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Why did Jesus give his life for me?


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Showing 1-25 of 52 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Dec 2012 09:01:57 GMT
Dan Fante says:
Good post with sound arguments there. I wouldn't take issue with any of what you say re: interpretation etc. I'm not a believer, so to speak, but I think faith is a very personal thing so one's interpretation of the Bible or whatever obviously ties into that. And with that in mind, it's not so important what one believes but rather how one acts. I'd live to think Jesus would be more concerned with the latter too.

Posted on 3 Dec 2012 20:13:58 GMT
Stu says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2012 19:17:28 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Dec 2012 19:23:38 GMT
Kleist says:
I agree that my point gives rise to problems. Of course there are many who take the Bible literally. But I would ask if what is meant by taking something literally is as straightforward as is often assumed. Might we not argue that what they take as being a literal reading is nothing but a rather bad interpretation of the meaning of the text? After all literalness depends upon certain 'common sense' presuppositions about how the world, thought and language are laid out. But we can ask 'whose common sense?' 'when?' 'where?' I think that the idea of the literal is therefore relative to an interpretation, even if this interpretation is in some sense implicit. But you are quitre right: 'allegory is lost on them.' It is also lost on my three year old, yet I do not therefore think that this invalidates a more sophisticated reading.
'Who decided/decides how to interpret it?' Very good question. This raises the issue of authority: in the past this was the official church, the enlightenment thought it was Reason, now we are hardly sure and this is our problem. Indeed the so-called 'post-modern condition' might well be characterised, not only in terms of the rejection of 'meta-narratives,' but as the rejection of spirituial authority (if these are not the same thing). This is indeed a problem, but no more so than in any other area of thought (perhaps even in science). What area of thought is not open to 'multiple interpretations?' Mathematics? Perhaps. This possibility (and even the possibility of potentially infinite interpretations) does not, of itself, preclude the idea that some are better than others. Of course then the issue is raised of what makes one better than another and we would like to say 'because it is true'. But I'm not sure what 'truth' means in this kind of case. Didn't Christ make the matter as simple as it could possibly be when he said 'I am the truth.' ? But what exactly does this mean? And more specifically; what would it mean to take this literally?

'Also, where did the inspiration for these stories come from if they aren't based on real events?' It is just as easy to ask this of Aesop's fables, of Dickens' novels or of a story someone tells in a pub. The idea of being 'based' on 'real' events is not itself without problems.

I don't mean to imply that I have answered your very reasonable reservations, I have done nothing of the sort. I hope rather that I have raised more questions. Thanks for your remarks, they made me think.

Posted on 3 Dec 2012 14:51:14 GMT
Dan Fante says:
I've heard that argument before but to me that gives rise to a few problems. Firstly, some people (many indeed) take the Bible literally so the allegory is lost on them (assuming it's meant to be allegorical). If it is an allegory, then it's open to multiple (infinite?) interpretations, especially certain parts of it. Who decided/decides how to interpret it? I have a problem with people deciding on an interpretation on behalf of others (which is arguably what organised religion does). Also, where did the inspiration for these stories come from if they aren't based on real events?
I did enjoy reading your post though, Mr Wilde. Very thoughtful.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2012 14:43:29 GMT
Spin writes that he opposes "the reality of "secularism", a movement that has adopted the term "secular" to promote its own ends."
Comment - what is it supposed to call itself, if not secular? If it called itself something else, Spin would surely accuse it of hiding its aims. Now he holds against secularism that it is open and honest!
Spin writes, "Secularism is as much a debatable ideology as those it opposes." Agreed - everything is debatable - a low standard
"A truly "secular" society evolves through time and experience, not because it is enforced by prejudicial ignorance."
Agreed - British society has for a long time been evolving (that is, progressing) towards being more secular.
Who is 'enforcing' anything, never mind 'prejudicial ignorance'? Does Spin mean people like Richard Dawkins, who 'enforces' his views by the rather democratic means of publishing books and articles and pieces on his website?

