Catholic: " guilt and empathy are appropriate responses for Christ’s death."
Atheist: “Exactly. That is why it is effective. If Jesus had instead stubbed his toe for your sins, the message would not be as evocative.”
You see the mechanism is important, but it can fail in two ways. It can get a false positive (which is why we feel sad when harry potters mum gets killed, even though she never existed) or it can completely fail. The importance of this mechanism is that we use reason to determine if the responses it is giving us are correct.
Of course if your reasoning capability is broken, then you also have a problem. You may believe you are doing right, when you are not. You really need both to be functional.
I do not believe Jesus died for my sins. I believe Jesus died because of the intolerance of the religious and cultural groups of the time. Which is why I strive for free speech and fight against intolerance and such.
Besides I find the idea of someone ‘paying the price for me’ to be offensive in two ways. Firstly I did not ask for that. Secondarily I find it deeply immoral, if you break the law is it right that your 7 year old child pay the price? Call me morally inflexible, but I would rather pay the price myself, regardless of what that is.
(of course I don’t believe in a price, hell, heaven etc, so the price from my perspective is zero)
Now for a little fun, I will show you how the mechanism can produce different results depending on how heavily it is fired by stimulus. enjoy.
You are in a railway cart, it is fixed on the tracks and will not stop. Five people are lying bound on the tracks ahead of you. Yet you can see a switch you could just reach and it would turn the cart off this track saving those five peoples lives. However the track it turns onto has another person bound onto it.
Do you pull that switch? Most people say yes.
Now the second one.
You are standing on a bridge looking over the railway track, there is a large burly man leaning over the bridge as well. This time only one track with five people bound onto it. You know from previous knowledge that if someone falls of this bridge they will fall onto the track. You also know that the man next to you is large enough to stop the cart.
Do you push him off?
Most people answer no to this. Despite the fact that the results are the same. The part of the brain that is fired up for each one is different. Which gives you a little insight into how the mechanism works.
This may be linked to the same biology as our language capacity, things happen in context changes the meaning of the things.
I believe Jesus died because of intolerance of the religious groups at the time. This belief informs my actions and is why I dislike intolerance, I am intolerant of it. Also why I support free speech where I can.
Education is NOT indoctrination. Education is when you provide information and allow the person to develop their own identity. Without any emphasis on one restricted persons views. I would educate any children in ALL religions and let them choose their faith. Rather than telling them only one thing. Thats the difference between education and indoctrination."
Ok, pretty heavy stuff i think.