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What Jesus Death Means To This Atheist At Easter


quicksand
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You're probably reading this and wondering what could Jesus' death possibly mean to an atheist? We don't believe in God after all, much less that Jesus was God. (In that I am not alone. Neither do Jews, or Muslims, and Thomas Jefferson. It's why neither could be considered Christians.) You could be one of those Christians that think that atheist are just the rebellious scum of Satan rejecting Jesus' "free gift" because they rather spend an eternity in hell. Well, relatively free. All you do is have to exchange disbelief for belief. Is there something I am missing? You still have to give "something."

 

Regarding the issue of Jesus' historical existence I subscribe to the Jesus Myth Hypothesis. Like Jefferson, I reject all the supernaturalism within the Bible. Even if there is a real man behind the bible stories he was as human as you and I. At best, perhaps only 10% of the New Testament can be reliably regarded as the words from Jesus' mouth according to the widely respected New Testament scholars of the Jesus Seminar. If this is the case, the consequences to Christianity are deep indeed. Much of Christian doctrine is to be found in Paul's letters and in psedeo-letters – letters written in Paul's name but not by him. (Paul never met Jesus.) Suffice to say, all of that would have to be redacted from the Bible and Christian practice.

 

Leaving aside all those issues – for the sake of argument, I will accept the New Testament accounts of Jesus life. His virgin birth, his remarkable childhood, his ministry, and his crucifixion and resurrection. I will even concede for the moment that all the supernatural stories about Jesus are, in fact, historical accounts. Meaning that belief in these "events" by faith would no longer be necessary. I will suspend disbelief instead.

 

This doesn't mean, however, that I am unable to draw some conclusions about these events. Focusing only on the crucifixion, what can be said? Other than the resurrection, it is the defining moment of Christianity. It is when Jesus died (well, only temporarily) for human's sins. It is the "sacrifice" that Christians are so found of saying.

 

Perhaps, I wouldn't be an atheist any longer, but as person who strives to be moral, I would still object to the way Jesus died. If, by accounts are true, then Jesus was the most perfect and innocent being that ever lived. It is this reason, it is said, that he paid humanity's debt to God for "original sin."

 

Imagine for a moment that there is a criminal lurking at large. This criminal is not only a mass-murdering cannibal, but frequently steals money from the cash boxes from children's lemonade stands. This criminal, by raping, has fathered a child and since women are legally forbidden to abort such a fetus, she must have the child. The child is now five years old. The criminal is captured and as a court defense promises to be good and forgive his capture if the legal system would just punish his child by the "the epitome of cruel punishment" with drawing, quartering and hanging the child. The courts oblige. Not only that, but the criminal is honored with his name on court houses and with laws extolling his high virtues.

 

Would this be justice?

 

No. We would rightly punish the criminal and not the child. However, this is exactly what Christianity wants its believers in respect to God. God is the criminal in the analogy. But instead of holding God accountable to his demands, they would rather worship and celebrate the torture death of his son. Not only that, but Christians state that not only was it necessary, but it was moral of God to demand and require this elaborate method of forgiveness. You can't tell me that the creator of the universe does not have it in his will to simply forgive?

 

And this is where I have to part company with Christianity.

 

The lesson of the crucifixion is not to love, honor and obey God, but to admonish and reject him. The Christian God demands on humanity and his methods are immoral. They are abominable. Disgusting. It is simply immoral to punish the deeds and actions of others on innocent people. It is immoral to punish the words and deeds of other people even if the other is not innocent.

 

And this is another reason why I could never be a Christian again, even if the Bible were true.

 

I am not a Christian because the essential beliefs of Christians are immoral.

 

 

 

(reposted from my blog)

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Absolutely outstanding OP!!!

 

I think this should be published somewhere, I dunno where but it really articulates what's wrong with the whole Xtain concept in a very logical and straightforward way. It should be required reading for Xtains, and paints their beliefs in a corner in a very eloquent light. Very, very well done quicksand!!!!

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I read the Christian comment on your blog that you posted at the link. I see he fails to address the crux of your brilliant post and instead whines that you don't give Islam the same critiquing. (?) He perhaps should address how the Xtian story isn't what it say's it is.

 

I'd be interested in seeing how Xtians twist it. Maybe he didn't really kill his son, but himself? I don't know, but I'd like to see a rational reaction from Christian minded people.

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I agree. Excellent post on yet another religious holiday.

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Thanks Quickster..

 

Another post well done and appreciated.

 

kFL

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  • Super Moderator

Nicely written!

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This is awesome. Thanks quicksand!

 

Bookmarked!

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Well written. Well written.

