Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ the Wisdom of the Deity

February 9, 2022 • 9:45 am

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “ways,” came with the caption, “Sometimes you just have to raise your voice a little.”

I love to ask believers how they know that their religion is the “right” one. The more sophisticated among them will say, “I don’t,” or “It’s all the same god!”  But you know that this is hokum, as Allah is not the same as the Christian God, and religions like Hinduism have multiple gods, some of them nasty.  As for the “I don’t” answer, well, you can then ask why they’re betting eternity on a happenstance of birth or upbringing.

I love the “We cannot understand God’s wisdom” remark, as it’s a ploy to immunize religion against all empirical disconfirmation or prior-reducing. Why does a benevolent god allow young children to get fatal cancers or be born with a fatal deformity?  How does God’s wisdom explain that?

But lest I digress into ranting, I’ll stop.  Oh, one more thing. I still don’t understand why God transformed part of himself into the human Jesus and then had himself tortured and killed, with that killing someone giving humanity the only way to attain eternal salvation. Was that the best plan God could come up with?  The story never made sense to me, and still doesn’t.

Okay, that’s it, except I want to quote the late Victor Stenger on why the existence of God is an empirical question, “The absence of evidence is evidence for absence if that evidence should have been found.” 

43 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ the Wisdom of the Deity

  1. I also think the final insult is to demean anyone, atheist or believer, who reflects and questions and really tries to find evidence. God is like a food with no nutrition or even good flavour, that everyone eats. And you generate a hundred recipes and add nutrition to the food, and it drains all the good out of whatever you add and tastes like nothing, despite all your efforts.

  2. Hi, Friend….I am new to your blog….and I love it! I am a Christian, so of course i don’t agree with some of your viewpoints. Nevertheless I find much common ground with you: cats (I have 16), nature, and words. Just wanted to let you know that I am very much enjoying your blog posts….some more than others. 🙂

  3. For many people, religion is part of cultural self esteem. To them, whether their beliefs stand up to logical scrutiny is not the point. When you hang your self esteem on superstition, a conflict with a progressive, scientific civilization is inevitable.

  4. “I still don’t understand why God transformed part of himself into the human Jesus and then had himself tortured and killed, with that killing someone giving humanity the only way to attain eternal salvation”

    Eternal salvation by removing an invisible “sin”. To invoke invisible or unobservable things is a lazy way to defend a religion but an efficient one for lots of people when the religion is “traditional”. For these people, their religion is theology but other religions are mythologies. No deeper argument needed.

    A think that I will never understand is: if Jesus is real, why he never stopped Christians from murdering themselves over his name? He just had to appear before the Pope(s) and Protestant leaders to stop the madness. Did he prefer to loose followers for nothing?

    1. All of these can be answered with: God works in mysterious ways. God can get away with anything with such a disclaimer.

        1. And that gives me comfort when I, who also have mysterious ways, proclaim myself an atheist. (also “have” or “has”?)

        2. The very first, bedrock, foundational principle of christianity, without which the entire rest of it is pointless, is that you have to be willing to accept the blame for something you didn’t do.

          What, what, what, is so loving about that?

          L

    2. “ I still don’t understand why God transformed part of himself into the human Jesus and then had himself tortured and killed, with that killing someone giving humanity the only way to attain eternal salvation.”

      Probably because you aren’t a first century Jew.

      On the other hand, a first century Jew wouldn’t understand what “evolution” is all about, so that makes you even.

      Theology is an attempt to explain the inexplicable. It will always be framed in terms of the world view of the audience for the explanation. So when you aren’t part of that audience, you don’t have the frame of reference necessary to comprehend what you are hearing.

      If you really care to understand any religion, try to find someone who is your contemporary, at your level of intelligence, & is able to explain things to you in terms that are based in your own culture.

      Otherwise, you are just wasting your time.

      1. And you don’t think I’ve done that? Have you seen that I wrote a book about religion vs. science in which I studied theology for several years? You make no attempt to have a civil discourse. Your comments have been repeatedly harsh and patronizing.

      2. “Theology is an attempt to explain the inexplicable.”

        An unstoppable force meeting an immovable object

        A colorless green idea sleeping furiously

        Nothing up my sleeve – is that your card?

        A music of sorts, composed of thought patterns and language, amusing the listener but ultimately personal associations with elusive explanations….

            1. The devil? If that were the case you would see christians doing evil instead of good. They would vote T, shun vaccines, support lies…

  5. “I love the ‘We cannot understand God’s wisdom’ remark, as it’s a ploy to immunize religion against all empirical disconfirmation or prior-reducing.”

