Theists: Who did you sacrifice today?

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Theists: Who did you sacrifice today?

This is a simple question for just the Christian theists out there.... If it's so important that Jesus "died" for our sins, where do you get this notion that murdering an innocent person is a suitable way of forgiving someone of their transgressions?

Never mind whether or not mankind deserves to have original sin in the first place -- that's a whole different topic. The topic here is whether or not sacrifice of innocent living creatures is a "moral" way to deal with a separate party's transgressions?

If so, please explain to us who and how you murder innocent living creatures in your daily life? I'm curious.

If not, why not? If it was good enough for god, why not us? Why isn't human sacrifice something we practice today? Do you think the notion of murdering an innocent person as immoral? Then how can this be reconciled with the whole jesus' sacrifice concept?

And don't you go creating circular references by quoting the bible and saying, "because the bible says so..." Your god gave you free will. I want to see you use your free will to objectively explain to me how killing a living creature makes things all better?  If god has taught you anything, it's the ability to identify what is and isn't moral behavior right?  So is human sacrifice moral or immoral?

 


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I can't help

I can't help myself...Sorry...

 

 

God didn't sacrifice anything.  He put himself on earth to and gave the illusion of sacrificing himself but he didn't really sacrifice anything because he just returned to life and ascended shortly after just as he planned.  It was all an elaborate demonstration of power and no actual sacrifice happened.  This is why, today, we have so many actors.  Because acting is the ultimate 'props' to god who was the biggest actor of them all.  He was so good at acting, he even acted like he existed. 


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This is what I learned

This is what I learned through my church; however, I do not adhere to them:

 

Sacrifices in the Old Testement were symbolic of one's sorrow for sinning against God.  If one were to disobey God's law, he would ask for forgiveness by sacrificing something valuble that you owned, which was normaly an animal.  The sacrifice did very little in actuality, but it was symbolic of one's piety.  The sacrifices often took the form of a lamb, signifying purity, and the destruction of such purity was symbolic of the effects of sin.

Jesus, however, took the place of the ordinary sacrifice - he sacrificed himself for the sins of humanity, and died a death he never should have.  Jesus, the lamb, pure in being sinless, did not deserve to die as he did, yet he did so willingly for the good of all.

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


zarathustra
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Couldn't we have just

Couldn't we have just sacrificed a bunch of lambs instead?


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That's the best point I've

That's the best point I've heard yet.... that the notion of a sacrifice was to give up something you hold valuable as a sign of piety.

How does this in ANY way resemble typical Christians? What's the best they can do? Go without eating red meat for a small time period? Not work on Sunday? Wow, I'm impressed.

It kinda sheds a lot of light into just how devoted Christians can be... Forget those misguided Muslims who killed themselves for their beliefs. The Christians are even more pious: they won't sell beer on Sunday!

Anyway, let's take this sacrifice idea farther.. along those lines, sacrificing your child is a significant sign right? And the child doesn't necessarily have any say in this right? Not according to the bible. So children are basically property... and what is a fetus, even less valuable property, but still property. So why are christians so upset about a woman "sacrificing" her fetus via an abortion? Wouldn't that be her right? Just like it was god's right to sacrifice his son? So in other words, I can show my piety by killing another living creature -- as long as it's something I can demonstrate means something to me? Man that seems really perverse.

 


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Again, words from my former

Again, words from my former faith: 

The purpose of God asking for the sacrifice of a son was not because He wanted the child dead, but was simply a test of faith.  I forget the characters in this story, but the son was not killed, because the father showed enough faith and piety to God to follow his instructions, even though it involved an unthinkable act.

As for abortions, how many people do you think there are who are told by God to abort the child? 

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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great questions pile and

great questions pile and equally excellent answers xamination.  this is a good discussion and i look forward to more.

May God bless us and give us the words to express our ideas in a creative and civil manner, while providing us an ear that we may truly hear each other, and a voice to clearly project our thoughts.


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I sacrifice millions of my

I sacrifice millions of my children every night. I outdo all of yall in piety!


simple theist
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Jesus sacrificed himself,

Jesus sacrificed himself, humans did not sacrifice Jesus or kill Jesus. Jesus agreed that with his father that his death was the only way.

I've made a post in another thread explaining the Isaac story. In short Abraham knew Isaac wasn't going to be sacrificed.


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simple theist wrote: Jesus

simple theist wrote:

Jesus sacrificed himself, humans did not sacrifice Jesus or kill Jesus. Jesus agreed that with his father that his death was the only way.

I've made a post in another thread explaining the Isaac story. In short Abraham knew Isaac wasn't going to be sacrificed.

Did Jephthah know his daughter wouldn't be sacrificed?  Oh wait, she was.  Never mind. 

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Iruka Naminori wrote:

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Did Jephthah know his daughter wouldn't be sacrificed? Oh wait, she was. Never mind.

Girls don't count in the bible, Iruka. Thought you knew.

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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:
simple theist wrote:

Jesus sacrificed himself, humans did not sacrifice Jesus or kill Jesus. Jesus agreed that with his father that his death was the only way.

I've made a post in another thread explaining the Isaac story. In short Abraham knew Isaac wasn't going to be sacrificed.

Did Jephthah know his daughter wouldn't be sacrificed? Oh wait, she was. Never mind.

First, if Jephthah did sacrifice his daughter, God did not approve of the sacrifce. Jephthah went against God by sacrificing his daughter.

Second, some scholars believe that actually Jephthah's daughter was dedicated to special service to the Lord and kept a virgin instead of being killed. 


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Quote: First, if Jephthah

Quote:
First, if Jephthah did sacrifice his daughter, God did not approve of the sacrifce. Jephthah went against God by sacrificing his daughter.

I do remember someone saying "I like your Christ, I just don't like your Christians"... I somehow believe this was one of the causes.

Quote:
Second, some scholars believe that actually Jephthah's daughter was dedicated to special service to the Lord and kept a virgin instead of being killed.

Based on what? Their inner need for a happy end or their unwillingness to accept that the Bible is, simply put, a book that speaks more of violence than of love?

