The historian Paul Veyne calls himself an "unbeliever," and yet he extols the message of human dignity that we find in the sacrificial love and death of Jesus. Veyne writes:
‘In the gospel, a person's life suddenly acquired an eternal significance within a cosmic plan, something that no philosophy or paganism could confer ... The pagan gods lived for themselves. In contrast, Christ, the Man-God sacrificed himself for his people ... Christianity owed its success to a collective invention of genius ... namely, the infinite mercy of a God passionate about the fate of the human race, indeed about the fate of each and every individual soul, including mine and yours, and not just those of the kingdoms, empires and the human race in general.’ Insightful thoughts!