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techstepgenr8tion
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23 Sep 2012, 3:03 pm

donnie_darko wrote:
What if God is ALL of us?

+1

All of us.... and all matter... and all existence on all frequency ranges.

naturalplastic wrote:
wasnt that the point of the jesus story?

God being "one of us" - that is- taking the form of a mere mortal human "slob on the bus"?

It's not quite authentic on that level though if he came here with full foreknowledge of who he was, how to manipulate matter with his mind, and knew exactly what he'd be doing and why.



Alfonso12345
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23 Sep 2012, 5:35 pm

It would depend on the god. If Yahwah was a human, he would be a violent, and cruel dictator. He would also have no problem with executing his own son so that he can forgive the citizens of his country for even the worst of crimes. His favorite form of execution would be death by fire and he would always stand by the furnace and inhale the scent of their burning flesh, because it does say in the Bible that the smell of burning flesh is pleasing to Yahweh.

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
wasnt that the point of the jesus story?

God being "one of us" - that is- taking the form of a mere mortal human "slob on the bus"?

It's not quite authentic on that level though if he came here with full foreknowledge of who he was, how to manipulate matter with his mind, and knew exactly what he'd be doing and why.


This is partly why I think that if the Christian god was real, that Jesus would have been nothing more than a puppet used to deceive humans into thinking he is a good god.



techstepgenr8tion
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23 Sep 2012, 5:59 pm

Alfonso12345 wrote:
This is partly why I think that if the Christian god was real, that Jesus would have been nothing more than a puppet used to deceive humans into thinking he is a good god.


I've got something I just read even stranger for you:
Seth Speaks - Kindle Loc 3817-3828 wrote:
Your Christ figure represents, symbolically, your idea of God and his relationships....The events as they are recorded, however, did not occur in history. The crucifixion of Christ was a psychic, but not a physical event. Ideas of almost unimaginable magnitude were played out.

Judas, for example, was not a man in your terms. He was - like the other disciples - a blessed, created "fragment personality," formed by the Christ personality. He represented the self-betrayer. He dramatized a portion of each individual's personality that focuses on the physical reality in a grasping manner, and denies the inner self out of greed.

Each of the twelve represents qualities of the personality that belong to one individual, and Christ as you know him represented the inner self. The twelve, therefore, plus Christ as you know him r(the one figure composed of the three) represented an individual earthly personality - the inner self - and twelve main characteristics connected with the egotistical self. As Christ was surrounded by the disciples, so the inner self is surrounded by these physically oriented characteristics, each drawn outward toward the daily reality on the one hand, and yet orbiting the inner self.

The disciples, therefore, were given physical reality by the inner self, as all of your earthly characteristics come out of your inner nature. This was a living parable, made flesh among you - a cosmic play worked out for your behalf, couched in terms that you could understand.



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23 Sep 2012, 6:21 pm

Alfonso12345 wrote:
It would depend on the god. If Yahwah

Yahweh of the Bible...always good to know who we're talking about...

Alfonso12345 wrote:
was a human, he would be a violent, and cruel dictator.

Many Christians hold that God the Father and God the Son are the same God. Jesus is God in the flesh, so the actions of Jesus during His time on earth give a pretty clear picture of what God would be like (or was like, or is like) in human form. The only violence Jesus displayed was anger directed towards those who defiled the temple by making it a place of commerce rather than a place of worship. If you were God and you saw people using your holy sanctuary for secular purposes and other practices that prevented people with genuine spiritual needs from having access to you, you'd be pretty upset, too, right?

Alfonso12345 wrote:
He would also have no problem with executing his own son so that he can forgive the citizens of his country for even the worst of crimes.

Nowhere in the Bible is there any indication that God executed His own Son. And besides, even if this is the case, is the price of one person to save the souls of all who believe really that great? In a perfect world untouched by human sin, there'd be no need for war, and it is important to avoid armed conflict at all costs...but if you had to choose, would you prefer that one soldier place himself in danger to save the rest of his men or try to save himself and risk not only losing his own life but the lives of those fighting side-by-side with him? One person sacrificing himself for the good of all is a much lower cost than losing an entire group of people.

And keep in mind that the soldier-jumping-on-a-grenade scenario is a voluntary act--nobody would force a soldier to commit altruism, and nobody would blame him for trying to preserve his own life. Likewise, the sacrifice of Jesus was a voluntary act of submission to the will of the Father. Calling it an "execution" is unwarranted since a person being executed for a crime has no choice in the matter. Jesus committed no crime and He knew His enemies were coming for Him. He could have escaped death. He chose not to in accordance with the will of the Father.

