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The Ridiculousness of the Easter Story

Yesterday was the holiest of holy days for most Christians. The funny part is that the story they celebrated, the Easter story, really celebrates the ridiculousness of the religion.

We live in a Christian dominated world, so it is safe to say that we all know the basic story. Let me just give a brief recap just so we are all on the same page. Christians expect people to believe that their all-powerful god created an entire universe just for human beings but that he was so stupid as to create human beings knowing full well that they would “sin” and that sin is the one thing, the only thing that God can’t be in the presence of. That is sort of like Superman allowing John Corbin to get into a car accident knowing full well that Corbin would be transformed into Metallo (for the less geeky, Metallo is a super-villain powered by kryptonite).

So God carefully created the entire Universe just for us and then created us knowing we would do get curious and eat from the Tree of Knowledge. This created sin, which is the one thing God can’t tolerate and can’t be in the presence of. It is in essence his kryptonite. That’s just the setup for the Easter story.

So man lives separated from God in sin for at least 4000 years or more. Then God suddenly figures out an elaborate scheme to get rid of sin so that he can hang out with his children for all eternity. God’s timeless so you would think he would have just made this scheme of his instantly. But know it takes at least 33 years.

Enter Jesus. God takes part of himself and impregnates a virgin girl his divine “seed.” Nine months later out pops Jesus. The woman swears she was a virgin and her husband believes her. He thinks that it makes much more sense that his virgin wife got pregnant from God than that maybe she was fooling around with some other dude. All I’m saying is if my wife said that I would be filing divorce papers.

Enter the very ridiculous Easter story. Jesus was devoutly Jewish and yet broke bread (not Matzah) on Passover. He then got the shit kicked out of him despite having more super powers than Superman. Jesus gets himself killed but only for three days and calls that a sacrifice. What exactly is he sacrificing and how is it a sacrifice?

Jesus isn’t dead, dead. He is just temporarily dead and he knows it. So it just amounts to a few hours of pain and suffering. Does this allow all humanity to escape some evil villain? No, it is pointless suffering. Apparently Mr. All-powerful God figured out that the only thing that will destroy his kryptonite is his own blood… but only if you believe this ridiculous story.

This story makes absolutely no sense. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen had less plot-holes and makes much more sense than the Easter story. Plus Megan Fox is way hotter than Mary Magdalene I’m sure.

If God is all powerful, then he would have no kryptonite and there wouldn’t be an issue at all. If sin is his kryptonite and God isn’t all powerful, then he should have stopped the sin before it came into the world. Even if God fucked up and sin came into the world this whole elaborate scheme to get rid of sin through the temporary death of Jesus seems too convoluted and silly. Calling it a sacrifice just reinforces the silliness. I can go on all day, but this blog is long enough.

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  • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

    Such a ridicules story considering God created these problems in the first place. The original sin was the act of listening to the voice of reason. In order for the bible to be effective, one has to reject reason first.

    I mentioned on facebook that the Easter tradition is a pagan tradition and not really a Christian holiday.

    I watched Disney’s Alice in Wonderland last night for the first time in probably 15 years and was left with a what the fuck feeling at the end. The moral of that story is that reason exists for a reason. As crazy as that movie was, the bible contains far more madness than the best efforts that Disney and the original author of the story could come up with yet people regard the bible as truth.

  • Sarge

    As they say on the infomercials, “But wait! There’s MORE”!

    This great event, the non-death of an undying (alleged) being is both a horrible thing and the “good news” simultaniously.

    On “Good Friday” one of my fundy aunts was somewhat upset with “The Jews” because “They murdered my Jesus”.

    I tried to explain that without this occurance she would not HAVE her salvation, but she seems to think that even though it was necessary, it was unconscionable and should be penalised.

    Can’t explain it, just passin’ it on. And she’s not alone.

    This non-death, though….

    This “death” seems to have picked up some forms of what we used to call “mission creep”, more seems to get added along the way, as it were.

    This “sacrifice” is the “salvation” of mankind.

    Well, not quite. You need to believe it, perform certain rituals, say certain Words of Power, kow-tow to certain heirarchies… end even then your ass might be out.

    Pretty ropey job if it’s what they say. Need a better quality of godding, really.

