Author Topic: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?  (Read 5177 times)

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Offline bahramthered

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #58 on: April 23, 2010, 03:36:58 AM »

evidences?
EVPs, ouija, demonic possessions, exorcising houses, recorded ghosts in video camera, sounds. Special tv programs of investigators of the paranormal and spiritual world, including Discovery Channel. If that isn´t evidence, I don´t know what it is. Many people investigate this spiritual realm by contacting them. What else is that if not evidence? Delusion? 10000000 peoples delusion and you don´t? You are far more believer than I am.

Don as someone who has investigated these things; including using an ouija bored in several "haunted' houses, recorded numerous weird photos, and spoke with something I can only define as a ghost. Do I get any kind of stature for this? I was curious I went there.

The kicker is christianity has never got a mention. No cross ever appeared. No evp ever mentioned. No mention of jebus. Nothing to do with any organized religion.

I once had an incredible session where I spoke at length to something. It was not physically apparent, but could move things and knock on surfaces, sometimes violently. It seemed to reject questions on religion. Shame the person it seemed to have been was such a good christian.

(twice in one night I brought this up. I'm gonna get hammered. again)

Online Don_Quixote

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #59 on: April 23, 2010, 08:20:04 AM »

evidences?
EVPs, ouija, demonic possessions, exorcising houses, recorded ghosts in video camera, sounds. Special tv programs of investigators of the paranormal and spiritual world, including Discovery Channel. If that isn´t evidence, I don´t know what it is. Many people investigate this spiritual realm by contacting them. What else is that if not evidence? Delusion? 10000000 peoples delusion and you don´t? You are far more believer than I am.

Don as someone who has investigated these things; including using an ouija bored in several "haunted' houses, recorded numerous weird photos, and spoke with something I can only define as a ghost. Do I get any kind of stature for this? I was curious I went there.

The kicker is christianity has never got a mention. No cross ever appeared. No evp ever mentioned. No mention of jebus. Nothing to do with any organized religion.

I once had an incredible session where I spoke at length to something. It was not physically apparent, but could move things and knock on surfaces, sometimes violently. It seemed to reject questions on religion. Shame the person it seemed to have been was such a good christian.

(twice in one night I brought this up. I'm gonna get hammered. again)

According to the non-believers your mind was playing tricks when you had these sessions. Would you admit you were being delusional about your experiences or you were really contacting ents outside of our realm?

Offline velkyn

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #60 on: April 23, 2010, 09:03:44 AM »
evidences?
EVPs, ouija, demonic possessions, exorcising houses, recorded ghosts in video camera, sounds. Special tv programs of investigators of the paranormal and spiritual world, including Discovery Channel. If that isn´t evidence, I don´t know what it is. Many people investigate this spiritual realm by contacting them. What else is that if not evidence? Delusion? 10000000 peoples delusion and you don´t? You are far more believer than I am.

Oh my bwahaahahahaahahaa ;D  That's sad. Really, really sad. Yes, I agree, you don't know what evidence is.  Not even remotely.  The Discovery Channel is sadly, pandering to a stupid public.  "spooky" sounds mean nothing.  IMO, people want to feel special and thus make these baseless claims.  People also really really want death not to be the end becuase they are scared.  Fear makes you do a lot of bizaare things. You claim you saw a ghost.  Of course, you have no objective evidence just like everyone else.  What of all of the billions of people who have never seen such things? I will not say that there is no possiblity of anything but there is little evidence, as curious as I find bahram's claims. Were any of those houses around Harrisburg, B?  I've never had an unexplainable experience and would honestly like to have one?  I would like to believe in something strange and wonderful but as it stands now, I can't.  There are some interesting claims about the Owen Group in their experiements on psychokinesis back in the 70's on how one can "create" what amounts to a poltergeist.  http://www.hauntmastersclub.com/MembersEditorial/group_pk.html  http://www.alibris.com/search/books/qwork/1286270/used/Conjuring%20Up%20Philip:%20An%20Adventure%20in%20Psychokinesis

Dominic
Quote
Making a sacrifice = doing something you'd rather not do for the sake of a greater good (especially for others).
To reinterate the question, what did Jesus sacrifice?  If he was who he said he was, he set up the requirements for "salvation".  There is no "rather not" since he was the ultimate determiner of what had to be done. 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline Vynn

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #61 on: April 23, 2010, 09:13:19 AM »
The only thing that makes jesus' sacrifice "special" is the mass public perception that it is so. Basically the same reason that Paris Hilton is famous.

Offline JesusHChrist

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #62 on: April 23, 2010, 09:24:56 AM »
Basically the same reason that Paris Hilton is famous.

Jesus made a home porno?
Love the Christian. Hate the delusion.

"you dick hole just go f**k your self in hell go to hell !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! damn iam a strong beliver in the christ and he is compbeled at you !!!!!!!! screw you baster !!!!!!!!" -- random Christian #1636

Offline Dominic

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #63 on: April 23, 2010, 09:33:10 AM »

evidences?
EVPs, ouija, demonic possessions, exorcising houses, recorded ghosts in video camera, sounds. Special tv programs of investigators of the paranormal and spiritual world, including Discovery Channel. If that isn´t evidence, I don´t know what it is. Many people investigate this spiritual realm by contacting them. What else is that if not evidence? Delusion? 10000000 peoples delusion and you don´t? You are far more believer than I am.

Don as someone who has investigated these things; including using an ouija bored in several "haunted' houses, recorded numerous weird photos, and spoke with something I can only define as a ghost. Do I get any kind of stature for this? I was curious I went there.

The kicker is christianity has never got a mention. No cross ever appeared. No evp ever mentioned. No mention of jebus. Nothing to do with any organized religion.

I once had an incredible session where I spoke at length to something. It was not physically apparent, but could move things and knock on surfaces, sometimes violently. It seemed to reject questions on religion. Shame the person it seemed to have been was such a good christian.

(twice in one night I brought this up. I'm gonna get hammered. again)

Bahram,

Do you think it was faked in some way ?


Offline Dominic

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #64 on: April 23, 2010, 09:40:58 AM »
'Sacrifice' is a word used by man to describe what Jesus did.

Most words used to describe Jesus/God will not be totally appropriate.  They are a best attempt by man to describe something outside of his common understanding.

So yes, it can be argued that God's experience would not actually be a sacrifice in the same way that word is used for human experience.

That aspect of the OP is acknowledged as more or less correct by this Christian.


Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #65 on: April 23, 2010, 10:08:59 AM »
So yes, it can be argued that God's experience would not actually be a sacrifice in the same way that word is used for human experience.
[/quote]

1 down, several millions to go....
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Woland

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #66 on: April 23, 2010, 10:35:50 AM »
Come on Woland. I won't expect you to surrender every point but you can surrender this one.

Consider it like a tab at a bar. You can either drink up and put in on Jesus's tab or pay your own bill but you can't expect it to go on the tab unless you ask.

Surrender this point? Are you insane? This is one of the most nonsensical excuses I've ever heard from any Christian.

Just so you know Wootah, this is one of the most nonsensical doctrines in your religion. There aren't truly adequate words to describe the level of "faith" (i.e. mindless acceptance) required to think that the "God died for our sins" doctrine is anything less than a ridiculous notion that was also found in previous religions which you know are false and were founded by humans, for humans.

Can anyone go to jail as a penalty for crimes you committed?

Even if they could, could it be called just by any stretch of the imagination?

No.

Why does BibleGod need to be fake killed by us in order to forgive us or pay the punishment for our sins when he's supposedly the one who made up the rules in the first place?

Why isn't he still in his own Hell? What could possibly be the point of a short trip to hell and then go back to heaven eternally?

Your "tab" analogy was ridiculous and failed on so many levels that it's incredible you don't understand this.

I'll even tell you a FEW reasons why this is the case:

-No one can just pay their own tab and just go to Heaven like anyone else. You have to put it on Jesus' tab or you'll be tortured eternally - according to ridiculous rules he supposedly set himself!

-Jesus paying for our drinks is hardly comparable to Jesus being punished for a small while instead (instead?!?!) of us being punished eternally just for failing to acknowledge BibleGod's existence. Jesus pays for a couple days for Christians' sins, but each non-Christian deserves to be tortured eternally? Pathetic.

