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DERAIL: So the Crucifixion - What's up with that?

Tom Sawyer

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And this is the road I was trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to avoid. When I started this thread I just wanted to answer the question in the thread title and make my personal stance as a Christian clear.

Each of us thinks that we have a "more accurate view" due to our beliefs. That is a fair characterization. I did try to make it very clear that I was speaking from faith only and knew that there would be those who would pounce on that and demand "proof" of the validity of my faith. That was never my intent and I thought it was clearly stated in my opening post. You might think that this is a cop out and maybe it is on my part, but I honestly don't think that I can ever provide sufficient evidence for you of the existence of God, or you provide the same for me that there is no God.

Your last sentence is exactly right. That is why I did not attempt to make the standard arguments part of this conversation and in fact was trying very hard to be perfectly clear that I would not.

Ruth

I don't think it's a cop out. You can have whatever positions you want for whatever reasons you want and the standards necessary for the rationales is that they're satisfying to you, not that they're satisfying to others. If you try to impose your positions onto others, then that would switch around but you're not doing that and you've made it clear that you have no interest in justifying your beliefs from any other standpoint, so it's fine.

It's actually more satisfying to me to see someone who doesn't try and twist logic into nonsensical intellectual knots in order to jam the square peg of their faith into the round hole of science. Those arguments tend to get stupid fast.

One thing I am curious about, however, is when you talked in your OP about "Christ died on the cross to pay for those sins". I've never really gotten the point of that. Jesus was God, so why go through the dog-and-pony show of putting on a human meatsuit and pretending to die in order to forgive us for our sins instead of just forgiving us for our sins without all the drama? It seems like an inefficient waste of his time and I don't get why we should be impressed by it.
 

Lion IRC

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Atheists anthropomorphising God and His motives again?
 

Sarpedon

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How can you accuse us of anthropomorphizing God, when your religion is ALL ABOUT how God became a man?
 

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I think God is reaching out to us - offering us hope.
Showing by example that death is not the end.
Sin is not a terminal disease.
God and His Son can easily 'talk the talk' but on the road to Calvary we see Him walk the walk.

I look at statues of Buddha and they are all smiling - contented.
I look at The Cross and I think, here's Someone who really understands suffering.
 

Lion IRC

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How can you accuse us of anthropomorphizing God, when your religion is ALL ABOUT how God became a man?

It's a two-way street.
If the atheist (counter-apologist) contends against my explanation of God's empathy and love for humans, labelling it 'anthropomorphism', then they are applying their own human ideas to what they think God would or wouldn't do.
 

Shadowy Man

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I look at statues of Buddha and they are all smiling - contented.
I look at The Cross and I think, here's Someone who really understands suffering.

Then you're not fully understanding what the Buddha meant by "suffering". You'll need to study Buddhism more if you're interested. But that's a whole other conversation for a whole other thread.
 

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I know what Buddha 'meant'.
I said "understands sufferering"
 

Tom Sawyer

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Atheists anthropomorphising God and His motives again?

Yes. I am curious about his motives. Christians discuss the crucifixion as something that one should be impressed by and I don't know why. If the answer to his motives is "Because gods are weird" or "Because eternity is a really, really long time and sometimes immortals need to do random shit just to fill the day", then fine, it's understandable why he went this route.

One of the tenets of Christianity (as I understand it) seems to be that God is a rational actor who has good reasons behind the things he says and does. For instance, when he said "Thou shalt not kill", it was because he thought that there were good reasons to not go around killing people and we could get why that's a decent commandment to have. He didn't just say "Thou shalt not ..." and then flipped open a dictionary and banned us from doing whatever the seventh word on the page was for no particular reason beyond that he'd thought up nine commandments and wanted to make it a round number.

So yes, I'm anthropomorphizing God - in the sense that the reasons that God does things are understandable by humans. If that's not the case and his motivations were simply a mystery which our tiny and limited minds cannot comprehend, then what would be a reason for any of us to ascribe more WOW factor to "Jesus got crucified" than we do to "Bob made a sandwich"?
 

Tom Sawyer

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I think God is reaching out to us - offering us hope.
Showing by example that death is not the end.
Sin is not a terminal disease.
God and His Son can easily 'talk the talk' but on the road to Calvary we see Him walk the walk.

I look at statues of Buddha and they are all smiling - contented.
I look at The Cross and I think, here's Someone who really understands suffering.

I don't know. I think that a decent chunk of humanity goes through a shitload more pain in their lives than someone who dealt with a bit of inconvenience over a long weekend. It just seems so trivial - an immortal guy who pretended to die to make a point which didn't need making. Also, he's omniscient - he understands all forms of suffering perfectly without the need to experience them directly, so it's not like it gave him some kind of perspective he didn't previously have. I get how a human or a limited and minor deity would perhaps gain something from this, but not an Omni-dude.
 

DrZoidberg

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I look at The Cross and I think, here's Someone who really understands suffering.

Wait wait. An omnipotent agent only suffers if it chooses to suffer. The whole point of suffering is that we don't chose it. It's something we endure. The Christian God didn't endure shit. Which the resurrection proves. Jesus had nothing to be afraid of. That's not suffering.