  • anti_supernaturalist

    Jesus, a god for world-denying prudes and psychological castrates

    Amazing how the real stars, goddesses, are negated by the Big-3 paternalisms. Jesus is a castrated variant of an ancient vegetation god. He is a pale ersatz compared with a robust male like Dionysus. Even Dummuzi with a virile dionysian “member” who puts it to good use with his consort, Inanna nevertheless remains her inferior.

    While Jesus moved into the foreground 2,000 years ago, his Sumerian counterpart Dummuzi (Tammuz to bible buffs) never was the centerpiece of the most ancient religion of the urban west. which is 2,300 years older. Die and rise? Yes, he does. But, Dummuzi is a bit player.

    A thousand years before paternalist god Ahura Mazda (and later jewish, xian, and islamic knock-offs) there was the great Sumerian goddess of Ur, Inanna. (2300 BCE)

    As part of a myth with a deep psychological interpretation, Inanna invades her dark other, her negative alter ego personified as Ereshkigal goddess of the realm of the dead and land of its judges, the Annuki. Inanna dies there.

    She breaks the bonds of death to arise as a fully integrated self, now the great goddess of Sumeria, lord of war and god of sex. She becomes “queen of heaven and earth” (an epithet given later to minor xian goddess Mary).

    And what of Dummuzi? He has done nothing to find, or even to mourn his consort. He never heard the call for self-integration which motivated Inanna’s descent. Enraged Inanna condemns him to the land of the dead. Later she relents allowing him six months of life per year. Dummuzi /Jesus represents spring’s fecundating principle — he is “the force that drives the green fuse….”

    Yes, but Dummuzi/ Jesus lacks life-bearing power and psychological integration of Inanna. Jesus should be just the lesser god with a greater consort.

    By denying the naturalness of human sexuality, by denying women power over their own sexuality, by denying the feminine aspect of the psyche, the paternalistic Big-3 poisoned cultural life wherever they spread.

    the anti_supernaturalist

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Let’s not forget that Yahweh was originally a Canaanite deity. He was the god of storms and wrath.

  • tralf

    Your account of the events leading up to the resurrection makes me think someone should have hired a continuity and story editor for the Bible.

    Randy

  • RickRayFSM

    When I see a church I think, “What a waste of a building that could be better put to use than selling dark age thinking.”

  • NoCrossNoCrescent

    Well I remember from a number of different cities where I’ve lived (some pretty secular) that how many parishes were closing and how sad it was always made the front page news. So much for the “liberal” media…

  • EvidenceBasedDecisions

    I have often challenged theists to come up with an argument for a deity …. that I cannot refute IN ONE SHORT SENTENCE, or even just ONE WORD.

    After several years I still havent been presented with such an argument.

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  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    A “conscious mind” or even a “mind” in general are not things. They don’t exist. They are descriptions of the affects of our brains. We can indeed test our brains and observe that they are indeed firing synapses. We can test how people behave and square that with our description of what we call consciousness.

    When scientists perform experiments, they detail those experiments so that others can replicate those experiments. This is called peer review. Can you peer review God? I would love to perform that experiment.

  • omjho

    The mind is the product of the brain. So, yes, we do have evidence for it. And the brain has certainly been tested under lab conditions. Show me a mind without a brain, and I’ll take that back. As for the second question. Do you doubt that you’re conscious right now? Can you see well enough to cross the street? Can you hear the traffic? Do you feel pain and pleasure? Can you smell food? If you’re not sure of what’s real, you could always ask for another person’s viewpoint. I see a blue car at a stop light. What do you see?

    This leads to the third question. Yes, if you experiment on yourself, that’s your personal experience. And nobody should (or would) take you seriously without independent verification. What good scientist conducts an experiment and doesn’t provide hard data for his peers to review? You don’t believe what other scientists tell you. You accept or reject their findings based on what they can prove.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    A “conscious mind” or even a “mind” in general are not things. They don’t exist. They are descriptions of the affects of our brains.

    Using your definition of evidence, what evidence is there that the mind is a description of the effects of the brain?

    We can indeed test our brains and observe that they are indeed firing synapses. We can test how people behave and square that with our description of what we call consciousness.

    That doesn’t answer my second question. You failed to provide a specific test that would determine that a brain/mind is conscious as opposed to unconscious. Firing synapses and human behavior are all consistent with the brain/mind not being conscious.