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simple theist wrote:

simple theist wrote:

Jesus sacrificed himself, humans did not sacrifice Jesus or kill Jesus. Jesus agreed that with his father that his death was the only way.

I see. So jesus nailed himself to the cross? I have misunderstood this whole passion play thing apparently.

Maybe you can explain to me how "dying" and coming back to life is a sacrifice? Or how a god, an omnipotent, all-powerful, all-knowing being, can even make a "sacrifice" in the first place? What does it mean when an entity that is the master of all creation claims to "sacrifice" something? What could that possibly demonstrate, except maybe that humans are really, really gullible?

Seriously, what does this whole thing mean? If I'm god and I'm all-powerful, how can I make a sacrifice in the first place? This would be like me, walking out on my front lawn, standing over an ant pile and pulling a hair out, showing it to the ants going, "Look, my children, at this great sacrifice I have done to forgive you of your sins. Worship Mah!"

 


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Pile wrote: Anyway, let's

Pile wrote:

Anyway, let's take this sacrifice idea farther.. along those lines, sacrificing your child is a significant sign right? And the child doesn't necessarily have any say in this right? Not according to the bible. So children are basically property... and what is a fetus, even less valuable property, but still property. So why are christians so upset about a woman "sacrificing" her fetus via an abortion? Wouldn't that be her right? Just like it was god's right to sacrifice his son? So in other words, I can show my piety by killing another living creature -- as long as it's something I can demonstrate means something to me? Man that seems really perverse.

 

 

Very interesting point here Pile. I'd like to see some theists response to this.  Very interesting indeed.

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And of course there's the

And of course there's the ridiculous idea that he sacraficed himself to himself in order to counter a rule he made (when, being all powerful, it would be very simple to forgive unconditionally.)

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Pile wrote:

Pile wrote:

Seriously, what does this whole thing mean? If I'm god and I'm all-powerful, how can I make a sacrifice in the first place? This would be like me, walking out on my front lawn, standing over an ant pile and pulling a hair out, showing it to the ants going, "Look, my children, at this great sacrifice I have done to forgive you of your sins. Worship Mah!"

 

I have one a dem der purdy teism badgers sa ull ansar yer, Pile.

I think you kind of nail it in this post, almighty god pulls out a hair!! tragic indeed, I honestly don't know how anyone can read it any differently to that or read into it anything more than that, wether you see it historically or mythologically the whole human sacrifice story thing really centers around God making a rather spectacular display of his own personal grooming. One has too wonder why, if they are a theist, I suppose, but not take it more seriously than it can genuinely be taken. I suspect it's a bit like me teaching my daughter to look after her hair, it's a massive overblown drama... in her psyche... in reality it's just me offering some good advice on how to train knots out effectively.  Or in more direct terms, stand your ground (even if it's a whipping stone), don't cave to the religious nutters who think you're mad for not worshipping their god, do things to help people, don't worry about the rest.

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Christ, I'm gone for a day

Christ, I'm gone for a day and theists are coming out of the woodwork, ruining their own arguements.

The fact of the matter is that Abraham's sacrifice of his son had very little to do with the sacrifice itself.  Instead, it was a test of Abraham's devotion to Him.  The fact that he was willing to sacrifice Isaac proved that he was totally devoted to God, as it was arguably the greatest thing that Abraham had to sacrifice.

 Now to how real Jesus' "sacrifice" was - his life was pretty bad.  He was poor, he lost his father at a young age, he was a social pariah, he was betrayed by those closest to him, and was tortured, ridiculed, and killed in the most aweful way, all living without sin.  God humbled himself by putting himself into human form, and suffered degredation of the worst kind, when he did not even have to die.

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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xamination wrote: Christ,

xamination wrote:

Christ, I'm gone for a day and theists are coming out of the woodwork, ruining their own arguements.

Um... generalise much?  Sticking out tongue

I made my argument clearly and succinctly enough. I really think this Theist badge is a bit of a problem, it seems to be interpreted as Carte Blanche to attribute all sorts of whimsical random characteristics to anyone wearing it for those not wearing it. I personally don't mind identifing as a theist or theologian I do study religion with positive interest, I do believe there is a god of interest to humanity, but if it's a problem for others to differentiate that from a card carrying, bible thumping, raving literal fundamentalist then it's best it be removed.

 

 

Quote:

Now to how real Jesus' "sacrifice" was - his life was pretty bad. He was poor, he lost his father at a young age, he was a social pariah, he was betrayed by those closest to him, and was tortured, ridiculed, and killed in the most aweful way, all living without sin. God humbled himself by putting himself into human form, and suffered degredation of the worst kind, when he did not even have to die.

That's kind of what I said really. It's a drama with a message, a fable, a lesson. Brushing your hair hurts sometimes and if you're a little kid with thick knots and globs of half chewed toffee in it it can be a bigger drama than it has to be. It's a hair care sin to spit your toffee on it and roll in the dirt, but sins can be cleaned albeit with a little drama. 

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xam, ...would you think i

xam, ...would you think i was a weakling if i told you that made my eyes water.


xamination
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Eloise wrote: Quote:

Eloise wrote:
Quote:

Now to how real Jesus' "sacrifice" was - his life was pretty bad. He was poor, he lost his father at a young age, he was a social pariah, he was betrayed by those closest to him, and was tortured, ridiculed, and killed in the most aweful way, all living without sin. God humbled himself by putting himself into human form, and suffered degredation of the worst kind, when he did not even have to die.

That's kind of what I said really. It's a drama with a message, a fable, a lesson. Brushing your hair hurts sometimes and if you're a little kid with thick knots and globs of half chewed toffee in it it can be a bigger drama than it has to be. It's a hair care sin to spit your toffee on it and roll in the dirt, but sins can be cleaned albeit with a little drama. 

You REALLY need to work on your analogies. 

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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sapphen wrote: xam,

sapphen wrote:
xam, ...would you think i was a weakling if i told you that made my eyes water.

Uhhh, are your eyes waterin because you found my writing good, or because it hurt your eyes? 

