"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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Location: Australia

I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.


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Sunday, October 01, 2006

When Is A Sacrifice Not A Sacrifice?

The crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is probably the single most important event in the Christian religion. The crucifix itself, an instrument of torture and death, is the most common symbol associated with christians.
It has never been adequately explained how this death freed us all from sin. If the death freed us from the consequences of sin (hell, or eternal oblivion), it is still unclear as to why it had to happen in this particular way. Why didn't God just sort it all out during Creation?
If Jesus is God, then how was it a sacrifice? He only had to spend a few days "dead", then it was back home to Heaven (and he knew all this beforehand, being omniscient). A few days in the underworld can hardly have been a big deal for an eternal, omnipotent deity, can it? (And of course, being omnipresent as well, he would already have been there all the time anyway.)
Why didn't he stay dead? Not much of a sacrifice if you spring back to life a few days later, is it?
If God had it all planned from the start, and Jesus is god (if you believe in the older prophecies), then it certainly was not a sacrifice. He must have used his God-Magic to manipulate events and ensure that the crucifixion occurred. This would include making Judas betray him.
Could it be that the crucifixion was a well planned propaganda exercise? And if so, wouldn't this make god the ultimate manipulator?
The ultimate manipulator would be a god who : ~
  • 1. Creates sin and allows it to exist. (Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.")
  • 2. Claims that mankind needs to be freed from the sin which god, himself has created.
  • 3. Manufactures or creates an event later on where he supposedly dies, but doesn't.
  • 4. Claims that this is a sacrifice, which isn't really a sacrifice if you know you are not going to die but go back to heaven.
  • 5. Claims that this act will purge people of the sin of adam and eve which god allowed to happen in the first place.
  • 6. Claims that this act will purge people of all sin if they kiss his "aspidistra" forever.
This would make the supposed god, a very naughty boy indeed and the ultimate propagandaist.
PROPAGANDA: "Propaganda is a specific type of message presentation directly aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of people, rather than impartially providing information."
SACRIFICE: "the offering of animal, plant, or human life or of some material possession to a deity, as in propitiation or homage."



Anonymous thepoetryman said...

Thank you. Nice post! Many things to ponder.


2/10/06 2:02 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Interesting stuff Beep, I'd never looked at it this way before. It kind of reminds me of the "martyrs" at work that never seem to die like martyrs are supposed to. It's just a cover up for another half assed job. Maybe Jesus was Australian. He had to get up for smoko...:-)

2/10/06 3:32 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE ted: No pickin' on the australian worker ;)

2/10/06 9:36 pm  
Anonymous Simon said...

A smoko? I love it!!! As I do your post. But as for the crucifixion of Big Jesus it was just the punishment of the times. Hundreds of thousands of others suffered the same fate including Kirk Douglas and his army of slaves. If Jesus had been born sooner he would have been clubbed to death. If he had been born later in Amerika he might have been burnt at the stake, or fried in the electric chair as a terrorist. The only thing I wonder about the crucifixion is whether Jesus'
death on the cross would have been as fetishized if he hadn't been half naked. For centuries that was just about the only naked figure our brutish ancestors were allowed to see. Along with the naked bodies of prisoners about to be burnt alive. Repressed sexuality being so unhealthy. No wonder these religious life denying extremists so often confuse the two....Oops gotta run...time for a smoko :)

3/10/06 9:58 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE simon:

The imagery of jesus half naked on an instrument of torture, may have potentially sexually erotic connotations for some people.

I hasten to add - not for me, but I am not the yardstick for human sexual predilections.

Parallels between BDSM and/or modern day "snuff movies" probably haven't gone unnoticed by at least some psychologists, psychiatrists and human behaviourists.

Saint Augustine (354-430 CE) wrote a book, "On the Good of Marriage", which was devoted to elucidating the function of, and in places praising, human unions (conjungio). He was not shy about describing things religious in quite erotic terms. For example, he portrays the Crucifixion like this: -

"Like a bridegroom Christ went forth from his chamber, he went out with a presage of his nuptials....He came to the marriage bed of the cross, and there, in mourning it, consummated his marriage,...he lovingly gave himself up to the torment in place of his bride, and he joined himself to the woman forever." - Quoted in Ackerman, A Natural History of Love, p.317.

3/10/06 10:46 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Sorry Beep, I used to be a builder's labourer and couldn't resist...:)

But Simon, I'm sorry but I'm going to have to correct you on "smoko" protocol, you almost blasphemed! You don't go for a smoko but rather you have smoko. So that should read "Oops gotta run...It's time for smoko!" It's what most of the rest of the world would call morning tea, or afternoon tea but we've managed to turn it into an institution, and a damn fine one it is too. If you'd have said that though, all of us in Aus reading this would have looked at the clock as soon as we read it. Well, almost everyone...:-)

3/10/06 5:41 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE ted: Yeah, when "smoko" literally meant a smoke and a cup of tea or coffee, but more often than not, tea.

Another australian institution which has gone down the gurgler as the demands for a longer working week have been imposed upon the masses. ;)

3/10/06 9:11 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Yep. It was always tea in our sheds....

Sad but true Beep, more's the pity.

(Sorry to digress your post...)

