The Way the Truth and the Life
I’ll give three examples, all of which were at sometime or other given to me as ‘proof’ that the Messianic Law is wrong, that people are not totally and unavoidably selfish. I shall present them in dialogue as closely as I can remember to the way in which they were presented to me.
‘How can you say that it is impossible to do something without a selfish motive? I could buy you a drink couldn’t I? What’s selfish about that?’
‘Go on then.’
‘It’s a hypothetical example.’
‘It doesn’t have to be hypothetical, go ahead buy me a drink.’
‘I’m not buying you a drink, so I’m too stingy and all right maybe that’s selfish but if I bought you one that would be selfless surely?’
‘Go ahead buy me a drink, then when you do tell me why you did it and I’ll tell you why it was totally selfish.’
‘I’m not buying you a drink, so forget it, but just because I won’t, it doesn’t mean I can’t, lots of people buy drinks for other people for no gain.’
‘For no particular reason, maybe just because they are friends.’
‘That’s a reason and how long will people remain friends if one of them always buys the drinks and the other one never does?’
‘But according to you it is not possible to do something without a selfish reason, by which I presume you mean without a presumed and or calculated presumed personal gain.’
‘The human brain must first calculate that it may - or at least has a possibility of- make a gain or it cannot perform the act otherwise, yes, you are right.’
‘But that is patently not true. There are many things that people can do without having first calculated that they will gain from it.’
‘Give me an example.’
‘Well, the evidence is everywhere. Let’s just stick with the drinks. So all right I will admit that there can be selfishness in the act of buying somebody a drink but surely there can be selflessness in it too. I could walk into a bar, sidle up to a complete stranger and slip the price of a drink into his jacket pocket. I gain nothing, he doesn’t know how the money got into his pocket so I am not calculating that he will like me or hoping that because of my generosity he will become my friend so I have performed a selfless act, lost the price of a drink and gained nothing.’
‘No you haven’t.’
‘What have I gained?’
‘Tell me why you did it.’
‘No reason, I don’t want anything, I’m just doing it to show that I can perform a selfless act.’
‘So that’s what you want. You are prepared to spend the price of a drink in order to show that the Messianic Law doesn’t work and in the process helped to prove that it does. You calculated that the price of a drink was worth the gain of proving to me that the Messianic Law doesn’t work and even in that example you were only doing it hypothetically, you weren’t prepared to actually spend the money: Messianic Law.’
‘During the Second World War, German soldiers would often go into a village of an occupied country and there choose 10 men at random whom they would proceed to execute in order to punish the villagers for an infringement of the rules or to teach them a lesson and subjugate them by inducing terror into their midst. Suppose that on one such occasion, when the men were lined up and ready to be shot, another man came along and offered to take the place of the man 3 rd from the left. I know it’s not likely but it is possible so tell me how that could be a selfish act?’
‘Tell me why he would do it.’
‘I don’t know. What does it matter? My point is that it is possible, an act of selflessness, highly unlikely but possible. Didn’t you say somewhere that selflessness is not even theoretically possible?’
‘If I didn’t then I’m saying it now, not even theoretically, tell me the reason and I’ll show you the selfishness.’
‘Perhaps the man in the line is the son of the man offering to take his place.’
‘So there we have it. There’s your selfish reason.’
‘Selfish? How can you call that selfish?’
‘Try not to mix emotion into the meaning of the word selfish. It doesn’t mean evil, it doesn’t mean immoral it doesn’t mean deserving Divine retribution; all it means is ‘for oneself, for ones own happiness.’ Now let’s examine the motives. You say the man in the line is the son of the man offering to take his place so let’s go into the mind of the father, what is he thinking? He’s thinking; if my son dies I will be heartbroken. If my son dies, when I could have taken his place I will have to live with the thought that I allowed my son to die because I was too much of a coward to save him, he is young, I have lived most of my life, I am terrified. Do you see how the man is balancing the pros against the cons; reasons why he should offer to take his sons place against reasons why he should not. Hopefully most fathers would choose to take their son’s place, fear (one would presume) would be the only reason not to. The fear of one’s own death could outweigh the pain of the loss of one’s son and the shame that goes with it. So the offer to die would be the result of calculation. When the brain reaches a conclusion of which decision will result in its own happiness, which is the same as the least pain, then that’s the decision it will take, it must take, it cannot do otherwise. It is the best decision one can make in one’s own best interest under the circumstances – selfishness (for oneself): Messianic Law.
