Now, as far as I know about Christianity, God actually sent Jesus to Earth to 'reconnect" humanity with God and for him to die for their sins. Why would God become human? Aren’t humans the ones he’s ruling over? For something as powerful as God or whatever created the Universe, I just don’t get it.
So, then, you’re not impressed?
Relax Jon, I don’t think Karralen here is cut from the same cloth as our dear departed lolo.
Good Lord, at least I hope not.
Karralen, it’s really rather simple. Kind of a “when in Rome, do as the Romans thing”. I’m going to personify God too much here, but just think: What you would do if you were Him?
You have a message you want people to hear. You could use a booming voice from the clouds. It would scare the f*ck out of everyone and cause mass pandemonium, but they’d sure as Hell listen. However, the terror caused would be counter-productive to the message you want them to hear. You could use a burning bush (shoot, it worked the first time), but flaming shruberry is a little too enigmatic. Who wants to pray to an azalea anyway?
In terms of marketing, what you need is an agent. Somebody to walk among the people and convince them on a one on one basis. Somebody to talk to them, to teach them in the language of these pitiful hairless apes.
And if you want a job done right, you do it yourself.
That was exactly my own contention for so many years. It’s almost like I’m seeing myself post when I was younger. I don’t know whether my answer will satisfy you (or anyone else), but I’ll offer it just in case.
I think it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the universe. Its sheer physical size and scope, compared to our own, diminishes us into near insignificance. Galaxies numbering in the billions (or more) composed themselves of billions (or more) stars, planets, and dust clouds define an expanse so vast that it is nearly incomprehensible to us. If everything matters equally, then our mattering potential is a teensy fraction of the whole.
On the other hand, what I’ve noticed about the universe from my perspective (and you might notice from yours) is that it serves my purposes. I use its atoms every day of my life. What I have found to be important to me is what is around me: the people I meet, my home and place of work, the Straight Dope message board, and the places I travel to.
Galaxy NGC5195, for example, just doesn’t seem significant to me. I can see where it might be significant to the astronomer who discovers or studies it, but in that case, the significance of the galaxy is still measured in the context of the astronomer’s consciousness and experience, and not in any intrinsic quality of the galaxy itself.
In fact, without the human perceptions expressed in your opening post — of wonder, of awe, of incredulity — over the power of a Being that might have created all this, it would all be just stuff without significance of any kind. Without man, the universe is just an electromagnetic convulsion in a suspension of gravity. It means nothing and is not impressive because there is no consciousness from which impressions arise.
Therefore, what about the universe is significant depends entirely upon for what purpose God created it. If (as I believe) it is to serve as scenery on the stage of our moral journey, then its significance is measured entirely by our interaction with it. The atoms that are significant are the ones around you, the ones that come together to form the homeless old lady standing beside you on the sidewalk. Those atoms are given significance when you make your moral decision about how you will interact with her, whether you will help her, ignore her, or harm her.
Even Galaxy NGC5195 becomes significant if from it you make a moral decision, whether as an atheist you decide to share its interest and beauty with someone you love or as a theist you decide to witness that it is testimony to God’s great power.
So, if the universe is merely a mis-en-scene (or backdrop) intended to give context to our moral journey, then what is really significant is we ourselves. Scenery can be easily made, destroyed, and remade, but the actors in the play are the ones who will speak the lines, who will give the play significance, who will bring laughter and tears from the audience.
Likewise, so are we here. If God created the universe for the purpose of our walking along a moral journey whose destination is ultimately a meeting with Him, and if He created us in His own likeness (that is, having an essence that is spiritual), then it makes sense to me that He would become a “slob like one of us” and walk the journey Himself.
The way I see it is that God is the producer of the play. We write it ourselves. Our moral decisions are about who will direct it. Our roles are the actions that proceed from that direction. I see the life of Jesus as a play that God produces, writes, directs, and plays in. It is an open casting, and all are welcome.
This won’t mean anything to everybody, and might mean nothing to anybody. And I expect that Gaudere could write herself some lines to find flaws in the analogy. This is just how I see it, and even if it doesn’t convince you of anything, at least maybe it will help you to understand one point of view that does indeed “get it”.
But did God intend to create an entire new religion? If it's God, wouldn't he realize that this would create more differences of opinion about what God really is?
If you presume that God is interested in a personal relationship with the free-thinking entities which He created, then it becomes clear why He chose to do what He did.
Obviously, if you were made omnipotent, you could order any beautiful woman in the world to wait on you hand and foot and make love to you whenever you wished. And she would do it; she’d have no choice.
What you could not make her do is love you. Because to love is at rock bottom a matter of choice, a decision to care for another regardless of his or her faults and limitations.
The God depicted in Scripture certainly could mandate belief in Him as an existing omnipotent and omniscient entity. But that’s not what He’s after from us.
