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Jesus cheated

Another problem: Jesus cheats. We’re supposed to believe that he’s saving us from an imaginary ancestral sin, and that he’s doing so by dying…but he doesn’t! He comes back three days (OK, actually a day and a half) later, perfectly healthy except for a few holes which don’t seem to perturb him much, and he gets to magically zoom up into the sky and live forever in his dad’s palace. This is no sacrifice at all.

Now, if our hypothetical soldier who threw himself on a grenade turned out to survive the experience hale and healthy because, for instance, the bomb was dud, he’d still be a hero — he didn’t know it would fizzle, and the intent was there. This doesn’t help Jesus, though. He’s omnipotent and omniscient and knew his own nature, and knew that you don’t kill a god by hanging him from a tree and poking him with sticks. Jesus faked his heroism. He’s no hero at all.

Via PZ

Happy Easter

Once the Easter Bunny dies, it stays dead. Duh.

Thank you, Russell Blackford

Precisely.

As for religious leaders, they certainly do not deserve the kind of deference they currently receive, or the megaphones they are provided by the news media for their pronouncements. They do not deserve to be looked upon as moral or community leaders, or to be given a privileged voice in public debate. Some – such as those Protestant fundamentalists who claim the Earth is only 6000 years old or the celibate, white-haired dinosaurs of the Vatican who think that the use of contraception is a sin – deserve to be accorded little more intellectual credibility than would be given, in a modern city such as Melbourne, to a slavery advocate.

Not all ideas deserve to be taken seriously and considered respectfully, and not all people deserve to be accorded intellectual legitimacy. We can argue about who and what falls into which category, but there is no doubt that some speech deserves to be marginalised … and that certainly applies to a lot of religious speech. There’s no need to be backward about saying so.