infinite debt

If we are by nature sinful, degenerate, then no amount of suffering can ever relieve us of our debt.

Therefore, according to Christianity, God loves us, He sent someone to die in our place, someone who is worthy.

Yet, this is a trick. Our debt of sin has been paid by someone else, but now we are in debt again, since a “Divine sacrifice” has been done on our part. Now, this is a psychological debt that establishes a certain frame of mind in a person.

Christianity encourages people to believe that they owe a debt, because of their depraved nature, owed to God, which was paid to God by God having been tortured and killed off by the very same debtors. If there is no possible way to be punished for the default nature, and once someone else is punished, neither is there any possible way to show the appropriate gratitude.

The idea of suffering containing a transactional value is the basis of traditional orthodox Christian soteriology – since man is a sinful beast, he deserves eternal punishment in Hell. Since God doesn’t want this, he so loves humanity, he sent his Son to suffer and die in our place – paying off the cosmic debt. This means the suffering and death of one individual is sufficient to replace the suffering of an entire species. Therefore, suffering includes a transactional value – something that can be traded for other things that has transactional value. Such valuation can only be the case if one values suffering because they despise the other person and wishes them ill. Having someone else suffer in my place and deriving pleasure from such suffering in exchange for a debt is exactly what a sadist is, who enjoys the suffering of a random person. I cannot imagine having anyone else suffer in my place unless I took pleasure in it. Therefore, for suffering to have a value, it is for sadists only. What does that say about a God who required somebody to suffer to pay off a debt I owe?

Since the sacrifice was conceptually so extreme, only the most perverse egotist would scoff. Only an insensitive and emotionally obdurate person wouldn’t be moved by the emotive story of the Passion. It takes a mental cruelty of a person to engage in a psychological self-flagellation. Such cruelty contains a psychological drive: the desire to judge oneself guilty, something so despicable that cannot be excused for existence; the desire for punishment, of which there is no possible punishment for such a crime; the desire to crap on the fundamental issues with the problem of guilt which also shuts off all possible alternatives; the desire to invent an idol – also includes the conviction of one’s own worthlessness. If people decide that they cannot be physically punished for the crime of sin, and someone else is punished for them, then there is no possible way to say “thanks.” They are in psychological debt for eternity. That inspires guilt and shame, which lies at the bottom of Christianity.

Such insidious guilt entails feelings of worthlessness and aborted byproducts of the herd: Christianity.

Once we deny the innate depraveness of humanity, and identify the “degenerate” to be a god who is satisfied by blood and suffering to absolve sin - especially a god who approves the suffering of an innocent as a tool for the guilty to be freed - we can reject this nihilistic religion wholesale.

Totally man…

your rock! youre the educated sounding version of me. read “give me a real christian reason why jesus had to die” and “catholicism worships the god of white supremacy” for a sneak peek at the crap your gonna get from gavmtcc and some other brainwashed bible-quoters.

everything in the christian religion can be described as the strange, illogical will of god, or a very effective marketing campaign!

utter cunt! utter cunt! utter cunt! …

Future Man! Future Man! Future Man! …

Mate it’s just embarassing that all you can do is cut and paste.

You have some explaining to do.

Such as? That I quote myself? Big fucking deal. Have I violated some board policy? Show me. Or is this just an admittance on your part a complete failure to take the OP on its own terms? Likely!

Feel free to address the OP anytime! :slight_smile:

If someone sacrifices their own good for the good of others, appreciating that good does not make one a sadist. A sadist takes pleasure in the fact of pain itself, not in the consequences that may come from it.

Yes, and after that you can get back to the good old days of the boundless cruelty that you can inflict on others with your newly liberated will. You had just better hope (or is hope a depraved, Christian value, not worthy of the Ubermensch?) that you are on the giving, rather than recieving, end of this beautiful new arrangment…

Redefining terms that presupposes a large baggage of Christian morality won’t get you anywhere. If someone demands another to sacrifice something they value, that someone takes pleasure in their sacrifice. Additionally, a sadist takes pleasure in causing others pain, that others are in pain, or seeing them in pain. Pain does not exist by itself without agents that experience it, so the sadist needs agents who experience suffering and pain in order to derive pleasure. There is no need to pretend that the experience of something is independent of the agents themselves.

