Why is Jesus' death considered a sacrifice?

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Why is Jesus' death considered a sacrifice?

Growing up Christian, the single most resounding things I heard was talk about "Christ's sacrifice". He died on the cross to save our sins. His sacrifice provided our salvation. What great love God showed through this sacrifice. 

Now, this is often compared to lots of Old Testament sacrifices, where people had to set one of their goats on fire because God liked how it smelled. This makes sense to be classified as a sacrifice, because the goat herder had one less goat. Regardless of whether or not this goat burning made any sense or was necessary in the strictest sense is beside the point; it was a sacrifice.

So Jesus comes, spreads the good word, pisses off the people in charge, and is summarily executed. But then it's revealed that this death was a sacrifice and it was to atone for our sins. This is also why we don't have to burn goats anymore (does God still like how that smells?). The problem is, three days later, Jesus rose from the dead and eventually went up to heaven. This is constantly reaffirmed in Easter services every year. "He is risen! hallelujah!" and "Our God is a living God!" So, everyone accepts that he's not actually dead. How was that a sacrifice. Sure, he suffered for three days, and I'm sure that wasn't fun, but it was only a sacrifice in the sense that he sacrificed some of his happiness.

To go back to the whole goat thing, if the goat herders were told to immolate one of their goats, and three days later, it arose from the ashes no worse for the wear, it wouldn't be a sacrifice; it would be goat torture. So, did God save our sins by subjecting his son/avatar/himself to torture?

Creepy.


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Interesting question

The role of sacrifice in religion is fascinating.

I've only just started to look at it, so can't help much, but here is some information:

http://vridar.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews-notes/levenson-death-res-belov/

is a collection of reviews of a book that considers the Christian story of sacrifice to be a rehash and evolution of OT sacrifice stories.

The first of that series of posts,

http://vridar.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/the-offering-of-isaac-its-evolution-into-the-template-of-the-jesus-event-1/

states:

"I’ll pass over Levenson’s coverage of the history of child sacrifice in the Canaanite culture and the sublimation in early Israel of that practice to prominent motifs in myths, legends and symbolic sacrifices. A discussion of all the appearances in Israelite literature of the story of a father, including God as a father-figure, giving up a son (including a collective son as in the people of Israel) to death or slavery only to have him/them, or more abundant replacements, restored again would require a separate post or two or three."

 

Anyway, there might be something useful for you in those posts.


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More ideas

Nony stated in http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33227?page=1

"The whole idea of the crucifixion being sacrifice for sin does not appear until well after the Council of Nicaea."

However, 1 Peter 3:18 has:
"For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit."

Which is also like http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+53&version=NIV
 

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the LORD makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.

 


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It's all based on faith.

It's all based on faith. Don't see a point in the question.


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If God sent his son down to die for us

           If god sent his "only" son to die for us. That would mean that God and his Son would have been hip to the plan before it started. If we're to believe the stuff I heard growing up in the church, Jesus knew the gameplan anyway and so would god have known. So I fail to see where God gave anything. It is almost like some practical joke. Show up at a biker bar and say: "Well guys, I gotta die to save your life, the Club President says I have to,". Then, you get a staged shooting, come back and say : "Well guys, it looked like I was dead, but I am not dead, Club President just wanted to make me look dead. It was all part of our plan."

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digitalbeachbum wrote:It's

digitalbeachbum wrote:

It's all based on faith. Don't see a point in the question.

If what you're saying is "they believe what they're told and don't question it", I see what you mean. Otherwise, I might need some clarification.

For purposes of this thread, I don't care that they believe in the whole Jesus story. I'm just wondering why it's so widely accepted to be "a sacrifice". Nothing was sacrificed by three day's of Christ's happiness. Since most of them believe in infinity years of happiness in heaven (and many will cite that using Pascal's Wager), then the loss of happiness over the course of three day's is effectively zero.

