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Oct 26 2011

Infinite offense can be compensated with brief inconvenience

Since August Berkshire is debating the meaning of Jesus’ death tonight, it’s very kind of Jesus & Mo to post a perfect comic for the event.

That story just makes no sense the more you think about it.

121 comments

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  1. 1
    frankb

    Jesus: Been there, done that, no big deal.

  2. 2
    tmac57

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (for forty hours), that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
    Just doesn’t have the same impact.

  3. 3
    Dokudango

    Why is Mo wearing a burka?

  4. 4
    madbull

    He didn’t like death and was powerful enough to change his mind.
    I guess I’d do the same if I could.

  5. 5
    madbull

    @Dokudango
    Maybe Jesus is gay and Mo doesn’t want to be looked at sinfully.

  6. 6
    Glen Davidson

    That story just makes no sense the more you think about it.

    Not to us, but to 1st-century Jews with their blood sacrifices (which probably themselves seemed more and more pointless, so they looked for a “deeper meaning”) it likely made a good deal of “sense.” The book of Hebrews goes on and on about type and anti-type, with a good amount of Platonic ideas thrown in about the “real” heavenly things.

    The temporary status no doubt has always been a difficulty, but then if he’d just died and never “risen again,” it wouldn’t seem very miraculous or, well, impressive. In that sense, it really had to be temporary.

    But, horrible as crucifixion was, many people have suffered as much or worse, and would count it as not too great a matter in an eternal life. So it never works out as such a fantastic “sacrifice.”

    Glen Davidson

  7. 7
    Georgia Sam

    > That story just makes no sense the more you think about it.

    BINGO! IMHO, we need to spead that message much more than we do. As God/Jusus said in a parody of a Jack Chick comic, “Why would I sacrifice myself to myself so I could forgive people for breaking rules that I made up in the first place?” (Or words to that effect.)

  8. 8
    richardelguru

    Of course Jehesusus made a permanent sacrifice!
    After the crucifixion he couldn’t walk on water anymore.
    Not with those big holes in his feet

  9. 9
    Anthony K

    Cross-posted from purgatory:

    Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

    I think we’ve fairly thoroughly dispensed with the apologetics for The Sacrifice™ in this thread.

  10. 10
    Anthony K

    Just doesn’t have the same impact.

    The original doesn’t have the impact it’s credited with.

  11. 11
    Alverant

    So God must be infinitely petty to take infinite offense at the actions of a finite mortal. It would be like a person still squashing a mosquito with a sledge hammer for days after being bitten.

  12. 12
    tacitus

    It’s not just the fact that it was only for a couple of days, it’s also the fact that Jesus supposedly knew exactly what was going to happen to him beforehand which makes the notion of his short period of suffering and death being the supreme sacrifice even more nonsensical.

    If you know you are God, and that you are an immortal being who will ascend to Heaven as soon as you die (and remember, you were the one who chose to go through with this charade in the first place), then what’s the big deal? Where’s the jeopardy? Where’s the sacrifice? You haven’t given up anything.

    Thus the sacrifice of Jesus pales into insignificance when measured against the sacrifice of any human being who gives up his or her life to save another, since they have no such certainty or guarantee about their ultimate fate.

    That is especially true for atheists who give up their lives for another, since they believe they are giving up everything, without any chance that they might be rewarded for doing so after death.

  13. 13
    Peptron

    So, when they say that you will get everlasting life, they really only mean an extra 40 hours at the end?

  14. 14
    Randomfactor

    Someone once observed that Jesus spent a really, really bad weekend once for our sins.

  15. 15
    Marcus Ranum

    40 hour respawn??? Lagged! LOL!

  16. 16
    Steve Jeffers

    Here’s the bit of the story that makes even less sense to me, and I’ve never seen any theology addressing it, which I’m sure is my ignorance, but I have looked.

    Adam and Eve eat the apple in 4004BC, or whatever.

    Why does God wait 4037 years? If there’s this huge wrong that needs righting, why do all those generations come and go before God gets round to fixing it?

    OK, look, I know we’re in ‘who’s faster, Superman or the Flash?’ territory. That it’s all just a silly story. I know that’s the real reason. But … why, in the terms of the story, does God wait?

  17. 17
    Dhorvath, OM

    Kinda wish the sacrifice had taken. I mean, what would be cooler than a deity taking itself out altogether?

  18. 18
    ButchKitties

    Any time someone tries to explain the crucifixion to me, all I hear is, “My omnipotent God isn’t really omnipotent.”

  19. 19
    Art Vandelay

    Then there’s the issue of whther a few nails could actually inflict pain on someone who spent their entire life defying the laws of nature.

  20. 20
    ButchKitties

    I’ve said this here before, but it applies. If you think about it, the Christ-killers made an infinitely bigger sacrifice than Christ himself. Jesus only had to go to hell for a measly three (more like 1.5) days. The people who carried out the indispensable act of killing Christ have to go to hell forever.

  21. 21
    davem

    Someone once observed that Jesus spent a really, really bad weekend once for our sins.

    Meh. He’s the guy who can walk on water, raise the dead, and feed 5,000 with leftovers. In his former guise, he created all the stars (100 billion galaxies?) in just one day. Suppressing pain for a couple of days would be child’s play; he could even have turned it into a pleasurable experience, if needed. No, I think it’s a sub-editorial problem. The NT editor needs to match Mithras, and he rose again, so Jebus needs to rise again too. Oops! forgot about the OT; still, never mind, let’s hope noone will notice…

  22. 22
    Anthony K

    But … why, in the terms of the story, does God wait?

    Having dealt with apologists on such subjects in the past, I can give you three answers:

    A) LOL, you atheists always think you’ve got a gotcha with questions like this, don’t you? Antony Flew believes in God, after a lifetime of atheism. So does Francis Collins. Are you saying they’re dummies? C’mon, you’re supposed to be the smart ones here.

    B) LOL, foolish literalist atheists. Have you never heard of metaphors? Did Shakespeare really think the entire world was an actual stage? Did Dylan think actual answers were blowing in the wind? Of course not. Nobody believes every word of the Bible is meant to be literally true. What it does is embody the hopes and dreams of the human spirit.

    C) LOL, St. Aqualung answered this centuries ago. While the Church initially balked at the suggestion that a perfect being such as Christ could have been delayed by something as mortal as illness, Aqualung posited that there is Divinely Universal Substance and Universally Divine Substance. The former is what was corruptible by The Fall, and what is responsible for illness sufferable by those of us tainted with Original Sin (which is eerily prescient of modern germ theory), but the latter describes the divine versions of cold only a Perfect being such as Christ could suffer. Of course, Christ’s Cold, much like his Anguish on the Cross, is inconcievable in extent (sorry, Inconcievable), which is why God had to make do with Floods in the Interim to demonstrate His Love.

