2005

vexen

Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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2005
vexen

Crucifixion Facade

"The Christian Crucifixion and Plan of Atonement Makes no Sense and is Immoral" by Vexen Crabtree (2002)


Logical on flaws of Christian belief

(Anonymous)

2003-01-24 04:55 pm (UTC)

Very good article.

Knowing God

(Anonymous)

2004-02-01 04:35 pm (UTC)

The way to know God before Christ's incarnation(God the Son becoming man)was through the law of the old testament, in keeping it's strict laws was the way to please God and to know Him.Those who worshiped and kept the law of the one true God would be saved. However there are verses in the bible that say that people will be judged according to the light they have recieved. So those who had never heard of God were judged differently. Everyone has a conscience and everyone knows right from wrong and so I believe they would have been judged according to that. Now, A.D., however, most people have heard of Jesus and so are accountable if they reject Him. Jesus died for our sins as God is good and being good means being just and punishing evil. But because God is good, he is also gracious and so in Jesus death the demand for justice was met as Jesus took our punishment and Grace was shown to us, those who follow Christ, as he paid our penalty for us. When Christ died, his death counted for all time, even for those people who lived before his incarnation, that's why one may argue that people had life then and that all of creation and humanity wasn't done awaty with, but given the chance to follow God, in the Old Testament through obseving the strict laws and through the New Testament through faith in Christ and following him.
How could could God allow his own Son to die you may say? Well, many people forget or don't realise how painful it must have been for God the Father to watch his own Son murdered! So, Jesus, is not the only one who suffered. Also, for people to be saved from Hell which is total seperation from Go. Which is in fact seperation from Love, Life, Joy, Laughter, Peace and well being which onlt leaves pain to endure, pain without relief. God desperately did not want us to endure that for eternity, and so wanted to spare us that, and the only way was through his death.( Jesus is God also, Father, Son(JESUS)and Holy Spirit, make up God). The good news is that Jesus defeated Hell and is seated with God the father. You say how did God allow him to suffer, the answer was it was the only way! And Jesus was willing to make the sacrife rather than lose us for eternity. You cause God to suffer everytime you reject all he has done for you. Imaging you gave your life or lost a limb in order to save somebody and they rejected you, even denied it ever happened, after what you had suffered for them, that is what you are doing.
To conclude; It is only natural to question things, but know that God loves you, so much so that he would rather go to Hell for you than to heaven without you. Which he did do, but in victory overcame.
God bless you and I hope you will one day choose God!

and thinking themselves wise they became fools.heretics.

God Help You

(Anonymous)

2004-02-27 06:00 pm (UTC)

I stumbled upon your page while reading about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I was disgusted with the article and found no factual evidence in it to prove what you say to be true. There is, however, numerous historical accounts of Jesus Christ and his crucifixion that not only prove that Jesus was truly divine, but also that he was crucified. There are also medical descriptions that prove that Jesus' death on the cross could have and did occur in hours rather than days. For instance, the beating that Jesus endured was far worse than that of a normal crucifixion. Jesus suffered from massive blood and tissue loss due to the severe lashings, the crown of thorns being placed on his head, which caused severe bleeding, and carrying the cross (although only for a short time) only added to the plethra of wounds that Jesus had already suffered. Why don't you read an account of an actual crucifixion by a real doctor and they will show this to be a fact. And even if Jesus did not die the physical death, He possessed the power to give up His spirit unto the Father, which the Gospels account; (Luke 23:46) Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. It was at this time that Jesus chose to leave His human body, the time that He chose. I know that it may be difficult to not question some of the teachings of the Bible, that is where faith comes into play. Please reevaluate you faith and your beliefs, and give Jesus a chance to work his miracle of love in your life.

THAT WAS JUST SAD!! "God did not need the crucifixion for any other reason than public relations." WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. YOUR REASONING THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE ARTICAL WAS PATHETIC. YOU NEED HELP!!!

Then please enlighten me and other readers with your own correcting logic and thoughts, shouting only makes you look immature and desperate. Assuming that "I need help" and that you're a god-fearing do-gooder, why don't you try to help rather than throwing a hissy fit?