Jesus wasn't sacrificed; he was tortured. To save us... from his father/himself.


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actually, the god/celectial

actually, the god/celectial being that is sacrificed and then regenerated, albeit in an altered form (jesus was supposedly altered as well), is a common motif in religions.  osiris is another famous example, and the rig veda talks about the purusha ("cosmic man&quotEye-wink, whose sacrifice is the method of the universe's creation.  of course, there is the symbolic sacrifice of isaac, and the book of hebrews (11.17-19) contends that the reason why abraham did not hesitate to offer up isaac was because he was certain god would resurrect him after he sacrificed him (kierkegaard developed this interpretation further in fear and trembling).

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:of course,

iwbiek wrote:
of course, there is the symbolic sacrifice of isaac, and the book of hebrews (11.17-19) contends that the reason why abraham did not hesitate to offer up isaac was because he was certain god would resurrect him after he sacrificed him (kierkegaard developed this interpretation further in fear and trembling).
I'm confused. Why did Abraham think God would resurrect Isaac? He'd never resurrected any of the goats in the past. 


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RobbyPants wrote:I'm

RobbyPants wrote:

I'm confused. Why did Abraham think God would resurrect Isaac? He'd never resurrected any of the goats in the past. 

once again, it's the motif.  you're confused because you're looking at the text in isolation.  a god/demigod/hero being sacrificed or sacrificing himself and then being resurrected is a very common religious motif across the world.

that being said, the hebrews interpretation of the binding of isaac is not self-evident in the genesis text.  however, the fact that it could be accepted as orthodox by the early christian community, many of whom were jewish christians, speaks to the strength of the motif.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:actually, the

iwbiek wrote:

actually, the god/celectial being that is sacrificed and then regenerated, albeit in an altered form (jesus was supposedly altered as well), is a common motif in religions.  osiris is another famous example, and the rig veda talks about the purusha ("cosmic man&quotEye-wink, whose sacrifice is the method of the universe's creation.  of course, there is the symbolic sacrifice of isaac, and the book of hebrews (11.17-19) contends that the reason why abraham did not hesitate to offer up isaac was because he was certain god would resurrect him after he sacrificed him (kierkegaard developed this interpretation further in fear and trembling).

I had forgot how often that life/death and resurrection is so often a part of religions. But, that is quite true.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Hey there Robby

RobbyPants wrote:

Growing up Christian, the single most resounding things I heard was talk about "Christ's sacrifice". He died on the cross to save our sins. His sacrifice provided our salvation. What great love God showed through this sacrifice. 

Now, this is often compared to lots of Old Testament sacrifices, where people had to set one of their goats on fire because God liked how it smelled. This makes sense to be classified as a sacrifice, because the goat herder had one less goat. Regardless of whether or not this goat burning made any sense or was necessary in the strictest sense is beside the point; it was a sacrifice.

So Jesus comes, spreads the good word, pisses off the people in charge, and is summarily executed. But then it's revealed that this death was a sacrifice and it was to atone for our sins. This is also why we don't have to burn goats anymore (does God still like how that smells?). The problem is, three days later, Jesus rose from the dead and eventually went up to heaven. This is constantly reaffirmed in Easter services every year. "He is risen! hallelujah!" and "Our God is a living God!" So, everyone accepts that he's not actually dead. How was that a sacrifice. Sure, he suffered for three days, and I'm sure that wasn't fun, but it was only a sacrifice in the sense that he sacrificed some of his happiness.

To go back to the whole goat thing, if the goat herders were told to immolate one of their goats, and three days later, it arose from the ashes no worse for the wear, it wouldn't be a sacrifice; it would be goat torture. So, did God save our sins by subjecting his son/avatar/himself to torture?

Creepy.

 

I agree that in my evangelical upbringing the sacrifice of jesus on the cross was paramount. Of course as you point out and as the Nicenes insisted, Jesus was god, he cannot die, so he made no sacrifice. A perfect being cannot be killed, cannot feel pain, cannot suffer, cannot be imposed upon in a fiery lake the horror of which would be utterly lost on his glittering quantum physique. 

