An Absurd Sacrifice
It’s time to revoke the essential premise of biblical creationism. I trust I have gone far enough in the allowance of the Christian hypothesis that I must make my return to the realm of truism. But for the sake of argument I shall still grant that Jesus did exist, that he was the son of God (or God incarnate), and that the crucifixion did occur; and then we shall begin to see more clearly the embarrassing absurdity of the whole story upon which the credibility of the entire Christian doctrine hangs.
- We are led to believe that the sacrifice was so great that it should demand our attention. After all, all of mankind was supposedly at stake on this occasion. But the sacrifice pales in comparison to so many other kinds of human suffering, which makes it altogether unimpressive. A few hours on the cross compared to a lifetime of poverty? Or to years of cancer? Apart from the fact that Jesus was the son of God, his sacrifice was in fact rather insignificant and unimposing.
- The irony of it all is that Jesus didn’t even die (per se). The sacrifice was hardly permanent; therefore, its worth was owing not to the virtue of a heroic death but only to the degree of the suffering actually inflicted, which we have above dismissed as quite insignificant. On the third day Jesus resurrected and returned to his throne in heaven, supposedly as proof of his being the son of God. (In retrospect we should take more seriously the historical claims of other recorded resurrections; perhaps God had other sons and daughters around the world too that we should be wary of.)
- If God wanted to show how much he loved and cared for his “children” on earth, he wouldn’t send his own child down to suffer and die as an example of his good intentions. We would expect him to show a kind act, not a horrendous one. Some people would be appalled by such a story as that of a father sending his son to die for reasons and conditions he himself invented. To even think that this is good fatherly behaviour should be an insult to fathers all around the world!
- The sacrifice was altogether unnecessary. It would be so easy to name an alternative that wasn’t so horrendously primitive as human sacrifice — or perhaps one that is at least twice more convincing! It raises the question as to how sincerely God truly feels about us being allowed to enter into his Kingdom of Heaven. Given the lack of evidence that such an occasion ever occurred (second-hand accounts of 2000-year-old eye-witness accounts of illiterate and superstitious people hardly counts as convincing evidence, to say the very least), and given that there are thousands of myths of this type that we could instead be believing in, it is as though God has set us up to fail, rather than to succeed.
- God could have judged us with or without the sacrifice, for he is omniscient and omnipotent. In all honesty this method has worked years before Jesus came to visit Earth, and I presume would work just as well afterwards (and the fact that God needed to revise his plan does say something about his alleged omniscience!). Jesus could have lived and be remembered by history for his deeds and not his sacrifice. We could be judged to the extent of our good deeds which would make a lot more sense, even granted that we are imperfect beings. To strive to be “like-Christ” does not require that Christ had to die a gruesome death. The sacrifice was therefore more eschatological than it was ever essentially a moral act.
- Adding insult to injury, the Tower of Babel has made it impossibly unlikely that people would ever come to know Christ within their lifetimes, which means that the majority of people will presumably be going to hell on sheer account of their ignorance. If hell is not the default destination for these people, then the sacrifice itself is reduced to a local event, for it no longer affects all of humanity but only those who are accustomed to the story. Therefore, a missionary who goes abroad to evangelise is simply doing these unwary men a disservice by opening them to the high likelihood of being sent to hell on account of being now in possession of such dangerous knowledge.
- If it were a method of atonement for our sins then we may ask of the fate of those who lived before Christ. Before the Christian hell was invented in the New Testament, what was the fate of those sinners who died? If their souls weren’t transported to hell, since the concept of eternal damnation was then nigh nonexistent, we may consider Christ’s appearance as a curse and hardly a blessing, for with him eternal suffering became a valid condition!
- According to popular theology, we are in the first degree sinful because Adam and Eve were sinful; but since the literal story of Genesis is obviously nonsensical (see evolution), the sacrifice was actually pointless in this regard. And even if Adam and Eve did exist and they did sin, the idea that we should inherit their faults on sole account of being related to them is no less absurd. It is like holding an unwitting child answerable for the crimes of his great-great-great grandparents, and further saying that his punishment for being born to this world should be as severe as death and eternal suffering!
Just as well that the whole story was fabricated from Pagan sources, because it makes no sense. Just as well that there is no good evidence to suggest that Jesus ever existed, because his impendent torture and death would also have made no sense. Just as well that Christianity is untrue, because if it were true we would not singly, but doubly, be condemned: first to an absurdly ridiculous doctrine which we must accept as factual, and second to a pointlessly cruel fate that is either an eternity of untold suffering, or that of servile submission to an absurd lawmaker (which, in terms of pains inflicted, would still amount to a competitive equivalence of the former verdict)!