7th April, 04
The return of Spring has been celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere for thousands of years, even before humans thought of the fertility goddess Eostre.
Jews hold their Passover meal at this time to remind them of their fabled escape from Egypt. (They were under Egyptian rule but not in Egypt.)
A unique feature of homo sapiens is their ability to concoct explanations for what they do not understand, hence the concept of supernatural gods and demons. Therefore, to be assured of good crops and fertility, they considered it appropriate to appease these imaginary beings by offerings and sacrifices.
The Bible records the Hebrew folk-tale of Adam and Eve who, being ignorant of right and wrong, fell to the wiles of a talking snake, thus bringing death to all living things.
The Jews still sacrifice animals to appease their god Yahweh who, they say, began this sorry business.
Christianity, an off-shoot of the Hebrew religion, still follows the same idea of appeasement but consider that the New Testament account of the sacrifice of a man provides an acceptable scapegoat. Belief in this person is all that is required to secure life eternal.
Keith S Cornish, President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc, said: “The doctrine that the death of an innocent scapegoat can cancel the guilt of a wrongdoer, even if the innocent pays the price demanded by law, is morally disgusting and unacceptable today. Everyone is responsible for their own actions according to their mental capacity.”
Mr Cornish stated that: “Easter is the time to weigh the impact of religion on civilisation today.”