God still loves you

(Anonymous)

2004-06-01 04:19 pm (UTC)

religion is all about faith, so using logic and whatever other so called evidence you have to contradict what Christians believe in is sad to be honest. I 've noticed people responding to what you've written with anger, I'm not going to do that because to be honest i really do pitty you if you feel that livng by fact, logic and the scientifically explained fulfills you.

I haven't even taken the time to read your article because non believers tend to use the same arguments and it gets old after a while. All i can say is that despite your lack of faith, God loves you so much. And you shouldn't be so quick to deny that Jesus died for our sins, as it's people like you who he died for the most. Also, you need to hear through faith a little more, it's slightly cowardly to use fact and logic to back your arguments up all the time. Once you've opened your hear a little, i suggest that you read Proverbs chapters 1-3.

take care, and i hope you try to focus your writing on something more positive in the future.

You're an idiot

Crucifixion of Christ

(Anonymous)

2004-03-28 07:39 am (UTC)

If all that you say is so true then why is the Bible the most known and most bought book in the world, where would all the accounts come from if its all fake and never happened. Go watch the passion of Christ you idiot!!!

Re: Crucifixion of Christ

vexen

2004-03-28 09:40 am (UTC)

Maybe because everyone believes it, it must be true? If that was true, we would still think the world was flat, the sun rotated around the Earth, etc... unfortunately for religions, modern knowledge displaces ancient beliefs. Tough shit for the believers... time to move on, dude, and face the facts.

Christ died for You Vexen

(Anonymous)

2004-03-29 05:10 pm (UTC)

I am sorry to hear that some people did not respond in a kind fashion to your comments about the crucifixion. I wish that you would trust in the Eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ so that you could experience the forgiveness of sins and eternal life and real joy and be released from your unfortunate anomosity.

I must say that I wish you had some solid support for your claims. Even a casual reading of the Old Testament would recognize that the Savior, Immanuel, Messiah, King was coming. They knew who Jesus was. He was known long before His birth. Read Luke 1 - 3. Mary, Elizabeth and Simeon knew that the long awaited hope of the world had finally come. This is why he says, "Mine eyes have seen thy salvation." It was perfect timing. "But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son made of a woman, made under the law."

Please consider some honest research. Your thoughts are emotional and only based upon your ideas. However, your ideas are only as good as the next guys. Why would anyone buy into what you believe? It is wise to have a source of faith. The Word of God could open up your eyes. You only do not believe because you choose not to believe.

Sincerely,

Rev. Bryan Samms
Ringgold, LA

Re: Christ died for You Vexen

vexen

2004-03-30 11:30 am (UTC)

The Jews are still waiting for the saviour detailed in the Old Testament to arrive; there were many self-proclaimed and indirectly nominated saviours in first century Judea, only some Jews accepted that the stories been told about someone called Jesus were true, the majority rejected them, and NT accounts actually tell us of some of these "false prophets", as do Roman sources.

That you accept one of these false prophets is a problem for you to solve and confirm with evidence or argument - the ball is in your court - so try me...

MISPLACED HOPE

(Anonymous)

2004-04-01 01:22 am (UTC)

When God created us He gave us 'free will' and we can live any kind of life we want to .. However, if our hope is not centered on Jesus Christ .. our soul isn't anchored there .. When Christ was crucified it wasn't merely another death of another man with no saving significance .. His death had a purpose .. God sent His Son to die for each one of us because He loved us ..
Romans 5:8.. 'God demonstrates His own love for us in this .. While we were still sinners Christ died for us' ..
THERE IS NO OTHER HOPE.. Why don't you trust Christ as your Saviour.. He will take your life and make it anew ... Kay Murray

You needs help

(Anonymous)

2004-04-06 09:33 am (UTC)

You are insane, the old testament foretells us of Jesus, in that time they have lived by the Law which is the ten commandments. Jesus came and died for our sins now we are living by grace he has sum up the law of the old testament "Love thy neighbour as thyself. The bible said he came to his own and they rejected him (the Jews was his own what did they do they have rejected Christ and crucified him). It is very sad that you and the Jews are still waiting for the messiah when you have crucified him, and is driving down the nails in his hand each day that you are rejecting him.

