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Zeitgeist movie
Posted: 26 December 2007 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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If you haven’t heard of the film, you may do just that at http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com

This movie attacks Christianity directly, and the religious institution as a whole indirectly in its first part, and in the other 2 parts goes into a rant about a 9/11 and World Banker conspiracy theory, respectively. But I would like to discuss the first part, that attacks religion.

Now, after I saw the film, I realized that they were actually making some pretty tall claims. If I may condense Part 1 drastically, I will say that they claim that Christianity it its entirety is a complete knock-off of Egyptian theology, as well as pagan theology. They compare Jesus to Horus, and ultimately come to the conclusion that they are one in the same. They indirectly claim that ever religion on the planet share a messiah or savior, all with strikingly similar traits, and are actually based off each other, all based off an astrological event that happens during the winter equinox.

Now, after doing a fair amount of research, I’ve found that many of these claims are either exaggerated, taken out of context, leaps of faith, or fallacies in their entirety.

But I thought I would show it to you guys, and see what you had to say. (I turned this section upside down looking for a thread about the movie, but surprisingly, it never came up.)

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Posted: 26 December 2007 08:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yes, I watched it and I agree with the majority of it concerning religion.  If you dig deep enough you will find what Acharya is talking about.  It doesn’t take any leaps of faith for me, because I figured out even before reading her books.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 26 December 2007 09:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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One of the problems, Sophos, is that I really don’t care what the historical origins of christianity are.  I see it as complete mythology, so tracking it back to earlier mythology isn’t part of my interest.

Occam

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Posted: 26 December 2007 09:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Mriana - 26 December 2007 08:53 PM

Yes, I watched it and I agree with the majority of it concerning religion.  If you dig deep enough you will find what Acharya is talking about.  It doesn’t take any leaps of faith for me, because I figured out even before reading her books.

Are you sure we’re talking about the same thing? The film is produced by a man named Peter J. I don’t believe I’ve heard anything about someone named Acharya, or anybody involved with the film having written a book.

EDIT: Ah, Acharya is an author that makes similar claims, but I assure you that the two are unrelated. Acharya is cited as a source, yes, but she was not involved with this project.

Anyways, what I’ve found is that in reality, Egyptian theology has much less in common with Christian theology than Peter J. may lead you to believe. I’m not too clear as to what specific arguments Acharya makes, so I will not involve her in this.

But anyways:

Jesus vs. Horus

It is claimed that they share birth dates and manners.

Facts (in scope of the theology of each respective story):

Jesus was born in March to the virgin Mary, set to marry Joseph of the line of David, after being told so by an angel that she would give a virgin birth to the Messiah. A while later, he was visited by 3 Magi, who brought him gifts. (They were not kings, and the origins of that story are unknown to me.) The reason Christians celebrate this during December was due to the fact that the Roman-Catholic Church Christianized Pagan religions. These religions had various celebrations during December, it having been the winter equinox, and therefore of meaning to them.

Horus was born at the end of the Egyptian calendar to Isis, which translates to November on the Gregorian calendar, and his story is that Isis used the cut off phallus of Osiris to become impregnated and Horus was then born. Nobody visited him.

Well, according to my research, the only thing they had in common as far as this factor goes is that they both were born by “miracle” birth. The story given in Zeitgeist about Horus’ birth is a complete lie.

It is also claimed that they lived similar lives, teaching in temples at early ages, had 12 disciples, were baptized, circumcised, so on.

These things are all true of Jesus. But Horus on the other hand… Well I certainly found no stories of it. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough. Who knows. Although, bear in mind that there was no such thing as circumcision or baptism in Egyptian theology.

It is claimed that they were both crucified.

Horus was not crucified, to my knowledge. Jesus, on the other hand, was. Allow me to clarify that while the Romans were pagan, and did worship the cross as a religious symbol, it is not for the same reason Christians do. Christians worship it because Jesus died on it. It is a symbol of forgiveness, not of the Zodiac.

It is claimed that Christ is not actually a surname, but a title.

This is true. It meant “The anointed one”. The only myth made up is that Christ is asserted as a surname. It really isn’t. But if you can find me another account of a Christ, not pertaining to Jesus, I will concede this as a valid point.

It is claimed that Jesus doesn’t actually exist.

First off, I will attack the claims that associate early Christianity with Mithraism. Mithraism is a very mysterious religion that existed during the Roman Empire around the same time as early Christianity, but further studies indicate that it wasn’t until after the First Century that the mysterious worship of Mithra actually bears similarity to the growing cult of Jesus. It is proposed that Mithraists did this deliberately in order to compete.

Secondly, there are multiple sources outside of the accounts in the Bible, many of which are personal accounts of the life of Jesus Christ, but there is also Josephus. The validity of Josephus’ reference to Jesus Christ is disputed, but not an all out forgery as stated in the film.

Tacitus also makes a reference to Jesus, stating that a Christus figure was executed by Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius, but that the cult was breaking out once again.

Suetonius refers to a Chrestus causing unrest among the Jews during the reign of Claudius, but whether or not this is meant to be Christus is disputed. Surprisingly, this is not mentioned in Zeitgeist. You’d think this dispute would help them. But hey, you be the judge.

Pliny the Younger refers to Christians in 110 BCE as significant numbers of people who would not recant their faith in the Christus. Is there account of another Christus who was concretely not Jesus?

The Babylonian Talmud also makes multiple references to people often identified as Jesus, referring to a heretic.

[ Edited: 26 December 2007 10:05 PM by Sophos ]
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Posted: 27 December 2007 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Occam - 26 December 2007 09:01 PM

One of the problems, Sophos, is that I really don’t care what the historical origins of christianity are.  I see it as complete mythology, so tracking it back to earlier mythology isn’t part of my interest.

Huh. I find the origins of myths to be fascinating ... what got people to believe in these things? How did they start? How did the Bible get written and compiled? But to each his own of course!

wink

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Posted: 27 December 2007 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I agree with Occam. A deep similarity among religions isn’t directly relevant to arguing for *or* against a god’s existence. It’s surprisingly doubtful that there’s been more than one completely independent civilization, and there’s the biological/social similarity among all human beings too. So we oughtn’t be ‘wowed’ by parallels in world religions. (People love stealing good idea, whether engineering ideas or religious ideas.)

Further, our classical and Hellenistic ancestors were quite aware of the parallels among religions, the Christians included - a nd none of them thought of this as some faith-shattering event. So *Zeitgeist* is calling up a rather old ghost, if you ask me, and a spook so well-known spook in the house of history that it’s not feared by most of the regular guests.

I happen to find the parallels convenient and ‘agreeable’. It’s nice to know that God doesn’t let people wander too far off the mark, as a whole. But i’d only use that fact like i’d tell someone on a cliff not to jump ‘because you’ll make your friends feel bad’ - that’s not the reason suicide is wrong, but it’s a useful fact to get the guy to move away from the ledge, maybe. It’s ‘handy’ to know.

Btw - if 2/3 of the movie feels like ca-ca, how likely is it that the 1/3 about religion is Shinola? One must be careful not to like something merely because it’s agreeable to one’s views! that’s okay for candy or liquor, but not for argumentation.

cheers,

Kirk

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Posted: 27 December 2007 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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heh - i agree with doug, too. I guess i’m jsut agreeable today!

KIrk

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Posted: 27 December 2007 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Yes Sophos.  That Zeitgeist film appeared on this forum not so long ago.  I agree with you, completely, that the first part about religion is interesting and that the last two parts are unfortunate bunk.  I’m also on the same page as Doug about finding the origins of myths to be fascinating.  Particularly the unraveling of myths that lead to a deeper and more accurate understanding of human history.

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Posted: 27 December 2007 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Sophos - 26 December 2007 09:09 PM
Mriana - 26 December 2007 08:53 PM

Yes, I watched it and I agree with the majority of it concerning religion.  If you dig deep enough you will find what Acharya is talking about.  It doesn’t take any leaps of faith for me, because I figured out even before reading her books.

Are you sure we’re talking about the same thing? The film is produced by a man named Peter J. I don’t believe I’ve heard anything about someone named Acharya, or anybody involved with the film having written a book.

They used some of Acharya’s work.

EDIT: Ah, Acharya is an author that makes similar claims, but I assure you that the two are unrelated. Acharya is cited as a source, yes, but she was not involved with this project.

No, Peter J. thanks her for the use of her work in an article.  I’ll have to look for it, but he does use her work for the movie.