  23. 23
    Greg Peterson

    I respect August and like him very much, but I wish he had not agreed to this “conversation.” It’s way too much like arguing whether Buffy Summers “really” had to die at the end of the first season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Yes…in the context of the STORY she did. But there is no way to make sense of it at all outside of that context. Or it’s like the argument about whether Dumbledore is “really” gay, because Rowling “always thought of him” as gay. There’s nothing to discuss here. If a book club insists that its favorite character “really” had to shed blood on a cross to redeem humankind–well, he did. In the context of the story.

    So the task becomes just enormous, really, because they will think the conversation is about their story, and it’s not, or should not be. It’s about the FACT that it’s only a story, with no bearing on reality. How to deconstruct fantasy and replace it with reality for an audience absolutely in thrall to myth?

    And PZ is absolutely correct about the reputation of this radio station. The moderator of this “conversation,” Brad Brandon, spent a big chunk of one of last week’s “Word of Truth” shows comparing President Obama to Hitler. (My defense for having heard that: MPR pledge week.) To the station’s credit, one of their management responded to my complaint with an apology and said he had talked to Brandon about the incident. But…there was such an incident. This is the caliber of person August will be dealing with.

    If I were forced to debate this issue, I might point out just how confused it is. Revelation, for example, says that Jesus is a “lamb slain before the creation of the world,” which seems to put the crucifixion out of space-time altogether. Or perhaps I would point out that Jesus’ sacrifice for “original sin” depends heavily on the existence of a literal Adam to “make sense” even within the context of the story, and even many evangelicals are having to rethink the possibility of such a person having lived. I don’t know. But mostly, I’d avoid being in this debate.

    But as PZ said, August is a cool customer, unflappable and wise, and if anyone can bring some sanity to this discussion, he can.

  24. 24
    johnwolforth

    @Steve Jeffers and others. I just finished “Who Wrote the Bible” by Friedman, it answers some of these questions. The story doesn’t make sense because it was many stories, and as each one was written it tried to fit into the previous ones to legimate and justify it. The messiah came about because someone wrote that God promised all King David’s descendant a throne in Judah, then the kingdom was destroyed. Another writer looked back at the conditional promise to Moses and said it was the people’s fault for disobeying the law. The throne would remain avialable to a descendant of David and the priests could keep on preaching from the convoluted scriptures.

    When Jesus died, assuming some modicum of historical accuracy, people were left wondering why. Paul, Biblical scholar that he was, came up with the fix, transforming the horrendous act of an oppressor to a symbol of love. Still convoluted though and barely acceptable to people even then, as witnessed by the various sects that were later consolidated or eliminated by Constantine.

  25. 25
    you_monster

    The zombie genre is really taking off in games, I’m still waiting for a publisher to work in my favorite walking undead character though.

    Come on Valve, make a Left 4 Behind game where I can lop off zombie-jebus’s arms with a machete.

  26. 26
    Human Ape

    In the cartoon Jeebus said “I died for approximately 40 hours.”

    I thought the dead Jeebus was decomposing for 3 days before his magical resurrection into a zombie.

  27. 27
    rad_pumpkin

    Yeah, an infinite petty being loves us infinitely much, but has to infinitely punishes us for not being infinitely perfect. But if we ask this infinitely powerful being that possesses infinite knowledge to show us infinite mercy for our finite transgression, we get to spend infinite time with him in a happy place. But then the infinitely powerful dude decides to sacrifice his (presumably) infinitely powerful son for slightly less than two days as an infinite (kinda-sorta) atonement for our finite sins, so that we could all be infinitely happy. He had to do that, because he is infinitely just!

    Fuck, what a load of infinities. Ok xians, take it from a quantum dude with a degree in math: if your idea contains that many infinities, it’s shit. Look up renormalization, figure out how to apply it to your world view, do it, talk to me again.

    You know, the 40 hours of death (in his case 40 hours of not doing the stuff he liked doing) thing made me realize that Jeebus hasn’t done anything that I haven’t! For example, somebody asked me how he should go about explaining fractions to his daughter while I was waiting at the subway station (presumably because I was reading a sciencey book). The 5 minutes I had to spare already account for 0.2% of Jeebus’s “sacrifice.” So come on, Pharyngulites, let’s 1-up Jeebus!

  28. 28
    lazybird

    The whole died-for-your-sins shtick is supposed to make you feel guilty. If they can make you feel guilty then they gain some power over you.

  29. 29
    Jacob

    It seems to me that any damage dealt to an infinity being is negligible.

  30. 30
    Peptron

    What I never understood is where does the “died for our sins” part comes from. Jesus pissed off religious leaders, he gets crucified. To me the meaning was that religious leaders are overreactive freaks; the “die for your sins” it completely out of context.

    A more logical moral would be “Jesus died to show you that religious leaders are insane freaks.”

  31. 31
    CJO

    No, I think it’s a sub-editorial problem. The NT editor

    Who?

    needs to match Mithras, and he rose again,

    He did?

    so Jebus needs to rise again too. Oops! forgot about the OT; still, never mind, let’s hope noone will notice…

    This is too simplistic. First of all, there are no surviving narrative texts from Roman Mithraism (and no evidence that there ever were any), just inscriptions and relief sculptures. No dying and rising is depicted or decribed in these, so I’m not sure where that’s coming from. Mithraism was a native Roman cult derived only tangentially from Persian beliefs and developed in idiosyncraticly Roman ways. By the 2nd century, Christianity and Mithhraism were in competition to whatever small degree, at Rome, but there’s as much reason to think that Mithraism borrowed from Christianity as the converse. Remember, though, the fundamental difference between the two, and between Christianity and any of the other “salvation”-oriented mystery cults of the era, is that Christianity was an exclusivist movement that required its adherents to cease participation in the practices of pagan polytheism, and that required near secession from public, civic life. The other mysteries one could simply add to one’s portfolio of ongoing commitments to the divine.

    As for “forgot about the OT,” nothing could be further from the truth. The most intense conflicts in 2nd century Christianity were between those like Marcion and Apelles who rejected the Jewish scriptures entirely, and those we now call “proto-orthodox” or “proto-Catholic” but who were often called at the time Judaizers, who were committed to defending the continuity of Christianity with ancient worship of the God of the Jews. Furthermore, the OT is the source material from which the passion narrative was constructed. The synoptic gospels are massively intertextual, and their constant reference points are the prophets, especially Isaiah, and the Psalter. Certain later elements might have wanted to forget about the OT, but in the event it simply wasn’t possible, and from that, I think, we get the 3rd and 4th century radical experiments in Gnostic phantasmagoria.