I felt sorry for you, but it is not to late surrender your life to Jesus and he will see you through. Have you ever seriously thing why God took on humanity left his glory and came down to earth died for us, such great love I will be praying for you. God bless and keep you.

Right on...

(Anonymous)

2004-06-10 04:24 am (UTC)

Top piece of work, both this article and the site in general. I've been doing research for some months now, reading both theist and atheist sites, and comparing both the information within each and, perhaps more importantly, the *way* in which it is formulated, presented, and conclusions drawn.
The atheist sites are in general inquisitive, interested, reasonably un-biased and draw sensible conclusions from known data and facts, whilst bearing in mind the eternal possibilities of mild inaccuracy.
The theist sites are little short of maniacal preaching - "Look, I'm right - NO, REALLY I AM!" Any evidence that they cannot overcome is met with denial or insult, rather like small children (as are some of the comments and responses to your articles).
I am neither atheist nor theist - I believe in *something*, but not the insane ramblings of bigoted priests, nor the misguided myths within the so called 'Good Book'. The something I believe in is inside, and inexplicable.
Having the strength to admit that we don't know about God, or even if he exists, means everything. It allows people to simply move forward. Jesus is an icon, nothing more, and almost certainly a mythical one at that, a real man who was borrowed by the Church and turned into a 'Saviour' years after his death. If he is indeed in a 'Heaven' and looking down, I suspect he would be highly bemused and startled by the 2000 years of oppression, hypocricy and bigotry waged against mankind by the Church in 'His' name.

Re: Right on...

(Anonymous)

2005-02-16 05:25 pm (UTC)

Honstly, I am not trying to be harsh by your post, but do you actually believe what you are saying? You actually believe that Jesus is just an icon of the church? That makes no sense whatsoever. Have you read the historical accounts of Jesus and other secular documents that tell of Jesus and his crucifixtion. That "something" you believe in is called God trying to shake you up man. He is trying to tell you to wake up, you know he is there and you can feel him but you do not want to be another hipocritic Christian that you have steriotyped. Just think about it and think with an open mind
Be prayin for you

Re: Right on...

(Anonymous)

2006-03-23 07:42 pm (UTC)

there is no sound secular evidence of the crucifixion. There is evidence of Jesus but not the crucifixion. If god was behind it there would be 100 percent accuracy in the events not small differences in the different gospels. You understand,, If god is the word behind the gospels there won't be different accounts for the same event. Not even minute differences. If the Father is god and he saw the whole thing and the witnesses and Jesus is god and he inspired the Gospel writers there will not be differences in their accounts. Is that so hard to understand?

The Old Testament is from God and there are not minute differences, you get the picture.

Bravi to Site and arguments

(Anonymous)

2004-09-06 06:36 pm (UTC)

I love the scholastic style arguments that appear in some of your "Contra." I felt like I could pick-up the summa theologica and get jiggy with you. I am an ex-christian. It is all so painfully simple. Good luck to you. Keep up the good news.

Re: Bravi to Site and arguments

(Anonymous)

2005-02-16 05:29 pm (UTC)

How in the world can you be an ex-Christian? DO you not miss the comfort, security and rich promises that you once enjoyed? And if you did not you have to ask yourself if you really accepted Christ. You need to study a bit more before you make the rational comment that you are an ex Christian. Man, all I have to say, and you should know this, is that God is chillin and waiting for you with open arms. Prodigal Son.
Be prayin for you

Re: Bravi to Site and arguments

vexen

2005-05-31 03:48 pm (UTC)

Thanks :-)

Crucifixion

(Anonymous)

2005-05-30 03:12 pm (UTC)

Hi - good to see someone actually thinking about a difficult subject, not just fulminating...some homework would have been good though...

Despite what is often 'quoted,' the bible does not teach that we are held accountable for Adam/Eve's sin...but for our own. ("death passed upon all...because all have sinned"). Old and New Testaments both specifically define God's response to us as being governed by how we live, the choices we make and what we do.No one else's.

