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Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Newme » February 24th, 2014, 1:45 pm

Mysterio448 wrote:The idea that Jesus died for our sins is at the core of the Christian faith. However, it seems that many people don't think much about what the phrase really means. In the Bible, Jesus is sometimes referred to as "the Lamb," referring to the Old Testament practice of sacrificing a lamb for the atonement of sin. The idea is that Jesus himself was essentially the ultimate sacrifice, whose suffering and death atoned for the sins of all mankind. For anyone remotely familiar with Christian theology, this idea is so familiar that we fail to acknowledge one very simple implication of it: the significance of Jesus' crucifixion emanates from the presupposition of the validity of sacrifice. In other words, in order to be a true Christian you must believe in the idea that the destruction of one being can directly precipitate good fortune upon another being. Therefore, if you are a Christian, when you hear about how the ancient Phoenicians would have their children burnt alive to appease the god Moloch or how the Aztecs would carve out the hearts of living victims so that the sun could rise, while being disgusted at these acts and their inherent cruelty, you must still at least be able to sympathize with the fundamental logic of them.

My question is this: if you are a Christian, do you agree with the basic logic of sacrifice? The way I understand it, the very core of the Christian faith rests on this logic. If you do not agree with the logic of sacrifice, then how do you reconcile that with your Christian faith?
Hi Mysterio,

I was about to post a similar topic. I believe our beliefs are always subjective to some degree, and ideally, we responsibly choose beliefs that are the most healthy and productive, knowing that to some degree, we are wrong, no matter what we believe. I've been thinking about the pros and cons of believing in God requiring Jesus to be sacrificed, to attone for us. I'm not interested in purely biased views to one extreme or the other. "Thinking with integrity is paradoxical thinking." And truth is that which causes influence - metaphysically, what we believe can be helpful or destructive physiologically.

Pros: 1. Believing someone loved me enough to die for me may be comforting, especially if I have little else to help me cope with hardships. 2. The icon of Jesus is an inspiring one - a good example to follow. Believing that someone suffered so much and still forgave others that hurt him, is inspiring to me. 3. Jesus is a personification of spirituality - it is much easier to resonate with a human being like us, than to an abstract idea of spirit/God/Love... & it's better than worshipping such fallible illusions like romance. 4. It is easier to believe in something that so many others believe in. Once, I stood and sang a Christian hymn in a conference center with about 30,000 others... & the spirit of unity was awe-inspiring! 5. The belief in a higher power is required to get the ego out of the way & allow our amazing & creative subconscious to work it's magic. Jesus serves as a crutch in believing in a power outside of us.

Cons: 1. Jesus has become a scapegoat, which causes people to not take responsibility for making "at-one" or correcting their mistakes. 2. Jesus, himself warned against worshipping him (Luke 18:19 & Mark 10:18) ... & we know that the 60+ books collected in the bible have been through corrupt hands over the centuries, and words have been twisted, to put words in Jesus' mouth that he didn't say or mean. 3. God is love. My idea of love has nothing to do with killing one person, to magically heal another. In fact, evil is not in being imperfect, since God (or however you consider Creation of us) created us imperfect, so we can have choices/live & learn. Evil is the denial of resonsibility of one's mistakes & attempt to make another pay for them. (ie abortion, human sacrifice, etc.) Again, Jesus taught this in parables like that of the self-rightous condemning pharisee & humble tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). 4. Nobody can save oneself from one's thoughts but oneself... You could hit yourself in the head, and say, "when I do this, you will no longer die, be sad, etc".... but that's dysfunctional rather than helpful. Jesus taught, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation... [but is] within you." (Luke 17:21). 5. God is supposed to be who we worship, want to be like. Wanting to kill another for one's sins, or worship someone who does, is an illogical and unethical tradition, IMO. Yet, so many believe it out of peer pressure - because "everyone's been believing it" & other cognitive distortions around them and others for centuries without question, which may be partly why up to 60-80% of mental illness cases may be attributed to misinterpreations of Judaic & Christian doctrine.

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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Greatest I am » February 24th, 2014, 3:39 pm

Regards DL

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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Misty » February 24th, 2014, 5:17 pm

Mysterio448 wrote:
My question is this: if you are a Christian, do you agree with the basic logic of sacrifice? The way I understand it, the very core of the Christian faith rests on this logic. If you do not agree with the logic of sacrifice, then how do you reconcile that with your Christian faith?