  32. 32
    Hazuki

    So…CJO and Brownian, especially Brownian…HOW do you answer the Three Bafflegabs the apologists come up with? That was impenetrably dense and looked a whole lot like defining shit into existence to justify one’s preconceived beliefs to me…

  33. 33
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    I thought the dead Jeebus was decomposing for 3 days before his magical resurrection into a zombie.

    Nope. The confusion comes from the passage that says “on the third day”. He was killed on a Friday afternoon and rose Sunday morning. 40 hours. But, IIRC, it takes about 3 days for a body to start stinking, so you never knew for sure (lacking the medical knowhow we have now) between dead and mostly dead until 3 days had gone by. The writers blur the edges a bit to make it seem more certain that yes their savior really did die, look he didn’t rise until the third day!

  34. 34
    carolw

    I thought he came back to life so that the crops would grow in the spring. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is just an assimilation of older corn god fertility rites, innit? But Christians don’t listen to that explanation, do they?

    Boy, Thanksgiving is going to be awkward this year. First year out as an Atheist with an Evangelical sister.

  35. 35
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    It seems to me that any damage dealt to an infinity being is negligible.

    Infinitesimal, you could say.

  36. 36
    chaos-engineer

    Well, the math makes sense. We can define suffering as “average pain per unit time”. So compensation for sin requires the equation “Suffering[1] x Duration[1] = Suffering[2] x Duration[2]” to balance.

    Let’s start by getting rid of the infinities, by considering sins committed against human beings. Suppose I steal $100/minute from you over the course of 10 minutes, and Jesus grants me absolution by stealing another $500/minute from you over the course of 2 minutes. 100 x 10 = 500 x 2, so the sin has been canceled out. (A theologically unsophisticated person might say, “Wait, I’m down $2000! How has the sin been canceled out?” But there’s no sense in arguing with people like that; all we can do is point at them and laugh at their lack of sophistication.)

    Anyway, the same equation works if you add in infinities. Let’s say that the sum total of all human lifespans will add up to a trillion years. The equation is just “Infinite suffering/year x 10^12 years = infinite suffering/hour x 40 hours.”

  37. 37
    kermit.

    Human Ape: I thought the dead Jeebus was decomposing for 3 days before his magical resurrection into a zombie.

    Former Southern Baptist here. Even many fundies get this wrong. (According to the myth…) Jesus was finished off on Friday, just before sundown (the beginning of the Sabbath). They buried him in the nick of time (can’t work on the Sabbath). He arose on the third day, Sunday, which is when most Christians go to church (many of them think it’s the Sabbath, and this all confused me dreadfully as a kid, although not as much as other stuff they were saying). He was therefore actually(1) dead less than two full days.

    (1) For sufficiently low values for “actually”.

  38. 38
    Anthony K

    So…CJO and Brownian, especially Brownian…HOW do you answer the Three Bafflegabs the apologists come up with? That was impenetrably dense and looked a whole lot like defining shit into existence to justify one’s preconceived beliefs to me…

    CJO’s comments aren’t bafflegab, but as for mine, I’d answer them thusly:

    A) I’m not buying your piece of shit book, David Marshall, so go peddle somewhere else, fuckface.

    B) Ugh. Terry Eagleton. Quick, find another station. Anything is better than an interview with him. [Changes stations.] What’s this? A Nickelback-Toby Keith mashup? Good enough! I’ll poke out my eardrums with Q-Tips when I get home.

    C) [Hits Piltdown Man with shovel, buries body in vacant lot.]

    The answer to C works just as well on first year philosophy students who quote Plato unironically and not as an historical point.

    Boy, Thanksgiving is going to be awkward this year. First year out as an Atheist with an Evangelical sister.

    Mould your mashed potatoes into the shape of a baby. Use an ear of corn for the genitals. Hollow out the fontanel to hold the gravy. Twitch orgasmically while eating, occasionally stopping to hiss angrily at a piece of turkey you’ve sequestered on the side of your plate.

  39. 39
    Alan

    I have debated the Heaven and Hell and ultimate sacrific thing with Christians for years. I have finally come to the conclusion that the story is so important to them that they don’t give a damn if it makes sense or not. They really, literally, don’t care.

  40. 40
    tmac57

    @chaos-engineer-I was told that there would be no MATH!!!

  41. 41
    feralboy12

    He was therefore actually(1) dead less than two full days.

    It was the weekend. He got time-and-a-half.

  42. 42
    Sean Boyd

    @41 feralboy,

    It was the weekend. He got time-and-a-half.

    Yes!

  43. 43
    CJO

    When Jesus died, assuming some modicum of historical accuracy, people were left wondering why. Paul, Biblical scholar that he was, came up with the fix, transforming the horrendous act of an oppressor to a symbol of love.

    This is a sketch of the standard view of Christian origins espoused by liberal scholars of the NT (where “liberal” means “still Christian for some odd reason, but can admit the gospels are mostly fiction”), but it strikes me as radically incomplete, answering almost none of the interesting historical questions. The messianic concept and Jewish eschatology at the supposed time of Jesus was very much in flux, and there’s good evidence that the idea that a messianic figure could achieve God’s salvific ends precisely by self-sacrifice was in the air without reference to any particular person. On this view, “Jesus Christ,” as generic a name for a Hellenized Jewish redeemer figure as could be devised, was the product of a developing mode of thought well before anyone had cause to “wonder why” he had to die. As I implied, there are a number of finer-grained historical problems with the standard view, but my interest here is that I see no justification for the assumption that an act of sacrifice by a messianic claimant would provoke widespread consternation of a sort that required innovation like Paul’s cosmic soteriology to be resolved. The cosmic soteriology of a sacrificial redeemer figure with messianic credentials came first, and Jesus, whether real or fabrication, came afterward.

  44. 44
    Leon

    That story just makes no sense the more you think about it.

    Actually the way I’d put it is, it makes less sense the more you think about it.

  45. 45
    Hazuki

    It would count as three days according to Jewish law wouldn’t it?

  46. 46
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    Well, as the Theologian Carl Sagan already said:

    Extraordinary offense requires temporary suffering.

  47. 47
    SallyStrange

    Why DID Buffy have to die? To save me from vampires? Vampires are rather more plausible than hell. Still, Buffy got so sad and dark after that, it was depressing. Also, it was really messed up how they killed Kendra off after just a few episodes, and never explained why they made her speak in that terrible accent.