    The first time I read that thing in Matthew about not testing God, my reaction was, “How utterly convenient.”

    L

  6. “I still don’t understand why God transformed part of himself into the human Jesus and then had himself tortured and killed, with that killing someone giving humanity the only way to attain eternal salvation. Was that the best plan God could come up with? The story never made sense to me, and still doesn’t.”

    I suspect Jesus really did exist, and he really had foillowers who thought he was the Messiah (such characters were common in ancient Judea). I think his followers were genuinely surprised by his death, and they had to generate a story for themselves to explain this death. I think the story about sacrifice and atonement was the best they could come up with on short notice.

        1. I think the story about sacrifice and atonement was the best they could come up with on short notice.

          How long did the theory of atonement take to develop?

          They are kind of stuck with the story…..

          There were many versions of Christianity then (there are some now) but not all of them made it. John Shelby Spong, who died recently, called for significant revision. (I am not saying that I agree with his suggestions or even find them meaningful.) Revising the orthodoxies of religion (not just Christianity) would involve departing from strong tradition. In my experience, for many religious people, it is effectively the comfort of belief that counts. Therefore, if such a radical revision were to occur, I expect there to be more divisions within the church.

          There are many who are unaware of the historical development of their religious ideas — many are not even interested in finding out. Clearly, an analytical approach to finding out about our world is not their thing.

          1. “How long did the theory of atonement take to develop?”

            That was already a major part of the culture; Jesus’ followers all would have believed in the idea already.

            “There were many versions of Christianity then (there are some now) but not all of them made it.”

            Well, at the time I speak of, there were as many versions as there were founders of the sect, but this could have been very few, and few of these points of view would have outlived their originator.

  7. It is amusing that Jesus does not understand God’s wisdom. Being God does not help because God chose to give up some of His special skills when He took on human form. This also means He lost the plot and has no clue when He will return 🙂

    1. I still say Jesus was a Time Lord who had used a chameleon arch to become human, and John the Baptist had been his companion, and held the fob watch (or whatever they were using then) that contained his Time Lord identity, and released it back into him at the “baptism”…and when Jesus was crucified, he regenerated in the cave, and that was why his followers first didn’t know he was when he passed them after his resurrection.

      It makes as much sense as the Christian explanation. Which, admittedly, is not saying much.

  8. I still don’t understand why God transformed part of himself into the human Jesus and then had himself tortured and killed, with that killing someone giving humanity the only way to attain eternal salvation.

    The facetious answer is that he didn’t. Jesus was just an ordinary human (or myth, if you are a mythicist).

    But as you alluded to in your reply to comment #8 the real question is why the early Christians couldn’t come up with a more coherent story. It gets worse too, when you consider:

    * Who made the rule that says that human sins can only be absolved by killing God.

    * Why was that person/god/whoever fooled by the trick of killing Jesus only for a bit and then bringing him back to life? It’s like me buying goods with my credit card and then complaining to the credit card provider so they issue a charge back to the retailer. No reasonable person would say I have paid for the goods.

  9. But you know that this is hokum, as Allah is not the same as the Christian God, and religions like Hinduism have multiple gods,

    I can see the distinction between religions with a pantheon, the monotheistic religions, and the atheistic religions (Buddhism, for example). But I can’t for the life of me see how to distinguish meaningfully between the monotheisms. The record in the “holy” (not “holey”?) books clearly indicate that the god of the Jews and the god of the Christians is the same god (though about the BCE/ CE turn he seems to have a visit from the PR consultants), and there are good reasons for considering the god of Islam being the same god as Abraham (father of Ishmael – progenitor of the original Muslims – andthen of Issac ; the first prophet in Islam).
    How did that William of Occam put it? “Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity”? Therefore, all the monotheistic religions are talking about the same god. More strongly, these three monotheistic Levantine religions are just mutual schisms of the one Ur-Monotheism.
    That, of course leaves aside the internal evidence within the Old Testament for an early polytheism at the roots of Judaism.
    I don’t rate Mormonism highly enough (they’re rare in this country) to have studied their theology sufficiently to determine if they’re another schism from Ur-Monotheism ; I strongly suspect so, but they’re not important enough to be worth the effort, given the blatant fraud at their inception.

  10. The thought that strikes me is :

    The victim of religion, at some point, says to themselves, “oh yeah – this is IT. This is THE way to do it. Case closed. Glad THAT’S solved. WHEW [ wipes brow] [ dusts hands off ] YOU’RE WELCOME.”

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