Posted on 30 Nov 2012 20:07:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Nov 2012 22:38:47 GMT
Kleist says:
Since God is omniscient then it follows that he knew that Christ would be crucified. Moreover it was foretold. So it was not simply a secular event, but part of a religious drama that was inevitable. Unless, of course, one considers all this to be rubbish. But in that case there is no reason at all to give any more significance to this event than to the death of any other alleged religious leader.
Of course one need not see the story as a literal rendering of historical facts. One can see it as a deipiction of significant religious truths by means of a story. And at the same time insist that it is based upon real events that are 'read' in a particular way (all events can be read or interpreted in various ways). Indeed it seems silly to read biblical stories in any kind of 'literal' sense. It seems a bit like reading Aesop's fables and protesting that these cannot be 'true' because everybody knows that foxes can't talk, that they never respond in this way to unreachable grapes and we can do experiments to prove this (which is how many modern secularist often sound). The 'truth' of these fables lies deeper than the dipiction of talking animals.
Likewise the truth of the crucifixtion may well lie in the fact that Christianity should be conceived as the way in which we are saved by the sacrifice of that which God loved the most. Indeed this is an indication that He loves us the most.
Personally I read the story in ethical terms: I understand ethics in terms of sacrifice incomprehensible to rationality. Likewise the faith that is demanded is not ameanable to rational or empirical verification but requires a 'sense' of the meaningfulness of the practice of giving. I don't think it is meant to persuade but to move, like the smile of a child or love.

Posted on 30 Nov 2012 09:20:08 GMT
Dan Fante says:
Well, if you believe the official story ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2012 07:21:37 GMT
 says:
Was not Jesus by turns insolent and sullen in his carriage towards Pilate who found not fault in the Nazerene? Jesus seems to have courted condemnation.

Posted on 29 Nov 2012 10:44:08 GMT
Dan Fante says:
Doesn't the original question presuppose he chose to be crucified? I'm guessing he didn't have a lot of choice in the matter ;-)

Posted on 24 Nov 2012 22:05:33 GMT
Kleist says:
'Why should I be obligated to a man (or GOD) I do not know?' Is this question asking for an explanation of why you are in fact so obligated? This would require a philosophical explication of obligation (Levinas would be a good place to start)Otherwise Than Being, or, Beyond Essence). It would then be like asking 'why am I obligated to my children?' or 'Why is there such a thing as obligation or responsibility toward others at all? (for there clearly is).

I suspect however it is more like the question 'why should I?' or 'What is he to me?' I am not a christian but as I understand it, it was he that was obligated absolutely to you. And I see in this sacrifice a certain image of responsibility for the other right up to substitution for their sins.

The point is however that when a child asks 'why should I?' there are very few things that we might say. Either you do or... Punishment or reward. Of course for adults morality, in the very broad sense, does not require either. So when an adult asks the 'why should I?' kind of question there is very little we can say except : 'you simply ought' or 'it is right or good.' Of course your question was about a specific religious figure and you need not find anything in this faith. But that is a different matter.

You also asked about your dependency on the beliefs of others. Well you depend upon the beliefs of parents, teachers, doctors, scientists, and so on: all those areas of life in which you engage but do not have real knowledge of. Why? Because that is how life is. Nobody gains beliefs before any interaction with others, even if it's only your parents. Of course ultimately you will decide for yourself but this is not the same as having no dependence on others' beliefs. Indeed the more rational, or well thought out, beliefs that you are exposed to, the more likely it will be that you gain beliefs which are good or true, I suspect. To hold a belief is, of course, to hold that it is good to hold it or that it is true.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 18:10:32 GMT
C. A. Small says:
William- good luck.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 15:24:56 GMT
Spin says:
William: And how, exactly, does modern secularism adhere to the dictionary definition of its concern with "morality" and "education"? I repeat: I am not opposing words or definitions. I oppose the reality of "secularism", a movement that has adopted the term "secular" to promote its own ends. Secularism is as much a debatable ideology as those it opposes. A truly "secular" society evolves through time and experience, not because it is enforced by prejudicial ignorance.