-I never asked to "drink at the bar" in the first place, and if "drinking at the bar" means "sinning" in your analogy and I can't prevent myself from doing it, why the hell should I thank Jesus for forcing me to "drink" by creating us as sinners? "But Woland we have free will!" Great! Has ANY human except Jesus never sinned at all? Do you know why? Because if your God existed sinning would necessarily be an inbuilt flaw that your God created us with - obviously. It's not like some of us "sin" and some don't, according to your ridiculous theology. Besides, how about taking responsibility for your own actions? Christianity is ridiculous.
 
-Are you saying we can sin all we want and Jesus is somehow held accountable and punished in the past instead of us, but only if we acknowledge that he is God? What a laughable philosophy... I don't even know where to begin sometimes. How you can worship such a God is beyond me. But then again, people worship Allah and all sorts of demented deities while thinking that they're loving and merciful, so you're not an exception.

Woland
« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 10:54:38 AM by Woland »

Offline velkyn

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #67 on: April 23, 2010, 12:19:55 PM »
'Sacrifice' is a word used by man to describe what Jesus did.
Most words used to describe Jesus/God will not be totally appropriate.  They are a best attempt by man to describe something outside of his common understanding.
So yes, it can be argued that God's experience would not actually be a sacrifice in the same way that word is used for human experience.
That aspect of the OP is acknowledged as more or less correct by this Christian.
so considering this inability to actually make sense by God, a suposedly omnipotent being who evidently can't make itself understood, why believe any of it?  It all comes down to everyone claiming that they somehow "know" what God "really meant". 

as for wootah
Quote
Quote from: Wootah on April 22, 2010, 09:25:23 AM
Consider it like a tab at a bar. You can either drink up and put in on Jesus's tab or pay your own bill but you can't expect it to go on the tab unless you ask.
from this it seems that you, wootah, believes that people are damned for just being born in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Offline Tealeaf

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #68 on: April 23, 2010, 10:04:29 PM »
The 'process' he created himself....

Oh, oh no, he was talking serious when he killed himself to appease himself then revived himself! s**t, I'll remember that next time.

Nothing is impossible eh? Why can't I die and revive myself right here and now then??

Better person? How does bending your mind into some fucked up backwards nonsensical universe to accept a nonsensical "sacrifice" make anyone a better person? I have respect for the real people right here and now, or who died not long ago in real wars that people could see.... Not imaginary beings killing themselves for themselves to please themselves according to their own plans.

You quoted the bible to support a claim made by the bible. Epic failure.

DQ, are you like 5? Seriously, you people never sound older than the single digits in terms of age.

Not impossible to him. We don´t know if we will be able to do so in the future, who knows? Not me. I quoted just a thing Jesus said in the Bible, to justify that what he did on earth was true and real. I´m not offended by the age thing. It´d have to be something better than that to even tickle my nose. I´m not the one who tries to look smarter than others and losing my humble feeling.

So now you admit to not knowing if you'll get magical Jebus powers, but you know everything else preceeding this....based on....the bible.

You quoted the bible to justify what the bible says. Do you not see how utterly utterly STUPID and full of intellectual FAILURE that is? You do not quote the same book to support a MASSIVE claim as that book says. Try writing an essay for anyhing acedemic, hell even highschool (unless you live in the batshit insane bible belt I guess) while quoting ONE book only. See what happens....

A lot of people including me see no reason to appear humble here. You are boasting a particularly popular delusion as though it were fact and the sad part is that it is still acceptable in the main stream. Meanwhile, we all know that just like EVERY other religion man has made up, it will fade away and your cocmments will be laughed upon by the vast majority of the masses.

You have displayed that you don't even know what rational inquiry or the scientific method is. You have seriously quoted TV shows that have no other purpose other than to make money and entertain as evidence for supernatural quakery. This kind of idiocy alone is what makes many of us pretty edgy. There's a lot of dumb shit out there. You're embodying a great deal of it.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 02:04:59 PM by Tealeaf »

Offline Dominic

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #69 on: April 23, 2010, 10:25:23 PM »
'Sacrifice' is a word used by man to describe what Jesus did.
Most words used to describe Jesus/God will not be totally appropriate.  They are a best attempt by man to describe something outside of his common understanding.
So yes, it can be argued that God's experience would not actually be a sacrifice in the same way that word is used for human experience.
That aspect of the OP is acknowledged as more or less correct by this Christian.
so considering this inability to actually make sense by God, a suposedly omnipotent being who evidently can't make itself understood, why believe any of it?  It all comes down to everyone claiming that they somehow "know" what God "really meant". 


To answer 'why believe?', I have started a new topic 'God necessarily exists - by definition' -

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=13936.msg308829#msg308829


Offline bahramthered

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #70 on: April 23, 2010, 11:58:03 PM »
velkyn; Only thing I can suggest is try it. Probably spend a couple nights getting nothing. Then maybe you'll see something freaky some night that'll shake your reality up.

Domin
Bahram,

Do you think it was faked in some way ?



No. We tore the place apart looking for tricks. What ever we where talking to was quit willing to change position when we asked it move where it was knocking it's one knock for no, 2 for yes responses. We had it move to a kitchen table, scattered some salt across the table and watched as the salt danced when the table was knocked. We could feel the vibration as well. We moved the table as well and it continued.

Offline Immediacracy

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #71 on: April 24, 2010, 01:32:31 PM »
Also I don't really get what the point of surviving death was if he was just going to leave again anyways. "Look, I'm immortal, and I'm God, but instead of helping you or caring for you in person forever, I'll disappear again, leaving nothing but rumors and questions for people to fight over for centuries. Gotta go, but I'll be back, um, later to really show you what this God business is all about."
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler

Offline Fran

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #72 on: April 24, 2010, 10:22:37 PM »
Hello Woland...

First of all, it is difficult to take you or your question seriously when we can see from your own words that there is good reason to doubt that you are sincerely interested in your own question or in having a serious and rational discourse.

For example, when you start writing things like: "mindless followers"... "religionist"... "Christianity is nonsensical"... "stupidities"... "fake dying"... "eco-friendly crucifixion" etc, this is a huge red flag to any reasonable and thinking person that you really do not care about your question... or in any answer... or about trying to understand why Christians view Jesus' sacrifice to be so special.

And so, i wouldn't waste my time with someone who is not serious or sincere about having a rational conversation.  Instead, in the case that there are sincere people who might be looking for real answers and who might be reading this... it is for them that I will answer your question.  Not for you since we can all see (from your words) that you don't care and are not serious or sincere about wanting to know the answer.  This is for those that are sincere and looking for answers.

To understand what makes Jesus' sacrifice and REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross so remarkable, you first have to understand the huge gulf that exists between God and man.  This has nothing to do with the amount of pain or how long Jesus had suffered on the cross, but it has all to do with who Jesus is.  

Therefore, all the previous posts (and your own comments above) which talk about how much pain and the length of suffering Jesus went thru, are completely irrelevant and red herrings.

You see, whether you like it or not... many things and ideas and motivations in this world can only be understood by first establishing the context... the backstory... for the event we are looking at.  I think the scriptwriting and storytelling process in Hollywood is a very good example of what I'm talking about.  In a good movie and book... for your characters to be properly motivated to do things, the author or scriptwriter always needs to supply each character with a backstory or context which helps explain why a Character does something.  That's why a good actor will always ask himself, "what's my motivation?" as he reads the script and is being asked to do something and act a certain way.

So, with this in mind... if you want to understand why Christians find Jesus' REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross to be so remarkable and improbable, you first have to understand some things about God, Jesus, man, sin, justice, mercy, and love.  All these things give us the backstory, the context by which to understand Jesus' REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross.

Let's start with certain beliefs (from Christians) which makes up the backstory and context for the event on the cross.  1st... Jesus is God Incarnate.  He is fully man (physical nature) and yet fully God (spiritual nature).  Now, this is something that is hugely different from any completely human examples you can bring up.

For example, let's take a look at what you wrote: "I'm not Jesus, and I would very probably give my life to save humanity even if there WASN'T any Heaven. What gives?"  Now personally, I understand this sentiment because I once felt this way before I became a born-again Christian who has accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.

The willingness for humans (atheists or not) to sometimes sacrifice their own lives for another human is always remarkable and we often give such people awards and recognition.  Indeed, the Bible even says that there is no example of greater love than when a person voluntarily lays down his own life for another.  