An omnipotent agent can't relate to something that isn't omnipotent. An omnipotent God cannot understand humans. Do you feel you can relate to an ant?

Another thing that the resurrection proves is that God didn't sacrifice anything. An agent with infinite power can't sacrifice anything. That's like making a rock so heavy that God can't lift it.

If you think your God understand suffering, you haven't thought it through. There's no way your God could.
 

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Yes!
God can choose NOT to suffer.
But He did.
What does that tell you?
 

Tom Sawyer

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I look at The Cross and I think, here's Someone who really understands suffering.

Wait wait. An omnipotent agent only suffers if it chooses to suffer. The whole point of suffering is that we don't chose it. It's something we endure. The Christian God didn't endure shit. Which the resurrection proves. Jesus had nothing to be afraid of. That's not suffering.

An omnipotent agent can't relate to something that isn't omnipotent. An omnipotent God cannot understand humans. Do you feel you can relate to an ant?

Another thing that the resurrection proves is that God didn't sacrifice anything. An agent with infinite power can't sacrifice anything. That's like making a rock so heavy that God can't lift it.

If you think your God understand suffering, you haven't thought it through. There's no way your God could.

But he's also omniscient, so he can understand it fine, the same as he can understand everything else. The personal experience of it wouldn't add anything to his understanding of it, however, since that understanding was already perfect.

- - - Updated - - -

Yes!
God can choose NOT to suffer.
But He did.
What does that tell you?

That it was a slow week and he was bored and looking for something to do to pass the time?

Perhaps asking the question from a different perspective would help. What is it that God gained through this suffering which could not have been accomplished equally well without the suffering? If we're supposed to be impressed with the suffering, then it would be necessary for that suffering to have a purpose.
 

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God is answering DrZoidberg's objection head on.
Oh God, you don't understand us, you're all powerful and don't know suffering, you don't know hunger, you don't know poverty.

But God becomes incarnate and talks directly to the poor in spirit, to those who mourn, to the meek, to the powerless.

And He suffers voluntarily in order to 'prove a point' as it were.

He didn't HAVE to do that.
 

Tom Sawyer

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God is answering DrZoidberg's objection head on.
Oh God, you don't understand us, you're all powerful and don't know suffering, you don't know hunger, you don't know poverty.

But God becomes incarnate and talks directly to the poor in spirit, to those who mourn, to the meek, to the powerless.

And He suffers voluntarily in order to 'prove a point' as it were.

He didn't HAVE to do that.

Well, why not just say "I'm fucking omniscient, you moron. I understand everything with no further effort on my part". Anything else just seems like unnecessary dithering on his part.

Regardless of the rationales, it gets away from the original question of why it was somehow necessary to tie this suffering to his forgiving people's sins. That's just an irrelevancy piled ontop of an irrelevancy.
 

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At least you admit you don't know why.
Perhaps you should reserve judgement until you do.
 

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It must come as a surprise to certain people that a gracious, loving God is willing to forgive.

He gives and we get.
He forgives and we forget.
 

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I'm not pushing back against anything you say, except for your accusation of 'anthropomorphising god.' If you are a christian, you must believe that God WAS a man. Therefore the concept of 'anthropomorphising' him doesn't apply. If Jesus was, as Christian dogma DICTATES, both 'fully god and fully man' then you can't criticize us for taking you at your word.

We discussed incarnation before, and I pointed out that other religions have different ideas about how it works. In Hinduism, for example, a deity can become incarnate in a human body, without becoming "fully" human.

Since this is a fictitious event, either of us can assign any given value to it, and there's nothing to make one person's interpretation better than the other's. If you disagree with that, you'll need to actually establish some facts.
 

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God is answering DrZoidberg's objection head on.
Oh God, you don't understand us, you're all powerful and don't know suffering, you don't know hunger, you don't know poverty.

But God becomes incarnate and talks directly to the poor in spirit, to those who mourn, to the meek, to the powerless.

And He suffers voluntarily in order to 'prove a point' as it were.

He didn't HAVE to do that.

Lovely fantasy. Doesn't answer the question, though.

If you want to convince humans that your god and his rules are fit for humans, you're going to have to somehow relate your argument to being human (i.e., reality). There is nothing in human experience that helps us to relate to magical beings "suffering" magical "death." For most believers, the relationship is in what they themselves might suffer if they question any of it, but there is no effect of magical beings dying magical deaths on human experience. You have to have other humans impinge on your senses and spectrum of human emotions in order to relate to magical suffering.

That doesn't help the story to make sense, I know, But the fact that there are so many believers in inhumane, incoherent ideological identity does make more sense when you're allowed to observe how humans work vs. having reality fed to you by religious authorities and assorted trusted mouthpieces.

You start from the established fantasy and try to force it to appear to be true and good for humans. I start from actual human experience and actual living, breathing, suffering human beings first, and from there it's pretty easy to check religious bullshit against reality.
 

DrZoidberg

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God is answering DrZoidberg's objection head on.
Oh God, you don't understand us, you're all powerful and don't know suffering, you don't know hunger, you don't know poverty.

But God becomes incarnate and talks directly to the poor in spirit, to those who mourn, to the meek, to the powerless.

And He suffers voluntarily in order to 'prove a point' as it were.

