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"It's a horrible idea that God, this paragon of wisdom and knowledge, power, couldn't think of a better way to forgive us our sins than to come down to Earth in his alter ego as his son and have himself hideously tortured and executed so that he could forgive himself."

Richard Dawkins

Good morning all 🙂

Knitfreak 7 Mar 15

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I don't understand how people can claim a loving "father-figure" god would create Hell.

Epicurius said something about the contradiction of god's existence.

JimG Level 8 Mar 16, 2018

I just want to know what kind of god would create something, give it free will, and then punish it when it uses that free will. Sounds illogical and perverse to me.

marga Level 7 Mar 16, 2018

Insane cannibalistic and specious


As Matt Dillahunty has said, God had to sacrifice himself to make a loophole for a rule that he created.


Is that quote correct? The story goes he died for OUR sins, not HIS sins, so it wouldn't be the case that he forgave himself...


Hmmm... I've never heard that JC took our sins as his own though... "he bore our sins on his body" I think the quote is.

This is like you filling a sack with rocks and then me taking bearing the weight of those rocks by taking the sack from you.. those rocks aren't mine, nor do I assume responsibility for putting those rocks in the sack. I'm only helping you bear the weight of what you did by taking that sack off of you and onto me.

Reminds me of The Band song:

"Take a load off, Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off, Fanny
And (and) (and) you put the load right on me
(You put the load right on me)"

Well, as long as the quote is accurate, I'll just chalk it up to Dawkins philosophy that an attempt at an accurate representation of what is written should never get in the way of good rhetoric and a good quip. 😉


The story is one of free will: god gave man the freedom to choose to sin or not to sin. He sinned. That is man's choice, not gods.

As to him assuming the punishment, that story is not uncommon: many people take the blame for others because they love the other and do not want to see them suffer.

As to him dying for an issue his father created, another person of whose existence is equally dubious, Shakespere, said "“The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children.”" But then we have to believe that creating the circumstance for sin is the same thing as committing the sin... that the maker of the gun is as guilty of the user of the gun as it were. I'm not sure how true that is for us or for the coherence of the story under discussion


Are you more interested in me than the topic we are discussing?
If so, you are more interested in addressing this via ad hominem than rational debate.

But no, this is not determinism vs. free will debate nor am I a christian apologist. This is examining why dawkins said that JC forgave himself, a viewpoint that doesn't make sense to me within the context of the bible.


That's begging the question: nothing in the bible makes sense so nothing in the bible can make sense.

Consider: Even if we take the position that it's a fantasy books, fantasy books have an internal logic to them. You could no more say that nothing in Harry Potter makes sense because you don't think magic isn't real than you could that noting in the bible makes sense because you don't think god is real.

In the same light, others have no difficulty either engaging on the topic or not engaging... instead of merely trying to shut others up because they don't believe as you do.

And a common interpretation of original sin is based on Federal Headships and as such is passed down from father to son. As JC didn't have a human father, original sin was not passed down to him and thus he did not "forgive himself" as the quote goes. Hence, regardless of whether the story is fantasy or real, the internal logic is there and Dawkin's quip is inaccurate.


Rest assured, I believe in conditional free will not absolute free will, that we are free to do what we want based on a set of conditions. Under that light, the story goes that we have a set of conditions (say, the 10 commandments) and we are free to follow it or not but there are consequences to not following them.

This is really not different than our legal system. I am free to murder, rape, and steal.. there is no chip in my brain, no drug in my system, no bracelet on my ankle, that prevents me from doing that at any times... but because there are laws against said acts, there are consequences to performing said acts. And there are a lot of people, especially minorities, that make the exact claim that the laws are made in a manner that would see most of them sent to jail (read:hell).


RE: your question of gods logic, I've not been able to ask him/her/it to clarify it and the bible doesn't (AFAIK) say anything like "Here is my logic for the commandments". Hence, your guess is as good as mine: Maybe egomaniac. Maybe divine plan. Maybe respect. Maybe test of faith. Maybe tradition. Maybe sense of identity.

We can all forward our guess as to what the logic is but maybe it doesn't need to be logical. Maybe it was never meant to be logical. There are many things we do as humans that are not logical but we deem necessary and good and thus why would expect/demand god(s) be any different?

RE: satan's behaiviour, I'm unaware of the bible stating anywhere that god has given permission for Satan to do as he does... anymore than the bible states that god has given permission for man to sin. Satan seems to me like a prisoner in jail (what with him being king of the underworld and all that) that constantly taunts people to commit crime so he is not alone. I'm not sure that is being given permission. I don't know what exactly you expect god to do within the confines of the story as given that would serves as a role model for what humans should do within the confines of our lives except accept that there are "bad hombres" out there and do your best to not fall under their spell.

RE: the hypothetical, what would that intervention look like to you? Would I chain her up and prevent her from going anywhere? Would I keep her at home for her life that she would never be exposed to said people? Would I stay by her side 24/7 to make sure she isn't meeting the wrong kind of people? Surely as a parent I would do all I can but ultimately, it's her decision, not mine. And if she gets hurt despite my warnings, I would lament, I would be there for her, I would remind her of what I said, but there is little else apart from taking away her "free will" that I can do to prevent her from doing what she wants with whom she wants even if I think or know that what she wants is a bad choice.


I've been called "spock" most of my life due to my adherence to logic. In spite of that, I recognize that logic alone cannot explain the human condition. That is why I presented illogic not as an imperative necessity but as a possibility to answer you question as to what gods logic was; maybe there was none. Or maybe there was and you nor I can see it.