    @ Hazuki I can’t speak for Brownian or anyone else, but my standard response is, “Your allegedly holy book is a work of fiction. Bad fiction. If you can explain to me why I should believe that it contains facts rather than fiction, then I will entertain your questions.”

    Usually it ends there.

  48. 48
    raven

    Adam and Eve eat the apple in 4004BC, or whatever.

    Why does God wait 4037 years? If there’s this huge wrong that needs righting, why do all those generations come and go before God gets round to fixing it?

    The short answer is that the god of the OT isn’t too bright.

    Why did he put the Trees of Knowledge and Life in the Garden in the first place? He could have put them on Kpax, 20,000 light years away or even in Australia. And why is that smartass walking, talking snake there. The omniscient god should have known that it was going to lead to trouble.

    The longer answer is that he was trying other fixes. There was the Tower of Babel incident and that charming story where he invents genocide and pours water on us until only 8 people are left alive. Neither worked. The nails in the limbs didn’t seem to work either. We are still what we always were, plain old humans. The next fix any day now is just to kill 7 billion people and destroy the earth. I’m sure it will work as well as anything else he has tried.

  49. 49
    Katkinkate

    Erulóra Maikalambe says: @ 33
    I thought the dead Jeebus was decomposing for 3 days before his magical resurrection into a zombie.

    Nope. The confusion comes from the passage that says “on the third day”. He was killed on a Friday afternoon and rose Sunday morning.

    Actually, he was in the grave 3 days in the story. He was the Passover sacrifice (Wednesday afternoon) for mankind. The next day after Passover is the ‘First Day of Unleavened Bread’ – an annual holy day or sabbath (Thursday) and that day was the sabbath mentioned that necessitated the Romans speeding up the death of the prisoners so the jews weren’t offended by people dying on the holy day. Then there is a normal day of preparation for the weekly Sabbath (Friday). Then the weekly Sabbath (Saturday).

    That 40 hours thing is because the christians of the early Catholic Church didn’t know anything about Jewish religious practice and assumed the Sabbath mentioned could only be the weekly one, but after the Passover is the ‘First Day of Unleavened Bread’ – the first holy day or sabbath of the Annual religious calendar.

    I apologise for sounding pedantic but I thought it would be interesting to elucidate to my fellow nontheists the context that many christians don’t understand in their own holy words.

  50. 50
    Katkinkate

    Sorry, I got the blockquotes wrong. In comment 49 above, Erulóra Maikalambe quoted the first sentence (from someone else) and contributed the second.

  51. 51
    Greg Peterson

    Raven, true. Among a horde of ironies, one of my favorites is this: God lays out the problem he’s trying to solve in Genesis 6:5: “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.”

    God’s SOLUTION is the worldwide flood that destroys nearly everyone.

    And how well did this “solution” actually work, even from God’s own omnipotent point of view?

    Genesis 8:21, AFTER the flood mind you, says: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.”

    Hell of solution, pops. Things are exactly the same after as before. Guess he didn’t see that coming.

  52. 52
    Anthony K

    @ Hazuki I can’t speak for Brownian or anyone else, but my standard response is, “Your allegedly holy book is a work of fiction. Bad fiction. If you can explain to me why I should believe that it contains facts rather than fiction, then I will entertain your questions.”

    Bah. With reasonable responses like that, you’ll never develop a reputation as someone from whom people should back slowly away.

    The short answer is that the god of the OT isn’t too bright.

    Don’t forget the Passover thing. Yes, he listens and answers your individual prayers, but he needed the sharp, olfactory tang of blood to remind him not to accidentally kill a Jacob in place of a Rahotep. It’s somewhat curious that the patron god of the Israelites would resort to “they all look the same to me” when required to distinguish his chosen people from their pagan, polytheistic oppressors.

    The next fix any day now is just to kill 7 billion people and destroy the earth. I’m sure it will work as well as anything else he has tried.

    “Click ‘cancel’ if you plan to manually restart your universe later.”

  53. 53
    KG

    The cosmic soteriology of a sacrificial redeemer figure with messianic credentials came first, and Jesus, whether real or fabrication, came afterward. – CJO

    Can you recommend any books or articles on this specific theme? I’ve read one John Dominic Crossan – I think it was Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Text (with Jonathan L. Reed) and Bart Ehrman’s Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, but other than that not much in this area. I don’t recall that theme in Ehrman, but I could be misremembering.

  54. 54
    johnwolforth

    This is a sketch of the standard view of Christian origins espoused by liberal scholars of the NT (where “liberal” means “still Christian for some odd reason, but can admit the gospels are mostly fiction”), but it strikes me as radically incomplete

    Correction noted

    I admit I fit that mold for many years and it hasn’t completely warn off. I was attempting to be brief when I referred to “Paul”. Writings attested to Paul are probably the result of two or maybe more authors, and as you note, he/they were not the first to come up with the redeemer narrative.

    What is missing in Biblical studies today (the common kind, not the higher academic kind) is historical context. Whomever wrote and/or assembled the texts was attempting to accomplish something political and sometimes we can see what it was. Only the followers choose to ignore all that and just believe. Once their numbers and powers are strong enough, it’s easy to wipe away the memory of the politics. That was my general point.

  55. 55
    phein39

    I’ve always wondered why we don’t worship Mrs. Sullivan.

    She sacrificed 5 sons to beat the Nazis, not just one.

    I think if eternal life had been on the line, she’d have kicked in the daughter, too.

  56. 56
    KG

    The next fix any day now is just to kill 7 billion people and destroy the earth. I’m sure it will work as well as anything else he has tried. – raven

    Unfortunately, it looks as if us real beings may well manage that without any supernatural assistance – though the belief in such is likely to play an important part in bringing catastrophe upon us.

  57. 57
    A. R

    That’s just the point PZ< you aren't supposed to think about religion. If you do, you become an atheist.

  58. 58
    InfraredEyes

    I thought the dead Jeebus was decomposing for 3 days before his magical resurrection into a zombie.

    The Romans counted time inclusively. If a Romans said he’d see you “three days from now” he meant the day after tomorrow, because he counted “today, tomorrow, the next day: that’s three”.

  59. 59
    Anthony K

    Hell of solution, pops. Things are exactly the same after as before. Guess he didn’t see that coming.

    I like the theme I began in my previous comment. The story starts to make sense if you consider God not as the supreme ruler of all that exists, but a frustrated user talking to level 1 tech support.

    “Yeah, they’re all just sinning. All over the place.”
    “Have you tried rebooting your system sir?”
    “Reboo?—I really don’t see what that’s going to solve, but sure. Lemme save something I’m working on first.”
    [Floods.]
    “Nope. Same as before. Can I maybe talk to a manager?”