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


Eloise
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xamination wrote: Eloise

xamination wrote:
Eloise wrote:
Quote:

Now to how real Jesus' "sacrifice" was - his life was pretty bad. He was poor, he lost his father at a young age, he was a social pariah, he was betrayed by those closest to him, and was tortured, ridiculed, and killed in the most aweful way, all living without sin. God humbled himself by putting himself into human form, and suffered degredation of the worst kind, when he did not even have to die.

That's kind of what I said really. It's a drama with a message, a fable, a lesson. Brushing your hair hurts sometimes and if you're a little kid with thick knots and globs of half chewed toffee in it it can be a bigger drama than it has to be. It's a hair care sin to spit your toffee on it and roll in the dirt, but sins can be cleaned albeit with a little drama.

You REALLY need to work on your analogies.

Are you saying that because the original story involves death?

I had already addressed the issue of death for what it's worth, we are talking about an almighty god that promises eternal life, death is a big drama to humans not to a God that has all the answers to eternal life. This is why the hair analogy works. Toffee isn't my hair problem I don't spit toffee in my hair because I learned not to long ago, but it is my daughters hair problem and when she faces it it's a big drama, not for me, for her. Same with an eternal God and a bunch of temporal humans, death is not his drama it's ours, we are the ones facing it, it's probably one of our biggest and most compelling dramas.  The more we surround it and cloud it with fear and superstition the more suffering there is in life, that much is fairly clear already, but those things only exist in our psyche, they aren't any more real than we make them. A man who hangs on a cross for humanity is a strong symbol of putting these fears aside and getting priorities straight, if you take it literally he went to heaven for it and was crowned king, if you take it mythologically you still get the same message about the priority human interest and the rewards there are for getting that right by putting the fear of death nice and low on your agenda along with worshipping other people's gods the way they want you to and disowning your fellow humans for petty charges, and alternately putting selflessness and genuine love of others ultimately the highest you can reach on your list. 

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Rigor_OMortis

Rigor_OMortis wrote:

Quote:
Second, some scholars believe that actually Jephthah's daughter was dedicated to special service to the Lord and kept a virgin instead of being killed.

Based on what? Their inner need for a happy end or their unwillingness to accept that the Bible is, simply put, a book that speaks more of violence than of love?

If you guys would actually read the text you claim is wrong, you would already know the answer to this.  You guys paste quotes from the bible and make a claim, without having ever studied what your saying or looking into all the possibillities.

The bible says that Jephthah's daughter knew no man.

First, human sacrifice is against the law of Moses. Second, Jephthah had great respect for God. This great respect would prevent him from making a human sacrifice. Third, Jephthah let his daughter bewail her virginity for two months fits an explanation of perpetial virginity better then human sacrifice. Fourth, the bible says she knew no man. Something that would probably not be mentioned if she was going to be killed. Fifth, the Bible provides evidence that such devoted service for women did exist at the central sanctuary. Sixth, It is possible to translate and in v. 31 to mean or. 


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lol ...i'm not sure xam but

lol ...i'm not sure xam but my eyes did not hurt.

 thank you for sharing.


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Eloise wrote: xamination

Eloise wrote:
xamination wrote:
Eloise wrote:
Quote:

Now to how real Jesus' "sacrifice" was - his life was pretty bad. He was poor, he lost his father at a young age, he was a social pariah, he was betrayed by those closest to him, and was tortured, ridiculed, and killed in the most aweful way, all living without sin. God humbled himself by putting himself into human form, and suffered degredation of the worst kind, when he did not even have to die.

That's kind of what I said really. It's a drama with a message, a fable, a lesson. Brushing your hair hurts sometimes and if you're a little kid with thick knots and globs of half chewed toffee in it it can be a bigger drama than it has to be. It's a hair care sin to spit your toffee on it and roll in the dirt, but sins can be cleaned albeit with a little drama.

You REALLY need to work on your analogies.

Are you saying that because the original story involves death?

I had already addressed the issue of death for what it's worth, we are talking about an almighty god that promises eternal life, death is a big drama to humans not to a God that has all the answers to eternal life. This is why the hair analogy works. Toffee isn't my hair problem I don't spit toffee in my hair because I learned not to long ago, but it is my daughters hair problem and when she faces it it's a big drama, not for me, for her. Same with an eternal God and a bunch of temporal humans, death is not his drama it's ours, we are the ones facing it, it's probably one of our biggest and most compelling dramas.  The more we surround it and cloud it with fear and superstition the more suffering there is in life, that much is fairly clear already, but those things only exist in our psyche, they aren't any more real than we make them. A man who hangs on a cross for humanity is a strong symbol of putting these fears aside and getting priorities straight, if you take it literally he went to heaven for it and was crowned king, if you take it mythologically you still get the same message about the priority human interest and the rewards there are for getting that right by putting the fear of death nice and low on your agenda along with worshipping other people's gods the way they want you to and disowning your fellow humans for petty charges, and alternately putting selflessness and genuine love of others ultimately the highest you can reach on your list.

 Except that until Jesus came, there was no real mention of any afterlife for anyone after death.  The concept of going to heaven or going to hell came with Jesus.  Before that, death was death.  So by Jesus coming and sacrificing himself, he opened the door for all for eternal life, but also opened the door for eternal damnation.  So Jesus wasn't just being nice - he was changing the order of things.

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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Eloise wrote:

Eloise wrote:

Are you saying that because the original story involves death?

I had already addressed the issue of death for what it's worth, we are talking about an almighty god that promises eternal life, death is a big drama to humans not to a God that has all the answers to eternal life. This is why the hair analogy works. Toffee isn't my hair problem I don't spit toffee in my hair because I learned not to long ago, but it is my daughters hair problem and when she faces it it's a big drama, not for me, for her.

So when your daughter gets toffee in her hair, do you tell her to sacrifice her pet hamster in order to absolve her hair of its tangled curse?

Do you tell her that her hair is tangled because she didn't clean up her room?

Do you explain to her that the tangled hair is the first of several signs that she's going to suffer even more, and the only way to save herself is to give herself completely over to the essense being of the toffee and pray for forgiveness?

 

 


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Pile wrote: Eloise wrote:

Pile wrote:
Eloise wrote:

Are you saying that because the original story involves death?