Why do you think God suffered? You've just postulated that God is omnipotent. Where's the suffering? Did God stop being omnipotent when becoming incarnate? Why? The rules of any fiction have to be consistent or it'll annoy the readers. I'm already annoyed with this story.

He didn't HAVE to do that.

Yes, quite litteraly. Being omnipotent he can dial the knob of pain and up and down as much as he'd like. He knew that he'd be fine. The fear and the uncertainty is an important factor of suffering. Something which God can and will never have to deal with. And didn't, no matter how much he was nailed to the cross. Also, worth noting, is that God is omnipotent. He put himself on that cross. Knowing what would happen if he did such and such, he did and orchestrated himself being nailed to that cross.

There's a problem with omnipotence and omniscience... nobody is impressed by anything you do. It'll always be a like a super rich guy taking his date to McDonalds. He's omnipotent. Why not just fix all problems? It's as little effort as fixing the big problems.

God didn't sacrifice shit. Put his own son on the cross on purpose. Why should anybody give a shit? It's like that scene in Blazing Saddles when the new sheriff puts and gun to his head and threatens to kill himself. Pathetic. Also pathetic for anybody to fall for this passive aggressive bullshit.
 

Tom Sawyer

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At least you admit you don't know why.
Perhaps you should reserve judgement until you do.

Why? I don't know the particulars of Jupiter's orbital path off the top of my head either, but I don't feel the need to hold off deciding whether or not to buy a new car until I can figure out if it's ascendant with Mercury. This is because, despite what some astrologists might tell me, I have no reason to assume that there's a relationship between the two things and it would be kind of dumb to accept this relationship as a viable premise until given a reason to do so.

Similarly, without being given a viable reason for a relation between suffering and forgiving sins, it would be kind of dumb to just accept that this relationship exists. You only reserve judgment about a relationship between two things if you have sufficient reason to believe that there is a potential for this relationship to be valid. If you just have someone pick two random things and say they're related, there's no need to reserve judgment about taking the position that they're not.
 

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Well, why not just say "I'm fucking omniscient, you moron. I understand everything with no further effort on my part". Anything else just seems like unnecessary dithering on his part.

I wonder how God learned that he is omniscient? Was there an online quiz that he nailed a perfect score? Did someone give him a really hard Standardized Test and he breezed through it?

It's a standard trope that the more someone learns, the more she realizes that she doesn't know. Find the answer to one question, and at the same time discover two more questions that need answering.

So if God knows more than any of us, then wouldn't that mean he also knows about far more things that he doesn't know?

But once God is convinced that he's got nothing left to learn, that he knows everything there is to know, how does he convince someone else of that? Just by saying so? How would a freethinker and a skeptic verify that claim?
 

Tom Sawyer

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Well, why not just say "I'm fucking omniscient, you moron. I understand everything with no further effort on my part". Anything else just seems like unnecessary dithering on his part.

I wonder how God learned that he is omniscient? Was there an online quiz that he nailed a perfect score? Did someone give him a really hard Standardized Test and he breezed through it?

It's a standard trope that the more someone learns, the more she realizes that she doesn't know. Find the answer to one question, and at the same time discover two more questions that need answering.

So if God knows more than any of us, then wouldn't that mean he also knows about far more things that he doesn't know?

But once God is convinced that he's got nothing left to learn, that he knows everything there is to know, how does he convince someone else of that? Just by saying so? How would a freethinker and a skeptic verify that claim?

Well, if he were omniscient, he'd have the answer to that along with the answer to everything else. Given that omniscience is a fundamentally illogical concept, attempting to use logical analysis to understand it is like trying to figure out US policy on an issue by listening to what Donald Trump has to say about it. The conclusions aren't going to make any sense and you're wasting your time even trying.
 

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It's commonplace, I've seen it all my life, but the jawdropping lunacy never ceases to amaze.

I can’t read any theist blubbering his insane idiocy without wondering “How the fuck can he think his life is made meaningful by adopting this cult-like junk?”

There are 2 basic options: 1) Explore the world so its nature (and you with it) becomes clear and you can be fully authentic for having a forthright relation with how things are. 2) Choose inauthenticity and let an ancient book and its latter-day interpreters tell you a lot of ludicrous fables with no relation whatsoever to how plain-to-see reality is so that your relation with self, others and nature is all filtered through something you must work at sustaining "faith" in precisely because it's phantasmagoric.

And these goofs pick #2!!
 

braces_for_impact

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And this is the road I was trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to avoid. When I started this thread I just wanted to answer the question in the thread title and make my personal stance as a Christian clear.

Each of us thinks that we have a "more accurate view" due to our beliefs. That is a fair characterization. I did try to make it very clear that I was speaking from faith only and knew that there would be those who would pounce on that and demand "proof" of the validity of my faith. That was never my intent and I thought it was clearly stated in my opening post. You might think that this is a cop out and maybe it is on my part, but I honestly don't think that I can ever provide sufficient evidence for you of the existence of God, or you provide the same for me that there is no God.

Your last sentence is exactly right. That is why I did not attempt to make the standard arguments part of this conversation and in fact was trying very hard to be perfectly clear that I would not.