Alfonso12345 wrote:
His favorite form of execution would be death by fire and he would always stand by the furnace and inhale the scent of their burning flesh, because it does say in the Bible that the smell of burning flesh is pleasing to Yahweh.

Well, what was the point of sacrifices? Human sacrifices were forbidden in the OT. Animal sacrifices served various purposes. For one, the shedding of blood symbolized that the wages of sin is death and only by the shedding of blood can there be remission of sin. The blood of the sin offering covered the sin being atoned for so that God would no longer have to see the stain of sin on heart of the sinner.

Other reasons for sacrifice was that the priests working in the temple would have meat for food. There were also fellowship and thanksgiving offerings that reflect the joy of the worshiper communing with God in the temple. Only sacrifices given with a cheerful heart and in the spirit of obedience to God's commands are acceptable--sacrifices given purely out of ritualistic tradition and not from the heart are not really sacrifices and are never accepted. In fact, God opposes human sacrifice, especially human sacrifices that take the form of worshipping other gods. So saying that God's favorite form of execution is death by fire is really unnecessary. The only way Jesus is a sort of exception is that He wasn't sacrificing Himself to any other gods, the human element of His execution had it that He was being put to death for blasphemy despite the fact that the accusations were shaky, and the fact that only Jesus COULD offer Himself as a perfect, sinless sacrifice for all humanity. God hates all other human sacrifice precisely because humans are unfit to atone for themselves. Only one set aside from sinful human nature can serve this purpose. The assertion that God has a favorite execution method is seriously flawed.

Alfonso12345 wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
wasnt that the point of the jesus story?

God being "one of us" - that is- taking the form of a mere mortal human "slob on the bus"?

It's not quite authentic on that level though if he came here with full foreknowledge of who he was, how to manipulate matter with his mind, and knew exactly what he'd be doing and why.


This is partly why I think that if the Christian god was real, that Jesus would have been nothing more than a puppet used to deceive humans into thinking he is a good god.

How do you know God isn't good?



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23 Sep 2012, 7:41 pm

If God were one of us, we could kick the living sh*t out of Him.

ruveyn



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23 Sep 2012, 7:47 pm

He'd be an absolute psycho.



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23 Sep 2012, 10:44 pm

ruveyn wrote:
If God were one of us, we could kick the living sh*t out of Him.

ruveyn


You'd just be kicking yourself or a reflection of yourself. ,,,and that might be what were already doing with all the judgments we project or cast onto others to compensate for our own insecurities. When people killed Jesus Christ because of his teachings of God being love and telling them to love others as they loved their selves, they were really just crucifying and sacrificing the divinity and innocence within their selves to their own egos.

We love to feel superior to others, be they minorities, Jews, Muslims, Christians, atheists, Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, prostitutes, drug addicts, black, white, rich, poor, schizophrenic, HIV positive, lepers, crippled etc, because we want self validation that we feel is fundamentally lacking within ourselves. Rather than find someone to cast the stones of our inner anguish at, we should be loving others and treating them the way we'd want to be treated.



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24 Sep 2012, 12:22 am

JNathanK wrote:
You'd just be kicking yourself or a reflection of yourself. ,,,and that might be what were already doing with all the judgments we project or cast onto others to compensate for our own insecurities. When people killed Jesus Christ because of his teachings of God being love and telling them to love others as they loved their selves, they were really just crucifying and sacrificing the divinity and innocence within their selves to their own egos.

Something makes me doubt he was killed for the "love thy neighbor" "turn the other cheek" stuff. He got killed for the usual reason, making people question the legitimacy of the current social authority. It isn't all that unique in history to have people claiming to be prophets, being purported to perform miracles, developing a cult-like following among the lower classes of society, and ultimately getting martyred by those in power who perceive the person as a threat.



naturalplastic
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24 Sep 2012, 2:42 pm

ruveyn wrote:
If God were one of us, we could kick the living sh*t out of Him.

ruveyn



People nowadays!

Theyd prolly CRUCIFY his ass!



Alfonso12345
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24 Sep 2012, 5:17 pm

AngelRho wrote:
Alfonso12345 wrote:
It would depend on the god. If Yahwah

Yahweh of the Bible...always good to know who we're talking about...


