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Jesus' Suicide

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Mr. P

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Jesus' Suicide

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Just a thought...Did Jesus actually commit suicide through the agency of others? He knew it was coming and allowed it to happen...and he thought that his death would bring about a betterment of the human condition...Is that not a conscious decision to end life because he felt that by his dying things would be better off for everyone else?Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy PiperEdited by: misterpessimistic  at: 11/17/05 11:01 am
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Re: Jesus' Suicide

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To start with I don't believe in a God so I don't believe Jesus was anything but a man. He was probably a charismatic guy, or quite possibly a complete nut job. No matter what I would gamble my very life, with no reservations, that he performed no miracles, died a horrible death, and didn't rise from the dead.With that said Nick brings up an excellent question. Let's assume God exists and that Jesus was really his son. I've thought about this before, but never articulated my position. But God sure must be a bastard to kill his only son.Think about it folks. If a father today consciously did anything that would directly or indirectly lead to the death of his son he would find himself either behind bars for life or on Death Row. This is premeditated killing isn't it? How horrific. A father is supposed to love his son and be willing to give his own life to save the life of this son. For God to purposely send his own son somewhere to be executed for something that the son obviously didn't do is criminal and pure evil.Mad, you're right that this depends on whether or not Jesus knew what was to happen to him. And from the Bible it doesn't appear that he did - unless you know differently. So let's assume he didn't know. You can't commit suicide unless you intentionally take your own life.This stuff has always confused me, and it apparently confuses just about everyone else too. Some say God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one in the same, while others argue that they are three separate and unique entities. What is your opinion Mad? Nick, I think I know your opinion. Chris Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 11/17/05 2:29 pm
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Re: Jesus' Suicide

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Okay, yes, I realize that this is a facetious thread, and yes, I realize that this is probably going to end up being counter-productive, but I'm going to say it anyway: That whole argument depends on the assumption that Jesus knew about his own death in advance.
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Re: Jesus' Suicide

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So Jesus KNEW that he would be betrayed by Judas, but knew nothing of the consequences of that?Jesus, as far as I know, is presumed to know all. And if he is the same as the Father and the Holy spirit, saying he did not know seems to contradict much...but this is Christianity we are talking about...contradictions are glossed over.Of course Jesus was just a man...and this thread was started as a side thought...but if the Christian moral code is based on these myths, then suicide should not be looked down on so. And Chris...the fact that a father would send his only 'son' to a place only to be killed is absolute insanity...it is nice to see how we have grown from these sad, un-enlightened times.Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: Jesus' Suicide

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For starters, if we're going to seriously discuss this, how about we move this thread to the religion forum?Secondly, if we are going to seriously discuss it, then I hope that everyone will at least try to avoid making it an argument solely about why people shouldn't believe at all. If your basic position is atheist, that's fine, and you can express that. But there aren't very many practicing Christians at BookTalk, so you won't really be swaying much of anyone by arguing at length against the religion. That said, I'm not going to be a hardass about it, so say what you want.Chris OConnor: Let's assume God exists and that Jesus was really his son. I've thought about this before, but never articulated my position. But God sure must be a bastard to kill his only son.If you're really elbow-deep in Christian theology, it's a little more complicated than that. Jesus isn't God's son in the way that Athene is Zeus' daughter. Jesus is also the incarnation of God. Depending on your place in Christian thought, you may also believe that the whole terminology of Jesus being the "son" is more symbollic than literal, emphasizing the half-mortal aspect of the Christ. The Gospels aren't really in agreement on this point, so far as I know: only in John does Jesus really cop to being the Son of God -- in all the others the passage reads "Son of Man".Beyond those considerations, I think most Christians would deal with the question in one of two ways. If they're the kind that is willing to pragmattically brush aside moral complications like that, they'll say that the sacrafice was acceptable because it was necessary to secure the salvation of all humans, but they'll likely add that it upset God a great deal. I think that's a pretty simplistic attitude, but that's the gist of what I've heard from some quarters. On the other hand, if they're the kind to really plow through a text and try to sort out the difficulties that arise from that sort of consideration, I think they're likely to emphasize the voluntaristic aspects of the passion -- yes, God allowed Jesus to die, but as Mr. P pointed out, Jesus submitted to being captured and killed. That, of course, falls in line with the view that Jesus was omniscient and knew that he would be crucified.Mad, you're right that this depends on whether or not Jesus knew what was to happen to him. And from the Bible it doesn't appear that he did - unless you know differently.The orthodox view is that he did know, which follows more or less from the view that Jesus was God incarnate, and therefore at least partially omniscient. Having read some biographical information informed by source criticism, I tend towards the following views:1) that there probably was a Jesus more or less like the one described in the Bible -- at any rate, I don't see much logical reason to deny it;2) that Jesus was a religious reformer with doctrines more or less in line with the prophetic traditions of Judaism, but departing in certain critical ways;3) that Jesus probably came to the conclusion, during the course of his ministry, that he was either a) the Judaic Messiah, or b) paving the way for the Messiah; and4) that Jesus deliberately exposed himself to capture and trial in Jerusalem.That still leaves somewhat open the question of whether or not he knew that he was going to end up getting killed. I don't think he was certifiable by any means, so I'd say he likely knew it was a possibility. In fact, I'd say that a truthful picture of the figure of a historical Jesus would probably find him overwhelmed with doubt and struggling to decide what actions were most in line with the reform he was preaching, and struggling even more to take those actions. If that's the case, I'd say he probably considered ignomious death a definite possibility. He may have held out hope that the Roman prelates would find him innocent, or that God would intervene at the last moment. More likely, he may have assumed that the Jewish people would petition to have him released, a right they had according to the terms of their honarary status in Roman society. But there's strong enough a realist vein in Jesus' teachings that I suspect he knew that death was as likely as anything else.Some say God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one in the same, while others argue that they are three separate and unique entities.Catholic doctrine, so far as I know, is that they are a triune entity. That is to say, that they're all aspects of the same God. That's a Pauline doctrine, though, and not to be found in the Gospels themselves. Protestantism wavers a bit, so that you're likely to find people who adhere to the triune doctring and those who don't. Part of the reason for that, I'd say, is that Protestantism lacks the enduring connection to an intellectual theological tradition that you find with Catholicism. Although you guys would probably scoff at the suggestion, Protestantism has much more to do with the Enlightenment traditions of equality than it does with the scolastic traditions that have guided Catholicism.Even assuming that Jesus believed himself to be the Christ, it isn't certain that he believed himself to be God incarnate, or even a relative of God's. There's a long tradition of saviors in Judaism, and absolutely none of them could claim to be a direct descendent of God -- that's an idea that was previously foreign to the rigorous monotheism of Christianity.
GOD defiles Reason

