Comments on: Christian salvation and why it makes no sense. One atheist's thoughts on politics, religion, and philsophy Sat, 28 Mar 2015 21:28:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Dylan Walker Mon, 06 Aug 2012 06:57:00 +0000 I guess I find this an odd criticism. You act like I am unaware that Christians would disagree with me. The question is, if the disagreements are legitimate.

As an example, If I were to suggest that some behavior of fundamentalists Muslims, like forcing women to wear brukas or pouring acid on their faces is harmful to women, and is harmful to their rights. Those Muslims would tell me that they are doing those things to protect women. They believe it but they are wrong. I am well aware that most Christians would not listen to me, just as most atheists would not listen to you. That’s just how human nature works and is no indication about who is right.

Now, as to whether the practices count as some sort of “blood magic” that was indented to be hyperbole to some extent, but I have read the descriptions of how the sacrifices were preformed and I can’t really see any difference in the actual way the sacrifices were preformed vs. the way sacrifices were preformed in other cultures. If you think you can offer some significant difference between those two by all means.

I get the passages you bring, up, but as I pointed out, it was Hebrews that mentions the need for blood to atone.

By: Vocab Malone Sun, 05 Aug 2012 20:17:53 +0000 Dylan,

Many students of comparative religion, anthropologists, and sociologists *are* able to note the differences. Even as an atheist, you should realize how these things are studied – scholars are supposed to do their best to try and get inside the ancient person’s ‘thought world’ and ‘meta-narrative’ – they try to ‘live’ in the space that is their ‘conceptual framework’. When one does this, they will see the discontinuity the Hebrews had over and against other ANE peoples.

If you would like to learn more about this, I suggest ‘The Bible among the Myths’ by Dr John Oswalt (an OT/ANE expert). It helps the reader be more discerning about these things. Another helpful one is ‘Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible’ by John Walton.

If you don’t care about this, then you can go around critiquing the biblical view of sacrifice all you want but no informed Christian or Jewish person will listen to you. Why? Because you are not actually criticizing what they believe. Find one spot in the OT where you can find some version of ‘blood magic’!

An OT example is where Saul is told OBEDIENCE is better than sacrifice. An NT example is the whole book of Hebrews. But for a quick commentary on this, read Paul in Acts 17:25, where he tells the Greek philosophers “nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”

Still, you are right about one things: there is no such thing as sin with God.


PS – I look forward to our Skype debate. Perhaps we can meet up at Lux or Fair Trade in the flesh beforehand?

By: Dylan Walker Thu, 02 Aug 2012 02:15:27 +0000 That is a difference that makes very little difference to me. The concept of sin within Christianity is rooted in the assumptions that god is real, and that he cares about my actions. Paying the “penalty for sin” is just a form of currying favor with god. Since there is no such thing as sin without god.

It also doesn’t change the fact that christian soteriology is an extension of Jewish blood sacrifices. It doesn’t matter if you word it differently it still looks like blood magic. (and my experiences playing dragon age suggest that blood magic is bad) But seriously, if you read the descriptions of the ritualistic sacrifices ordered in the bible, Christians reading those in any other book would conclude the people doing that were part of some satanic death cult, somehow it gets a free pass in the bible.

I’ll go with Robert Ingersoll’s thoughts on this.

The doctrine that future happiness depends upon belief is monstrous. It is the infamy of infamies. The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called “faith.” What man, who ever thinks, can believe that blood can appease God? And yet, our entire system of religion is based upon that belief. The Jews pacified Jehovah with the blood of animals, and according to the Christian system, the blood of Jesus softened the heart of God a little, and rendered possible the salvation of a fortunate few. It is hard to conceive how the human mind can give assent to such terrible ideas, or how any sane man can read the Bible and still believe in the doctrine of inspiration. – Robert Ingersoll

By: Vocab Malone Thu, 02 Aug 2012 00:42:26 +0000 It was not to ‘gain favor’ but to pay the penalty for sin: death.