Is God Really THAT Full of Himself??

Doing some heavy reading today as I usually do and contemplating the failures of Christianity as a substantive religion to believe in, I came across a common complaint that non-Christians like to make:

So we have a God as defined by Christianity who’s sole reason for making the universe and us was to give His only Begotten Son a big backyard to play in and an earthfull of pet humans that Jesus could demand worship from for Himself and His Old Man under threat of eternal torment if we don’t comply with the “worship Us for all eternity–or else”.

I used to buy into this scenario as a young Christian but as an old Christian it started making less and less sense to me and now I just cannot see any rhyme or reason to it.

I did have a lightbulb moment listening to a Richard Carrier debate today when he pointed out that the likeliest explanation for the whole “Jesus died as atonement for our sins” thing came into sharp focus when he alluded that it wasn’t until AFTER the destruction of the temple in 70 AD that the Jesus-as-atonement really got into full swing, and it made perfect sense to me why it had to happen AFTER the destruction, not before:

Before the destruction of the temple animal sacrifice was still going on to atone for sins so there was no need for Jesus to assume an atonement role–the animal sacrifices took care of that. It wasn’t until after they had no temple to make animal sacrifices in that they had to find a different way to atone for their sins. Someone looked at Jesus’ crucifixion and said, "Hey why not make this Jesus guy a kind of perpetual sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, then we don’t need the temple anyway and we can just forget about all these animals we have to slaughter day after day to atone for our sins? Why are we wasting good meat, all these turtledoves we could be cooking and eating instead of burning them to a crisp and wasting?

So the brilliant idea comes into existence: we don’t have the temple anymore; there’s nothing we can do about that–the Romans won’t let us build another one; let’s just adopt the idea that Jesus is our perpetual sacrifice for everlasting atonement and bingo both problems–the problem of no temple and no way to sacrifice–is completely solved.

I suddenly comprehended a large part of the divine puzzle: God now has a reason to demand us to worship His Son–because His Son gave His life as a ransom for our sins as stated in Mark (written, conveniently AFTER the temple’s destruction) so now we owe Him the debt to believe in Him or face eternal death in hell.

Honestly, the whole concept is so ridiculous, slip-shod, so stupidly thought out it just screams “idiocy”.

Why can’t we just have a God who created the heavens and the earth, set natural laws into motion to govern things, put us on this earth to start a growing process spiritually that is just the first step in an eternity-long program to grow towards Oneness with God.

So much simpler, don’t you think?

Because such a God is psychopathically evil. Billions of people have lived horrendous lives and experienced unendurable cruelty as a result of this “growing process”. Any God with any commonality at all with the Judae-Christian God must have *known *that would be the result. But he did it anyway, for no better reason than he wants other people hundreds of thousands of years later to become “one” with him, whatever that means.

The act is evil beyond all reason. It’s like throwing a puppy onto an ant heap, and then sitting back and watching it get devoured alive, only a trillion times worse. The fact that the person who engineered this didn’t directly control the ants, just “set natural laws into motion” doesn’t make them any less psychopathically evil. If the sole payoff is that the person who did this was going to do something nice to one of the puppies distant nephews, that makes the person even more evil and insane.

It doesn’t matter how you slice it, the problem of evil remains. Traditional Christians try to temper it by saying that, while God fucked up and his mistake led to billions of people suffering unspeakable horrors, he at least has enough love that he is prepared to watch someone he actually cares about suffer to correct the problem and ensure all that suffering is compensated.

That God is a sick, insane individual. Your God is simpler but just as sick. He is responding to his fuck up with depraved indifference rather than some Insane Troll Logic where he sacrifices himself to himself so he can change his own mind about torturing us all forever after we die, but he is just as evil and incomprehensibly insane.

That’s why we can’t have such a God. If he does exist, he isn’t worthy of worship.

far as i can tell, yep, the whole thing screams “idiocy”.

but i reasoned a while ago that the only thing that should drive disbelief in this whole farce is simply that there is no (good) evidence, and the arguments are just philosophically and logically silly.

to my mind, any other arguments about what real god(s) could, would or should do are also just question begging from the atheist as well. as soon as you posit “a* real* god would… X/Y/Z” you’ve just begged it. best not to even try and unravel the centuries of bullshit. just ask yourself whether it’s even worth thinking about. the answer should be “no” unless purely for sport.