But you see, Jesus was God Incarnate and you are not.  You... a human being... are willing to to give your life to save humanity (other human beings).  But Jesus, being God Incarnte, is not giving his life in the way you are.  He is God Incarnate.  As I said before, there is a huge gulf between God and man and I think the following comparison would give us an inkling of the enormity of what Christ did on the cross.

You said that you would probably give your life to save humanity... but would you give your life to save ants or cockroaches or tapeworms?  I dont' think so.  You see, since you yourself are a human being, you have a natural inborn, built-in, biological, and emotional connection with other human beings. But you don't have any such connection with ants or cockroaches or tapeworms.

And although no comparison can be perfect, I think the gulf between God and man is VASTLY more so, than between man and ants, cockroaches, or tapeworms. Even atheists who trumpet evolution will say that when humans lay down their life for others, they are merely acting on some evolutionary impulse to keep the human species going.  Dawkins will even call this motivation a type of "selfish gene".

And what about when parents lay down their life for their children?  Well, even animals will do this.  And so while we are humbled and amazed when a human does lay down their life for others, we can find biological and emotional and even evolutionary reasons for such actions.

But this is completely absent in the case with Christ.  What we see (the Christians that is) is God sacrificing His own begotten Son for HUMANS... not for fellow Gods.  Even King David (in the OT) was amazed that God would be willing to love us and pay attention to puny little humans like us... and he records it in Psalms.  "Who are we that You (God) would be mindful of us (humans)?"

Anyway... this only part of the backstory.  The other part of backstory is the belief (among Christians) that God is, by definition, complete... and therefore God does not need anything.  The moment God needs something, then that would mean He is not complete... and so that would mean that He is lacking in something, and therefore He would not be God.

And so God, being complete and not needing anything... does not need humans at all. I mean after all, what on earth would God need humans for if He already is complete?  Well the fact is (according to Christian beliefs which serves as the backstory and context here) God does not need humans at all.

Now think about that for a moment.  If God does not need us at all, then it is incredibly remarkable if He would be willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son (Jesus the God Incarnate) for humans that He does not need the first place!!!  

When humans lay down their lives for other humans, we can explain it in part thru some kind of "need"... whether it be an evolutionary "selfish gene"... a common bond between humans (which we see in the animal world)... emotional attachement... a built-in biological impulse seen in parents with their children... etc.

But God does not need us, and yet He allowed His only begotten Son to be tortured and then killed on the cross.  It is for these two reasons which Christians find Jesus REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross to be so remarkable and amazing.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with how much pain He went thru or how long the torture or pain was. Both are completely irrelevant.

What is also irrelevent is whether or not you accept that Jesus was God Incarnate or whether or not you agree with the Bible or agree with Christian theology.  Your opinion is completely irrelevant because that is NOT how you phrased the question.

You were asking cHRISTIANS... not athiests or non-Christians... why THEY (Christians) find the torture and death and sacrifice of Christ to be so special to THEM.

What could possibly be the motivation for a God to sacrifice His only Begotten Son on the cross when He doesn't need  humans and when the gulf between God and humans is so incredibly vast?  Love.  It's that simple.  If God is love, as Christians maintain (part of the backtory here), then what are a couple of the characteristics of love?  Unselfishness and sacrifice.

God does not need humans, and yet the sacrifice on the cross is a supreme example of unselfish love.  It was out of unselfish love that He was willing for Jesus to be sacrificed, even though He didn't need humans.  That is a perfect example of an unselfish act.

And what are humans that God would be mindful of them (as David asks in Psalms)?  Humans are not God.  There is not the same connection we see when humans lay down their own lives for other humans.  And yet, because of His love... being true example of unselfish and sacrificing (which is what true love is)... He died on the cross for us.

And so to sum up... it is within and because of the above backstory and context I have outlined above, why Christians think Jesus' sacrifice is so special.  And i think within that context (whether or not you believe in Christian doctrines or the Bible), Christians are correct for thinking Jesus' sacrifice as being very special.

Fran

« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 10:27:39 PM by Fran »

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #73 on: April 25, 2010, 02:02:00 AM »
...Jesus' sacrifice and REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross...
...Jesus' REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross ...
...Jesus, being God Incarnte, is not giving his life in the way you are.  He is God Incarnate...
...God sacrificing His own begotten Son for HUMANS...
...it is incredibly remarkable if He would be willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son

Fran.  Just one question:  where is Jesus now?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #74 on: April 25, 2010, 03:19:21 AM »
I think the gulf between God and man is VASTLY more so, than between man and ants, cockroaches, or tapeworms.

God is, by definition, complete... and therefore God does not need anything.  The moment God needs something, then that would mean He is not complete... and so that would mean that He is lacking in something, and therefore He would not be God.

And so God, being complete and not needing anything... does not need humans at all. I mean after all, what on earth would God need humans for if He already is complete?  Well the fact is (according to Christian beliefs which serves as the backstory and context here) God does not need humans at all.

And yet this complete and perfect god created a universe, created mankind, and took an active role in their development for hundreds of years.  He produced lengthy and detailed sets of rules, intervened time after time to send plagues, destroy cities, rips children apart, destroy their greatest works.... yes, it does indeed sound like a vicous child interfering with a colony of ants.  Who then lost interest and vanished from the scene, going from constant and direct interaction with his pets to disinterest and absence.

The point of your argument is that his last chosen means of interaction in some way proves how much he loves his little pets.  But for that to hold any weight, it must be shown first that the "sacrifice" made was in some way of import to that god - hence my previous question.  It also needs to be shown that this colossally powerful creature was externally restricted to this one, single means of "sorting things out" - that there were no other, better, ways of removing the errors that had entered his creation.  No better way of showing his love for his pets.

And it finally needs to be shown how a creature who is to us as we are to tapeworms is in any way capable of having a relationship with them - or vice versa.  How there can be any meaningful interaction between them.  How the actions, worship, and behaviour of one would mean anything to the other.  And how the "lesser" creature can make any possible guess as to the motivations and desires of the other, when the gulf between them is - accordin to you - so vast.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Dominic

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #75 on: April 25, 2010, 04:51:03 AM »
I think the gulf between God and man is VASTLY more so, than between man and ants, cockroaches, or tapeworms.

God is, by definition, complete... and therefore God does not need anything.  The moment God needs something, then that would mean He is not complete... and so that would mean that He is lacking in something, and therefore He would not be God.

And so God, being complete and not needing anything... does not need humans at all. I mean after all, what on earth would God need humans for if He already is complete?  Well the fact is (according to Christian beliefs which serves as the backstory and context here) God does not need humans at all.

And yet this complete and perfect god created a universe, created mankind, and took an active role in their development for hundreds of years.  He produced lengthy and detailed sets of rules, intervened time after time to send plagues, destroy cities, rips children apart, destroy their greatest works.... yes, it does indeed sound like a vicous child interfering with a colony of ants.  Who then lost interest and vanished from the scene, going from constant and direct interaction with his pets to disinterest and absence.


Anfauglir

Do you acknowledge that you are arguing against fundamentalism above (literal biblical interpretation) and not against Christianity or God ?


Offline kcrady

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #76 on: April 25, 2010, 05:31:12 AM »
So Fran, going to be intellectually honest and concede your defeat re: the debate-thread you left hanging?

I have no problem debating Kcrady and Anfauglir... but not in this forum... never again.   I couldn't even say anything during the beginning stages of the debate with them, without the moderators in here getting in the way.  And that was in the beginning stages.  Can you imagine what it would have been like further on down the line?  It would have been impossible.  Nope, that's not for me.  All I wanted was a drama free debate with Kcrady and Anfauglir.

But when I saw that things were degenerating into a circus, I just threw up my hands and walked away.  I'm not on here to play games.

Well, Fran, things here only degenerated into a circus when you donned a clown suit, hopped up on the trapeze, and started doing amazing twirls and backflips to avoid answering Anfauglir's question, then proceeded to ride around on the back of an elephant in an effort to evade the moderators' attempts to re-focus the debate, and finally, cornered, failing to fend them off with the whip and chair, stuck your head in the moderation system's mouth, so to speak, daring it to bite down.

If either Kcrady or Anfauglir would like to debate in private email, I have no problems with that.  But I will never again allow the moderators in here to twist things into a sideshow.

I don't really see any value in a secret debate.  While I would like to debate that topic with a worthy opponent, a zero-accountability playing field does not appeal to me, especially since you've demonstrated an extraordinary capacity for evasion combined with a willingness to simply run away when the going gets tough.  If there was some other forum, Christian or otherwise, that would permit me a level playing field to present my arguments, I'd consider that.  But I would expect a greater degree of integrity from you, especially if it was a Christian forum.