May I make another comment? You pose a proposition that the crucifixion was not necessary because a God with absolute power could remove sin from humanity without needing this to occur. This is evidently not true since two things are needed here, not one. Resolution requires action for both the responsibility of wrong and for its consequeces. Responsibilty follows choice. Consequences follow acts. (And sometimes failure to act). A unilateral act by God takes no account of responsibilty and leaves consequences to take care of themselves. Besides all this it bears underlining that God has a far greater ambition than just the excluson of wrong, important as that may be. He is still looking for just - righteous, not just 'moral' - people. And you can't be righteous once the essential element of choice is removed. Neither can you be - as the bible describes God - at one and the same time both 'just, and the justifier' if you independently lift the results of every wrong but do nothing else. Something more is required - that is removing the consequences of wrong, without whitewashing it. That would be rather like returning Nixon's stolen papers from watergate and then announcing that since they were back, Nixon was an ok president. Both mercy and justice are required for complete resolution. If I steal a million pounds and squander it. Mercy could just 'let me off' but justice to those I had robbed would require I repaid the million or they remain robbed. In the only such transaction of its kind, God forgave me. That was mercy to to the robber. He insistested the debt be repaid. That was justice to the robbed. He volunteered to pay the million himself. That was compassion in anyone's book. Well, almost anyone's apparently. B.T.

Sin entered the world through ONE man

vexen

2005-05-31 11:32 am (UTC)

The Bible does teach that WE are punished because of the sins of others. You cited no verses, perhaps now is the time to get jiggy with the actual Biblical text?

For example; ""Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned!" (Rom. 5:12)"

It says "All sinned" because "death came to all men" because "death entered through sin" -> all sinned, because all die, and all that is because "sin entered the world through one man". Before that event there was no sin and no death. Do you disagree with that basic summary of the OT creation story?

God said to Adam, according to the author of Genesis, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree [...] cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. [...] By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.' (Gen. 3:14-19)

Etc. It didn't say "because everyone will sin, they will suffer according to the morality of accountability". It specifically says that all sin BECAUSE "of you", Adam. Not because of anything else; no free will, no accountability: Just an inherited, pass-on form of punishment from one generation to the next.

Do you still believe "the bible does not teach that we are held accountable for Adam/Eve's sin...but for our own"?

The Bible itself says that we ARE punished for their sins. The verses I just quoted are just for beginnings, you may well know that the Old Testament is *full* of verses where God punishes people for the sins of others. I dare you to tell me that it is otherwise!

Although you may well believe in a God that only allows suffering for peoples' own sins, the god of the old testament clearly punishes and creates evil for the descendents of those who sin, without any heed for 'accountability' or morality.

Re: Sin entered the world through ONE man

(Anonymous)

2005-07-05 05:44 am (UTC)

Your interpretation of Romans 5:12 was flawed.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world"
Sin entered into the world through Adam. Does it not follow that everyone born to Adam would take upon the nature of Adam?

"and death by sin"
This phrase is specific to Adam. God told him that if he disobeyed his command, he would "surely die." (Genesis 2:17)

"and so death passed upon all men"
What was true of Adam also became true of everyone. Why?

"for that all have sinned."
The reason that death has come to all men is because ALL have sinned.

Now it is true that we were born with a disposition to sin. The problem that you face is that you feel you are being unjustly punished for what Adam did. The fact of the matter is that you are held responsible for what YOU have done, not for what Adam did. You have the responsibility to say "I am a sinner, and I have sinned." That is why Jesus Christ died. He died to take the place of Adam, so that all who have the nature of Adam can come to Him and receive His nature, righteousness, justification, etc.

Have you ever read the entire book of Romans straight through? If you have not, I invite you to do so.

Also, you mentioned about God punishing people for the sins of others. In the OT, read Ezekiel chapter 18. This will clear up the issue for you.

Feel free to email me at: joshgriffin23@yahoo.com

The Qur'an agrees with you

(Anonymous)

2005-06-21 07:09 pm (UTC)

Dear Vexen

Have you read what Islam's take is on the crucifixion issue. Well, I am glad to see there are people like you out there who are not afraid to use their reason.

Peace

what?