Not the answer you will want but the actual answer is we don’t know and never shall:

[Job 38:1-4] Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
"Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.

Wouldn’t that imply though that animal sacrifice is still available as a path to God apart from Jesus?

That aside, I don’t see what’s so self-centered about all that. Assuming the existence of a God of such nature as described by some of those who believe, such a God would be worthy of that praise - and much more, really, considering the infinite nature of most positive attributes. If anything, God would be humble in creating inhabitants of a universe utterly incapable of praising him to the degree that is deserved.

Even simpler yet, and a better fit to the facts as we know them, is to not have a god at all.

I forgot to mention that the OP’s theory about animal sacrifice is totally wrong. The Pauline epistles make it clear all that sort of stuff is over and done with and they were written before the destruction of the temple.

Here’s the thing, though: we’re talking about a (hypothetical) being that is profoundly removed from our understanding or comprehension. It’d be quite surprising if we could a) figure out this being’s motives, and b) relate to them in any way. So, both “God made us to worship him” and “God made us to help us grow spiritually” are total stabs in the dark, neither more valid than the other.

First, define God

Here goes:

We are God’s children and as one with God as Jesus on one with God and the Father. We have the exact same spirit, the Holy Spirit, the exact same inheritance rights as sons and daughters of God. We have the exact same authority as Jesus.

So by glorifying God we are glorifying each other and ourselves, this is part of the Glory God wants for him/herself, for His children to be one with Him.

The Trinity concept scripturally consists of 4 parts, the church (group of believers - not religious building) is the forth, combined as one through the marriage of with the lamb becomes one.

Just remember, God loves you and wants what is best for you. But we cannot know the mind of God.

I think a god’s moral reasoning should be comprehensible to humans. How else could he be a moral authority? Humans are often compared to children, or even sheep. In that case human morality is operating out of sheer self preservation to avoid punishment for crimes they can’t ever understand. How enlightening.

The Abrahamic God is emotional. I’d think God almighty would be above such base impulses as vengeance and jealousy. God made humans in his image, and we’re assholes, so maybe it makes sense.

As for the problem of evil with monotheism, it’s interesting how much Christians have fanwanked and wrote fix it fan-fics propping up Satan as an equivalent God of Evil. May as well convert to Zoroastrianism or write some new books because in actual Christianity the devil is a bum who God could destroy at any time. He’s just waiting a couple thousand years for fun.

My favorite offshoot was how the Cathars believed the physical world was an evil place created by Satan, and the Catholics were dead set on proving them right.

I think the ancients had it right with the squabbling pantheons of gods embroiled in politics, family feuds, backstabbing, and celestial bureaucracy. That explains a lot about the state of the world.

There’s been a couple threads lately with people struggling to find meaning in the universe. This is the kind of thing they look for, but I don’t know why. It doesn’t sound that appealing to me. And it brings up more questions. Why did God make humans? What’s the point of trying to educate us? Why make us ignorant? What happens then, we just float around in a Zen state? What was the point of Earth? Was God bored? Was it on a whim? For da lulz?

because God can’t count?

Not to mention Jesus’s birth year fiasco.

My understanding is that God desires reconciliation and relationship with humankind not out of unsatisfied ego, but out of love. God doesn’t need our worship (or anything else from us) but God desires for us what we were created for - to exist with him in love. Worship and adoration is a natural (and inevitable) outcome of our knowing God.

In other words God doesn’t have an insatiable desire to be worshiped; but out of love for us God has a powerful desire for us to be completely fulfilled with abundant life. God’s not a tyrant who demands obedience under threat of punishment but a loving parent who eagerly awaits reconciliation with a rebellious child.

ETA: By the way, contrary to the assertion in the OP, most scholars place the authorship of Mark well before the destruction of the temple.

The concept of permanent suffering and punishment in Hell seems to conflict with this.

If you believe in that concept of Hell, which is debatable on Biblical grounds and not universally shared throughout modern nor historic Christianity.