Hello [Fran]...

First of all, it is difficult to take you or your question seriously when we can see from your own [actions] that there is good reason to doubt that you are sincerely interested in your own question or in having a serious and rational discourse.

And so, i wouldn't waste my time with someone who is not serious or sincere about having a rational conversation.  Instead, in the case that there are sincere people who might be looking for real answers and who might be reading this... it is for them that I will answer your question.  Not for you since we can all see (from your [actions]) that you don't care and are not serious or sincere about wanting to know the answer.  This is for those that are sincere and looking for answers.

(substitutions in brackets mine)

To understand what makes Jesus' sacrifice and REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross so remarkable, you first have to understand the huge gulf that exists between God and man.  This has nothing to do with the amount of pain or how long Jesus had suffered on the cross, but it has all to do with who Jesus is.

>snip<

You said that you would probably give your life to save humanity... but would you give your life to save ants or cockroaches or tapeworms?  I dont' think so.  You see, since you yourself are a human being, you have a natural inborn, built-in, biological, and emotional connection with other human beings. But you don't have any such connection with ants or cockroaches or tapeworms.

And although no comparison can be perfect, I think the gulf between God and man is VASTLY more so, than between man and ants, cockroaches, or tapeworms. Even atheists who trumpet evolution will say that when humans lay down their life for others, they are merely acting on some evolutionary impulse to keep the human species going.  Dawkins will even call this motivation a type of "selfish gene".

And what about when parents lay down their life for their children?  Well, even animals will do this.  And so while we are humbled and amazed when a human does lay down their life for others, we can find biological and emotional and even evolutionary reasons for such actions.

But this is completely absent in the case with Christ.  What we see (the Christians that is) is God sacrificing His own begotten Son for HUMANS... not for fellow Gods.  Even King David (in the OT) was amazed that God would be willing to love us and pay attention to puny little humans like us... and he records it in Psalms.  "Who are we that You (God) would be mindful of us (humans)?"

How do we "know" this is true about Yahweh?  It's written in an anthology whose authors claimed (or had claimed on their behalf by later ecclesiastical councils of Rabbis or Bishops) that they were writing on Yahweh's behalf, as his official spokespersons.  In other words, their writings are in some sense directed ("inspired") by Yahweh.  The Biblical authors then, are representing themselves as Yahweh's press secretaries, or being represented as such by the aforementioned ecclesiastical councils.

Even if we try to be maximally generous and grant that the Biblical authors are, in fact writing as directed by an incorporeal intelligence and this intelligence fully endorses what they wrote[1]--so that we might imagine that after the last verse of the Book of Revelation there's a little clip in a Big Booming Voice that says, "I'm Yahweh, and I approve this message"--we still only have Yahweh's word that any of its descriptions of him are accurate. 

And that's being generous.  In reality, we only have the authors' word--and the word of the aforementioned ecclesiastical bodies who had the power to manipulate the texts in their own interests.  Given that the claim to be an Official Spokesman for the King of the Universe (either on the part of the original authors, or the ecclesiastical bodies) automatically conveys a great deal of real, temporal power over any community of people who believes the claim, we have every reason not to simply take Biblical teachings about Yahweh--in particular those that boast of how huge and infinitely splendid he is--uncritically at face value.

The books of the Bible are not, and make no pretense of being, unbiased sources.  They are advocacy of claims that, if believed, yield significant temporal power on Earth to Yahweh (if he exists) and/or clergy who represent themselves as his de facto Earth-based courtiers.  In short, the Bible should be read with the kind of skepticism we would reserve for a politician's campaign literature, or a government-run newspaper in North Korea.  That the Bible says Yahweh is incomparably greater than us is not in itself proof that this is so.

One quick and easy way to test such claims is to apply a very simple principle we use all the time in daily life: Actions Speak Louder Than Words.  Since the Bible is a pro-Yahweh biased source, we can assume that it would not slanderously impute false and/or unflattering actions to Yahweh.  Applying the "Criterion of Embarrassment,"[2] we can test Yawheh's portrayed actions in the Bible against Biblical and theological attempts to elevate Yahweh's status and see if the latter hold up.

Anyway... this only part of the backstory.  The other part of backstory is the belief (among Christians) that God is, by definition, complete... and therefore God does not need anything.  The moment God needs something, then that would mean He is not complete... and so that would mean that He is lacking in something, and therefore He would not be God. 

And so God, being complete and not needing anything... does not need humans at all. I mean after all, what on earth would God need humans for if He already is complete?  Well the fact is (according to Christian beliefs which serves as the backstory and context here) God does not need humans at all.

And here's where the wheels fall off.  To test the claim that Yahweh does not need human worship, we need simply observe how he's portrayed behaving when worship isn't forthcoming.  He acts like a cornered animal.  He seethes with wrath, threatening the most horrible imaginable punishments to those who fail to worship him.  "For the LORD[3] your god is a jealous god, his name is Jealous."  Jealous of what?  Other gods/goddesses receiving worship instead of him.  Other deities who ostensibly don't even exist

Now, if it was true that Yahweh did not need anything, human worship and obedience in particular, such jealousy is inexplicable.  If he was incomparably greater than human beings in every way, eternal, immortal, etc. there would be no reason for him to become furiously jealous of non-existent entities humans make up!  The very idea of an omnimax[4] Being seeking to boss humans around (telling them that certain parts of the manlybits have to be removed, not to eat pork and shellfish, not to make clothes of blended fibers and so forth, then repealing those sorts of rules but keeping other rules specifically regulating how human genitals may be used, etc.)--and exploding with vicious wrath when obedience isn't forthcoming--is self-refuting.  He would have nothing to gain from human obedience and worship, and nothing to lose from the lack thereof.

Yahweh's portrayed behavior indicates that he needs human obedience and worship very, very badly, and will resort to threats of eternal torture in order to get it.  For Yahweh's allegedly "inspired" spokespersons to attribute such things as jealousy and literally infinite cruelty to him as proclamations from his own mouth (or whatever he has in place of a mouth, being incorporeal...), as well as portraying him acting that way (e.g. genocide in the Hebrew Scriptures, throwing people into the Lake of Fire in the Book of Revelation) fulfills the Criterion of Embarrassment.  Biblical authors, presumably intending to impress people with Yahweh's goodness and perfection, would not impute such things to him if they did not reflect his actual nature--or their nature, and need for the obedience of other human beings.

Let us take a moment to consider the question of why someone might need or want human worship and obedience.  What is it for?  An all-powerful Being who could create a hundred billion galaxies with a thought, would have no use for it whatsoever.  If we look at all the other beings we know of who seek unconditional obedience[5] and/or worship (either worship of themselves, or of ostensibly imaginary deities with them as spokesmen for the Divine), the reason for it is self-evident. 

That's where their power comes from.

A king, dictator, or High Priest can only live in splendor, have palaces or pyramids built for his glory, order armies to march, have his enemies killed or tortured, etc. if he has access to human obedience.  Without it, he's just one person no more powerful than any other.  An Emperor can survive having a kid point out that he's got no clothes.  He can just have the kid hung in a gibbet from the palace walls.  The real threat he faces is for anyone to dispute that the naked guy ought to be regarded as an "Emperor" and obeyed as such.

In Yahweh's case, we have no evidence that he has any power whatsoever apart from human obedience, even as much strength as a single man.[6]  Whatever Yahweh might be--whether he is an egregore or an infectious meme or something else--he clearly needs human obedience if he wants to have any cathedrals or temples or dungeons or crusading armies built on his behalf.   Likewise for those human beings who would put themselves in the place of courtiers and representatives of the King of the Cosmos and receive obedience in his stead.

Yahweh's portrayed actions in the Bible prove, beyond doubt that he is not complete or powerful without human worship and obedience, and therefore, by your definition, "He would not be God" i.e., not an omnimax.

Now think about that for a moment.  If God does not need us at all, then it is incredibly remarkable if He would be willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son (Jesus the God Incarnate) for humans that He does not need the first place!!!

