Alright, so we don't even know these were Jesus' teachings... But let's say they actually were. I disagree with the supernatural aspect of Jesus. But as a moral teacher, what do you think of him? Some people say "I dismiss some of the bible and take just some. but I'm a believer" I say heck no. If you dismiss some parts, you are a snobby spoiled brat who is not reasonable enough to understand THERE IS NO REALITY IN THE BIBLE as to connection with "holliness". Anyway....
Here are two teachings of Jesus:
"If someone strikes you, turn the other cheek."
What do you think about it? Do you apply it in your daily life? (even when you are an atheist, you might, not because it is JESUS but because it comes like a natural moral to YOU)
They range from shrewd observations of human nature to batshit insanity. There is something in the human psyche that finds surrender to be disarming. Turning the other cheek can cause the assailant to stop and consider his choices. If that person has any subjective sense of shame, odds are he will back down and discontinue the aggression without further violence. But he may not. If you fight back, you may win the fight or you may not. In either case you will certainly suffer further injury. If you clearly win, your opponent will certainly be your enemy from now on and you have further justified the use of violence as a means for solving problems. Note, I am not claiming that violence is never the best option when threatened. I am simply explaining that there is more to the other cheek thing than is immediately apparent. Likewise, the throw the first stone story (almost certainly not part of the original text) reveals a similar appreciation of human nature. When confronted by their hypocrisy, the crowd quickly lost its blood lust.
On the other hand, telling Peter to abandon his wife and children to starvation so he can follow Jesus around is plainly immoral. So is the idea of thought crimes, lust = adultery. No it doesn't. The Beatitudes strike me as neither original nor the best example of ethical teachings. Telling the meek they will inherit the earth may be just a sarcastic way of saying they will be dead eventually. Introducing the idea of eternal punishment after one dies reveals Yahweh to be even worse than he is portrayed in the OT. Finally, the most barking mad, horrifically immoral teaching of the NT is that suffering is virtuous and that the vicarious suffering of an innocent person makes us all less guilty rather than more so. This glorification of suffering has been the cause of more abject human misery than we will ever know.
One aspect of the NT that is somewhat reassuring is the Gethsemane scene where in anguish JC asks if his violent death is really necessary. (Hitchens assures us that the only sane answer is "no.") It shows that even in Bible world it is possible to be the son of god and still have a dissenting opinion. In that moment, JC recognizes the whole thing--the whole future basis for Christianity--is bullshit. Would that he listened to those doubts.
I recently read a hypothesis that Jesus originated as an idea rather than a real person. 2000 years +/- is awhile for an idea to transform and mutate, thus making our understanding of Jesus most likely totally inaccurate. Furthermore, people who will never hear about Jesus inevitably learn the advantages of good behavior and bad behavior, so the golden rule and other lessons are true (or ideal) because most people naturally realize they are rational and helpful.
if there was ever a character he'd have been just a hyper tense suicidal person..
he knew he'd be killed/executed whatever (you know like fundy fraud ceo's do to honest workers)
the prophets of the time/era dark ages whatever prolly caused 100's of jesus's nah mean?
lame. I think the teachings from a child or professor in college are more valuable than some lame old story about a guy that eneded up on a crucifix imho
I think most people misunderstanding Jesus. When he said "he with out sin cast the first stone" what he really was saying is "me first me first!"
Your response, so far, is the best. Made me lol. Very witty sir!
I think this is the thing that pisses me off most about religion. Morals. We are such a stupid species that we need to be told everything and we 'need' this guide to tell us how to be moral. My reasoning is, if we can't just do it on our own, then we are not a moral species. Sure we can learn but really it is the law of the land that forces us to be moral and as we can see by the crazy bills and laws being introduced in the US right now, we can change our way of thinking at the drop of a hat.
With all the stupidity, horrifying events, murders, rapes, crimes, even backstabbing and gossiping, morals are not being applied in any sense.
Then to define 'moral'. What one thinks is the right thing to do:
It comes down to what you think is the right thing to do - which really is a personal opinion and can differ from one human to another. It really is just common sense and that is something only some of us possess.
"Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right."
We can pick and choose what teachings of Jesus we like, or which ones are useful for us. That's what christianists do. It's like reading fortune cookies. Some are profound. Others are meaningless. Actually, maybe christians should take up using fortune cookies for communion - it would be more fun that way.
Stephen Colbert said it best
"Nothing cures gayness like getting on your knees and accepting the body of Jesus into your mouth."
So, if fortune cookies can be used to cure gayness, lets use'em. :p
In so far I think that some are decent, while others only make sense to a believer. Then there are others that make no sense no matter who you are. However the point I think most people have made is that the good teachings of Jesus aren't anything original or anything we couldn't have figured out ourselves. That's the problem with Christianity, even its good stuff isn't all that. Why listen to Jesus when Buddha had better and older teachings already?
I tend to go with Nietzsche on this question. Jesus' teachings are incoherent and inconsistent in many places. Going with your idea that for the sake of argument we will pretend that there was a Jesus who really said the things attributed to him in the Bible, then yes there are some nice things, but there are also some really terrible things and some things just do not really make sense. The "turn the other cheek" statement is often used as a precursor to non-violent resistance. This is rubbish. As Nietzsche pointed out, it is really the only moral position available to slaves, the first people who were christians. A slave has no choice but to turn the other cheek. Even if we accept that Jesus was not himself a slave, he was still among an oppressed colonized people for whom fighting back would mean terrible retribution. Turning the other cheek was simply pragmatic for survival. Matthew 16:24-8 has Jesus essentially become a cult leader - leave everything behind, family, work, even self, and follow me. Anyone saying this these days would be under automatic suspicion of establishing a cult with all the problems that entails. What would make Jesus any different? Throughout John, Jesus says that only "spirit" has meaning and "flesh" is useless. This is a hollow creed telling people not to look after themselves, but to arrange their lives in pursuit of some imaginary eternal reward. It really is not the case that Jesus was some great homespun moral philosopher. This is why Nietzsche says that the last and only true christian died on the cross on Golgotha.
The bible, and therefore the teachings of Jesus, were written by dozens of other people, in different eras, hundreds of years after Jesus died.
However, the bible is what it is, and if taking the core messages that represent the "best" of Jesus, along with the ten commandments, they're pretty sound - it's good advice. (Seriously folks, don't over think it.)
The problem is that most christians do not live by Jesus' teachings, nor, more importantly, do church leaders.
For everyone else, there are numerous simple reminders that can be valuable in times of stress. (Yes, turn the other cheek - why not? It would be great if Muslims would take that one on board, hey?)
While not a 'teaching', Psalm 23 has a lovely soothing quality, even for an atheist!
The teachings are not a problem, it's an ancient text, a record of ancient cultures and beliefs - and Revelations is a beaut action closer! - no, it's not the teachings or the book: it's man made organized religion and the insistence that the christian god (and every other god) is real. God is not dead, he never existed. Religion is evil.
The bible is just a story, and Jesus is just the central supporting character (the god-dude is the lead).