Hitchens on Why He Doesn't Accept Christianity





Thanks to Ryan Atkinson on My Space for this.

9 comments:

Corin's Dad said...

I watched the full debate that this was taken from. The man is a picture of eloquence.

richdurrant said...

Thanks for the links John.

The thing that strikes me first is that human sacrifice was needed for atoning of sin. While it is true that Jesus was crucified, His death was not the act that atoned for sin. That was accomplished in the garden of Gethsemane. It was necessary for Jesus to die so that he could be resurrected. These two acts together are meant to overcome spiritual and physical death.

Next, I find it interesting that the original sin doctrine survives the atonement. If in fact you believe that the atonement washes clean, or overcomes, or whatever term you prefer, sin, how does the original sin escape? Why does the atonement not cover this sin? Doesn't that also mean that we could be accountable for other peoples sins also? I'm sure there are explanations for this, but I haven't heard a convincing one yet.

Evan said...

The thing that strikes me first is that human sacrifice was needed for atoning of sin. While it is true that Jesus was crucified, His death was not the act that atoned for sin. That was accomplished in the garden of Gethsemane. It was necessary for Jesus to die so that he could be resurrected. These two acts together are meant to overcome spiritual and physical death.

First -- do you really believe this?

Second -- I believe this is only an LDS teaching and not one that is present in most Christian churches/heresies.

Third -- do you really believe this????

richdurrant said...

First -- do you really believe this?

A. Yes

Second -- I believe this is only an LDS teaching and not one that is present in most Christian churches/heresies.

B. I am LDS so that would be where that came from, and I like being a heretic thank you.

And C. What was the whole garden thing then?

Bloviator said...

Jeez Rich, sometimes I can't quite figure out if you are a believer or not. I guess the LDS is that different, huh? Well, at least you get some spelled-out bennies in the end, like ruling over your own planet and such. I'd like the ice cream planet myself;}

Evan said...

So seriously -- sweating blood atones better than a death how?

Former_Fundy said...

The aspect of vicarious atonement and its complete lack of justice is what convinced me finally of the untruth of evangelical christianity. That was after earning a Ph.D. in Theology and teaching in a Bible college for 9 years. I have read every explanation of the atonement that I could find and no one has ever answered how the innocent being punished in the place of the guilty could justify the guilty. It runs cross grain to everything we know about justice.

Bloviator said...

FF, the answer is obvious (and I'm sure you know this already): in most ancient cultures there developed a tradition of the scapegoat, often an animal, and later a human, who would have all the evil and "sin" of the tribe placed on him, and then he/she/it was driven away or killed, thereby cleansing the people and diverting the wrath of their particular god/gods. It is a very old shamanistic practice and although I have no source material at hand (Lee R, I believe you study this, so do you have any thoughts?), I believe archaeologists have found instances that date back about 50,000 years.

So, here comes Jesus, the scapegoat and sacrificial lamb, now removing the evil from not just the tribe, but the world. Very understandable from a psychological standpoint. Of course it is complete rubbish in terms of efficacy, but there you go.

richdurrant said...

So seriously -- sweating blood atones better than a death how?

Sweating blood was the result of taking the sins of the world upon him. Christ began his atoning sacrifice for our sins in the garden and finished that atonement on the cross. I guess until recently I didn't realize just how differently the LDS doctrine of the atonement is. Christ went into the Garden to pray and that is where he asked for he "cup" to be passed from him if that were possible, but he submitted to the will of the father. I find it rather interesting that the four gospel accounts barely mention this part of the sacrifice as though it would appear meaningless. What else but suffering for the sins of the world would have caused Him to sweat blood? He, Christ, said that he felt very heavy and sorrowful. This was where his suffering began and was later finished on the cross. So it's not that one thing better atones for sin than another, Evan, but that both together make up what is know as the atonement.

bloviator:
Jeez Rich, sometimes I can't quite figure out if you are a believer or not. I guess the LDS is that different, huh? Well, at least you get some spelled-out bennies in the end, like ruling over your own planet and such. I'd like the ice cream planet myself;}

That could be from the heresy that is the LDS church.;) Sorry about the ice cream planet but I already called shotgun on that one. Plus I ordered a baseball cap, biennies aren't my thing. Already bad enough being short fat and bald, add a biennie and... well sorry about that visual.

Former fundy:
The aspect of vicarious atonement and its complete lack of justice is what convinced me finally of the untruth of evangelical christianity.

I'm not sure I could give you anything new or a better explanation that would suffice. But how do you have qualities of being both merciful and just and fill both needs in this case? If an act goes unpunished, that isn't just either. If you just forgive an act without rendering a punishment, that isn't just either. So explain to me a better method that meets both justice and mercy. Keeping in mind that sin will not go unpunished. Either Christ already paid your debt to justice or you pay it yourself. If you so choose to take the atonement and use it in place of your on punishment, thus allowing God to render you mercy, it comes with conditions. So it's not just about meeting justice, Fundy, it's about meeting a dual nature that runs parallel to one another.