Oops, I did not realize I spelled Yahweh as "Yahwah" until just now. I made a mistake I think.

AngelRho wrote:
Alfonso12345 wrote:
was a human, he would be a violent, and cruel dictator.

Many Christians hold that God the Father and God the Son are the same God. Jesus is God in the flesh, so the actions of Jesus during His time on earth give a pretty clear picture of what God would be like (or was like, or is like) in human form. The only violence Jesus displayed was anger directed towards those who defiled the temple by making it a place of commerce rather than a place of worship. If you were God and you saw people using your holy sanctuary for secular purposes and other practices that prevented people with genuine spiritual needs from having access to you, you'd be pretty upset, too, right?


But how can anyone be sure what Jesus really was? What if he was nothing more than a puppet that Yahweh controlled so he could deceive humans into thinking he was good, when in reality, he is a sadistic narcissist that had to satisfy his need to be worshiped as well as his need to inflict suffering?

As for the question, if I was God and my creations had a spiritual need that needed to be fulfilled, they wouldn't need to go into a temple. They could just call me and I would go to them and they could see me and talk to me. I would talk to them and they could hear what I have to say. All I know is, there would be no need for temples. I would imagine that if your god is the narcissist he is, in my opinion anyway, then I could understand why he would be angry about people using a place of worship for secular purposes, because he wasn't being worshiped like he needed to be.

AngelRho wrote:
Alfonso12345 wrote:
He would also have no problem with executing his own son so that he can forgive the citizens of his country for even the worst of crimes.

Nowhere in the Bible is there any indication that God executed His own Son. And besides, even if this is the case, is the price of one person to save the souls of all who believe really that great? In a perfect world untouched by human sin, there'd be no need for war, and it is important to avoid armed conflict at all costs...but if you had to choose, would you prefer that one soldier place himself in danger to save the rest of his men or try to save himself and risk not only losing his own life but the lives of those fighting side-by-side with him? One person sacrificing himself for the good of all is a much lower cost than losing an entire group of people.

And keep in mind that the soldier-jumping-on-a-grenade scenario is a voluntary act--nobody would force a soldier to commit altruism, and nobody would blame him for trying to preserve his own life. Likewise, the sacrifice of Jesus was a voluntary act of submission to the will of the Father. Calling it an "execution" is unwarranted since a person being executed for a crime has no choice in the matter. Jesus committed no crime and He knew His enemies were coming for Him. He could have escaped death. He chose not to in accordance with the will of the Father.


There is one big problem with the "soldier-jumping-on-a-grenade scenario". First, being the all-knowing god that Yahweh apparently is, he knew beforehand that humans would sin and knew each sin every human would commit. Since he already knew that humans would sin and need to be saved, he pretty much planned on it. He basically set up humans so they would be in a situation in which they would need to be saved. Maybe the whole point was to make himself seem like a hero so he could say "Look! I saved you from the situation I knew you would end up in, but allowed you to get into that situation, just so I could save you from it!"

The second problem is he really did not sacrifice anything. All he really did was send some spirit to the Earth and could have possibly spoke through it, maybe controlled it like a puppet, and made the spirit say "I am God" and make it preach good things and then had it killed by humans to make it look like some big, important thing, when in reality, it might have just been nothing more than a ploy.

AngelRho wrote:
Alfonso12345 wrote:
His favorite form of execution would be death by fire and he would always stand by the furnace and inhale the scent of their burning flesh, because it does say in the Bible that the smell of burning flesh is pleasing to Yahweh.

Well, what was the point of sacrifices? Human sacrifices were forbidden in the OT. Animal sacrifices served various purposes. For one, the shedding of blood symbolized that the wages of sin is death and only by the shedding of blood can there be remission of sin. The blood of the sin offering covered the sin being atoned for so that God would no longer have to see the stain of sin on heart of the sinner.


There are also problems with this. First, it makes no sense that a perfect god would need animals to be sacrificed for the sins of humans, unless Yahweh really is the sadistic being that he seems to be and he planned on punishing animals for the sins of humans, which animals could not possibly have committed themselves. I am sure it would have been a better system if humans would have had to shed their own blood to atone for their own sins. Maybe require them to cut off a piece of their body, stitch up the wound, and sacrifice the piece they amputated. At least then the human's blood would be shed for the sins of that human, instead the blood of innocent animals being shed for the sins of humans.

