Sacrifice
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15-06-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Sacrifice
Christians call Jesus's voluntary death a "sacrifice." As I see it, Christians can call what Jesus did whatever they'd like. However, it seems to me that what Jesus did was commit suicide with the knowledge that his death was temporary anyway. Given that death was final for Jesus, can it really be accurately labelled a "sacrifice"? Isn't a sacrifice a permanent thing? That is, something is given up with the expectation that it will never be returned in order that others may benefit. But that's not what is understood from Jesus's so-called sacrifice: his "bad weekend" (Julia Sweeney) resulted in his death, but he knew he'd be back and better-than-ever in a few days. So the ultimacy of what "sacrifice" implies has no muscle in the passion play.

More, is there any reason why God couldn't have resorted to a more sophisticated method than human sacrifice to rid the world of sin? I mean, Yahweh condemned Moloch for the demand of human child sacrifice (Lev. 18:21) but then turns around and feels free to sacrifice his own child! Talk about brain-contortions: why couldn't the all-knowing, all-powerful deity, Yahweh, come up with a better system than the one he roundly condemned?

Such oddities and blatant contradictions really drive home the point some atheists argue: that the Judeo-Christian God is a psychopath with blatantly capricious intentions, and cruel devices. More sophisticated lines of thought might question the veracity of the stories to begin with; i.e., that they were stories with grand embellishments written by people who didn't understand the events happening around them; so, the events in the stories are ascribed some kind of divine agency.

How do you tackle such obvious problems within scritpure? And what do such discrepancies do to your confidence in biblical inerrancy? Even more, how does such events reflect on God's moral character, in your opinion?

I've tried the questions above on a few of my Christian friends, and their automatic response is two-fold:

1. Jesus was an adult when he sacrficed himself, not a child;
2. Jesus sacrificed himself voluntarily, not against his will.

Fine: Jesus was an adult. No dispute there. The point, however, is that everyone is someone's child, including Jesus being God's child. And if it is that God is outside of time, or timeless, or what have you, then the approximate age of a person has nothing to do with the equation: how old does a person have to be in light of eternity to not be considered a young, or infant child? Whatever category or title we want to place on temporal values really means nothing in light of eternity. Ergo, Jesus's sacrificial death may as well have been like that of an infant child sacrificed to Moloch. Compared to eternity, his age really makes no difference.

And whether a religious sacrifice is voluntary or not, it is still a human sacrifice. Such measures are always reprehensible, and always have been. If a person's religious opponents practice human sacrifice, they are considered evil because they worship the wrong god. In cases where religious human sacrifice has not been practiced, onlookers are horrified to learn of others who do practice religious human sacrifice. But when it comes to Christians, suddenly there's an exception made; a special pleading, as it were. That is, Jesus's sacrifice was the one sacrifice to end all sacrifices -- except for the small fact that people still practiced religious human sacrifice long after Jesus was voluntarily killed.

So, again, I question God's omnipotence: if Jesus's sacrifice was supposed to be sufficient to end the need for sacrifice, why couldn't God intervene in the lives of the human victims of the Mayan culture? Was he disinterested in spreading his once-for-all gospel too quickly? Was he otherwise busy dealing with the mid-East? Perhaps it is that the Judeo-Christian God may just be a localized cult that received a lot of press, and spread more successfully than any other religion or myth?

I think these questions certainly need to be answered if there's to be any sensibility at all to the Christian claims of Jesus's divinity and soteriological utility.
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15-06-2011, 02:08 PM
RE: Sacrifice
I think it was a MrDeity sketch or DarkMatter2525 cartoon, but it asked the question "Why don't you just forgive everyone?" Why can't God just forgive, instead of making up this pathetic sacrifice story. I would be willing to kill myself if I were to save everyone from eternal damnation, and I would still do that even if I knew I would go to hell for eternity. Worship me.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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15-06-2011, 07:09 PM
RE: Sacrifice
The problem of sacrifice - human and other - has been with us from very early times. Most peoples have tried to end it at one time another, with one explanation or another of why the deity didn't want to drink blood anymore, but it never really went away. We still talk about 'the ultimate sacrifice' of soldiers who had no real choice in where they were sent or what idiotic orders they were given.
Because all patriarchs are like Abraham (There is a whole spiel about old men and young men, but let's take is read.) and Yaweh is just a bigger Abraham.