(Anonymous)

2005-08-06 10:01 pm (UTC)

you keep saying throughout that we are being punished for adam's sin, and that if heaven was so great and God wants us to go there, why don't we just go there.
firstly, it may be because of Adam that sin has entered this world, but on the final judgement day, it is YOUR sins that God will hold you accountable for. He will not say that 'Adam did this; you will pay', He will take your sins and all your wrongdoings against you. Jesus died and spent three days (or two depending how you look at it) in hell so that we may never have to experience that horror. All the sins that we have commited and deserve to suffer eternally for were taken on His back so that we never have to know what hell is like. And yes, God could just take away all the sins of the world and let them into heaven, but that would take away our free will. God is not after robots who are all in heaven becase He wants us to be there. He wants those in heaven who have freely chosen a relationship with Him and have chosen to serve Him out of the freedom granted to them. You can't deny that God is doing things today, miracles are happening, more and more people are coming to God through things happening today. It's not just people reading a book and thinking that's a nice idea. It's a real thing, that is happening today. God is moving in all the nations, no matter what anyone says.
I will keep praying for you. Anyone who has studied the Bible this much should see how great God is, but you have obviously chosen to harden your heart. If you think it's all fake, then you try praying, just a small prayer in your heart, and see what happens. I think you might be surprised.

No God

(Anonymous)

2005-12-10 08:52 pm (UTC)

Shalom, I am not sure how you came to the conclusion that there is no God at all from your line of reasoning. Just because you have proven that Christianity is a hoax, that does not prove that there is no God at all. That would be like saying that just because we know that Santa is a fairy tale, we can assume that Christianity is a hoax. That is just bad science, it might be an indication but we can not say that it is proof. One needs to prove all things on their own merits. We cannot throw out the baby with the bath water. We Jews do not believe in the pagan Christ god yet we believe in and worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Your logic is flawed as you only went so far as to prove that Christianity is a cruel hoax on the world with all its pagan trappings of Christmas and Easter and such, but you never disproved the Torah nor any of what the Christian world refers to as the "Old Testament", thus you have only proved that the Christian god does not exist, but not the God of the Jews, nor have you disproved the existance of any other gods for that matter. It looks as though you have a long way to go if you are to disprove the existance of all gods, especially the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. May Hashem be with you in your journey for the truth.

> Shalom, I am not sure how you came to the conclusion
> that there is no God at all from your line of reasoning.
> Just because you have proven that Christianity is a hoax,
> that does not prove that there is no God at all.

You are right.

Thankfully, I don't only have pages on Christianity (http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/christianity.html ) but also on the existence of God in general:

http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/rm.html

These pages prove in many ways that there is no God, never was, and never will be. No religious book, written by mankind, can change the basic truth.

you claimed that Jesus Christt commited suicide-this is not true! Jesus was sent by His father to die for us so that we would be saved, it had to be done. this was no act of suicide-when you say that statement you are claiming to alot of people that Jesus goes along with suicide and that his life seemed to had no meaning, but the reason he died on the cross for us was to show is love for us! this was very distubing, please change this as soon as you can. thank-you.

very good

(Anonymous)

2006-02-06 12:44 pm (UTC)

this is very true jesus died on the cross because he loved us but i also believe it was to help us to have a chance to have salvation and go to heaven one day.

zealous stupidity will never leave

(Anonymous)

2006-03-23 07:30 pm (UTC)

The logical arguments against the atonement and original sin have never been argued against with validity. Notice that Christian apologist just repeat evangelical phrases over and over again. Thats how they brainwash the less intelligent. But intelligence would show just as these articles have, that You don't have to know Jesus because people before him did not know him, and that if the old testament was the rule and the way than it could have remained as the only true source for eternity.

God could have forgave Adam and Eve and not worried about creating a son for the sin of the world. These arguments may support Islamic views but we don't need to worry about that because just look at the muslims they can't hold a candle to dignity and honor, so a religion that produces such soles at such a large scale is not valid either.


Re: zealous stupidity will never leave

(Anonymous)

2006-03-23 07:36 pm (UTC)

As previous Jewish writers have proved, there is no evidence by the authors that the old testament is invalid. In fact before Jesus that is what there was. Salvation was through the Torah. Before the Crucifiction there was the Old testament and since the entire atonement is illogical and historically inaccurate what else is left. The Torah can be a guide for all Jews and a good way for non jews to understand god as well.