Humans live the logic of sacrifice everyday of their lives. Each human is in perpetual sacrifice with their time, relationships, work, etc.. Life is about sacrifice because one cannot have it all at all times. Parents sacrifice to have children. Women sacrifice a taunt body for a slightly used body after pregnancy, men and women sacrifice personal freedom to be married and have a family, and the list goes on and on. So why is it surprising our Lord Jesus would sacrifice? It is what humans understand.
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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Greatest I am » February 24th, 2014, 5:32 pm

Misty wrote:
Mysterio448 wrote:
My question is this: if you are a Christian, do you agree with the basic logic of sacrifice? The way I understand it, the very core of the Christian faith rests on this logic. If you do not agree with the logic of sacrifice, then how do you reconcile that with your Christian faith?

Humans live the logic of sacrifice everyday of their lives. Each human is in perpetual sacrifice with their time, relationships, work, etc.. Life is about sacrifice because one cannot have it all at all times. Parents sacrifice to have children. Women sacrifice a taunt body for a slightly used body after pregnancy, men and women sacrifice personal freedom to be married and have a family, and the list goes on and on. So why is it surprising our Lord Jesus would sacrifice? It is what humans understand.
Note that in the sacrifices you describe, there is a loss. Right?

In the case of Jesus/God sacrificing himself to Jesus/God so that Jesus/God's wrath would be appeased.

Note that there is no lose anywhere and only a gain for God.

That is greed. Not sacrifice.

You analogy is not exact at all.

Sacrifice or paying a ransom to a judge to adjust his justice to injustice is not legal in most countries.

Why would you support a god who corrupts his own judgements?

Regards DL

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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Mysterio448 » February 24th, 2014, 10:16 pm

Newme wrote:I believe our beliefs are always subjective to some degree, and ideally, we responsibly choose beliefs that are the most healthy and productive, knowing that to some degree, we are wrong, no matter what we believe.
I agree with this idea completely. It has long been my belief that truth is not a destination but a journey. Thus one must always be seeking the truth; you can never fully find it. One problem with Christianity is that Christians believe they have found the truth, which means that they have stopped searching. Ceasing to search for the truth is like ceasing to move while on a moving treadmill; forward progress is the only means of stability. The belief that one has found truth is an illusion, causing one to venerate a truth-claim at the expense of the truth.
Misty wrote:
Humans live the logic of sacrifice everyday of their lives. Each human is in perpetual sacrifice with their time, relationships, work, etc.. Life is about sacrifice because one cannot have it all at all times. Parents sacrifice to have children. Women sacrifice a taunt body for a slightly used body after pregnancy, men and women sacrifice personal freedom to be married and have a family, and the list goes on and on. So why is it surprising our Lord Jesus would sacrifice? It is what humans understand.


I think you are equivocating two different meanings of the word "sacrifice." This thread is not about common, pragmatic sacrifices but about religious ritual sacrifice, which is a completely different thing.

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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Belinda » February 25th, 2014, 6:02 am

Misty's point about common life sacrifices such as those of parents on behalf of their children are necessary for the children's welfare and for the welfare and continuance of the social group. People who fail to sacrifice assets for the sake of their kids are to some degree sociopaths. For historical reasons society's values have changed such that individuals' rights have increased while social duties have decreased. The right of a woman not to use her body to procreate is an example of increase in rights of the individual.

However sacrifice for the sake of influencing god or gods is sheer superstition. The sacrifice of Jesus might be interpreted as sheer superstition , or alternatively as comparable to the sacrifices of political insurgents, or of religious martyrs. In view of the actual brutality of the Roman regime in Palestine at the time of Jesus, and also in view of that unshakeable faith which is Judaism it seems reasonable to assume that Jesus was at least a political insurgent who was inspired and supported by the faith of the Jews.

The Christian Doctrine of the Atonement depends for its rationale on the idea that one individual can atone for the badnesses of the others. This is superstition of the same mentality from which arose those old human and animal sacrifices. The only interpretation that ameliorates the superstitious element is that the sacrifice of Jesus is a metaphor for how human goodness can and does lighten the prevailing human badness. However a problem with this interpretation is that goodness and badness must be polarised in such a way that in order for goodness as goodness to prevail , goodness must be not a relative quality but absolute i.e. God.
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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Misty » February 25th, 2014, 7:24 am

Greatest I am wrote:
Misty wrote: (Nested quote removed.)



Humans live the logic of sacrifice everyday of their lives. Each human is in perpetual sacrifice with their time, relationships, work, etc.. Life is about sacrifice because one cannot have it all at all times. Parents sacrifice to have children. Women sacrifice a taunt body for a slightly used body after pregnancy, men and women sacrifice personal freedom to be married and have a family, and the list goes on and on. So why is it surprising our Lord Jesus would sacrifice? It is what humans understand.
Note that in the sacrifices you describe, there is a loss. Right?