    Meanwhile, Vishnu is mouthing “PEBCAC”* at Shiva in the next cubicle.

    *Problem Exists Between Chair And Creation.

  60. 60
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    The Romans counted time inclusively. If a Romans said he’d see you “three days from now”

    That’s what happens when you apply a not continuously translation invariant concept as a metric of a continuous quantity.

  61. 61
    jose

    And once more, the morbid protestants miss the point of his death.(Pssst. It’s the resurrection.)

  62. 62
    Bawdy

    The other part of this sacrifice story that never made sense to me is, why is god limited to just one son? I mean if he is all powerful, he could have a billion jesus’s. Where is the scarifice if you sacrifice 1 of a billion?

    Bawdy.

  63. 63
    'Tis Himself

    Jesus didn’t actually die. He’s god and he can’t die. It’s boilerplate in the god contract, no dying (just ask Osiris).

  64. 64
    pelamun

    ‘Tis, the Klingon gods might disagree with you…

  65. 65
    'Tis Himself

    The other part of this sacrifice story that never made sense to me is, why is god limited to just one son?

    The part of the sacrifice story that doesn’t make sense to me is why a sacrifice at all? Ol’ Yahweh is pissed at humanity because they’re naughty. But Yahweh is omnipotent (it’s in the Boss God contract, just ask Zeus, Brahma and Odin). Yahweh can either poof humans to being unnaughty or poof himself into being unpissed.

  66. 66
    Tulse

    never explained why they made [Kendra] speak in that terrible accent

    If there ever was a sin, that accent was.

  67. 67
    Menyambal

    — If a Romans said he’d see you “three days from now” he meant the day after tomorrow, because he counted “today, tomorrow, the next day: that’s three”. —

    And there’s another translation/concept error in the infallible book.

    (I got caught by that concept in another country once. Overstayed my visa and was in the doo-doo. (The moment they stamped the visa, they counted a day as gone, and 30 days did not mean one 31-day calendar month, date-to-same-date. (I’d tried to tell my boss they might work that way, and got poo-pooed.))

    So Jesus died just before sunset Friday, and arose before sunrise on Sunday. That’s 36 hours, minus shipping and handling.

    And it doesn’t fulfill the prophecy of 3 days and 3 nights.

    Just a thought: Jesus was born with amnesia. He didn’t know what was going to happen–he knew he was the son of God, but not all the crafty plan. He didn’t know he was going to resurrect.

    Which still doesn’t make sense, and damned sure doesn’t pay for even my nephew.

  68. 68
    'Tis Himself

    ‘Tis, the Klingon gods might disagree with you…

    Obviously they didn’t bargain hard enough before they signed their contracts. It’s not my fault they didn’t have a lawyer check the contracts before they signed.

  69. 69
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    Bawdy,

    There are 10 thousand billion billion stars in the visible universe. If there’s intelligent life only once in a trillion planets, there’s still the need for 10 billion Jesi to get all the salvation covered in the visible sinful universe. So, don’t you test the Lawd, our Gawd.

  70. 70
    Anthony K

    The part of the sacrifice story that doesn’t make sense to me is why a sacrifice at all? Ol’ Yahweh is pissed at humanity because they’re naughty.

    Actually, the Original Sin part of the story says that Ol’ Yahweh is pissed at humanity for naughtily finding out what naughty is.

  71. 71
    Ing

    @Pelaman

    Fun fact. Christian missionaries actually had great initial success spreading their religion to Klingons. Their celebration was dampened however when they discovered the Klingons were worshiping the Centurion and the Jews.

  72. 72
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    Ing,

    harhar. Is that canon or fanfic?

  73. 73
    Denis Loubet

    Who’s the hero here, the Jesus character who is “dead” for forty hours and then becomes Master of the Universe, or the Judas Character who — in doing what’s expected of him — sacrifices not only his life, but suffers an eternity of torture in hell for enabling Christian salvation?

    You want to know how much a Christian loves Jesus? Ask them if they would rescue him from the crucifixion if they could. The squirming and contortions are amazing to behold.

    Christians are the only people with a vested interest in making sure Jesus died.

  74. 74
    Ing

    @Tis

    If you didn’t know: Klingon’s have religion but it’s now debatibly technically atheistic as their creation states that the first Klingons rebelled and killed their pantheon.

  75. 75
    Ing

    @Alex

    My joke. Though it makes sense if missionaries did attempt to bring the Christ story to the Klingons that that would be the outcome. Klingon religion holds that their race is exalted because they were badass enough to kill their gods, therefore it isn’t a stretch to see them adopt Judas and those characters the same way they adopted Shakespeare as Klingon.

    *In canon the works of Shakespeare are quite popular amongst Klingons, to the point that there’s popular denial of human authorship of the plays and moon-lander-denial esq belief that Shakespeare was a Klingon.

  76. 76
    Menyambal

    — And once more, the morbid protestants miss the point of his death.(Pssst. It’s the resurrection.) —

    How is the resurrection important?

    Jesus revived Lazarus.

    God could have revived Jesus, in much the same way, if from a distance. Jesus hiking out of the tomb doesn’t prove that he did it himself, and that he was wizardly. It’s just another formerly-dead guy in the big book of zombies. (There were dead Jews walking all over Jerusalem that weekend, according to gospel.)

    And the Bible is quite clear that death and sacrifice was a major point.

    And, if Catholics (I assume) think the whole point was the resurrection, why the morbid fascination with a dying guy on a stick? Why not use a symbol for the stone rolled away? (A million men were crucified, only one of them opened his tomb door from inside.)

  77. 77
    Kingasaurus

    The fundies think they have a fix to this three-day problem:

    They say the “Sabbath” that happened right after the crucifixion was a special, middle-of-the-week Passover Sabbath (the bible says “a high day”). So that means he was killed on a Wednesday or Thursday right before this “special” Sabbath, and rose on Sunday morning after the normal Saturday Sabbath. Two Sabbaths in one week.

    That way he gets three full days and nights in the tomb and they still get to keep Sunday as Resurrection day.

    Sounds like typical fundie pretzel “logic” to me, but that’s what they say.

  78. 78
    raven

    The other part of this sacrifice story that never made sense to me is, why is god limited to just one son?

    According to the Mormons, he has billions of sons. Their jesus is just one of them. So is his brother satan. All male humans are brothers to jesus and satan. Girls are sisters to all of them but lower down, somewhere between the boys and farm animals.