AngelRho wrote:
Other reasons for sacrifice was that the priests working in the temple would have meat for food. There were also fellowship and thanksgiving offerings that reflect the joy of the worshiper communing with God in the temple. Only sacrifices given with a cheerful heart and in the spirit of obedience to God's commands are acceptable--sacrifices given purely out of ritualistic tradition and not from the heart are not really sacrifices and are never accepted. In fact, God opposes human sacrifice, especially human sacrifices that take the form of worshipping other gods. So saying that God's favorite form of execution is death by fire is really unnecessary. The only way Jesus is a sort of exception is that He wasn't sacrificing Himself to any other gods, the human element of His execution had it that He was being put to death for blasphemy despite the fact that the accusations were shaky, and the fact that only Jesus COULD offer Himself as a perfect, sinless sacrifice for all humanity. God hates all other human sacrifice precisely because humans are unfit to atone for themselves. Only one set aside from sinful human nature can serve this purpose. The assertion that God has a favorite execution method is seriously flawed.


Is that why it was animals that had to be sacrificed for the sins of humans? It was so the priests could have meat to eat? I am sure it would have been much easier to create a system where humans would not need to eat meat and the humans could still have a method to atone for their sins without killing an animal that did nothing wrong. The only possible conclusion I can get from this is that Yahweh created humans and the animals, so he could have the animals suffer and die as a direct result of the sins of humans.

It could also be that Yahweh didn't like sacrificing humans, because the way his system works, innocent beings need to be sacrificed to atone for the sins of the guilty. Sacrificing an imperfect human that was guilty of sin wouldn't work because the humans would be guilty and not innocent. I would think it should be the other way around. Shouldn't the guilty always pay for the crimes they are guilty of, assuming their criminal actions were not predetermined and planned by an all-knowing god, instead of the innocent being sacrificed?

I do suppose you were right though. When I said that Yahweh had a favorite execution method, well, that was flawed. He had lots of different execution methods and he probably would have loved them all equally, assuming he is the only real god. Oh, I also wonder how Yahweh would have reacted if humans that were not from Israel believed in a peaceful god, one that did not require sacrifices of humans or animals. Yahweh probably would have gone into a rage. "They are worshiping something other than me! Now I am angry at those humans for doing something I knew they would do before I created them. Now they need to die!"


AngelRho wrote:
Alfonso12345 wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
wasnt that the point of the jesus story?

God being "one of us" - that is- taking the form of a mere mortal human "slob on the bus"?

It's not quite authentic on that level though if he came here with full foreknowledge of who he was, how to manipulate matter with his mind, and knew exactly what he'd be doing and why.


This is partly why I think that if the Christian god was real, that Jesus would have been nothing more than a puppet used to deceive humans into thinking he is a good god.

How do you know God isn't good?


Well so far, Yahweh doesn't appear to be good. He appears to be sadistic, narcissistic, and a bit hypocritical, considering the fact that throughout the Bible, he commits acts that would have been considered sinful if humans did them. I suppose in some way, Yahweh could be good, according to his own standards, but if that was the case, then it would mean that all of the most evil dictators in the history of the Earth were good.



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24 Sep 2012, 10:12 pm

Jitro wrote:
Just a stranger on the bus.

Then I hope God will be polite and give up his/her/its seat :lol: And that he/she/it pays for its fare!

I've always liked that song myself...


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24 Sep 2012, 10:37 pm

marshall wrote:
JNathanK wrote:
You'd just be kicking yourself or a reflection of yourself. ,,,and that might be what were already doing with all the judgments we project or cast onto others to compensate for our own insecurities. When people killed Jesus Christ because of his teachings of God being love and telling them to love others as they loved their selves, they were really just crucifying and sacrificing the divinity and innocence within their selves to their own egos.

Something makes me doubt he was killed for the "love thy neighbor" "turn the other cheek" stuff. He got killed for the usual reason, making people question the legitimacy of the current social authority. It isn't all that unique in history to have people claiming to be prophets, being purported to perform miracles, developing a cult-like following among the lower classes of society, and ultimately getting martyred by those in power who perceive the person as a threat.


