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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: Lectus on February 05, 2013, 11:33:41 AM

Title: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Lectus on February 05, 2013, 11:33:41 AM
Most Christians consider the event of crucification as a "victory over death" or something really HARD that God did to save us. It's the ultimate sacrifice he did because he loves us.

It all sounds cool and romantic, but I think most christians never stopped to think this:

Why does God need to sacrifice his son (which essentially is himself made flesh) to save humanity?

So, essentially the sacrifice was Him bargaining with Satan? "Look, I'll kill myself and respawn and we're even, okay?". Then how can christians claim that God has everything under control when he needs to do sacrifices of himself/his son to forgive sins?
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 05, 2013, 12:13:40 PM
I look at the story the same way. If real, his competence level as a deity is incredibly low. First of all he's omnipotent but doesn't see the tree thing coming. Then he fails to take corrective measures when only two folks have gone sour on him and waits a thousand years or so before drowning everyone but the most incompetent family around. So then that doesn't take either and humans continue to be steaming piles of shit, so he recruits the kid to play a cameo role as savior so that he can get stapled to some sticks, tossed in a cave and then awakened so he can go back home. Sacrificially speaking, that was fairly a fairly mild undertaking. And all for nought. Most of us don't believe it, and the ones that do think it is their job to be obnoxious. Not a good scene.

Any god worth the ink written about him would have at the very least kept sending the kid back until we humans got the message. Better yet this god guy should have sent his whole frickin' family. To expect one kid to make a difference, when JC was clearly no Tom Cruise, no John Travolta (oops, wrong religion), was asking way too much. We humans need multiple sources if we are going to consider information reliable. If this god guy actually made us, then he built in our skepticism and our questions, and he forgot to allow for our intelligence while feebly attempting to inform.

It is physically impossible to pick a "fruit", eat it, and have it change our genetics forever and ever. Just like it is impossible to make me believe such a wimpy story. If real, this god guy can't inform his way out of a wet paper bag. If he isn't, a whole bunch of humans can't think their way out of one.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: bgb on February 05, 2013, 12:22:29 PM
The joke  of religion is that god knew the results of sin and had a eternity to get it right.  I hear lots of excuses why this god is loveable.  Sure isn't my lord.  My father who was a abuser was better than god.  He never hung eternal burning on me.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: stuffin on February 05, 2013, 12:43:33 PM
Most Christians consider the event of crucification as a "victory over death"

That is the carrot which causes the donkey to keep pulling the load.



When scrutinized the story of jesus comes off as concocted.

Using an invisible magic being god impregnated a human who bore his child which he later had killed in a sacrificial offering to himself in order to save mankind for the sin he negligently let happen.

What is stopping god from presenting a solid event (or evidence) in which he leaves no doubt in our minds about his existence?  This would cetainly cutail many of the evil acts that occur everday

Instead, we get this jesus story, told to believe it thus we will be forgiven and go to eternal happiness at the lord’s side. Or you could point to all the other god interventions (floods, murder, plaques and so on) as evidence of god (and xians happily do this).
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Nick on February 05, 2013, 12:57:35 PM
It does appear to have a very big flaw yet the sheep don't see it.  Like a big sink hole in the street and people keep driving into it.

God, who knows all...present, past, and future...could not solve a fruit/talking snake thing so had to kill Himself because of rules He Himself put in place.  And what all changed in the world because of this great sacrifice?  Not much.  It's worse by a long shot.

Why does he have to play with the devil at all?  Could He have not made the devil not exist?  See...problem solved.

All stories need a good guy, bad guy, and a plot.  This one is getting really old and not worth dying for.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Tero on February 05, 2013, 02:38:34 PM
It's all symbolic. And designed for simple people to think of Jesus as real, like us.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Bluecolour on February 05, 2013, 03:21:19 PM
The story isn't flawed. One might choose not to believe it but there really isn't any error in its telling.
God says: Don't eat that, you'll die if you eat that.
They eat it anyway, they die and then He comes down to bring them back to life.
The End.
Where exactly is the flaw?
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: naemhni on February 05, 2013, 03:27:34 PM
The story isn't flawed. One might choose not to believe it but there really isn't any error in its telling.
God says: Don't eat that, you'll die if you eat that.
They eat it anyway, they die and then He comes down to bring them back to life.
The End.
Where exactly is the flaw?

Somebody once said that Christianity was the doctrine that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

That's not right.  Shoot, that's not even wrong.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Bluecolour on February 05, 2013, 03:29:48 PM
Most Christians consider the event of crucification as a "victory over death" or something really HARD that God did to save us. It's the ultimate sacrifice he did because he loves us.

Also the victory over death was the Resurrection not the Crucifixion.[1]
 1. My God! this actually has the word 'Fiction' right inside of it.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Aaron123 on February 05, 2013, 03:30:45 PM
The story isn't flawed. One might choose not to believe it but there really isn't any error in its telling.
God says: Don't eat that, you'll die if you eat that.
They eat it anyway, they die and then He comes down to bring them back to life.
The End.
Where exactly is the flaw?

Assuming you're referring to the Adam and Eve story...

God said they would die on the very day they ate the fruit.

Adam lived 920 years.

It doesn't say how long Eve lived, but apparently, she lived long enough to give birth to at least three children.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: hickdive on February 05, 2013, 03:40:08 PM
Ultimately, jesus gave up a long weekend for you (allegedly).