  79. 79
    Ing

    According to the Mormons, he has billions of sons. Their jesus is just one of them. So is his brother satan. All male humans are brothers to jesus and satan. Girls are sisters to all of them but lower down, somewhere between the boys and farm animals.

    Out of curiosity. Does Mormonism have a taboo against incest?

    Considering all parents are just the flesh puppets to make the body and everyone is already engaging in actual incest since they share the same father…and it’s the soul that you’re married to and have sex with in heaven.

  80. 80
    Anthony K

    Girls are sisters to all of them but lower down, somewhere between the boys and farm animals.

    That can’t be right. If I valued abstinence before marriage like the Mormons claim they do, the last place I’d put myself (or anybody else) is between a rural boy and his farm animals.

  81. 81
    Menyambal

    They say the “Sabbath” that happened right after the crucifixion was a special, middle-of-the-week Passover Sabbath (the bible says “a high day”). So that means he was killed on a Wednesday or Thursday right before this “special” Sabbath, and rose on Sunday morning after the normal Saturday Sabbath. Two Sabbaths in one week.

    That’s new to me. And not *too* crazy.

    I do know that the original meaning of Sabbath was wrapped up in the moon, so there was only one a month. Some leftover version of that could have got tangled up in there for Passover.

    But you can’t get from a sunset to a sunrise with an equal number of days and nights. Maybe the boy was resurrected at sunset, but nobody noticed until sunrise. Which kind of ruins Easter Morning.

  82. 82
    Ing

    @Brownian

    *SPIT TAKE*

  83. 83
    Ing

    Why dot hey even care if it’s 3 days? Isn’t the important thing that he fucking died? Isn’t even a day sort of impressive?

  84. 84
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    Ing,

    In canon the works of Shakespeare are quite popular amongst Klingons

    T’ah Pah, T’ah Pe?

    But you should give the people from New Voyages a hint about that kind of story line. Hell, they had gay love on the enterprise, time for some interplanetary heresy.

  85. 85
    Carlie

    I have always seen the death issue handled by belief in a contradictory duality: Jesus was “fully God and fully man”, meaning yes, he couldn’t die, but yes, he could. This is the same type of contradiction that’s all over the place in Christianity: the trinity is three and one, etc. (and fetuses are both fully human and also not at all human when-my-daughter-needs-an-abortion…)

  86. 86
    Anthony K

    Why dot hey even care if it’s 3 days?

    Speaking as a former Catholic, you’re supposed to get chills up and down your spine whenever you encounter the number three. I’m not kidding: a shamrock is supposed to blow your fucking mind.

    It’s the spiritual version of picking up the phone to dial someone and finding them already on the line because they’d just dialed you! (At this point, everybody squeals and pulls their sleeping bags over their heads.)

  87. 87
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    Brownian,

    It’s the spiritual version of picking up the phone to dial someone and finding them already on the line because they’d just dialed you!

    I swear, that totally happened to me twice in only 30 years!

  88. 88
    Anthony K

    I swear, that totally happened to me twice in only 30 years!

    There you go. Proof that God exists (and specifically YHWH/Jesus/Other Guy, not any of these thousands of candidates).

  89. 89
    Ing

    Speaking as a former Catholic, you’re supposed to get chills up and down your spine whenever you encounter the number three. I’m not kidding: a shamrock is supposed to blow your fucking mind.

    Curious. I want to do an experiment now of taking the Christ Myth to other cultures (say like ones that were heavily buddhist) and see if the story has greater impact on people if we change it to their numerology (say change 3 days to 8)

  90. 90
    Carlie

    Speaking as a former Catholic, you’re supposed to get chills up and down your spine whenever you encounter the number three.

    Well, it worked for Francis Collins…

  91. 91
    Menyambal

    Why do they even care if it’s 3 days?

    Because it has to exactly fulfill prophecy. And I mean exactly.

    A good many of the Baptists around here pin their faith on the bible being a nice and accurate book of predictions and fulfillments. That’s where it gets its divine credibility.

    And that’s an old trope, BTW. There’s a place in the Gospels where Jesus is hanging on the cross, dying horribly, and outs with an irrelevant phrase of something or other, just to fulfill prophecy–the Bible clearly states right there that that is why he said it. Prophecy is power.

    (Oddly enough, there’s other places in the book where “prophesy” could be replaced with “sing” and make a lot more sense. (King David was slagged for prophesying poorly whilst dancing down the street. IIRC.))

  92. 92
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    @Menyambal

    A good many of the Baptists around here pin their faith on the bible being a nice and accurate book of predictions and fulfillments.

    And that, of all things in the bible old and new, is what they have a problem with? Calendar maths?!

  93. 93
    Anthony K

    Well, it worked for Francis Collins…

    I’d be proud to have Stevie Wonder write a song about me. Just maybe not this one.

  94. 94
    Sakurazaki Setsuna

    Reading this thread, I was thinking it might be interesting to compile a list of Jesus analogues in fiction (as opposed to the actual Jesus in his work of fiction, of course!) who’s sacrifices were more real and compelling.

  95. 95
    nooneinparticular

    This comic reminds me of what I think was the turning point for me rejecting Christianity. I was maybe 13 attending Easter services at a friend’s church (my parents were not religious -one from an Irish Catholic family the other Liverpudlian Protestant, they figured best to just drop the whole mess). I remember the priest yammering on and on about the Jewish zombie thing and I started thinking….it isn’t a sacrifice if you take it back. Been free ever since.

  96. 96
    Julia

    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis says:
    26 October 2011 at 8:37 pm
    Bawdy,

    There are 10 thousand billion billion stars in the visible universe. If there’s intelligent life only once in a trillion planets, there’s still the need for 10 billion Jesi to get all the salvation covered in the visible sinful universe. So, don’t you test the Lawd, our Gawd.
    =======================================================

    LOL My old pastor claimed there were no planets going around other stars or anywhere besides our galaxy. He said that this was partly because some scripture that said~ “Jesus died ONCE for all time” or something like that. [This was before the discovery of any exoplanets.] When I left the church [later religion altogether] I was delighted when the discoveries came about.

  97. 97
    Hazuki

    Do Christians ever, EVER stop to ask themselves why they worship a God whose entire story is bracketed by wars?

    There’s the pre-Creation War In Heaven where, y’know, contra Alvin Plantinga’s entire career’s worth of theodicy, one can sin in Heaven…and take one third of the Heavenly host with one. (Modal logic is a bitch when there are actually ARE other actual worlds…).

    Then at the end of the world there’ll be the war to end all wars at Armageddon, a belief most firmly found in Revelations but hardly unique (Zarathustra would like it back…).

