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skeptic54768, Welcome to the forum. Please make sure to read and observe all of the forum rules and learn how to use the quote function properly when responding to specific posts. The quote function will come in very handy and will make life much easier for everyone. I will begin now by responding to your responses below while using that function :) Let reason be our guide!

Hey guys, I'm a Christian and hope to discuss things with you. My username means that I am skeptical of non-belief. It's kind of a "reverse" of the normal use for skeptic.  ;D

This, unfortunately, is an often used 'trick' by Christian apologists in an attempt to shift the burden of proof. However, it doesn't work because the negative of a negative is a positive. Think for example about whether or not you are skeptical of non-belief in Unicorns. This would be fundamentally no different from saying you believe in unicorns. So saying you are "skeptical of non-belief" is merely to confuse language by using the negative of a negative. Why not just admit you believe X things and move forward with providing evidence? This seems like a much more honest and accurate approach to discussion and debate.

With that said, I would like to say that Jesus' sacrifice was important because He willingly did it. That is the ultimate act of love. Jesus showed that he conquered death. Everybody dies, but Jesus was an exception. That's what made it so extraordinary.

The point of the OP (Original Post) was that, according to what the bible claims, Jesus didn't stay dead and so his "sacrifice" wasn't genuine - especially since he was supposedly God in flesh. So God sacrificed himself, to himself (but didn't actually stay dead) in order to "save us" from himself? Isn't this God supposed to be all-powerful? If so, it doesn't seem this action (if it happened) did anything at all b/c an all-powerful God cannot lack anything, and therefore by definition cannot sacrifice anything. Do you follow? If God requires a sacrifice (and I think this is an absurd idea) why would a very short three days away from earth be sufficient? The point is, if he didn't stay dead (and therefore actually lose something) then this doesn't seem to count as a real sacrifice at all.

In the Old Testament, blood of an innocent lamb was used on the door's of the Hebrews. This represented how an innocent animal must be sacrificed to atone for sins. This was foreshadowing the New testament where jesus is the innocent lamb and used as a final sacrifice for all. That's why animal sacrifices are not needed anymore.

So slaughtering something innocent (i.e. - a bull, lamb, or person) somehow makes it so that we are no longer responsible for our actions? How? Would you sacrifice your son or daughter if you thought God told you to (like Abraham supposedly) and if you thought other people would forget about how you wronged them? The idea of blood sacrifice doesn't seem to have any connection whatsoever to our actions, other than just a divine dictator saying, "This is how it is", but is that kind of dictatorship moral? How can we evaluate whether or not this alleged God is actually "good" or not? In other words, how can we determine if a sacrifice is necessary?

jesus was the ultimate innocent sacrifice. I know a lot of people think of the OT as "Evil" and "barbaric" but it is not. There are reasons God does what he does. Blood spread o the door was not evil and barbaric. It symbolized the coming of Jesus' sacrifice in the New Testament.

You don't think mass genocide, human sacrifice, slavery, infanticide, and rape are barbaric or evil? What could be more barbaric than those? I won't assume you have read the whole bible but many of us here (including myself) have and find those "reasons" quite wrong and irrational. Have you read the passages in 1 Samuel 15 where God supposedly commands the slaying of women and children, or Psalm 127 where God supposedly says, "Blessed is he who dashes the little babies against the stone"? In Exodus 21 God allegedly sanctions slavery (owning people as property) and in Judges 11 God condones human sacrifice. Can you think of any situation where this would be morally OK? It would seem to me that if a sacrifice is required for wrong doing then God himself needs a sacrifice for his wrong doing. I do realize this will likely get us into discussing the Euthyphro Dilemma but that's OK.

If Jesus was God, and was the ultimate sacrifice, why didn't he stay dead? A real "sacrifice" would require a loss, don't you think? But in this story, God didn't lose himself did he? Can God lose anything? He didn't really even die b/c his real self was (supposedly) immaterial and lived on (isn't he supposed to be eternal?). Of course, I personally don't think any of this took place at all but I think it's important to think critically about these doctrines - especially when there is so much at stake. Don't you?

I hope this helps. I'm not here to preach, just to explain my point of view. I will not just be quoting the Bible mindlessly.

I am glad about this, and for what it's worth I used to believe these things too until I ran into a bunch of ex-Christian folks like us here and had to change my view to better fit with sound reasoning and intellectual honesty ;)

I look forward to your reply and thank you for joining WWGHAF.
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screwtape good post October 15, 2013, 08:17:30 AM