I had already addressed the issue of death for what it's worth, we are talking about an almighty god that promises eternal life, death is a big drama to humans not to a God that has all the answers to eternal life. This is why the hair analogy works. Toffee isn't my hair problem I don't spit toffee in my hair because I learned not to long ago, but it is my daughters hair problem and when she faces it it's a big drama, not for me, for her.

So when your daughter gets toffee in her hair, do you tell her to sacrifice her pet hamster in order to absolve her hair of its tangled curse?

Do you tell her that her hair is tangled because she didn't clean up her room?

Do you explain to her that the tangled hair is the first of several signs that she's going to suffer even more, and the only way to save herself is to give herself completely over to the essense being of the toffee and pray for forgiveness?

Look, throughout the OT, forgiveness of sin required sacrifice - there was no way around it.  Sacrifice was needed to absolve one's sins.  It was like saying "I'm sorry I stole that piece of bread, please forgive me.  Here, take my best sheep."  Sacrifices were the destruction of something pure so that one could be in good favor of God.

When Jesus came, he was the "perfect sacrifice".  He was totally pure and holy, and was killed in the worst possible way.  He was the sacrifice for humanity.  To claim his sacrifice, one would only have to ask for it. 

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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xamination wrote: Look,

xamination wrote:

Look, throughout the OT, forgiveness of sin required sacrifice - there was no way around it. Sacrifice was needed to absolve one's sins. It was like saying "I'm sorry I stole that piece of bread, please forgive me. Here, take my best sheep." Sacrifices were the destruction of something pure so that one could be in good favor of God.

When Jesus came, he was the "perfect sacrifice". He was totally pure and holy, and was killed in the worst possible way. He was the sacrifice for humanity. To claim his sacrifice, one would only have to ask for it.

Yea, yea, that's what the bible says. But is it really meaningful?

If "morality is absolute" as christians like to pout, then when did killing innocent people become immoral/moral?

God is like a bad parent: "Look little Timmy, I'm going to teach you a lesson about life and death. Watch me rip the head of my favorite kitten off and piss down its throat. Now do you understand how much I love the world?"

And if the whole sacrifice thing was symbolic, why does any of it matter? Christians today don't make any real sacrifices; they don't even make fake sacrifices; they can sometimes bother to be "inconvenienced" and even that is pretty rare.

I still don't understand what christians think they're being forgiven for in the first place? A curse laid down by a sadistic creator, who later changed his mind and decided to lift the curse? And he demonstrates this effort to lift the curse of eternal suffering by spawning a so-called physical manifestation of himself that he has ritualistically murdered? Oh yea... this makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about his promise of absolution and eternal life.

 


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Pile wrote: I still don't

Pile wrote:

I still don't understand what christians think they're being forgiven for in the first place? A curse laid down by a sadistic creator, who later changed his mind and decided to lift the curse? And he demonstrates this effort to lift the curse of eternal suffering by spawning a so-called physical manifestation of himself that he has ritualistically murdered.

I'll be surprised if you get a good answer to this question from a mainstream Christian who hasn't studied theology.  They themselves don't know and aren't taught where the idea came from.  It's probably a good thing from the standpoint of carrying out a continuing program of religious indoctrination, since the historical explanation makes a lot more sense (and calls the whole "plan of salvation" into question) than the typcial self-contradictory and nonsensical glosses that most Christians learn.

It's funny, I was just reading today about an inscription from a clay tablet uncovered in Gudea in ancient Sumeria (at least 7000 years old) that discusses why they sacrifice animals instead of humans.  The tablet-writer said "The lamb is the substitue for humanity; he hath given up the lamb for his life."

This idea is as old as civilization.  Temple offerings are one of those rare human universals that every known culture all though the history of civilization on Earth have participated in.  That fact alone suggests from an evolutionary psychology standpoint that it has some kind of adaptive function.

But the specific explanation for what Jesus' death meant has gone through hundreds of changes in the last 2000 years.  Many early Christians--including, by the way, the author of the Gospel of Luke/Acts--considered the crucifixion to be insignificant.  For these Christians, *baptism* was the way to get eternal life.  Paul of Tarsus with his Pharasee-inspired need for atonement is the one who introduced the idea that the crucifixion was a sacrifice for sins.  Then when Augustine of Hippo introduced the idea of original sin (4th century), the stage was set for this whole business with everybody needing to be saved from hell.

Since then many smart people have been trying to answer the question of exactly how the sacrifice supposedly works with varying degrees of success.  Anselm of Canterbury has a really fun explanation (I think) that talks about the reciprocal relationship between God and the Devil, where the Devil was tricked into breaching their contract by taking a person without sin (Jesus) into hell, and that allowed God to invoke a clause in their agreement that gave Him all the saved souls from that point on.

But for mainstream American Protestants, all that stuff is completely forgotten.  You get a variety of weirdly convoluted answers, but I have yet to see one that actually stands up to the most cursory logical assessement.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Textom wrote: It's funny,

Textom wrote:

It's funny, I was just reading today about an inscription from a clay tablet uncovered in Gudea in ancient Sumeria (at least 7000 years old) that discusses why they sacrifice animals instead of humans. The tablet-writer said "The lamb is the substitue for humanity; he hath given up the lamb for his life."

This idea is as old as civilization. Temple offerings are one of those rare human universals that every known culture all though the history of civilization on Earth have participated in. That fact alone suggests from an evolutionary psychology standpoint that it has some kind of adaptive function.

Maybe Occam's Razor applies here... maybe this is quite obvious:

1. Ancient people saw creatures and things be still, or "die."

2. They reasoned that some "thing" has left the body

3. This "thing", aka "soul" must be important because when it's gone, there is no life. 

4. Since they hunted and killed creatures to insure their own survival, they assumed sacrifice would be another manifestation of this process to appease whatever invisible being was "hunting" them?

I can see how, anthropologically this type of ritualistic belief would propagate.

But maybe I'm naive and at some point, I figure human cogniscense would develop to the point where they can recognize the irrational, ignorant source of these beliefs?

I imagine they probably would, but enter organized, institutionalized religion and dogma, which took advantage of this primitive belief by exploiting and controlling people and resources.