    And in between? Genocides, floods, human sacrifices, and even one humiliating defeat against the fearsome high technology of iron chariots.

    And this is without even mentioning the ridiculousness of the Garden of Eden story, or the incoherence of the Atonement. Is it just that believers never examine things from this angle? Or if they do what do they tell themselves?

  98. 98
    raven

    There’s the pre-Creation War In Heaven where, y’know, contra Alvin Plantinga’s entire career’s worth of theodicy, one can sin in Heaven…and take one third of the Heavenly host with one

    That hasn’t happened yet and it isn’t in the bible. It’s from Milton’s fanfic.

    There is a war in heaven in Revelation. That hasn’t happened yet either. Revelation refers to future events, none of which has yet to happen.

    Much of what xians believe isn’t in the bible. It’s such an incoherent mess that they just make stuff up as they go along.

  99. 99
    raven

    Or if they do what do they tell themselves?

    The xians get their ideas from the same place the bible writers did.

    They just make stuff up.

  100. 100
    jose

    “How is the resurrection important? Jesus revived Lazarus.”

    First of all, let’s keep in mind this is a myth, exactly like Prometeus or Star Wars. I’ll try to explain this part of the myth.

    The resurrection shows humans have now their way into heaven cleared. God needed to be made human and die and then resurrect and fly into heaven as a human to prove that. We can’t follow the example of a God because we’re not perfect and God is; but we can follow the example of a man – Jesus.

    “God could have revived Jesus, in much the same way, if from a distance. Jesus hiking out of the tomb doesn’t prove that he did it himself, and that he was wizardly. It’s just another formerly-dead guy in the big book of zombies. (There were dead Jews walking all over Jerusalem that weekend, according to gospel.)

    That’s the whole point of Jesus. To clear the way that was obstructed by sin for us and then go live forever in Heaven. Follow his example and you will arise from your grave (I mean literally. Forget “spiritual forms” and ghosts, that’s heresy; soul and body are supposed to be inseparable*) the day of judgment, like those “saints” who resurrected along with Jesus. I have no idea why they didn’t wait till Judgment day; the myth doesn’t say why.

    “And the Bible is quite clear that death and sacrifice was a major point.”

    Of course, in order to resurrect he has to die first! It’s a necessary pre-requisite. But without the resurrection, his death is pointless. If he remains dead, then there’s no way for anyone to go to Heaven, exactly as if he had never been born (with some exceptions like Moses, who was personally picked up). He’s supposed to be God; if he can’t go to Heaven, neither can’t we and the whole doctrine of sin, salvation and damnation becomes pointless.

    “And, if Catholics (I assume) think the whole point was the resurrection, why the morbid fascination with a dying guy on a stick? Why not use a symbol for the stone rolled away?”

    I agree with you here, a symbol of the resurrection would be much more adequate. Catholics are supposed to share the Good News, not the horrible torture! (the good news is that Jesus resurrected). I suspect they prefer bloody and gory symbology so they scare and impress people. Let’s not forget catholicism as any other religion has always been trying to control everyone’s lives.

    There are a lot of “death and rebirth” myths in literature. My favorite is the poem Ariel by Sylvia Plath. And it’s much shorter than the Bible, so that’s a plus. ^_^

    *That’s my favorite part of the myth. Most catholics don’t believe it literally even though it’s a real dogma, like the transubstantiation of the cracker. They’re should believe it literally. When you die, the soul is supposed to be latent, outside time, and you’re latent as well (“asleep”, the bible usually puts it. I guess the writers didn’t bother looking at a corpse two weeks later). You’re not part of this world until Judgment Day. That’s how they reconcile regular, everyday funerals with the idea that everyone will arise from the grave and be judged on Judgment Day and not before. Talk about zombie apocalypse, you got it :)

  101. 101
    Julien Rousseau

    While xians often try to use the resurrection as evidence for Jesus’s divinity I must say I agree that it actually totally destroys one of the fundamental claims of christianity, namely that “Jesus paid for your sins”*.

    If the wage of sin is death and death actually means an eternity of torture then paying for just one saved sinners’ sins would entail one eternity of torture. Paying for thousands or millions of sinners’ sins would require thousand or millions of eternities of torture.

    Jesus’s sacrifice is the equivalent of saying you will pay someone’s £1Million fine but only hand over 10p.

    Of course like others have pointed out they would then lack the miracle of the resurrection to convince the gullibles but maybe they could have had a different vision for Paul on his way to Damascus:

    Jesus (surrounded by the screams of the damned) – “WTH Paul? I went and died and got myself tortured for eternity so you guys wouldn’t have to but you go and wreck it all up by preventing my guys from spreading the good news? Stop doing that or I’ll see you in hell when you die, okay!”

    * with evolution destroying another one of course as if Adam never existed then there is no original sin for Jesus to atone for and Jesus died for a metaphor.

  102. 102
    Robster

    Hey, is St. Aqualung the patron saint of divers?

  103. 103
    myeck waters

    Dumpster divers maybe.

  104. 104
    Hazuki

    @98

    Okay, fair enough. But still, why does it not occur to these people that Yahweh is a schlemiel? Especially now, when we have the archaeology to disprove most of the fundamental dogma of the OT and the text criticism to show unambiguously that Jesus, among others, prophesied falsely?

  105. 105
    raven

    But still, why does it not occur to these people that Yahweh is a schlemiel?

    You are asking me? I suppose that “Our Invisible Sky Monster in Heaven” doesn’t have quite the same appeal as “Our Father in Heaven”.

    A few xians freely acknowledge that their god is a monster, mostly the wackier ones like Southern Baptists.

    You have to remember it’s all made up, constantly evolving, and the vast majority of xians have never read the bible and have no idea what is in it.

  106. 106
    DLC

    But god, knowing all, knew mankind would Sin. He knew — must have known — Man would sin. he created everything right ? Therefore he had to have created Lucifer, therefore he had to have known Lucifer would turn against him, therefore he must have known Lucifer would be cast down into hell, that Lucifer would then thereafter tempt men into sin, that men, being human, would sin, and that those sins could never be forgiven except by killing his son, which was also him. Is any of this shit making any sense?

  107. 107
    WishfulThinkingRulesAll

    There are two huge problems with this Jesus sacrifice story:

    1) Christians believe in the Trinity, so God is Jesus and Jesus is God. Which means God sacrificed himself to himself to save us from himself. But how can you sacrifice to yourself? Is it like loaning yourself 10 dollars? Do you take the money out of your own wallet and put it right back in? Nonsense.

    2) There was no actual sacrifice. What did Jesus lose? He’s still around, he’s immortal, heck he is even more powerful than before! If anything he got a huge upgrade!