In the case of Jesus/God sacrificing himself to Jesus/God so that Jesus/God's wrath would be appeased.

Note that there is no lose anywhere and only a gain for God.

That is greed. Not sacrifice.

You analogy is not exact at all.

Sacrifice or paying a ransom to a judge to adjust his justice to injustice is not legal in most countries.

Why would you support a god who corrupts his own judgements?

Regards DL
The sacrifices of life are for the greater good. Your life GIA, as is that of everyone, moves toward death regardless of ones choice to use their life for the greater good or waste it destroying life. In order for the human species to continue the female must give birth, which alters the body. In order for children to thrive parents must forfeit time to care for the children. So, GIA, sacrifice is a necessary part of species survival. Sacrifice is an act for the greater good of human life on earth and the sacrifice of Jesus was/is for the greater good of humans to enter life everlasting beyond human life. Jesus in sacrificing his human life, showed by example, his human life while it did die, was also resurrected to live without the further threat of death. His sacrifice was an act of promise, example, inevitable human future. Jesus, like parents on earth, sacrifice or choose/chose for the greater good. It is about life and not about loss.
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Greatest I am » February 25th, 2014, 12:04 pm

Misty wrote:
Greatest I am wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


Note that in the sacrifices you describe, there is a loss. Right?

In the case of Jesus/God sacrificing himself to Jesus/God so that Jesus/God's wrath would be appeased.

Note that there is no lose anywhere and only a gain for God.

That is greed. Not sacrifice.

You analogy is not exact at all.

Sacrifice or paying a ransom to a judge to adjust his justice to injustice is not legal in most countries.

Why would you support a god who corrupts his own judgements?

Regards DL
The sacrifices of life are for the greater good. Your life GIA, as is that of everyone, moves toward death regardless of ones choice to use their life for the greater good or waste it destroying life. In order for the human species to continue the female must give birth, which alters the body. In order for children to thrive parents must forfeit time to care for the children. So, GIA, sacrifice is a necessary part of species survival. Sacrifice is an act for the greater good of human life on earth and the sacrifice of Jesus was/is for the greater good of humans to enter life everlasting beyond human life. Jesus in sacrificing his human life, showed by example, his human life while it did die, was also resurrected to live without the further threat of death. His sacrifice was an act of promise, example, inevitable human future. Jesus, like parents on earth, sacrifice or choose/chose for the greater good. It is about life and not about loss.
IOW, you have made up your own definition of sacrifice and that somehow it does not include loss of anything.

If God was concerned with the greater good of society then he would not be teaching us to use a scapegoat.

Would you teach your child to use a scapegoat, at school, for instance?

No you would not as you know that is immoral. Right?

Do why do you think your God would teach you an immoral practice?

Would you vote for a judge who sets and accepts bribes and sacrifices to adjust and corrupt his justice?

Regards DL

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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Misty » February 25th, 2014, 12:32 pm

Greatest I am wrote:
IOW, you have made up your own definition of sacrifice and that somehow it does not include loss of anything.

If God was concerned with the greater good of society then he would not be teaching us to use a scapegoat.

Would you teach your child to use a scapegoat, at school, for instance?

No you would not as you know that is immoral. Right?

Do why do you think your God would teach you an immoral practice?

Would you vote for a judge who sets and accepts bribes and sacrifices to adjust and corrupt his justice?

Regards DL
Dictionary meaning of Sacrifice: 1)the offering of something precious to a deity or the thing offered 2)loss or deprivation.

Many people offer their life in favor of the greater good, doing the right thing. To them it is not about losing something but gaining something. #1 meaning above applies to this way of life. It was the resurrection of Jesus offered to God and the human creation he loves. Jesus trumped his death by ultimate life. Life resurrected is God/Jesus's offer to humans. It is the ultimate love of God/Jesus, trumping the decision of humans to experience death.
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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Greatest I am » February 25th, 2014, 3:34 pm

Rubbish. And I am being kind.

Would you teach your children to use a scapegoat the way you are trying to do. No you would not so that makes you a hypocrite. Shame on you.

Regards DL

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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Misty » February 25th, 2014, 8:43 pm

Greatest I am wrote:Rubbish. And I am being kind.

Would you teach your children to use a scapegoat the way you are trying to do. No you would not so that makes you a hypocrite. Shame on you.

Regards DL
You are interpreting the death of Jesus as being a scapegoat. Humans cannot resurrect themselves, only the creator can resurrect humans, so there is no scapegoat involved.
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Greatest I am » February 25th, 2014, 9:00 pm

Misty wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:Rubbish. And I am being kind.