Clearly, this idea of sacrifice relates to the reification of the life force, when animals were sacrificed, this force was given to appease the gods, to protect the life forces of followers, a sort of small pay-off. The entire business is anthropomorphic, provincial, antique, silly, but you can sense the awe and reverence of life that drove it all. There's also some sort of sick self pity or self hatred mixed in with it. A desire to sacrifice something to atone, in order to alleviate nagging guilt/shame. 

Calvary is a pointless thing. In my opinion, the jesus character is forced to die in order to assauge the fallacious appeal to force contained in Genesis. A sort of one-time sacrifice. Though maybe it was motivated by rising livestock prices...

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote: Of

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Of course as you point out and as the Nicenes insisted, Jesus was god, he cannot die, so he made no sacrifice.

if we want to talk about conciliar theology, that's not entirely accurate.  nicea and Constantinople were concerned primarily with Trinitarian questions, and the sacrifice of Christ bore only an indirect (but powerful) influence on the proceedings.

chalcedon and the later Christological councils, however, addressed the concern you raise directly.  to say jesus was nothing more than god and thus could not die and there was no real sacrifice at calvary was a popular position among early Christians, particularly the gnostics.  this type of Christology is known as Docetism and was roundly condemned as heresy by the councils I mentioned above.  the Christological councils came to the decision that jesus had two complete natures, human and divine--"fully human, fully divine," as a matter of fact--and it was this human nature that was sacrificed at calvary and transformed by the resurrection event into a glorified state.  it was this glorified humanity that ascended to heaven and, arguably, still physically (I use that word loosely) exists somewhere up there. 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:RobbyPants

iwbiek wrote:

RobbyPants wrote:

I'm confused. Why did Abraham think God would resurrect Isaac? He'd never resurrected any of the goats in the past. 

once again, it's the motif.  you're confused because you're looking at the text in isolation.  a god/demigod/hero being sacrificed or sacrificing himself and then being resurrected is a very common religious motif across the world.

No, my confusion is stemming from me seeing three different types of "sacrifices", and two different interpretations of the sacrifice. The three types I see are:

1) Gods (the purpose of this thread)

2) Goats (or other animals)

3) People (Isaac specifically)

And the two types of sacrifices:

1) The thing is killed and stays dead

2) The thing is killed and comes back, but is still called a sacrifice because of the motif.

 

That being said, I totally get the idea that people figure that when gods get killed, they come back (the motif). Also, when goats get killed, they don't (observable reality). My confusion is why Abraham would assume killing Isaac (case #3; a person) would come back. Why did he think the motif would apply? It never applied to goats, and he never sacrificed a human (I hope!). I don't think it was implied in any way that Isaac would come back.

Is this assumption because Isaac has human intelligence? Smart things (gods and people) get to come back if sacrificed? Is this assumed post hoc, because once God said "lol jk! Don't actually kill him!", Abraham was tested, and he had the intent to sacrifice Isaac? I could sort of see it from that interpretation, in that Abraham symbolically sacrificed Isaac, and Isaac stayed alive, so this is sort of like Isaac being sacrificed and coming back.

Is that it? Did I answer my own question in the last paragraph?

 


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RobbyPants wrote:he think

RobbyPants wrote:

he think the motif would apply? It never applied to goats, and he never sacrificed a human (I hope!). I don't think it was implied in any way that Isaac would come back.

Is this assumption because Isaac has human intelligence? Smart things (gods and people) get to come back if sacrificed? Is this assumed post hoc, because once God said "lol jk! Don't actually kill him!", Abraham was tested, and he had the intent to sacrifice Isaac? I could sort of see it from that interpretation, in that Abraham symbolically sacrificed Isaac, and Isaac stayed alive, so this is sort of like Isaac being sacrificed and coming back.