For the eternal, uncreated, omniscient, and omnipotent creator of the universe, the earth, humans, and sin; sacrificing yourself to yourself after less than the twinkling of your eye and then resurrecting yourself from death (except you weren't really dead otherwise you couldn't resurrect yourself) after an even shorter period is a mere parlour trick.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Bluecolour on February 05, 2013, 04:05:10 PM
Assuming you're referring to the Adam and Eve story...

God said they would die on the very day they ate the fruit.

Adam lived 920 years.

It doesn't say how long Eve lived, but apparently, she lived long enough to give birth to at least three children.
It wasn't referring to a physical death, same way the 'new life' in Christ doesn't refer to a physical life.
Dead in sin, alive in Christ, born again, a new creature, new life, none of it is talking about biology. Dead in biblical sense refers to separation from the life of God. Adam was separated from God when he ate the fruit (the sudden nakedness and the 'where are you?').
Or do you think Moses and all the thousands of other Jews that heard this story would not have been able to identify what should have been such a gaping hole in their text?

Ultimately, jesus gave up a long weekend for you (allegedly).

For the eternal, uncreated, omniscient, and omnipotent creator of the universe, the earth, humans, and sin; sacrificing yourself to yourself after less than the twinkling of your eye and then resurrecting yourself from death (except you weren't really dead otherwise you couldn't resurrect yourself) after an even shorter period is a mere parlour trick.

So? If you were trying to get a book off a really high shelf and someone much taller than you came to get it for you, would you refuse their help because "He's so tall, getting the book is nothing to him, but its so difficult for me."

God didn't die for our sins because it was difficult for him, he did it because knew he could. No one asked you to feel sorry for Jesus. Your pity can't get you to heaven nor does shedding a few tears while watching the Passion make you a better Christian.

God: "If you want something done right..."
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: hickdive on February 05, 2013, 04:22:00 PM
To take your analogy to the logical conclusion;

I need the book off that top shelf otherwise I will die, the tall person who is offering to retrieve the book for me is the one who put it out of reach in the first place and is also responsible for the illness I need the book to find the cure for.


Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Graybeard on February 05, 2013, 04:28:04 PM
Assuming you're referring to the Adam and Eve story...

God said they would die on the very day they ate the fruit.

Adam lived 920 years.

It doesn't say how long Eve lived, but apparently, she lived long enough to give birth to at least three children.
It wasn't referring to a physical death, same way the 'new life' in Christ doesn't refer to a physical life.
If you recaall, Genesis was in the Old Testament and Genesis is the Jewish creation myth.

It is patently clear that when God said,

"Ge:2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

He meant that Adam and Eve would no longer be immortal. We can conclude this because there is an antidote to the Tree of Knowledge: it is the Tree of Life that is guarded by manic Cherubs with flaming swords (How much have they contributed to Global Warming, eh?) Read Genesis!

Now, even your average Broze-Age peasant storyteller would not make the mistake of (a) showing God to be wrong or (b) killing off Adam and Eve, as the whole point of his story was to explain the origins of mankind and Bronze Age peasants had no idea about evolution.

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Dead in sin, alive in Christ, born again, a new creature, new life, none of it is talking about biology. Dead in biblical sense refers to separation from the life of God. Adam was separated from God when he ate the fruit (the sudden nakedness and the 'where are you?').

This is simply garbage

Quote
Or do you think Moses
Moses never existed.

Quote
and all the thousands of other Jews that heard this story would not have been able to identify what should have been such a gaping hole in their text?

Which is what I have said but, unlike you, I explained it correctly. You see your idea falls down as the Jews never accepted Christ and believe that, after death, you just enter some half-way house rather than go to heaven (Nobody in the OT went to heaven.)

Quote
So? If you were trying to get a book off a really high shelf and someone much taller than you came to get it for you, would you refuse their help because "He's so tall, getting the book is nothing to him, but its so difficult for me."

How ludicrous is that as a parable? No one dies, nobody comes back to life, nobody makes the unprovable claim that "your sins are forgiven" and nobody says there is a mystical invisible friend living above the clouds. He just gets a book.

Quote
God didn't die for our sins because it was difficult for him, he did it because knew he could.

Can you explain how gods die?
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: screwtape on February 05, 2013, 04:37:53 PM
Or do you think Moses and all the thousands of other Jews that heard this story would not have been able to identify what should have been such a gaping hole in their text?

Yes.  This.  All this talk about "spiritual death" is bullshit.  There is no such concept in Judaism.  There is no mention of "spiritual" death in the bible. There is no distinction.  It is an apologetic term, which is to say, wholly fabricated bullshit.  It had to be invented to explain these gaping holes that have been pointed out.

None of the quotes from Don Stewart, Intrepid Bible Explorer, include the words "spiritual death".[1]  They only say death.  He has to be the one to say it, because it isn't there. 


God didn't die for our sins

Also a stupid idea.  The whole jesus episode was nothing more than a puppet show played out by god, for god.  It was only necessary because god made it necessary, which makes no sense at all. 

The more parsimonious answer is, nobody expected jesus H to die,[2] so rather than face reality, they had to concoct a story that allowed them to keep their ridiculous and demonstrably untrue beliefs. 

