Sunday, December 26, 2010

Is Jesus worthy of our respect?


Ask a Christian precisely which of Jesus’ “teachings” are so unique and valid, and what contributions he made to societal conduct or the advancement of civilization that makes his personage worthy of worship and respect; then stand back and marvel at the sound of silence.

Recently I read a comment from a Xtian proposing that even if one doesn’t buy into the supernatural deity status of Jesus and dismisses the miracles attributed to him in the New Testament, that one must certainly respect and honor the teachings of the man.

My response: “Really. Such as?” I asked for ten things that Jesus said that uniquely define him as a great thinker, great teacher, contributor to societal development, or the advancement of civilization. I’d settle for five. I’m still waiting.

I expected that he will eventually come back with “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Earth shattering! Also known as the Rule of Reciprocity it was professed by Confucianism, Buddhism, the Hindus, the ancient Babylonians, Hebrews, Egyptians, Greeks, et al, .all well before the Common Era.

Digging deeper I assumed he’d proffer that Jesus endorsed loving your neighbor as yourself. Yet, the same man said he came to instigate discord among family members, turning father against son, mother against daughter, etc. (Luke 12:53). Besides, “love thy neighbor as thyself’ was first written in the Hebrew bible (Leviticus 19:18) fourteen hundred years before Jesus was said to exist. Not a new concept; hardly worthy of awe and admiration; if it were Xtians would be Jewish and revering Moses as “God’. By the way…by neighbors they meant fellow Hebrew neighbors. If you were a Canaanite neighbor to a Hebrew your love experience may vary. Jesus’ perspective was the same as the Hebrew Bible’s.

Maybe he’d offer “love your enemy”(Matthew 5)? Really? Much as how Jesus loves us all but has no bones about sending freethinkers (his enemy one supposes) to Hell for non-belief, we are to love those enemies who would kill us and who we kill in war? Short of mercy killing how does loving those you must kill or who want you dead, logically reconcile in a rational mind? Since love and killing are so closely entwined in the philosophy of Jesus there should be alarms going off and eyebrows raised…not worship and respect. In fact the very concept is antithetical to reason or the human condition. Anyone who says they love Osama bin Laden, or Adolph Eichmann, or the guy trying to blow up the plane carrying them and their children is one of two things: a liar or a psychotic.

Perhaps “do not worry about tomorrow… [God will provide]” (Matthew 6) holds some value? Imagine if the whole world did as Jesus admonished and just didn’t worry about where their next meal was coming from, or their mortgage payment, or where they will sleep tonight, or how they will pay for their children’s higher education. Those aren’t prophetic words by which to live. No one besides a welfare dependent crack whore or third world beggar would consider living like that.

The religionist came back with none of these. Instead he said he’d have to do some “research.” He also tossed out the ever popular “You seem to be angry.” platitudinous Xtian hand grenade and invoked martyrdom at the hands of my “militant atheism.” So much for his original contention of Jesus’ admirable teachings being worthy of respect.
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Virtually everything else Jesus said (and there wasn’t an awful lot) related to honoring god, being meek, talking down wealth and productivity, taking abuse, praying to a non-existent being, fixating on sin, and threatening badmouthing you to his Dad if you don’t buy his exalted position.

No. Only with belief in the supernatural -- belief in and fear of what the imaginary afterlife holds, does Jesus’ have any value. Without that Jesus is worthy of the same respect and admiration due any one of the thousands of cynic preachers and religious fanatics of his time; and eminently less than any of our Founding Fathers, Jonas Salk, or your kid’s favorite teacher.

18 comments:

Lynn said...

I heard a Catholic bishop just yesterday on tv, say that Jesus taught us to respect others. I don't that's actually true that Jesus did teach that. Also my neighbor said, "The Bible does teach tolerance, right?" I thought-hmm, I don't think so actually.

Dromedary Hump said...

I am familiar with no reference to Jesus teaching respect anywhere. The only respect the bible teaches is to respect jesus and god.

as for the bible teaching tolerance...that's the funniest thing I ever heard.

NewEnglandBob said...

He taught...oh wait, he never existed, so he taught everything or nothing; take your pick.

hottr6 said...

I would think that the "forgive them father for they have sinned" lament was pretty original. Unfortunately one has to subscribe to make any sense out of it.

gristleoflife said...

Here's some great quotes from the supposed man of love and peace:

"No one comes to the Father except through me."

(Delusions of grandeur, with a big dose of vanity.)

"The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!"

(Angels? I thought they were supposed to be all nice and stuff.)

"You are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!"

(Modern Translation: "Go to Hell!")

"..the one who does not believe will be condemned!"

('Beleive in me and my "Dad" or die!')

"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire!"

(So be good for goodness sake!)

Dromedary Hump said...

Grist...
well said.

Those "loving" phrases of threat aren't worthy of reverence as a guide to life and living by any normal person's judgement.

