Is the crucifixian of Jesus meaningful?

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AdHoc
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Is the crucifixian of Jesus meaningful?

Post #1

Post by AdHoc »

The question for debate
"Is the crucifixion of Jesus meaningful?"

- What each side claims
AdHoc's position: The crucifixion is a demonstration of God's love.
Divine Insight's position: The crucifixion cannot be meaningful.

- The debate format
1. Each participant will post their initial position. (AdHoc will go first and start the debate thread)
2. Then, in turn, each participant will comment on the position of the other.
3. This will then continue, in turn, until both parties feel they have made their case.

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Post #2

Post by AdHoc »

I take the position that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is meaningful because it demonstrates God’s love for us. I believe it is the fulfillment of prophecy and the crux of salvation. I will use scripture, history and personal experience to support this position.

Genesis 3:15 Is the first prophecy about Jesus and states that the serpent will bruise Him
Isaiah 53:1-12 there is a graphic description of what will happen to the Messiah and why. In verse 5 “He was bruised for our iniquities� and in verse 10 “It pleased the LORD to bruise Him�
Jesus Christ’s suffering on the cross fulfilled God’s will and the prophecy in the Old Testament therefore making it a very meaningful event to humanity or at the very least meaningful to those who accept the event by faith.

Jesus’ death on the cross set the example for the early church of laying one’s life down for others. Christianity in the early years was marked by persecution and suffering and this is reported as being one of the reasons it spread so quickly throughout Asia and into Europe. This peaceful army of martyrs was caused by Jesus’ example on the cross, it affected His followers lives and the lives of their persecutors.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_martyrs

The crucifixion is also meaningful in the sense that the greatest demonstration of love possible is for one person to lay their life down for another. This is demonstrated in art and life.

It’s meaningful to me personally because it represents the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for me allowing me to be set free from sin.

I believe that the cross is meaningful to all of humanity. I believe that I have shown that it is meaningful to Christians throughout history as well as to me personally.

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Post #3

Post by Divine Insight »

Is the crucifixion of Jesus meaningful?

I feel very strongly that the crucifixion of Jesus cannot be meaningful for several reasons:
(I will enumerate these reasons for easy reference, as I expect to be referencing them often in this debate, so rather than having to continually rehash them I will just refer back to them by number.)

Reason #1: The Wages of Sin could not have been paid via this act.

The reason most often given by Christian apologists for the crucifixion of Jesus is that the crucifixion of Jesus is an act that pays for the sins of men. I suggest that within the context of the Biblical canon of stories this makes no sense. The wages of sin is permanent death (i.e. No gift of eternal life). But Jesus is said to have been resurrected and ascended to heaven. Thus he could not have paid the wages of sin required by these stories.

Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself.

I hold that there cannot be a reason beyond God's own desire to be appeased by this act. For if such a reason existed this would imply that God is less than omnipotent. In other words, a God who had no choice in the matter could hardly be omnipotent. According to this religion, "With God all things are possible". Given this principle, is seems reasonable to me to conclude that God could have come up with a better solution to this problem. So I hold that the crucifixion in a context of an omnipotent God had to be the God's own desire. And for me personally this raises many problems.

Reason #3: Two wrongs don't make a right.

If men were already disobeying God, and God had commanded men not to kill. Then it makes no sense to me that this very same God would offer these men grace if they would disobey his directives just one more time by crucifying his only begotten son. Again this makes no sense to me and violates anything I would consider to be reasonable. This would be like God saying to men, "If you nail my son to a pole, I'll offer you grace and forgive you of your sins".

To me this represents nothing short of insanity. Moreover, this would have had to have been God's plan also, because by Reason #2, we can't have God being forced into doing something that he has himself not chosen to do. So I just can't see this God choosing to use the disobedience of men as an act that would pay for their sins. As I've already said, to me this would be nothing short of insanity.

Reason #4: It seems insane to me to employ a crucifixion as a symbol of "Love".
(I would just like to note here that I've held this as a reason long before this debate, so this reason is not in any way a direct response to AdHoc's initial position.)

It is my position that an all-wise God could have come up with a far better example of love. Moreover, because I personally find the concept of being required to condone having someone brutally crucified for my sake to be so extremely repugnant, I can't help but ask why a supposedly omniscient God wouldn't also be aware of how I would feel about this? Surely if such an omniscient God exists he would know that I would find such a plan and scenario to be totally disgusting and unacceptable?

From my perspective I would need to reject this offer, even if it could be shown to be absolutely true. At that very moment, all I could do is hang my head in pure disappointment and disgust in both myself, and in my creator, equally. Such a nightmare scenario would be far worse than to simply discover that the universe is a purely secular accident, IMHO.

So Reason #4 is quite powerful for me personally because it results in a God whom I would be totally unable to accept under any circumstances. And how could that fit in with a scenario that's supposed to be about "God's Love"?

Reason #5: The crucifixion of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb of God as a symbol of God's love for the world does not fit in with the previous biblical stories.

In the Old Testament, God simply punished Adam and Eve, cursing Eve with greatly multiplied sorrow in conception and childbirth, and commanding that her desire shall be to her husband and that he shall rule over her. This God apparently didn't love Adam and Even enough to offer them a sacrificial lamb to pay for their sins.

Later in the Bible God so hated the world that he flooded out the bulk of mankind in the Great Flood. Again, he didn't so love the world that he offered mankind a sacrificial lamb to pay for their sins. This God is supposed to be consistent, trustworthy, and dependable, yet he clearly did not always so love the world that he felt like offering his only begotten son to save it. Why would this change?

Why would this God suddenly have such a dramatic change-of-heart that he moves from hating the world so much that he drowns everyone out, to loving the world so much that he gives his only begotten son to pay for the sins of men? This represent a dramatic about-face. A complete and dramatic change in character.

So for me, the crucifixion of Jesus isn't even remotely compatible with the previous religion upon which it is supposed to be built.

Reason #6: I agree with the Jews that Jesus didn't even fulfill the prophesy of a promised messiah. He never became King.

This is almost a trivial reason for me personally, but I'm not going to dismiss it lightly. The Christian claim that Jesus was the prophesied messiah, or "Christ" from the Old Testament doesn't work for me. The prophesy of the messiah, who was supposed to be a descendent of King David, was supposed to be handed the throne of King David by God himself, and become the King of the Jews.

That never even remotely happened according to the gospels. Jesus was never even remotely headed in that direction at all, and was certainly never crowned King. The Christians proclaim that he is now King in heaven, but that's hardly prophesy fulfilled. That's just an unprovable hearsay myth.

So as far as I can see, even if I didn't have all my other concerns and objections I'd still tend to agree with the Jews on this point.

~~~~

So my conclusion is that I cannot even create a scenario where the crucifixion of Jesus would be meaningful in any divine context where the God is supposed to be omnipotent and omniscient.

I can imagine scenarios where a lesser God might do something like this because it had no choice. But as far as I can see, that would violate the premise that the biblical God is supposed to be omnipotent. Thus I cannot see where the crucifixion of Jesus can be made to make work within this context.

~~~~

This post has been solely a statement of my position. I have not yet responded to Adhoc's original position (even though my Reason #4 appears to be related to his position). That's just pure coincidence there.

I will respond to AdHoc's original position in my next turn.

In the meantime, I turn the thread back over to you, AdHoc, so that you may comment on my position. I've made it a bit easy for you by enumeration my reasons so you too can refer to them by number if you like.

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Post #4

Post by AdHoc »

Divine Insight,
sorry for the late reply. Your argument is well-laid out and required alot of time for me to formulate a response. I will wait for you to respond to my original position and to this post. I will not plan to respond to your rebuttle to my original position post but only your arguments against this post. Is that correct? Let me know if you want me to do something different.
AdHoc
Divine Insight wrote: Is the crucifixion of Jesus meaningful?

I feel very strongly that the crucifixion of Jesus cannot be meaningful for several reasons:
(I will enumerate these reasons for easy reference, as I expect to be referencing them often in this debate, so rather than having to continually rehash them I will just refer back to them by number.)

Reason #1: The Wages of Sin could not have been paid via this act.

The reason most often given by Christian apologists for the crucifixion of Jesus is that the crucifixion of Jesus is an act that pays for the sins of men. I suggest that within the context of the Biblical canon of stories this makes no sense. The wages of sin is permanent death (i.e. No gift of eternal life). But Jesus is said to have been resurrected and ascended to heaven. Thus he could not have paid the wages of sin required by these stories.
Jesus was without sin. He had the sin of the world transferred to Him the Bible even says He became sin for us but still the fact that remains that He was a sacrifice that was without sin. That I imagine is the difference and the reason why He was resurrected and others aren’t. The concept of a perfect sacrifice is well-documented in the old testament when sacrifices that are presented are without spot or blemish.
Divine Insight wrote:
Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself.

I hold that there cannot be a reason beyond God's own desire to be appeased by this act. For if such a reason existed this would imply that God is less than omnipotent. In other words, a God who had no choice in the matter could hardly be omnipotent. According to this religion, "With God all things are possible". Given this principle, is seems reasonable to me to conclude that God could have come up with a better solution to this problem. So I hold that the crucifixion in a context of an omnipotent God had to be the God's own desire. And for me personally this raises many problems.
Can God sin? Can God lie? Can God make an object so large that He can’t lift it? If the answer to any of these questions is no does that mean God is not omnipotent? I believe God is just and He is also holy. This means He must punish sin and it also likely means that sin cannot survive in His presence. I don’t have all the answers but I can imagine that there was only one way to provide salvation to mankind and it was Jesus becoming a man, living a sinless life, suffering, shedding His blood and then becoming our High Priest and advocate in heaven. It was God’s desire for Jesus to be crucified and I understand your concern with that but consider that this allows us when we suffer to have a great High Priest who can identify with us in that suffering.
Divine Insight wrote:
Reason #3: Two wrongs don't make a right.

If men were already disobeying God, and God had commanded men not to kill. Then it makes no sense to me that this very same God would offer these men grace if they would disobey his directives just one more time by crucifying his only begotten son. Again this makes no sense to me and violates anything I would consider to be reasonable. This would be like God saying to men, "If you nail my son to a pole, I'll offer you grace and forgive you of your sins".

To me this represents nothing short of insanity. Moreover, this would have had to have been God's plan also, because by Reason #2, we can't have God being forced into doing something that he has himself not chosen to do. So I just can't see this God choosing to use the disobedience of men as an act that would pay for their sins. As I've already said, to me this would be nothing short of insanity.
I’m not sure if I have a good answer for this because I have never considered this thought before. Was it a sin to crucify Jesus? Likely, since Jesus prayed “Father forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing� and Pilate’s wife had a dream that Pilate should "Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.� Maybe instead of insanity we could call it strategy? Knowing what Satan would do God’s moves always take advantage of each situation and at the end work out for good for those that love Him.
Divine Insight wrote: Reason #4: It seems insane to me to employ a crucifixion as a symbol of "Love".
(I would just like to note here that I've held this as a reason long before this debate, so this reason is not in any way a direct response to AdHoc's initial position.)

It is my position that an all-wise God could have come up with a far better example of love. Moreover, because I personally find the concept of being required to condone having someone brutally crucified for my sake to be so extremely repugnant, I can't help but ask why a supposedly omniscient God wouldn't also be aware of how I would feel about this? Surely if such an omniscient God exists he would know that I would find such a plan and scenario to be totally disgusting and unacceptable?

From my perspective I would need to reject this offer, even if it could be shown to be absolutely true. At that very moment, all I could do is hang my head in pure disappointment and disgust in both myself, and in my creator, equally. Such a nightmare scenario would be far worse than to simply discover that the universe is a purely secular accident, IMHO.

So Reason #4 is quite powerful for me personally because it results in a God whom I would be totally unable to accept under any circumstances. And how could that fit in with a scenario that's supposed to be about "God's Love"?
(CNN) -- Great evil often brings out the best in good men, men like Todd Beamer on Flight 93, Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy in Afghanistan and now the Aurora three -- the three young men, each in different parts of theater nine, who gave their lives to protect their girlfriends.
Twenty-five-year-old Jon Blunk was sitting next to his girlfriend, Jansen Young, at the midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" when the gunman (who shall remain nameless) opened fire in the dark theater. Blunk instinctively pushed his girlfriend to the ground and threw his body on top of hers. Blunk, a security guard, served five years in the Navy and was in the process of re-enlisting in hopes of becoming a Navy SEAL, family and friends said. He was killed in the gunfire; his girlfriend survived.
Twenty-four-year-old Alex Teves dived on top of his girlfriend, Amanda Lindgren, when the gunfire erupted. Covering her body, he took the bullets so they did not harm her. She survived the massacre; he did not.
Matt McQuinn, 27 years old, threw his body in front of his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, as the shooting continued. Yowler survived with a gunshot wound to the knee; McQuinn's body absorbed the fatal shots. http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/25/opinion/b ... index.html

Who shows more love? the heroic boyfriends above or the boyfriend that ditches his girlfriend when she gets pregnant or pressures her into having abortion? Or how about the boyfriends above or the boyfriend who says “I love you� and sends flowers on birthdays.

The ultimate sacrifice is the ultimate demonstration of love
Divine Insight wrote: Reason #5: The crucifixion of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb of God as a symbol of God's love for the world does not fit in with the previous biblical stories.

In the Old Testament, God simply punished Adam and Eve, cursing Eve with greatly multiplied sorrow in conception and childbirth, and commanding that her desire shall be to her husband and that he shall rule over her. This God apparently didn't love Adam and Even enough to offer them a sacrificial lamb to pay for their sins.