 

 

 

even though genesis never explicit states that the patriarchs were anything more than human, they're basically treated as mythological heroes, who are basically gods in all but name.  analogies can be found in canaanite myths.

fast-forward to the first century CE and to the hellenized jewish world, with centuries of greek influence now thrown into the mix, and it's easy to see how an exegete of that time could assume that isaac would be resurrected--and that abraham knew he would be.

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Gotcha. So it has nothing to

Gotcha. So it has nothing to do with them being people per se, but that they're one of the mythological folk heroes.


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Atheistextremist wrote:Of

Atheistextremist wrote:

Of course as you point out and as the Nicenes insisted, Jesus was god, he cannot die, so he made no sacrifice. A perfect being cannot be killed, cannot feel pain, cannot suffer, cannot be imposed upon in a fiery lake the horror of which would be utterly lost on his glittering quantum physique. 

 

What an interesting image - bursts of sun-like flares crashing against the lighthouse of Jesus' perfection. Shoot, if I could create that image - I suck at artistry - I could likely sell it to the hoards of fanatic believers who get off on that stuff. Something like this:

 

 

Sigh, yet again another scam shot down between my ineptitude and my ethics.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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I guess

iwbiek wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Of course as you point out and as the Nicenes insisted, Jesus was god, he cannot die, so he made no sacrifice.

if we want to talk about conciliar theology, that's not entirely accurate.  nicea and Constantinople were concerned primarily with Trinitarian questions, and the sacrifice of Christ bore only an indirect (but powerful) influence on the proceedings.

chalcedon and the later Christological councils, however, addressed the concern you raise directly.  to say jesus was nothing more than god and thus could not die and there was no real sacrifice at calvary was a popular position among early Christians, particularly the gnostics.  this type of Christology is known as Docetism and was roundly condemned as heresy by the councils I mentioned above.  the Christological councils came to the decision that jesus had two complete natures, human and divine--"fully human, fully divine," as a matter of fact--and it was this human nature that was sacrificed at calvary and transformed by the resurrection event into a glorified state.  it was this glorified humanity that ascended to heaven and, arguably, still physically (I use that word loosely) exists somewhere up there. 

 

I'm synthesising doctrine and assertions about the nature of perfect and all powerful beings here. Didn't the Nicenes insist on homoousios - that god and jesus are one and the same substance? That jesus has always been god and always was god? Surely this means he could not become imperfect flesh? Could not die, suffer pain? Logically? Personally, I always had a lot of sympathy with the Arians. To me the creed short circuits the entire point of Calvary. 

 

 

 

 

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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

I'm synthesising doctrine and assertions about the nature of perfect and all powerful beings here. Didn't the Nicenes insist on homoousios - that god and jesus are one and the same substance?

 

well, that the father and the son are consubstantial.  that may seem like hair-splitting, but if you get really deep into these concepts it's an important distinction.

 

Atheistextremist wrote:

That jesus has always been god and always was god? Surely this means he could not become imperfect flesh? Could not die, suffer pain? Logically?  

 

why not?  god isn't bound by anything.  he can become whatever he wants.

that aside, this concern in particular led to the catholic insistence on the immaculate conception of mary--i.e., that she was born without original sin, thus jesus was not born with "imperfect flesh," just nonglorified flesh.  of course, this is a doctrine that Catholicism shares with no other mainstream tradition, including eastern orthodoxy.

regardless, pretty much the only thing most Christian theologians are willing to contend that god can't do is come into contact with sin, and all traditions hold that jesus was sinless in his human nature and will (because he had two wills as well as two natures), so there is no fundamental problem.  some Christian theologians are willing to go so far as to say that jesus's human nature had the potential to sin, but didn't.

the problem with Arianism according to orthodox theology is that no creation of god could possibly have the ability to reconcile us to god, and it also ignores the heavy trend toward divination in the gospel of john.  there is little biblical justification for Nicene-Constantinopolitan trinitarianism, but there is just as little biblical justification for Arianism as well.