Re: Jesus' Suicide

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When did Christianity begin? I thought it was a schism that began during or soon after Jesus' time.
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Re: Jesus' Suicide

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misterpessimistic: So Jesus KNEW that he would be betrayed by Judas, but knew nothing of the consequences of that?Well, there's two different questions involved here. Even if you accept as an a priori consideration, as most of us will, that the supposed omniscience of Jesus was a later addition to the actual doctrine of the first Christians, it's of some interest to ask what the actual historical figure of Jesus would have thought of suicide. So one question is, what was Jesus' position on suicide, and how did it play into the events that precipitated his death? And the other question is, given the supernatural layers that are a part of Christian doctrine, is Jesus' supposed omniscience liable to draw the passion into contradiction with the moral precepts of Christianity? And the answers to those two questions may be worlds apart. We may not even be able to limit it to two answers, because doctrine varies so much within the larger category of Christianity.And Chris...the fact that a father would send his only 'son' to a place only to be killed is absolute insanity...it is nice to see how we have grown from these sad, un-enlightened times.Father's send their sons off to war all the time, and for far lesser aims than the redemption of all humanity.GOD defiles Reason: When did Christianity begin? I thought it was a schism that began during or soon after Jesus' time.My knowledge of the matter is that a relatively unformed early Christianity floated around for a decade or so after Jesus' death, tolerated by Rome under the assumption that it was a sect of Judaism. When it became clear that the doctrines of the young religion distinguished it from Judaism, Rome outlawed it. By that time, it was widespread enough to evade total supression, and the added pressure of Roman persecution added further impetus for the formation of a more definitibely articulated doctrine. At some later point -- I'm not sure how much later -- several churches convened at Nicea and hashed out a more or less official form of Christianity, which is where we really see it start to take off as a single institution.That's about the extent of my sketchy knowledge of the early church, but it's a topic that I'm interested in exploring in more depth. I know of two or three reputable histories of Christianity -- if anyone else is interested, I'll post them as suggestions for upcoming quarterly suggestions. Or if you're not interested in getting that involved in the subject, remind me and I'll try to post a brief synopsis once I've actually gotten around to reading a full history.
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Re: Jesus' Suicide

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Quote:Mad: I know of two or three reputable histories of Christianity -- if anyone else is interested, I'll post them as suggestions for upcoming quarterly suggestions. Or if you're not interested in getting that involved in the subject, remind me and I'll try to post a brief synopsis once I've actually gotten around to reading a full history.I'd be interested. How much trouble would it be for you to set up a study guide for the New Testement similar to what you did for the Old? Perhaps a briefer version.And if that weren't enough, I want to learn more about philosophy, the great or pretty damn good philosophers. What's my best start? What are some essential writings? What are the must reads?
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Re: Jesus' Suicide

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Geez. I like your enthusiasm.I'll look around and figure out which title would be most accessible as a suggested reading on Christian history. I've got a few in mind, but some of them may be a little more in depth than we'd like for a group reading. I'll try to make the post in the suggestion thread before Thanksgiving. We're probably a minority on wanting to read more on that, but who knows? Maybe we'll strike a nerve. If nothing else, knowing Church history will allow the atheists on the site more ammunition for debating the fundies.I could definitely organize a New Testament reading, and we could probably breeze through that at a much quicker clip, but I think we'd miss a lot if we didn't have the Old Testament as a background. I'd like to tackle that again some time, but I won't bother unless I can be sure that there will be enough involvement to justify all the work I put into it (weekly library trips, reading about 4x as much material as other contributers, synthesizing the material for introductory posts, etc).Philosophy may be an even tougher nut to crack. I think it's more or less essential to start with the Greeks, as they set the tone and asked the question that would drive the whole of Western philosophy. But you may be better off starting with a synthesis. Let me think it over and I'll get back to you on that. If there's enough interest, maybe we can start some sort of organized reading.
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Re: Jesus' Suicide

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Hey, Mad. Before you get the wrong idea. I'm in the process of "gathering my things" before I head out. So don't go thru the trouble expecting me to be part of a discussion. There's shit that I want to learn about. I'm just looking for the best ways and the best tools.
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