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Well my own personal

Well my own personal favorite theory is that, once you get away from hunting-gathering (where temple offering customs are rare) and into domesticated animals and crops, you wind up with a lot of excess goods.  Its a result of the inevitable increase in efficiency of production; you'll be familiar with this phenomenon if you ever grew zuchinni in your back yard.  You can use up some of the excess stuff making wine or beer or oil or whatever, but at some point there's a bunch of stuff left over and everybody's sick of zuchinni bread already, so why not take the extra down to the god-house and leave it there for the local deity.

Then this works into a feedback relationship where the priesthood starts developing, and in order to survive they charge fees in kind for various services--fertility spells and cures and so forth--until the relationship can become exploitive.  Again those ancient Sumerian tablets show that this was an ongoing problem for the 4000+ years of their civilization, since they always had to be making laws to prevent the priests from overcharging or stealing wood from widows back yards or whatever.

But then the Babylonians get the idea from the Sumerians (like most of their ideas) then the Hebrews live in Babylon for several generations as captives, so they return to Jerusalem in the 7th century B.C. with these Babylonian ideas of sacrifice at the temple for atonement for sin (via the Zoroastrians in Babylon).  By the time of Jesus it had developed into a highly-exploitive system of charges.  The variety and size fees for services that the temple at Jerusalem charged would make the Scientologists look like amateurs.  Nobody ever asks why the money-changers that J threw out were in the temple in the first place--they were financing peoples fee payments.

Then you get Paul, again, who was a Pharasee and raised in this tradition that there can be no atonement without sacrifice, and his idea won out over Luke's because it went along with the Greek tradition of sacrifice at the temple (which, again, they got from the Babylonians). 

Now doesn't that make more sense? 

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Pile wrote: Maybe Occam's

Pile wrote:

Maybe Occam's Razor applies here... maybe this is quite obvious:

1. Ancient people saw creatures and things be still, or "die."

2. They reasoned that some "thing" has left the body

3. This "thing", aka "soul" must be important because when it's gone, there is no life. 

4. Since they hunted and killed creatures to insure their own survival, they assumed sacrifice would be another manifestation of this process to appease whatever invisible being was "hunting" them?

I disagree that this is how the idea of the soul came about - however, I will discuss this in its own forum topic I will create later today. 

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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I think Textom's

I think Textom's explanation makes a lot of sense.

The whole notion of a "soul" is an obvious attempt to address the ego and insecurity associated with death and power, or lack thereof. What a soul is, or how it came about is probably ultimately irrelevent because it is an abstraction. However, the murdering of creatures to pay debts is definitely something tangible and worthy of examination.

My whole point is, we have been systemmatically reducing the importance of this ritual over the last thousand-plus years. The christians actually seem to be one of the more backward groups that are still trying to revitalize this obsolete notion.

And as you can see, none of the theists here can offer any explanation, much less something reasonable, that justifies this goofy practice or the respect any semblance of it should garner in present day society. The most they can do is paraphrase bible lore to explain certain examples of the practice while sidestepping the real issue, which is whether or not any of this is even remotely moral or acceptable in a modern society.

 


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The soul is really just a

The soul is really just a primitive explanation for the mind - before people understood the brain/nervous system.

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Thanks, Pile. Well in a lot

Thanks, Pile.

Well in a lot of religions, fees for temple services are associated with burial rituals, so they get their connections with the death and soul that way too. 

Even in modern day China there's a huge complicated set of traditions surrounding buying the right kind of coffin and having it buried just so and then later on digging it up and repackaging the ancestor's bones in a different container for reburial in a communal mausoleum, and every step of the way there's stuff to buy from the most basic incense stick to the most elaborate gold urn.

But you can even see this dynamic of sacrifice in Western countries in the amounts that people are encouraged to spend on funerals--in the grand Egyptian tradition of "he who has the most expensive funeral gets the most enjoyable afterlife."

So death, burial, gods, souls and sacrifice are more visibly related in most world/historical cultures than they are in the 21st century Christian west. 

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Pile wrote: Eloise

Pile wrote:
Eloise wrote:

Are you saying that because the original story involves death?

I had already addressed the issue of death for what it's worth, we are talking about an almighty god that promises eternal life, death is a big drama to humans not to a God that has all the answers to eternal life. This is why the hair analogy works. Toffee isn't my hair problem I don't spit toffee in my hair because I learned not to long ago, but it is my daughters hair problem and when she faces it it's a big drama, not for me, for her.

So when your daughter gets toffee in her hair, do you tell her to sacrifice her pet hamster in order to absolve her hair of its tangled curse?

Well really it's more like her pet hate of the hairbrush.

 

Quote:

Do you tell her that her hair is tangled because she didn't clean up her room?

No, but she understands the concept of general untidy behaviour being one overall thing and I teach her that she can choose her consequences a bit more wisely, facing the painful ones isn't her only option.

 

Quote:

Do you explain to her that the tangled hair is the first of several signs that she's going to suffer even more,

 

I most definitely do tell her that tangled hair leads to mangled hair leads to dreadlocks and etc.

Quote:
 

and the only way to save herself is to give herself completely over to the essense being of the toffee and pray for forgiveness?

 

well, no, it's not that way around. the toffee is the sin and the haircare products are the saviour, so I guess I ask her to give herself over to the hairbrush and s-pray (detangler) for forgiveness of the toffee sin. LOL

Analogies are fun.  

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I do agree with what you are

I do agree with what you are saying, Pile.  The reason for the lack of personal sacrifice today, though, is obvious.  First of all, as we established earlier, physical sacrifices are no longer needed to be in God's favor.  The message of Jesus is that your sins have already been payed for, so nothing else is needed.  This lack of a need for sacrificing anything, be it money, time, or social status, gives many excuse to live a more comfortable life.  Churches usually say that things should be given to God in thanks for his gift, yet most do not have the impetus to do so.

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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Why did Jesus die for our

Why did Jesus die for our sins?  It was the ultimate selfless teaching of how dangerous our thoughts can be.  Jesus was in the business of discovering and teaching the Truth.  "Know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free."  When you know the Truth of Being you make your own conditions. You attract certain people into your life and repel others, you attract health or sickness, you attract riches or poverty, and you attract peace of mind or fear.  You are the monarch of your "Secret Palace" and you govern your inner Kingdom.  