It is a common thing for the human brain to do.  It is a coping mechanism.  Look at every end times cult.  They have excuses.  Look at UFO cults.  They have excuses.  The phenomenon is recorded all over the place,[3] but particularly well in one book entitled When Prophecy Fails.[4] 

 1. http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/stewart.cfm?id=106 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/stewart.cfm?id=106)
 2. you know, except the Romans, and the jews, and pretty much anyone who was not already a jesus fan...
 3. http://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2011/04/when-facts-fail-ufo-cults-birthers-and-cognitive-dissonance (http://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2011/04/when-facts-fail-ufo-cults-birthers-and-cognitive-dissonance)
 4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails)
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: sun_king on February 05, 2013, 04:45:57 PM
The story isn't flawed. One might choose not to believe it but there really isn't any error in its telling.
God says: Don't eat that, you'll die if you eat that.
They eat it anyway, they die and then He comes down to bring them back to life.
The End.
Where exactly is the flaw?

The line in bold italics is the flaw. Almost everywhere in the book it is bragged that god is omni-awesome. With that line it is proven that its all bogus, skydaddy is not given any respect by any of the first two prototypes of Homo Godinhisown Imagius. (I would suppose god would have known that they would not care for his words[1] and still chose to make a fool of himself for reasons that is still a mystery)

Either there is a flaw or big boss is a mega nincompoop. Your call.

I thought you guys stopped using "spiritual death" after Harold Camping proclaimed that the world ended spiritually sometime last year.
 1. Basic requirement for omnipotence, should know what will happen
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Bluecolour on February 05, 2013, 05:05:26 PM
To take your analogy to the logical conclusion;

I need the book off that top shelf otherwise I will die, the tall person who is offering to retrieve the book for me is the one who put it out of reach in the first place and is also responsible for the illness I need the book to find the cure for.

How did you get here?
It was mans fall that put him out of reach of the divine.
Recap: God gave Adam(man) something, he lost it, God told him how to get it back, he still couldn't get it back, Jesus comes down and does what man was unable to do, he gets the prize, gives it back to man and goes back up.

Graybeard.
It says nothing about the tree of life being an 'antidote' to the tree of knowledge. If it was then God could just let them eat it and undo the error.
A lot of the other stuff you've said just doesn't tie up anywhere.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 05, 2013, 05:15:40 PM
The story isn't flawed. One might choose not to believe it but there really isn't any error in its telling.
God says: Don't eat that, you'll die if you eat that.
They eat it anyway, they die and then He comes down to bring them back to life.
The End.
Where exactly is the flaw?

If that's all it was, I wouldn't complain.

But they ate it and caused all offspring to be sinners. That's where it gets hokey. They ate it even though he knew they would, then he got upset with them. And us. They ate it and changed the whole complexion of the planet. Over one snack.

They ate it at the suggestion of an evil talking snake. Which perplexed them not because it talked (they hadn't been around long enough to know that no other creatures talked, normally), but because it was capable of evil, and up to that point they had no idea what it was. Remember, these kids had no social skills, no elder equals to give them hints and tips about surviving in paradise. They had each other and minimal knowledge of their surroundings. And a big daddy who had unnaturally high expectations of them. Especially given that they were his idea in the first place, and also given that he had not made them as perfect as their surroundings. Toss in inbred flaws and the serpent dude and it was a disaster waiting to happen. A disaster as long as Mr. God was in charge and anal about everything. Except his own ability to breathe life into dirt. Or ribs.

So it is a silly story when one tries to read it as real. Were it just another myth, like Achilles and his hell or whatever, then it would be interesting from an historical point of view. But as the impetus for a billion wrongdoings in the name of the god that couldn't build straight, it isn't much of a tale.

Toss in the kid who couldn't stay dead long enough to be really impressive, sacrifice-wise, and it just gets worse. I'm sorry, but a god has to do a lot better than that to convince me that he is real.

Added: Remember, this is the guy that let half a million people wander around in the desert for 40 years. And you want me to use his as guidance. His skill-sets are wanting. Omni big-time.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: hickdive on February 05, 2013, 05:16:38 PM
How did I get here? By the same evolutionary and biological processes you did.

So your god is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. Then why worship it?
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: nogodsforme on February 05, 2013, 05:52:57 PM
To take your analogy to the logical conclusion;

I need the book off that top shelf otherwise I will die, the tall person who is offering to retrieve the book for me is the one who put it out of reach in the first place and is also responsible for the illness I need the book to find the cure for.

How did you get here?
It was mans fall that put him out of reach of the divine.
Recap: God gave Adam(man) something, he lost it, God told him how to get it back, he still couldn't get it back, Jesus comes down and does what man was unable to do, he gets the prize, gives it back to man and goes back up.

I am glad you are taking this on, Bluecolor.

First, you have to show that there is "the divine" to be out of reach of. Like, if this earth is all there is to our existence, then there was no fall. We are what we are.

And second, why did god tell an ordinary man to do something if only Jesus could do it? Was god being a jerk or is there more to it?

And third, god knew that a)man would fall, and b)man would be unable to fix it himself, requiring c)the whole Jesus sacrifice thing. Anyone whould be able to see that this is messed up. But god, for reasons nobody can explain, went ahead with this really flawed plan.

A perfect plan can't have holes. But the more you think about this, the more holes you find that need explanatory patches.  (See, it wasn't real death-- it was spiritual death. Yeah. Whatever that is. Riiiight.)

