If you truly want to attempt understanding atonement, it cannot be done through understanding sin. Sin will be understood in the course of, but not through anything else but by the understanding of humanity and its draw to the good and the numinous. Sin merely becomes anything which separates us from that state of being in the world, from those experiences, and explains Paul’s suggestion that all things are permissable. This all ensures that there’s nothing inherently sinful in any act a person could perform, but that sin lay in the desires of man and how he’ll seek to achieve them and why.
By implication then, and because scripture itself reassures us, God has never changed his mind about humanity, and that God is not reconciled to man but rather man is reconciled to God. If that’s the case, the death of Christ can only be a phenomenon where man’s mind is changed about God (Duns Scotus) and that God’s being “satisfied” (propitiation) is merely that this means of changing minds is the only way, or the best way at least, to accomplish it.
One must question the entire substitutionary formula in total, while noting how discontinuous it is with all other theories we have.
Just a thought.