3/10/06 9:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ted...thanks for correcting me...oops...that might have been embarrassing. I can see myself trying to impress my friends with my vast reservoir of worldly knowledge only to be taken down a peg."No you idiot that's not a smoke break it's a tea break!!!!
Oh well I like the expression even more now. Just like the more I learn about Australians the more I like them too...

4/10/06 12:29 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Here yas go, I couldn't help myself...

Sacred Institution

4/10/06 2:30 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

No worries Simon, it was the least I could do...:)

And you inspired me, so thanks for that...:-)

4/10/06 3:48 pm  
Blogger Virtuous said...

Can I find the answers here?
What is morality?
Is it a measure of good or bad?
If so, Who decides what is good or bad?
Is morality genetic or does one learn it?
......Need to know....

5/10/06 11:40 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE virtuous:

A sense of morality, that is, what is considered good or bad, right or wrong can come from a variety of sources.

Some of these sources are:

More often than not, an individual's ideas concerning morality are molded by a combination of the above.

So, I think that morality is something we learn and we learn it from a variety of sources.

6/10/06 12:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If good or bad is determined by so many sources, I fear there is no hope for humanity.
Different cults, religions, communities, etc with different ideas of right and wrong are bound to have a face off based on their moral convictions. I am afraid there will always be wars when men who have different morals choose to die for their moral values. Especially when these men are leaders(men meaning both sexes)
Peace can never be attained with mankind unless there is one source for morality.
Do you agree?

7/10/06 8:13 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE virtuous:
"If good or bad is determined by so many sources, I fear there is no hope for humanity."

The reality is that good or bad IS determined from many sources, and I suggest that it always has been this way.

RE: "Different cults, religions, communities, etc with different ideas of right and wrong are bound to have a face off based on their moral convictions."

Quite often the moral convictions are very similar, but they apply to only people who are members of the same cult, tribe, religion or community. For example, most people in the world have laws concerning when and if people can be killed. So, most groups have laws which allow the killing of other people under certain circumstances. In other words, legal killing as opposed to illegal killing in the case of murder.

The circumstances under which this "legal killing" can take place may differ from cult to cult and religion to religion and from nation to nation.

For example, most nations in the world do not have legalised state killing called the death penalty, and in some nations it is still legal for the state to kill specific people.

RE: " I am afraid there will always be wars when men who have different morals choose to die for their moral values."

There will probably always be wars, as mankind seems to have a penchant for death and destruction. I don't see how one set of laws would stop that.

For example, each nation already has a set of laws which all the people in each nation are supposed to follow. That one set of laws within each nation doesn't stop people from killing each other within that nation, so it certainly wouldn't inhibit people from killing others from outside that nation.

RE: "Peace can never be attained with mankind unless there is one source for morality. Do you agree?"

Total peace, or some sort of utopian peace is an ideal. An ideal isn't something which is, in reality, possible. (Ideal - a conception of something in its perfection.)

I don't think that total peace can ever be attained between men and that one source of morality would not ensure total peace either. Mankind is predisposed to compete as part of a natural survival response.

All the laws under the sun will not stop people from essentially trying to put either 1. themselves first. 2. their family first 3. their community first 4. their tribe first 5. their race first 6. their religious group first 7. or their political group first etc etc.

If you are trying to infer that if we all believed in god or if we all followed the same religion, that everything would be hunky dory, I see no evidence that peace would reign under this circumstance either.

Firstly, which god? (Most people who believe in a god/gods have different version of what their god wants everyone to do and nearly everything thinks they have the "right god/gods".)

Secondly, which religion? (Even if you manage through some sort of amazing feat to convince everyone to worship the same version of the same god; there are hundreds of religions which claim to be the one true religion which best expresses the will of the god.)

Thirdly, as it is people who claim to know what their god or gods want, how do you determine which people are capable of such a task? How do you know that the process would not be corrupted by human desire?

Therefore I would suggest that there cannot be "one source of morality" as this would require all people to think and be the same.

A nation or a world of clones who are biologically and psychologically programmed through some sort of genetic engineering so that they act, behave, think and feel as one unit would be one way theoretically, to achieve this and would signal the death knell of humankind as we know it.

So, I certainly wouldn't recommend this option.

It is only when people can be convinced that certain behaviours are mutually beneficent or mutally damaging, that there is some avenue through which to reason through the discord.

7/10/06 11:38 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

Peace can never be attained with mankind unless there is one source for morality.
How about "Do no harm"?
That covers all the bases quite nicely, I think.

8/10/06 7:38 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...


Do no harm sounds very reasonable, but how to put it into practice?

10/10/06 9:38 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

Do no harm sounds very reasonable, but how to put it into practice?
Well, the 1st trick, is not to overanalyze (that's a toughie - I do that too much as a rule myself).
More often than not, it's a simple rule of thumb - will this harm someone? How much? Negligible, or ruin their lives? Will the harm help, or snowball? Anyone's lives at stake - blood or bruising involved?
Calling someone a dorkknob - minimal at best. Accusing them of a horrendous crime unjustifiably - can ruin their lives.
Also, judge from intent - malice inferred can be malice incurred.
I'm streamlining it here, but oh do I so love Occam's razor.
"Love truth, and pardon error." - Voltaire.

12/10/06 8:46 am  

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