Well, if people as a generality had love in their hearts, they wouldn't support corrupt authority structures. Oppression thrives off of fear and insecurity. I don't really see his teachings of "love others" and his open defiance against the Roman government and Sanhedrin as mutually exclusive. Vicious public executions wouldn't have been made a spectacle and poverty wouldn't have been institutional if it weren't for the fact that the heart of man writhes with deep hatred, anger, and insecurity. The crowds cheered on Christians being fed to lions for the same reason the mob was so quick to cast stones at the adulteress, and that's that they didn't love others, as they wanted to validate their selves through degrading and ostracizing others. That's why the love of money was said to be the root of all evil. Money is a system that devalues the life and labor of the many in relationship to the few. Its just what it naturally does. However, if you love money, what you really love is relativistically placing more social value on yourself in relationship to, and at the expense of, others. Racism's the same way. When the full blooded Hebrews looked down on the Pharisees, it was really just a way of finding self validation at the expense of someone else. "Oh, I might be a poor Israelite that has to live under the boot of the Romans, but at least I'm not one of those Pharisees. Those people suck so bad." or "I may be a poor, white share cropper, but at least I'm not one of them n****rs". Same diff. So, I have to disagree.I really do think his promotion of love went hand in hand with his denouncement of corrupt authority and social structures.



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25 Sep 2012, 2:58 am

If Yahweh were one of us not too long ago, Christopher Hitchens could have interviewed him. That would have been an interesting read. The interview would be given from a holding cell for a war crimes tribunal.


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25 Sep 2012, 1:12 pm

Alfonso12345 wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
Alfonso12345 wrote:
It would depend on the god. If Yahwah

Yahweh of the Bible...always good to know who we're talking about...


Oops, I did not realize I spelled Yahweh as "Yahwah" until just now. I made a mistake I think.

AngelRho wrote:
Alfonso12345 wrote:
was a human, he would be a violent, and cruel dictator.

Many Christians hold that God the Father and God the Son are the same God. Jesus is God in the flesh, so the actions of Jesus during His time on earth give a pretty clear picture of what God would be like (or was like, or is like) in human form. The only violence Jesus displayed was anger directed towards those who defiled the temple by making it a place of commerce rather than a place of worship. If you were God and you saw people using your holy sanctuary for secular purposes and other practices that prevented people with genuine spiritual needs from having access to you, you'd be pretty upset, too, right?


But how can anyone be sure what Jesus really was?

Well, we're discussing Yahweh and Jesus as presented in the Bible--that is, the collection of writings that constitute the scriptural background of Jews and, later, Christians. The New Testament gospels are compiled from the testimony of witnesses who experienced the words and actions of Jesus. Those who place their faith in Jesus take the words of these witnesses as the basis for their faith. Whether we are "sure what Jesus really was" is ultimately irrelevant, but rather we trust in the portrait of Jesus that His disciples described. That is all we really CAN be sure of, so that's what we're discussing.

Alfonso12345 wrote:
What if he was nothing more than a puppet that Yahweh controlled so he could deceive humans into thinking he was good, when in reality, he is a sadistic narcissist that had to satisfy his need to be worshiped as well as his need to inflict suffering?

Well, if that's true, then what choice do we really have?

Alfonso12345 wrote:
As for the question, if I was God and my creations had a spiritual need that needed to be fulfilled, they wouldn't need to go into a temple. They could just call me and I would go to them and they could see me and talk to me. I would talk to them and they could hear what I have to say. All I know is, there would be no need for temples. I would imagine that if your god is the narcissist he is, in my opinion anyway, then I could understand why he would be angry about people using a place of worship for secular purposes, because he wasn't being worshiped like he needed to be.

Well, the reality is there never HAS been a "need" for temples or tabernacles. The patriarchs didn't worship in tents or temples. They sacrificed on open-air altars. The tabernacle, which was a sort of portable temple, only came into being during the exodus from Egypt. Both the temple and tabernacle existed to show God's physical presence on earth during their existence, thus religious life centered on these buildings. Jews haven't needed the temple since its destruction, and neither do Christians have centralized temple that represents Christianity as a whole. Churches serve the purpose of providing a place for Christians to gather en masse, but a person's home can just as easily serve the same purpose. There is no dependence on or special purpose for the building. This was not the case with the temple.

And you aren't really answering the question. The temple existed, and it existed for several reasons. I don't get the whole narcissism thing. God has no need of being worshiped. But that doesn't mean that human beings won't desire to worship God--it's one part of why we were created after all. To worship God in the correct way, at least in the times before Christ, the Israelites needed the temple to avoid succumbing to polytheistic worship. It also unified the people. It reminded them of God's presence among them. It was a center of religious training. It housed a library. It housed a treasury from which to support the priests and to maintain the building, as well as money needed for other religious activities.