    So what it boils down to is that God sacrificed himself to himself, but not really, to save us from himself. Sounds like a scam to me. Or a really shitty magic trick.

  108. 108
    Steve Jeffers

    “What I never understood is where does the “died for our sins” part comes from. Jesus pissed off religious leaders, he gets crucified.”

    Here’s a fun thing to ask Christians: ‘for what crime was Jesus executed?’.

    They probably don’t know, they’ll probably waffle a bit and blah blah ‘died for all our sins’.

    He’s executed for ‘not denying he was King of the Jews’, basically ‘treason’ – think of all the various Pretenders to various crowns, or successionists, or false Popes. It’s a crime punishable by death. He’s tried, in the legitimate court. Against his will, the case goes to appeal.

    Ask that Christian whether he was guilty as charged. The thing is: he doesn’t have to *be* King of the Jews, he only has not to deny it – and the Biblical account is that he doesn’t.

    Jesus: guilty as charged.

  109. 109
    Steve Jeffers

    “Or a really shitty magic trick.”

    Next you’ll be saying that taking a biscuit and transforming it into the flesh of Jesus is a ‘shitty magic trick’ just because it still looks, tastes, smells, sounds and feels like a biscuit.

    OK. I’ve just done a magic trick. Turned the very screen you’re looking at into a rabbit. And … back again. Impressed? Good, you’re ready to convert to Catholicism. Unimpressed? Oh, you literal minded sap.

  110. 110
    Chris

    To lose omnipotence for even an instant could reasonably be construed as infinite penance, I suspect.

    That doesn’t make it right. Just, at the very least, internally consistent.

  111. 111
    Ing

    You are asking me? I suppose that “Our Invisible Sky Monster in Heaven” doesn’t have quite the same appeal as “Our Father in Heaven”.

    More likely; think of how they were raised. *Cracks whip* It fits their experience of fatherly love already.

    1) Christians believe in the Trinity, so God is Jesus and Jesus is God. Which means God sacrificed himself to himself to save us from himself. But how can you sacrifice to yourself? Is it like loaning yourself 10 dollars? Do you take the money out of your own wallet and put it right back in? Nonsense.

    2) There was no actual sacrifice. What did Jesus lose? He’s still around, he’s immortal, heck he is even more powerful than before! If anything he got a huge upgrade!

    Compare it to the latest Doctor Who arc where

    SPOILER

    _
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -

    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    He cheats death by going through the motions of the sacrifice so he can fake his death. It makes more sense and it fits into his character as a trickster.

  112. 112
    Tulse

    is St. Aqualung the patron saint of divers?

    He’s the patron saint of rock flautists.

  113. 113
    Anri

    There was no actual sacrifice. What did Jesus lose? He’s still around, he’s immortal, heck he is even more powerful than before! If anything he got a huge upgrade!

    “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

  114. 114
    Ing

    There was no actual sacrifice. What did Jesus lose? He’s still around, he’s immortal, heck he is even more powerful than before! If anything he got a huge upgrade!

    Jesus? Yes…I was called that, and you may call me again. Jesus the Christ

  115. 115
    Greg Peterson

    Raven @ 98: Yeah it is. Luke 10:18, Isaiah 14:12, and as yuo mentioned Revelation 12:9 (which you referred to–but since it’s in the past tense, I don’t know why you think it hasn’t “happened” yet…apart from the fact of course that none of this stuff happened at all and never will). Revelation does NOT refer to “future events.” I realize that’s how the “left behind” crowd represents it, but that takes some pretty tortured exegesis.

    Anyhow. I was at the “debate” last night, and here’s my report:

    “Question for the pastor: What do you think of the glorious triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ over sin and death?”
    “Question for the atheist: What do you think of the glorious triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ over sin and death?”
    “Question for the pastor: How does being freed from guilt and sin make your life worth living and give you a sense of cleanness and purity unknown to the unregenerate?”
    “Question for the atheist: What must it like being you? How do you live with yourself?”
    In summary: Hitler was an atheist.
    And then they had pie, but I had to go out a get a new phone, so, you know, I missed that.

  116. 116
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    2) There was no actual sacrifice. What did Jesus lose? He’s still around, he’s immortal, heck he is even more powerful than before! If anything he got a huge upgrade!

    For one thing, he died a virgin. For another, he never had duck curry.

    If you’re omniscient/omnipotent and all, just knowing what you’re missing has to be a huge sacrifice.

  117. 117
    anchor

    > That story just makes no sense the more you think about it.

    God: “I created you so I get to punish you if you malfunction.”

    God is a petulant brat.

  118. 118
    anchor

    …He kicks His toys when they break or have a flaw (= aren’t Perfect like Him) or when they won’t do what He wants or simply at His Whim whenever He gets tired of them and won’t bother listening to their prayers for mercy and salvation from misery, horrible suffering and the inevitable prospect of a built-in death, etc.

    Godbrat in His Playroom overheard messing with His toys: “DIE MUTHA-FUCKUH!!!”[crashing noises].

  119. 119
    anchor

    …christers want to sit with that L’enfant terrible for an ETERNITY??? As a REWARD???

    Yep, it makes no sense. And they are clearly nuts too.

  120. 120
    WishfulThinkingRulesAll

    Re #110 – Chris: “To lose omnipotence for even an instant could reasonably be construed as infinite penance, I suspect.

    That doesn’t make it right. Just, at the very least, internally consistent.”

    But… he didn’t lose anything. Besides time, which he has in infinite amounts. He can choose to not exercise his power, or choose to pretend die, but it’s not like he actually loses any powers. Whatever this God thing wants to do, he can, right? If he wants to go slumming and hang out with not-so-hairy apes, he can. If he chooses not to shoot laser beams out of his eyes while he is down there, that ain’t a sacrifice.

  121. 121
    WishfulThinkingRulesAll

    Re: #116 – What a Marroon:

    “For one thing, he died a virgin. For another, he never had duck curry.

    If you’re omniscient/omnipotent and all, just knowing what you’re missing has to be a huge sacrifice.”

    Actually, no, not really. An omniscient god doesn’t need to come down and experience anything. He wouldn’t be missing any kind of experience, because he has within him all experience. Do you remember the first time you had sex? An omniscient god does better than you. Every feeling, every thought you had through the whole thing, even ones you missed, this god thing has. Everything you saw and smelled, god knows. More importantly, he was more aware of it then you were while it was happening!

    An omniscient god never has to ask himself “I wonder what curry tastes like” because he in effect has tasted every curry ever made in the universe.

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