Later in the Bible God so hated the world that he flooded out the bulk of mankind in the Great Flood. Again, he didn't so love the world that he offered mankind a sacrificial lamb to pay for their sins. This God is supposed to be consistent, trustworthy, and dependable, yet he clearly did not always so love the world that he felt like offering his only begotten son to save it. Why would this change?

Why would this God suddenly have such a dramatic change-of-heart that he moves from hating the world so much that he drowns everyone out, to loving the world so much that he gives his only begotten son to pay for the sins of men? This represent a dramatic about-face. A complete and dramatic change in character.

So for me, the crucifixion of Jesus isn't even remotely compatible with the previous religion upon which it is supposed to be built.
Adam and Eve suffered consequences for their sin and God sacrificed an animal to make clothes of skin for them. God flooded the earth because, it seems, angels were interbreeding with humans. There are many examples of God’s love for people in the Old Testament. Jonah prophesying to Nineveh is a good one. Nineveh was so repugnant to Jonah that he wasn’t even willing to go there and in the end cared more about a plant than a city full of souls. But God cared about them. All through the old testament God made a way to pass over man’s sin until Jesus Christ provided the ultimate sacrifice.
Divine Insight wrote:
Reason #6: I agree with the Jews that Jesus didn't even fulfill the prophesy of a promised messiah. He never became King.

This is almost a trivial reason for me personally, but I'm not going to dismiss it lightly. The Christian claim that Jesus was the prophesied messiah, or "Christ" from the Old Testament doesn't work for me. The prophesy of the messiah, who was supposed to be a descendent of King David, was supposed to be handed the throne of King David by God himself, and become the King of the Jews.

That never even remotely happened according to the gospels. Jesus was never even remotely headed in that direction at all, and was certainly never crowned King. The Christians proclaim that he is now King in heaven, but that's hardly prophesy fulfilled. That's just an unprovable hearsay myth.

So as far as I can see, even if I didn't have all my other concerns and objections I'd still tend to agree with the Jews on this point.
You agree with some Jews. Many Jews have accepted Jesus as the Messiah.
God gave Jesus the throne and prophesied that He would arrive “Lowly and riding on a donkey�. Not on a white charger with pomp like Mussolini.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey. – Zechariah 9:9
Jesus was a direct descendant of David (Matthew 1 and Luke 3). Pilate named Jesus as King of the Jews (John 19:19).If Jesus wasn’t the king of the Jews who was? Herod? Herod wasn’t even a Jew. He was an Edomite and was made King of the Jews by the Romans. Certainly not by God. I submit that Jesus had infinitely more claim to the throne than Herod. Jesus was confirmed as King by God, his Davidic lineage and even by the Roman authority Pilate.

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Post #5

Post by Divine Insight »

[center]Part I - Preliminary Comments[/center]

Just a few comments about the debate format:
AdHoc wrote: I will not plan to respond to your rebuttle to my original position post but only your arguments against this post. Is that correct? Let me know if you want me to do something different.
AdHoc
You are free to respond however you like, with the main goal being to stick to the original question and initial positions. You may comment on my position, or on my arguments against your position, or even offer additional support for you initial position, providing you're not taking a brand new stance or moving too far from your original position. If I feel that you are moving away from your original position, I will point out areas where I feel this is occurring, and you are free to do the same concerning my responses. This is one reason I've enumerated my main concerns. In this way I can refer back to them easily demonstrating that they are indeed my initial position.

So with this in mind, I'll divide this post into four parts:



Part I - Preliminary Comments
(in this section I'm just commenting on the debate situation as I see it)
Part II – My Concerns/Objections Regarding Your Position
(in this section I will address your position)
Part III – Further Support for My Position & Rebuttal
(in this section I will address your concerns/objections regarding my position)
Part IV – Summary of the Debate as I see it thus far.
(this is just how I see our debate, your assessment may differ)

You may then wish to take a similar approach as the debate unfolds.

(note: we are currently still in Part I of this post:

Comparison of Positions:
AdHoc wrote: I take the position that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is meaningful because it demonstrates God’s love for us. I believe it is the fulfillment of prophecy and the crux of salvation.
From this I see that your position appears to be the following:

AdHoc's 1st Principle: The crucifixion of Jesus is a demonstration of God's love.
AdHoc's 2nd Principle: The appearance of Jesus is fulfillment of prophecy.
AdHoc's 3rd Principle: The crucifixion of Jesus is the crux of salvation.

I've have already listed my reasons for rejecting these orthodox beliefs, and I will elaborate on these in Part III of this post. However for the sake of clarity and consistency I would like to show a correlation between the orthodox principles proposed by AdHoc, and my reasons for rejecting them:

AdHoc's 1st Principle: The crucifixion of Jesus is a demonstration of God's love.
My Reasons for rejecting this orthodox principle:
Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself.
Reason #4: It seems insane to me to employ a crucifixion as a symbol of "Love".

AdHoc's 2nd Principle: The appearance of Jesus is fulfillment of prophecy.
My Reasons for rejecting this orthodox principle:
Reason #5: The crucifixion of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb of God as a symbol of God's love for the world does not fit in with the previous biblical stories.
Reason #6: I agree with the Jews that Jesus didn't even fulfill the prophesy of a promised messiah. He never became King.

AdHoc's 3rd Principle: The crucifixion of Jesus is the crux of salvation.
My Reasons for rejecting this orthodox principle:
Reason #1: The Wages of Sin could not have been paid via this act.
Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself.
Reason #3: Two wrongs don't make a right.

Comparison of Support for Positions:
AdHoc wrote: I will use scripture, history and personal experience to support this position.
Again, for the purpose of clarification let's look at what will be used to support these positions.

AdHoc's 1st Support: Scripture
AdHoc's 2nd Support: History
AdHoc's 3rd Support: Personal Experience

For contrast I would like to offer what I will be using to support my objections to the orthodox Biblical views.

Divine Insight's 1st Support: Reason
Divine Insight's 2nd Support: Scripture
Divine Insight's 3rd Support: Personal Experience

Allow me to offer my comments on each of these concepts of support:

Scriptures:

I have no doubt that many scriptures of the New Testament can easily be used to support the idea that Jesus was the son of God sent to be the salvation of man. If that weren't the case we wouldn't be having this debate to begin with.

Therefore my position is to take the stance that these scriptures are necessarily flawed, inconsistent and even contradicting in what they claim as an overall biblical canonical story. Because of this, I will be arguing that the scriptures are not consistent overall as a large-scale story. Thus bringing into question the merit and trustworthiness of any individual claims made by any particular verses within the scriptures.

So I hold that scriptures alone, are not convincing evidence for anything.

Add to this that various interpretations of scriptures also open entire cans of worms that are not easily resolved. I hold that the proof of this fact is apparent in the myriad of different Christians beliefs, sects, and denominations, ranging from Catholicism, to Mormonism, to Southern Baptists, to the Amish, etc. The list is literally tens of thousands of various different interpretations and beliefs. To me, this is proof positive that trying to hold up any specific verses as being evidence for some particular interpretations is ludicrous at best.

Still I hold that it's easy to see the larger inconsistency with the entire Biblical Canon, which is the crux of my argument from a scriptural point of view. (and we'll see an example of this within this Part II of this post)

History:

It is my position that history is virtually useless in this debate. I hold that there is nothing in history that can be used as evidence that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of a God. At best, historical evidence might be able to suggest that some of the people and events mentioned in the Biblical rumors may have actually existed or taken place, but that doesn't verify their outrageous supernatural claims.

Even if it could be verified historically beyond a reasonable doubt that some man named Jesus was indeed crucified on a cross, as the New Testament claims, I still would not view this as evidence to support the outrageous supernatural claims made by the authors of the New Testament. In fact, I already accept that some man may very well have lived, argued against the teachings of the Old Testament, called the Pharisees hypocrites, and was indeed crucified for his activism. But none of that supports that he was the sacrificial lamb of any God.

So I have no idea what history AdHoc intends to present, but I can just about assure everyone that it won't be evidence that Jesus was the Son of God.

Personal Experience:

I'm glad that AdHoc opened the door to accepting personal experience as part of support for these debates, because my Reason #4 is certainly a large part of why I personally reject these ancient claims about God. And this is indeed a reason based on personal experience.

I'm looking forward to hearing AdHoc's personal experience that leads him to believe that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of God who can offer eternal life.

Reason:

I listed this at the top of my list of support, because for me personally, a God must be reasonable. An unreasonable God is, well, unreasonable. And I see no reason to believe in an unreasonable God.

Because of this I feel that any God myth that is to be given serious consideration must be reasonable. I will argue that, IMHO, there is nothing reasonable about a God who would need to have his own son beaten and crucified before he could forgive other people of their sins.

For me this is totally unreasonable.

And now let's move on to AdHoc's actual arguments in support of his position from post 2 of this thread)

[center]Part II – My Concerns/Objections Regarding Your Position[/center]

All the quoted material in this section is taken from post 2 of this thread, “AdHoc's Opening Position�

AdHoc wrote: Genesis 3:15 Is the first prophecy about Jesus and states that the serpent will bruise Him
I have several comments on this. First, I personally don't see where Genesis 3:15 is making any reference to Jesus or any messiah at all. Secondly, the serpent didn't bruise Jesus, mortal men crucified Jesus. So I don't see where this verse supports anything even remotely meaningful.
AdHoc wrote: Isaiah 53:1-12 there is a graphic description of what will happen to the Messiah and why. In verse 5 “He was bruised for our iniquities� and in verse 10 “It pleased the LORD to bruise Him�
Jesus Christ’s suffering on the cross fulfilled God’s will and the prophecy in the Old Testament therefore making it a very meaningful event to humanity or at the very least meaningful to those who accept the event by faith.
“It pleased the LORD to bruise Him�?

This actually gives support to my Reason #4 for rejecting these myths. They basically require that I believe in a God who obtains pleasure in hurting people, even if it's his own son. (I explain more of this in Part III of this post when I address your responses to my Reason #4.)

Also, I'd like to point out that you have just contradicted yourself. In your last paragraph you cite Genesis 3:15 as prophesying that the serpent would bruise Jesus, and then you quote from Isaiah 53, that it is the LORD who bruises him and this pleases the LORD. So you appear to be using contradicting interpretations right off the bat.
AdHoc wrote: Jesus’ death on the cross set the example for the early church of laying one’s life down for others. Christianity in the early years was marked by persecution and suffering and this is reported as being one of the reasons it spread so quickly throughout Asia and into Europe. This peaceful army of martyrs was caused by Jesus’ example on the cross, it affected His followers lives and the lives of their persecutors.
Again, I'll address this fundamental principle in more detail in Part III. But I hold that my Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself, totally destroys the idea that Jesus had to lay down his life to save anyone, for he would have had to have laid it down to pacify a sadistic God. And that makes no sense to me. Mortal men have totally different reasons for putting their lives on the line, as I'll address in more detail in Part III under Reason #2.
AdHoc wrote: The crucifixion is also meaningful in the sense that the greatest demonstration of love possible is for one person to lay their life down for another. This is demonstrated in art and life.
Now you're just repeating yourself. And I will demonstrate in Part III of this post why this cannot hold for an omnipotent God.
AdHoc wrote: It’s meaningful to me personally because it represents the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for me allowing me to be set free from sin.
Allowing you to be set free from sin? This seems to me to violate the very concept of Free Will. Supposedly we have free will to chose whether to sin or not. How could Jesus have set you free from sin unless he removed your free will?

Some Questions for You:

1. Is this what you are claiming? That Jesus has taken away your free will?
2. Are you also claiming that you no longer sin?
3. Or are you just suggesting that you will no longer be held responsible for your sins?
4. Finally, How do you know that any of that is even the case?

AdHoc wrote: I believe that the cross is meaningful to all of humanity. I believe that I have shown that it is meaningful to Christians throughout history as well as to me personally.
Well, they can certainly make it meaningful in a personal sense just as someone can make Santa Claus meaningful in a personal sense. But does that really support that it could be meaningful for an actual omniscient omnipotent God?

Another Question for You:

What about people like me for whom it is not meaningful on a personal level? Shouldn't the creator of humanity have taken into account what all of his children might think of this particular scenario?




[center]Part III – Further Support for My Position & Rebuttal[/center]
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Reason #1: The Wages of Sin could not have been paid via this act.
Jesus was without sin. He had the sin of the world transferred to Him the Bible even says He became sin for us but still the fact that remains that He was a sacrifice that was without sin. That I imagine is the difference and the reason why He was resurrected and others aren’t. The concept of a perfect sacrifice is well-documented in the old testament when sacrifices that are presented are without spot or blemish.
I don't see where this addresses my position. My position is that Jesus did not pay the price for sin if he was resurrected and ascended to heaven to receive the gift of eternal life. That is suppose to be the gift that is given to people who are either without sin, or who have been forgiven their sins.

If Jesus is said to have paid the wages of sin for mankind, then it makes no sense that he would also receive the gift of eternal life. That would be having his cake and eat it too.

Whether Jesus himself had ever sinned or not is totally irrelevant to this concern.

He did not pay the price for sin. Instead he got the gift of eternal life in heaven, (every Christian's dream)

So as far as I can see here you haven't even addressed this issue at all. All you've done is show that you haven't understood the problem.

AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself.
Can God sin? Can God lie? Can God make an object so large that He can’t lift it? If the answer to any of these questions is no does that mean God is not omnipotent? I believe God is just and He is also holy. This means He must punish sin and it also likely means that sin cannot survive in His presence. I don’t have all the answers but I can imagine that there was only one way to provide salvation to mankind and it was Jesus becoming a man, living a sinless life, suffering, shedding His blood and then becoming our High Priest and advocate in heaven. It was God’s desire for Jesus to be crucified and I understand your concern with that but consider that this allows us when we suffer to have a great High Priest who can identify with us in that suffering.
Well, clearly you are going to support the biblical picture of God relentlessly. But may I ask why?