Would you teach your children to use a scapegoat the way you are trying to do. No you would not so that makes you a hypocrite. Shame on you.

Regards DL


You are interpreting the death of Jesus as being a scapegoat. Humans cannot resurrect themselves, only the creator can resurrect humans, so there is no scapegoat involved.
Scapegoating has nothing to do with resurrection. Are you now down to deception?


Listen. Learn. Call it what you will, it is still immoral for you to try to profit from someone else's misfortune.
Regards DL

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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Belinda » February 26th, 2014, 4:48 am

Greatest I Am wrote:
Listen. Learn. Call it what you will, it is still immoral for you to try to profit from someone else's misfortune.
True of healthy adults who are by definition able to take responsibility for themselves. But not true of children, senile people, destitute people. very ill people, or very disabled people all of whom are dependent upon others' sacrifices. Sacrifices are not always misfortunes because as Misty pointed out parents voluntarily and often unwittingly sacrifice themselves for their children. Christianity is a religion on behalf of the poor, the sick and the socially disadvantaged.

Christ was not 'unfortunate', because Christ knew what he was doing when he sacrificed himself which He did voluntarily.He was not coerced in any way. I allude to the Christ of faith.

The Jesus of history may not be the same as the Christ of faith despite claims of believers that the Christ of faith and the Jesus of history are one and the same historical being. The Jesus of history was tortured to death by the particularly brutal Roman governor and arguably did not want to be a martyr. This, despite the Gospels' claim that Jesus deliberately stuck his head above the parapet when he flaunted his popularity during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The Gospels' claim of Jesus' voluntary martyrdom is so much aligned with the myth of the Saviour, the Messiah for the Gentiles, that the Gospels' claim is to be relegated to non-evidence.
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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by Greatest I am » February 26th, 2014, 12:50 pm

Belinda wrote:Greatest I Am wrote:
Listen. Learn. Call it what you will, it is still immoral for you to try to profit from someone else's misfortune.
True of healthy adults who are by definition able to take responsibility for themselves. But not true of children, senile people, destitute people. very ill people, or very disabled people all of whom are dependent upon others' sacrifices. Sacrifices are not always misfortunes because as Misty pointed out parents voluntarily and often unwittingly sacrifice themselves for their children. Christianity is a religion on behalf of the poor, the sick and the socially disadvantaged.

Christ was not 'unfortunate', because Christ knew what he was doing when he sacrificed himself which He did voluntarily.He was not coerced in any way. I allude to the Christ of faith.

The Jesus of history may not be the same as the Christ of faith despite claims of believers that the Christ of faith and the Jesus of history are one and the same historical being. The Jesus of history was tortured to death by the particularly brutal Roman governor and arguably did not want to be a martyr. This, despite the Gospels' claim that Jesus deliberately stuck his head above the parapet when he flaunted his popularity during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The Gospels' claim of Jesus' voluntary martyrdom is so much aligned with the myth of the Saviour, the Messiah for the Gentiles, that the Gospels' claim is to be relegated to non-evidence.
Scriptures do not differentiate Jesus and Christ. To it, Jesus is the Christ. I agree they are different though. As I understand it. All fiction though.

Your view is convoluted and twisted around for this topic though. I am sure only you can track what you are thinking but most will not be able to. You could straighten that out but we would go long and it is not necessary here.

The only question I have is how do you plan on getting into heave? By riding Jesus as your scapegoat or by rejecting the so called sacrifice and getting their on your own?

Do you embrace vicarious atonement?

Regards DL

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Re: Christianity and the logic of sacrifice

Post by enegue » February 26th, 2014, 6:56 pm

Belinda wrote:The Christian Doctrine of the Atonement depends for its rationale on the idea that one individual can atone for the badnesses of the others. This is superstition of the same mentality from which arose those old human and animal sacrifices. The only interpretation that ameliorates the superstitious element is that the sacrifice of Jesus is a metaphor for how human goodness can and does lighten the prevailing human badness.
OR ...

... those who offer up the sacrifice that Jesus became (the spotless lamb), are demonstrating by doing so that they recognise their contribution to human suffering (sin=behaviour contrary to God's principles of life), that they are sorry they hadn't recognised it sooner (as it would have undone much suffering), and that they want to be included in a kingdom where God dwells, and where Jesus rules according His principles of life, where they will be participants in wiping away all tears, and preventing death and sorrow and pain, and bringing to an end the former things of which such conditions were part.

Entry into that kingdom begins the moment the person's heart has been enlightened to this. It's all so simple, that some people miss it entirely.

Cheers,
enegue

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