When religious legalism starts to supplant genuine worship and service to others in the community, the temple loses its primary purpose as a "house of God." I think it's perfectly understandable for God to become angry when religious leaders themselves are guilty of driving a wedge between God and man.

As for how you'd relate to man--appearing personally and not requiring a temple--oddly enough, this is exactly how the Bible describes the relationship between God and man. It just ends up that man rejects God and doesn't want God's help.

Alfonso12345 wrote:
There is one big problem with the "soldier-jumping-on-a-grenade scenario". First, being the all-knowing god that Yahweh apparently is, he knew beforehand that humans would sin and knew each sin every human would commit. Since he already knew that humans would sin and need to be saved, he pretty much planned on it. He basically set up humans so they would be in a situation in which they would need to be saved. Maybe the whole point was to make himself seem like a hero so he could say "Look! I saved you from the situation I knew you would end up in, but allowed you to get into that situation, just so I could save you from it!"

Not really. I don't think God's knowledge is limited by what WILL happen. Rather, I think God's knowledge extends to all possibilities as well. Just because God knows everything that even can happen, it doesn't excuse human beings from their responsibility to make the choices they make. I don't think it is so much that God planned ON things happening...but more likely planned FOR things happening. Adam and Eve didn't have to eat that proverbial apple. God was prepared either way. I think God is saying, "Hey, I didn't put you in this situation. But don't worry, I've got it covered."

Alfonso12345 wrote:
The second problem is he really did not sacrifice anything. All he really did was send some spirit to the Earth and could have possibly spoke through it, maybe controlled it like a puppet, and made the spirit say "I am God" and make it preach good things and then had it killed by humans to make it look like some big, important thing, when in reality, it might have just been nothing more than a ploy.

But why should it have to be a ploy? I mean, if God is all-powerful, He can just take everything He wants and consign everyone to the flames if they don't comply. This is why "Narcissist God" doesn't work. Everything that happened through the person of Jesus happened to our benefit, not to our detriment. If God desires reconciliation rather than retaliation and manipulation, then it makes more sense that God's actions are actions that place mercy and forgiveness first and punishment and death as the last resort. A narcissist god wouldn't really care if he got our attention or not--he'd be too SELF-absorbed to even notice, much less even show himself capable of actions for OUR benefit rather than purely his own.

Alfonso12345 wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
Alfonso12345 wrote:
His favorite form of execution would be death by fire and he would always stand by the furnace and inhale the scent of their burning flesh, because it does say in the Bible that the smell of burning flesh is pleasing to Yahweh.

Well, what was the point of sacrifices? Human sacrifices were forbidden in the OT. Animal sacrifices served various purposes. For one, the shedding of blood symbolized that the wages of sin is death and only by the shedding of blood can there be remission of sin. The blood of the sin offering covered the sin being atoned for so that God would no longer have to see the stain of sin on heart of the sinner.


There are also problems with this. First, it makes no sense that a perfect god would need animals to be sacrificed for the sins of humans, unless Yahweh really is the sadistic being that he seems to be and he planned on punishing animals for the sins of humans, which animals could not possibly have committed themselves.

Animals are not created reflecting God's image, though. They have no will of their own. Humans are made in the image of God and their lives are, to an extent, sacred. Valuing the life of an animal over the life of a human is, in essence, worshiping the creation rather than the creator. The Israelites were often guilty of sacrificing to physical, inanimate objects formed in the image of animals, which is one manifestation of what I'm talking about here. Only the blood of the perfect, sinless sacrifice can cover the sin of man. So either an innocent animal has to die or the sinner has to die. Would you rather face the death penalty for your own sin, no matter how small, or would you rather a substitutionary atonement? Generally speaking, people prefer to buy their freedom if they have a choice in the matter. Sacrificing a couple of doves every now and then isn't really going to be all that costly to someone in the ancient world.

Effectively, the perfect sacrifice of God's Son ends the need for animal sacrifices, so the point is moot for the Christian.

But God being sadistic? I don't think so. As I've mentioned before, God doesn't NEED our sacrifices. The sacrifices are the outward expression of our inward acknowledgement of our own human failing. The "pleasing aroma" of the sacrifice is not merely the pleasure of a good barbecue. It's our willingness to openly confess our sins and trust in God's mercy that God desires. We are showing through our sacrifices that we understand that we are the ones who should have been slaughtered and burned on the altar. Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection brings all sacrifices to complete fulfillment, not merely covering our sins in His blood, but washing them away completely.