Why should you accept that this biblical story of a God is true? Simply because “The Bible tells us so�?

I do not accept several things that you've said here, as I see them as being rather presumptuous and without depth of merit for the following reasons.

First off, just because there are things that a supposedly omnipotent God may not be able to do, is no reason to start jumping to conclusions that he couldn't have even had a say over how he would offer mankind salvation. How far can you take that ideal? To me this is just hand waving. You're basically saying, “Look even an omnipotent God can't really be omnipotent, so maybe he had no choice in this whole scenario?�

To me, that is an extremely weak argument. I can personally imagine better scenarios. So why should I accept that an infinitely wise intelligent God could not? The argument that God couldn't do any better simple doesn't impress me.

Secondly, why should I accept your belief; “ I believe God is just and He is also holy. This means He must punish sin�; - When I personally disagree with this on many levels.

First off, in this religion what is sin but disobedience to God? And why should it be justified that disobedience to God must be 'punished'? Moreover, why should physical pain and agony be the punishment for disobeying God?

This is a huge objection on my behalf. I personally hold that this type of thinking is ignorant, immature, and basically criminal in and of itself. Especially if we're going to consider a “parent-child relationship" which is the relationship given to this God. This is God the “Father� and we're supposed to be the children of this God.

If I see a human parent who is constantly beating up on their children for not doing as they say, I don't respect that parent at all. On the contrary I view them as being totally ignorant. There are far better and more productive ways of mentoring children than merely trying to beat them into submission, or threaten them with physical punishments if they don't do as they are told.

In fact, AdHoc, this is a huge reason why I reject this whole religion. Precisely because it does portray a God who actually condones this type of behavior and even exhibits it as his own supposedly “divine methods� of raising his children.

So I'm afraid I don't share your belief that because God is just and He is also holy that this means He must punish disobedience via physical violence.

I reject that whole mentality, and I blame these ancient Hebrew myths for causing people to actually think that way.

Another Question for You:

Do you really think this way yourself? Or do you just accept this because the Bible claims this is the way God does things?

If it's the former, then we have radically different views on what constitutes a wise parent and mentor.
If it's the latter, then my suspicion that the Bible is what causes people to think this way is confirmed.


You also say, “It was God’s desire for Jesus to be crucified and I understand your concern with that but consider that this allows us when we suffer to have a great High Priest who can identify with us in that suffering.�

I personally don't need to believe that there is some great High Priest in heaven who can identify with our suffering. Moreover, do you realized that you are actually suggesting that God himself could not have identified with human suffering prior to Jesus then. And, for me, that would be even far more problematic.

So again, I see no merit in this argument either.

AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:
Reason #3: Two wrongs don't make a right.
I’m not sure if I have a good answer for this because I have never considered this thought before. Was it a sin to crucify Jesus? Likely, since Jesus prayed “Father forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing� and Pilate’s wife had a dream that Pilate should "Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.� Maybe instead of insanity we could call it strategy? Knowing what Satan would do God’s moves always take advantage of each situation and at the end work out for good for those that love Him.
Pilate had nothing to do with this, and I'll address that further down when we speak about justifying prophesies.

And now you bring up Satan, and God's supposed war or battle with this fallen angel.

I have huge problems with the concept of a fallen angel that would be causing God to jump through hoops. The idea that God had to sacrifice Jesus to make a statement to Satan in any way implies one of two things:

1. Either it's extremely important for God to impress Satan. (which makes no sense to me)
2. Or Satan is actually the cause of God having to jump through hoops. (which again makes no sense to me)

This is why I hold up my Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself. [/quote]

In order to pin blame for the crucifixion of Jesus on Satan, that implies that God had to make a sacrifice to Satan in order to win some sort of battle. And that implies that Satan is a genuine threat to God that had to be dealt with via God making a sacrifice to Satan. So I can't support that idea either.

Men were the ones who crucified Jesus, not Satan. And this comes right back to my Reason #4, Two wrongs don't make a right. Why should a God who commanded men not to kill, decide that since they have killed his son he will use that as a reason to forgive them of their sins?

For me, this can never be made to make sense in any reasonable way.
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Reason #4: It seems insane to me to employ a crucifixion as a symbol of "Love".
(CNN) -- Great evil often brings out the best in good men, men like Todd Beamer on Flight 93, Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy in Afghanistan and now the Aurora three -- the three young men, each in different parts of theater nine, who gave their lives to protect their girlfriends.
Twenty-five-year-old Jon Blunk was sitting next to his girlfriend, Jansen Young, at the midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" when the gunman (who shall remain nameless) opened fire in the dark theater. Blunk instinctively pushed his girlfriend to the ground and threw his body on top of hers. Blunk, a security guard, served five years in the Navy and was in the process of re-enlisting in hopes of becoming a Navy SEAL, family and friends said. He was killed in the gunfire; his girlfriend survived.
Twenty-four-year-old Alex Teves dived on top of his girlfriend, Amanda Lindgren, when the gunfire erupted. Covering her body, he took the bullets so they did not harm her. She survived the massacre; he did not.
Matt McQuinn, 27 years old, threw his body in front of his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, as the shooting continued. Yowler survived with a gunshot wound to the knee; McQuinn's body absorbed the fatal shots. http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/25/opinion/b ... index.html

Who shows more love? the heroic boyfriends above or the boyfriend that ditches his girlfriend when she gets pregnant or pressures her into having abortion? Or how about the boyfriends above or the boyfriend who says “I love you� and sends flowers on birthdays.

The ultimate sacrifice is the ultimate demonstration of love
Sure it is. I have no problem with that. But how does that apply to the crucifixion of Jesus?

IMHO, it has no application there at all.

All of the scenarios you gave above were scenario where mortal men gave their lives against things they had no control over. They had no choice precisely because they aren't omniscient, and omnipotent. But you can't apply that to a supposedly omnipotent God.

You're trying to take the frailty and helplessness of the moral human condition and apply that to God. In short, you're basically reducing God to being just as helpless as mortal men when you even suggest that there could be a workable analogy here.

There would have had to have been an 'enemy' that God needed to triumph over in order to compare the crucifixion of Jesus with mortal men sacrificing their lives to save people from things that were otherwise out-of-their-control.

In other words, in order for this very common apologetic argument to work, God would have had to have been in a situation where he had no choice in the matter. That's the only way the sacrifice could have made any sense. But that would imply a God who is out-of-control.

And who would have been forcing God to make this sacrifice? Satan? Again, that would be a fallen angel who is making God jump through hoops. We can't have Satan forcing God to jump through hoops. That's never going to fly in this religion, IMHO.

This is why I hold to Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself. [/quote]

And Reason #2 requires that God himself is appeased by seeing someone suffer, and to me, that's unacceptable and unworkable.
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Reason #5: The crucifixion of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb of God as a symbol of God's love for the world does not fit in with the previous biblical stories.
Adam and Eve suffered consequences for their sin and God sacrificed an animal to make clothes of skin for them.
If they weren't supposed to be naked why hadn't God thought to make clothes for them even prior to them having eating the forbidden fruit? If being naked is a sin, then clearly they were sinning all along, even before they realized it.

I personally find that particular observation to be a huge inconsistency with these stories as well. God would have created them in a state of sin even before they realized that they were sinning. That doesn't make any sense to me.
AdHoc wrote: God flooded the earth because, it seems, angels were interbreeding with humans.
I thought angels were supposed to be without gender and sexual genitalia?

I also thought the flood was because every thought of mankind was evil?

Finally, if your interpretations of things is correct, then the Flood would not have been man's fault. And man would have been innocently destroyed due to the improper behavior of angels.
AdHoc wrote: There are many examples of God’s love for people in the Old Testament. Jonah prophesying to Nineveh is a good one. Nineveh was so repugnant to Jonah that he wasn’t even willing to go there and in the end cared more about a plant than a city full of souls. But God cared about them. All through the old testament God made a way to pass over man’s sin until Jesus Christ provided the ultimate sacrifice.
Why would a God who intended to sacrifice his son to pay for the sin of mankind even bother to wait? Why not offer the sacrifice to Adam and Eve at the outset and see if they accept it or not?

IMHO, the Jesus story is simply too far belated in these fables.
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:
Reason #6: I agree with the Jews that Jesus didn't even fulfill the prophesy of a promised messiah. He never became King.
You agree with some Jews. Many Jews have accepted Jesus as the Messiah.
God gave Jesus the throne and prophesied that He would arrive “Lowly and riding on a donkey�. Not on a white charger with pomp like Mussolini.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey. – Zechariah 9:9
This is meaningless to me. The authors of the New Testament clearly had the Old Testament in hand as they were writing their rumors. They often referred back to the Old Testament in an attempt to convince their readers that they has just proven a prophecy. Therefore they simple proclaimed that Jesus rode a donkey to satisfy Zechariah. I wasn't there to see if Jesus actually rode a donkey, were you?

I can see where these New Testament rumors could have easily been made up by authors who are constructing their stories with the Old Testament as a reference material. They're very goal was to fulfill prophecy so they looked for anything they could use. That's not impressive prophesy, IMHO.

Also as another member of these forums often points out, the messiah would be recognized by his works, not because he had fulfilled prophecy. And Jesus never accomplished the things that the messiah was supposed to do.
AdHoc wrote: Jesus was a direct descendant of David (Matthew 1 and Luke 3).
Again, says who? Matthew and Luke. I'm not impressed. How would they know who was directly related to whom? I also hold that these authors are liars, and were caught in lies, as I demonstrate next:
AdHoc wrote: Pilate named Jesus as King of the Jews (John 19:19)
I suggest that John lied. Why? Because these New Testament rumors also claim that Pilate exonerated Jesus and found no fault with him, he then “washed his hands of the whole affair�.

Luke.23:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

John.18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

John.19:4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

John.19:6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.

Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

So why would Pilate name Jesus “King of the Jews�? He exonerated Jesus on those charges, and then washed his hands of the whole affair. The idea that he would have stuck around to mock Jesus and accuse him of being King of the Jews makes no sense. The authors of these stories are caught dead-to-rights in their own lies, IMHO.

And that brings into question the validity of anything they wrote.
AdHoc wrote: If Jesus wasn’t the king of the Jews who was? Herod? Herod wasn’t even a Jew. He was an Edomite and was made King of the Jews by the Romans. Certainly not by God.
The Jews were under Roman occupation, they didn't have a King at this period in history. And just because they didn't have a King doesn't mean that Jesus was their King. They were under Roman occupation. What's so hard to understand about that?
AdHoc wrote: I submit that Jesus had infinitely more claim to the throne than Herod. Jesus was confirmed as King by God, his Davidic lineage and even by the Roman authority Pilate.
No, Jesus wasn't confirmed as King by any God. Only superstitious rumors suggest that this was the case. His linage to King David is meaningless rumors too. And the rumors that Pilate proclaimed Jesus as “King of the Jews� to mock him is highly unlikely too. Why would Pilate, who exonerated Jesus, and found no fault with him, and washed his hands of the whole affair, stick around to mock Jesus by calling him “King of the Jews�. That makes no sense at all. These men who wrote these New Testament rumors had to be liars, which suggests that they were probably lying about the linage to King David too. They probably lied about everything actually.

[center]Part IV – Summary of the Debate as I see it thus far[/center]

Here's what I'm seeing thus far:


AdHoc: - Views the scripture as reliable and trustworthy.
Divine Insight: - Sees no reason to trust anything in scriptures.

AdHoc: - Sees a God who sacrifices his Son as having made the ultimate act of love.
Divine Insight: - Sees a God who sacrifices his Son as a God who has no control.

AdHoc: - Views violent punishments as a "Holy and Just" means of divine parenting.
Divine Insight: - Views violent punishments as a sign of ignorance and basic criminal behavior.

AdHoc: - Believes Jesus fulfilled prophecy.
Divine Insight: - Believes Jesus did not achieve what the messiah was supposed to achieve.

AdHoc: - Appears to be prepared to defend any behavior attributed to God by the Bible.
Divine Insight: - Sees no reason to even try.

AdHoc: - Appears to have a need to believe as a matter of pure faith.
Divine Insight: - Has no need to place any faith in these stories.

~~~~~~

And this brings me to my conclusion.

The religion is a faith-based religion. It only has meaning for those who have a need to place their faith in it. It has no meaning for those who do not need to have faith in it.

So I offer as possible answer to the question of this debate:

Question: "Is the crucifixion of Jesus meaningful?"

My Answer: Only for those who need for it to be meaningful.

~~~~

You're up AdHoc, you may respond in whatever way suits your style.

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AdHoc
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Post #6

Post by AdHoc »

Divine Insight wrote: [center]Part I - Preliminary Comments[/center]

History:

It is my position that history is virtually useless in this debate. I hold that there is nothing in history that can be used as evidence that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of a God. At best, historical evidence might be able to suggest that some of the people and events mentioned in the Biblical rumors may have actually existed or taken place, but that doesn't verify their outrageous supernatural claims.

Even if it could be verified historically beyond a reasonable doubt that some man named Jesus was indeed crucified on a cross, as the New Testament claims, I still would not view this as evidence to support the outrageous supernatural claims made by the authors of the New Testament. In fact, I already accept that some man may very well have lived, argued against the teachings of the Old Testament, called the Pharisees hypocrites, and was indeed crucified for his activism. But none of that supports that he was the sacrificial lamb of any God.

So I have no idea what history AdHoc intends to present, but I can just about assure everyone that it won't be evidence that Jesus was the Son of God.
My point was that the history of the church demonstrates clearlt that the crucifixian of Jesus is so meaningful to so many people that they were and are willing to suffer and die following Jesus' example.
Divine Insight wrote:
Personal Experience:

I'm glad that AdHoc opened the door to accepting personal experience as part of support for these debates, because my Reason #4 is certainly a large part of why I personally reject these ancient claims about God. And this is indeed a reason based on personal experience.

