This is the third part of a response to this discussion started in this post. The first part is here, and the second here. When greeneggsandtam started responding to this, she found that she had to break up her response into 6 fragments, and so suggested we continue in this community.
This particular section is a response to her comments in part 4, items 6 and 7. It makes a lot more sense if you read her items (and maybe some of the back discussion), and then follow here.
6) Well, yes, I think that if God had said "OK, my bad, let's start over," that there would have been a larger effect. Can you imagine the effects of, say, every person in the world having the same dream at the same time? And that's just an off-the-cuff example. As far as "dying for our sins" is concerned, the latest Jesus and Mo puts it better than I ever could:
Let's just stop here and consider a couple of things - things brought up very effectively by that comic. We're told God had a change of heart because of Jesus' sacrifice. So he changed his requirements for his people, and "opened the club," so to speak.
Except God is supposedly omnipotent, omniscient, and sent Jesus here for that purpose.
So, rather than just doing the right thing in the first place, He (being omniscient) decides it would be good to screw up, then change direction after, quite effectively, slaughtering his own child.
This is not the behavior of a sane being.
My whole "water into wine" comment was mostly for fun - especially poking fun at the sects that substitute grape juice. Some quick research points out that wine was indeed less potent then - about 3-5% alcohol, or about similar to beer.
Getting drunk was quite a possibility - and likely happened, especially since the wine was supposed to be served starting with the good stuff, because no-one would be able to tell the bad stuff later. I find it amusing that churches that don't believe in the partaking of any sort of alcohol are based on this individual.
7) There are many reasons why people lie to start a religion, and continue to lie to maintain it. The most common seems to be a feeling that everyone else's story is true, so why not make it even more believable by adding in one little lie?
Not only that, but from far better scholars than I, there's the question of whether Jesus ever existed at all. A nice little summary - Religious Tolerance does its best to present all sides of an issue.
I'd complete the series, but I'm just about finished with dessert, and my battery's giving out.
And then I can get started on the response to your response!