 Jesus' message was that our thoughts govern us and that through intelligent prayer we can change our subconscious and therefore change our outer world. Therefore a sin is not an action, it is a thought.  All action begins with thought whether subconsciously or not.  When people say that Jesus died for our sins, he died for how we think.  Jesus was a sensible intelligent man who could have transcended quietly without suffering like that of Moses and Elijah, but he underwent this task in order teach mankind a lesson. 

The original Christian message taught by Jesus is often misunderstood by many Atheists and probably even more Christians. I don’t have the best understanding of his teachings either, but I do know that  Jesus’ conception of God is not the same conception that many other people hold.  Jesus was in the business of discovering Truth, albeit spiritual Truth and the Truth is sometimes rejected violently.   Ask Copernicus.

 

Well this Christian theist needs a virgin to sacrifice and a goat to party with….or is it the other way around. 

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xamination wrote: I do

xamination wrote:
I do agree with what you are saying, Pile. The reason for the lack of personal sacrifice today, though, is obvious. First of all, as we established earlier, physical sacrifices are no longer needed to be in God's favor. The message of Jesus is that your sins have already been payed for, so nothing else is needed. This lack of a need for sacrificing anything, be it money, time, or social status, gives many excuse to live a more comfortable life. Churches usually say that things should be given to God in thanks for his gift, yet most do not have the impetus to do so.

Just when you think things have become as ludicrous as imaginable, nope.

See, this god that was so meticulous before, outlining all his rules and regulations, from how to handle women on PMS, proper genital manipulation, which foods you can eat and what days you can work, to how to beat slaves, properly deal with women as property and the preparation of ritual sacrifices, suddenly, AMBIGUOUSLY dictates after jesus' resurrection that the rules have changed. A few vague references appear to imply that "things have changed" but to what degree and how? Well that's conveniently left out, so every christian has his own version of what jesus' sacrifice really meant. How conveeeeeenient.

 


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Deviant wrote:

Deviant wrote:

Why did Jesus die for our sins? It was the ultimate selfless teaching of how dangerous our thoughts can be. Jesus was in the business of discovering and teaching the Truth. "Know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free." When you know the Truth of Being you make your own conditions. You attract certain people into your life and repel others, you attract health or sickness, you attract riches or poverty, and you attract peace of mind or fear. You are the monarch of your "Secret Palace" and you govern your inner Kingdom.

Jesus' message was that our thoughts govern us and that through intelligent prayer we can change our subconscious and therefore change our outer world. Therefore a sin is not an action, it is a thought. All action begins with thought whether subconsciously or not. When people say that Jesus died for our sins, he died for how we think. Jesus was a sensible intelligent man who could have transcended quietly without suffering like that of Moses and Elijah, but he underwent this task in order teach mankind a lesson.

The original Christian message taught by Jesus is often misunderstood by many Atheists and probably even more Christians. I don’t have the best understanding of his teachings either, but I do know that Jesus’ conception of God is not the same conception that many other people hold. Jesus was in the business of discovering Truth, albeit spiritual Truth and the Truth is sometimes rejected violently. Ask Copernicus.

 

Well this Christian theist needs a virgin to sacrifice and a goat to party with….or is it the other way around.

 

This is interesting. I started a secular student organization at my university and we have been invited by the campus ministry to attend their "Faith Examined by 'Reason'" series that they hold. They said exactly what you have mention here.

Quote:
Jesus' message was that our thoughts govern us and that through intelligent prayer we can change our subconscious and therefore change our outer world.

The question then, I raised, was this: How do you explain the fact that people of faith commit the most torturous crimes against children? If jesus is in fact needed to control your "thoughts" so that you can then, control your actions, why do priests rape children?

You would probably reply that these people do not let jesus in their hearts and that they are charlatans or whatever.

To which I reply, well then, how do you explain the fact that an atheist who has no faith and has not accepted jesus as his personal saviour does not think about raping kids or if he does, knows its wrong and won't do it?

Fact of the matter is, believing and accepting jesus, has no bearing whatsoever on your thoughts. Your thoughts are your thoughts...if you need jesus to control your thoughts, then you are deluding yourself. Because, then, you are in fact admitting you have lustful thoughts against children.

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Deviant wrote:

Deviant wrote:

Why did Jesus die for our sins? It was the ultimate selfless teaching of how dangerous our thoughts can be. Jesus was in the business of discovering and teaching the Truth.

What "truth" are you talking about? (That isn't currently credited to P.T. Barnum?)

What truth in the bible that jesus "discovered" isn't something anyone with half a brain didn't already know? Killing people is a bad idea? Being kind is a good idea? Wow! Thanks jesus. I was wondering about that.

Deviant wrote:
Jesus' message was that our thoughts govern us and that through intelligent prayer we can change our subconscious and therefore change our outer world. Therefore a sin is not an action, it is a thought. All action begins with thought whether subconsciously or not. When people say that Jesus died for our sins, he died for how we think. Jesus was a sensible intelligent man who could have transcended quietly without suffering like that of Moses and Elijah, but he underwent this task in order teach mankind a lesson.

A lesson eh?  That implies you learn something, hopefully that makes you a better person in one respect or another, right?  The only lesson I see that christians have learned seems to be, "How not to be a sociopath" since many christians claim without jesus that's what they'd be.  Is that the lesson he teaches?  Fear me or else you'll turn into a psycho?

So what exactly is this lesson his followers have benefitted from? 

What lesson was this that mankind didn't already know? And what lesson have his followers learned that they demonstrate today?

I don't see christians being any more forgiving, loving, or benevolent than non-christians.

I don't see people who have accepted jesus as their savior being any better people. I don't see them killing less creatures. I don't see them making more of a contribution to mankind.

I don't see a goddam thing that any of jesus' followers have done for society that has anything exclusively to do with jesus and his teachings.

So seriously... what the fuck? What the fuck are you people talking about?

I have to put this in no uncertain terms: What the fuck?

If someone does something nice for someone else, I don't hear people go, "Oh that must have been a christian. Those christians are so nice!"