Now the example that evokes the most outrage; the selfishness of Jesus in dying on the cross. Why did he die on the cross?
‘To save you from eternal damnation.’
‘You mean me?’
‘Did I kill him? Did I tell him to die on the cross?’
‘Oh, you ungrateful …’
You get the point?
According to Christian teaching, Jesus died on the cross in order to save me from the consequences of my sins. It was a payment of the life of His Son by Almighty God to Satan in atonement for those sins – a likely story, it’s pathetic.
Satan, they say, is an angel and therefore, like God’s children (human beings) a product of the Creation with no Divine powers. They also say that Satan is the most intelligent of God’s created beings but he is not omnipotent nor omniscient so, this being the case, is it likely that he would have set himself up as the adversary of the God upon whom he depends entirely for his very existence? As I said, a likely story, never mind we’ll run with it.
Let’s see what else they will have us believe before looking at the problem of selfishness in the Crucifixion.
Christianity teaches that God is paying Satan with the life of ‘His only begotten Son, in atonement for the sins of the Human Race.’ Why? He owes Satan nothing and even if He did, what can Satan do if He refuses to pay?
According to Christian teaching the consequences for the Human Race if God didn’t pay the price of ‘Salvation’ would have been damnation for God’s infinitely loved children. How did He pay? By sacrificing His only begotten Son on the Cross. So it would seem that God negotiated with Satan and the result of that negotiation was the life of Jesus which He paid—or at least Jesus did—even when there is nothing Satan could have done if He didn’t.
What can we conclude from this? That the arrangement was made between God and Satan not for Satan’s sake, because he had no authority or power with which to enforce the agreement, but because God wanted it and agreed for whatever reason to honour it—selfishness: Messianic Law (or it’s all a cock-n-bull story, please yourself).
What was the price of ‘Salvation?’ The death of God’s only begotten Son?
It was the death of ‘His Son’s’ physical body, albeit for only one and a half days and not the three days and three nights as suggested in the Bible (Math 12: 40)
Think about this: God accepts the ‘death’ of the physical body of Jesus as a fair price for the sins of the entire Human Race yet expects me to pay with my eternal spiritual life just for my own. You still believe it? Feel free, there’s no threat to your soul for disbelieving this version but I think it only fair to this version that I point out the dishonesty inherent in the belief of the traditional point of view. One more point; the bible positively oozes with evidence that witnesses its own incredibility.
And we still haven’t covered the selfishness of Jesus. ‘Jesus died on the Cross to save the Human race from eternal damnation.’ For the sake of convenience let’s say that this is true but they can’t have their cake and eat it so this means that all Human Beings were placed in the position of potential damnation by our infinitely loving and fair Father—it’s a contradiction but never mind we’ll still deal with it.
Jesus died on the Cross to save me from damnation and since I didn’t ask him to because I didn’t exist at the time and regardless of whether or not I am grateful for the ‘sacrifice’ it is difficult to understand how I can be held responsible. Jesus died as a result of an arrangement between Himself as the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity and Satan. He decided to do it and since he is omnipotent He clearly didn’t have to. He did it because He wanted to.
Now let’s consider the implication of my ingratitude at not appreciating Jesus ‘sacrifice.’
If Jesus is God, as Christian dogma insists, and if He offered Himself as a sacrifice then He could have allowed Himself to be crucified without feeling any pain. If He chose to tolerate the pain then He had a reason. The two thieves who were crucified with Him and many thousands, even millions, of others have suffered the same or worse with no choice.
Why did Jesus choose to sacrifice His life? Because of thoughts in his head that I and everyone else would suffer the agony of damnation if he didn’t. It is I and the others who would do the suffering not He, so it was not my suffering that caused the decision but the pain of the thoughts in Jesus’ head. Like the man who would rather die than suffer the agony of watching his son die, Jesus was doing what was best for himself under the circumstances: Messianic Law.