A hermeneutic of suspicion destroys the naïve presumption of modern morality as something necessary. Instead of trying to contort concepts into a Christian worldview, it requires a different approach to look at how the concepts of guilt originated, and that calls for an examination of the history of the older civilizations, earlier than Christianity, and how they dealt with suffering, guilt, debt, and conscience. If you study anthropology, you will detect a historical progress of these concepts, and that means they are in an entirely different context, and as a result you realize there’s an altogether unfamiliar framework of morality. When a person was punished, they accepted their punishment and that was it. They did not entertain regretful thoughts much; or reflect on what they should’ve done, or whether it was wrong. There weren’t any moral anguish that often plagues us today. That means the modern notion of guilt was foreign to them. The ancients understood guilt as a debt that must be paid, a financial relationship between the debtor and the creditor. Look up the German words for guilt and debt. If a promise was not met, if a loan was not repaid, the debtor was expected to submit to the creditor’s whim. That continued conditioning helped develop individual conscience: the ability to remember promises. The original sense of financial commitment became internalized, and the plain notion of external punishment developed or mutated into the guilty conscience. As for “psychological evidence” look up Freud’s basic theory of the conservation of psychic energy that turned out to manifest in repression and sublimation. Also, look up Julian Jaynes’ book of Origin of Consciousness for further empirical evidence that substantiates the thesis that self-consciousness is a recent phenomenon. Today, we understand guilt within the context of accountability and responsibility. A person is guilty only because he or she could have done otherwise. The notion of responsibility and accountability are tied with free will, which is a Christian invention. As civilization changed and adopted the morality of the herd, the ancient concept of debt took on new conceptual forms. One is punished because he could have done otherwise. The origins of conscience, guilt and duty are found in the early festivals of cruelty. Within the older cultures, suffering was not a charge against life; it was an affirmation of it, a cause for celebration. The modern distaste of suffering is different; it evolved into disgust against the older instincts of man. However, the sense of justified suffering still remains, from the ancients to today’s Christians. For Christians themselves invented God in order to guarantee that some all-seeing thing would not overlook any instance of suffering.

Bear in mind that putting words in other people’s mouths is not a respectable tactic.

There’s a reason why “hope” was in the box of evils the Greek Gods gave to Pandora.

Who is “demanding another to sacrific something they value”? I don’t understand how you relate any of this to Christianity–in Christiantiy Christ sacrifices himself to save humanity. Nobody demanded it; the sacrifice was his choice.

Oh, I’m aware of this theory of the origin of morality, but it hinges on (among other unwarranted extrapolations) a presupposition about the nature of figurative language and consciousness that goes into a modern study of etymology and its relation to history–a presupposition that has been refuted by Owen Barfield in, for instance, “Poetic Diction.”

And I couldn’t agree more that self-consciousness is a recent occurrence; I fail to see how this proves that it’s better that it shouldn’t exist.

Pleasure has nothing to do with it. They benefit, but that does not imply pleasure.

This is very contentious. A suspicion that I might be innocent from a certain party doesnt mean the evidence of my guilt is ‘destroyed’…

This is a worthless generalisation for which youo have provided no evidence. The fact that tehre was Christianity, Judaism, Epicureanism, Platonism and SToicisim in teh ancient world seems entirely to have escaped you.

Are youo joking? Have you ever read anything on religion/philosophy before Christ?!

Chrsitians invented God? I think this quote about sums up the level of thinking which has gone into this post.

So Hesiod is representative of what other Greeks thought for centuries? What about Plato who explicitly rejected Homer and Hesiod’s notion of the Olympian gods and the theologies to be found in their work?

In summary, you make a huge number of unconscionable generalisations in this post. Be more cautious in what you suggest and it will be more difficult to pick you apart. This was easy.

did you guys forget that utter cunt had a point somewhere in there?

ill sum it up to make it easier to focus:

the sacrifice of jesus was invented to enslave all christians in eternal debt. you cant stop feeling sorry for jesus if you believe that he suffered horrifically to save you from having to do that.

there is no other reason why god would have to send his son down and specifically die brutally.


refute that, forget the silly details

I’m sorry, but this “summary” just makes it harder to focus. You are presenting the theory that “the sacrifice of jesus was invented to enslave all christians to eternal debt.” You deduce from this a psychological effect of Christianity that “you can’t stop feeling sorry for jesus if you believe that he suffered horrifically to save you from having to do that.” Then you draw the unclear conclusion: “there is no other reason why god would have to send his son down and specifically die brutally.” No other reason than what? Than God wanting us to perpetually feel sorry for Jesus? Is your suggestion the Christianity is an invention because it has this psychological effect? If so then the burden of proof is on you. I can’t be demanded to refute a theory I see no evidence for, and I see no evidence that Christianity was created for this purpose, nor do I find the theory in general an accurate portrayal of what Christianity is and has been to people psychologically.