Gods always required something from us that we value: pretty lambs, fertile bulls, princesses, first-born sons. The idea is to get back from the gods something of even greater value - like rain, or averting the plague. A bribe. Baksheesh. Deeply ingrained concept in the human psyche.
So, the idea of this particular cessation to human sacrifice was: if the sacrificial victim is even more valuable than the usual - that is, not merely divine like the Egyptian model, but the only god's only begotten, specially for the purpose - we only had to do it the once. Everybody forgiven, no more sin. (Okay, so it didn't work to plan, but that was the idea.)

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15-06-2011, 11:46 PM
RE: Sacrifice
(15-06-2011 11:24 AM)Kthulu Wrote:  Christians call Jesus's voluntary death a "sacrifice." As I see it, Christians can call what Jesus did whatever they'd like. However, it seems to me that what Jesus did was commit suicide with the knowledge that his death was temporary anyway. Given that death was final for Jesus, can it really be accurately labelled a "sacrifice"? Isn't a sacrifice a permanent thing? That is, something is given up with the expectation that it will never be returned in order that others may benefit. But that's not what is understood from Jesus's so-called sacrifice: his "bad weekend" (Julia Sweeney) resulted in his death, but he knew he'd be back and better-than-ever in a few days. So the ultimacy of what "sacrifice" implies has no muscle in the passion play.

More, is there any reason why God couldn't have resorted to a more sophisticated method than human sacrifice to rid the world of sin? I mean, Yahweh condemned Moloch for the demand of human child sacrifice (Lev. 18:21) but then turns around and feels free to sacrifice his own child! Talk about brain-contortions: why couldn't the all-knowing, all-powerful deity, Yahweh, come up with a better system than the one he roundly condemned?

Such oddities and blatant contradictions really drive home the point some atheists argue: that the Judeo-Christian God is a psychopath with blatantly capricious intentions, and cruel devices. More sophisticated lines of thought might question the veracity of the stories to begin with; i.e., that they were stories with grand embellishments written by people who didn't understand the events happening around them; so, the events in the stories are ascribed some kind of divine agency.

How do you tackle such obvious problems within scritpure? And what do such discrepancies do to your confidence in biblical inerrancy? Even more, how does such events reflect on God's moral character, in your opinion?

I've tried the questions above on a few of my Christian friends, and their automatic response is two-fold:

1. Jesus was an adult when he sacrficed himself, not a child;
2. Jesus sacrificed himself voluntarily, not against his will.

Fine: Jesus was an adult. No dispute there. The point, however, is that everyone is someone's child, including Jesus being God's child. And if it is that God is outside of time, or timeless, or what have you, then the approximate age of a person has nothing to do with the equation: how old does a person have to be in light of eternity to not be considered a young, or infant child? Whatever category or title we want to place on temporal values really means nothing in light of eternity. Ergo, Jesus's sacrificial death may as well have been like that of an infant child sacrificed to Moloch. Compared to eternity, his age really makes no difference.

And whether a religious sacrifice is voluntary or not, it is still a human sacrifice. Such measures are always reprehensible, and always have been. If a person's religious opponents practice human sacrifice, they are considered evil because they worship the wrong god. In cases where religious human sacrifice has not been practiced, onlookers are horrified to learn of others who do practice religious human sacrifice. But when it comes to Christians, suddenly there's an exception made; a special pleading, as it were. That is, Jesus's sacrifice was the one sacrifice to end all sacrifices -- except for the small fact that people still practiced religious human sacrifice long after Jesus was voluntarily killed.