OMG!!!!!!!

(Anonymous)

2006-05-05 07:27 pm (UTC)

omg who sad who wood eva spend tym on dis shite

???????????

(Anonymous)

2006-05-22 11:25 pm (UTC)

I only got a few paragraphs in, but that was enough.
I will pray for you, but I won't read your trash.

Genesis 3:15

(Anonymous)

2007-02-03 01:04 am (UTC)

I wondered for a long time how the people who lived before Christ could be redeemed and made right with God. But then I read Genesis 3:15 - the promised seed of woman who would crush the head of the serpent. The answer then is almost the same as that of those who came after Christ: Faith in the promised seed who was to come as opposed to faith in the promised seed who has already come.
It may seem a rather weak argument, but Hebrews 11 sheds some more light on this. Sorry I couldn't write more, I'm in the middle of something else and just wanted to throw this on the table.

Hi,
Just one to make a comment on one thing. If you have Read the book of Hebrew in New T. You will notice that God Justify ppl by faith for those living in before 0ce. Crucification of Christ to bring the blessing to the rest of the world. You might say, it's not fair how about those that where not Jewish. If you have read about moses bring ppl out of eygpt in the Bible. You will realise some of the Eygptian in those time follow them out. From then on they are no longer called Eyptian but as a whole Isreal. This should said something.

Good clean fun- for argument's sake.

(Anonymous)

2007-07-06 12:07 am (UTC)

I take from most of your comments and your article that you don't think too highly of the bible. But in your article you made a lot of assumptions about God that I'm just curious- where do you get them from? If you're not getting your facts about God from scripture, where are you getting them from? It appears that you have a lot to say about God, but how can I attach any truth to what you say about God (ie: your comments on who gets into heaven, ect.) when I have no idea where you are getting them from? By all means, if you want people here to be logical and use their heads- give them some sources that are reliable. I am upset that you're trying to be all "intellectual" here- but your whole basis for argument here is kind of stupid. You're talking about so many things here that you obviously know nothing about. You say God isn't fair? What kind of a comment is that? You say God is good like that's ALL he is (assumption). If God's plan pissed you off a little bit- who are you to say it's unfair? Right- you know what's fair AND you know what God is like: all without believing scripture is true. You're not like one of those Joshep Smith prophets are you? Are you getting revelations about God that nobody else is? Please, do tell.

Re: Good clean fun- for argument's sake.

vexen

2007-07-07 05:23 am (UTC)

My Bane of Monotheism website is about God defined in the traditional 3-omni sense: All-knowing, perfectly good and all-powerful. That is why I assume, for the arguments on the pages, that God has those attributes.

I think "Assumptions about God that theists make" by Vexen Crabtree (2002) actually states that such assumptions are unfounded.

More importantly than that though... it really would be useful if you could cite a specific instance of your criticism on my pages?

Craziness

(Anonymous)

2007-08-21 06:10 am (UTC)

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR CRAZY ANTICS!

you spelt simply wrong but hey ho it was very helpful with my homework!

in the end

(Anonymous)

2008-11-04 02:24 am (UTC)

if christianity is a lie and i believe it, and in the end i find out there is not heaven or hell, then i lost nothing. but if you sir are wrong, you have lost everything and i have gained everything i believed in. So what if it is a lie i believed and made me a better person in this life. you must have nothing better to do and even feel threatened by what christians claim. why dont we hear more of miracles in the news? because if there is a God, people dont want to accept life as a christian is not easy and people have to admit they have done wrong and may have to completely change their lives. may God open your eyes to the truth before its too late.

(1) This is the same argument used by Muslims to assert you believe in God and his prophet, and by many other religions. With so many competing claims, do you have any rational argument as to why (out of fear for my theorized eternal fate) I would select your religion over any other one?

(2) If God punishes me for having the wrong beliefs, then, God is a monster and I'd rather not worship it anyway. Billions of people are raised without receiving any unbiased view of Christianity or Islam; and many more were born before such religions even existed. Did those people went to hell simply because they were born in the wrong place and time? If not, then it isn't true that it is our beliefs that determine our fate.