And god is perfect, so his plan should not need patches and changeups and redos. Which suggests that this was not really the way things went down. Especially since there is not a bit of evidence that this actually happened.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Add Homonym on February 05, 2013, 09:14:56 PM
Where does it say that A&E were immortal prior to eating forbidden junk foods?
Why did God not explain properly, that the tree would give them wisdom, but also make them mortal?
Why did God tell the other animals to go forth and multiply, but A&E were supposed to not have sex, but still had genitalia?
Why are animals also mortal? How did dolphins eat from the tree? Was it during the flood?
Why didn't God make the tree a little higher, put child locks on the trunk, and point the saucepan handles inward?
Can good and evil not be taught? Does it require a tree?

The story of A&E works really well, as long as you don't do any thinking.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Bluecolour on February 05, 2013, 10:06:13 PM
SCREWTAPE
Or do you think Moses and all the thousands of other Jews that heard this story would not have been able to identify what should have been such a gaping hole in their text?

Yes.  This.  All this talk about "spiritual death" is bullshit.  There is no such concept in Judaism.  There is no mention of "spiritual" death in the bible. There is no distinction.  It is an apologetic term, which is to say, wholly fabricated bullshit.  It had to be invented to explain these gaping holes that have been pointed out.

None of the quotes from Don Stewart, Intrepid Bible Explorer, include the words "spiritual death". They only say death.  He has to be the one to say it, because it isn't there. 

Even if the term is an apologetic construction it doesn't mean that it is recent. The entire concept of spiritual life and death can be dated back to the first century and to the teachings of Christ himself. To say that there was no such concept before then is irrelevant when debating a Christian. [Someone with views based on the teachings of Christ]

Quote
God didn't die for our sins

Also a stupid idea.  The whole jesus episode was nothing more than a puppet show played out by god, for god.  It was only necessary because god made it necessary, which makes no sense at all. 

The more parsimonious answer is, nobody expected jesus H to die, so rather than face reality, they had to concoct a story that allowed them to keep their ridiculous and demonstrably untrue beliefs. 

It is a common thing for the human brain to do.  It is a coping mechanism.  Look at every end times cult.  They have excuses.  Look at UFO cults.  They have excuses.  The phenomenon is recorded all over the place, but particularly well in one book entitled When Prophecy Fails.

Thanks for the material.
In truth every honestly intellectual Christian has considered this possibility. I'm confident you are also familiar with the counter-arguments raised against these and such other claims. This thread however is about neither of these arguments. It addresses Christianity as a structured idea and points to some apparent flaws within its construct. Even if in the end the idea is, as you say, an elaborate fabrication, I still say that this 'excuse' ties up together very nicely.

NOGODSFORME
I am glad you are taking this on, Bluecolor.

First, you have to show that there is "the divine" to be out of reach of. Like, if this earth is all there is to our existence, then there was no fall. We are what we are.

No i don't. I'm just saying that the basic idea of Christianity ties itself up. Still i like your question. I can't answer it here in this thread but i'll see what i can do about it later on.

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And second, why did god tell an ordinary man to do something if only Jesus could do it? Was god being a jerk or is there more to it?

If your talking about Adam and the fruit then I would answer that Adam wasn't an ordinary man.

If your however talking about the law and the conditions for mans restoration then yes there was more to it. Mostly you could say that everything that happened from the garden until the death of Christ was just one long learning process. Man had to first understand who God was, come to terms with his condition and his inability to save himself, recognize the value of the sacrifice and a bunch of other stuff before it could actually all go down.
Granted 4000 years was still a long time but when you begin to understand how God works you'll see how this had less to do with what God was willing to give and more to do with what man was ready to receive.

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And third, god knew that a)man would fall, and b)man would be unable to fix it himself, requiring c)the whole Jesus sacrifice thing. Anyone whould be able to see that this is messed up. But god, for reasons nobody can explain, went ahead with this really flawed plan.

First you need to ask yourself what exactly was Gods plan when he created the world and mankind? Then and only then can you begin to debate whether or not that plan was flawed.

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A perfect plan can't have holes.

Not so. A perfect plan will merely achieve its intended results.
It's not that everything that goes on was deliberately set in motion by God. No. We do know however that whatever happens good or bad was allowed by him. Why? Because He's smarter than us. And even when something seemed so terrible that we could never imagine why it should ever happen God still saw the good that could come out of it. And for the sake of that good he spared the evils.

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But the more you think about this, the more holes you find that need explanatory patches.  (See, it wasn't real death-- it was spiritual death. Yeah. Whatever that is. Riiiight.)

You think of it as holes, i think of it as complexity. God by definition is a complex being, and if the plan seemed too simple i think i would grow very skeptical. I like opening the bible and seeing things that i don't understand, it tells me that there is more to learn. In my own way i feel its God inviting me to learn more about himself. I imagine that's how scientists feel when they look into the skies and experience the vastness of space. I look into the bible and i experience the vastness of God.
In the end I'm not struggling to plug holes in a sinking ship, i'm learning. I'm maturing in how i see God and learning the way he sees me. Faith is not all about sitting dumb and meekly in the back of a sermon never asking why. There is a level of faith that gives one the audacity to demand answers. That kind of faith speaks of itself and that kind of faith cannot be denied, ever.
Just while typing this i've come into the understanding of things i could have never comprehended on my own, because i know my faith speaks out for me in questions that my intellect cannot conceive.
So i am grateful for those gaps as you call them, because they are more of a gift than those parts that i can know by just reading. They are amazing, and i understand that at this point i have probably begun to sound deranged to those of you reading but you must understand, there are just some things that i would never trade.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: DumpsterFire on February 05, 2013, 11:41:09 PM
...my faith speaks out for me in questions that my intellect cannot conceive.

