Background Probability

The Agnostic Popular Front has moved to its new home at Skeptic Ink, and will henceforth be known as Background Probability. Despite the relocation and rebranding, we will continue to spew the same low-fidelity high-quality bullshit that you've come to expect.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Operation Infinite Justice

An excerpt from the diary of John Adams:

February 13, 1756
Major Greene this Evening fell into some conversation with me about the Divinity and Satisfaction of Jesus Christ.

All the Argument he advanced was, "that a mere creature, or finite Being, could not make Satisfaction to infinite justice, for any Crimes," and that "these things are very misterious."

Here we have a luminous thinker and future founding father privately recording his impression of Greene's argument in favor of the "Divinity and Satisfaction of Jesus Christ," that is, the Christian doctrines that Jesus was God (in some mysterious sense) and that Jesus died so as satisfy the "infinite justice" of God as to the many and various crimes of humankind. Greene's argument is one formulated originally by St. Anselm and which apologists use to this day.

What did Adams think of the idea that Jesus was in fact an incarnation of deity, sent to earth in order to vicariously satisfy God's "infinite justice" by sacrificing himself on the cross?

"...thus mystery is made a convenient cover for absurdity."

Absurdity, indeed! The idea that a supremely wise and benevolent deity finds himself incapable of forgiving his own creatures without first having the satisfaction of killing himself (in human form) in order to slake his own sense of honor/justice/blood-thirst buggers the mind and beggars all imagination. It is no great surprise, then, that the practitioners of preistcraft have tirelessly endeavored to cover up the absurdity of their position with the blanket claim that such things are so very mysterious as to be beyond our impoverished mortal ken.

Scholars of the Adamses have noted many positive comments on the Christian religion, and there can be no reasonable doubt that he and Abigail held a positive view of the virtues of public piety and the ability of religion to promote morality. That said, one should always be careful not to imply that he held to an orthodox and traditional view of Christian dogma.


Rhology said...

the satisfaction of killing himself (in human form)

You were doing OK until you completely and utterly misstated the Christian position.
You DO know what the Trinity is, right?
You commented on my post where I defined it in detail, after all. Did you just forget, or did you just feel like laying the smack down on a strawman today?

Atheist Okie said...

It's a funny thing to call strawman on the doctrine of the Trinity. With thousands of different interpretations among Christians about the godhead, I'm sure somewhere ag-okie hit it perfectly on the head without resorting to strawman.

agnostiChicagOkie said...

"There is one God and one God only. One homoousios - one essence, substance, entity." - Rho

If it is heresy to say "killing himself" instead of "killing His Son" consider the passage duly redacted. It doesn't matter to me how Christians try wrap their heads around the idea of three distinct persons as a single supreme being. It reminds me much of hearing Trekkies argue about the internal workings of the holodeck, attempting to imagine their way out of problems that exist solely in their own heads.