Den!s said...

respect any of the psychotic rantings of a resurrected zombie mythical man-god? Not...hardly. I don't need those bullshit stories in my life. Jesus never existed which makes their religion based on that book, utter nonsense. So no respect is due or given. Respect implies validation and concurrence. Even a speck of real evidence for any of it would go a long way.... alas, there is none.

Anonymous said...

Its funny how atheists think theyre pretty smart, call others stubborn, and yet you are the same idiots that are so close minded, blind-sided and cant absorb anything that is being said, without closing your ear sand thinking of the next smart-ass line you are going to reply with. Your jokes are pretty lame, and Id bet my life that youe one of those people who think your msarter than everyone else, have little friends or cling on to ppl you just met top 'call' friends, and have nerdy/ugly girfriends. Your sorry excuses for people, and you probably have no real friends to have your back either. Its people like you that the average, neutral person has to put up with. If you believe in something so much (or hav ea lack of belief in this case), how about you keep your sorry, loser ass comments to yourself, instead of makign yourself pitiful into thinking people will care about what idiots like you have to spout (ofcourse, ONLY other idiots like you WILL care- refer to the comments above by an example of such idiots!). I've met tons of idiots like you - if Jesus didnt teach respect, look at Islam, read the quotes of the prophet and the Quran. Oh wait, let me guess what your gonna do - get a few of the quotes out of context that 'quote' prophet Mohd saying things about virgins and what not. Lol. You fking predictable idiots, dig your head in the sand, and get a fking life. Oh, and save your smart ass replies, im only on this page cause my friend posted a link on facebook, wont be coming back to read your 'witty' remarks'.

Dromedary Hump said...

Anon,

Thank you for your disjointed and almost unintelligible inarticulate rant.

I see you're angry. If an atheist hurt you at some time, good.

You've proven my point, and I rest my case vis-a-vis religionists being intellectually inferior.

Come back again some time.

NewEnglandBob said...

Who let the five year old in? We don't supply diapers here

Motorhead said...

Hello Anon,
Since you say you're not coming back, you will. That's exactly the opposite of your Jesus (assuming he ever existed) beliefs. Are you looking into some kind of X-ray mirror?!

thishollowearth said...

Well, shucks, anon won't be responding. Think of all the invigorating conversation we are going to be missing out on.

Momma Moonbat said...

Anon, if you'd read the gospels, you'd see that your Jesus was also a smartass. For example, when his mother told him that the hosts were out of wine, his response was: "Woman, how does that concern me?" When Pilate asked him if he was a king, he replied: "You say that." Xtian apologists are quick to issue the "out of context" battle cry, but the truth of the matter is that if the gospels are to be believed, Jesus was a smartass. Need more proof? What about the non-Hebrew woman who asked him to heal her child and he responded that it isn't right to take food from children to give to dogs? If he existed at all, he was a racist, intolerant bastard who picked and chose the recipients of his charity and good deeds, and made damn sure he got credit for it all.

Dromedary Hump said...

Moonbat...quite right. add to that killing fig trees, infecting some guy's pigs with demons, causing a riot at the temple, and stealing a donkey...and he comes across as anti-social bastard who had his crucifixtion coming.

Sherry Peyton said...

Sadly, William James claim that atheists and fundamentalists were but opposite sides of the same coin is true. It would take a treatise to explain your false conclusions here, all based on a literalist reading of scripture. The comments are even worse, cherry picking out of context. The Neo-Atheists are certainly not the bright folks the regular old Atheists were. But you gin each other up, and for that, you get off in your own idolization of yourselves as the epitome of evolution. Have a good year.!

Dromedary Hump said...

Sherry...
Thanks for your comments.
As an atheist for the past 40+ years, I'm hardly "neo" anything.

Your comment on fundamentalism is inane, and straight from the Xtian apologetics defense playbook, so I'll ignore it. If you look up "fundamentalist" in the dictionary you'd see why. But I know how your kind disdain dictionaries, preferring to invent definitions that suit your agenda.

But most importantly "context" hahah..love that. So, please tell us in what "context" Jesus said or did anything unique and earth shaking that contributed to civilizations advancement that had he not been made a deity and imbued with supernatural nonsense that would make him worthy of respect status by secularists. Give us the chapter and verse quotes.

You can't, else you would have. And it is this very fact that caused you enough angst to post here. Prove me wrong.

and a Happy New Year to you.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I would have been here sooner to wish you Happy 2011, Hump, but I've been busy with my nonreal friends.

Also, I wasn't sure I should comment and write what I wanted to because some very mixed up Anon demanded that I keep my "loser ass" comments to myself.

Hope you don't mind these very selective, very wise loser ass comments that I have left.

Cheers.

Dromedary Hump said...

Shaw.. please contact me via email I want to understand what this "Anon" thing is about, although I can guess.