So, again, I question God's omnipotence: if Jesus's sacrifice was supposed to be sufficient to end the need for sacrifice, why couldn't God intervene in the lives of the human victims of the Mayan culture? Was he disinterested in spreading his once-for-all gospel too quickly? Was he otherwise busy dealing with the mid-East? Perhaps it is that the Judeo-Christian God may just be a localized cult that received a lot of press, and spread more successfully than any other religion or myth?

I think these questions certainly need to be answered if there's to be any sensibility at all to the Christian claims of Jesus's divinity and soteriological utility.

Hi Kthulu, I can tell you how the very silly concept of the sacrificial death of Jesus was introduced to Christianity. It was Saint Paul's idea. He was the invenor Of Christian theology.

Paul had an almost fanatical and morbid obsession with sin. He thought everyone was born with the stain of original sin, inherited from their parents. He thought sin offended Yahweh, and Yahweh would forgive people only if he was offered a blood sacrifice. This was a common belief amongst Jews of the time, which is why cattle and other animals were slaughtered on a gigantic scale in the Temple. Paul had a highly original and rather odd idea. He claimed Jesus was a blood sacrifice. He thought Jesus sacrificed himself so God would forgive men for their sins. This became known as the doctrine for the atonement of sin through the sacrificial death of Jesus. He then claimed Jesus rose from the dead, which proved God accepted Jesus' sacrifice. Allow me to cut and paste from my book....

"The Sacrificial Death of Jesus
Crucifixion was a dreadful and shameful death reserved for the worst criminals. The Romans used it to get rid of the worst criminals and as a warning to others that if you messed with Rome you paid the price. So people regarded anyone who had been crucified as a trouble causer. It was not something Paul was proud to advertise had happened to the key figure of the religion he was promoting. He couldn’t deny Jesus had been crucified, so needed a way to make his Gentile audience think of it as something more than the punishment of a troublesome Jew. The idea that Jesus was crucified to save people from their sins was his rather odd explanation. A lot of people have since accepted this unusual idea as the truth. Why?
Having the Son of God become human and relieve man of the burden of his sins was an attractive story. God was no longer the distant God of the Old Testament, the god of the Jews, but was someone who had become a human in the person of Jesus. This Jesus then took on the burden of man’s punishment. That turned him into a great guy, everybody’s best friend. Paul said that all that was needed was an unquestioning belief that this was how things were to gain a free pass to salvation. Churches have since saturated people’s minds with these ideas such that they have been stated as fact so often and for so long today’s Christians have just rather passively accepted them.

Yet in my opinion these are irrational arguments. Why would the Son of God need to sacrifice himself to appease his father? Why would faith in this sacrifice be a ticket for entry into heaven? Why should any thinking person accept Paul’s ideas about sin?"

Hope this helps, regards , mark fulton (see me at http://www.markfulton.org)
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16-06-2011, 12:40 AM
RE: Sacrifice
Some things are really hard to explain because they aren't based on anything logical. Same goes for the holy trinity. If you succeed in understanding that, it requires alot of illogical logic gods; 3 gods = 1 god = 3 separate entities that = the same 1 entity
The sacrifice of Jesus falls into the same category.

For me, it's like explaining how Santa Claus delivers presents through the chimney, even though most people don't have one, but the presents are still delivered. It takes alot of faith and irrational thinking to understand his deliveries.



About the malevolent God; yes, good'ol Yahweh tends to fool around with sacrifices. Not only did he fool us with Jesus (respawn! Big Grin ), he probably caused lifelong trauma for Isaac when he asked his dad Abraham to sacrifice him and then changed his mind and the last minute.

[Image: 760px-The_Sacrifice_of_Isaac_by_Caravaggio.jpg]

Pic: Stop stop! He was just kidding, LOLZ!