 

 

it might also be helpful to point out here that I've seen the assumption many times on this site that jesus should be equated with the sacrificial scapegoat of the Hebrew bible, the one that was cursed with Israel's sins and sent out into the desert to die.  this might seem attractive, and even many Christians do it, but it has no biblical basis.  jesus is usually equated with the suffering servant of Isaiah, through whose suffering example israel is purified (of course, in Isaiah the suffering servant is meant to be Israel herself).  he died in order to save humanity from their sins, but the idea that he somehow took all our sins onto himself, like wiping dirt off with a rag, is a later idea that is not in the text nor even in the Christological decisions of the ecumenical councils.  if anything, jesus is spoken of as covering the sinner with his righteousness--so he rubs off on us, not us on him, to put it in a somewhat oversimplified way.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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What "sacrifice"?It was all

What "sacrifice"?

It was all done to bring attention to himself and on top of that he did not stay dead.

 

The soldiers of D-Day died with no one but their family knowing, and did not survive death. That was a sacrifice. Jesus as the story is told merely preforms a stage illusion in order to gain club members.

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speaking of death as sacrifice

If Mary and Joseph had just smothered the brat at birth the theology would have been satisfied without all the messy and expensive production values of crucifixion and resurrecting and all that.

Matter of fact a first trimester abortion would have accomplished the same thing without wasting all those months pregnant.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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.

x wrote:

The role of sacrifice in religion is fascinating.

I've only just started to look at it, so can't help much, but here is some information:

http://vridar.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews-notes/levenson-death-res-belov/

is a collection of reviews of a book that considers the Christian story of sacrifice to be a rehash and evolution of OT sacrifice stories.

The first of that series of posts,

http://vridar.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/the-offering-of-isaac-its-evolution-into-the-template-of-the-jesus-event-1/

states:

"I’ll pass over Levenson’s coverage of the history of child sacrifice in the Canaanite culture and the sublimation in early Israel of that practice to prominent motifs in myths, legends and symbolic sacrifices. A discussion of all the appearances in Israelite literature of the story of a father, including God as a father-figure, giving up a son (including a collective son as in the people of Israel) to death or slavery only to have him/them, or more abundant replacements, restored again would require a separate post or two or three."

Anyway, there might be something useful for you in those posts.

It is amazing just how must BS can be woven around total fiction about people who never existed and events which never occurred.

One of these days I will get around to writing something like that about St. Buffy the Avenging Angel who died protecting us from evil and rose from the dead to continue the fight against demons and gods. Throw in some theology about how her sacrifice gave us all the power imitate her conquest of evil. I would do it as "book found in an elevator" dated 4201 AD or 2213 AB. A divine time travel and have the book be the beginning of the religion.

It would not have to be good or make sense as it would be a matter of faith so people would consider it important and holy and make up all kinds of nonsense to cover up the sloppy mistakes in it.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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Needing special mention

x wrote:

The role of sacrifice in religion is fascinating.

I've only just started to look at it, so can't help much, but here is some information:

http://vridar.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews-notes/levenson-death-res-belov/

is a collection of reviews of a book that considers the Christian story of sacrifice to be a rehash and evolution of OT sacrifice stories.

The first of that series of posts,

http://vridar.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/the-offering-of-isaac-its-evolution-into-the-template-of-the-jesus-event-1/

states:

"I’ll pass over Levenson’s coverage of the history of child sacrifice in the Canaanite culture and the sublimation in early Israel of that practice to prominent motifs in myths, legends and symbolic sacrifices. A discussion of all the appearances in Israelite literature of the story of a father, including God as a father-figure, giving up a son (including a collective son as in the people of Israel) to death or slavery only to have him/them, or more abundant replacements, restored again would require a separate post or two or three."