I'm looking forward to hearing AdHoc's personal experience that leads him to believe that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of God who can offer eternal life.
I was referring to my personal experience seeing Christ crucified in faith and accepting Him as my saviour.
Divine Insight wrote:
Reason:

I listed this at the top of my list of support, because for me personally, a God must be reasonable. An unreasonable God is, well, unreasonable. And I see no reason to believe in an unreasonable God.

Because of this I feel that any God myth that is to be given serious consideration must be reasonable. I will argue that, IMHO, there is nothing reasonable about a God who would need to have his own son beaten and crucified before he could forgive other people of their sins.

For me this is totally unreasonable.
Fair enough
Divine Insight wrote:
And now let's move on to AdHoc's actual arguments in support of his position from post 2 of this thread)

[center]Part II – My Concerns/Objections Regarding Your Position[/center]

All the quoted material in this section is taken from post 2 of this thread, “AdHoc's Opening Position�

AdHoc wrote: Genesis 3:15 Is the first prophecy about Jesus and states that the serpent will bruise Him
I have several comments on this. First, I personally don't see where Genesis 3:15 is making any reference to Jesus or any messiah at all. Secondly, the serpent didn't bruise Jesus, mortal men crucified Jesus. So I don't see where this verse supports anything even remotely meaningful.
AdHoc wrote: Isaiah 53:1-12 there is a graphic description of what will happen to the Messiah and why. In verse 5 “He was bruised for our iniquities� and in verse 10 “It pleased the LORD to bruise Him�
Jesus Christ’s suffering on the cross fulfilled God’s will and the prophecy in the Old Testament therefore making it a very meaningful event to humanity or at the very least meaningful to those who accept the event by faith.
“It pleased the LORD to bruise Him�?

This actually gives support to my Reason #4 for rejecting these myths. They basically require that I believe in a God who obtains pleasure in hurting people, even if it's his own son. (I explain more of this in Part III of this post when I address your responses to my Reason #4.)

Also, I'd like to point out that you have just contradicted yourself. In your last paragraph you cite Genesis 3:15 as prophesying that the serpent would bruise Jesus, and then you quote from Isaiah 53, that it is the LORD who bruises him and this pleases the LORD. So you appear to be using contradicting interpretations right off the bat.
Good point, you got me on that one.
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote: Jesus’ death on the cross set the example for the early church of laying one’s life down for others. Christianity in the early years was marked by persecution and suffering and this is reported as being one of the reasons it spread so quickly throughout Asia and into Europe. This peaceful army of martyrs was caused by Jesus’ example on the cross, it affected His followers lives and the lives of their persecutors.
Again, I'll address this fundamental principle in more detail in Part III. But I hold that my Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself, totally destroys the idea that Jesus had to lay down his life to save anyone, for he would have had to have laid it down to pacify a sadistic God. And that makes no sense to me. Mortal men have totally different reasons for putting their lives on the line, as I'll address in more detail in Part III under Reason #2.
AdHoc wrote: The crucifixion is also meaningful in the sense that the greatest demonstration of love possible is for one person to lay their life down for another. This is demonstrated in art and life.
Now you're just repeating yourself. And I will demonstrate in Part III of this post why this cannot hold for an omnipotent God.
AdHoc wrote: It’s meaningful to me personally because it represents the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for me allowing me to be set free from sin.
Allowing you to be set free from sin? This seems to me to violate the very concept of Free Will. Supposedly we have free will to chose whether to sin or not. How could Jesus have set you free from sin unless he removed your free will?
I was a slave to sin and now I'm free to not sin.
Divine Insight wrote:
Some Questions for You:

1. Is this what you are claiming? That Jesus has taken away your free will? No
2. Are you also claiming that you no longer sin? No.
Or are you just suggesting that you will no longer be held responsible for your sins? No
4. Finally, How do you know that any of that is even the case?
Experience and the Word of God
AdHoc wrote: I believe that the cross is meaningful to all of humanity. I believe that I have shown that it is meaningful to Christians throughout history as well as to me personally.
Well, they can certainly make it meaningful in a personal sense just as someone can make Santa Claus meaningful in a personal sense. But does that really support that it could be meaningful for an actual omniscient omnipotent God?

Another Question for You:

What about people like me for whom it is not meaningful on a personal level? Shouldn't the creator of humanity have taken into account what all of his children might think of this particular scenario?
Is it possible to find even 10 people on this forum that agree on anything? The only post I have ever seen everyone agree on was the post about nothing... "deleeted disregard". It's also probably the best thread ever... I recommend reading it if you haven't already.
Divine Insight wrote:
[center]Part III – Further Support for My Position & Rebuttal[/center]
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Reason #1: The Wages of Sin could not have been paid via this act.
Jesus was without sin. He had the sin of the world transferred to Him the Bible even says He became sin for us but still the fact that remains that He was a sacrifice that was without sin. That I imagine is the difference and the reason why He was resurrected and others aren’t. The concept of a perfect sacrifice is well-documented in the old testament when sacrifices that are presented are without spot or blemish.
I don't see where this addresses my position. My position is that Jesus did not pay the price for sin if he was resurrected and ascended to heaven to receive the gift of eternal life. That is suppose to be the gift that is given to people who are either without sin, or who have been forgiven their sins.

If Jesus is said to have paid the wages of sin for mankind, then it makes no sense that he would also receive the gift of eternal life. That would be having his cake and eat it too.

Whether Jesus himself had ever sinned or not is totally irrelevant to this concern.

He did not pay the price for sin. Instead he got the gift of eternal life in heaven, (every Christian's dream)

So as far as I can see here you haven't even addressed this issue at all. All you've done is show that you haven't understood the problem.
I thought I understood the problem... maybe its just that my answer is wanting?
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself.
Can God sin? Can God lie? Can God make an object so large that He can’t lift it? If the answer to any of these questions is no does that mean God is not omnipotent? I believe God is just and He is also holy. This means He must punish sin and it also likely means that sin cannot survive in His presence. I don’t have all the answers but I can imagine that there was only one way to provide salvation to mankind and it was Jesus becoming a man, living a sinless life, suffering, shedding His blood and then becoming our High Priest and advocate in heaven. It was God’s desire for Jesus to be crucified and I understand your concern with that but consider that this allows us when we suffer to have a great High Priest who can identify with us in that suffering.
Well, clearly you are going to support the biblical picture of God relentlessly. But may I ask why?

Why should you accept that this biblical story of a God is true? Simply because “The Bible tells us so�?

I do not accept several things that you've said here, as I see them as being rather presumptuous and without depth of merit for the following reasons.

First off, just because there are things that a supposedly omnipotent God may not be able to do, is no reason to start jumping to conclusions that he couldn't have even had a say over how he would offer mankind salvation. How far can you take that ideal? To me this is just hand waving. You're basically saying, “Look even an omnipotent God can't really be omnipotent, so maybe he had no choice in this whole scenario?�

To me, that is an extremely weak argument. I can personally imagine better scenarios. So why should I accept that an infinitely wise intelligent God could not? The argument that God couldn't do any better simple doesn't impress me.

Secondly, why should I accept your belief; “ I believe God is just and He is also holy. This means He must punish sin�; - When I personally disagree with this on many levels.

First off, in this religion what is sin but disobedience to God? And why should it be justified that disobedience to God must be 'punished'? Moreover, why should physical pain and agony be the punishment for disobeying God?

This is a huge objection on my behalf. I personally hold that this type of thinking is ignorant, immature, and basically criminal in and of itself. Especially if we're going to consider a “parent-child relationship" which is the relationship given to this God. This is God the “Father� and we're supposed to be the children of this God.

If I see a human parent who is constantly beating up on their children for not doing as they say, I don't respect that parent at all. On the contrary I view them as being totally ignorant. There are far better and more productive ways of mentoring children than merely trying to beat them into submission, or threaten them with physical punishments if they don't do as they are told.

In fact, AdHoc, this is a huge reason why I reject this whole religion. Precisely because it does portray a God who actually condones this type of behavior and even exhibits it as his own supposedly “divine methods� of raising his children.
I don't believe we are God's children, I believe we are adopted into His family. And if we are adopted then we have no reason to fear death, in fact if anything, its something to eagerly look forward to.
Divine Insight wrote:
So I'm afraid I don't share your belief that because God is just and He is also holy that this means He must punish disobedience via physical violence.

I reject that whole mentality, and I blame these ancient Hebrew myths for causing people to actually think that way.

Another Question for You:

Do you really think this way yourself? Or do you just accept this because the Bible claims this is the way God does things?
God gave me a brain and I use it to think and reason but I spend alot of time reading His word and that changes my thinking. Just like watching TV changes our thinking and the media changes our thinking. So I would have to say at the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump that maybe both things are happening?
Divine Insight wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:

If it's the former, then we have radically different views on what constitutes a wise parent and mentor.
If it's the latter, then my suspicion that the Bible is what causes people to think this way is confirmed.


You also say, “It was God’s desire for Jesus to be crucified and I understand your concern with that but consider that this allows us when we suffer to have a great High Priest who can identify with us in that suffering.�

I personally don't need to believe that there is some great High Priest in heaven who can identify with our suffering. Moreover, do you realized that you are actually suggesting that God himself could not have identified with human suffering prior to Jesus then. And, for me, that would be even far more problematic.

So again, I see no merit in this argument either.

AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:
Reason #3: Two wrongs don't make a right.
I’m not sure if I have a good answer for this because I have never considered this thought before. Was it a sin to crucify Jesus? Likely, since Jesus prayed “Father forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing� and Pilate’s wife had a dream that Pilate should "Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.� Maybe instead of insanity we could call it strategy? Knowing what Satan would do God’s moves always take advantage of each situation and at the end work out for good for those that love Him.
Pilate had nothing to do with this, and I'll address that further down when we speak about justifying prophesies.

And now you bring up Satan, and God's supposed war or battle with this fallen angel.

I have huge problems with the concept of a fallen angel that would be causing God to jump through hoops. The idea that God had to sacrifice Jesus to make a statement to Satan in any way implies one of two things:

1. Either it's extremely important for God to impress Satan. (which makes no sense to me)
2. Or Satan is actually the cause of God having to jump through hoops. (which again makes no sense to me)

This is why I hold up my Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself.
In order to pin blame for the crucifixion of Jesus on Satan, that implies that God had to make a sacrifice to Satan in order to win some sort of battle. And that implies that Satan is a genuine threat to God that had to be dealt with via God making a sacrifice to Satan. So I can't support that idea either.

Men were the ones who crucified Jesus, not Satan. And this comes right back to my Reason #4, Two wrongs don't make a right. Why should a God who commanded men not to kill, decide that since they have killed his son he will use that as a reason to forgive them of their sins?

For me, this can never be made to make sense in any reasonable way.
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Reason #4: It seems insane to me to employ a crucifixion as a symbol of "Love".
(CNN) -- Great evil often brings out the best in good men, men like Todd Beamer on Flight 93, Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy in Afghanistan and now the Aurora three -- the three young men, each in different parts of theater nine, who gave their lives to protect their girlfriends.
Twenty-five-year-old Jon Blunk was sitting next to his girlfriend, Jansen Young, at the midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" when the gunman (who shall remain nameless) opened fire in the dark theater. Blunk instinctively pushed his girlfriend to the ground and threw his body on top of hers. Blunk, a security guard, served five years in the Navy and was in the process of re-enlisting in hopes of becoming a Navy SEAL, family and friends said. He was killed in the gunfire; his girlfriend survived.
Twenty-four-year-old Alex Teves dived on top of his girlfriend, Amanda Lindgren, when the gunfire erupted. Covering her body, he took the bullets so they did not harm her. She survived the massacre; he did not.
Matt McQuinn, 27 years old, threw his body in front of his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, as the shooting continued. Yowler survived with a gunshot wound to the knee; McQuinn's body absorbed the fatal shots. http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/25/opinion/b ... index.html

Who shows more love? the heroic boyfriends above or the boyfriend that ditches his girlfriend when she gets pregnant or pressures her into having abortion? Or how about the boyfriends above or the boyfriend who says “I love you� and sends flowers on birthdays.

The ultimate sacrifice is the ultimate demonstration of love
Sure it is. I have no problem with that. But how does that apply to the crucifixion of Jesus?

IMHO, it has no application there at all.

All of the scenarios you gave above were scenario where mortal men gave their lives against things they had no control over. They had no choice precisely because they aren't omniscient, and omnipotent. But you can't apply that to a supposedly omnipotent God.

You're trying to take the frailty and helplessness of the moral human condition and apply that to God. In short, you're basically reducing God to being just as helpless as mortal men when you even suggest that there could be a workable analogy here.

There would have had to have been an 'enemy' that God needed to triumph over in order to compare the crucifixion of Jesus with mortal men sacrificing their lives to save people from things that were otherwise out-of-their-control.

In other words, in order for this very common apologetic argument to work, God would have had to have been in a situation where he had no choice in the matter. That's the only way the sacrifice could have made any sense. But that would imply a God who is out-of-control.

And who would have been forcing God to make this sacrifice? Satan? Again, that would be a fallen angel who is making God jump through hoops. We can't have Satan forcing God to jump through hoops. That's never going to fly in this religion, IMHO.

This is why I hold to Reason #2: The only entity who could have required this as payment would have had to have been God himself.
And Reason #2 requires that God himself is appeased by seeing someone suffer, and to me, that's unacceptable and unworkable.
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Reason #5: The crucifixion of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb of God as a symbol of God's love for the world does not fit in with the previous biblical stories.
Adam and Eve suffered consequences for their sin and God sacrificed an animal to make clothes of skin for them.
If they weren't supposed to be naked why hadn't God thought to make clothes for them even prior to them having eating the forbidden fruit? If being naked is a sin, then clearly they were sinning all along, even before they realized it.