In other words, anything you don't understand or can't explain must be attributed to god. Very convenient. Plus, you never have to admit that there are some things you simply do not know.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 05, 2013, 11:48:33 PM
Quote
A perfect plan can't have holes.

Not so. A perfect plan will merely achieve its intended results.


If it is all a part of his perfect plan that we don't understand, why have so many christians been concerned that I might go to hell? If he is real, hell is part of his plan and presumably some of us need to do our part and go there to make the rest of you look like little angels. Literally.

The least you guys can do is stop complaining that we're not perfect. You can't say that we're flawed when he made sure those flaws happened. You've got to learn to go with the flow.

Also, you might take the time to learn how to quote properly on this forum. Check out this link:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16778.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16778.0.html)

We would appreciate it, and god is planning on it.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: sun_king on February 06, 2013, 12:34:37 AM
...my faith speaks out for me in questions that my intellect cannot conceive.


Faith had spoken before in similar scenarios before. You should read about some of the explanations about how lightning originates. The common observation is that, when faith speaks where intellect is missing, its often ludicrous. Sun going to his tabernacle is one of them.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on February 06, 2013, 12:42:13 AM
In the ancient world, almost all cultures practiced some form of offering or sacrifice to their gods.  The OT tells of the 'earliest'; Cain and Abel's offerings.  Sacrifice was practiced by the jews at the temple. 

The sacrifice story of jesus was concocted within that tradition, and since its roots ran from that tradition, it had the credentials to put an end to the practice.  'This human-god sacrifice (and everyone knows, we have to perform sacrifices)  is the ultimate, so  you don't need to do it again'

Sure.  It fails as a true sacrifice, but so do all cult sacrifices.  No god actually drinks the wine poured on the altar, nor eats the burnt offering of bull or sheep.  At least those had the virtue of being a sacrifice from someone, if not really to.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Add Homonym on February 06, 2013, 01:32:27 AM
Granted 4000 years was still a long time but when you begin to understand how God works you'll see how this had less to do with what God was willing to give and more to do with what man was ready to receive.

I don't think so. Man has always been ready to receive at an incredibly fast rate, but there is no proven revelation of God, because man is just making it up, and deciding it politically. For example, the Pharisees rejected sacrifice rather early, but had to get their reforms past a ruling Sadducee sect. The reason for the slow progress, is that those men had faith in old books, because they were old, not because they were seeking new signs from God. You can't seek new signs from God, because they are deemed to be from Satan, or fabrications. The attitude of Judeo Christian thinking is to accept old doctrine, not seek new truths.

Today there is hostility towards homosexuals, because of old books, a person called "Paul", who may have been faked, and an innate hatred of men who cannot produce a male heir. God could fix this situation rather easily, by appearing in the clouds, and saying "Gays are OK". But he doesn't; therefore gay is not OK. Instead, we get a slow political evolution, in spite of the Bible.

What I'm saying is that there is slow moral progress, because the books of "God" slow it down. The Bible was written with slavery, racism, underage child abuse, anti-homosexuality, divorce, anti-science, sacrifice, a God who sniffed animal fat, and who applauded child sacrifice. It was written to reflect exactly what priests in 650BC wanted, and then it stayed that way, because Israel was occupied by people who banished the kings, and let the insane priests rule.

Then an opportunity arose. The temple was destroyed, some Christians moved to Rome and Greece, and they got to fake up a new layer of moral doctrine, without having to be accountable to Sadduccees and Rabbis. They got their particular way, because of some arbitrary preferences in some Roman rulers, who adopted the religion, and then forced their new morality onto their citizens. Bravo! *Golf clap* We were obviously ready to receive some new bullshit at that point.

Christianity seems to evolve with a punctuated equilibrium, and brutal government force - just like Islam. Orthodoxy was enforced by government, until some brave western democratic states actually managed to scrub it from their constitutions. Now Christianity is in disarray, and threatened by Islam - which is a religion kept in orthodoxy by government force.

If it's acceptable for government to force religion on us, then God could always enforce his evolving rule on us by government, at any pace he liked.

Quote
Not so. A perfect plan will merely achieve its intended results.

Exactamundo. And that perfect plan could also include converting us to Islam, and then telling us that Christianity was just a joke, for crowd control.

Quote
God by definition is a complex being, and if the plan seemed too simple i think i would grow very skeptical.

That's why the atheist plan involves everyone seeing that the God of the Bible is fictional. That adds a layer of head-spinning complexity that is believable.
Quote
Faith is not all about sitting dumb and meekly in the back of a sermon never asking why.

Faith can be about rejecting your faith entirely, and realising that God wants you to be an atheist.

Quote
and i understand that at this point i have probably begun to sound deranged to those of you reading but you must understand, there are just some things that i would never trade.

Please state the nature of the medical emergency.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: wright on February 06, 2013, 02:21:27 AM

So i am grateful for those gaps as you call them, because they are more of a gift than those parts that i can know by just reading. They are amazing, and i understand that at this point i have probably begun to sound deranged to those of you reading but you must understand, there are just some things that i would never trade.

You don't sound deranged to me. But you do sound like a Christian who can't quite admit that your thinking is compartmentalized to save you from the obvious contradictions of your religion.

