So I'm thinking that when I have kids, I would really like to teach them about Jesus, not as the Messiah or as the Son of God, but as a moral teacher who taught lessons that I cherish such as pacifism, charity, compassion, and love. Of course, I would probably not teach them to worship or pray to him(I'd have to discuss it with my other half), but I think that Jesus ranks up there when talking about virtuous figures for children to model themselves after.

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Jesus may be a myth, but myths are important in our society and to most people. If you don't recognize the humanity in it, you will be delusional to the idea that we might keep people from having any "beliefs" and just study science and look at "facts".

I suggest to the people on this discussion who think there's no good in the study of the Bible or reading about Jesus, to read some Joseph Campbell. Here's a review of his "Power of Myth" by the "Emerson Group" (a live discussion group sprung from the Transcendentalists): http://www.dmuuc.org/lay/Power-of-Myth.html
I see your point. I think you're right that Campbell mainly talks about Jesus as how myths can work in people's lives, though he talked about Jesus a lot in The Power of Myth. I like some of the Jewish stories and Hindu stories, such as Blind Men and an Elephant.
it's important to innoculate kids against the very virulent religiosity otherwise they may be somehow suckered in later in life. A good start is the understanding that jesus was a MYTH. Never existed. As a 'moral teacher' or anything else, and teachings attributed to 'him' are just as often bad as good.
Joyce,

Myths obviously serve functions in human civilisation, but I think it is positively lazy to not try to extract these functions (whatever they may be) and insert them into something less irrational.

"A good start is the understanding that jesus was a MYTH. Never existed. As a 'moral teacher' or anything else, and teachings attributed to 'him' are just as often bad as good."

And of course, no justification whatsoever has to be given for this quite extraordinary claim. It can just be asserted.

Right? ;)

Welcome to the Nexus by the way!
No, you seem to be confused. You were the one who was warned not to throw around insults and cheap slurs.
I don't hold grudges towards anyone I know over the internet either, but then again I also don't accuse them of being "fucking stupid" and having brain damage - two insults for which I'm still waiting to get an apology, by the way.

"I don't hold grudges over trivial crap and your continual harassment of anyone who says anything about history you start to brag about being the only scholarly historian on Jesus."

I have never done any such thing. I never pretend to be a scholar, or even a historian. I'm just - like most others here - an amateur, though a fairly well read one at that.

"We just think it is so funny and trust me buddy bustin' yer balls is the highlight of the year...."

Well if this is the highlight of your year, who am I to take it away from you? Don't flatter yourself though: I'm not the slightest bit annoyed by childish games like that.

Carry on.
Jesus preached a message of love, longsuffering and forgiveness. His ideas were radical, given the context of Judaism he (allegedly) grew up in. To me, however, he accentuated many virtues that are simply not human . . . angelic or saintly, perhaps . . . but not human.

Turn the other cheek . . . reminds me of a doormat or S&M.

Jesus (in his sermon on the mount) recommended living free and carefree, like a bird, without concern for food and shelter: if God provides for his birds, won't he provide for his treasured humans? . . . NOT.

Love your enemies . . . well, if my enemies thought like Jesus, I wouldn't have any enemies. But they don't: so it's just unrealistic and weak to love your enemies.

Jesus wants us to reject family in favor of God.

Jesus, loving messiah and lamb of God, gave us the lake of fire . . . hell.

Recommending Jesus as a role model should come with some caveats.

I think teaching kids about a fictional character (at the very least, it seems to be unclear if he was a real person) is saying that the world never gave us real heroes, humanists, people of high moral values. People who have actually done something for the society, not only spoke some poetic stuff. Even now you can find an example of folks who are trying to bring peace, fight injustices etc. And they are not gods or anything, which makes their sacrifices even more valuable.

Making an example of another person is much more effective if your goal is to set the raw model. Other people have done that, means you can too.

The Jesus of the Bible is not the Jesus you are planning to teaching to your kids. There are far better places and far better reasons to hold the values you are describing outside religion of any sort. It the Bible really the best that can be done in the area of values and morality? Is Jesus really that profoundly wise and admirable a person that you focus on him. Why not Ghandi? I disagree that Jesus "ranks right up there" and the only thinks you know are from a biased account dedicated to crafting a Jesus you probably would not much like.

 

By accepting what you like in the narrative of Jesus and rejecting what you don't you are already using your reason and moral sense to verify and vet your morality, why bring Jesus into the picture?

Biblical morality is so contradictory that it is almost impossible not to be able to find in it a basis for a very sound and reasonable morality to base ones life on. One could also find in it justification for being a miserable format, a self rigorous genocide executioner, a self satisfied slave owner, or just about anything imaginable. Except for t genocide bits justification for all of those can be found in t life and words of Jesus himself.

My mom instilled in me a pretty good since of morals for which I am extremely grateful. We have billboards here in my city, N.O., that read,"Thou shalt not kill". Now, I was keenly aware of this before I could read. I am betting tho, that plenty of people donot have that great of an understanding of this principle as I have learned from my mom.

I would prefer to have an understanding that morality and ethics are important for reasons involving a social contract w society and how it is required if one expects to be treated fairly by others. I am guessing tho, that because my mom understood it as instead because god says so that it was Easter for me to understand as a kid and also Easter for her to teach me.

I remember that during December it was Easter still for her to convince me that I ought to be good as Santa was watching and it may well effect my haul, so to speak. I remember mom asking mom about being good in June and her having a bit of difficulty convincing me that it was at that time more important to be good for Jesus' sake rather than Santa's.

Later still she had trouble explaining to me that Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa were all made up, But that Jesus and god were real.

Anyway, I have been rambling interminably, and I am not entirely sure to what point. I think it is to demonstrate that it is at least possible that teaching morality and ethics via Jesus might have some value as that method worked well enuf for me. I wouldn't want to garentue tho that Jesus is a better method.

The absolute BEST thing you can do for your kids is to model a life of peace, joy, wonder and love.

 

Talk is cheap and idealizing the dead is bullshit. If Jesus was a human being, then he dealt with the same issues that you do. Only rather than managing the difficulties of human existence as a rational adult, he took the easy route.... magic, invisible daddy.

 

 

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