I personally find that particular observation to be a huge inconsistency with these stories as well. God would have created them in a state of sin even before they realized that they were sinning. That doesn't make any sense to me.
AdHoc wrote: God flooded the earth because, it seems, angels were interbreeding with humans.
I thought angels were supposed to be without gender and sexual genitalia?

I also thought the flood was because every thought of mankind was evil?

Finally, if your interpretations of things is correct, then the Flood would not have been man's fault. And man would have been innocently destroyed due to the improper behavior of angels.
AdHoc wrote: There are many examples of God’s love for people in the Old Testament. Jonah prophesying to Nineveh is a good one. Nineveh was so repugnant to Jonah that he wasn’t even willing to go there and in the end cared more about a plant than a city full of souls. But God cared about them. All through the old testament God made a way to pass over man’s sin until Jesus Christ provided the ultimate sacrifice.
Why would a God who intended to sacrifice his son to pay for the sin of mankind even bother to wait? Why not offer the sacrifice to Adam and Eve at the outset and see if they accept it or not?

IMHO, the Jesus story is simply too far belated in these fables.
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:
Reason #6: I agree with the Jews that Jesus didn't even fulfill the prophesy of a promised messiah. He never became King.
You agree with some Jews. Many Jews have accepted Jesus as the Messiah.
God gave Jesus the throne and prophesied that He would arrive “Lowly and riding on a donkey�. Not on a white charger with pomp like Mussolini.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey. – Zechariah 9:9
This is meaningless to me. The authors of the New Testament clearly had the Old Testament in hand as they were writing their rumors. They often referred back to the Old Testament in an attempt to convince their readers that they has just proven a prophecy. Therefore they simple proclaimed that Jesus rode a donkey to satisfy Zechariah. I wasn't there to see if Jesus actually rode a donkey, were you?
No but I wasn't there to see Mussolini either, or Caesar cross the Rubicon or Hannibal the alps should I stop believing those events happened?
Divine Insight wrote:
I can see where these New Testament rumors could have easily been made up by authors who are constructing their stories with the Old Testament as a reference material. They're very goal was to fulfill prophecy so they looked for anything they could use. That's not impressive prophesy, IMHO.

Also as another member of these forums often points out, the messiah would be recognized by his works, not because he had fulfilled prophecy. And Jesus never accomplished the things that the messiah was supposed to do.
What works was the Messiah to do that Jesus did not do?
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote: Jesus was a direct descendant of David (Matthew 1 and Luke 3).
Again, says who? Matthew and Luke. I'm not impressed. How would they know who was directly related to whom? I also hold that these authors are liars, and were caught in lies, as I demonstrate next:
AdHoc wrote: Pilate named Jesus as King of the Jews (John 19:19)
I suggest that John lied. Why? Because these New Testament rumors also claim that Pilate exonerated Jesus and found no fault with him, he then “washed his hands of the whole affair�.

Luke.23:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

John.18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

John.19:4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

John.19:6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.

Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

So why would Pilate name Jesus “King of the Jews�? He exonerated Jesus on those charges, and then washed his hands of the whole affair. The idea that he would have stuck around to mock Jesus and accuse him of being King of the Jews makes no sense. The authors of these stories are caught dead-to-rights in their own lies, IMHO.

And that brings into question the validity of anything they wrote.
I'm not sure this demonstrates what you think it does... can you further highlight your point for me?
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote: If Jesus wasn’t the king of the Jews who was? Herod? Herod wasn’t even a Jew. He was an Edomite and was made King of the Jews by the Romans. Certainly not by God.
The Jews were under Roman occupation, they didn't have a King at this period in history. And just because they didn't have a King doesn't mean that Jesus was their King. They were under Roman occupation. What's so hard to understand about that?
AdHoc wrote: I submit that Jesus had infinitely more claim to the throne than Herod. Jesus was confirmed as King by God, his Davidic lineage and even by the Roman authority Pilate.
No, Jesus wasn't confirmed as King by any God. Only superstitious rumors suggest that this was the case. His linage to King David is meaningless rumors too. And the rumors that Pilate proclaimed Jesus as “King of the Jews� to mock him is highly unlikely too. Why would Pilate, who exonerated Jesus, and found no fault with him, and washed his hands of the whole affair, stick around to mock Jesus by calling him “King of the Jews�. That makes no sense at all. These men who wrote these New Testament rumors had to be liars, which suggests that they were probably lying about the linage to King David too. They probably lied about everything actually.

[center]Part IV – Summary of the Debate as I see it thus far[/center]

Here's what I'm seeing thus far:


AdHoc: - Views the scripture as reliable and trustworthy.
Divine Insight: - Sees no reason to trust anything in scriptures.

AdHoc: - Sees a God who sacrifices his Son as having made the ultimate act of love.
Divine Insight: - Sees a God who sacrifices his Son as a God who has no control.

AdHoc: - Views violent punishments as a "Holy and Just" means of divine parenting.
Divine Insight: - Views violent punishments as a sign of ignorance and basic criminal behavior.

AdHoc: - Believes Jesus fulfilled prophecy.
Divine Insight: - Believes Jesus did not achieve what the messiah was supposed to achieve.

AdHoc: - Appears to be prepared to defend any behavior attributed to God by the Bible.
Divine Insight: - Sees no reason to even try.