(3) Your argument implies that atheism is safer than picking a religion. This is why: Nearly all theistic religions hold that apostasy, idol-worship, and worshipping the wrong god, is a terrible sin deserving of much punishment. It seems that picking the WRONG god is specifically wrong (check out the 10 commandments, for example) in most religions, so it seems safer not to pick any of them.

Finally,

(4) This kind of emotional argument, based on people's doubts and fears, is surely not a moral way to try to convert people. If you want me to believe in God you have to find some evidence or present a logical argument. Just believing in god out of wish-fulfilment and fear of death is hopelessly confused, and by using Pascal's wager (which is the name of the argument you just repeated) you are reinforcing the fearful, superstitious and lost aspects of human nature that led to the dark ages.

Re: in the end

(Anonymous)

2010-07-12 02:07 am (UTC)

Thought on (1): Excellent point, sir. I've been wondering that myself. It would be wonderful if someone could not only tell me why Christianity is true, but why it is in fact truer than other religions which use similar (if not identical) arguments.

Thought on (2): I think this argument would work a good deal better if you held to agnosticism rather than atheism. Denying all gods seems just as wrath-incurring as an affirmation of an incorrect god. Simply refusing to affirm one God in specific seems like a slightly safer bet than denouncing all of them.

Thought on (4): Yup. Surely the God of the Bible would rather have someone believe in him because they believe he is true than have someone "believe" in him as an insurance against potential hellfire. The first alternative assembles integrity. The second is rank with cowardice and selfishness.

Some thoughts

(Anonymous)

2010-07-12 03:05 am (UTC)

Born and raised in a Christian home. I know all the answers, honey. It's quite a burden knowing everything there is to know. By the looks of the comments, it seems that there are quite a few other people in the world who also humbly know all the answers... and are quite concerned about for your soul. I will not repeat their threats of damnation. Rather, I'll tell you my thoughts on your conclusions, which(mostly)sum up my reflections on your article. Thoughts on Conclusion #1 “no authors mention the phenomenal events that supposedly occurred at the time of Jesus' resurrection, and, there are no records of Jesus being crucified in the first place.” Yep, it seems pretty unlikely that something so marvelous would go unrecorded. However, it is possible. If it was possible for so many scads of people to have been mistaken about the death of Christ, or for a man hung for hours on a cross and entombed for days to pop out later in perfect working order, it’s certainly possible for some historians to have missed what seemed an un-missable event. If you’re going to point out anything as improbable, start with the resurrection itself. But as we know, claiming the impossibility of such a thing has almost no effect on believers. Heavens, it’s a “miracle”, after all. Thoughts on Conclusion #2, “Most the details of Jesus' death and rebirth are similar to the existing myths surrounding god-men in that era.” Again, this is unconvincing, especially to a believer. The fact may speak as much to the myth’s truth as to its falsity. (That is, you could say that the gospels sprang up as natural successors to myths at the time. On the other hand, you could also say that due to general revelation, pagans were able to get some things “right” about the world, even though they were fatally flawed in other areas.) Thoughts on Conclusion #3. Ah, now we get to the good stuff. The crucifixion “doesn’t make sense” for what seems like three reasons. First, “God judged and accepted people into Heaven before the time when Jesus existed so it was not necessary”. Watch it. Someone could just deny that God judged people before Jesus and dismiss your argument. Some do deny that those who lived before they could have access to knowledge of Jesus have access to heaven. But even if God did "judge" and "accept" before Jesus, this doesn’t have to mean that the crucifixion was unnecessary. If God is indeed, “an eternal God, beyond time,”, then before and after wouldn’t really pose as much of a difficulty for him. If it is necessary for a person to acknowledge Christ before his death, then it would seem a bit of a conundrum. There might, however, be reasons for the crucifixion other than just making sure that all the best ones confess with their tongues. I can only think of one such reason, which I will mention shortly. Second, “it seems impossible that the crucifixion should somehow make God’s system of salvation better than it was”. Let us say that God is both perfectly merciful and perfectly just. These two abstracts seem in diametric opposition to me (isn’t mercy merely benevolent injustice?), but let’s say that this seeming contradiction exists within God. The crucifixion would not make God more just, nor would it make him more loving. But it might, perhaps, reconcile two contradictory wills in God—one to save humanity, and one to punish it for its wrongdoing. This seems especially plausible if you think of the transaction as one of debt, as many Christians do. For God to be just, he would need to be paid in full what he was owed: death. For God to be true to his merciful nature, he would not allow his loved creatures to die. Therefore, he receives full payment of death while simultaneously avoiding the death of anything he loves. He does this by demanding death from the only thing that cannot die: himself. Third, “It did not aid God's understanding of Human suffering, as God is omniscient”. Seems damned logical. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, especially regarding the mercy/justice conflict. I like people of integrity, and, frankly, you really seem to buy the atheist thing. Thanks, Joanna