Anyway, there might be something useful for you in those posts.

Canaan and Canaanites are mythical people from which it follows that the child sacrifice is also mythical. Which leads to the wheel within a wheel of explanations like this leaving us with the question of why such myths exist. Why are Aryans (indo-europeans) so hung up on death and sacrifice? Some reimagining of the story is in all the Aryan religions and even crept into the animist Egyptian religion with Isis and Osiris.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:If Mary

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

If Mary and Joseph had just smothered the brat at birth the theology would have been satisfied without all the messy and expensive production values of crucifixion and resurrecting and all that.

Matter of fact a first trimester abortion would have accomplished the same thing without wasting all those months pregnant.

 

a particular type of christology would have been satisfied, namely the pauline idea of christ's substitutionary atonement which was so beloved by anselm of canterbury.

the synoptic gospels seem to endorse an adoptionist christology across the board, i.e., that it was precisely christ's earthly righteousness that made him the first adopted son of god.  in this christlogy, not the death but the resurrection of christ is central, because it "proves" his adoption.

so if christ had been strangled at birth, he would never have had the chance to be adopted.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Would you go on the Cross?

   

Would You Go On The Cross?

t

I have two simple questions for our christian friends concerning the purported crucifiction of their savior.


The first: What did this 'jesus' sacrifice? 

Certainly not his life. Don't you hold that this jesus is now in eternal bliss, in heaven, where he receives the undying love and gratitude from a multitude?

Sacrifice means loss. Sacrificing doesn't involve gain. It certainly doesn't involve no loss and infinite gain. Yet this 'jesus' loses nothing, and gains everything.

Some theists respond by saying that he lost his physical body. 

But what does paul say about the nature of flesh?

"For I know that in me that is in my flesh dwelleth no good thing...." (Rom 7:18)  


In fact, we must all eventually lose our physical body, our soma:

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Cor. 15:50)


So where's the sacrifice?

"But he suffered pain!"

But everyday people suffer far worse pain. A child with Leukemia suffers eggregious amounts of pain, without any purpose, without any guarentee of an eternal reward in a blissful afterlife. They die without the hope of 'giving' their lives (and then getting it right back!) to save countless billions of others, without the pleasure of knowing that they are a 'hero' and without the eternal love and accolades that such an act would bring.

So don't insult yourself and logic itself by holding that this 'pain' is a sacrifice.


Some theists then insist that jesus, as an 'infinite being' suffered infinite pain.

But this is nonsense if you actually examine your terms, rather than just repeat them and quickly move on. Leaving aside the problems with an 'infinite being' for the sake of argument, for an infinite being to suffer 'infinite' pain, the being would need to suffer infinite harm. Infinite loss. But again, there is no loss, and the pain is finite.

So none of these responses work, or even make sense.

For those who still don't see the problem:

Remember that It makes no sense to state that something is a sacrifice when

1) there was no loss, and

2) the gain for the behavior was infinite.

Here's the ultimate irony: every person in the world suffers more than Jesus! Jesus could not suffer even as much as a normal person:


Here is why:

1) Whatever his doubts (as made famous in the Garden of Gethesame) he purports to be the son of a god.

2) He knows that he will be loved and adored for his act

3) He knows he will save billions of souls with his act.

4) He knows his reward is infinitity in bliss.

5) He knows he will not lose anything, ergo, no sacrifice.


This is not a 'sacrifice', it is the biggest, best deal in the world.


So why do theists call this a 'sacrifice'? Because they don't bother to think it through. It takes compartmentalization. It's no wonder that Christians revel in bloody passion plays: by compeling us as limited, feeling beings to cotninually focus on the brief period of pain, we are stopped from thinking any of this through. You have to forget that millions die every day in doubt, for no reason. That's the real pain in the world. A child dies of starvation, with no reason, no reward, nothing. A cancer patient watches his body whither away, in pain. (I wonder if he sees this  withering away of his worthless body as a good thing.) He's not getting any reward, any recognition, no assurance that he will go to some heaven. He just faces death without any of the comfort a messiah would have.