Ruth

I don't think it's a cop out. You can have whatever positions you want for whatever reasons you want and the standards necessary for the rationales is that they're satisfying to you, not that they're satisfying to others. If you try to impose your positions onto others, then that would switch around but you're not doing that and you've made it clear that you have no interest in justifying your beliefs from any other standpoint, so it's fine.

It's actually more satisfying to me to see someone who doesn't try and twist logic into nonsensical intellectual knots in order to jam the square peg of their faith into the round hole of science. Those arguments tend to get stupid fast.

One thing I am curious about, however, is when you talked in your OP about "Christ died on the cross to pay for those sins". I've never really gotten the point of that. Jesus was God, so why go through the dog-and-pony show of putting on a human meatsuit and pretending to die in order to forgive us for our sins instead of just forgiving us for our sins without all the drama? It seems like an inefficient waste of his time and I don't get why we should be impressed by it.

In one sense I agree with you, and in another I find this "I'm not here to convince anyone of my beliefs, I'm just here to live a Christian (or whatever) life and love everyone" pointless and maddening. They always seem to boil down to "I can't answer any of your hard questions, but I believe anyway." I think the distinct lack of intellectual curiosity drives me nuts. Put bluntly, if you have strong beliefs, but can't answer questions concerning them, and can't even suggest a way we could find out, what good are you? I like to have reasons for why I believe something, and I like to be able to defend it. If I can't, then what's the point? I value truth, and part of valuing truth is being able to test it for veracity. If I make certain claims that I believe others should also believe because that would make life better then I should be able to be convincing. If I'm not convincing, then my ideas have no power.

Great, so someone of a specific religion shows up spouting love and kisses, and behaves a bit better during disagreements than the standard representative of that religion. That doesn't show me anything about their ideas being true. Christians do that, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and atheists all do that - and their claims are mutually exclusive.
 

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Well, why not just say "I'm fucking omniscient, you moron. I understand everything with no further effort on my part". Anything else just seems like unnecessary dithering on his part.

I wonder how God learned that he is omniscient? Was there an online quiz that he nailed a perfect score? Did someone give him a really hard Standardized Test and he breezed through it?

It's a standard trope that the more someone learns, the more she realizes that she doesn't know. Find the answer to one question, and at the same time discover two more questions that need answering.

So if God knows more than any of us, then wouldn't that mean he also knows about far more things that he doesn't know?

But once God is convinced that he's got nothing left to learn, that he knows everything there is to know, how does he convince someone else of that? Just by saying so? How would a freethinker and a skeptic verify that claim?

I always assumed their was a certification of some sort. :)
 

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Yes!
God can choose NOT to suffer.
But He did.
What does that tell you?

If you read Paul's revelations carefully, we read that this God from the beginning of time chooses who will be the elect and who will not be elect and damned. We do not get a choice in the matter.

That makes the whole scheme of supposed salvation pointless and rather inadequate. God loves us? "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." This makes no sense. Why "suffer" for a scheme that makes no sense at all? The great potter who creates some vessels to honor, and others to dishonor.

Christianity is incoherent and bizarre. It makes no sense, even if we try to give the whole thing benefit of doubt, and make excuses for it ad nauseum.

Mark 4
And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Uhm, according to trinitarianism, Jesus is God. Does this make sense?
 

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It must come as a surprise to certain people that a gracious, loving God is willing to forgive.

He gives and we get.
He forgives and we forget.


Romans 9
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:


This God does not seem to forgive and forget. This God is not loving, just, merciful, or compassionate. and that is the problem for many of us Atheists. This God of Paul's is worse than Satan, Satan cannot hope to damn more than this God of Christianity.
 

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It's commonplace, I've seen it all my life, but the jawdropping lunacy never ceases to amaze.

I can’t read any theist blubbering his insane idiocy without wondering “How the fuck can he think his life is made meaningful by adopting this cult-like junk?”

There are 2 basic options: 1) Explore the world so its nature (and you with it) becomes clear and you can be fully authentic for having a forthright relation with how things are. 2) Choose inauthenticity and let an ancient book and its latter-day interpreters tell you a lot of ludicrous fables with no relation whatsoever to how plain-to-see reality is so that your relation with self, others and nature is all filtered through something you must work at sustaining "faith" in precisely because it's phantasmagoric.

And these goofs pick #2!!
It's just a basic appeal to emotion glurge. "Hey look what this poor, poor man did for you! Why would you want to walk in his blood you mean, mean human! You're walking in his blood! YOU'RE WALKING IN HIS BLOOD! YOU'RE WALKING IN HIS BLOOD!"

It's a soap opera for people who don't have a life, the whole emotional shtick appeal. It's the whole "you ungrateful sinner" guilt trip adorned with lots of blood and gore. That poor poor man must have really loved me. That poor poor suffering spaceman.

I am so very glad I am an adult, and think like an adult, and try to address adult problems, and have no need for, nor attraction to this retarding, diaper-wearing silliness anymore.



edit: But in honesty I should add that I am attracted to it, not its core message that I'm a loser and need saved, but rather that I'm truly fascinated watching people eat this stuff up. The observation never fails to give me goosebumps, so utterly primitive it is.

This crucifiction tale is one of the greatest derails from having to become an adult that has ever been invented.
 