People didn't go, "Those volunteers who came down to New Orleans to help out. Must have been christians..." Nobody assumes that only good people are christians, because the TRUTH is people of every conceivable faith and philosophy know enough to recognize that there are certain moral standards that transcend stuper-natural dogma. And most certainly the christians have not demonstrated that their movement stands out from any other as being more noble, truthful, benevolent, or least of all moral.

So again... what the fuck? What the fucking fuck are you fucking talking about?

What the fuck has jesus done that makes you so special, and what is your fucking special ass doing for this world and its people that any of can point to and go, "Ok, yea, well, you're right... that certainly is a very unique, positive thing that only christianity has done for society."

Not a goddam thing. Not a fucking, god-damned thing.

So what the fuck did jesus die for? What the fuck do christians stand for? Why the fuck are there 30,000 different sects of you little fucks who can't get along with each other, much less anyone else, and explain to me again, what fucking truth, love and benevolence you epitomize? And why the fuck do every one of you fucks accuse your fellow christians of not being christian enough when they show they're no fucking better, moral or truthful than anyone else?

This is what really makes me angry. Christians spout on about the superior morality of their beliefs, but is it demonstrated in their actions? No. Do you have any idea what percentage of money collected at churches goes towards programs to help people, verses salaries, bigger churches and stupid dingleberries for the altars? Church finances would put to shame even the biggest scam non-denominational charities. I can deal with someone saying something like jesus died to do something positive for humanity, but WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE OF THIS? What the fuck has his followers done except build churches, tv stations and try to terrorize everyone else who doesn't drink their kool-aid?

So there doesn't seem to be a single ludicrous presupposition in this whole ridiculous jeebus-died-for-us scam, that I can't concede that doesn't reveal yet another gaping hole filled with hypocrisy.

 


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Deviant wrote: Jesus'

Deviant wrote:

Jesus' message was that our thoughts govern us and that through intelligent prayer we can change our subconscious and therefore change our outer world.

Yeah, I love that part of the Bible where Jesus says that prayer determines what kinds of people you attract to yourself and how you can elevate or heal your consciousness with prayer and love and how quantum physics shows that--oh, wait.  That was Deepak Chopra, not Jesus.

Read your Bible, Deviant.  Jesus was a Jew, so he believed what Jews believe about prayer (plus the part about doing it by yourself).  95% of the ideas about prayer in your post are 20th century New Age stuff--absolutely no Biblical basis.

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Pile, your last post made

Pile, your last post made me laugh ahrder than I have in a long time.

Deviant, I know you mean well, and that you are trying to say that Jesus's life and death was just a moral lesson, but there is more to it than that.  If God wanted to teach us some morals, he could have just made an after-school special on the dangers of sin.  God humbled himself to the level of man, and lived under the worst conditions a man could endure.  There was more to it than just "teaching a lesson" - God was, in fact, changing the order of things.  No longer would God punish people while they lived on the Earth, but instead created an afterlife - good and bad - that was open to all.  He was not just open to his "chosen people", he was open to everyone - as long as they accepted him.  This was a great departure from the God of the OT, where there was no afterlife, and God was only for a small minority of people. 

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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xamination wrote: Pile,

xamination wrote:

Pile, your last post made me laugh ahrder than I have in a long time.

Deviant, I know you mean well, and that you are trying to say that Jesus's life and death was just a moral lesson, but there is more to it than that. If God wanted to teach us some morals, he could have just made an after-school special on the dangers of sin. God humbled himself to the level of man, and lived under the worst conditions a man could endure. There was more to it than just "teaching a lesson" - God was, in fact, changing the order of things. No longer would God punish people while they lived on the Earth, but instead created an afterlife - good and bad - that was open to all. He was not just open to his "chosen people", he was open to everyone - as long as they accepted him. This was a great departure from the God of the OT, where there was no afterlife, and God was only for a small minority of people.

Hehe, yeah, God is no longer for a small minority of people.  Now he's open to the entire 9% of the world population who are Protestants.  

(Or, if you're a Jehovah's Witness or certain type of Calvinist, only the 144,000 souls who are actually going to get to go to heaven.) 

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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xamination wrote:

xamination wrote:

Pile, your last post made me laugh ahrder than I have in a long time.

What did you find humorous about the fact that jesus, even if he existed, even if god existed, even if he was the son of god, even if there was an original sin, even if somehow god's sadistic treatment of early man made sense, even if jesus' sacrifice "saved" humanity, even if jesus was resurrected, even if jesus and god gave a "plan" or "lesson" to humanity... CHRISTIANS ARE STILL FLAMING HYPOCRITES WHO HAVE NOT DEMONSTRATED A SHRED MORE DECENCY AND MORAL FORTITUDE THAN ANYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET?

On second thought. You're right. It is hilarious.

 


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Textom wrote: xamination

Textom wrote:
xamination wrote:

Pile, your last post made me laugh ahrder than I have in a long time.

Deviant, I know you mean well, and that you are trying to say that Jesus's life and death was just a moral lesson, but there is more to it than that. If God wanted to teach us some morals, he could have just made an after-school special on the dangers of sin. God humbled himself to the level of man, and lived under the worst conditions a man could endure. There was more to it than just "teaching a lesson" - God was, in fact, changing the order of things. No longer would God punish people while they lived on the Earth, but instead created an afterlife - good and bad - that was open to all. He was not just open to his "chosen people", he was open to everyone - as long as they accepted him. This was a great departure from the God of the OT, where there was no afterlife, and God was only for a small minority of people.

Hehe, yeah, God is no longer for a small minority of people.  Now he's open to the entire 9% of the world population who are Protestants.  

(Or, if you're a Jehovah's Witness or certain type of Calvinist, only the 144,000 souls who are actually going to get to go to heaven.)

You know what I meant.Tongue out

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Thank you for your

Thank you for your comments, the laughs, and for butting heads with me. There is so much to respond to that I do not where to begin. I am feeling barraged. Some of you had some very critical, yet positive feedback. I just spouted out the interpretation that I know. I was just trying to be helpful and add something constructively. Whether Jesus death was symbolic or just waste is open to interpretation.