This is clear stuff, Phil. But I think sometimes it’s necessary to confront people on their own terms even if they arent able to validate them (?!)

alright well i guess im just still completely dissatisfied with the answers i got in ‘give me a real christian reason why jesus had to die’

i see no reason why a god who is completely able to impart on us the knowledge of how to act morally is required to do ANYTHING beyond build humans with the ability to logically deduce things. i can logically deduce that i need to treat my neighbor like myself. i can logically deduce that i have no idea what happens when i die and that perhaps something interesting does.

god gave me logic, you say god gave us a book to read. that book has been corrupted and taken advantage of for 2000 years. the people who have interpreted the message from the book have said basically no more than what i can deduce with logic, and the things that they have added can be explained very well as a marketing campaign. that coupled with the fact that they are rich as a pope tells me that perhaps they want my money, and they dont just need to clarify what i already deduced with logic.

what do we learn from the bible that is impossible to learn from logic, and what does this new knowledge help us to do in our life?

it makes us want to be members of the church and donate money. donate money to the people who taught us we should give money.

Yes, I agree with that, however I really am at a loss for words when it comes to trying to refute something that no clear argument has been presented for. If I extrapolate my reply to the more serious arguments that have been made in a similar vain–i.e., confront the philosophy of Nietzsche head on–I’ll likely get accused of putting words in someone’s mouth.

maybe what gav meant was that you should answer this

gav posted his reply to me before you ever posted that. I would, however, be happy to try to answer your question. We can’t “learn” anything from logic, because logic has no substance. You can use logic, or you can ignore logic, but you can’t derive conclusions from logic alone. Something must be taken for granted before logic comes into play at all.

I have to go to class, but I will post further later tonight.

ok… well more completely the way i found out i had to treat my neighbor like myself without relying on a book is as follows:

i observe myself, and what happens when i feel pain. when a rock bashes me, i bleed and it feels bad and i cry. then i observe a rock bash my neighbor, he bleeds cries and acts just like me. i can then assume that if i were to bash him with a rock, his pain would be the same kind as mine. i consider him equal to me and therefore the golden rule applies.

either this is the conclusion i come to, or i believe that i am the only real conscious being in the universe and my neighbors are illusions. i cannot see any other way to interpret the data.

as for believing in the existence of an afterlife, all that takes is the realization that something crazy happens when you die that nobody can possibly know about or explain. might be nothing, might be something. its definetely a different experience than this one.

as for believing a god who created the universe, the question of “why is there physics” will never be answered by anybody no matter what new science they discover. it cant be. so there is a question similar to the afterlife question, with two possibilities to choose from, something or nothing.

if you considered what i have here and still believe its nothing, then there is absolutely no way some dusty old book is going to change your mind without any more substantial proof besides the endorsement of a guy with a white thing in his collar asking for your money.

Well, knowing that pain is probably the same for you as for anyone else still doesn’t give you any reason to follow the golden rule. But anyway, there’s a lot more in the bible than the golden rule, and the Christian point of view is that much of it is very important. And lots of it is stuff that you couldn’t “logically deduce” from your experience–I think you will find, if you really study Christianity, that it is not an obvious religion at all; that is, it is not a religion you ever could have invented. It says many things that seem like common sense, but it also says many strange things. To quote CS Lewis:
“Reality, in fact, is always something you couldn’t have guessed. That’s one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It’s a religion you couldn’t have guessed.”

well i wish somebody could summarize at least one little idea for me. i mean its not like ive never heard about christianity.

and why doesnt the observation of neighbor pain encourage the golden rule? it doesnt necesarily say that that is the number one most important thing, but the only reason anyone would think its not is because they are fooling themselves and/or not able/willing to pay close enough attention.