If you want a better answer, ask him/her/it. I'm perfectly happy not trying to guess what something that may or may not be there thinks. 😉


Never claimed credibility. That is a straw-man you assigned to me to make it easier to burn down my points without actually engaging them. My discussing the stories in Harry Potter doesn't mean I'm give credibility to the existence of magic anymore than my discussing the stories about JC mean I'm giving credibility to the existence of the christian god.

Thus Dan Barker using free will to dismiss the existence of the christian god is immaterial to the discussion at hand since the discussion at hand is about not the existence of said god.


I do give it literary credibility, which is why I reference the story of JC and the stories of HP and how discussing on story doesn't lend credibility to god(s) existence anymore than discussing the other story lends credibility to magic's existence.

The credibility I never assigned it was theological credibility, as in the bible being the word of god or divinely writ, a credibility not necessary, nor presented, for my arguments above.


For one, if I'm not giving it theological credibility, then it's not a religious book but just a book.

But most importantly, given Dawkin's quote is based upon what the bible says about JC and sin, it makes sense to examine that quote within the context of what the bible says about JC and sin.


I don't know about theology but I know the bible says lots on the subject...
...yet (AFAIK) nowhere does it say that JC's suffering was so god could forgive himself, as Dawkin's quip claims.


How do we go from "he bore our sin, our proxy" to "god is forgiving god for the forgiveness of our sins".

Wouldn't that last be "god is forgiving man with the forgiveness of our sins [by being our proxy]"?

The tortured logic that I objected from the first was this notion that god is forgiving god by having JC (god) sacrifice himself, which clearly is not story as presented.

God is forgiving mankind by having JC sacrifice himself. The more logical commentary would be "god is forgiving mankind by sacrificing himself, since JC is god by proxy", which is more in line with the story as given.

As to the legal system, the analogy was not in treating criminals as substitute sacrifices nor was it presented on this topic. The legal analogy was presented in answer to Gilda's question about free will and punishment, on the nature of original sin. It seems Gilda either left the site or blocked me so I can't fully review, but that is my recollection of why I mentioned the legal system on this thread.


Paying a debt for a crime you didn't commit is not the same as owning that crime.

If I commit a crime and must pay financial restitution and my friend pays that financial restitution, it's not his crime now. The records will clearly indicate that it was I that committed the sins even as it was my friend that paid for them.

LIkewise with bail. If I'm in jail and my friend pays my bail such that I can go free, it is not my friends crime now. The records will clearly indicate that I was jailed for a reason and my friend paid for me to go free.

Likewise, if JC paid the debt for our sins by his sacrifice, that is not the same as him assuming those sins where his to being (or end) with. The records will clearly indicate that the sins where committed by man, the debt incurred by us, but that JC paid that debt so we would be free of that debt, but the sins were still committed by man, not JC.


"The one who gets punished is considered guilty of committing the sin!"

I see this as completely made up by you as it is unsupported by anything the bible says or by how any legal system works that I'm aware of.

I could be wrong.

If I am, you should have no problem either
a) finding a quote form the bible saying that JC is considered guilty of committing the original sin of mankind...
b) ...or a reference to a legal system where if you pay the monies owed by another committing a crime then you are considered guilty of committing that crime.


In point of fact, jewish law says quite the opposite than you claim it does:

"“There is no doubt that sins cannot be carried like a burden, and taken off the shoulder of one being to be laid on that of another being


Hence a supreme irony: the scapegoat of Acharei Mot is the precise opposite of the scapegoat as generally known. “Scapegoating,” as we use the word today, means blaming someone else for our troubles. The scapegoat of Yom Kippur existed so that this kind of blame would never find a home in Jewish life. We do not blame others for our fate. We accept responsibility. We say mipnei chata-enu, “because of our sins.”"



I've asked you several times to give me evidence in the form of a quote, website, reference, anything that validates that "god forgave himself". And your reply is to claim that Dawkin's (or you) don't need to make any reference to what is actually written to make commentary on what is actually written, that you don't need to back up your (or Dawkin's) point with specific quotes or commentary.

As we see above, the notion that "god forgave himself" has no basis in what is actually written, has no basis in jewish law, and has no basis in modern law and thus Dawkin's quote has no basis in what the religious actually believe nor in what is written for them to believe.


Nice talk and thanks for engaging instead of dismissing me.


What a guy! has always been that Great Father in the sky!

The gawd gott gods sound always has been and always will be gibberish meaningless non-word. ....capitalization is mere emphatic dishonesty

@GreenAtheist at least to some of us...but a bigger portion of the population still believes in Father God...even if he is a fairy tale!

@Freedompath I wonder why xians never show a gawdly penis but do obsess about alleged vaginal virgins birthing grandma and geebush mommy ?

@GreenAtheist they think what they are told to think or not think, original thinking is against their conditioning!!! I suspect an original thought would scare the 'hell,' out of them!


My theory is that there was a preacher named Jesus back then and he said a lot of intelligent sounding statements and gathered a group of followers. These followers speculated that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Scriptures. But then unexpectedly Jesus was arrested, crucified, and of course he couldn't be the Messiah. But his clever followers made up the story that he had been resurrected and was now in Heaven and that the reason he died was to atone for the sins of mankind. With this big lie in place the followers could then continue preaching, PASSING AROUND THE DONATION BASKETS, and gathering more stupid followers. And the sucessors of these charlatons have been doing this for almost 2000 years.

@Gilda Most of the Bible is on a par with Grimm's fairy tales. It has been edited several times. IMO it is the greatest fraud perpetrated on the human race.


The flood, the plagues, and all the genocide weren't any better ideas, either.

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