How many people in the world have sacrificed real blood for others? A mother or a father dies to save their own child - no reward, no assurances. They just do it.Every day, every person suffers more pain than this supposed savior could ever have suffered "for us". We all live in doubt, we all suffer pains. We do it because we must. Some of us even give more - we sacrifice our time, our blood, even our lives, for others.


No rewards. No guarentees.

 

Now for my second question: If you were offered the opportunity to go on the cross, to save billions and also go to heaven in eternal bliss, would you go?

Before you answer:

Don't rush to find a way to sweep the cognitive dissonance away. Instead, think the question through,about it like this: imagine your child is about to be burned alive forever. And someone says to you: you can save him if you agree to go on the cross for three hours. In return, you not only save your own child, you save all children in the world. In addition, you are remembered and loved by billions. Furthermore, you will not actually be destroyed by this process, instead you will go directly to heaven to continue to exist, only now in eternal bliss (Note: there may be a 3 day side trip into hell.)

 

Would you refuse? Would ANYONE refuse? Seriously. There can be no greater gift in the world than to be offered the opportunity.


So, here we are: you are given this choice. What do you say?

 

 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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If I could do it without

If I could do it without anyone knowing it was happening OR who did it; and I had my mind and will intact and uninterfered with; and I found the definitions of heaven and afterlife acceptable; then yes I would.
Being a little famous might be acceptable, but being remembered forever as an ultimate saviour and quoted and studied and misrepresented during that forever doesn't appeal to me. 5 minutes after I departed some dick somewhere would put words in my mouth and/or quote me out of context. It might, probably will, happen anyway, but it'll only be a few times over a period of a few years. It won't still be happening a thousand years down the road.

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Canaanites and Christian atonement

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Canaan and Canaanites are mythical people from which it follows that the child sacrifice is also mythical. Which leads to the wheel within a wheel of explanations like this leaving us with the question of why such myths exist. Why are Aryans (indo-europeans) so hung up on death and sacrifice? Some reimagining of the story is in all the Aryan religions and even crept into the animist Egyptian religion with Isis and Osiris.

Your statement that the Canaanites are mythical seems to agree with Lemche.

A rough paraphrase of his opinion is:

There are references to Canaan in the ANE, from Egypt and Mesopotamia, but it was never a clearly defined place or people and the residents of the Southern Levant didn't call themselves Canaanites. The first known instance of people referring to themselves as Canaanites is some North Africans in the 4th century CE.

The writers of the bible myths used the term Canaanites pejoratively to refer to a class of religious rivals and their references to Canaanites seem to have no connection with the ancient references to Canaanites.

So, the use of the term ‘Canaanite culture’ by Finkelstein and others is misleading because it relies on the bible. They should just call it something like the Levantine Bronze Age culture, not the Canaanite period, which is a concept that only belongs in ‘Biblical Archaeology’ which assumes that the bible is a historical account.

Is this an accurate representation of your hypothesis? It seems reasonable to me.

 

I'm still slowly delving into child sacrifice and the cultural need for sacrifice. I may be some time.

 

Christian Atonement:


Also, could you clarify your statement here?

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/33227?page=1

"The whole idea of the crucifixion being sacrifice for sin does not appear until well after the Council of Nicaea."
 

I've read that the Codex Sinaiticus shows that 'Mark' wrote nothing about the universal remission of sins by the death and resurrection of Jesus.

However, 1 Peter 3:18 has:

"For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit."

I had a quick look at the dating of 1 Peter, but it was inconclusive.


 


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Oh, dear.

 

x wrote:

I'm still slowly delving into child sacrifice and the cultural need for sacrifice. I may be some time.

 

The whole concept beggars the mind...