What is an artist without an audience?

Reconceptualize God as a sense of self, or as a larger event that we individual humans are a part of, not separate from. God’s reason for making the universe is for God’s enjoying of having made the universe, it’s a recreational activity, it’s fun! God doesn’t demand worship or otherwise need jack shit from us. We, on the other hand, benefit from the better understandings of things that come from realizing that we are all God in disguise, that our lives and the larger ongoing existence of the universe is God having fun, and that our individual lives are not all there is, they’re just the little local consciousness of our individual selves, something that is quite real, by the way (not an illusion as certain western portrayals of certain eastern religions designate it) but which is not all that we are.

God isn’t making people suffer. We’re all God in disguise, hence we are not separate entities acted upon by God, nor is the creator of all this (including the current messy state thereof) some entity separate from us who “did this to us”. It’s all the same Self, under the hood. Enjoy the enjoyable parts of being an individual, but don’t get so immersed in it that you can’t transcend/remember that you aren’t only an individual. You are plural; you are even superplural, all-encompassing.

(May I presume it’s obvious I’m not a Christian?)

Grok it, water brother!

#2: Evil has always been a tough one for people of any kind of faith to give a rational explanation for. But the idea that nothing just threw this universe together in the precise order it evolved from is even tougher to explain, much less accept. There is a God out there guiding all this; I think just the fact that there have been no human extinction events that have occurred while man has been on earth helps to confirm this. What His long-term plan is after the sun burns out in a few billion years I have no idea. But there’s just too much order in the universe for all this to be a random event.

#3: idiocy as far as the Christian dogma goes

#4 As soon as you inject scripture into the discussion the point is lost. I think this particular verse merely tries to pose the question of God asking “How do you explain me” but the second a person sets up the premise that God communicates with man (which He doesn’t–never has, even to the false belief He sent His divine Son to earth to die for us) the whole point is lost.

#5 We have to examine just exactly how this business of sacrifice to appease the gods came about. The command for Hebrews to sacrifice didn’t come from any deity named Yahweh; it was just a carryover from what ancient civilizations in all parts of the world have been doing since men climbed out of the trees and started walking the savannah. Primitives believed that killing someone would appease the wrath of the gods. How is the Hebrew version of this philosophy any different except the Hebrews started substituting animals for humans (except in the time of Molech and Ezekiel). Jesus as a human sacrifice to the gods to appease their wrath and anger towards us is just a souped-up version of something that has been around for the last 100 million years. **It is Dumfounding that in this day and age otherwise intelligent civilized people still believe in this premise because of the influence of Christianity. **

#6 There has to be something to explain how we got here. “It just happened” just doesn’t cut it to any rational-thinking individual unless they think they can keep tossing the parts of a model airplane into the air and assume that eventually it will fall assembled.

#7 This would be a problem if we could know with certainty when the epistles were written. Dating the epistles is problematic at best; impossible at worst if we’re trying to get them to before the destruction of the temple. Then there is the problem that half of them are proven forgeries. But if we take just one line, “Jesus Christ and him crucified for the forgiveness of sins” from Romans we still have an idea borrowed from pagan rituals dating back to the dawn of civilization that, as far as applying this idea of atonement to appease the wrath of God to Jesus, is still in its embryonic form and has less that 5 years or so (having been written circa 65 CE) to catch on to the whole Christian network before the temple is destroyed. Such a thing would be utterly impossible; to throw out this ridiculous concept Jesus died for us to a handful of followers and then expect the idea to explode all over the empire before Jerusalem gets sacked. Once Jerusalem was razed in 70 AD now it becomes a “necessity is the mother of invention” situation; now this handful of Christians need something, someone–anything to put this belief that God needs to have His anger appeased so we have to make some sort of sacrifice to Him. And that’s where this Jesus of Nazareth legend so beautifully fills the bill. Thus, over the next couple of centuries AFTER THE FALL OF THE TEMPLE the dogma of Jesus being a sacrifice for the sins of mankind slowly starts to dominate Christian thinking with Tertullian, Augustine, Eusebius, Origen and the rest of those Christian fruitcakes until it reaches Constantine and the whole bloody mess really takes off.