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Tom Sawyer

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Wait, why the hell are we walking in his blood? Is the creator of the universe somehow too important and special to need to clean up after himself? Grab a frigging mop, dickhead. :mad:
 

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Can somebody explain the whole "he died for your sins" thing? I've never understood that.

1) I didn't ask him to
2) I wasn't aware I had committed any sin to atone for. Pretty sure I haven't.
3) In what way is it possible to atone for another's sin? How's the logic here? If somebody takes the fall and sits in jail instead of a drug lord, how has that drug lord atoned for anything?
4) Death is a permanent state. Resurecting after three days is another way of saying that he didn't die for my sins.

Everything seems to be broken with that claim?
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Can somebody explain the whole "he died for your sins" thing? I've never understood that.

1) I didn't ask him to
2) I wasn't aware I had committed any sin to atone for. Pretty sure I haven't.
3) In what way is it possible to atone for another's sin? How's the logic here? If somebody takes the fall and sits in jail instead of a drug lord, how has that drug lord atoned for anything?
4) Death is a permanent state. Resurecting after three days is another way of saying that he didn't die for my sins.

Everything seems to be broken with that claim?
You're just an ungrateful dick.

Look at the spaceman hanging on THOSE boards on the wall. Look at what the spaceman did for you!

Don't you know the spaceman loves you? Listen to the spaceman! He knows what's best for your penis and all the sex organs! Why do you not love the spaceman that loves you and cleansed you of your sins? You didn't know you were a dirty, worthless human piece of waste until the spaceman saved you?

HALLELUJAH!

You are just another ungrateful spaceman-hater!

YOU OWE THE SPACEMAN!
 

Horatio Parker

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Assuming the crucifixation as factual history is the problem.

Instead, view it as a constantly occurring event in all of our lives. Which is that we all suffer, and suffering provides the opportunity to review actions and decisions, some which will be found to be in error. This capacity to view, judge, and make determinations is a rather important part of our makeup. The values we distill through our experiences are more important than the experiences themselves, and persist as experiences fade. The resurrection demonstrates that.
 

Tom Sawyer

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Assuming the crucifixation as factual history is the problem.

Instead, view it as a constantly occurring event in all of our lives. Which is that we all suffer, and suffering provides the opportunity to review actions and decisions, some which will be found to be in error. This capacity to view, judge, and make determinations is a rather important part of our makeup. The values we distill through our experiences are more important than the experiences themselves, and persist as experiences fade. The resurrection demonstrates that.

Well yes, if you interpret in a way which only has a marginal relationship to the actual storyline, you can get any kind of lesson you want out of it.

It's like how you can view the crucifixion as stressing the importance of remaining committed to your goals. Things are going to get tough along the way and you're going to go through some suffering in order to get them done, but in the end you'll end up better for remaining focused on the end results and getting them done. The resurrection demonstrates that.

It's also like how you can view the crucifixion as showing the importance of standing up to bullies. They will try to make you suffer and things will be hard because of them, but if remain true to yourself and don't let their bullying dissuade you from who you are, they'll see you're not an easy target and leave you alone and you'll end up stronger and in a better position because of it. The resurrection demonstrates that.

It's also like how you can view the crucifixion as showing the importance of being persistent while pursuing romance. The woman may make you suffer by filing restraining orders and having her brothers come over and beat the shit out of you because of your constant harassment, but your persistence in constantly being willing to show your love and devotion will eventually break down the walls she's put up to separate herself from experiencing joy and you'll end up living happily ever after. The resurrection demonstrates that.

When you strip out the context of the story until you're left with nothing more than a few vague and generic bullet points, it can end up meaning anything you want it to. However, that meaning is based on vague and generic bullet points at that point and not the original story that the generic bullet points are marginally based on.
 

Horatio Parker

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Assuming the crucifixation as factual history is the problem.

Instead, view it as a constantly occurring event in all of our lives. Which is that we all suffer, and suffering provides the opportunity to review actions and decisions, some which will be found to be in error. This capacity to view, judge, and make determinations is a rather important part of our makeup. The values we distill through our experiences are more important than the experiences themselves, and persist as experiences fade. The resurrection demonstrates that.

Well yes, if you interpret in a way which only has a marginal relationship to the actual storyline, you can get any kind of lesson you want out of it.

It's like how you can view the crucifixion as stressing the importance of remaining committed to your goals. Things are going to get tough along the way and you're going to go through some suffering in order to get them done, but in the end you'll end up better for remaining focused on the end results and getting them done. The resurrection demonstrates that.

It's also like how you can view the crucifixion as showing the importance of standing up to bullies. They will try to make you suffer and things will be hard because of them, but if remain true to yourself and don't let their bullying dissuade you from who you are, they'll see you're not an easy target and leave you alone and you'll end up stronger and in a better position because of it. The resurrection demonstrates that.

It's also like how you can view the crucifixion as showing the importance of being persistent while pursuing romance. The woman may make you suffer by filing restraining orders and having her brothers come over and beat the shit out of you because of your constant harassment, but your persistence in constantly being willing to show your love and devotion will eventually break down the walls she's put up to separate herself from experiencing joy and you'll end up living happily ever after. The resurrection demonstrates that.