Some thoughts

(Anonymous)

2010-07-12 03:07 am (UTC)

Born and raised in a Christian home. I know all the answers, honey. It's quite a burden knowing everything there is to know, but I do my best to bear the weight of perfect knowledge. By the looks of the comments, it seems that there are quite a few other people in the world who also humbly know all the answers... and are quite concerned about for your soul. I will not repeat their threats of damnation. Rather, I'll tell you my thoughts on your conclusions, which sum up (mainly) my reflections on your article.

Thoughts on Conclusion #1 “no authors mention the phenomenal events that supposedly occurred at the time of Jesus' resurrection, and, there are no records of Jesus being crucified in the first place.”

Yep, it seems pretty unlikely that something so marvelous would go unrecorded. However, it is possible. If it was possible for so many scads of people to have been mistaken about the death of Christ, or for a man hung for hours on a cross and entombed for days to pop out later in perfect working order, it’s certainly possible for some historians to have missed what seemed an un-missable event. If you’re going to point out anything as improbable, start with the resurrection itself. But as we know, claiming the impossibility of such a thing has almost no effect on believers. Heavens, it’s a “miracle”, after all.

Thoughts on Conclusion #2, “Most the details of Jesus' death and rebirth are similar to the existing myths surrounding god-men in that era.”

Again, this is unconvincing, especially to a believer. The fact may speak as much to the myth’s truth as to its falsity. (That is, you could say that the gospels sprang up as natural successors to myths at the time. On the other hand, you could also say that due to general revelation, pagans were able to get some things “right” about the world, even though they were fatally flawed in other areas.)

Thoughts on Conclusion #3.

Ah, now we get to the good stuff. The crucifixion “doesn’t make sense” for what seems like three reasons according to the above statement.

First, “God judged and accepted people into Heaven before the time when Jesus existed so it was not necessary”. Watch it. Someone could just deny that God judged people before Jesus and dismiss your argument. Some do deny that those who lived before they could have access to knowledge of Jesus have access to heaven. But even if God did "judge" and "accept" before Jesus, this doesn’t have to mean that the crucifixion was unnecessary. If God is indeed, “an eternal God, beyond time,”, then before and after wouldn’t really pose as much of a difficulty for him. If it is necessary for a person to acknowledge Christ before his death, then it would seem a bit of a conundrum. There might, however, be reasons for the crucifixion other than just making sure that all the best ones confess with their tongues. I can only think of one such reason, which I will mention shortly.

Second, “it seems impossible that the crucifixion should somehow make God’s system of salvation better than it was”. Let us say that God is both perfectly merciful and perfectly just. These two abstracts seem in diametric opposition to me (isn’t mercy merely benevolent injustice?), but let’s say that this seeming contradiction exists within God. The crucifixion would not make God more just, nor would it make him more loving. But it might, perhaps, reconcile two contradictory wills in God—one to save humanity, and one to punish it for its wrongdoing. This seems especially plausible if you think of the transaction as one of debt, as many Christians do. For God to be just, he would need to be paid in full what he was owed: death. For God to be true to his merciful nature, he would not allow his loved creatures to die. Therefore, he receives full payment of death while simultaneously avoiding the death of anything he loves. He does this by demanding death from the only thing that cannot die: himself.

Third, “It did not aid God's understanding of Human suffering, as God is omniscient”. Seems damned logical.


I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, especially regarding the mercy/justice conflict. I like people of integrity, and, frankly, you really seem to buy the atheist thing.

Thanks,

Joanna

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