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  1. #1
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    The Divine Whipping Boy!

    Christians claim Christ died for our sins.

    I do not understand that. How does it make sense for someone else to suffer on my behalf?
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  2. #2
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    Just to clarify, the penalty for sin isn't "suffering", it is death. Christ underwent a great deal of suffering, but that is not the sacrifice that is referred to. It is his death, his willingess to give up his life for others, that is considered to be the sacrifice. That he suffered so much, and did so willingly when he had the opportunity not to, is what makes it even more remarkable (assuming it is a true event of course).
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  3. #3
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    And yet, it wasn't death even. If anyone was assured an after life, it was Christ. So let's see if we can summarize the plot.


    • Various tortures (Not to be confused with naked pictures of Jesus and the desciples in a dog pile.)
    • Carry the cross.
    • Nailed to same.
    • Spear thrust.
    • Death.
    • TIME PASSES. (3 days)
    • Resurrection and glory for eternity.


    Okay, its an attempt at levity if you don't get it, I know. I have a warped sense of humor.

    At any rate, does this act by the avatar of God, justify the forgiveness of all of man's sins and if so how?

    When you look at it objectively, it doesn't seem like that big a sacrifice.

    How can an omnipotent God, truly worry about the fate of His son. And subsequently, how can the Son, worry about his fate, when he is assured the right hand spot at the throne forever and ever, amen?

    Hmmm.
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  4. #4
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    Even if it was a big sacrifice - I do not understand how the actions of another can wash away my sins? If I carry a karmic debt upon my soul, then it is mine to carry, and mine to make up for.

    I don't even want someone else to carry my burden - I wish to attempt to make up for my harm to others by doing good to others.

    I don't get the whipping boy concept. (or dying boy concept, as the case may be)
    Assume nothing. This includes assuming that you should not assume.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntiMaterialist
    Christians claim Christ died for our sins.

    I do not understand that. How does it make sense for someone else to suffer on my behalf?
    It is rather simple, actually. No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to atone for your sin. Why? Because even when you were a baby, and had not yet sinned, you still had original sin. Jesus Christ is the Intercessor, the Mediator. His sacrifice is taken as payment for all of humanity's sins. Humans are separated from the Father by sin, and only the Son can mediate between men and the Father. A common illustration of this concept is the Father on one side of a cliff, a human on the other. The Son is the bridge that gives humans the opportunity to repent and return to the Father. The Holy Spirit is what motivates and inspires humans to accept Christ's offer of salvation. This is why the Trinity is seen as vital to Christian doctrine. One God in three Personalities, working together to redeem a fallen humanity.

  6. #6
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    Because even when you were a baby, and had not yet sinned, you still had original sin.
    Why would I carry the weight of someone else's mistake? The concept of orignal sin makes about as much sense as the divine whipping boy concept.


    I understand the concept of Jesus dying for our sins, I just don't understand the why of it. And don't answer by saying "so you can connect with God" or some such thing. What I mean is, I don't understand why God would want someone else to die for my sins. How does Jesus death absolve me of the terrible things I have done?
    Assume nothing. This includes assuming that you should not assume.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntiMaterialist
    Christians claim Christ died for our sins.

    I do not understand that. How does it make sense for someone else to suffer on my behalf?
    Great question!! Of course, the Boog-man shall deliver the answer:

    The myth of Christ suffering for our sins is rooted in the ancient notions of punishment and debt. Nietzsche, for example, traces how mankind from primeval times onwards has conceived of an ever expanding indebtedness to an infinite being. In tribal communities the belief reigned of indebtedness towards its ancestry, who was to be credited for the current state of the community. This sense of indebtedness explains the existence of great sacrifices often in the form of human blood in ancient cultures such as the Mayans, for example. Moreover, since the debt can never be cleared in its entirety, the consciousness of indebtedness to the ancestor results in fear. Given that the population of ancestors is growing at a positive rate, the burden of debt and accompanying fear will therefore multiply accordingly. According to Nietzsche, it is only a small step from this indebtedness to the ancestry to fear and indebtedness to a deity: "Perhaps this is even the origin of gods, an origin therefore out of fear."

    By now, what started as an analysis of a debtor and a creditor has transfigured into a fear and infinite indebtedness of man toward a deity. Thus over the course of history this indebtedness has only continued to grow in order to arrive at near infinite levels within Christianity: "The advent of the Christian God, as the maximum god attained so far, was therefore accompanied by the maximum feeling of guilty indebtedness on earth."

    With respect to punishment and suffering, Nietzsche says that the purpose of inflicting punishment in early societies was to provide for the payment of a debt or damage incurred. In ancient societies, an actual contract may have been drawn up, in which the debtor promises to suffer pain, indignities, or even death, if he does not keep his part of the bargain. In these cases, a fairly detailed table of equivalences between amount owed and the magnitude of pain to be inflicted may have been consulted. Punishment, therefore, originated as a part of relations of trade and business, or at least in connection with the exchange of possessions. As noted above, self-punishment, in the form of sacrificial rites, for example, would be one of the few ways in which our indebtedness to an infinite being could be repaid. With the advent of the Christian notion of sin, human nature itself is taken to be guilty and therefore, the debt to God can never be repaid. Since our indebtedness to God can never be repaid, we are left with only the sacrifice of God Himself as a means of paying the debt. But therein lies the great paradox of Christian belief...Nietzsche continues,

    "There can be no doubt: first of all against the "debtor," in whom from this point on bad conscience, firmly set in him, eating into him and spreading out like a polyp, grows wide and deep, until finally, with the impossibility of discharging the debt, people think up the idea of the impossibility of removing the penance, the idea that the debt cannot be paid off ("eternal punishment"). Finally however, those ideas of "debt" and "duty" turn back even against the "creditor." ... [A]ll of a sudden we confront the paradoxical and horrifying expedient with which a martyred humanity found temporary relief, that stroke of genius of Christianity - God's sacrifice of himself for the guilt of human beings, God paying himself back with himself, God as the only one who can redeem man from what for human beings has become impossible to redeem - the creditor sacrifices himself for the debtor, out of love (can people believe that?), out of love for his debtor!"

    Nietzsche's point here is that a trick has been played on us: our "debt" has been paid by someone else's blood, but now we are indebted once again for the sacrifice that has been made on our behalf! The consequence, then, is to encourage in people the belief that the debt of their sins, owed to God, was paid to God by God having God tortured and murdered by the debtors - us. We debtors were thus relieved of one debt but then burdened with another, neither of which were ever of our choosing or even something that ever benefitted us in the first place.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger
    Great question!! Of course, the Boog-man shall deliver the answer:

    The myth of Christ suffering for our sins is rooted in the ancient notions of punishment and debt. Nietzsche, for example, traces how mankind from primeval times onwards has conceived of an ever expanding indebtedness to an infinite being. In tribal communities the belief reigned of indebtedness towards its ancestry, who was to be credited for the current state of the community. This sense of indebtedness explains the existence of great sacrifices often in the form of human blood in ancient cultures such as the Mayans, for example. Moreover, since the debt can never be cleared in its entirety, the consciousness of indebtedness to the ancestor results in fear. Given that the population of ancestors is growing at a positive rate, the burden of debt and accompanying fear will therefore multiply accordingly. According to Nietzsche, it is only a small step from this indebtedness to the ancestry to fear and indebtedness to a deity: "Perhaps this is even the origin of gods, an origin therefore out of fear."

    By now, what started as an analysis of a debtor and a creditor has transfigured into a fear and infinite indebtedness of man toward a deity. Thus over the course of history this indebtedness has only continued to grow in order to arrive at near infinite levels within Christianity: "The advent of the Christian God, as the maximum god attained so far, was therefore accompanied by the maximum feeling of guilty indebtedness on earth."

    With respect to punishment and suffering, Nietzsche says that the purpose of inflicting punishment in early societies was to provide for the payment of a debt or damage incurred. In ancient societies, an actual contract may have been drawn up, in which the debtor promises to suffer pain, indignities, or even death, if he does not keep his part of the bargain. In these cases, a fairly detailed table of equivalences between amount owed and the magnitude of pain to be inflicted may have been consulted. Punishment, therefore, originated as a part of relations of trade and business, or at least in connection with the exchange of possessions. As noted above, self-punishment, in the form of sacrificial rites, for example, would be one of the few ways in which our indebtedness to an infinite being could be repaid. With the advent of the Christian notion of sin, human nature itself is taken to be guilty and therefore, the debt to God can never be repaid. Since our indebtedness to God can never be repaid, we are left with only the sacrifice of God Himself as a means of paying the debt. But therein lies the great paradox of Christian belief...Nietzsche continues,

    "There can be no doubt: first of all against the "debtor," in whom from this point on bad conscience, firmly set in him, eating into him and spreading out like a polyp, grows wide and deep, until finally, with the impossibility of discharging the debt, people think up the idea of the impossibility of removing the penance, the idea that the debt cannot be paid off ("eternal punishment"). Finally however, those ideas of "debt" and "duty" turn back even against the "creditor." ... [A]ll of a sudden we confront the paradoxical and horrifying expedient with which a martyred humanity found temporary relief, that stroke of genius of Christianity - God's sacrifice of himself for the guilt of human beings, God paying himself back with himself, God as the only one who can redeem man from what for human beings has become impossible to redeem - the creditor sacrifices himself for the debtor, out of love (can people believe that?), out of love for his debtor!"

    Nietzsche's point here is that a trick has been played on us: our "debt" has been paid by someone else's blood, but now we are indebted once again for the sacrifice that has been made on our behalf! The consequence, then, is to encourage in people the belief that the debt of their sins, owed to God, was paid to God by God having God tortured and murdered by the debtors - us. We debtors were thus relieved of one debt but then burdened with another, neither of which were ever of our choosing or even something that ever benefitted us in the first place.
    "Nietzsche is dead."

    - God

  9. #9
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    By extention, why couldn't God absolve sin through some other manner? This would make just as much sense, since the reasoning behind the method presented in the Bible seems wholly arbitrary.
    孟柏民
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  10. #10
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    What other way is possible?
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  11. #11
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    There are plenty of options for an omniscient, omnipotent God.
    孟柏民
    Formerly Neverending (for all you old-timers)

  12. #12
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    Like what? Surely just a few are nameable by mortal beings.
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  13. #13
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    Lets see he could simply offer forgiveness to all who would accept it.

    NO, NO, thats to easy.

    He could take the blame for all the evil we have caused.

    Nope, hes God, he cant do that.

    Ummm, how about taking the punishment we deserve.

    Are you crazy! This is God we're talking about.
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  14. #14
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    Maybe we could work for our forgiveness, you know salvation through works.

    Wait, how can anything we do eliminate all of our sins. How would we ever get all of our debts paid off in the amount of time we're given on this earth. Especially when you consider the fact that we cant stop sinning. We'll never dig our way out of this hole.

    We could accept the blame for our own sins,

    WAIT! Then we definetly dont stand a chance.

    The only way to save us is for a perfect being(i.e. GOD) take the blame, take our punishment, and offer forgivness to all who will take it.
    Last edited by chadn737; May 11th, 2004 at 03:21 PM.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverending
    By extention, why couldn't God absolve sin through some other manner? This would make just as much sense, since the reasoning behind the method presented in the Bible seems wholly arbitrary.
    It's not so arbitrary when you consider that in the ancient world, debts could only be absolved by suffering punishment. Since Christianity deems us to be eternal sinners, our debt can never be repaid; it could have only been repaid by God himself. But in the ancient world, debts aren't repaid by merely forgiving the debt and taking a bad business debt deduction from our tax returns; debts could only be truly obsolved by suffering. Accordingly, God just forgiving us for our sinful nature wouldn't have made much sense to the ancients. On its face, the story of Christ's crucifixion seems to absurd to us since God could just merely forgive us for the sinful nature that He created, but it was necessary to create the story of a great suffering in the payment of the debt of mankind to God to make it "work." Only in this context does the crucifixion of Christ make any sense at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    What other way is possible?
    As alluded to above, God could merely just forgive each of us for our sins by accepting him and living a "Christian lifestyle." The crucifixion of Christ is an unnecessary intermediary event for an omnipotent being.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipnish
    When you look at it objectively, it doesn't seem like that big a sacrifice.

    How can an omnipotent God, truly worry about the fate of His son. And subsequently, how can the Son, worry about his fate, when he is assured the right hand spot at the throne forever and ever, amen?
    Agreed. From an objective viewpoint, God's "sacrifice" is not a sacrifice worthy of being the great sacrifice of all time; many people have sacrificed much, much more.

    But don't forget--this is religious dogma. It doesn't have to make sense even though when you think about it, there is much about Christianity that makes little or no sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    That he suffered so much, and did so willingly when he had the opportunity not to, is what makes it even more remarkable.
    And of course, as Nietzsche points out, you are a victim of Christianity's great trick: our "debt" has been paid by someone else's blood, but now we are indebted once again for the sacrifice that has been made on our behalf. In short, we debtors were thus relieved of one debt but then burdened with another. This is no longer really a blood debt which can be repaid but, rather, a psychological debt which creates an inordinate amount of pressure on a person. How can anyone possibly show sufficient gratitude for what has been done in their name? Christ's crucifixion leaves us with the burden of believing that we, personally, are responsible not only for Jesus having to be killed (because of our terrible sins) but even for the actual and brutal killing itself. Nietzsche called it a "mental cruelty" and an "insanity of will" for a person to engage in such psychological self-flagellation. People believe that there is no possible way for them to be adequately punished for their crimes, but once someone else is punished there is also no possible way for them to show the appropriate gratitude. The consequence of such guilt are feelings of extreme worthlessness and, apparently, Christianity.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntiMaterialist
    Christians claim Christ died for our sins.

    I do not understand that. How does it make sense for someone else to suffer on my behalf?
    (Here's something most Christians are a little timid about talking about in a mixed crowd)

    Christians believe that death came into this world by the First Sin of Adam and Eve. Some christians view death as "mortal" death as in the death of our bodies -- others view this death as a death of the soul...as in when we die that's it...it's over.

    Through His death and resurrection Christ unlocked the gates of "Hades" making eternal life possible for all.

    "Suffering" had not much to do with the whole affair and in the grand scheme of things is important, but not critical to the whole concept.

    What is important is that the Holy SPirit became incarnate in the Virgin Mary. Jesus Christ was both God and Man one in being. Christ ministered to us. He taught us God's greatest commandment. He refined man's interpretations of God's Laws. He exposed hypocrites in God's Temple for what they were. ...

    ...and then we killed Him ...only to have to rise from the dead three days later -- fulfilling scripture which prophesized His coming. Fullfilling God's Promise. That is what is importnat -- not the suffering associated with His execution.

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    "Because even when you were a baby, and had not yet sinned, you still had original sin"

    So then how was Jesus born without sin? God incarnate is still carnate. Not saying Jesus had sin, perhaps the question of orginal sin must be teetered with.

    AntiMaterialist... The Bible supports the fact the some way or another all people on this Earth have sinned at least once, except for Jesus. What happened was that "He who knew no sin, became sin on our behalf". Why did this have to happen? Because God does not put SIN into His being. The Great Spirit which is, does not want wrong doing in His environment. And also the Bible says "The wages of sin is death". Therefore, something had to die in order to collect the payments of sin. The only thing not tainted by sin is God. When He sent Jesus to Earth , the begotten Son of God took on Earthly form. He stayed pure and was put on the cross for His alleged heresies. At that time, sin was put onto Him. He was the sacrifice. And sacrifices must die, they take the wages of sin. The remarkable thing is not how or why He died, though it is quite important, it is that He rose again.

    Why does it make sense that someone die on your behalf?
    Because you're not worthy to to rise up out of death

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    Like what? Surely just a few are nameable by mortal beings.
    Well, he could have Jesus tell us that we can be free of sin if we follow him and have him follow it up with some miricles. I just wonder why scapegoating the innocent is necessary to free the guilty.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve43872
    "Because even when you were a baby, and had not yet sinned, you still had original sin"

    So then how was Jesus born without sin? God incarnate is still carnate. Not saying Jesus had sin, perhaps the question of orginal sin must be teetered with.

    AntiMaterialist... The Bible supports the fact the some way or another all people on this Earth have sinned at least once, except for Jesus. What happened was that "He who knew no sin, became sin on our behalf". Why did this have to happen? Because God does not put SIN into His being. The Great Spirit which is, does not want wrong doing in His environment. And also the Bible says "The wages of sin is death". Therefore, something had to die in order to collect the payments of sin. The only thing not tainted by sin is God. When He sent Jesus to Earth , the begotten Son of God took on Earthly form. He stayed pure and was put on the cross for His alleged heresies. At that time, sin was put onto Him. He was the sacrifice. And sacrifices must die, they take the wages of sin. The remarkable thing is not how or why He died, though it is quite important, it is that He rose again.

    Why does it make sense that someone die on your behalf?
    Because you're not worthy to to rise up out of death
    If the wages of sin are death, and Jesus was without sin, why did he die again? We were cursed with death already. And child birth, snake bites, and having to work for a living.

    So... What's the point of Jesus doing it for us?
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    What other way is possible?
    Maybe Hallmark could make a card? You could get it on your birthday!
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

 

 
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