Indeed.  What you're ignoring here is that the Blood Sacrifice of Jesus is part of a whole-system that is inconsistent with the claim that Yahweh/Jesus does not need humans.  A central point of Christian doctrine is that the Blood Sacrifice of Jesus is the only way of "salvation" from "sin."  There is no other way that Yahweh can forgive "sins" and allow someone into the blissful eternity he promises.  Omnipotence, by definition, cannot be constrained to a single option.  Therefore, either Yahweh chose to make the Blood Sacrifice by torture of an (ostensibly) innocent virgin followed by ritual cannibalism of the virgin's flesh and blood the only way to enter into a positive relationship with him and avoid everlasting torment, or this rather Satanic mechanism was imposed on him by "rules" not of his making.

If the latter, then he is not omnipotent, since other forces ("sin," "Satan," some un-chosen element of his own nature that makes this a requirement, etc.) can constrain him.  If the former, then he is not omnibenevolent.  In either case, he is not "God" as defined by traditional monotheistic theology.

Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gesthemane--assuming he meant it sincerely and not as some sort of esoteric kabuki theater--lends weight to the view that the whole Blood Sacrifice thing is a matter of choice, rather than inviolable cosmological rules.  For Jesus to pray asking that "this cup" of blood be taken from him assumes that there's a choice involved.  If Yahweh had no choice in the matter for whatever reason, it makes no sense for Jesus to beseech him to change his mind!  Thus, "the other side of the Cross" is that Yahweh wanted the whole gruesome Mel Gibson spectacle of torture and Blood Sacrifice and would accept no substitute.

Christians may want to view the Cross as a symbol of Yahweh's great love, but it's also a symbol of his great hate and bloodthirsty savagery.  Note that Jesus did not have the option of dying painlessly from an aneurysm or a quick run-over by a chariot.  It's all about the blood, the blood, the blood.  Now, consider the enormous moral inversion that's necessary in order to become a Christian: you have to be willing to profit from the torture-sacrifice of an innocent virgin, willing to eat his flesh and drink his blood, to wash yourself in his blood so that, like a vampire, you can gain immortality.

What could possibly be the motivation for a God to sacrifice His only Begotten Son on the cross when He doesn't need  humans and when the gulf between God and humans is so incredibly vast?  Love.  It's that simple.  If God is love, as Christians maintain (part of the backtory here), then what are a couple of the characteristics of love?  Unselfishness and sacrifice.

Again, you're ignoring the whole-system.  Who demanded Blood Sacrifice, made it a requirement for "salvation?"  Yahweh.  Who decrees that the punishment for not accepting the vampiric gift is everlasting torture?  Yahweh.  Whose atavistic bloodlust has to be sated in order for "salvation" to take place?  Yahweh's.  And if Jesus = Yahweh, then it's his bloodlust and lust for power that's being sated.  Just as a vampire creates a new vampire by biting a person and having that person drink their blood (and, in some versions of the vampire myth, gaining control of the new vampire thereby), Count Jesus feeds his blood to his followers, making them vampires in his image.

Furthermore, as this magnificent post by DTE shows, there is much Biblical evidence that Jesus went to the Cross for his own glory, rather than any demonstration of self-sacrificial love. 
 1. And the various processes of editing and copying of copies of copies of copies, translations of translations, etc. between the original autographs and us
 2. That is, elements in a text which are an embarrassment to the author's viewpoint may be given additional credibility because the author would have no motivation to make them up.
 3. The Tetragrammaton, that is, YHWH, Yahweh
 4. Possessing all of the "omni-" capacities Abrahamic theologians attribute to "God," omniscience, omnipotence, etc..
 5. I'm not talking about a parent needing obedience from a child, since this is a limited, conditional necessity for the child's safety, and fades as the child matures.  For Christians, there is no point at which a human, angel, etc. would "grow up" and no longer be expected to obey Yahweh.
 6. Let's see if he can kill me before I get this post written, or stop me in any other way...
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #77 on: April 25, 2010, 05:52:31 AM »
Anfauglir
Do you acknowledge that you are arguing against fundamentalism above (literal biblical interpretation) and not against Christianity or God ?

I could do - but that would force an admission by the other side that the Bible can NOT be taken literally and requires "interpretation" - and once you start down that slope there is no way you can say anything about the god of the Bible that cannot be dismissed as "incorrect interpretation". 

Of course, at that point each Christian pulls out their "magic decoder ring"TM that "proves" that only THEY have the correct interpretation.  Unfortunately every single one has their own decoder ring, so there is no way of knowing which one is right.

By the by - shouldn't your question have been "you are arguing against fundamentalism above (literal biblical interpretation) ...and not against Christianity or the Universe?"
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Fran

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #78 on: April 25, 2010, 06:23:59 AM »
...Jesus' sacrifice and REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross...
...Jesus' REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross ...
...Jesus, being God Incarnte, is not giving his life in the way you are.  He is God Incarnate...
...God sacrificing His own begotten Son for HUMANS...
...it is incredibly remarkable if He would be willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son

Fran.  Just one question:  where is Jesus now?

After Jesus suffered horrible torture and then died a REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross, He now sits at the right hand of God as part of the Trinity.

Jesus never had to come to earth in the first place and suffer the torture and REAL PHYSICAL DEATH since God does not need us, nor did He occupy a human body before He came down here as God Incarnate and therefore there was NO natural, built-in, biological based, evolutionary impulse, emotional connection and bond which humans feel for each other by virtue of them being from the same species.

And it's these two facts (according to Christians) which is the crucial point and backstory that helps us to understand why Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was so special to Christians.

Fran

« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 06:34:12 AM by Fran »

Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #79 on: April 25, 2010, 08:13:46 AM »
Why is it that religion needs to define words differently than a dictionary would?
At least it seems like that to me:

To understand what makes Jesus' sacrifice and REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross so remarkable, you first have to understand the huge gulf that exists between God and man.  This has nothing to do with the amount of pain or how long Jesus had suffered on the cross, but it has all to do with who Jesus is.
Take this. Sacrifice has nothing to do with whatever was sacrificed? What, specifically does matter about your emphasized "real physical death" when dealing with a being who knows exactly that death is not the end in any case?

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Therefore, all the previous posts (and your own comments above) which talk about how much pain and the length of suffering Jesus went thru, are completely irrelevant and red herrings.
They would only be red herrings if they were intentionally misleading. They are not. We seriously don't get it.

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Let's start with certain beliefs (from Christians) which makes up the backstory and context for the event on the cross.  1st... Jesus is God Incarnate.  He is fully man (physical nature) and yet fully God (spiritual nature).  Now, this is something that is hugely different from any completely human examples you can bring up.
Never mind that the trinitarian view is and was under discussion, a sacrifice is that which is sacrificed, not that which it's sacrificed for. If you sacrifice your life for an ant or an organic molecule even, your sacrifice is just as big as if you had sacrificed your life to save a human being. Motivation doesn't enter into it.
And we are talking about someone here who knew that what he sacrificed was, as you said, merely his real physical self, which he could and can reinstate at will - or forego the whole process by simply forgiving the sins.

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But this is completely absent in the case with Christ.  What we see (the Christians that is) is God sacrificing His own begotten Son for HUMANS... not for fellow Gods.  Even King David (in the OT) was amazed that God would be willing to love us and pay attention to puny little humans like us... and he records it in Psalms.  "Who are we that You (God) would be mindful of us (humans)?"
What the result of a sacrifice is and why it was made has no bearing whatsoever as to how big it was, how much was sacrificed.

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Anyway... this only part of the backstory.  The other part of backstory is the belief (among Christians) that God is, by definition, complete... and therefore God does not need anything.  The moment God needs something, then that would mean He is not complete... and so that would mean that He is lacking in something, and therefore He would not be God.
That's just obviously circular.

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Now think about that for a moment.  If God does not need us at all, then it is incredibly remarkable if He would be willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son (Jesus the God Incarnate) for humans that He does not need the first place!!!
Yes, I find that interpretation of the story remarkable. Just like one might find it remarkable that another may lay down their life for an organic molecule. This, again, has to do with motivation, not what was sacrificed.

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But God does not need us, and yet He allowed His only begotten Son to be tortured and then killed on the cross.  It is for these two reasons which Christians find Jesus REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross to be so remarkable and amazing.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with how much pain He went thru or how long the torture or pain was. Both are completely irrelevant.
I agree with that, but would like to reiterate the question: "What did god/Jesus sacrifice?"

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You were asking cHRISTIANS... not athiests or non-Christians... why THEY (Christians) find the torture and death and sacrifice of Christ to be so special to THEM.
True, and I for one honestly appreciate your answer.

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What could possibly be the motivation for a God to sacrifice His only Begotten Son on the cross when He doesn't need  humans and when the gulf between God and humans is so incredibly vast?  Love.  It's that simple.  If God is love, as Christians maintain (part of the backtory here), then what are a couple of the characteristics of love?  Unselfishness and sacrifice.
Wouldn't the need for acts of love make god incomplete?
Besides, love can be very easily interpreted as a product of evolution pressures, just as all other acts of compassion. So either god's love is different from human love, best denoted with a different word (and a different definition); or else the love humans sacrifice themselves over is the same as god's.
And again, motivation is irrelevant to the OP question. What god wants is not directly related to what he was prepared to give in comparison.

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God does not need humans, and yet the sacrifice on the cross is a supreme example of unselfish love.  It was out of unselfish love that He was willing for Jesus to be sacrificed, even though He didn't need humans.  That is a perfect example of an unselfish act.
Every sacrifice of life is an unselfish act unless done for reasons of honor or other ego reasons. Evolution merely explains how unselfishness could develop.

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And so to sum up... it is within and because of the above backstory and context I have outlined above, why Christians think Jesus' sacrifice is so special.  And i think within that context (whether or not you believe in Christian doctrines or the Bible), Christians are correct for thinking Jesus' sacrifice as being very special.
No, you explained why the motivation is regarded as special.
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #80 on: April 25, 2010, 10:08:47 AM »
bm
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Fran

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #81 on: April 25, 2010, 12:13:38 PM »
Hello Noman Peopled...

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Noman Peopled
Why is it that religion needs to define words differently than a dictionary would?
At least it seems like that to me:

LOL.  No way do i think this is true.  It is I who always has to give the dictionary definitions to the non-believers in here to clear things up. I'm having to repeatedly do this time and again.

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Fran
To understand what makes Jesus' sacrifice and REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross so remarkable, you first have to understand the huge gulf that exists between God and man.  This has nothing to do with the amount of pain or how long Jesus had suffered on the cross, but it has all to do with who Jesus is.

Noman Peopled
Take this. Sacrifice has nothing to do with whatever was sacrificed? What, specifically does matter about your emphasized "real physical death" when dealing with a being who knows exactly that death is not the end in any case?

???? The fact that I needed to emphasize the word "physical death" should have been enough to answer your question.   The person who started this thread was using the words "fake dying".  I countered with the words "real physical death" to emphasize that Jesus' death on the cross was not fake dying but a real, genuine physical death.

If Jesus was fake dying, then where is He?

Jesus' sacrifice was voluntarily and prematurely giving up his earthly, physical, biological life.  That is what death means.  Are you using the word death differently than I am?  Death means the cessastion of all physical, biological functions.  That is what death is.  And that is what Christ sacrificed and suffered on the cross..  it was his life... his biological, physical life which he sacrificed and gave up.

Using your logic, then you seem to want to suggest that Christians don't believe that death occurs.  But I can't believe you are saying this.  Of course Christians believe in death.  It is the death OF THE PHYSICAL BIOLOGICAL BODY that Christians believe in.     But Christians also believe that we continue to exist in the spiritual realm.  It is our soul that continues to live... not the present bodies we inhabit now.

Isn't this clear?  If not, then I apologize.

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Fran
Therefore, all the previous posts (and your own comments above) which talk about how much pain and the length of suffering Jesus went thru, are completely irrelevant and red herrings.

Noman Peopled
They would only be red herrings if they were intentionally misleading. They are not. We seriously don't get it.

Fine, for those of you who seriously don't get it, then your comments (about the pain and suffering of Christ) are irrelevant.  For those of you did get it, then your comments would be both irrelevant and red herrings.

Although one can't help but ask the question: If you seriously don't get it, then why would you have uncritically assumed that the importance and specialness of Christ's death on the cross had mainly to do with the amount of pain and the  length of suffering?

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Fran
Let's start with certain beliefs (from Christians) which makes up the backstory and context for the event on the cross.  1st... Jesus is God Incarnate.  He is fully man (physical nature) and yet fully God (spiritual nature).  Now, this is something that is hugely different from any completely human examples you can bring up.

Noman Peopled
Never mind that the trinitarian view is and was under discussion, a sacrifice is that which is sacrificed, not that which it's sacrificed for. If you sacrifice your life for an ant or an organic molecule even, your sacrifice is just as big as if you had sacrificed your life to save a human being. Motivation doesn't enter into it.

I don't get it.  I seriously don't get it.

Look again at Woland's opening statement... which I was responding to.  Where on earth does Woland talk about the "trinitarian view"?  Indeed, Woland doesn't even mention the word "trinitarian".  So I seriously don't get your point here.  I don't even understand how the "trinitarian view" would be relevant in this discussion.

As for your statement: "a sacrifice is that which is sacrificed, not that which it's sacrificed for"... I don't understand your point here.  Woland's question was this: " What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?".   Well, the wording of this quesion means that motivation would enter into it.  Why?  Because the word "special" is a value judgment word.  It is presuming that Christians are placing a premium value on Jesus' sacrifice.  And one very obvious way to measure "value" is to look at motivation.   Motivation tells us how much you value something.  Motivation measures the "value" quotient.  Motivation is the guage.    For example... if you value life, then you will motivated to protect it and cherish it.  If you don't value life, or you devalue life, then you won't be motivated to cherish it or protect it.  This can also be seen in relationships, money, materialism, etc.   The value we assign to something motivates us in a particular direction.

How else would measure the word "special"?  What makes something more special than something else?  What critieria do you use?

As for your other statement: "If you sacrifice your life for an ant or an organic molecule even, your sacrifice is just as big as if you had sacrificed your life to save a human being. Motivation doesn't enter into it" , I think I agree.  But the point was that neither you nor Woland would sacrifice your life for an ant or a cockroach or a tapeworm.  Why?  Obvously for the reasons I outlined in my post.

And therefore, since the gulf between God and man is FAR MORE VAST AND WIDE than between man and a cockroach... then Jesus' sacrifice (Him being God Incarnate) is indeed remarkable and amazing.

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Noman Peopled
And we are talking about someone here who knew that what he sacrificed was, as you said, merely his real physical self, which he could and can reinstate at will - or forego the whole process by simply forgiving the sins.

I still don't understand what you are driving at.  First of all... Christians believe that everyone who dies a physical death will continue to live on spiritually.  But the important point I was trying to make was that Jesus HAD NO NEED to create us, let alone die for our sins.  Jesus, being God Incarnate is complete and so is not in need of anything.  Jesus did not need to lower himself to our level to die for us when He doesn't need us and when He gets absolutely no benefit from it.  

Jesus has no need and gets no benefit from lowering Himself to our level and die for our sins in place of us dying for our own sins.  But when Woland is willing to die for humans, he is dying for fellow humans... he is dying for his species, and I listed all the possibilities of benefits and needs why a human would die for another human.  None of this applies with Jesus though.  Jesus didn't die for other Gods.  Jesus didn't die for His own species.  And it's that vast gulf and difference which is very important in understanding why Christians think that Jesus' sacrifice as being special.

Secondly, for Jesus to forego the whole process by simply forgiving the sins instead of dying for them only shows your lack of understanding of what sin is... what justice means... what mercy means... what the law means... what penalty means... what holy means... what rigtheousness means... and what love means in the Bible.   This statement of yours is a deep subject... but I don't think it is relevant to Woland's opening statement.

If you want... as a seperate issue... for me to go over why God cannot logically have simply forgiven sins instead of going to the cross... then I will be happy to do that with you.

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Fran
But this is completely absent in the case with Christ.  What we see (the Christians that is) is God sacrificing His own begotten Son for HUMANS... not for fellow Gods.  Even King David (in the OT) was amazed that God would be willing to love us and pay attention to puny little humans like us... and he records it in Psalms.  "Who are we that You (God) would be mindful of us (humans)?"

Noman Peopled
What the result of a sacrifice is and why it was made has no bearing whatsoever as to how big it was, how much was sacrificed.

I really have a difficult time understanding your words.  

To me, by showing that Jesus was willing to lower himself from his level as God and to die for us puny humans when there is no personal need or personal benefit for Him to do so... this ANSWERS the question of how much was sacrificed.  How else would you measure "the how much" part of your question?  

To me... it appears that you are trying to say that when a person gives up his life for a human being... it has the EXACT same weight and meaning and force and value and worth as when a person gives up his life for a cockroach.  Is this what you are trying to suggest?

If you are saying that (and I may have misunderstood you)... then the fact that you won't find anyone dying for a cockroach only underscores the opinion of everyone that the worth and value of such a sacrifice is not equal.  Dying for a fellow human being is more valuable and more special than dying for a cockroach.  A person dying for another will often be recognized and lauded as a hero... not so for someone who would die for a cockroach.  This shows that a value judgment is being made about what is special and what is not.  And Woland's opening statement is specifically using the word "special".

As for the motivation and why the sacrifice was made, that answers the question of why Christians view Jesus' death as being SPECIAL.  Special is a value judgment.  The value we place on something or view an act.

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Fran
Anyway... this only part of the backstory.  The other part of backstory is the belief (among Christians) that God is, by definition, complete... and therefore God does not need anything.  The moment God needs something, then that would mean He is not complete... and so that would mean that He is lacking in something, and therefore He would not be God.

Noman Peopled
That's just obviously circular.

How so?

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Fran
Now think about that for a moment.  If God does not need us at all, then it is incredibly remarkable if He would be willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son (Jesus the God Incarnate) for humans that He does not need the first place!!!

Noman Peopled
Yes, I find that interpretation of the story remarkable. Just like one might find it remarkable that another may lay down their life for an organic molecule. This, again, has to do with motivation, not what was sacrificed.

And again, Woland used the word "special".  And it's the motivation for making a sacrifice which tells us how special a sacrifice is.  To me, a sacrifice made for selfish and needy reasons makes the sacrifice less special than a sacrifice made for completely unselfish reasons where there is no personal gain or need to make the sacrifice in the first place.

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Fran
But God does not need us, and yet He allowed His only begotten Son to be tortured and then killed on the cross.  It is for these two reasons which Christians find Jesus REAL PHYSICAL DEATH on the cross to be so remarkable and amazing.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with how much pain He went thru or how long the torture or pain was. Both are completely irrelevant.

Noman Peopled
I agree with that, but would like to reiterate the question: "What did God/Jesus sacrifice?"

???  Woland's question is asking what was special about Jesus' sacrifice.  Not what He sacrificed... but what made the sacrifice special.  And I think I've answered this.

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Fran
You were asking CHRISTIANS... not athiests or non-Christians... why THEY (Christians) find the torture and death and sacrifice of Christ to be so special to THEM.

Noman Peopled
True, and I for one honestly appreciate your answer.

And I honestly appreciate your questions.

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Fran
What could possibly be the motivation for a God to sacrifice His only Begotten Son on the cross when He doesn't need  humans and when the gulf between God and humans is so incredibly vast?  Love.  It's that simple.  If God is love, as Christians maintain (part of the backtory here), then what are a couple of the characteristics of love?  Unselfishness and sacrifice.

Noman Peopled
Wouldn't the need for acts of love make God incomplete?

??? I never said in the above statement that God NEEDED acs of love make Him complete.   He does acts of love NOT because He needs to, but because it flows from His very being... which is love itself.  The moment someone does an act of love BECAUSE THEY NEED TO, then they are doing it for selfish reasons.  And true love is never selfish.

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Noman Peopled
Besides, love can be very easily interpreted as a product of evolution pressures, just as all other acts of compassion. So either God's love is different from human love, best denoted with a different word (and a different definition); or else the love humans sacrifice themselves over is the same as God's.

I do think God's love is different from human love... in the sense of degree at the very least.  God's love is unconditional and unselfish and full of sacrifice.  A human's love on the other hand is more selfish and needy... if for no other reason than it's a product of evolution pressures as you wrote above.  

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Noman Peopled
And again, motivation is irrelevant to the OP question. What God wants is not directly related to what he was prepared to give in comparison.

I disagree and I think I adequately responded to this observation of yours.

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Fran
God does not need humans, and yet the sacrifice on the cross is a supreme example of unselfish love.  It was out of unselfish love that He was willing for Jesus to be sacrificed, even though He didn't need humans.  That is a perfect example of an unselfish act.

Noman Peopled
Every sacrifice of life is an unselfish act unless done for reasons of honor or other ego reasons. Evolution merely explains how unselfishness could develop.

Evolution is itself a selfish process.  An completely selfish process is not going to give rise to unselfishness.   If a person dies for another person because they were prompted by the "selfish gene" to promote and ensure the species surivival, then the sacrifice was ultimately done for selfish reasons.  The same with a parent sacrificing their life for their children.  Or someone sacrificing their life for their country.  There are other reasons why a person might sacrifice their life for another person.. and I already listed them.  Evolution was not just one possibility.

And again, the fact that someone would sacrifice their life for another person... but NEVER do so for a cockroach... shows very plainly that there is a selfish motive going on.

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Fran
And so to sum up... it is within and because of the above backstory and context I have outlined above, why Christians think Jesus' sacrifice is so special.  And i think within that context (whether or not you believe in Christian doctrines or the Bible), Christians are correct for thinking Jesus' sacrifice as being very special.

Noman Peopled
No, you explained why the motivation is regarded as special.

No, I think I was showing that it's the motivation which helps us determine which sacrifice was more special than another sacrifice.

Take Care
Fran
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 12:15:24 PM by Fran »

Offline Agamemnon

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #82 on: April 25, 2010, 12:56:44 PM »
Hello Woland...

First of all, it is difficult to take you or your question seriously when we can see from your own words that there is good reason to doubt that you are sincerely interested in your own question or in having a serious and rational discourse.

For example, when you start writing things like: "mindless followers"... "religionist"... "Christianity is nonsensical"... "stupidities"... "fake dying"... "eco-friendly crucifixion" etc, this is a huge red flag to any reasonable and thinking person that you really do not care about your question... or in any answer... or about trying to understand why Christians view Jesus' sacrifice to be so special.

And so, i wouldn't waste my time with someone who is not serious or sincere about having a rational conversation.  Instead, in the case that there are sincere people who might be looking for real answers and who might be reading this... it is for them that I will answer your question.  Not for you since we can all see (from your words) that you don't care and are not serious or sincere about wanting to know the answer.  This is for those that are sincere and looking for answers.

You gotta be kidding me.  tl;dr.
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #83 on: April 25, 2010, 01:47:15 PM »
LOL.  No way do i think this is true.  It is I who always has to give the dictionary definitions to the non-believers in here to clear things up. I'm having to repeatedly do this time and again.
Sure, let's hear a definition of sacrifice then so I know what you're talking about because:

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The fact that I needed to emphasize the word "physical death" should have been enough to answer your question.   The person who started this thread was using the words "fake dying".  I countered with the words "real physical death" to emphasize that Jesus' death on the cross was not fake dying but a real, genuine physical death.
Not at all. My question was: why should physical death be considered a sacrifice if the person/entity making the sacrifice is absolutely positive that death is not the end of life and that he/it can reverse physical death at will. Your emphasis doesn't adress the question in any way.
The reason we refer to it as "fake dying" is because we remain uncinvinced that death is anything else but the end of life.

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Jesus' sacrifice was voluntarily and prematurely giving up his earthly, physical, biological life.  That is what death means.  Are you using the word death differently than I am? Death means the cessastion of all physical, biological functions.  That is what death is.  And that is what Christ sacrificed and suffered on the cross..  it was his life... his biological, physical life which he sacrificed and gave up.
All evidence points to consciousness being a function of the body.
If there is such a thing as an immortal soul though, again, what's so bad about losing one's physical functions? Especially since the entity in question can get them back at will.

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Using your logic, then you seem to want to suggest that Christians don't believe that death occurs.
Well, they are one of the religous groups promoting life after death. What kind of death is that when the deceased gets up after a few weeks, walks around the earth, and talks to people (al biological functions btw)? What did he lose?

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Although one can't help but ask the question: If you seriously don't get it, then why would you have uncritically assumed that the importance and specialness of Christ's death on the cross had mainly to do with the amount of pain and the  length of suffering?
I think theres a misunderstanding here. You are refering to the significance of the event, whereas the rest of us were trying to figure out what exactly it is that was sacrificed. Both valid questions in the context of the story.
In my view, the story doesn't make any sense without the implication that something was in fact sacrificed. Pain and death were only a few suggestions.