You are making excuses for your supposedly omnipotent deity, because the alternative is, at present, too frightening for you. I did the same thing at one point; forgoing the myths of eternal love and eternal life is not painless or easy.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Anfauglir on February 06, 2013, 03:57:32 AM
It wasn't referring to a physical death, same way the 'new life' in Christ doesn't refer to a physical life.
Dead in sin, alive in Christ, born again, a new creature, new life, none of it is talking about biology. Dead in biblical sense refers to separation from the life of God. .....God didn't die for our sins because it was difficult for him, he did it because knew he could.
The entire concept of spiritual life and death can be dated back to the first century and to the teachings of Christ himself.

If everything in Eden is talking about the spiritual death of man and not a physical death.....

...why did Christ have to die a physical death to redeem mankind?  Surely dying a spiritual death would have made more sense?
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Add Homonym on February 06, 2013, 04:56:02 AM
  Surely dying a spiritual death would have made more sense?

Not half as impressive, though.

Look.. I'm dying a spiritual death... there!

Where?

You missed it! I'll do it again... there... did you see it that time?

Faarrrkkk. Yeah... I think I saw something that time!

What? I didn't.

He blinked.

Ohhhh... yeah.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: One Above All on February 06, 2013, 05:53:59 AM
If only it were just the basic idea of christianity that was flawed. There's virtually no Bible verses that help us with anything scientific.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Anfauglir on February 06, 2013, 06:16:35 AM
The chief issue for me is that while the story might make sense from a narrative perspective (the hero's journey and whatnot), it makes NO sense from a reality perspective - not the talking snakes and magic trees side of things, but that a supposedly omnipotent and omniscient deity would (a) have created a situation where the problem would arise in the first place, and (b) have to pay a death for a life, instead of redemption just happening with a thought.

Point being - it sounds exactly the kind of story someone might make up to try and make sense of the world, as opposed to something a real god might do.  Place the story in the Norse or Roman mythologies and it would fit it really well.....and we don't give THOSE stories any basis in reality, so why this one?
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Dante on February 06, 2013, 08:11:14 AM
First you need to ask yourself what exactly was Gods plan when he created the world and mankind? Then and only then can you begin to debate whether or not that plan was flawed.

By that statement, you then believe that it's part of god's plan to have billions and billions of humans over the course of time be born, suffer living, and then burn in hell for all eternity simply for not worshipping his holyass. Because if that wasn't the plan, then the plan must be flawed.

Granted 4000 years was still a long time but when you begin to understand how God works you'll see how this had less to do with what God was willing to give and more to do with what man was ready to receive.

Ah, but it's all our fault. Got it. His omnipotency couldn't possibly have known, or changed, how and when man would be willing to receive his message.

Carry on.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: screwtape on February 06, 2013, 08:38:07 AM
If it was then God could just let them eat it and undo the error.

yhwh could have done a lot of things, if he were actually omni-anything.[1]  Which kind of underscores the whole absurdity of the Eden tale.  He wouldn't need a tree to undo the error.  He could have just thought it.  But that is not what he wanted in any case.  In fact, he made sure the tree was inaccessible by putting armed guards at the door.

Quote from: Gen 3:23-24
23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

bold mine.

Heck, the very idea of having magical trees given an omnimax god is absurd.

SCREWTAPE
...
Even if the term is an apologetic construction it doesn't mean that it is recent.

Recent as in post-xian.  That matters.  And if it is apologetic it means necessarily that it is something that came later.  It was made to defend ideas that already existed.  In this case, an idea is being retroactively applied in order to make the original nonsensical story try to make sense.  You are trying to say the jews really meant something else in genesis and didn't know it.  But it's baloney. 

It is like trying to explain the witch's gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel by referencing the magic beans in Jack and the Beanstalk. Or, in historic terms, it would be taking a modern interpretation of the bill of rights and trying to say this was what Jefferson really meant, but didn't know it at the time.

The entire concept of spiritual life and death can be dated back to the first century and to the teachings of Christ himself.

Citations please.  If the term "spiritual death" does not appear in the bible anywhere, then you have a tough row to hoe trying to say it was a teaching of jesus H, since that is the only place the teachings of this alleged messiah are allegedly recorded.

To say that there was no such concept before then is irrelevant when debating a Christian. [Someone with views based on the teachings of Christ]

You're right.  xians (and other religious animals) are highly impervious to facts and reason.   

And just for the record, xian views aren't based on the teachings of christ.  They are based on misinterpretation of jewish tradition, the varied stories about jesus H (which are highly contradictory), and the rantings of a delusional maniac named Paul who co-opted the jesus stories to suit his own particular ideas.

 1. of course, to the jews who wrote it, he wasn't omni-anything.  that idea didn't appear until after the Babylonian exile.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Aaron123 on February 06, 2013, 10:19:02 AM
If everything in Eden is talking about the spiritual death of man and not a physical death.....

...why did Christ have to die a physical death to redeem mankind?  Surely dying a spiritual death would have made more sense?

Come to think of it...

Why are we all so sure that Jesus died a physical death?

Perhaps when the bible talks of Jesus carrying the cross, getting nailed, the resurrection, etc, etc... it only meant spiritually.  Likewise, when Thomas wanted to see the holes from the nails, he only meant the "spiritual holes"(whatever that means) from the spiritual nails.

