Easter: The silliest story ever told

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Free Thinker, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. It's Easter. Once again, the masses will gawp in awe at a bizarre and unbelievable story…because it is such a good example of how religion will piggy-back on our cognitive biases.

    You all know the Easter story: a god turns into a man, gets tortured and killed, rises from the dead, and somehow this act makes us all better. It's a tale best left unexamined, because it makes no sense. We are supposed to wallow in an emotional thrill that taps deep into our social consciousness, not think about what the story actually says.

    The part of the story that works for us is the idea of self-sacrifice. That's potent; we are social animals, and an individual sacrificing him or her self for the greater good has a lot of impact, materially and symbolically, and also stirs up powerful and conflicting emotions. Think about a real example, a soldier throwing himself on a hand grenade to protect his compatriots; it's a noble sacrifice, it means that one dies so that others may live, it makes us wonder whether we would be brave enough (or crazy enough, or despairing enough) to do the same. We look at someone who does that as a genuine hero, someone who cared so much for his fellow human beings that he would make the supreme sacrifice to spare them.

    So that's the aspect of the Easter story that the Christian faith milks for everything it's worth. The suffering of Jesus is amplified: look at the weird obsession Catholics show for graphic portrayals of the bloody, twisted, tormented Christ on a stick; look at Gibson's horrible torture porn movie, The Passion, that lingers sickly over every lash of the whip, every beating, the long slow bleeding death. This isn't just a quick self-sacrifice, Jesus suffered a long lingering death, just for you. He must have cared about you so much!

    Uh, except for one thing. Where's the grenade? What is he saving us from?

    This is where the myth falls apart. Don't look! Be distracted by the crown of thorns and the spear and the nails, and by the magic trick on the third day! Whatever you do, don't question the sacrifice!

    Because, unfortunately, Jesus isn't saving us from anything real, and he made no change in the world with his death. Ask a Christian, and they'll tell us he's saving us from Original Sin, our flawed, weak, inherently wicked natures. But what that sin is is an act committed by a pair of mythological ancestors (they didn't even actually exist), and the sin was being willful, curious and disobedient to an imaginary man in the sky — it was a non-existent crime. I don't believe in being held accountable for my ancestor's weaknesses (as Patti Smith sang, "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine"), and in this case I don't even consider what they did to be wrong. So Jesus suffered for an act that I would consider a virtue, committed by myths against a myth? That's no hand grenade, that's a fairy tale. Nobody needs to die to protect me from a fairy tale.

    Next problem: what Jesus did didn't even protect me from that fairy tale! Imagine that in some metaphorical sense it was true that there was some heritable taint infecting the entire human race, passed from generation to generation and making us more prone to do wickedness. Instead of a hand grenade, we've been fed a poison that's going to hurt us slowly and horribly.

    How does having the sick butcher the doctor make us better?

    I can guess how it will be rationalized: that having the doctor make such a sacrifice will make us believe more sincerely in his prescription. But again, that's religion leeching off a cognitive shortcut our brains take, that we'll assume it must have been a very, very important message if the messenger was willing to die for it. That's invalid — people die stupidly for bad reasons all the time. The only test that matters is whether the doctor actually helps people with his actions.

    Another problem: Jesus cheats. We're supposed to believe that he's saving us from an imaginary ancestral sin, and that he's doing so by dying…but he doesn't! He comes back three days (OK, actually a day and a half) later, perfectly healthy except for a few holes which don't seem to perturb him much, and he gets to magically zoom up into the sky and live forever in his dad's palace. This is no sacrifice at all.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/...s/pharyngula+(Pharyngula)&utm_content=Twitter
     
  2. Wrong. Having to live forever is a terrible sacrifice to make. Except a lot of people are too dumb to realize it.
     
  3. More drivel from learned ignorance with an axe to grind.
     
  4. Funny how freethinker must quote some other idiot in his entirety with absolutely no thoughts/interpretations/paraphrasing of his own.


    The irony is just Too damn funny:D :D :eek:
     
  5. Looks like the OP didn't get an invitation...

    So sad.

    :(

    The 36th annual American Atheists National Convention is being held at the Newark Liberty Renaissance Hotel in Newark, New Jersey this weekend.
     
  6. bpcnabe

    bpcnabe

    What sacrifice did Jesus make?

    Dude, he died a virgin!
     
  7. Wow...posting this not only shows the writers ignorance of what Easter is, but it also shows freethinkers lack of freethinking.

    Uh, except for one thing. Where's the grenade? What is he saving us from? This is where the myth falls apart

    There is your first clue how ignorant you are. He is saving us from eternal damnation. So i guess thats NOT where the "myth" falls apart. If you ever bothered to even read a few chapters of the new testament you might know that. But I guess when you get your information from atheists that have never picked up a bible in their life but somehow magically think they know whats in the book you end up saying things that you know nothing about and showing an incredible amount of ignorance.

    You are totally not a freethinker. You know why? Just with this posting, you did no research to see if what the article said was true. If there really was no answer to what Jesus was saving us from because they were distracting us with a crown of thorns. You just liked what you read because it fits in with your BIAS beliefs. You are brainwashed. You've never read the bible, yet you claim to know its not true. I have read the bible and about evolution and the big bang so I am actually more of a free thinker than you because I looked at both sides and picked the more logical one. You cant make that discernment because you have only ever looked at one side. Your biased side.

    Do some research before you make yourself look like an ass next time.
     
  8. you really are not very bright are you? you either didnt bother to read the article or you have the reading comprehension of a 5 year old.
    the article asks the question. assuming you are so superstitious that you actually believe the bible myth how does it save humanity when biblegod comes down to earth and pretends to kill himself for 3 days to save us from himself? is your god a child. could he not come up with anything better than a fake suicide? what a childish silly myth.
     
  9. Your ignorance is astounding, so much so that I almost feel sorry for you.

    The angst you have is entirely self inflicted.
     
  10. Yeah, i was shocked at that answer too. I think I will probably stop teasing him as I feel like its kind of cruel now that i know what I am dealing with.
     
    #10     Apr 5, 2010