Alfonso12345 wrote:
I am sure it would have been a better system if humans would have had to shed their own blood to atone for their own sins. Maybe require them to cut off a piece of their body, stitch up the wound, and sacrifice the piece they amputated. At least then the human's blood would be shed for the sins of that human, instead the blood of innocent animals being shed for the sins of humans.

You'd be willing to do that?

The Biblical justice system stands opposed to this idea. This is the same basic formula the Sadducees followed, meaning a strict interpretation of "eye-for-an-eye" and for which Jesus accused them of not even knowing the scriptures. When you do injury to someone, the Bible says you are to repay an equivalent in damages for whatever was done. If you couldn't pay, you could enter into debt and work off the valuation. Facing dismemberment yourself limits your personal productivity. Society ultimately loses not just once when someone is hurt, intentionally or not, but doubly when an offender is likewise incapacitated.

Amputations in the ancient world carry the risk of infection, also, and are torturous to the person having the amputation. Since "all have sinned," this means we'd all face some form of amputation. Not only that, but there'd be repeated amputation for each offense we commit. Sooner or later there's nothing left to take, IF we even survive that long. And besides, it is the LIFE that is required, not merely a little blood or a foreskin or a toe. If each sin we commit requires the death penalty, exactly how are human beings supposed to hang around long enough to "be fruitful and multiply"? You're guaranteed extinction, and that doesn't seem to be what God wants. Animals, by contrast, can be bred specifically for that purpose. So in a primarily agrarian society, this isn't exactly a burden.

Alfonso12345 wrote:
Is that why it was animals that had to be sacrificed for the sins of humans? It was so the priests could have meat to eat? I am sure it would have been much easier to create a system where humans would not need to eat meat and the humans could still have a method to atone for their sins without killing an animal that did nothing wrong. The only possible conclusion I can get from this is that Yahweh created humans and the animals, so he could have the animals suffer and die as a direct result of the sins of humans.

I didn't say that having meat for the priests was the ONLY reason. It was merely a benefit of being a priest. The Levites were not a part of the land lottery afforded the other tribes, but rather inherited the priesthood and so were guaranteed places to live throughout Israel in order to serve in the capacity of priests. In return for their service, they had the right to enjoy a portion of the sacrifice. "Do not muzzle the ox while it treads the grain."

Alfonso12345 wrote:
It could also be that Yahweh didn't like sacrificing humans, because the way his system works, innocent beings need to be sacrificed to atone for the sins of the guilty. Sacrificing an imperfect human that was guilty of sin wouldn't work because the humans would be guilty and not innocent. I would think it should be the other way around. Shouldn't the guilty always pay for the crimes they are guilty of, assuming their criminal actions were not predetermined and planned by an all-knowing god, instead of the innocent being sacrificed?

Like I said, there was also a justice system in place to take care of that, to make sure that the guilty were punished and the victims avenged or repaid, and the driving force behind Mosaic justice was that the punishment fit the crime. It's more or less what we have in the western world, except the main flaw is violent offenders are punished with long periods of incarceration. They aren't given the means to remain productive in society. There's nothing inherently wrong with sequestering those who prove themselves a danger to society, but removing every person who may still prove themselves useful in some way doesn't really benefit the society that incarcerates them. According to Biblical law, only a tiny handful of crimes demand death, one of those being murder. Very little in the west really deters someone so inclined to take the life of another person.

Now, those ideas govern how man should relate to each other, not how man should relate to God. God wants everyone to repent of their wrongdoing. But true repentance cannot happen without first acknowledging the misdeed. God can forgive where man cannot. Thus a murderer who previously didn't know God can have perfect standing with God. All it takes is having faith that God is strong enough to forgive.

Alfonso12345 wrote:
I do suppose you were right though. When I said that Yahweh had a favorite execution method, well, that was flawed. He had lots of different execution methods and he probably would have loved them all equally, assuming he is the only real god. Oh, I also wonder how Yahweh would have reacted if humans that were not from Israel believed in a peaceful god, one that did not require sacrifices of humans or animals. Yahweh probably would have gone into a rage. "They are worshiping something other than me! Now I am angry at those humans for doing something I knew they would do before I created them. Now they need to die!"