Posted on 23 Nov 2012 15:17:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Nov 2012 15:21:26 GMT
Secularism is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "1. the doctrine that morality should be based solely on regard to the well-being of mankind in the present life, to the exclusion of all considerations drawn from belief in God or in a future state. 2. the view that national education should be purely secular."
Secularism proposes that moral arguments be based on considerations of the welfare of real people in the real world. Secularism opposes the idea that morality should be governed by the dictates of ancient writings or of present authority figures.
The definition says nothing at all about requiring "the elimination of any thought, language or lifestyle it deems to be detrimental to its own definition of 'society'."
Spin, you choose to override the OED's generally accepted definition of secularism and try to impose your own biased and inaccurate definition. You are not seeing the alternative argument; you are creating a false image of the alternative to your viewpoint.
Having created this straw man, and argued against it, you think you have refuted secularism. No, you have missed it by a mile. If you miss your target, you lose. QED.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 12:36:18 GMT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 12:33:44 GMT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2012 14:59:36 GMT
Sorry Spin you've lost this debate - whether you can see it or not, whether it is 'relevant' or not.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2012 14:38:50 GMT
M.I. says:
When did secularism claim that it's the one and only state? All it means is that you can believe in some god if you want, but don't let that interfere with the everyday life of the many who do or don't accept that idea. I don't. And what does does secularism have 'a hard time condoning' (sic)? I've no idea what that means. Spin, please explain. I've seen some of the harm that religion (I was educated in a rigid RC system) can do. Keep that dogmatism out of our everyday lives. Practise it if you want to, but don't try to enforce it on others.

Posted on 22 Nov 2012 14:34:52 GMT
M.I. says:
Will you religious folk please explain how someone long ago being nailed to a bit of wood can possibly be of any good to me now? To placate JC's father? If my own father had me nailed to the garden fence just to compensate for insults from the neighbours, real or anticipated, he'd be sectioned in a mental home or a place for the criminally insane. JC, assuming he existed at all, would have done far more good still alive for a few years healing and teaching. Isn't that obvious?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2012 13:51:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Nov 2012 13:51:53 GMT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2012 13:40:25 GMT
C. A. Small says:
Spin- "who wins or who loses is irrelevent"-probably not to the charged person.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2012 13:21:23 GMT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 20 Nov 2012 08:55:24 GMT
Spin -
Mr Smith, I repeat, won his case. The employer was found to be in the wrong when he fired Mr Smith. So in the single case you cite, presumably the most convincing case that you can find, the facts show that religion is not being suppressed, that the expression of religious belief or opinion is not being stopped.
Don't be rude, refute my arguments - which you haven't yet done.
And you have failed to provide the evidence that I asked for, that secularists are "seeking to establish laws to forbid the expression of alternative views". Are you finding it hard to find such evidence?

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Nov 2012 13:31:19 GMT
Spin says:
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Posted on 19 Nov 2012 13:29:15 GMT
No Spin,
secularists are not trying to "stop people expressing their belief or opinion".
Secularists are trying to refute religious arguments, not trying to suppress them.
Note that Adrian Smith won his court case, which proves, one would think, that the law does not forbid the expression of alternative views.
And it is wrong to claim that secularists are "seeking to establish laws to forbid the expression of alternative views". If you think it isn't, please provide evidence that secularists are indeed trying to do so.
Arguing is not fascism! Trying to refute a differing point of view is not fascism. If it was, you Spin would also be guilty of fascism - which is absurd.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2012 18:23:04 GMT
Spin says:
William: How can you say that an attempt by secularists to stop people expressing thier belief or opinion in the words they choose is actually a concern and appreciation for that culture, belief or tradition? My claim is indeed supported, the most recent example being that of the christian Adrian Smith winning a court case against his employers for demoting him and cutting his salary for his inoffensive comments about gay marriage on his own Facebook page. Concern and appreciation of his belief? I think not. And excluding a persons opinion on the grounds that it does not fit in with ones own conception of an issue, and seeking to establish laws to forbid the expression of alternative views, is indeed fascism.
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Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  52
Initial post:  6 Nov 2012
Latest post:  4 Dec 2012

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