AdHoc: - Appears to have a need to believe as a matter of pure faith.
Divine Insight: - Has no need to place any faith in these stories.

~~~~~~

And this brings me to my conclusion.

The religion is a faith-based religion. It only has meaning for those who have a need to place their faith in it. It has no meaning for those who do not need to have faith in it.
I agree with you here
Divine Insight wrote:
So I offer as possible answer to the question of this debate:

Question: "Is the crucifixion of Jesus meaningful?"

My Answer: Only for those who need for it to be meaningful.
And I agree with you here

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Post #7

Post by Divine Insight »

AdHoc wrote: My point was that the history of the church demonstrates clearlt that the crucifixian of Jesus is so meaningful to so many people that they were and are willing to suffer and die following Jesus' example.
Let's not forget that this religion also proclaims that to deny Jesus will result in your eternal damnation. So many of these people could have easily been driven to support this religion by pure fear that rejecting it would seal their damnation. Others also may have been driving by pure lust in the hopes that they will receive a gift of eternal life. Many of them most likely never even considered the technical questions whether or not a God sacrificing his own son to himself makes any actual sense.

Secondly, and far more importantly, there are many Muslims who are blowing themselves up in the name of Allah, taking many other people with them in the process. Does this then loan support to Islam and Allah?

Finally, there are also many examples of humanitarians who were willing to face great suffering and even death purely in the name of humanitarianism. No God required. So the fact that people are willing to die for a cause doesn't necessarily indicate anything about the cause itself.
AdHoc wrote: I was referring to my personal experience seeing Christ crucified in faith and accepting Him as my saviour.
Yes, but then we have my personal experience that this scenario seems totally unrealistic to me, and far beneath what I would expect from an actual supreme divine being.

So we have conflicting personal experiences. Thus bringing into question the merit of personal experience as a valid measure of whether something is meaningful in any absolute sense.
AdHoc wrote: I was a slave to sin and now I'm free to not sin.
Well, I'm certainly glad to hear that. At least the latter part. ;)

I've never been a slave to sin so this is an experience I cannot identify with. It would also be a reason that I would not need Jesus to free me from a problem that I am not inflicted with.
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Another Question for You:

What about people like me for whom it is not meaningful on a personal level? Shouldn't the creator of humanity have taken into account what all of his children might think of this particular scenario?
Is it possible to find even 10 people on this forum that agree on anything? The only post I have ever seen everyone agree on was the post about nothing... "deleeted disregard". It's also probably the best thread ever... I recommend reading it if you haven't already.
But this isn't a question about getting people to agree with each other.

This is a question about people agreeing with their creator.

Why should you be so lucky that you have a creator you can naturally agree with without a problem, and I be so unlucky to I have a creator I cannot possibly agree with?

In other words, you apparently have no problem with a God who solves all his problems using violence, threats of violence, and the crucifixion of his own son as a means of offering salvation to his creation.

But I do.

How could the creator not have taken this into consideration? How could my creator not understand why I would find this to be totally unacceptable?

So this isn't a question of getting people to agree with each other. This is a question of a dramatic difference of agreement between the creator and the created.

That is no small problem.
AdHoc wrote: I don't believe we are God's children, I believe we are adopted into His family. And if we are adopted then we have no reason to fear death, in fact if anything, its something to eagerly look forward to.
I've heard this view before. But to me this view makes no sense at all. If God is our creator then we are naturally his children via that very act of creation. Moreover this God is supposed to be the "Father", not the "Foster Father".

And if we aren't God's children, then who's children are we? And shouldn't we be honoring are real parents in that case, instead of some God?

The idea of being adopted by God, is an apologetic idea that I personally see as desperate extremism that is obviously attempting to avoid the otherwise blatant contradictions of this religion.

Also, you suggest that we would no longer have any reason to fear death. I have no fear of death, and never have. But clearly many people to. Evidently most people do. Fear of death seems to be a quite popular fear and is indeed why many people turn to religions. In fact, at the beginning of this post, you had suggested that people were willing to give their life for their believe in Christianity. Well, if they belief that they will be given eternal life as a reward for having done that, then that itself is all the motivation they would need.

In fact, that's apparently the same motivation that drives the Muslim suicide bombers. They believe that they will be rewarded in an afterlife if they blow themselves up for Allah in this life.

Fear of death, and lust for eternal life are the two greatest motivators for religion in general.
AdHoc wrote: God gave me a brain and I use it to think and reason but I spend alot of time reading His word and that changes my thinking. Just like watching TV changes our thinking and the media changes our thinking. So I would have to say at the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump that maybe both things are happening?
And that's precisely why I speak out against these Abrahamic religions.

If you are reading a book that you have convinced yourself to be the "Word of God" then you are indeed going to be adopting the principles laid out in that book as being "Divine Wisdom".

So if the book tells you that God is the "Father" of humanity and deals with his children by delving out physical punishments, or threats of physical punishments, as his divine method of parenting, then you, as a reader of this book are naturally going to start adopting that same mentality. After all, you are viewing these stories as though they are indeed how God deals with things.

This is precisely why I speak out against these religions. They offer grossly ignorant and brutal solutions for problems, IMHO, and portray these solutions as being the behavior of a supposedly all-wise benevolent and righteous God.

This is precisely what makes these ancient religions so dangerous, IMHO.
AdHoc wrote: What works was the Messiah to do that Jesus did not do?
Cnorman18 has made a post that covers this quite well, I'll just point to his thread on this as I agree with every point he makes there:

Why Jesus was not the Jewish Messiah
AdHoc wrote: I'm not sure this demonstrates what you think it does... can you further highlight your point for me?
You had referred to Pilate proclaiming that Jesus is the "King of the Jews", as per the claims in the New Testament.

My point is that the New Testament authors contradict themselves as follows:

First they do this:

1. They have Pilate exonerating Jesus on the charge of claiming to be King of the Jews.
2. After Pilate exonerates Jesus he turns Jesus over to the Pharisees, and washing his hands of the whole affair.

But then they turn around and claim that Pilate mocks Jesus by proclaiming sarcastically proclaiming him to be the King of the Jews.

To me that's a blatant contradiction. If Pilate found not fault with Jesus and exonerated him on charges of claiming to be the King of the Jew, and also washed his hands of the whole affair when he turned Jesus over the Pharisees, then why would Pilate stick around to mock Jesus by sarcastically proclaiming Jesus to be the "King of the Jews".

As far as I'm concerned, the authors of these rumors just exposed themselves as being be absolutely liars who will make up anything to support their rumors even when it clearly conflicts with things they had already claimed.

Thus bringing into question anything and everything else that they wrote.

So I not only do not trust these authors, but as far as I'm concerned they have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that nothing they wrote can be trusted.

AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: So I offer as possible answer to the question of this debate:

Question: "Is the crucifixion of Jesus meaningful?"

My Answer: Only for those who need for it to be meaningful.
And I agree with you here
Well, in this case, then it appears that you agree that it is not meaningful for me.

And my point is that shouldn't an all-wise divine creator have realized that this would indeed be the case for me?

According to many Christians (especially authors of the New Testament) the choice of whether or not this is meaningful is not up to the individual to decide.

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Post #8

Post by AdHoc »

Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
My point was that the history of the church demonstrates clearlt that the crucifixian of Jesus is so meaningful to so many people that they were and are willing to suffer and die following Jesus' example.
Let's not forget that this religion also proclaims that to deny Jesus will result in your eternal damnation. So many of these people could have easily been driven to support this religion by pure fear that rejecting it would seal their damnation. Others also may have been driving by pure lust in the hopes that they will receive a gift of eternal life. Many of them most likely never even considered the technical questions whether or not a God sacrificing his own son to himself makes any actual sense.

Secondly, and far more importantly, there are many Muslims who are blowing themselves up in the name of Allah, taking many other people with them in the process. Does this then loan support to Islam and Allah?

Finally, there are also many examples of humanitarians who were willing to face great suffering and even death purely in the name of humanitarianism. No God required. So the fact that people are willing to die for a cause doesn't necessarily indicate anything about the cause itself.
Yes it does, it clearly means its meaningful to them.
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
I was referring to my personal experience seeing Christ crucified in faith and accepting Him as my saviour.
Yes, but then we have my personal experience that this scenario seems totally unrealistic to me, and far beneath what I would expect from an actual supreme divine being.

So we have conflicting personal experiences. Thus bringing into question the merit of personal experience as a valid measure of whether something is meaningful in any absolute sense.


I see this a little differently, I have an experience that I was convicted of sin, experienced an assurance of salvation, an opening of God’s Word and personal a relationship with Christ. Maybe I'm crazy or delusional but that's my experience. You have an "experience that this scenario seems totally unrealistic to (you)" I submit that you have a lack of experience in what I'm talking about. Not a criticism just a statement of fact. Maybe out of the two of us you are the sane one. Regardless, I have an experience and you have no spiritual experience with the crucifixian of Christ. I’ve never seen Africa, maybe you have. Can I put my non-experience of Africa up against yours as proof that it doesn’t exist?
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
I was a slave to sin and now I'm free to not sin.
Well, I'm certainly glad to hear that. At least the latter part. ;)

I've never been a slave to sin so this is an experience I cannot identify with. It would also be a reason that I would not need Jesus to free me from a problem that I am not inflicted with.
I don't mind telling you that is a worldview shaking thing for me to hear. Of course I don't know what is going on in other people's minds but I know I am not the same person I once was. I lied, stole, was greedy, hurt people I cared about and those are just the sins I'm comfortable sharing. I am so glad to have that part of my life in the rearview mirror.
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:
Another Question for You:

What about people like me for whom it is not meaningful on a personal level? Shouldn't the creator of humanity have taken into account what all of his children might think of this particular scenario?

Is it possible to find even 10 people on this forum that agree on anything? The only post I have ever seen everyone agree on was the post about nothing... "deleeted disregard". It's also probably the best thread ever... I recommend reading it if you haven't already.


But this isn't a question about getting people to agree with each other.

This is a question about people agreeing with their creator.

Why should you be so lucky that you have a creator you can naturally agree with without a problem, and I be so unlucky to I have a creator I cannot possibly agree with?

In other words, you apparently have no problem with a God who solves all his problems using violence, threats of violence, and the crucifixion of his own son as a means of offering salvation to his creation.

But I do.

How could the creator not have taken this into consideration? How could my creator not understand why I would find this to be totally unacceptable?

So this isn't a question of getting people to agree with each other. This is a question of a dramatic difference of agreement between the creator and the created.

That is no small problem.
Indeed.

I guess all I can say is I don't see Him that way. God accepts us as we are I guess in return we have a choice to accept Him or not as He is, whatever His nature.

How do you picture God?
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
I don't believe we are God's children, I believe we are adopted into His family. And if we are adopted then we have no reason to fear death, in fact if anything, its something to eagerly look forward to.


I've heard this view before. But to me this view makes no sense at all. If God is our creator then we are naturally his children via that very act of creation. Moreover this God is supposed to be the "Father", not the "Foster Father".

And if we aren't God's children, then who's children are we? And shouldn't we be honoring are real parents in that case, instead of some God?
Real parents? Is an adopted Father not a “real� father? And an adopted child not a “real� child? I would prefer to use the terms adoptive and biological.
Divine Insight wrote:
The idea of being adopted by God, is an apologetic idea that I personally see as desperate extremism that is obviously attempting to avoid the otherwise blatant contradictions of this religion.

Also, you suggest that we would no longer have any reason to fear death. I have no fear of death, and never have. But clearly many people to. Evidently most people do. Fear of death seems to be a quite popular fear and is indeed why many people turn to religions. In fact, at the beginning of this post, you had suggested that people were willing to give their life for their believe in Christianity. Well, if they belief that they will be given eternal life as a reward for having done that, then that itself is all the motivation they would need.

In fact, that's apparently the same motivation that drives the Muslim suicide bombers. They believe that they will be rewarded in an afterlife if they blow themselves up for Allah in this life.

Fear of death, and lust for eternal life are the two greatest motivators for religion in general.


I disagree, in my case it was the desire to be loved.
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
God gave me a brain and I use it to think and reason but I spend alot of time reading His word and that changes my thinking. Just like watching TV changes our thinking and the media changes our thinking. So I would have to say at the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump that maybe both things are happening?
And that's precisely why I speak out against these Abrahamic religions.



If you are reading a book that you have convinced yourself to be the "Word of God" then you are indeed going to be adopting the principles laid out in that book as being "Divine Wisdom".

So if the book tells you that God is the "Father" of humanity and deals with his children by delving out physical punishments, or threats of physical punishments, as his divine method of parenting, then you, as a reader of this book are naturally going to start adopting that same mentality. After all, you are viewing these stories as though they are indeed how God deals with things.

This is precisely why I speak out against these religions. They offer grossly ignorant and brutal solutions for problems, IMHO, and portray these solutions as being the behavior of a supposedly all-wise benevolent and righteous God.

This is precisely what makes these ancient religions so dangerous, IMHO.
Christian means "little Christ" so Christians imitate Christ. Do you really believe Jesus Christ offered "grossly ignorant and brutal solutions for problems"? If so I challenge you to find even one atheist on this forum that agrees with you.
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
What works was the Messiah to do that Jesus did not do?
Cnorman18 has made a post that covers this quite well, I'll just point to his thread on this as I agree with every point he makes there: Why Jesus was not the Jewish Messiah


Well if you agree with every point he made I assume that "every point" includes this point: "I'll also offer this: I have said for many years that, when (if) the Messiah finally comes, the Jews will look up and say, “You’re here!� the Christians will look up and say, “You’re back!� -- and then we’ll all hug each other and laugh about it."

I agree with this point too. But I should mention that I read the post through and did not find one scripture presented listing a work that Jesus did not do. So could you tell me what works was the Messiah to do that Jesus did not do?
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
I'm not sure this demonstrates what you think it does... can you further highlight your point for me?
You had referred to Pilate proclaiming that Jesus is the "King of the Jews", as per the claims in the New Testament.

My point is that the New Testament authors contradict themselves as follows:

First they do this:

1. They have Pilate exonerating Jesus on the charge of claiming to be King of the Jews.

2. After Pilate exonerates Jesus he turns Jesus over to the Pharisees, and washing his hands of the whole affair.

But then they turn around and claim that Pilate mocks Jesus by proclaiming sarcastically proclaiming him to be the King of the Jews.

To me that's a blatant contradiction. If Pilate found not fault with Jesus and exonerated him on charges of claiming to be the King of the Jew, and also washed his hands of the whole affair when he turned Jesus over the Pharisees, then why would Pilate stick around to mock Jesus by sarcastically proclaiming Jesus to be the "King of the Jews".

As far as I'm concerned, the authors of these rumors just exposed themselves as being be absolutely liars who will make up anything to support their rumors even when it clearly conflicts with things they had already claimed.

Thus bringing into question anything and everything else that they wrote.

So I not only do not trust these authors, but as far as I'm concerned they have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that nothing they wrote can be trusted.


Ahhh… I see. Well why do you assume Pilate was being sarcastic? I believe Pilate was unwilling to have an uprising or major disturbance on his hands because he would probably have to answer to Rome if that happened. On the other hand he believed Jesus was innocent and so when he was given no choice but to crucify Jesus he felt strongly that he wanted that written because Jesus told him He was the King of the Jews. Maybe Pilate believed Him or maybe at the very least wanted to honour Him. I have never once thought He was being sarcastic. That doesn’t seem very likely to me at all and I don’t doubt why you would think the story was made up if that were the case.
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:
So I offer as possible answer to the question of this debate:

Question: "Is the crucifixion of Jesus meaningful?"

My Answer: Only for those who need for it to be meaningful.
And I agree with you here
Well, in this case, then it appears that you agree that it is not meaningful for me.

And my point is that shouldn't an all-wise divine creator have realized that this would indeed be the case for me?

According to many Christians (especially authors of the New Testament) the choice of whether or not this is meaningful is not up to the individual to decide.
We already know it isn’t meaningful to you because you’ve said as much so I think we can safely establish that as a fact. It is meaningful to me so I think we can also establish that as a fact. It is my honest opinion that it could be meaningful to you but that is totally up to you. So I submit that I believe the crucifixion of Jesus is meaningful to some but not all. It’s up to all people individually to decide if its meaningful them or not.

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Post #9

Post by Divine Insight »

AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Finally, there are also many examples of humanitarians who were willing to face great suffering and even death purely in the name of humanitarianism. No God required. So the fact that people are willing to die for a cause doesn't necessarily indicate anything about the cause itself.
Yes it does, it clearly means its meaningful to them.
Cnorman18 has made a post that covers this quite well, I'll just point to his thread on this as I agree with every point he makes there: Why Jesus was not the Jewish Messiah

Sure. But they are mere mortals who are neither omniscient nor omnipotent. So they have no choice but to face danger and adversity to try to do good in the world.

Attempting to apply this to a God makes no sense. In order for this analogy to work you must reduce God to being as hopeless and helpless as mere mortal humans.

So what I'm saying is the analogy can't be made to work.

A God who has his own innocent son butchered on a pole to appease himself is far from being a moral entity. On the contrary, such a God could only be a sadist.

And that's my point. You simply can't compare the actions of a supposedly omnipotent God with those of helpless humans who perhaps couldn't have even thought up better ways to deal with the problems at hand.

And all-wise omnipotent infinitely intelligent God is without excuse for having his own son butchered on a pole to appease himself.

So you haven't made any headway with me on this issue.
AdHoc wrote: I see this a little differently, I have an experience that I was convicted of sin, experienced an assurance of salvation, an opening of God’s Word and personal a relationship with Christ. Maybe I'm crazy or delusional but that's my experience. You have an "experience that this scenario seems totally unrealistic to (you)" I submit that you have a lack of experience in what I'm talking about. Not a criticism just a statement of fact. Maybe out of the two of us you are the sane one. Regardless, I have an experience and you have no spiritual experience with the crucifixian of Christ. I’ve never seen Africa, maybe you have. Can I put my non-experience of Africa up against yours as proof that it doesn’t exist?
So what are you suggesting? That I need to have a serious problem with extreme sin before I can experience God?

If that's the case, then I would end up going to hell for having never fallen into sin to such a degree that I become so hopelessly desperate that I felt a need to call upon some deity to pull out of my cesspool of sin.

This is the problem with Christianity. It basically requires that a person is so desperately lost in sin that they feel like they are out of control of their own ability to control themselves. I've never been that desperate in my entire life and can't imagine ever becoming that desperate save for possibly mental illness. And that's another thing too. Does this religion even allow, or account for mental illness? According to this religion if someone is mentally ill that just means that they are possessed by a demon. And that begs the question of whether or not they actually invited the demon to possess them, or if they are merely innocent victims. If they are an innocent victim how could they be held responsible for that? And if they actually invited the evil demon to take over their body, then what would they even need an evil demon for? Aren't humans capable of just choosing to sin on their free will?

For me, this whole religion is nothing more that one oxymoron after another.

I'm not a sinner, and I've never invited any demons to come into my life. So what would I need to be saved from?

Moreover, you're making light of my experience. My experience is that the very thought of a God who is as ignorant and sadistic as the biblical stories demand makes me sick at the stomach.

And that is a very real experience. How can you not see why a God who had designed such an disgusting scenario would not be responsible for having not taken into account how I would feel about his sadistic behavior?

That's my whole point. You're basically asking me to believe in a creator who would have absolutely no clue how I think or feel about anything. Why should I believe in a supposedly omniscient God who obviously can't even understand how I would personally feel about things?

There's nothing there that demonstrates to me that there's any omniscience going on. And that's my point. And this is also a very real experience.

For you to dismiss my life's experience as being inapplicable whilst proclaiming that your life's experience is somehow meaningful most certainly isn't going to convince me of anything.
AdHoc wrote: I don't mind telling you that is a worldview shaking thing for me to hear. Of course I don't know what is going on in other people's minds but I know I am not the same person I once was. I lied, stole, was greedy, hurt people I cared about and those are just the sins I'm comfortable sharing. I am so glad to have that part of my life in the rearview mirror.
Well, I am certainly very glad to hear that you have changed your life for the better. That is a very great thing. And I hope that remains a constant and positive part of your life. But it seems to me that even if this God of Christianity were to actually exist, it still would have had to have been your choice to turn your life around. Even according to this religion Jesus doesn't go around "saving" people who haven't already made up their own minds that they sincerely want to be saved and are willing to do what it takes to turn their life around.

Therefore, I can see how this spiritual archetype can actually work on a psychological basis. And there's nothing wrong with that. I actually support using psychological archetypes for personal motivation. I believe they are very useful tools without a doubt. I use them myself for motivation. And I even understand precisely what they are, and they still work.

But in these cases all you can really say is that this archetype is meaningful for you. What tends to ruin these things is when they are then pushed onto other people, like you arguing with me that this particular archetype should be meaningful to me. It's not. It holds no value for me at all. There are other archetypes that I much prefer and find far more meaningful for me.

And some people have no need for spiritual archetypes at all, although I firmly believe that all humans employ some from of psychic archetypes of some sort even if purely secular in nature. This is why I would never suggest that there is anything wrong with someone who is a very strong atheist.

AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: In other words, you apparently have no problem with a God who solves all his problems using violence, threats of violence, and the crucifixion of his own son as a means of offering salvation to his creation.

But I do.
I guess all I can say is I don't see Him that way. God accepts us as we are I guess in return we have a choice to accept Him or not as He is, whatever His nature.

How do you picture God?
Well, to begin with I felt innately very close to God as a very small child. Way back when I was even too young to even understand what religion was. I didn't even think of God as "God". In other words I didn't even have a label for God at that time. I just innately knew that I am not alone. And I have never been alone ever, in my entire life. Even when there is no one around. In fact, I currently live alone in a very secluded forest and I'm really very much a hermit. Yet I'm never alone.

How do I picture God? That's a very interesting question, because I don't visualize God. Therefore I can't describe God visually. For me, God is spirit, which is also a label that is probably ill-defined. God is omnipresent and everywhere at once. But even that's a very poor description because that implies that some thing is everywhere at once. But God isn't a thing.

As humans, we like to idolize God. This is a basic human desire. So we create "God Archetypes" then we then tend to worship as an image of God. That's actually a bad practice to get into I think. None the less, archetypal images of God can be useful, as long as we don't worship them. And that's the real key for me.

For most of my life, I never even bothered with the archetypal approach to communing with God. I mean, through the using images like Jesus, or Apollo, or Athena etc. But more recently I've learned how this can indeed be useful. For this reason I've chosen to use archetypes from Wicca and European Faery Lore to represent spiritual archetypes from God. I've even retained the image of Jesus, since I was at one time a Christian. Although I don't view him as "The Christ", neither do I view him as the sacrificial lamb of God who was sent to pay for my sins.

In fact, I hold that even within the Christian scriptures Jesus himself offers that he did not come for the righteous but for the sinners. So I have no reason to believe that he came for me because I do not consider myself to be a sinner.

I very much enjoy using the archetypes of a Moon Goddess, and a Sun God, to represent archetypal faces of "God". And I'm certain that God approves. There is no question in my mind, heart, or soul of that.

You have suggested that you believe we must either accept or reject our creator. Well, there is no doubt in my mind at all that I totally accept my creator. Therefore I cannot possibly have a problem in that area. In fact, I can't even understand why anyone would not accept their creator unless their creator was some sort of demon.

I can't even comprehend the mentality of evil people. That is so far removed from who I am that it's not even something that I can identify with. For this reason a religion that basically demands that everyone is choosing to be an evil person can never make sense to me. It's simply too far removed from who I am to ever make any sense.

I'm happy with my picture of God. It's a beautiful picture.

From my perspective that Christians are basically asking me to throw away my beautiful picture of God and adopt a picture of God that I see as being extremely ugly and disgusting.

I mean, it would be like as if I had picked out a really wonderful picture to show my dad and tell him, "I think this picture describes you!". And then you come along and tell me to throw that beautiful picture away and instead you hand me a picture of Hitler and say, "Here show this to your Father and tell him that you think he's like this".

Why would I want to do that?

I'm not about to embrace a religion that I feel is a disgrace to any God that might exist. Why would I want to do that?

If I'm going to pick out a religion that I'm going to show to God and say, "Hey I think this is what you are like", I'm going to choose the very best and most beautiful religion I can muster, even if I have to make it up myself.

No way am I going to insult my creator by suggesting that I think he's so sadistic that he would have his only begotten son nailed to a pole and demand that I condone that act on my behalf.

To me, there is nothing pretty about that picture, in fact, IMHO, it's not even a sane picture at all. It not something that I would care to be associated with in any way.

AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: And if we aren't God's children, then who's children are we? And shouldn't we be honoring are real parents in that case, instead of some God?
Real parents? Is an adopted Father not a “real� father? And an adopted child not a “real� child? I would prefer to use the terms adoptive and biological.
If some God actually created us, then that God would be our "real parent".

How could he then "adopt us"? We would have had to have been the children of some other entity in order for God to adopt us. Moreover that would imply that God isn't our "creator". But that violates the whole point of what God is supposed to be.

So from my perspective these kinds of apologetic arguments have gone so far off the tracks that they can be nothing more the sheer desperation to try to bring sense back to a train-wrecked religion where there is no sense to be had.

Once you start talking about things like our creator wanting to adopt us we're already beyond the point of making any sense, IMHO.
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Fear of death, and lust for eternal life are the two greatest motivators for religion in general.
I disagree, in my case it was the desire to be loved.
Fair enough. I didn't say those were the only motivators, but I do believe they are the two greatest motivators.

Yes, I can see where a desire to be loved could be a motivator too. But then again I've never felt unloved so it's hard for me to identify with feeling a need to be loved.

In fact, they often say in many religions that you can never find true peace and love in your life unless you are in harmony with God.

Since I have always felt at peace and I have always felt loved, and I have never felt alone, then I can only conclude that God must be a major player in my life.

Yet I do not accept that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of the God of Abraham.

Therefore there's something dramatically wrong with that religion don't you think?

How can I not believe that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of the God of Abraham, and even reject the Old Testament itself as having anything to do with God, yet still be filled with love and peace?

It should be impossible. I should be totally miserable, lost, not at peace, and I should be feeling completely alone and unloved. But I'm not.

So there's something wrong with the biblical religion because it's claims are not true.

AdHoc wrote: Christian means "little Christ" so Christians imitate Christ. Do you really believe Jesus Christ offered "grossly ignorant and brutal solutions for problems"? If so I challenge you to find even one atheist on this forum that agrees with you.
I have never, in my entire life, suggested that Jesus himself taught anything immoral. On the contrary, I support almost all of the moral teachings of Jesus (albeit I reserve the right to offer my own interpretations of those teachings just like Christians do).

My objections with Christianity has absolutely nothing to do with the moral teachings of Jesus. I reject the idea that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of the God of Abraham.

It's Christianity I reject, not Jesus.

I always say that the Pharisees had Jesus nailed to the cross, but the Christians (meaning the authors of the New Testament) crucified Jesus a second time when they metaphorically nailed him to the Old Testament by proclaiming that he is the sacrificial lamb of the God of Abraham.

This isn't about Jesus. It's about Christianity, which IMHO, is the most anti-Jesus religion on planet Earth.

AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Cnorman18 has made a post that covers this quite well, I'll just point to his thread on this as I agree with every point he makes there:
Why Jesus was not the Jewish Messiah
Well if you agree with every point he made I assume that "every point" includes this point: "I'll also offer this: I have said for many years that, when (if) the Messiah finally comes, the Jews will look up and say, “You’re here!� the Christians will look up and say, “You’re back!� -- and then we’ll all hug each other and laugh about it."

I agree with this point too. But I should mention that I read the post through and did not find one scripture presented listing a work that Jesus did not do. So could you tell me what works was the Messiah to do that Jesus did not do?
He didn't become "King of the Jews", that's a key point right there that even Christians realize never happened. The Christians proclaim that he will he will become "King" when he returns.

Also the messiah was to bring for the Messianic Age where all nations are at peace with one another and there will be peace for a *thousand years. That didn't happen. And again the Christians proclaim that this will happen when Jesus returns.

But the problem is that wishing that Jesus will do these things when he supposedly "returns" is not fulfillment of any prophecy. It's just wishful thinking.

* By the way having studied the history of mathematics I would like to point out that back in the days of Jesus the term "one thousand" was not thought of as a precise finite number. On the contrary, it actually represented an infinite amount back in those days. So when they said that there would be peace for a thousand years, they actually meant that the peace would last forever.

In any case, it never happened. So no prophecy was fulfilled, just wishful thinking.
AdHoc wrote: Ahhh… I see. Well why do you assume Pilate was being sarcastic? I believe Pilate was unwilling to have an uprising or major disturbance on his hands because he would probably have to answer to Rome if that happened. On the other hand he believed Jesus was innocent and so when he was given no choice but to crucify Jesus he felt strongly that he wanted that written because Jesus told him He was the King of the Jews. Maybe Pilate believed Him or maybe at the very least wanted to honour Him. I have never once thought He was being sarcastic. That doesn’t seem very likely to me at all and I don’t doubt why you would think the story was made up if that were the case.
Well, for one thing, these ancient stories are riddled with contradictions and inconsistencies, so this is just one of many to my eyes. I see no reason to believe that Pilate would have exonerated Jesus, then publicly washed his hands of the whole affair, and then have hung around mocking Jesus as being the King of the Jews.

This just sounds fishy to me. I think the authors of the New Testament were devious men who were making up much of what they were writing and they simply shot themselves in the foot on this one.

Besides, you need to understand that I'm already coming from a place where I have totally reject the entire Old Testament as having no merit. I'm totally convinced that Jesus was not born of a virgin impregnated by that God. So I have no motivation to make up excuses for these kinds of inconsistencies and contradictions. I see no reason to not just recognize them as the inconsistencies and contradictions that they appear to be.

Only those who are desperate to support these stories need to make up excuse for them. I confess that I'm not in that group and I have no reason to make excuses for them.

AdHoc wrote: We already know it isn’t meaningful to you because you’ve said as much so I think we can safely establish that as a fact.
Yes that is indeed a fact.

AdHoc wrote: It is meaningful to me so I think we can also establish that as a fact.
I have no problem with that either.

AdHoc wrote: It is my honest opinion that it could be meaningful to you but that is totally up to you.
Well, for you to even suggest as much implies that you haven't understood a thing I've said. I've given very sound a rational reasons why, for me, these ancient stories can never be meaningful on any level.

In fact, an understanding of why this is indeed the case, is all I could really hope to convey through a debate, but apparently you have failed to understand my position.

AdHoc wrote: So I submit that I believe the crucifixion of Jesus is meaningful to some but not all. It’s up to all people individually to decide if its meaningful them or not.
I can never be meaningful for me. For the reasons I gave, which were unfortunately not understood obviously.

But that's to be expected.

I do believe for many Christians it's simply unacceptable that anyone could rationally find fault with Christianity, because to do so basically proves the religion itself to be wrong. If only because of Paul's claim in Roman's the men are without excuse for not believing in the religion.

Ironically those kind of claims made in these doctrines, are absolutely proof positive for me that the claims are false, and thus the doctrine is not only fallible but it's actually riddled with lies. And therefore it cannot even be divine at all.

For the Christians, they must accept these things as absolute truths for the religion to stay afloat.

So for you to keep the religion afloat you really have no choice but refuse to hear the testimony of those, like myself, who have realized that the scriptures are indeed false, and contain outright lies.

For me, that's a fact that can never be made to go away.

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AdHoc
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Post #10

Post by AdHoc »

Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Finally, there are also many examples of humanitarians who were willing to face great suffering and even death purely in the name of humanitarianism. No God required. So the fact that people are willing to die for a cause doesn't necessarily indicate anything about the cause itself.
Yes it does, it clearly means its meaningful to them.
Cnorman18 has made a post that covers this quite well, I'll just point to his thread on this as I agree with every point he makes there: Why Jesus was not the Jewish Messiah

Sure. But they are mere mortals who are neither omniscient nor omnipotent. So they have no choice but to face danger and adversity to try to do good in the world.

Attempting to apply this to a God makes no sense. In order for this analogy to work you must reduce God to being as hopeless and helpless as mere mortal humans.

So what I'm saying is the analogy can't be made to work.

A God who has his own innocent son butchered on a pole to appease himself is far from being a moral entity. On the contrary, such a God could only be a sadist.

And that's my point. You simply can't compare the actions of a supposedly omnipotent God with those of helpless humans who perhaps couldn't have even thought up better ways to deal with the problems at hand.

And all-wise omnipotent infinitely intelligent God is without excuse for having his own son butchered on a pole to appease himself.