    When scientists perform experiments, they detail those experiments so that others can replicate those experiments. This is called peer review. Can you peer review God? I would love to perform that experiment.

    You missed the point. Peer review still relies on the personal experience of scientists. According to you, personal experience is not evidence. Your definition of evidence is incompatible with scientific realism.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    The mind is the product of the brain. So, yes, we do have evidence for it. And the brain has certainly been tested under lab conditions.

    You seem to distinguish between the mind and the brain. Therefore any evidence for the brain is not evidence for the mind. You say the mind is the product of the brain but you can’t produce the mind.

    Consider an analogy. If you say oxygen and hydrogen are the products of the electrolysis of water you would presumably be able to produce oxygen atoms and hydrogen atoms. You wouldn’t point to water as evidence for your claim. Likewise, you can’t point to the brain as evidence of the mind.

    As for the second question. Do you doubt that you’re conscious right now? Can you see well enough to cross the street? Can you hear the traffic? Do you feel pain and pleasure? Can you smell food? If you’re not sure of what’s real, you could always ask for another person’s viewpoint. I see a blue car at a stop light. What do you see?

    Note that in my second question I was looking for evidence that you are conscious, not evidence that I am conscious.

    Nonetheless, using the definition of evidence in the post, I would have to admit there is no evidence I am conscious right now. Seeing, hearing, touching, and smelling are examples of personal experience and therefore not evidence. Another person’s words are based on his personal experience which, again, is not evidence. Moreover, his words come to me through my personal experience.

    This leads to the third question. Yes, if you experiment on yourself, that’s your personal experience. And nobody should (or would) take you seriously without independent verification. What good scientist conducts an experiment and doesn’t provide hard data for his peers to review? You don’t believe what other scientists tell you. You accept or reject their findings based on what they can prove.

    There are plenty of “soft sciences” and science does not prove things like, say, a mathematical proof does. Nonetheless, peer review still relies on personal experiences. We believe what scientists tell us all the time. No one has the time or resources to run all the experiments and look through all the peer review literature that science has produced. If personal experience and the testimony it produces is not evidence then the scientific endeavor would be doomed.

  • kraut2

    “Likewise, you can’t point to the brain as evidence of the mind.”
    define “mind”

    “Nonetheless, peer review still relies on personal experiences.”

    I don’t know where you did science. Scientific observations are made mainly by measurement, which are either reproducible by “peer” review, meaning you test the hypothesis with the same or different methods and then compare the measurements.
    Personal experience does not come in at all. Your results of a test do not rely on your experience, but what the instruments tell you. You take those reading and publish them. Personal “experience ” of test results points to fraud.
    Interpretation of the results however might be skewed if you use different statistical filters to interpret the results according to significance.

  • Zaphod

    You’re the one that framed it in a mind vs. brain manner to start, so that’s very disingenuous. Mind is just a word we used to describe our awareness of ourselves, its a concept and not real. Therefore your whole premise is bunk to begin with.

    Your analogy is ridiculous and incoherent, it’s as if you made it up to back up your bogus claim.

    Your last paragraph really doesnt prove anything, at some point everything can become solipsistic, you cant really be sure of anything. “Blue” is a perception and theres no reason my blue and your blue are the same, and we cant at this point in time verify otherwise.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    Can you prove that consciousness exists? Consciousness isn’t a thing. It is merely a description. It isn’t a thing and it doesn’t exist in the material world. The mind doesn’t exist either. It is just a description of the combined processes of the brain. It’s an affect, not a thing.

    Peer review is not merely personal experience. It is personal experience that can be replicated by anyone under the same conditions. Can you replicate prayer on command? Can it be peer reviewed? Can God be replicated? Can God be peer reviewed?

  • Jason Clint

    I read an interesting theory that if god exists solely outside of our physical world then he should be unable to modify anything in it (without leaving evidence), and therefore evidence of his existence would not exist. this of course goes against the idea of the christian god interfering in our lives in absolutely any way. obviously, no miracles would be possible.

    so if he can interfere within our physical reality then there should be physical evidence of some kind. if he cannot, well, then most organized religion wouldnt be valid.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    kraut2:

    define “mind”

    An entity that has the ability to be conscious and to experience qualia. It has the ability to think about things, to display intentionality.

