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Anime of Tomorrow

Madoka > Jesus – Benevolence Given Freely

3. Benevolence Given Freely

Madoka doesn’t punish those who don’t believe in her or fail to thank her. Jesus sends nonbelievers and sinners to hell.

A true savior doesn’t ask for compensation for his/her services.  A savior gives freely without hope of admiration for doing good deeds. And a savior most certainly doesn’t turn right around and slap the ungrateful in the face.  This is why Jesus isn’t a savior at all. He’s a mafia boss offering protection that nobody asked for.  And if you don’t pay your dues, he’ll get back at you another way.

In contrast, Madoka doesn’t demand any worship whatsoever.  In fact, her circumstances actually make worship impossible because only Homura knows that she ever existed and besides the words of the “prophet” we can never even determine objectively that Homura’s claims are true.

She did what she did because it was the right thing to do.  This ties in with the secular outlook on why we do good deeds and why Madoka is once again an awesome example of a humanistic hero.  Like Madoka, if we live our lives freely doing good deeds, the only reward we really need is the happiness of knowing that you helped someone out.

Christians all too often do their good because they’ve been told that “belief is not enough to save you, good works are needed, too,” and so they help others because it’s been mandated by a higher power.  Or more selfishly they put up a facade of kindness because doing so will reap them rewards in the afterlife.

Why is Madoka the better savior?

You should never be compelled to do the right thing because you’re hanging to the edge of a cliff and someone who can save you tells you that you must dedicate your life to your rescuer, otherwise you’re going to get pushed.

Looking at the flip side of the situation, what does it say about the character of the helper if all they’re thinking about is how being nice can be of some benefit?  True salvation is given unconditionally and Madoka passes this test where Jesus fails.

Madoka > Jesus – Part 1 – Human vs God

Madoka > Jesus – Part 2 – The True Sacrifice

Madoka > Jesus – Part 4 – Madoka Succeeded, Jesus Failed

Madoka > Jesus – Part 5 – Madoka is More Plausible

Madoka > Jesus – Part 6 – Madoka Enables; Jesus Indulges

Madoka > Jesus – Part 7 – The Nature of Evil

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8 responses to “Madoka > Jesus – Benevolence Given Freely

  1. TWWK April 25, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I definitely think you have an inaccurate view of Jesus, Heaven, and Hell. It’s all our decision – God loves us enough to let us make our own choices in this regard. Think of it this way: Madoka forces her saving on others – although they obviously NEED saving, I’m sure there would be some that wouldn’t WANT her saving. That’s the kind of stubborn people we are. Jesus, too, OFFERS life, but we must take it.

    While Heaven and Hell are places, they are also defined by God’s presence – Heaven is being in the very presence of God. Hell is being apart from His presence, and if God is the source of love and light, it’s no surprise that it would be a torturous place. One who rejects Christ chooses to be apart from God, freely.

    And about this:

    “Christians all too often do their good because they’ve been told that “belief is not enough to save you, good works are needed, too,” and so they help others because it’s been mandated by a higher power. Or more selfishly they put up a facade of kindness because doing so will reap them rewards in the afterlife.”

    No argument there. You’re absolutely right. But this is a criticism of Christians – and there are TONS – not one of Christ.

    • Marlin-sama April 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      I can’t imagine anyone who wants to lose their mind and turn into a crazed monster filled with nothing but misdirected, wanton retribution. And those that do deserve to have that choice taken away from them for their own good and for the betterment of society as a whole. So perhaps I’m not contending you on that point, but I can twist it to suggest that maybe Jesus should take a page from Madoka’s book.

      You claim that Jesus offers life, but it’s only on his terms. I want it on my terms or at least to have some negotiating power on how I get to live that life. But something you overlooked here is my parallel of Jesus (I say Jesus but I mean god in general) as a mafia boss because he’s the one responsible for this bad situation we’re in to begin with (more on that later). But then he offers to save us from what he started. It just reeks of a slimy protection racket.

      We each come at this from our own perspective. From what I’ve read of the bible and history, I can only draw the conclusion that the “good” that is god is hollow and empty because good exists independent of god; I’m living proof of it. This makes god unnecessary. By this logic, separation from this false good would be a blessing to me. There’s an oft-spoken phrase that describes this kind of thinking poetically, “go to heaven for the climate, but go to hell for the company.”

      Lastly, my criticism of good works in the name of god is not a criticism of Christians. It is Jesus who set up things that way, meaning he’s at fault for the carrot and stick system of reward and punishment that so many fall prey to.

  2. japesland April 26, 2013 at 12:45 am

    “Christians all too often do their good because they’ve been told that “belief is not enough to save you, good works are needed, too,” and so they help others because it’s been mandated by a higher power. ”

    This was the reason for the Protestant movement. I’m not saying Christians do not do this (as TWWK pointed out), but perhaps you should look at Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

    “From what I’ve read of the bible and history, I can only draw the conclusion that the “good” that is god is hollow and empty because good exists independent of god; I’m living proof of it.”