He wants our love. He wants our freely given allegiance to Him and to His plan – because we know Him and know His goodness.
And you don’t get that by scaring Hell out of people (and I meant that literally).
Assuming that God created humanity and human emotion, why wouldn’t God simply create people that love?
My gawd, do you ever sound like a drone.
It seems that freewill doesn’t get along with omniscience, which is one of the attributes given to god by Christianity.
Perhaps all is not as it seems. Freewill gets along fine with omniscience. Care to start a new thread about your tangent?
Correcting first the notion that God’s love is an emotion, please understand that it is in fact a metaphysical state; that is to say, it is the stuff that God is made of — it is His nature. But to answer your broader question, love without free choice is like a rape of the soul.
Are you suggesting that if God had made people love, then they would not have a choice of whether or not to love Him???
Huh? Did you mean to somehow qualify “create people that love”? Because if you didn’t, then He already did what you ask. People can and do love. And there are some who love Him, and some who don’t.
What did you mean by “Assuming that God created humanity and human emotion…” as a dependent clause with your point about “love”? (Bolding mine.)
This deals with your use of saying Jesus was used to reconnect us with God. That in essence is true, but this is a little more descriptive. Our sins had to be punished for us to exist with God. Someone had to die. The scriptures surrounding the ones I quoted mention this a bit better. But if you truly seek it, I’ll leave that up to you to read.
Romans 3:25-26 “…in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Humans have no problem loving. People love money, fancy cars, nice clothes, and sweet wine. But people tend to have a harder time loving their neighbors. And this–loving humanity–is akin to loving God.
How you choose to prioritize love is where free will comes in. If God had created us to be loving as opposed to simply having the ability to love, then we’d still be living it up in the Garden of Eden.
In regards to the OP, why did God come to us in the form a man? Well, why not? The coming-down-on-a-lightning-bolt thing would have made for a cool laser show, but it would have been so predictable. More seriously, maybe by appearing to us in human form rather than supernatural form, God’s telling us we can’t use our being human as an excuse for doing wrong. You know, since He’s been there, done that.
Negative comments that add absolutely nothing to the thread make baby Jesus cry.
*Originally posted by monstro *
He’s been there, done that.
He’s [God’s] been there [human], done that [human]. Don’t know how to make that comment much clearer. Sorry.
God could have done a wide number of things aside from those that are reported in the Bible. The question, I would think, is what He did do (on the presumption of reasonable accuracy in the Gospel accounts) and why.
That was the question I attempted to answer. Of course He could line up a few thousand stars to say Bow down to me and worship me in banner headline Times New Roman. But He chose to become a human baby, who would grow up to teach His will, die, and rise again in token of new life available to all.
It’s been the contention of Christianity since the first evidences we have that He did this out of compassion for humanity, to become one of us that we might become like Him. The song, “What if God were one of us” might help illustrate the point here.
If you care to speculate about what God could have done, fine, but it’s a great deal like contemplating the lifestyles of antlions if aardvarks had wings and tusks – fun intellectual exercise, but without any real point.
That is always good advice…for someone who didn’t build Rome…from the quark up.
I have asked myself that same question, thus the problem.
Why not a soothing, personal message placed in each of our brains when we turn 18? That would work a little better, promote a single religion, and create a little less strife in the world.
Is becoming a human in an ancient time (e.g., before recordable media) really the best way to talk to us? Seems a little ham-handed for an omnipotent being. You have to make sure those guys writing things down 70 years later don’t make any mistakes.
And what’s wrong with personal communications with everyone? Or perhaps an updated appearance every now and then? Is pandemonium really that difficult of an obstacle for God to overcome? He couldn’t communicate effectively and quickly enough before panic set in so as to avoid the panic?
Admittedly, the whole “sacrifice of Jesus” thing makes good sense if you view it from the perspective of a migrant sheep herder listening to the stories of other migrant sheep herders telling stories about how their tribe is the number one tribe.
But the whole sacrifice thing seems so, well, silly, if you view it from the perspective of an omnipotent god.
After all, surely God could have created the universe in such a way so as not to have HAD to send an agent in the first place, much less an agent who would have to suffer and die to save everyone. The only way to accept the concept that Jesus’ suffering was required is to accept that, if the all-knowing and all-good God were going to create a world, He had no choice but to create a world which was so inherently flawed as to require the sending of Jesus eventually. But what then of God’s omnipotence? What outside, non-Godly restriction limited Him in this way?
And free will ain’t the answer. After all, if God has free will, and yet, over an eternity of choices, He never chooses to do evil, not even once, then certainly free will is not enough to justify the existence of suffering. There must be something different about us that makes us susceptible to evil, something that He put in us or left out of us, presumably on purpose, something other than free will, and this other something apparently required Jesus to be sent. What is that something?