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When I hear the story of Jesus on Easter, it reminds me of the Krishna myth. Very similar stories. The only real difference is Jesus' tale spread West and Krishna's spread East. I don't celebrate Easter and neither the Christian nor pagan traditions we celebrate mean much to me, but I do enjoy chocolate.

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I think I am going to move away from rejecting the supernatural aspects of the bible and I think I am only going to embrace the supernatural aspects of the bible. So only things that are supernatural are real and true and things that are natural are myth.

 

Therefore God and Jesus are real which means I am imaginary. Oh shi

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If we're going to accept everything as the Bible says, which I did for most of my life, then it's more complicated than Jesus just dying as a sacrifice. Here's how my logic used to go:

 

Premise 1: Jesus died so we can go to heaven when we die. That's what my mother said.

 

QUESTION: How does that work?

  1. Jesus' body is physical.
  2. Human souls are spiritual; only the spiritual part of the human survives death; I knew this because the body was in the coffin but they said the person was in heaven.
  3. Heaven is spiritual.
  4. God is spiritual and so is the resurrected and ascended Jesus.

Premise 2: God is so pure and holy that no sin can exist with him; hence Jesus had to die to make it possible for humans to go to heaven when they die.

 

QUESTION: Why couldn't God just forgive?

  1. I, as a mere mortal, can forgive people who have very seriously hurt me but refuse to acknowledge having done anything wrong; this being the case, I am sure an almighty God could forgive, too, if that were all there were to the matter.
  2. Since God cannot "just forgive," there must be more to the matter; there must be some literal obstacle in the universe that had to be overcome in order for souls to get to heaven.
  3. This obstacle could only be removed by one who had passed from the human form through death and entered hell to disable Satan.
  4. Only a person whose life was totally without sin could possibly overcome Satan; hence the death of Jesus.

********************************

I didn't know it at the time, but that theology actually follows some ancient Gnostic ideas fairly closely. I developed it in my own head out of desperation for some way to hold onto Christianity. Leaving my community was not an option at the time, but neither could I continue with my overt disbelief. I NEEDED AN ANSWER.

 

That is what came to me over the course of a few days. I assumed at the time that it was from the Holy Spirit.

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I don't get it. I simply just don't get it.

 

#1 Are Christians automatically immune to logic?

 

#2 Why are we still celebrating Pagan holidays disguised as Christian holidays?

 

#3 It's Ishtar (Easter) and had nothing to do with Jesus

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The best part is the whole "egg hunt" thing and rabbits, because I read those are borrowed from the actual pagan celebration.

 

Does Christians ever stop and think, "what does bunnies and painted eggs and candy have to do with the Bible?"

 

And also, why do they have to say things like, "good Easter, " or "Merry Christmas," and so on? I wonder if it comes from the old belief of cursing and blessing. Basically, if I say "Happy Easter," somehow I have put a magical blessing on your life so you will have a good and lucky day?

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I'm scared of rabbits. The whole Donnie Darko thing...ya know?

 

user_image-1075735143eso.jpg

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Good post and good analogy. It's not only screwed up that he would punish an innocent person instead, but that the Bible says we all deserve to die for our sin and be tortured for eternity. The whole idea that someone needs to be punished in the first place is totally ridiculous. Some people have spent most of their lives doing great things, and others, just leave people alone and respect their rights. Yet, those people deserve to die, while others who rape, murder, torture, etc can simply get out of jail free by stroking the ego of someone who killed himself/son. Justice is supposed to right the wrong, not wrong the right or reward the wrong. I don't even think hard criminals should be tortured forever; it accomplishes nothing and is purely sadistic. The Christian sense of justice is completely fucked up and that is shown again and again through the various judgments god makes in the Bible. Rewarding evil and punish the good and innocent.

 

 

 

 

 

I read the Christian comment on your blog that you posted at the link. I see he fails to address the crux of your brilliant post and instead whines that you don't give Islam the same critiquing. (?) He perhaps should address how the Xtian story isn't what it say's it is.

 

 

lol, red herring typical response. "I have no kind of rebuttal, so I'm going to change the subject!" I've seen it a million times.

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Well done! It sums up the whole illogical idea very well. When you think of it that way, it's truly immoral and just plain confusing.

 

If you think of it metaphorically, the story of Jesus makes much more sense. That whole bit about crucifixion and resurrection is pretty much to show that no matter how bad things get in life (and it's hard to get much worse than being nailed to a cross), you can overcome them.

 

Since Spring is typically thought of as being the resurrection of the earth and the return of the cycles of life and renewal after the long cold death of winter, I think the story is an appropriate analogy.

 

*munches along some more on leftover Easter chocolate*

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