You have to admit, it would explain why nobody paid much attention to the zombies that went around after Jesus "died".[1]  It was only a "spiritual" resurrection.
 1. Matthew 27: 50-53
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: naemhni on February 06, 2013, 10:24:38 AM
Come to think of it...

Why are we all so sure that Jesus died a physical death?

Perhaps when the bible talks of Jesus carrying the cross, getting nailed, the resurrection, etc, etc... it only meant spiritually.  Likewise, when Thomas wanted to see the holes from the nails, he only meant the "spiritual holes"(whatever that means) from the spiritual nails.

You have to admit, it would explain why nobody paid much attention to the zombies that went around after Jesus "died".[1]  It was only a "spiritual" resurrection.
 1. Matthew 27: 50-53

In fact, in the early days of Christianity, there was at least one "camp", and probably more than that, who held that Jesus never existed physically at all.  The first few centuries of Christianity were actually marked by gigantic disagreements between various sects on just about everything you can think of; some held that Jesus was purely physical, some held he was pure spirit, some held he was a mix of both.  Some sects were trinitarians, some were unitarians, some were binitarians.  There was at least one faction that held that the world was created by the Devil when God wasn't looking.  In fact, it's not even entirely clear what Paul himself thought on the matter of Jesus' physicality.  What finally ended up happening was that the Council of Nicea decided on a whole bunch of crap, then persecuted and suppressed any factions that held views contrary to the Nicene Creed, eventually wiping them out.

I wish more Christians knew things like this about their own religion's history.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: ParkingPlaces on February 06, 2013, 10:32:00 AM
I wish more Christians knew things like this about their own religion's history.

It is worse than that. I read an article yesterday that said 90% of Christians have never read the bible cover to cover.

Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: naemhni on February 06, 2013, 10:42:32 AM
It is worse than that. I read an article yesterday that said 90% of Christians have never read the bible cover to cover.

I've never read any studies or surveys about that, but I wouldn't be surprised.  Most of the people I've known in my admittedly-anecdotal experience who have read the entire bible have been atheists.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Anfauglir on February 06, 2013, 10:54:41 AM
It is worse than that. I read an article yesterday that said 90% of Christians have never read the bible cover to cover.

I've never read any studies or surveys about that, but I wouldn't be surprised.  Most of the people I've known in my admittedly-anecdotal experience who have read the entire bible have been atheists.

Who was it said "I'm not an atheist because I haven't read the Bible - I'm an atheist because I HAVE."?

To be honest, even the better-read Christians I've encountered have only read in-depth parts of the Bible, and very few have looked into the history of it (other than a quick "hallelujah" to Josephus). 

Incredible, really - if I honestly believed that there WAS a god, on whose judgement as to how well I did what he wanted rested my eternal salvation or damnation, the very FIRST thing I would do would be to go through the entire holy book page by page, making careful notes, to be sure that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.  I'm regularly amazed by how many people swear to me there is a god sitting in judgement of us all, but who have never botherered to verify exactly what is is he wants.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Nick on February 06, 2013, 11:11:02 AM
You can't do that on your own (study the bible page by page taking notes so you understand what to do to make it to salvation).  That would be like understanding our tax codes.  You need a tax accountant and/or preacher to make sure you get what is coming to you.  There is a pecking order here.  Don't upset the system. ;)
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Tero on February 06, 2013, 04:07:12 PM
The gospels were mildly entertaining in a Monty Python/Shakespeare kind of way. Other than that, I've only liked Ecclesiastes in the bible. Never got thru Revelations.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: naemhni on February 06, 2013, 04:11:46 PM
The gospels were mildly entertaining in a Monty Python/Shakespeare kind of way.

Or maybe in a "Benny Hill" kind of way.  (NSFW)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GjNSUatTc4
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Quesi on February 06, 2013, 07:16:25 PM
The story isn't flawed. One might choose not to believe it but there really isn't any error in its telling.
God says: Don't eat that, you'll die if you eat that.
They eat it anyway, they die and then He comes down to bring them back to life.
The End.
Where exactly is the flaw?

I'm sorry to be coming late to this discussion.  But I think you are raising a really important question. 

You see, if your god is omnipotent and omniscient, then he knew at the beginning of time that Eve was going to eat the apple, and that he would punish all of humanity for all of eternity because of it. 

In other words, he set humanity up to fail.  And then, if you believe the stories in the OT, he continues to taunt and punish humanity for the flaws that he built into us, and the sins that he knew we were going to commit.

Either that, or he made a mistake. 

If your god created us in his own image, it seems he is at least as flawed as we are.  Perhaps moreso. 
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: William on February 06, 2013, 10:04:40 PM
To my mind the biggest flaw in the whole saga is that God didn't (couldn't  :?) just start over.
He poofed us into existence in the beginning - from nothing.  Right?
But once were out and about there was something about us that He could not repeat - so even though Adam and Eve were not fit for purpose He had to send them out to multiply, and then engaged in an artificial selection and breeding program i.e. the flood, serial genocides of his "enemies" etc.

The second biggest flaw is that Almighty God is limited to just the one Son.  Why not a whole posse of Sons, one for each nation, and successive waves of them with appropraite messages for each millenium?  :?
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Aspie on February 07, 2013, 04:41:08 AM
Bluecolour, do you understand why we would consider "it was spiritual" to be a convenient cop-out? It's because it's a weasel word that can be invoked to "resolve" contradictions in anything by redefining away the inconsistencies posed by a simple straightforward reading.