    Scientific observations are made mainly by measurement, which are either reproducible by “peer” review, meaning you test the hypothesis with the same or different methods and then compare the measurements.

    Who makes the measurememts? Who constructs the tests or experiments? Does this apply to the soft sciences or just the hard sciences?

    Your results of a test do not rely on your experience, but what the instruments tell you.

    I never said the results rely on personal experience, in the sense that, say, a chemical reaction will produce X instead of Y depending on who’s making the observation. But when the instruments tell you something you are having a personal experience. Observation is a personal experience.

    You take those reading and publish them.

    When you believe something you read in a publication you are believing on the basis of the testimony of scientists not because you performed an experiment yourself. Observation (which is a form of personal experience) and testimony must be considered evidence for science to be possible.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    Zaphod:

    You’re the one that framed it in a mind vs. brain manner to start, so that’s very disingenuous.

    I believe my initial comment allowed for the respondent to equate the brain with the mind. omjho appears to believe they are separate things.

    Mind is just a word we used to describe our awareness of ourselves, its a concept and not real.

    But surely our awareness of ourselves is real, correct? If so, then can you justify that belief according to the standards of evidence in the OP or not?

    Your last paragraph really doesnt prove anything, at some point everything can become solipsistic, you cant really be sure of anything. “Blue” is a perception and theres no reason my blue and your blue are the same, and we cant at this point in time verify otherwise.

    Actually my point is that the standards of evidence in the OP are absurd. Instead of tending towards solipsism why not broaden what is considered evidence? I realize that would entail there is evidence for God (whether you find that sufficient evidence is a separate question) but that seems preferable to solipsism.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    Dangerous Talk:

    Can you prove that consciousness exists? Consciousness isn’t a thing. It is merely a description. It isn’t a thing and it doesn’t exist in the material world. The mind doesn’t exist either. It is just a description of the combined processes of the brain. It’s an affect, not a thing.

    I can’t prove much of anything according to your definition of evidence. Ethics, science, history, etc. are all impossible. While this allows you to say there is no evidence for God there is no evidence for much else either.

    Peer review is not merely personal experience. It is personal experience that can be replicated by anyone under the same conditions.

    I did not say peer review is merely personal experience. I said it relies on personal experience. If personal experience is not evidence then peer review is not evidence.

  • kraut2

    That is correct. If god is outside the Universe, the interaction should have a measurable effect.
    If he lives inside the Universe..see the following:

    The claim is that god is eternal. Which means time does not exist. Eternity has no beginning, no end. It is existence at a point. God does not know time.

    Any creation/action happens in time, any thought process needs time.
    If time does not exist, neither does space. So, where does god exist, how can a timeless being create a universe where time exists because it had a beginning. Does god go poof when he suddenly becomes aware of time? Becomes aware of his damnation to a life that suddenly has a beginning – and might not have an end, a torture for any really THINKING being? I really hope Christians get what they wish for…or maybe that really would be the ultimate cruelty to a time bound being.

    The claim that an eternal god exists that can create does not make any sense.
    If an eternal god exist, then the Universe that sprang into life is also eternal, it has to be. We know that our Universe had a beginning when it expanded from beyond the wall of Planck’s space and time.

    So god if he exists is of the same age as the universe and within the Universe. He can then neither be eternal, nor all knowing or all powerful, as he cannot violate the laws of physics where the speed of information is limited by the speed of light, and where his powers of action are likewise limited by the laws that began when the universe expanded.

    If I remember correctly it was Hawkins that argued in the same way: only when the Universe began, time began. So god could not have created before time. Unless he created from another Universe, and that argument leads to infinite regression.

    Conclusion: the god that Christianity advertises cannot exist.
    The more human like gods of the Greek, the Hindu pantheon have a greater probability.

  • kraut2

    “An entity that has the ability to be conscious and to experience qualia.
    It has the ability to think about things, to display intentionality.”

    This might be a definition of consciousness but is not a definition of “mind”.

    “Observation is a personal experience.”

    anything is personal as anything is political. Your statement is meaningless.

    If a “personal observation” is not backed up by data that is either reproducible and/or supported by well documented evidence than it does count for nothing.
    Anecdotal evidence might be a starting point for further investigation but does count for nothing in itself.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    This might be a definition of consciousness but is not a definition of “mind”.

