This idea can have logic and great value even for an atheist.
Not that long ago I offered for some angry people to kick my head in, to prove a point about how men should treat women (i.e. don't bully them). (I guess they didn't have the heart to do it.)
Among the many interpretations which can be placed on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus, we can say this:
Jesus went to his death willingly - in that he knew it was going to happen, and didn't run away, when he could have done - in order to prove and illustrate a point. That point was his life's work (well, the last 3 years'). One of his main lessons was that we can all be given the chance for our sins to be forgiven, provided we earn it and do the necessary real work involved. Provided we go to our Crucifixion willingly. If he can get himself crucified, we should be up to saying sorry and putting things right when we have to. We should be humble enough to suffer for what we have done. We should be humble enough to let something go instead of escalating to some kind of blood feud.
He also forgave the people who were crucifying him.
By dramatically illustrating the idea that God can forgive our sins, will always give us a second chance to make good: life became possible, life became good, life became fruitful. Instead of nasty, brutish and short. Hence the Resurrection.
The first recorded suicide-by-cop?
There are all those Greek myths which still have currency today because they colourfully sum up some well-known, common situations. The Jesus "myth" (or whatever it is) falls into that category in my opinion. I'd say it's the king of all of them: the most important and vital.
The Jesus "myth" (or whatever it is) falls into that category in my opinion. I'd say it's the king of all of them: the most important and vital.
This might have something to do with it.
A good story sells itself and doesn't need to be embedded with threats. The theme is about how to be a good slave. It's a story developed by those who would control.
"A good story sells itself... "
What else has it done? It must be by far the best-known story in the Western world.
It didn't sell itself at all, it was forced by kings (Charles I and his heirs) and it is a book of threats. Love me, follow me, worship me or else you are doomed. Self sacrifice is slavery.
RE: "What else has it done?" - it has sponsored the Spanish Inquisition; it is responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, being burned at the stake; it has been responsible for the Crusades, in which hundreds of thousands of Europeans and Muslims were killed; it has resulted in the Salem Witchcraft Trials - shall I continue?
I tried to read the Bible to see what actual useful information it held for my life. I found some but not much. Gary Larson and Douglas Adams give me much more functional tools than Jesus ever did.
However, I agree about the value of forgiveness. Jesus does not have the market cornered on spiritual principles though. I learned about the importance of forgiving, but not from Jesus' story. What matters to me is that I learned it. Carrying around rage and sadness is poison for me. I forgive to free myself of those burdens.
If somehow that is what Jesus was allegedly attempting to say, then great. If absolving original sin means feeling and living better in this life, then maybe there are more useful things in the Bible than I know. That seems like a bit of a stretch though.
What people who truly scare me are the ones that can somehow twist things around so that something resonates within me in relation to Christianity. I will still talk to them and try to be open and honest, going right up to the edge of my capacity for open-mindedness. In the past I have actually atarted to think maybe they might be on to something. There's just enough truth for it to be dangerous.
He didn't forgive the money lenders (as far as I know). Nor the demons he exorcised out of a man and into some pigs (really mean to the demons because pigs were considered unclean).
It was also "mean" to the person who owned the pigs, since tht person lost a lot of valuable property.
Doesn't that beg the question, Ron, as to who would be raising pigs in the first place, in land where pork chops were forbidden? Anybody ever hear of Galilee being especially rich in truffles? What other use could anyone have had for pigs, football not having yet been invented? It may surprise you, but I'm beginning to doubt the veracity of that story --
@UnOne, RE: "(really mean to the demons because pigs were considered unclean)." - so are you saying you think demons shower regularly?