Of course you don't need to plug any holes - a longstanding tradition of maintaining the faith at all costs has already done all the work for you.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: hickdive on February 07, 2013, 07:29:40 AM
I wonder if it's possible to pay my taxes "spiritually"?
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: nogodsforme on February 07, 2013, 04:24:37 PM
Isn't that how Mary said she got pregnant? Too bad no guy would accept that story nowadays...
 
Her: "I got pregnant, but, ya see, it was spiritual sex. It didn't mean anything, honey."
Him: "Sure. How about I pay spiritual child support then."
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Anfauglir on February 08, 2013, 05:59:53 AM
To my mind the biggest flaw in the whole saga is that God didn't (couldn't  :?) just start over (he had to) engage in an artificial selection and breeding program i.e. the flood, serial genocides of his "enemies" etc.

And there's another thing.  Christians are against abortions at least in part because each little baby was planned for by god - which implies that god has a crucial part in the fertilisation process.

So if god started seeing bad people proliferate, wouldn't it be a simpler and less horrific way of dealing with the situation by just ensuring that bad couples never conceived?  In a generation, he'd be back to just good people, without having to inflict death by drowning on everyone - including the babies and infants that he apparently knew would otherwise grow up evil but who he allowed to be conceived anyway.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Add Homonym on February 08, 2013, 08:41:46 AM
Fascinating insight into eugenics.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Noman Peopled on February 09, 2013, 05:58:05 AM
The story isn't flawed. One might choose not to believe it but there really isn't any error in its telling.
God says: Don't eat that, you'll die if you eat that.
They eat it anyway, they die and then He comes down to bring them back to life.
The End.
Where exactly is the flaw?
There are several.

One depends on god being omniscient and omnipotent. I'm not sure the bible itself tells us he is, but it's still a main feature of contemporary christianity. Such a god should have known in advance what would happen and was perfectly positioned to prevent it. If nothing else, telling A&E about the tree does imply he had knowledge of it. Even a limited deity should have been able to put up a fence - if you want a kid to not read a book, you don't leave it lying around.

The second is that the most common interpretation of the story has A&E learn about good and evil by eating from the tree. If so, how is it it just for god to punish two people whose sin is finding out that they shouldn't have sinned? They couldn't know going against gods command was wrong. It's like punishing a kid for reading a book that for the first time, ever, delivers to him/her the understanding that they shouldn't read.

Next, we don't judge people because their ancestors commited crimes; I can't imagine a more basic tenet to morality ... if we want to judge someone on his/her moral merit, we cannot judge them by someone else's. It's tautological. The story presents a concept of sin that suggests that moral corruptibility can be acquired by innocuous actions such as eating a fruit or simply being a son of Adam. (I can't help but wonder what would have happened if a boar had eaten from that tree. And yes, that is like asking what would have happened if Luke had not disabled R2D2's controlling device.)
Now the kid's future progeny will grow up knowing the contents of the book ... maybe. I'm not too sure what the biblical nature of humankind's corruption actually is.

The third is the nature of the punishment visited upon Eve especially. It's why childbirth is painful. Though somewhat random, hat's no problem in the context of the Eden story. It is, however, a problem if Jesus later lifts original sin from us because, well, women still experience pain during childbirth, don't they? Their punishment doesn't seem to have ceased. (Nor does it seem to me that all of christianity has taken this sin-lifting to heart.)
Now, the father is going to punish his grandchildren as well, for some form of hereditary corruption that they had no say or part in acquiring. But to make it alright again, the father will now reach into the cookie jar and present the kid with a cookie - as an act of forgiveness. (If you're not trinitarian, he'll send someone else to do it.)

And finally, just to go full circle, why would an omniscient god not have forgiven humanity then and there? Why wait? The implication being that god changes his mind - or worse, that he is willing to let his actions be dictated by wrath.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: Graybeard on February 09, 2013, 11:16:53 AM
Graybeard.
It says nothing about the tree of life being an 'antidote' to the tree of knowledge. If it was then God could just let them eat it and undo the error.
A lot of the other stuff you've said just doesn't tie up anywhere.
Why do you tell lies? You say you are a Christian but have never read a Bible. Why do you try to deceive people? What is so wrong with the Truth - The Truth that God dictates?

God Hates: The Malicious (Romans 1:29), The Deceitful (Romans 1:29), All Liars (Revelation 21:8 )

See? God hates you.

Ge:3:22: And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Ge:3:23: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Ge:3:24: So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Graybeard.
It says nothing about the tree of life being an 'antidote' to the tree of knowledge.

But now you see that it does.

Quote
If it was then God could just let them eat it and undo the error.

Yes, why didn't He?

Quote
A lot of the other stuff you've said just doesn't tie up anywhere.

Point out where I am wrong.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: The Gawd on February 09, 2013, 12:01:11 PM
@Graybeard

Its going to be the 'ol mysterious ways cop out.
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: nogodsforme on February 09, 2013, 04:00:06 PM
One thing that really annoys Christians, is atheists who know their bible.  :angel:
Title: Re: The basic idea of Christianity seems flawed
Post by: changeling on February 14, 2013, 02:30:59 PM
God, who knows all...present, past, and future...could not solve a fruit/talking snake thing so had to kill Himself because of rules He Himself put in place

You forgot that first he had to screw his mother so that he could be born to kill himself.
Does that make him the first self made bastard? This is getting so confusing.  :?