    I think the obvious counter-argument from a Christian perspective would be that you AREN’T independent of God. Despite not believing He exists, if, indeed, he DOES exist, then you were still created by Him whether or not you believe it. Essentially, the argument comes back to “goodness is independent of God if He does not exist,” as opposed to “God’s goodness does not exist because I am independent of it”.

    I’m enjoying your writing so far. It has caused me to reflect greatly on my beliefs, particularly since there was a time when I probably would have agreed with you.

    • Marlin-sama May 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      This bias is probably a leftover of my upbringing as a Roman Catholic, but I don’t weigh protestants any differently. They’re all Christians to me who all believe in enough of the same basic tenants that I feel worrying about those sorts of things is splitting hairs.

      And although I may be shooting myself in the foot by saying this, I actually think it ought to not be enough to simply believe to get into heaven and that there should be some requirement of proving you’re also a good person. But when that happens you get into the problems of compulsion versus free will, which just doesn’t come up under a naturalistic view of the world.

      For the second point, when I say I’m good without god, I actually mean that in separating myself from god I’ve become better than god. I’m sure you’re wondering how I can say that. For one thing, I’ve never killed anyone or ordered anyone to kill anyone. THAT’S why good is independent of god, because god isn’t really good.

  3. medievalotaku April 28, 2013 at 11:47 am

    You’re not looking at the problem right. Humanity was in the condition of deserving eternal punishment because of Original Sin, which tainted all of humanity. Jesus is Our Savior He lifted Original Sin from us and made us worthy of eternal life.

    Would heaven still be heaven if we retained our vices? Why would God give us freedom if we did not have to exercise it? Working with God’s grace, we are able to overcome our vices and advance our sanctification. We cannot enter heaven unless we become fully sanctified.

    And God has no desire for revenge. He doesn’t gain anything by damning sinners. (Nor does He gain anything by saving them for that matter, except to see them happy.) He forgives terribly evil people just because they’re sorry! What could be more loving than that? St. John Vianney even records one atheist receiving the grace of final repentance for merely giving his wife flowers to decorate a statue of St. Mary. Those who are damned, damn themselves.

    If you saw a son whose parents provided everything for him, raised him as well as they could, and loved him very dearly badmouthing his parents, never obeying them, and often telling them how much he hated them, what kind of fate would you say he deserved? How much more ought it be the case for people who act in the same way toward God who provides them even with their very existence?

    Concerning the idea of Christians doing good things merely so that they are not damned, I say that such people are moving in the right direction by doing good works, but this would be a poor state in which to end. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. All who do so prove themselves wise.” St. Bernard says that such people are in the state of slavery. Often, they move to the state of doing good things because they see that they are rewarded for them, which is mercenary. Finally, they come to a true understanding of God and do good works out of love–this is becoming a true children of God.

    People don’t start out perfect. It takes time to become a truly loving person.

    • Marlin-sama May 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Why not prevent original sin from ever happening in the first place in order to avoid all this?

      If heaven is a sinless place, then wouldn’t that be a place without free will? And if its simply a place we don’t want to sin, then that means the you that goes to heaven isn’t the you that lived here on Earth and that’s sad.

      God forgives evil people just because they’re sorry? How is that justice? Shouldn’t they be required to make amends to the ones they’ve wronged first?

      Here’s the thing. The child didn’t ask to exist. It was the choice of the parent to create that child. And in doing so they accept the responsibility for raising that child properly. If they fail to do so, it is not the child’s fault.

      For your last part, I can only thing of an appropriate quote from Albert Einstein, “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”

  4. Ben April 29, 2013 at 7:02 am

    This is a very interesting set of posts.
    I don’t really have much to contribute. My thought is that it would be pretty ludicrous for humans to think they can give anything to God he doesn’t have already. I mean, the cosmos is enormous, and we’re less than a speck in a sunbeam. Humans may be the most advanced beings on Earth, but how much do we actually affect things outside our solar system?
    Logically, a God who made everything, if he wanted something, wouldn’t come to ants like us to get it. Also, a God who needs human praise to give him an ego boost is a pathetic God. I couldn’t respect a God who needs praise. A God who needs praise is not a God who deserves it.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t see a needy God in the Bible. I’d point to the many passages like Acts 17:24-25:
    “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”

    Does God want humans to recognize his glory? Yes, but he doesn’t gain anything from it, nor does he need us at all. Why did he make us then? That’s a long answer. Edwards’ essay, “The End for Which God Created the World” might be a starting place. I’ve already written a mouthful.

  5. Pingback: The Ring of Fire | A Rather Silly Blog

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