Following up on my last post, I’d like to take a look at the core of Christian morality from a slightly different perspective. As I said before, the heart of the Gospel and the Old Testament sacrificial system is the idea of negotiable guilt—the concept of guilt as something independent of the facts about whodunnit, something negotiable (in the transactional sense) that can be transferred from one person to another. It’s a perverse and corrupt basis for a moral system because it ends up justifying the practice of punishing the innocent so that the wicked can escape justice.
But wait. Didn’t Jesus voluntarily lay down his life, in a heroic self-sacrifice to save the souls of sinners? Didn’t he freely give all to save all, and doesn’t the moral virtue of that humble service outweigh the moral liabilities of the negotiable guilt system?