    Thinking and intentionality are separate concepts from consciousness. Merriam Webster defines mind as: “the part of a person that thinks, reasons, feels, and remembers.” The point is that by the standards of evidence in the OP I have to conclude there is no evidence for consciousness in other people. Such an absurd conclusion suggests the standards of evidence in the OP are wrong.

    anything is personal as anything is political. Your statement is meaningless.

    You seem to understand the statement so it can’t be meaningless. Rather it’s a blatantly obvious truth. Since the OP denies its relevance as evidence the OP is blatantly false.

    If a “personal observation” is not backed up by data that is either reproducible and/or supported by well documented evidence than it does count for nothing.

    I ask you again: does this apply to the soft sciences too? Some science is rather historical in nature. It involves events that cannot be exactly repeated. If testimony is of no value at all, is history (and any science that relies on historical facts) possible?

  • kraut2

    “A mind /?ma?nd/ is the set of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, perception, thinking, judgement, and memory—a characteristic of humans, but which also may apply to other life forms.[3][4]”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind

    I like this definition better.
    “Thinking and intentionality are separate concepts from consciousness.”

    And since when is “thinking” seperate from consciousness? How are you conscious without thinking? Thinking alone lets you reflect and
    engage in the internal dialog that makes you aware of yourself.

    “The point is that by the standards of evidence in the OP I have to
    conclude there is no evidence for consciousness in other people.”

    “In 1936, philosopher Alfred Ayer considered the standard philosophical question of other minds: how do we know that other people have the same conscious experiences that we do? In his book, Language, Truth and Logic,
    Ayer suggested a protocol to distinguish between a conscious man and an
    unconscious machine: “The only ground I can have for asserting that an
    object which appears to be conscious is not really a conscious being,
    but only a dummy or a machine, is that it fails to satisfy one of the
    empirical tests by which the presence or absence of consciousness is
    determined.”[11]
    (This suggestion is very similar to the Turing test, but it is not
    certain that Ayer’s popular philosophical classic was familiar to
    Turing.) In other words, a thing is not conscious if it fails the
    consciousness test.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test

    I would call history only a science when it attributes probabilities to its findings. Without noting those, history is not more than art, an interpretation of sources arriving often at doubtful conclusions.

    The same is true for me regarding other soft sciences.

  • http://biblicalscholarship.wordpress.com Jayman

    kraut2:

    I think you can be merely perceiving without thinking.

    It is telling that your Wikipedia link about Ayer does not list what the criteria for consciousness are. But it is my understanding that he makes an argument from analogy. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes that no alleged solution to the problem of other minds enjoys majority support.

    It seems the arguments for the existence of other minds are philosophical arguments. If philosophical arguments can provide evidence for the existence of other minds then it’s conceivable they could provide evidence for the existence of God. But if philosophical arguments don’t provide evidence for the existence of other minds then ethics will be undermined. Am I truly causing any more harm to a human I cut in half than a tree I cut in half? There’s no evidence either is conscious, right?

    Even the hardest science still only deals with probabilities. That’s why scientific knowledge changes throughout time. Once history is accepted as a path to knowledge then historical arguments for God’s existence are fair game.

    So it is beyond dispute that some evidence for God exists. The disagreement is over whether that evidence is sufficient or not.

  • kraut2

    “Even the hardest science still only deals with probabilities. That’s why scientific knowledge changes throughout time.”

    That is why I fault soft sciences like history. They claim to know…but do they really? Do most or all research projects include a Bayes analysis of the probability of their conclusions which are based on sometimes rather unreliable evidence.

    Some religious historians like Carrier do this.

    “It seems the arguments for the existence of other minds are philosophical arguments.”

    The Turing test the wikipedia article is based on is one possibility of a test of a consciousness in others.

    “It seems the arguments for the existence of other minds are philosophical arguments.”

    The homo sapiens sapiens species empirically shows that most of its members at least during waking hours show at least traces of consciousness. We have proof of that in the products that at present might even lead to the eventual extinction of this species. So no, consciousness can be evidenced by the products of a thinking species, And no, consciousness without self reflection is not possible imho. And self reflection is based on thinking.

    Solipsism as a philosophical exercise is to me a rather boring and useless exercise in dealing with the world and its inhabitants.