Except that the Bible reveals that God is not that eager to destroy humanity. The Canaanites were punished by the Israelites for abandoning God. Their abandonment of God was so nearly complete and their worship of false gods along with perverse religious practices was so ingrained into their society that God commanded the Israelites to deport them or kill them. They knew the Israelites were coming. I'm sure many of them fled (which would have meant acknowledging they didn't deserve to live there and thus they retained SOME redeemable qualities as refugees elsewhere). But those who refused to humble themselves faced death, which was the only option left to them.

Of course, the Israelites failed to keep this command of driving them out. The Jebusites remained in Jerusalem until King David drove them out.

But the point is that even in pre-Israelite Canaan, death isn't even God's first response. Even when the Jews abandoned God, He sent prophets to advise the people not to resist deportation in keeping with the will of God. Their captors were ultimately defeated, after all. Those that were allowed to stay and eventually organized rebellions against their foreign governors were put to death, but it wasn't until they'd had numerous warnings that they faced extreme circumstances.

While God demands death for those who do not worship Him, it isn't as though God doesn't wait patiently for His people to turn back to Him. Judah lasted several generations after the dissolution of Israel and was spared destruction in part due to the reforms of its kings. It was several hundred years before God revoked their sovereignty. Even prior to the post-Exodus invasion of Canaan, the Canaanites experienced a period of some 400 years in which they could have mended their ways.

And by having a chosen people, God sets an example of what a nation devoted to Him should look like. And after the failure of Israel and Judah, there was still a faithful remnant that returned to rebuild the temple and resume worship. And when the Pharisees missed the point, God sent Jesus. And as long as Christians do what they're SUPPOSED to do, God can still show the world how to live within His grace. And Jesus hasn't returned YET, so I think we should find that an encouragement that God still isn't finished with us.

Interestingly, I like the symbolism of God creating the universe in 7 days (technically 6, but whatever) but spending thousands of years on us. I'm not trying to make a young earth vs. evolution argument here, but rather reflecting on God's priorities given what is written about Him.


Alfonso12345 wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
How do you know God isn't good?


Well so far, Yahweh doesn't appear to be good. He appears to be sadistic, narcissistic, and a bit hypocritical, considering the fact that throughout the Bible, he commits acts that would have been considered sinful if humans did them. I suppose in some way, Yahweh could be good, according to his own standards, but if that was the case, then it would mean that all of the most evil dictators in the history of the Earth were good.

Ah, so you're attributing human attributes to God. Exactly what does "good" mean? It seems to me you're working from you're own personal definition or ideal rather than reflecting on what God's nature actually might be. And that's working from a bias. If God is perfect and humanity flawed, which is the case according to the Bible, then your definition of "good" is also inherently flawed.

Here's what I think: Imagining that God must be held to a flawed human standard, that somehow the human standard is a superior one, is the pinnacle of arrogance. When we talk about the first sin, I wonder if actually taking the fruit of knowledge was really the first sin. I believe that the sins committed in Eden were many, the most egregious occurring in the the hearts of Adam and Eve before they physically did anything. And I think the worst thing they did was actually believe that somehow they could improve on God's creation and rise above God by being able to discern right from wrong. The problem, I think, is that Adam and Eve ALREADY knew right from wrong because they could already identify one sinful act: taking the fruit. If they weren't already consciously aware of right/wrong, they were at the least incapable of sinning--not because they knew the difference, but because they lacked the capacity for sin in their very nature. They not only took the knowledge of right/wrong from the tree, but also the ability to act contrary to the nature God endowed them with. They were perfect to begin with. They just decided perfection wasn't good enough.

So those who I blame for narcissism are really Adam and Eve, since they allowed themselves (as well as all of humanity) to become self-absorbed. And so I think narcissism is a purely human trait. I might even say that accusing God of being a narcissist is itself a symptom of arrogance and self-absorbtion of the accuser.



Thom_Fuleri
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25 Sep 2012, 1:43 pm

If I recall correctly, the original Hebrew does not contain vowels. So Yahweh is written as YHWH and the vowel sounds are open to interpretation. Yahwah is just as valid, as is Yehwah, or my favourite (wish I knew where I found this now...) - Yoohoowoohoo.



25 Sep 2012, 1:45 pm

AngelRho wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
wasnt that the point of the jesus story?

God being "one of us" - that is- taking the form of a mere mortal human "slob on the bus"?

Ditto that. Also, since God created us in His image, if you want to see God just look around.



I'm @ work working for me old man ATM. Are you telling me that my dad is GOD???


:lmao: