I've never understood why the death of Jesus is important.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Ivor Bigun, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Doesn't that answer depend on the other theists? Think about who you're asking; if I wonder, "Which theists?" it's because the difference matters in the context of the answer.

    (And, yes, I recognize the proposition that such differences might be too subtle and too demanding in an environment where you don't actually need to know a lot about anything in order to criticize something.)​

    It's astonishing to me how many identifying atheists will give particular theists, or theists in general, such power; it seems a prerequisite of justifying artifice.

    There is an argument that atheism is some sort of natural condition, but this point also overlooks that infantile, newborn ignorance is also a natural condition. The atheism of our growth and adulthood is a different phenomenon, and what is disappointing about the natural-state argument is how thoughtless it always was. This atheism of our adulthood is a sloppy↗ reaction↗; it is neurotic and human and subject, and ultimately irrational.

    As I put it last month:

    It's just this idea, you know? It exists as a potential whether we identify it or not; the answer is only relevant if the question arises. In the end, this counterassertion against religion is reactionary, which, incidentally, is why it is even possible for me to tell the story about the time the atheist apparently hopping his track decided the rational thing to do was start redefining the words.

    The result of this is that the atheism we witness in the public discourse is a weird mix of revolt and surrender ....

    .... Most of what atheists argue against is backfill. Consider this rational argument:

    If [Theist] says [God] does [_____],

    and [Atheist] can demonstrate [_____] false,

    then God does not exist.​

    This slothful fallacy is the primary "atheistic argument". What makes it unreliable is allowing what it considers unreliable to assert and set conditions. That is to say, the reaction is against an irrational proposition. Extending that logical resolution—e.g., that the Earth exists as such, as compared to this silly, untestable seven-day thesis—to a larger framework can be, and in this range generally is, inappropriate.

    If you let someone else set the terms, and you demonstrate that two plus two does not equal five, what is anyone else supposed to say if your argument tacitly requires that it equal three? The problem might be your math or not; it also might be that you agreed to argue irrational terms.

    Why would anybody do that, by the way? Quite simply, because they're human, and start focusing too narrowly on what annoys them.

    I'm certain your inquiry projecting the behavior of theists has some significant meaning to you, but as with other religious folks, whatever you're trying to say might well be self-evident to you, but it doesn't make any real sense outside that sphere.

    Thus: Roles reversed, [&c.], how do we project other theists' feelings?

    (1) And?

    (2) I'm certain your question means something substantive to you; perhaps you might do us the courtesty of explaining what that is.

    (3) You're going to have to ask the theists.

    ↳ Of course, the problem with that last option is the necessity of actually paying attention to and comprehending whatever they happen to say, even if it's bullshit. One functional problem about this movement atheism, this cult of anti-religion, is that it doesn't actually care what rational reality actually says. It perpetually reads and acts like a sham, a bunch of uneducated people pretending to be smart because they have precisely one rational assertion to make, and that is the end of their obligation to or respect for the rational; their atheism has nothing to do with anything else, so its only real purpose is getting in fights with the least competent among their neighbors; it's an ossified counterrevolutionary bully high.​

    Here's a trivia question: What do Satanists and Muslims have in common?

    The answer actually depends on particular presuppositions being in place, else the question reads in a fundamentally offensive manner, though certain presuppositions must be in place in making that statement, else it, too, becomes offensive.

    Still, though, as a critic of religion, this one ought to be for you what we Americans refer to as a "can of corn", an easy catch.

    And it really does read like trivia, but here's a question we might consider: What if the answer is a key explanation in behavior that has killed somewhere between hundreds of thousands and millions of people?

    At some point, I would submit, other questions become more important than whether or not God and Satan exist. And, yeah, it's true that would be one of the circumstances when it's probably helpful to know a little bit about what we criticize. And if I say I get it, that only goes so far, because there comes a point at which I don't. I mean, good for you: Congratulations on knowing how to engage the least competent, the people who don't even know how to express themselves properly, because, hey, they've got a point to make and you've got yourself a theist to ridicule. May've only left ya a theist, but at least you thwacked you a theist.

    And that last is the point. Whack-a-Mole is an interestingly silly game, and has precisely nothing to do with anything.

    The trivia question points to a real thing that happened, and continues to happen, in the world.

    An example from life and death: The United States is already suffering a resurgent HIV/AIDS crisis; in movies we're at the part when our hero, or perhaps witness or victim of coming horror, stands and stares up as the evil rises, rises, rises, and we keep watching, watching, watching, and the tacit point is to wonder how big this thing is, and when will it finish standing up. And there will be a lot of belief and fact to sort through in figuring out the history of how this happened—it really is an astonishing history—but one of the most important questions will have to do with whether or not we are expected to rehash obsolete and pretentious social mores that come down to sniffing about our dignity while doing nothing about a raging plague.

    The most part of that objection and disruption will come from religious quarters. And while it is true that one need not know a lot about something in order to ridicule it to the faces of trolls, language learners, and the occasional delirious or delusional, there will be more important discussions going on, and while I can calculate any number of potentially useful addresses, all depending on which religiously-derived objection we face, the one that isn't going to be on the table is whether or not God exists, or any of the petty one-upmanship that is the purpose of such critique requiring so little knowledge of its subject.

    Meanwhile, one of the recurring themes I encounter has to do with people's disdain for others "forcing religion onto" them; and while I get people's point about badmouthing science, I am, technically, picking it out according to the philosophical principle or rule of charity because skipping that leaves it sounding much more selfish, i.e., counterrevolutionary bully high. It is the righteous thrill of striking back, and that is what it is, and, yes, when people go about theopolitical discourse with genuine stakes in play, yes, there is a battle rush because there are genuine stakes in play.

    And while people will remind that all sorts of things atheism have nothing to do with despite evangelical atheists asserting about such things, the point isn't some specific call to laborious duty, but, rather, to remind that it is well past time to dispense with notions about disdain for religious behavior toward other people and ideas; that's not really what this gutter discourse is for. Some disputes are just about seeking and taking satisfaction.

    Those disputes are what they are, but they have nothing to do with reality, and the only real potential they have for affecting actual political disputes in which people are forcing religion onto one another is to further denigrate communication, thus insulating and reinforcing the dangerous and intrusive religious beliefs and behaviors people ostensibly complain about. It's kind of like philosophical job security, doing what one can to ensure there is always an easy complaint at hand.

    But when we consider the real implications of forcing religion onto one another, no, people wallowing in critiques that just don't seem to require much for knowledge are not helping; they are only making things worse, but, hey, at least they get some satisfaction, now and then.

    Remember, please, what attrition actually comes to.
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  3. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    This is not a fallacy. If the proposition is that god exists and has certain qualities; if one can show those qualities are false, this is evidence against that particular god existing.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Hi, Spidergoat. So, hey—

    What makes it unreliable is allowing what it considers unreliable to assert and set conditions. That is to say, the reaction is against an irrational proposition. Extending that logical resolution—e.g., that the Earth exists as such, as compared to this silly, untestable seven-day thesis—to a larger framework can be, and in this range generally is, inappropriate.

    —you going to get around to it on the next pass, or was your manner of evasive trolling associated with religious fanatics the actual point and purpose?

    Which, of course, would be not at all surprising. Disgusting, but unsurprising.

    Still it's true, saying, "This is not a fallacy," while refusing to address it directly is dishonest.

    What, did you think your infantile word game was some sort of smart thing, or is this just about your religious identity?
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  7. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    It's not a fallacy to accept, for the purposes of argument, the irrational premises of one's debate opponent.

    I don't think it's at all fair to characterize my post as evasive trolling. I'm really making an effort to understand your excessively long, rambling, and largely incoherent writing style.
  8. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    It seems to me that our rambling incoherent friend expects the atheist to correct the irrational theist premise. But why should they? If that's what the theist believes, then their argument is simply low hanging fruit.

    Maybe the more rational theists should jump in and raise the bar - after all, they have a vested interest.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    So, why did you do that?

    Why did you skip out in favor of a fisk job worse than useless?

    See, one thing that might make your "effort to understand" seem more genuine—

    —is if you could be consistent.

    Sorry, but yelling at dubious preachers in a manner intended to simply deepen their entrenchment is not any real proposition of compassion.

    And perhaps our low-hanging neighbor—

    —requires the corrupted seed of circumstantial vacuum, but at some point, Spidergoat, would it be too much to ask that you find some consistency?

    Conversion? The political stakes that affect people's lives? Hey, at least in concept, I'm right there with you. But that's not what you're actually doing. Your effort to understand is related to mine; I've been trying to figure out this part for years, and all I've found, both here at Sciforums and in the real world over the course of years is increasing resistance to rational argument, consideration, and behavior, because none of that has anything to do with atheism.

    "Convincing someone to give up their faith"? "Compassionate"? It really does sound like bullshit when what you're actually selling is low-effort self-gratification.

    Interestingly, in another thread, people are starting to call out individuals in a particular fashion; one of our neighbors provides an excellent example:

    I would ask we imagine, please, a random street preacher. He seems strange, says bizarre stuff that does not seem to correspond to anything. People either glance aside to see what all the ruckus is about, as they pass, or else simply ignore him.

    When some evangelical atheist decides to pick a fight with him, why? Who the hell pays attention to these street preachers? We're talking about someone who isn't even as coherent as the influential incoherent some would pretend to fret about. Why make this preacher more important than he is? Is it really about the "compassionate" effort of "convincing someone to give up their faith"? Of course it's not, else one would attend a tactical plan intended to facilitate and encourage such outcomes. So what is it actually about?

    Maybe, "low hanging fruit"?

    I challenge anyone to explain what useful purpose they have for arguing with, say, Jan, since his name has come up, now, repeatedly in recent days for ... uh ... honestly, I don't know if they're blaming him, or afraid of him, or what, but, truth told, it's a question of whether they are sinister or stupid; that is, the difference 'twixt recognizing that he doesn't know what he's on about, or not, or, worse yet, actually holding a predatory criterion.

    So, to answer, say, the low-hanger—

    —that would either be close enough to start with or as irrelevant as ever, according to the purpose of any given atheist in attempting to engage religion and religious people in discourse.

    Consider the notion of alternative history and revisionism. How long does anyone intend to spend wallowing around in grotesque revisionism simply if that irrational premise is what the other person in the discussion believes? And if that grotesque revisionism happens to further discredit what one already loathes, why is that the occasion one would be willing to accept the alternative history?

    And it does make a difference if one intends to address broader human implications of religion and religious behavior.

    If, however, one wants to stand around and have the same argument over and over again with the same street preacher they already have no respect for, then it is easy enough to agree with the question of why one would; I do, however, find the question of why one should rather quite striking.

    So if the whole point is to swing at low-hanging fruit, we probably shouldn't pretend one is about any purpose more useful than self-gratification without any real concern for whether they are causing further harm.
  10. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    For my part I find chatting with Jan fun. There is no need to think too hard upon that, it is simple unsophisticated fun, and although you may if you wish ring out of a dry blanket whatever drop of introspect that you would seek, to do so I see little point, unless that for you is fun.

    If the unrealistic proposition, that Jan could be in danger of losing his faith, due to the trivial banter between the two of us, could strike me as possible I assure you I would not engage.

    The banter is fun and trivial no more than that not worthy of deeper analysis.

    You asked I answered which was fun.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  11. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    The op asks why the death of Jesus was important.
    There are many answers but perhaps the answer can be found in the various attempts by various religions at personifying what initially was no more than early humans seeking to give acknowledgement to the importance of the Sun in their lives.
    The Sun appears to die and after 3 days be resurrected so one could think about how folk would rip off the observation to assist their unrealistic claim that although being a man they to can die and resurrect.
    But probably no theist would ever entertain such a notion which hardly leaves the door open to sensible discussion leaving only ...well leaving what we have.
  12. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Maybe he died so we could get over ourselves. If you could dump all your misery on the son of God, what better gift would there be?
  13. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Isn't it the scapegoat idea?

    Often in the airforce there would be some sort of misbehaving
    It could not be proved who exactly was responsible so Sgt Major Ok the lot of you confined
    One fest up (even if not involved) and gets confined, rest off scott free

    Since most would misbehave at some time just cycle though us minions to keep the most out of confinement for the maximum time

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  14. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Near died today, been in hospital until now just got back.
    Close call. Lucky I managed a call to a mate all I could say was " not well" he acted to get help, I could not have rung or deal with giving address and all you would go thru.
    Probably severe heat stroke but I could not move I was just so weak.
    So that's my day, but one thing for sure I will buying another scope and mount in fact anything that I want... Maybe a sports car.
  15. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    My friend not so lucky
    I called him from Bali asked him to check with bank to extend my cards overseas usage just in case I got stuck because of volcano
    He called back to say all ok
    Came back OK on day I was booked so no drama
    Called him few times over next few days
    No contact
    Went round his house
    Discovered his body
    Estimated he'd been dead 7 to 10 days

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  16. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    So sorry mate.
  17. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member


    Known him about 50 years
    He was about 6 years younger
    Unhealthy but I didn't think that bad
    Always thought he would go before me but not until a few more years had passed

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  18. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Yes. My understanding is that God created Adam & Eve to live forever, but for their transgression of eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge he condemned them to death - and through inheritance we all have to die too. But God provided an out! If a sinless man was to die, then we could all be forgiven and live forever. So he sent Jesus to die in our place. (aka - a scapegoat).

    However, most people acknowledge that the garden of Eden is at best an allegory.

    So, that means Jesus died for an allegory.
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I think Jesus was a nice enough fellow but I think the character could have been fleshed out a little more. What was his motivation, what was he like when he wasn't being "Jesus"? Did he have an vices? Was he a narcissist? Any skeletons in his closet.

    I just think the character could have been fleshed out a little more.
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    It is. You just need to look around for it. Then again, it also depends on what you're looking for. Like the reason why the clay birds flew away↱, which is fun enough; or the time when the Disciples called Jesus out for getting on Mary Magdalene, and they were jealous, which ought to be properly hilarious.

    Remember: The Bible you know is a scant anthology intended to tell a political story. And once upon a time, Christians actually knew this; Irenaeus of Lyon↱ famously argued there were only four Gospels because there were only "four zones of the world in which we live, and four winds", and he goes on and on about four, in part because certain alleged heretics find significance in the number; Adversus haereses is one of the most ridiculous witnesses in the Christian record, but in this case the fact of the record itself reminds that the testimonial of the Church, being itself political witness, is necessarily and willfully incomplete; should Christians tend toward ahadith, the record provides a plethora of narrative reports and accounts.


    The Gospel of Philip. c. 200. Gnosis.org. 15 December 2017. http://bit.ly/2AsAxXe

    Irenaeus. On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis. c. 180. NewAdvent.org. 14 December 2017. http://bit.ly/2kui5GE

    Shah, Idries. Tales of the Dervishes: Teaching-stoies of the Sufi Masters Over the Past Thousand Years. 1967. Books.Google.com. 14 December 2017. http://bit.ly/2yv0CD8
  21. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Long hair, beard, hung around with twelve mates drinking wine and wandering around without out jobs.

    Now how well received would a group like that be in the bible belt?

  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I think he was a musician..."Jesus and the Disciples". Probably a heavy metal band.
    Xelasnave.1947 likes this.
  23. Seaman Registered Member

    I agree partly. I think the first Christians, who were Jews who wanted to escape from the tedious rules and rituals of their birth religion, believed that their leader, who promised that they would be taken up to meet him in the air when he returned, must have somehow left this earth. People told stories about him that they imagined must have happened. Later these stories were written down as if they really happened. After the new institutions formed, the stories changed from being imagined events to real events. So the corruption of the Truth began.

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