So you haven't made any headway with me on this issue.
AdHoc wrote: I see this a little differently, I have an experience that I was convicted of sin, experienced an assurance of salvation, an opening of God’s Word and personal a relationship with Christ. Maybe I'm crazy or delusional but that's my experience. You have an "experience that this scenario seems totally unrealistic to (you)" I submit that you have a lack of experience in what I'm talking about. Not a criticism just a statement of fact. Maybe out of the two of us you are the sane one. Regardless, I have an experience and you have no spiritual experience with the crucifixian of Christ. I’ve never seen Africa, maybe you have. Can I put my non-experience of Africa up against yours as proof that it doesn’t exist?
So what are you suggesting? That I need to have a serious problem with extreme sin before I can experience God?

If that's the case, then I would end up going to hell for having never fallen into sin to such a degree that I become so hopelessly desperate that I felt a need to call upon some deity to pull out of my cesspool of sin.

This is the problem with Christianity. It basically requires that a person is so desperately lost in sin that they feel like they are out of control of their own ability to control themselves. I've never been that desperate in my entire life and can't imagine ever becoming that desperate save for possibly mental illness. And that's another thing too. Does this religion even allow, or account for mental illness? According to this religion if someone is mentally ill that just means that they are possessed by a demon. And that begs the question of whether or not they actually invited the demon to possess them, or if they are merely innocent victims. If they are an innocent victim how could they be held responsible for that? And if they actually invited the evil demon to take over their body, then what would they even need an evil demon for? Aren't humans capable of just choosing to sin on their free will?

For me, this whole religion is nothing more that one oxymoron after another.

I'm not a sinner, and I've never invited any demons to come into my life. So what would I need to be saved from?

Moreover, you're making light of my experience. My experience is that the very thought of a God who is as ignorant and sadistic as the biblical stories demand makes me sick at the stomach.

And that is a very real experience. How can you not see why a God who had designed such an disgusting scenario would not be responsible for having not taken into account how I would feel about his sadistic behavior?

That's my whole point. You're basically asking me to believe in a creator who would have absolutely no clue how I think or feel about anything. Why should I believe in a supposedly omniscient God who obviously can't even understand how I would personally feel about things?

There's nothing there that demonstrates to me that there's any omniscience going on. And that's my point. And this is also a very real experience.

For you to dismiss my life's experience as being inapplicable whilst proclaiming that your life's experience is somehow meaningful most certainly isn't going to convince me of anything.
I'm sorry I did not mean to dismiss your life experience. I can see by your profile that you are my elder so you have much more life experience than I have. What I meant was that as far as the cross of Christ is concerned you don't have an experience.
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote: I don't mind telling you that is a worldview shaking thing for me to hear. Of course I don't know what is going on in other people's minds but I know I am not the same person I once was. I lied, stole, was greedy, hurt people I cared about and those are just the sins I'm comfortable sharing. I am so glad to have that part of my life in the rearview mirror.
Well, I am certainly very glad to hear that you have changed your life for the better. That is a very great thing. And I hope that remains a constant and positive part of your life. But it seems to me that even if this God of Christianity were to actually exist, it still would have had to have been your choice to turn your life around. Even according to this religion Jesus doesn't go around "saving" people who haven't already made up their own minds that they sincerely want to be saved and are willing to do what it takes to turn their life around.
Respectfully, now you're not listening to me. I didn't change my life.
Divine Insight wrote:
Therefore, I can see how this spiritual archetype can actually work on a psychological basis. And there's nothing wrong with that. I actually support using psychological archetypes for personal motivation. I believe they are very useful tools without a doubt. I use them myself for motivation. And I even understand precisely what they are, and they still work.

But in these cases all you can really say is that this archetype is meaningful for you. What tends to ruin these things is when they are then pushed onto other people, like you arguing with me that this particular archetype should be meaningful to me. It's not. It holds no value for me at all. There are other archetypes that I much prefer and find far more meaningful for me.

And some people have no need for spiritual archetypes at all, although I firmly believe that all humans employ some from of psychic archetypes of some sort even if purely secular in nature. This is why I would never suggest that there is anything wrong with someone who is a very strong atheist.

AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: In other words, you apparently have no problem with a God who solves all his problems using violence, threats of violence, and the crucifixion of his own son as a means of offering salvation to his creation.

But I do.
I guess all I can say is I don't see Him that way. God accepts us as we are I guess in return we have a choice to accept Him or not as He is, whatever His nature.

How do you picture God?
Well, to begin with I felt innately very close to God as a very small child. Way back when I was even too young to even understand what religion was. I didn't even think of God as "God". In other words I didn't even have a label for God at that time. I just innately knew that I am not alone. And I have never been alone ever, in my entire life. Even when there is no one around. In fact, I currently live alone in a very secluded forest and I'm really very much a hermit. Yet I'm never alone.

How do I picture God? That's a very interesting question, because I don't visualize God. Therefore I can't describe God visually. For me, God is spirit, which is also a label that is probably ill-defined. God is omnipresent and everywhere at once. But even that's a very poor description because that implies that some thing is everywhere at once. But God isn't a thing.

As humans, we like to idolize God. This is a basic human desire. So we create "God Archetypes" then we then tend to worship as an image of God. That's actually a bad practice to get into I think. None the less, archetypal images of God can be useful, as long as we don't worship them. And that's the real key for me.

For most of my life, I never even bothered with the archetypal approach to communing with God. I mean, through the using images like Jesus, or Apollo, or Athena etc. But more recently I've learned how this can indeed be useful. For this reason I've chosen to use archetypes from Wicca and European Faery Lore to represent spiritual archetypes from God. I've even retained the image of Jesus, since I was at one time a Christian. Although I don't view him as "The Christ", neither do I view him as the sacrificial lamb of God who was sent to pay for my sins.
The Lord is my shepherd
Divine Insight wrote:
In fact, I hold that even within the Christian scriptures Jesus himself offers that he did not come for the righteous but for the sinners. So I have no reason to believe that he came for me because I do not consider myself to be a sinner.

I very much enjoy using the archetypes of a Moon Goddess, and a Sun God, to represent archetypal faces of "God". And I'm certain that God approves. There is no question in my mind, heart, or soul of that.

You have suggested that you believe we must either accept or reject our creator. Well, there is no doubt in my mind at all that I totally accept my creator. Therefore I cannot possibly have a problem in that area. In fact, I can't even understand why anyone would not accept their creator unless their creator was some sort of demon.

I can't even comprehend the mentality of evil people. That is so far removed from who I am that it's not even something that I can identify with. For this reason a religion that basically demands that everyone is choosing to be an evil person can never make sense to me. It's simply too far removed from who I am to ever make any sense.

I'm happy with my picture of God. It's a beautiful picture.

From my perspective that Christians are basically asking me to throw away my beautiful picture of God and adopt a picture of God that I see as being extremely ugly and disgusting.

I mean, it would be like as if I had picked out a really wonderful picture to show my dad and tell him, "I think this picture describes you!". And then you come along and tell me to throw that beautiful picture away and instead you hand me a picture of Hitler and say, "Here show this to your Father and tell him that you think he's like this".

Why would I want to do that?

I'm not about to embrace a religion that I feel is a disgrace to any God that might exist. Why would I want to do that?

If I'm going to pick out a religion that I'm going to show to God and say, "Hey I think this is what you are like", I'm going to choose the very best and most beautiful religion I can muster, even if I have to make it up myself.

No way am I going to insult my creator by suggesting that I think he's so sadistic that he would have his only begotten son nailed to a pole and demand that I condone that act on my behalf.

To me, there is nothing pretty about that picture, in fact, IMHO, it's not even a sane picture at all. It not something that I would care to be associated with in any way.
I wouldn't throw away your picture of God. I agree with you that it is probably somewhat idolatrous to create a picture of God. As you said God is spirit. Some people picture Him as a wise old man sitting on a throne. No picture created by man can ever be accurate and all it would do is bring God down.
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: And if we aren't God's children, then who's children are we? And shouldn't we be honoring are real parents in that case, instead of some God?
Real parents? Is an adopted Father not a “real� father? And an adopted child not a “real� child? I would prefer to use the terms adoptive and biological.
If some God actually created us, then that God would be our "real parent".
If God created us I think that makes Him our Creator and we would be His creatures.
Divine Insight wrote:
How could he then "adopt us"? We would have had to have been the children of some other entity in order for God to adopt us. Moreover that would imply that God isn't our "creator". But that violates the whole point of what God is supposed to be.

So from my perspective these kinds of apologetic arguments have gone so far off the tracks that they can be nothing more the sheer desperation to try to bring sense back to a train-wrecked religion where there is no sense to be had.

Once you start talking about things like our creator wanting to adopt us we're already beyond the point of making any sense, IMHO.
AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Fear of death, and lust for eternal life are the two greatest motivators for religion in general.
I disagree, in my case it was the desire to be loved.
Fair enough. I didn't say those were the only motivators, but I do believe they are the two greatest motivators.

Yes, I can see where a desire to be loved could be a motivator too. But then again I've never felt unloved so it's hard for me to identify with feeling a need to be loved.

In fact, they often say in many religions that you can never find true peace and love in your life unless you are in harmony with God.

Since I have always felt at peace and I have always felt loved, and I have never felt alone, then I can only conclude that God must be a major player in my life.

Yet I do not accept that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of the God of Abraham.

Therefore there's something dramatically wrong with that religion don't you think?

How can I not believe that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of the God of Abraham, and even reject the Old Testament itself as having anything to do with God, yet still be filled with love and peace?

It should be impossible. I should be totally miserable, lost, not at peace, and I should be feeling completely alone and unloved. But I'm not.

So there's something wrong with the biblical religion because it's claims are not true.
I see lots of happy people, surrounded by friends, successful, loved by many and with lots of money. Christianity isn't for those people. Jesus said by way of parable that none of those people were interested, they don't need Him. Christianity is for losers. Weak, unloved, sinners, all alone. I accepted Jesus because I felt rejected. Strangely, I didn't feel rejected by the world but by God.
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote: Christian means "little Christ" so Christians imitate Christ. Do you really believe Jesus Christ offered "grossly ignorant and brutal solutions for problems"? If so I challenge you to find even one atheist on this forum that agrees with you.
I have never, in my entire life, suggested that Jesus himself taught anything immoral. On the contrary, I support almost all of the moral teachings of Jesus (albeit I reserve the right to offer my own interpretations of those teachings just like Christians do).

My objections with Christianity has absolutely nothing to do with the moral teachings of Jesus. I reject the idea that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of the God of Abraham.

It's Christianity I reject, not Jesus.

I always say that the Pharisees had Jesus nailed to the cross, but the Christians (meaning the authors of the New Testament) crucified Jesus a second time when they metaphorically nailed him to the Old Testament by proclaiming that he is the sacrificial lamb of the God of Abraham.

This isn't about Jesus. It's about Christianity, which IMHO, is the most anti-Jesus religion on planet Earth.

AdHoc wrote:
Divine Insight wrote: Cnorman18 has made a post that covers this quite well, I'll just point to his thread on this as I agree with every point he makes there:
Why Jesus was not the Jewish Messiah
Well if you agree with every point he made I assume that "every point" includes this point: "I'll also offer this: I have said for many years that, when (if) the Messiah finally comes, the Jews will look up and say, “You’re here!� the Christians will look up and say, “You’re back!� -- and then we’ll all hug each other and laugh about it."

I agree with this point too. But I should mention that I read the post through and did not find one scripture presented listing a work that Jesus did not do. So could you tell me what works was the Messiah to do that Jesus did not do?
He didn't become "King of the Jews", that's a key point right there that even Christians realize never happened. The Christians proclaim that he will he will become "King" when he returns.

Also the messiah was to bring for the Messianic Age where all nations are at peace with one another and there will be peace for a *thousand years. That didn't happen. And again the Christians proclaim that this will happen when Jesus returns.

But the problem is that wishing that Jesus will do these things when he supposedly "returns" is not fulfillment of any prophecy. It's just wishful thinking.

* By the way having studied the history of mathematics I would like to point out that back in the days of Jesus the term "one thousand" was not thought of as a precise finite number. On the contrary, it actually represented an infinite amount back in those days. So when they said that there would be peace for a thousand years, they actually meant that the peace would last forever.

In any case, it never happened. So no prophecy was fulfilled, just wishful thinking.
AdHoc wrote: Ahhh… I see. Well why do you assume Pilate was being sarcastic? I believe Pilate was unwilling to have an uprising or major disturbance on his hands because he would probably have to answer to Rome if that happened. On the other hand he believed Jesus was innocent and so when he was given no choice but to crucify Jesus he felt strongly that he wanted that written because Jesus told him He was the King of the Jews. Maybe Pilate believed Him or maybe at the very least wanted to honour Him. I have never once thought He was being sarcastic. That doesn’t seem very likely to me at all and I don’t doubt why you would think the story was made up if that were the case.
Well, for one thing, these ancient stories are riddled with contradictions and inconsistencies, so this is just one of many to my eyes. I see no reason to believe that Pilate would have exonerated Jesus, then publicly washed his hands of the whole affair, and then have hung around mocking Jesus as being the King of the Jews.

This just sounds fishy to me. I think the authors of the New Testament were devious men who were making up much of what they were writing and they simply shot themselves in the foot on this one.

Besides, you need to understand that I'm already coming from a place where I have totally reject the entire Old Testament as having no merit. I'm totally convinced that Jesus was not born of a virgin impregnated by that God. So I have no motivation to make up excuses for these kinds of inconsistencies and contradictions. I see no reason to not just recognize them as the inconsistencies and contradictions that they appear to be.

Only those who are desperate to support these stories need to make up excuse for them. I confess that I'm not in that group and I have no reason to make excuses for them.
cnorman18 wrote:I'll also offer this: I have said for many years that, when (if) the Messiah finally comes, the Jews will look up and say, “You’re here!� the Christians will look up and say, “You’re back!� -- and then we’ll all hug each other and laugh about it.
Amen, so be it
Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote: We already know it isn’t meaningful to you because you’ve said as much so I think we can safely establish that as a fact.
Yes that is indeed a fact.

AdHoc wrote: It is meaningful to me so I think we can also establish that as a fact.
I have no problem with that either.

AdHoc wrote: It is my honest opinion that it could be meaningful to you but that is totally up to you.
Well, for you to even suggest as much implies that you haven't understood a thing I've said. I've given very sound a rational reasons why, for me, these ancient stories can never be meaningful on any level.

In fact, an understanding of why this is indeed the case, is all I could really hope to convey through a debate, but apparently you have failed to understand my position.
I've read each of your posts carefully at least twice before responding. I thought I understood your position but to write that it's impossible for some people to accept the cross because its irrational would mean I'm irrational. Maybe its true but do you really expect me to write that down? And if I don't it means I'm not listening? At the end of the day we both knew that it would be unlikely that either of us would change our positions. I do believe I've learned something from you though. Applying the concept of "two wrongs don't make a right" was a novel application that I hadn't heard before and the question of why Jesus did not suffer eternally was also a new path of thought for me.

Divine Insight wrote:
AdHoc wrote: So I submit that I believe the crucifixion of Jesus is meaningful to some but not all. It’s up to all people individually to decide if its meaningful them or not.
I can never be meaningful for me. For the reasons I gave, which were unfortunately not understood obviously.

But that's to be expected.

I do believe for many Christians it's simply unacceptable that anyone could rationally find fault with Christianity, because to do so basically proves the religion itself to be wrong. If only because of Paul's claim in Roman's the men are without excuse for not believing in the religion.

Ironically those kind of claims made in these doctrines, are absolutely proof positive for me that the claims are false, and thus the doctrine is not only fallible but it's actually riddled with lies. And therefore it cannot even be divine at all.

For the Christians, they must accept these things as absolute truths for the religion to stay afloat.

So for you to keep the religion afloat you really have no choice but refuse to hear the testimony of those, like myself, who have realized that the scriptures are indeed false, and contain outright lies.

For me, that's a fact that can never be made to go away.
To me they are truth. When I read the scriptures it often feels as though God is speaking to my heart. When I think about the cross it does seem brutal and awful but this leads me to feel amazed and thankful that God even thinks about me and was willing to die on the cross for me. And this makes me feel loved, whatever happens to me in this life I will always have that. Meaningful? That english word is not meaningful enough to convey how important the cross is to me. I don't think I even understood that as well as I do now before we started this topic.

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