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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It's a filthy job, but somebody's got to do it

Atheistextremist wrote:

x wrote:

I'm still slowly delving into child sacrifice and the cultural need for sacrifice. I may be some time.

The whole concept beggars the mind...

So far, the only cases I've found that seem real are the Aztecs, Inca, Maya and modern Uganda.

The Mediterranean cases seem a lot like the babies on bayonets type blood libel, though it is still curious that the Hebrew Bible sometimes shows child sacrifice in a positive light.

Also, there are a few Roman references to laws being passed to outlaw it, but they may be dubious.

You'll be pleased to hear that I've seen nothing about it happening in Sydney.

 


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Satan

Seems like Satan and all the demons of hell are the ones that made the real sacrifice. They decided to suffer for eternity rather than be divine ass kissers.

But then again Satan gets his rocks off by tempting theists to sin and blinding atheists from seeing the truth. God lets him have this joy for now, then torture for eternity later.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Seems like Satan

EXC wrote:

Seems like Satan and all the demons of hell are the ones that made the real sacrifice. They decided to suffer for eternity rather than be divine ass kissers.

But then again Satan gets his rocks off by tempting theists to sin and blinding atheists from seeing the truth. God lets him have this joy for now, then torture for eternity later.

 

No, I hate that trap atheists fall for. The entire "trouble maker" motif in those holy books wasn't for questioning social norms to make progress. The "Satans" and "fallen angles" of those holy books are in on the rigged bet and we are the pawns.

 

The idea of hell is no more appealing to me than heaven. Both are run by dictators.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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RobbyPants wrote:Growing up

RobbyPants wrote:

Growing up Christian, the single most resounding things I heard was talk about "Christ's sacrifice". He died on the cross to save our sins. His sacrifice provided our salvation. What great love God showed through this sacrifice. 

Now, this is often compared to lots of Old Testament sacrifices, where people had to set one of their goats on fire because God liked how it smelled. This makes sense to be classified as a sacrifice, because the goat herder had one less goat. Regardless of whether or not this goat burning made any sense or was necessary in the strictest sense is beside the point; it was a sacrifice.

So Jesus comes, spreads the good word, pisses off the people in charge, and is summarily executed. But then it's revealed that this death was a sacrifice and it was to atone for our sins. This is also why we don't have to burn goats anymore (does God still like how that smells?). The problem is, three days later, Jesus rose from the dead and eventually went up to heaven. This is constantly reaffirmed in Easter services every year. "He is risen! hallelujah!" and "Our God is a living God!" So, everyone accepts that he's not actually dead. How was that a sacrifice. Sure, he suffered for three days, and I'm sure that wasn't fun, but it was only a sacrifice in the sense that he sacrificed some of his happiness.

To go back to the whole goat thing, if the goat herders were told to immolate one of their goats, and three days later, it arose from the ashes no worse for the wear, it wouldn't be a sacrifice; it would be goat torture. So, did God save our sins by subjecting his son/avatar/himself to torture?

Creepy.

It was a sacrifice because he didn't have to do it--he volunteered. He knew before it came about what they would do. In those days to be anti government was a death penalty (probably still that way today). He could have just upped and tooked off. It was also prophisied in the old testament. The ancients knew the cost of opposing authority. The resurrection--?--? well, that's another thing. I have no idea how that is supposed to work. #2---not saying what I believe but. the messiah had to prove that one could be resurrected, because in the Christian beliefs (and others) the main reward for making the change is immortality. It really doesn't make sense when he raised the dead before his exscution(a girl and Lasurus). One would think that it would be enough for proof. One could say that the "messiah had to be resurrected to show that his ways lead to immortality---BUT, there again, if he wasn't ever to die in the first place why not make the claim after he's 500 years old and looks like a high school basketball player. ???????? The Smurfs "do" have big problems with some of this bible stuff. Why not haul a dead body into the temple and show the high preist---poooof--how about those apples, Mr High Guy. Beats me--but in time we'll know.

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.

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