When you strip out the context of the story until you're left with nothing more than a few vague and generic bullet points, it can end up meaning anything you want it to. However, that meaning is based on vague and generic bullet points at that point and not the original story that the generic bullet points are marginally based on.

To my mind, your examples, sarcasm aside, are more significant than vague and generic bullet points.

But no, no power there only because we didn't say "Jesus was real"?

I guess it has to be magical?
 

abaddon

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Assuming the crucifixation as factual history is the problem.

Instead, view it as a constantly occurring event in all of our lives. Which is that we all suffer, and suffering provides the opportunity to review actions and decisions, some which will be found to be in error. This capacity to view, judge, and make determinations is a rather important part of our makeup. The values we distill through our experiences are more important than the experiences themselves, and persist as experiences fade. The resurrection demonstrates that.

Dying is not apt metaphor for health.

The metaphors of Christianity are hateful to the body. The "flesh” hinders your spiritual growth and you’re to “die” to it and become inhumanly spiritual until you rise above it all.

It's ascetic beat-yourself-up self-denial to the core.

A life-affirming project would go the other way around: Drop the schizotypal sense of separation that comes from the ancient soul/body dichotomy. "Sin" tends to foster that dichotomy. And sin as "separation from God" is a separation from an introjected father figure and what "he" wants for you; which is immaturity.

Life-affirmation would include shamelessly being who you are as an earth-animal. Throw off burdening crosses and inflated ideals that’d make you disappointed with yourself, your life, the world.

You can learn and grow without crucifying yourself. And life's not that much suffering. I have doubts about the whole "suffer to learn" and "life is a struggle" stuff. A lot of learning is from curiosity, not from shoving your way through hardships.

Christianity as an ugly metaphor for good things is quite a stretch.
 

Tom Sawyer

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To my mind, your examples, sarcasm aside, are more significant than vague and generic bullet points.

But no, no power there only because we didn't say "Jesus was real"?

I guess it has to be magical?

My point was that your example was basically "If you persevere through suffering, you'll end up better off". That's about as vague and generic a moral lesson as you can get and you can just plug any one of a billion different scenarios into that lesson and it makes the crucifixion itself completely pointless. I doubt you'd get many Christians who'd agree with the statement that the tale of Christ dying for our sins is the equivalent of a story about a squirrel needing to deal with a rainstorm in order to get some acorns for its kids to eat and they'd tell you there's actually more to it than that.

When you strip out the context of the story to the extent that you did with your example, you make the details of the crucifixion irrelevant. The general attitude with which Christians talk about the event implies that they see it as being relevant and not just some generic Aesop's Fable that was plugged into the story to pad the run time.
 

James Brown

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Can somebody explain the whole "he died for your sins" thing? I've never understood that.

Dude, it's complicated. Here's my understanding after 30 years being steeped in Baptist doctrine.

1) I didn't ask him to

Maybe not, but if we assume that you want to be "right with God" (and that can mean lots of different things--live with him in Heaven, receive his blessings here on Earth, etc.) then something has to be done about the fact that you are a "fallen" human.

2) I wasn't aware I had committed any sin to atone for. Pretty sure I haven't.

Compared to a perfect God, sure you have. Even ordinary slights are offenses in the eyes of a sinless being.

Plus, regardless of what you've done, you have a problem with who you are. Your sinful nature, courtesy of being descended from Adam and Eve, guarantees that you're damaged.

3) In what way is it possible to atone for another's sin? How's the logic here? If somebody takes the fall and sits in jail instead of a drug lord, how has that drug lord atoned for anything?

If the drug lord believed that he deserved to be punished, and if someone else volunteered to take the punishment, then theoretically the drug lord will be profoundly grateful, especially if the punishment is to be execution. So God says that a punishment needs to be delivered, and that punishment is delivered to a volunteer, then the drug lord is free to "go and sin no more."

4) Death is a permanent state. Resurecting after three days is another way of saying that he didn't die for my sins.

Resurrection was the reward to Jesus for being the  Scapegoat and taking the rightly-deserved punishment on behalf of others.

Obviously, no doctrine can withstand 2000 years of meddling. Complicating the above is the notion that Jesus was God incarnate. Jesus was elevated from an ordinary but innocent man taking another person's punishment to being God himself doing what no ordinary human could possibly do--assume the punishment for all humanity. That it was God who both proscribed and accepted the punishment is definitely a head-scratcher. Also complicating the matter is that being God, presumably Jesus would know in advance he would be resurrected, which indeed does dilute the noble self-sacrifice. Some Christians cover this up by either emphasizing how horrible crucifixion was, or by claiming that being "separated from God" for three days was so awful to Jesus it's beyond our imagining.

With all of that said, I'll happily answer clarifying questions from you, DrZoidberg. What I absolutely will not do is try to justify any of the above to non-Christians in this thread--this is simply what I was taught but I no longer accept in the slightest, so go blame someone else if you're able to spot holes in my explanation. Nor will I engage with any Christians in this thread seeking to correct me about the basic facts of atonement. There are as many Christianities as there are Christians, and the only thing that all Christians agree on is that the majority of the others are doing it wrong.

Hope that helps.
 