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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12-09-2013, 07:32 AM
RE: Sacrifice
A thing I've heard in a debate between a conservative and liberal Christian: "Aha, so the merciful God can't just forgive us. He is too low key for that. There is Miroslav Kalousek (former Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic) above him, who says 'Debts must be paid!'"
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12-09-2013, 08:03 AM
RE: Sacrifice
When I think of sacrifice, I tend to think of "I will go without, so that you may prosper"
A married couple are on a small plane that has engine failure with only one parachute.
The husband gives his wife the parachute, sacrificing his life so that she may continue on living.
(of course the pilot & other passengers were pissed as the woman jumped, but that's another story)

As I understand it (and I don't often understand christianity very well) before jesus, people were judged and given their actions in this life, sent to either heaven or hell by god. Jesus came along and said "Hey you murderers and rapists, You want to go to heaven ? All you have to do is believe in me and I'll get you free tickets. In order for me to get those free tickets, I'm going to have to endure some torture."

"I'm willing to endure the same kind of pain and agony that you have inflicted upon others so that your victims can spend an eternity with you, IN HEAVEN. Isn't that wonderful ? Go spread the good news"

I imagine jesus having the voice of TJ Miller in this last bit

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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12-09-2013, 08:09 AM
RE: Sacrifice
jesus didnt die that day, the guy in charge wat was his name again the roman put him down of the cross while he was still breeding and managed to let him escape west asia

that is why when his bitch came to weep on his tomb she found it open so he stayed there just before the dark for the show, and he appears behind her alive and she went with him, she was his wife

this is why too in coran so islamic scripture it is said of same god that jesus died very old that god let him live well till very late

it is all dirty lies for evil powers and its pleasures that sustain constancy of powers seats over true existence rights

dont ever think that anyone up need to forgive u anything, u dont matter in anyway here or anywhere even in truth u dont exist even me, obviously

liars they make u feel guilty for the futur they did for their seats, of their knowledge they know that people who would feel guilty are the people that are still connected with rights and these people must get tortured forever

bc any shit person like almost all preachers believers are they cant harm them bc they are alike

that is why satan is meant positively now as giving him everything bc god and him are alike, so inventing a way to push him aside by giving him a lot

only right people are meant for hell, we are the only ones that they can deal with as real shit bc not connected in depth with their positive wills
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12-09-2013, 08:52 AM
RE: Sacrifice
(12-09-2013 08:09 AM)absols Wrote:  jesus didnt die that day, the guy in charge wat was his name again the roman put him down of the cross while he was still breeding and managed to let him escape west asia

that is why when his bitch came to weep on his tomb she found it open so he stayed there just before the dark for the show, and he appears behind her alive and she went with him, she was his wife

this is why too in coran so islamic scripture it is said of same god that jesus died very old that god let him live well till very late

it is all dirty lies for evil powers and its pleasures that sustain constancy of powers seats over true existence rights

dont ever think that anyone up need to forgive u anything, u dont matter in anyway here or anywhere even in truth u dont exist even me, obviously

liars they make u feel guilty for the futur they did for their seats, of their knowledge they know that people who would feel guilty are the people that are still connected with rights and these people must get tortured forever

bc any shit person like almost all preachers believers are they cant harm them bc they are alike

that is why satan is meant positively now as giving him everything bc god and him are alike, so inventing a way to push him aside by giving him a lot

only right people are meant for hell, we are the only ones that they can deal with as real shit bc not connected in depth with their positive wills

Please teach us about " true existence rights ".

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-09-2013, 10:20 AM
RE: Sacrifice
(12-09-2013 08:52 AM)Chas Wrote:  Please teach us about " true existence rights ".

u r always eager of knowledge for the same evil reason which u r

true existence rights is nothing to know but all to admit the existence of what u know about

when u know smthg about a thing then that thing exist, and not ur knowlege to invent some fake existence from

the respect of what u know existing is the exclusive key to constant positive ends and freedom

that insistence to exploit what is known being by itself or alone is disgusting to an extreme edge that exhibit how far u cant ever b existing in anyways
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