To add some clarification, I am here because I believe in metaphysical god. I am not an atheist nor do I appreciate organized religion. I believe that Jesus was a metaphysical student/teacher. I also believe that Jesus is one the most influential and misunderstood people ever among Atheists and Christians alike. I am here to either strengthen or weaken my belief system through critical reasoning, spiritual inquiry, and freedom of thought. I am not a Bible thumper nor do I take the Bible and teachings of Jesus literarily. I believe that organized religion is riddled with its corruptions and absurdities.

LeftofLarry wrote:


To which I reply, well then, how do you explain the fact that an atheist who has no faith and has not accepted jesus as his personal saviour does not think about raping kids or if he does, knows its wrong and won't do it?

Good question. Sex is our god given right. I do not agree with people of faith who practice abstinence. It’s natural to have sex, but not to rape young kids and alter boys. The only explanation that I can offer at the time is that repressed sexual needs lead to perverse behavior whether these people “have Jesus in their hearts” or not. I think that misguided faith can be or is potentially harmful and destructive.

I am not sure what accepting Jesus into your heart is all about. I just think that he is was a great metaphysical student/teacher that had lot to offer. I never read nor stated that you needed Jesus to control your “thoughts”, so that you can control behavior. Via allegories and the use of intelligent prayer, Jesus proposes a way to control your own thoughts. My understanding is that he was just offering guidance and not complete reign over you.

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Deviant - Jesus said he was

Deviant - Jesus said he was the son of God.  If Jesus was a real person, and he said this, then we must take him for his word, or realize he is a liar and his teachings therefore become suspect.  If Jesus was a real person, and he did not say this, then everything we think he said is therefore suspect.  And if Jesus was not a real person, then the point is moot.  So to say that he was a great teacher, but not holy or anything just doesn't make sense.

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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Pile wrote:

Pile wrote:
xamination wrote:

Pile, your last post made me laugh ahrder than I have in a long time.

What did you find humorous about the fact that jesus, even if he existed, even if god existed, even if he was the son of god, even if there was an original sin, even if somehow god's sadistic treatment of early man made sense, even if jesus' sacrifice "saved" humanity, even if jesus was resurrected, even if jesus and god gave a "plan" or "lesson" to humanity... CHRISTIANS ARE STILL FLAMING HYPOCRITES WHO HAVE NOT DEMONSTRATED A SHRED MORE DECENCY AND MORAL FORTITUDE THAN ANYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET?

On second thought. You're right. It is hilarious.

 

"Saved"

Okay, I'm going to give my wholehearted and frank opinion on this word. It is the overarching reference to the purpose of an algorithm, introduced to human minds either via a literal spiritual-minded genius man named Jesus or via the group responsible for the mythological literature of the same, whichever you like, works just the same.

The cold hards facts of the OT: The thinking was a complete mess.

Charlatans and fakes with magnesium burn miracles were running the place into the ground. Everyone was going to hell in those lands. Could anyone disagree? Mutilate the children, sell the girls and kick the lepers were the algorithms of human thought in that community in those days. How do we know? They immortalised it in their bible. This was the perfect backdrop for a super-saviour to perform true miracles and talk some sense into the people. To go to the deepest extremes of self sacrifice to point out the priority human values: reason, love, kindness. Let's face it, is there a story that needed a miraculous saviour more than the OT bible? Granted, some of todays literal stories need one, but not necessarily more than they obviously did, right?

So a new paradigm of thinking 'saved' present and future in one go. A new 'ministry' introduced to revitalise the loving god algorithm. The mystical elements are mostly misread and our culture has new charlatans and new magnesium burn tricksters. But, the algorithm of thought, the paradigm of reason, has been with us a long long time now we are still saved by it (albeit it sometimes in the arms of atheism), Jesus is still immortal and eternal, In all the good that ever came from the gentle persuasion of reason, the spirit of truth, the pursuit of perfection, and sincere self sacrificing humanism. It doesn't matter if you think Jesus was the source of all this good or not, that is not the point of the story. The story is stamped with all the diginification that historical authority could give it and that is all that matters. It's canonised over all the authority that went before it, so the 'saviour' keeps 'saving' with his words of love, questions of philosophy and encouragement to put the worldly goods second and humanity first. That hell the OT was headed for has a long standing adversary installed in pertuity to kick its proverbial up and down history. And it has; in spite of the primitive barbarisms and craziness still pedalled by the charlatans over history, humanity has built the most amazing tools of reason and discovery and used them to get answers and increase the consciousness of man. We improved, in spite of it all, we improved enmasse where it counts. In the psyche, which is the soul. That is how we were saved . That is how it was our souls which were saved in that story about Jesus. Whether it's the literal account of the first Western rational diplomat with an honest and good heart or just a mythology, it encapsulates the reality of the situation quite well and is immortalised in the world's favourite book for two thousand years. Hence it is every bit the saving grace it claims to be even if it has only done the job on a small scale in comparison to everything else it's still one in the set of things that did get us here. It is one with the only true loving god humanity ever had.

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Thank you for your comment xamination, but I disagree. Correct me if I am wrong, but Jesus never said that he was the “son of God”. If anything that was externally cast upon him. The Lords Prayer is attributable to Jesus, right?

 

In the Lord's Prayer, the first two words are "Our Father". Jesus is trying to establish the nature of God; in this case that of father and child. This would rule out any possibility that God is a relentless and cruel tyrant that is often pictured in Theology. What sort of father would send their child to Hell?

 

The words are chosen carefully and intelligently: “Our” father, not “my” father, or “your” father, or “Jesus’’” father, but OUR father. “Our” eliminates any possibility of a “chosen race”; neither Jew, nor Arab, nor Buddhists, nor Atheist, nor Fundamental Christians, nor Mormons are the chosen or unchosen race. Jesus puts a stop to the fact that there is no chosen race, nationality, race, group, or territory that has superiority over any one group of human beings. “Our” father makes us brethren.

 

As long as man is on his spiritual path and in accordance to god/God, it makes no difference whatever “race” he belongs to.

 

So now the question is: What does it mean to be in god’s/God’s accordance?

 

This is where I need help.

I asked to be banned, so I was banned.