Angry Floof

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Assuming the crucifixation as factual history is the problem.

Instead, view it as a constantly occurring event in all of our lives. Which is that we all suffer, and suffering provides the opportunity to review actions and decisions, some which will be found to be in error. This capacity to view, judge, and make determinations is a rather important part of our makeup. The values we distill through our experiences are more important than the experiences themselves, and persist as experiences fade. The resurrection demonstrates that.

Dying is not apt metaphor for health.

The metaphors of Christianity are hateful to the body. The "flesh” hinders your spiritual growth and you’re to “die” to it and become inhumanly spiritual until you rise above it all.

There are so many "shalt nots" in it. It's ascetic self-denial to the core.

A life-affirming therapy would go the other way around. Drop the schizotypal sense of separation from nature; where in Christianity "sin" is more a separation from an introjected father figure and what "he" wants for you. And learn to shamelessly be who you are as an earth-animal and throw off burdening crosses and inflated ideals that’d make you disappointed with yourself, your life, the world.

You can learn and grow without crucifying yourself. And life's not that much suffering. I have doubts about the whole "suffer to learn" stuff. A lot of learning is from curiosity, not from digging out of errors.

Christianity as an ugly metaphor for good things is quite a stretch.

Good post. This should be repeated on a daily basis. Christianity does not reflect either a useful understanding of humanness or a humane regard for it.

No one died. It's a story about a trick performed by a magical being. Humans really do die, no exceptions. We don't come back. We can't take three day death vacations and then magically return, refreshed and enlightened. (Well, we can, in a spiritual sense, but it requires neither actual death or magical beliefs. Christianity is antithesis to that kind of spiritual or psychological transcendence. The belief system, as it operates today in the US and elsewhere, includes everything you need to prevent such enlightenment.)

The crucifix is the most inhumane symbol among religions and other ideological conformist groups that worship their symbols. Even 'Muricans who want to force everyone to bow to the flag worship a symbol that contains elements of reality. We do have fifty states. We did have thirteen colonies. The colors represent values that are human in nature, not magical.

What's a cross got? Questionable evidence for starters, but even as purely a symbol, it's pretty heinous. If it represents dying to the self and selfish desires, there are much more humane and realistic stories and symbols that can reflect that quite well without needing blood or torture or murder to capture the experience as a symbol.

But no, they have been conditioned to obedience over conscience, conformity over courage, and an encyclopedic volume of various ghoulish and psychologically damaging bullshit about human behavior, bodies, minds, hearts, relationships, societies, and thought. They would like to stick with the easy, conditioned, literal beliefs that hijack fear and cognitive error, even if that means holding up a depraved act of horrific violence and murder as a banner of truth, while in the real world demonstrating the worst of human behavior and calling it "good."

Of course, if people freely, consciously, intelligently reasoned out their beliefs before settling into their truthiness, as opposed to the usual monkey-see-monkey-do methods of cultural development, there would be so few Christians in existence as to make them irrelevant to the world.
 

abaddon

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When you strip out the context of the story to the extent that you did with your example, you make the details of the crucifixion irrelevant.
Yes. The metaphor is disposable if you stray too far from the imagery of it, to turn it from an image of death to an image of life.

The crucifixion speaks volumes about Christianity’s basic attitude: Life sucks and you should want something else than it. There’s a promise of something else, your life's a trial to endure in preparation for the something else, so endure the horribleness of life and strive to deserve that something else.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Some years ago I decided to have someone beaten to death because I knew that that would solve my problems and everyone else's.

Now everything is better.
 

Horatio Parker

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Assuming the crucifixation as factual history is the problem.

Instead, view it as a constantly occurring event in all of our lives. Which is that we all suffer, and suffering provides the opportunity to review actions and decisions, some which will be found to be in error. This capacity to view, judge, and make determinations is a rather important part of our makeup. The values we distill through our experiences are more important than the experiences themselves, and persist as experiences fade. The resurrection demonstrates that.

Dying is not apt metaphor for health.

The metaphors of Christianity are hateful to the body. The "flesh” hinders your spiritual growth and you’re to “die” to it and become inhumanly spiritual until you rise above it all.

It's ascetic beat-yourself-up self-denial to the core.

A life-affirming project would go the other way around: Drop the schizotypal sense of separation that comes from the ancient soul/body dichotomy. "Sin" tends to foster that dichotomy. And sin as "separation from God" is a separation from an introjected father figure and what "he" wants for you; which is immaturity.

Life-affirmation would include shamelessly being who you are as an earth-animal. Throw off burdening crosses and inflated ideals that’d make you disappointed with yourself, your life, the world.

You can learn and grow without crucifying yourself. And life's not that much suffering. I have doubts about the whole "suffer to learn" and "life is a struggle" stuff. A lot of learning is from curiosity, not from shoving your way through hardships.

Christianity as an ugly metaphor for good things is quite a stretch.

I don't disagree, but I think your post depends on the traditional interpretation.
 

Horatio Parker

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To my mind, your examples, sarcasm aside, are more significant than vague and generic bullet points.

But no, no power there only because we didn't say "Jesus was real"?

I guess it has to be magical?