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Look again at Woland's opening statement... which I was responding to.  Where on earth does Woland talk about the "trinitarian view"?  Indeed, Woland doesn't even mention the word "trinitarian".  So I seriously don't get your point here.  I don't even understand how the "trinitarian view" would be relevant in this discussion.
First off, I apologize if I left the impression that I was referring to anything Woland said. Thats not the case.
The trinitarian view was just an aside; it has quite heavy implications on the story, though. The arian view holds that Jesus was a man.


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Well, the wording of this quesion means that motivation would enter into it.  Why?  Because the word "special" is a value judgment word.  It is presuming that Christians are placing a premium value on Jesus' sacrifice.
 And one very obvious way to measure "value" is to look at motivation.
I interpreted (and used) "special" to mean "out of the ordinary" or "unique", which has nothing to do with value - otherwise I would've phrased the question differently. The OP was implying that people were and are suffering more than Jesus was through their sacrifices; ie that what they were/are giving up is equal to or greater what Jesus gave up.
The OP didn't ask about what it was sacrificed for.

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How else would measure the word "special"?  What makes something more special than something else?  What critieria do you use?
I hope I cleared up what I meant by "special".

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But the point was that neither you nor Woland would sacrifice your life for an ant or a cockroach or a tapeworm.  Why?  Obvously for the reasons I outlined in my post.
That's not the issue. People have, in fact, given their lives to save others. I don't much care how much more noble/significant/whatever god's sacrifice was; the intent was to illustrate that people are capable of giving up just as much as Jesus did if not more. Hell, they're doing it for much less significant reasons than for salvation of the whole of humanity.

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And therefore, since the gulf between God and man is FAR MORE VAST AND WIDE than between man and a cockroach... then Jesus' sacrifice (Him being God Incarnate) is indeed remarkable and amazing.
Yes, but that doesn't equal "greater".

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But the important point I was trying to make was that Jesus HAD NO NEED to create us, let alone die for our sins.  Jesus, being God Incarnate is complete and so is not in need of anything.  Jesus did not need to lower himself to our level to die for us when He doesn't need us and when He gets absolutely no benefit from it.
Also, screw the word "need". I don't need to breathe, I just really, really want to. Let's use "want" instead. I see no other possibility than to assume that god either wanted to sacrifice something, or that he was forced to. Basically, god did what he wanted to do.
I see how this could be viewed as a sacrifice; a king of kings living with the filthy insects that we are for a few years. That doesn't change that god is right back where he was before.

Again, he has given nothing away that he couldn't just blink right back. I mean, we're talking about a guy who can retcon reality.

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Secondly, for Jesus to forego the whole process by simply forgiving the sins instead of dying for them only shows your lack of understanding of what sin is... what justice means... what mercy means... what the law means... what penalty means... what holy means... what rigtheousness means... and what love means in the Bible.
I never got how someone - anyone - dying 2000 years ago is supposed to do anything with my sins. Not if the being in question is the one who's defining what sins are and doing the forgiving.
If you can explain it in short or are open to starting a new thread, I'll be glad to talk about that. I suggest you start it as it's you who's doing the explaining; or I could ask a few questions on the topic. Whatever you prefer.
I really have a difficult time understanding your words.  

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To me, by showing that Jesus was willing to lower himself from his level as God and to die for us puny humans when there is no personal need or personal benefit for Him to do so... this ANSWERS the question of how much was sacrificed.  How else would you measure "the how much" part of your question?
Is this sacrifice a question of reputation or honor? I see no other way of defining "lowering oneself".

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To me... it appears that you are trying to say that when a person gives up his life for a human being... it has the EXACT same weight and meaning and force and value and worth as when a person gives up his life for a cockroach.  Is this what you are trying to suggest?
I wasn't talking about value or meaning. I was saying that what was sacrificed in both cases is the exact same thing. It's the effect that gives a sacrifice value or meaning, always in a cultural context.




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That's just obviously circular.
Eh. It's not circular. I concede the point. It's just semantics.

I think the rest of the post is sufficiently adressed by my explanation of what I took "special" to mean. If not, please reiterate.

Another semantics problem:
Sacrifice can mean both that which is sacrificed (such as a goat, money, my life) or the sacrificial act. I took it to mean the former in my responses.

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I never said in the above statement that God NEEDED acs of love make Him complete.   He does acts of love NOT because He needs to, but because it flows from His very being... which is love itself.
(My question as to needing to love wasn't rhetorical.)
Again, love is a function of the physical brain and that's how I use the term. It can be induced and impeded chemically. If god's love is different, how do we even appreciate it, and how can we judge it superior to ours?
Another semantics problem here, though. As I said, what I want and what I need is not clearly definable. That kind of linguistic fuzziness is fine when dealing with humans ...


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Evolution is itself a selfish process.
No, evolution is an utterly mindless process. It has nothing to do with selfishness except for incidentally promoting it to some degree.

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An completely selfish process is not going to give rise to unselfishness.

Yes it does. Altruism can be rather easily explained once you realized that the units that the theory of evolution is fundamentally dealing with is individual traits rather than animals or specied.
Also, egoism and altruism aren't mutually exclusive.

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And again, the fact that someone would sacrifice their life for another person... but NEVER do so for a cockroach... shows very plainly that there is a selfish motive going on.
No. We just value them differently.
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
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Offline Tinyal

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #84 on: April 25, 2010, 01:52:41 PM »
Oh great, fran is back with his wall-o'-words bullcrap filled posts which end up meaning absolutely zip, nada, zilch.

Anyone got a handy subroutine that will simple skip over fran's posts like my recorder ignores commercials?

:)
Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water?

Offline Tealeaf

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #85 on: April 25, 2010, 02:35:26 PM »
The delusion is saddening. I'm almost like....feeling compasion for my fellow human beings that are so caught and buried in their little worlds of delusion. It's embarrasing.

It's also enraging that in order to defend this particular religion, every slimy, weasely, cowardly tactic must be employed just to cook up a successful lie that doesn't even address the point.

In the case of the question at hand, I think it too well embraces all the perfect aspects of the Christian mental gymnastics regime. The initial divide between a normal person viewing this question and one infected with Jesus-juice is that the the actual circumstances for sacrifice can be ignored in favour of getting a change to splooge all about Jesus' oh so horrible death and how that's the meaning and nothing else. I doubt any have even grasped what we mean on the surface and are rather using it as yet another glorious opportunity to spread the word and truth because we silly nonbelievers just can't understand it.

Offline Immediacracy

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Re: What's so special about Jesus' sacrifice?
« Reply #86 on: April 25, 2010, 02:57:41 PM »
The whole idea of God lowering himself to the level of his creation - sort of - temporarily but sort of permanently for the purpose of demonstrating love and salvation through suffering and sacrifice...it's so obviously metaphorical. You really have to invoke some tortured reasoning to imagine that the execution of Yeshua Ben Yosef, if he even existed (more likely a composite of several charismatic spiritual teachers who were popular at the time) is somehow a uniquely meaningful one.

The notion of noble sacrifice is the same justification that suicide bombers use to blow up children. It's the same kind of barbarism that drives domestic violence and codependency. There's nothing noble about martyrdom - even if you are super duper more special than a regular person. Why does the supposed Godliness of supposed Jesus supersize his supposed sacrifice? That seems like an especially anti-Christian sentiment - shouldn't the sacrifice of the mere mortal's Widow's mite mean more than the omnipotent creator's paltry silver coin of a single human/teacher/healer/prophet/divine guy's life?

The thing is, if you let go of the fool's errand of trying to make this ridiculous mistranslated hodgepodge of Middle Eastern historical fiction seem literally true, you open the discussion up to what truly is of value in the Bible, Jesus, and other religious texts.

These texts have persisted and remained important for a reason. Not because they are literally true but because they address the architecture of the collective psyche. Archetypal characters like Jesus serve the same function of the heroes and Gods before him - to reveal the enchanted potential of the human identity and inspire ordinary people to become extraordinary (or at least not to put up with tyranny, beware of temptation, don't be greedy, be nice to other people, etc.).

Yes, they exist only in the minds of human beings (so does money for that matter, unless you believe that paper rectangles with dead presidents on them are literally valuable) but they exist in a lot of human beings minds over and over again. Like Mickey Mouse. Do they answer prayers? Not exactly but they can catalyze parts of the Self to allow solutions to be noticed where they may not have been before. Chanting, meditation, and/or praying are human universals because they promote beneficial alterations to our state of consciousness and can open intuitive channels for healing and problem solving.
"That which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe."
- John Archibald Wheeler