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We've all heard stories about mental patients who think they're some famous figure like Jesus or Napoleon (rarely do they think they're just some bartender named Steve). If you're like us, then you've only had one question on your mind -- what would happen if two people who thought they were the same famous figure came face to face?
Well, psychologist Milton Rokeach wondered the same thing in the 1950s, before ethics and common sense became a thing in the scientific community, so he found three separate mental patients who each believed he was Jesus and shacked them up together in the same room. For two years.
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A fourth guy was released when they realized he was just a South American tourist telling them his name.
Obviously, none of the patients was willing to concede that they could all be Jesus, but they weren't willing to let go of their own delusion either, so they each came up with a theory about why the other two said they were. One believed that the others were robots, the second believed that they might be other gods, and the third came up with a theory that was disarmingly rational -- of course the others thought they were Jesus, they were mental patients.
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"Well, shit, when he puts it that way ..."
So on a day-to-day basis, how do three mentally ill Jesi exist in the same space and time? In the exact same way the rest of us do it -- for the most part, they dodged the issue. Whenever the topic of their divinity came up in conversation, the others hastily changed the subject. Coming face to face with a metaphysical paradox is something nobody has time for first thing in the morning. Although, on a couple of occasions, the conflict over who was the real Jesus of Nazareth could only be settled with fists.
Apparently the whole cheek-turning thing was bullshit.
Eventually, one of the patients seemed to change his mind, and rather than Jesus, he started demanding that people address him as "Dr. Dung." He never renounced the idea that he was the Son of God, but at least he found an equally crazy compromise.
After two years, Rokeach gave up on the experiment, deciding that it wasn't going anywhere, which reveals a lack of creativity on his part. At the very least, he could have introduced them to someone who thought he was the devil.