My point was that your example was basically "If you persevere through suffering, you'll end up better off". That's about as vague and generic a moral lesson as you can get and you can just plug any one of a billion different scenarios into that lesson and it makes the crucifixion itself completely pointless. I doubt you'd get many Christians who'd agree with the statement that the tale of Christ dying for our sins is the equivalent of a story about a squirrel needing to deal with a rainstorm in order to get some acorns for its kids to eat and they'd tell you there's actually more to it than that.

When you strip out the context of the story to the extent that you did with your example, you make the details of the crucifixion irrelevant. The general attitude with which Christians talk about the event implies that they see it as being relevant and not just some generic Aesop's Fable that was plugged into the story to pad the run time.

I'm not interested in Christians general attitude. I'd think that'd be clear.

And, not to knock your storytelling, I think the passion does a better job than your squirrel story. But keep at it.
 

abaddon

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I don't disagree, but I think your post depends on the traditional interpretation.
Is dying to the old self as part of the growing process of becoming less self-centered, less toddler-like, more expansive and capable and aware, a good thing? I would say so! But there’s so much ugly baggage in Christianity that you’ll never overcome. You can't save Christianity from Christians.

There are more apt images. Looking at nature (visible nature, not the bizarre phantasms of the dreaming mind or ancient myths) turns up plenty.
 

Horatio Parker

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I don't disagree, but I think your post depends on the traditional interpretation.
Is dying to the old self as part of the growing process of becoming less self-centered, less toddler-like, a good thing? I would say so! But there’s so much ugly baggage in Christianity that you’ll never overcome. You can't save Christianity from Christians.

I think it's an illustration of material vs intelligible. Material things pass, ideas don't. (or at least not in the same way)

There are more apt images. Looking at nature (visible nature, not the bizarre phantasms of the dreaming mind) turns up plenty.

Don't disagree, but "more apt" is in the eye of the beholder. It's whatever gets your juices going.
 

Tom Sawyer

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My point was that your example was basically "If you persevere through suffering, you'll end up better off". That's about as vague and generic a moral lesson as you can get and you can just plug any one of a billion different scenarios into that lesson and it makes the crucifixion itself completely pointless. I doubt you'd get many Christians who'd agree with the statement that the tale of Christ dying for our sins is the equivalent of a story about a squirrel needing to deal with a rainstorm in order to get some acorns for its kids to eat and they'd tell you there's actually more to it than that.

When you strip out the context of the story to the extent that you did with your example, you make the details of the crucifixion irrelevant. The general attitude with which Christians talk about the event implies that they see it as being relevant and not just some generic Aesop's Fable that was plugged into the story to pad the run time.

I'm not interested in Christians general attitude. I'd think that'd be clear.

And, not to knock your storytelling, I think the passion does a better job than your squirrel story. But keep at it.

But it was the Christian's interpretation of the crucifixion that I'm asking about with this thread. They say that it's some kind of meaningful event and everyone should be really impressed with and thankful towards Jesus for doing it. I've never heard a decent reason as to why.

- - - Updated - - -

It's a story about a trick performed by a magical being.

See, that makes sense. It also helps explain the whole "I shall return" bit that Jesus said. It was probably just a misquote of when he ended his set with "Thank you! I'll be back through town next month. Remember to tip your waitresses".
 

Horatio Parker

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I'm not interested in Christians general attitude. I'd think that'd be clear.

And, not to knock your storytelling, I think the passion does a better job than your squirrel story. But keep at it.

But it was the Christian's interpretation of the crucifixion that I'm asking about with this thread. They say that it's some kind of meaningful event and everyone should be really impressed with and thankful towards Jesus for doing it. I've never heard a decent reason as to why.

And I gave you one.

There are Christians with that understanding. Not many, I don't call myself one, tho I am in the sense that that was the tradition I was raised in. But I prefer the Greeks.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Is dying to the old self as part of the growing process of becoming less self-centered, less toddler-like, a good thing? I would say so! But there’s so much ugly baggage in Christianity that you’ll never overcome. You can't save Christianity from Christians.

I think it's an illustration of material vs intelligible. Material things pass, ideas don't. (or at least not in the same way)

There are more apt images. Looking at nature (visible nature, not the bizarre phantasms of the dreaming mind) turns up plenty.

Don't disagree, but "more apt" is in the eye of the beholder. It's whatever gets your juices going.
It's also about getting the most bang for the buck. Christianity is easy. Just say, "I'm Christian."
 

Tom Sawyer

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But it was the Christian's interpretation of the crucifixion that I'm asking about with this thread. They say that it's some kind of meaningful event and everyone should be really impressed with and thankful towards Jesus for doing it. I've never heard a decent reason as to why.

And I gave you one.

There are Christians with that understanding. Not many, I don't call myself one, tho I am in the sense that that was the tradition I was raised in. But I prefer the Greeks.

Even if so, it still doesn't deal with the original problem that the suffering was completely irrelevant. The suffering did not allow Jesus to accomplish anything which he could not have accomplished without the suffering and it didn't give him any insight, perspective or knowledge which he did not have before he pretended to let people hurt him. It's one thing to endure suffering as a necessary part of the path towards achieving a worthy goal but it's another thing to fake an injury for no damn reason whatsoever and then ask for applause for overcoming that injury which you never actually had.
 
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