Suffering and Sacrifice
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22-10-2014, 10:51 AM
Suffering and Sacrifice
In Judaism, the concept of a Messiah is not about saving us from original sin. My understanding is that the Jewish Messiah is supposed to bring world peace, not salavation from sin. In fact, Judaism rejects original sin. So I was wondering, since original sin is the excuse that Christians use to explain disease, poverty, natural disasters, evil, and just about anything that can be construed as "bad", how does Judaism explain these and reconcile them with a God that is supposed to be good?

Searching Google, I found this page which offers a few explanations. Among them is the idea that suffering is a purification for past sins. In that view, while it isn't a consequence of original sin, it is a consequence of our own sins.

Suffering and sacrifice are two things that have always really bothered me about religion. What is it with suffering that it is so common among various religions and about which believers simply accept it so readily? Even if we accept sin and an offended god as real concepts, why would suffering be a god's chosen remedy? An good god could surely find something else. How about being required to do some amount of good deeds to make up for the bad ones, for example? When some religious people say we "deserve" to suffer because we have sinned, they are really saying "it's what we get because God decided it's what we get in response to our sinning". They never ask why did God decide that?

And the same is true with sacrifice. What can slaughtering an animal, for example, possibly do to please a good and loving God? And yet sacrifice is so common among religions. Even in Christianity, Jesus is the sacrifice. I'm not sure about other Christian religions, but I know Catholics believe that Jesus is re-sacrificed at every Communion during mass. Without really knowing, I would guess that sacrifice probably came about as a concept back when humans had little else besides themselves and the food they could find to eat. So, when they wanted to offer something to share with their gods, food (i.e, the animals they killed and ate) would have been a logical choice. So back then, perhaps it made some sense more as a gift than a sacrifice. But somewhere along the line it turned into killing for killing sake and that somehow being pleasing to their god.

Some of you have probably already thought about this, but for me it was a new twist so that's why I decided to post it. When discussing suffering with theists, I usually get caught up in the points that all the suffering is totally out of proportion to Adam's and Eve's "sin" and that an omnipotent, all loving god wouldn't sit by and watch all the suffering without doing something about it. It hadn't occurred to me to question suffering as god's chosen remedy for sin. And the part about sacrifice seems to go hand-in-hand. This god must enjoy watching pain. I don't see another explanation.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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22-10-2014, 11:05 AM
RE: Suffering and Sacrifice
It is rather ironic that Paul asserts original sin, but the Jews that believe the same text utterly reject the concept.
The idea of sacrifice is totally derived from the pagan practices of that time, there is absolutely no reason for it other than the bible simply reflects the prevalent moral standards of that time.
YHWH did not lead them out of this barbarism, he reveled in it and told them to commit more acts of barbarism.
The idea that something should die because of something you did is just another example of their barbaric belief system.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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22-10-2014, 11:13 AM
RE: Suffering and Sacrifice
(22-10-2014 11:05 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  It is rather ironic that Paul asserts original sin, but the Jews that believe the same text utterly reject the concept.
The idea of sacrifice is totally derived from the pagan practices of that time, there is absolutely no reason for it other than the bible simply reflects the prevalent moral standards of that time.
YHWH did not lead them out of this barbarism, he reveled in it and told them to commit more acts of barbarism.
The idea that something should die because of something you did is just another example of their barbaric belief system.


I had to rep you for this great post! In fact, should have repped you long ago.

As for the OP.... Dont try too hard to make sense of God's motivations in the OT.
Dude was fire & brimstone all the way.
Check out Luis Black on youtube sometime for old testament explanation. You can thank me later.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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22-10-2014, 11:22 AM
RE: Suffering and Sacrifice
I've never understood why Jesus was considered a "sacrifice" and no theist has been able to grant a decent answer. He (according to infallible eyewitness sources) suffered for three days, arose from the dead, and then went to heaven. On the scale of human suffering, that ain't even close to the worst a person has endured. Additionally, since god is omnipotent, and Jesus is god/son of god/part of a trifecta, the outcome of the "sacrifice" was already known.

Suffering existed in this world long before religion came about, and will unfortunately continue to exist for the foreseeable future. But, if you're gonna make up stories about a loving, caring, all-powerful god, you have to eventually come up for reasons why suffering exists. The answers offered by religion range from insulting do downright ridiculous. Apples, talking snakes, devils and demons...

The Greeks explained suffering best... the gods were simply toying with us. Tongue

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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22-10-2014, 12:53 PM
RE: Suffering and Sacrifice
I forget which one of our theist guests here explained to us that suffering has to happen so that we can appreciate the beauty of heaven.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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22-10-2014, 01:14 PM
RE: Suffering and Sacrifice
(22-10-2014 11:05 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  It is rather ironic that Paul asserts original sin, but the Jews that believe the same text utterly reject the concept.

When I was a believer, I had always assumed Judaism and Christianity were mostly the same except for Jesus being the Messiah. I was quite surprised when I found out that what the Messiah was supposed to save us from were completely different. It makes it hard to understand how Christianity was able to take root when it flew in the face of what had been previously believed and what it was supposed to be building upon.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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22-10-2014, 01:16 PM
RE: Suffering and Sacrifice
(22-10-2014 11:22 AM)guitar_nut Wrote:  The Greeks explained suffering best... the gods were simply toying with us. Tongue
If it we knew this god was real, I couldn't see any other explanation that makes sense.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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22-10-2014, 01:16 PM
RE: Suffering and Sacrifice
As for sacrifices Jesus is the scapegoat (literally). It was quite common then to place your "sins" upon a goat and set it free thus your sins were taken away.

The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur (their most solemn) involves this "The term scapegoating originates from early religions, most notably Judaism. In an ancient Judaic ceremony, the sins of the people were placed onto a goat during the Day of Atonement, also known as Yom Kippur. The goat was then forced out of the village and away from the people or killed.

Isn't this just peachy? Religions have concocted all sorts of ways to "erase" your transgressions against other people and of course gods.

It seems that Christianity simply borrowed a concept from Judaism and replaced a goat with a man-god. Two-thousand years later many of us still think this makes perfect sense Facepalm

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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22-10-2014, 01:20 PM
RE: Suffering and Sacrifice
(22-10-2014 12:53 PM)Dom Wrote:  I forget which one of our theist guests here explained to us that suffering has to happen so that we can appreciate the beauty of heaven.

That's odd. Considering heaven is supposed to be so full of bliss and beauty that we totally relish in it, no longer want to sin even though we would still have the free will to do so, and would completely forget about or not care about friends and relatives burning in hell for eternity, but it takes suffering before we could really appreciate it. Overwhelming beauty suddenly sounds underwhelming. Or maybe I haven't suffered enough yet to appreciate it. Tongue

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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22-10-2014, 01:24 PM
RE: Suffering and Sacrifice
(22-10-2014 01:16 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Isn't this just peachy? Religions have concocted all sorts of ways to "erase" your transgressions against other people and of course gods.

And they don't involve the sinner taking responsibility for making up for his/her own sins.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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