Anyways, what I’ve found is that in reality, Egyptian theology has much less in common with Christian theology than Peter J. may lead you to believe. I’m not too clear as to what specific arguments Acharya makes, so I will not involve her in this.

I find it very much similar.

Jesus was born in March to the virgin Mary, set to marry Joseph of the line of David, after being told so by an angel that she would give a virgin birth to the Messiah. A while later, he was visited by 3 Magi, who brought him gifts. (They were not kings, and the origins of that story are unknown to me.) The reason Christians celebrate this during December was due to the fact that the Roman-Catholic Church Christianized Pagan religions. These religions had various celebrations during December, it having been the winter equinox, and therefore of meaning to them.

We do not know that it was March.  The 3 magi with gifts, virgin births, and alike are not unique to Xianity.

Horus was born at the end of the Egyptian calendar to Isis, which translates to November on the Gregorian calendar, and his story is that Isis used the cut off phallus of Osiris to become impregnated and Horus was then born. Nobody visited him.

Nov., Dec.  It’s pretty much similar in dating.  Not much difference and I find it nitpicking to say it’s not the same time of year.  It’s the stories themselves that are much similar.

These things are all true of Jesus. But Horus on the other hand… Well I certainly found no stories of it. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough. Who knows. Although, bear in mind that there was no such thing as circumcision or baptism in Egyptian theology.

Dig deeper.

Horus was not crucified, to my knowledge. Jesus, on the other hand, was. Allow me to clarify that while the Romans were pagan, and did worship the cross as a religious symbol, it is not for the same reason Christians do. Christians worship it because Jesus died on it. It is a symbol of forgiveness, not of the Zodiac.

Neither was Jesus.  He was not on a cross.  That came later in Xianity mythology.  He was placed on what Greeks called a “stauross” or “stavross” & “stavrooh”, which means an upright pale or stake.  It never was a cross to begin with.

This is true. It meant “The anointed one”. The only myth made up is that Christ is asserted as a surname. It really isn’t. But if you can find me another account of a Christ, not pertaining to Jesus, I will concede this as a valid point.

Yes it was a title and you probably will question this, but it’s a derivative of Krishna- Krishna- also known as Krista in hindu, Greek Cristos, and in English Christ.

It is claimed that Jesus doesn’t actually exist.

He didn’t.

Secondly, there are multiple sources outside of the accounts in the Bible, many of which are personal accounts of the life of Jesus Christ, but there is also Josephus. The validity of Josephus’ reference to Jesus Christ is disputed, but not an all out forgery as stated in the film.

There are no legitiment outside source of Jesus outside the Bible.  Josephus has been confirmed a forgery.  I don’t know where you get that it’s not, for many theologians say it is.

Pliny the Younger refers to Christians in 110 BCE as significant numbers of people who would not recant their faith in the Christus. Is there account of another Christus who was concretely not Jesus?

The Babylonian Talmud also makes multiple references to people often identified as Jesus, referring to a heretic.

I don’t know where you get your sources.  I have either heard of them and they are confirmed forgeries or I’ve never seen them, because as far as I know there are no outside source of Jesus.  He’s a myth.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 27 December 2007 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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inthegobi - 27 December 2007 06:25 AM

I agree with Occam. A deep similarity among religions isn’t directly relevant to arguing for *or* against a god’s existence. It’s surprisingly doubtful that there’s been more than one completely independent civilization, and there’s the biological/social similarity among all human beings too. So we oughtn’t be ‘wowed’ by parallels in world religions. (People love stealing good idea, whether engineering ideas or religious ideas.)

Further, our classical and Hellenistic ancestors were quite aware of the parallels among religions, the Christians included - a nd none of them thought of this as some faith-shattering event. So *Zeitgeist* is calling up a rather old ghost, if you ask me, and a spook so well-known spook in the house of history that it’s not feared by most of the regular guests.

cheers,

Kirk

Jesus isn’t god or that is, even when I was an Xian, I did not see him as god.  Yes, I know, I was Episcopalian, but that didn’t make any difference- it was still a story and became more so when I realized it was re-written myth, so yeah, it can be faith shattering.  Krishna was Vishnu incarnate and Christ (a derivitive) is said to be an incarnation of God.  It’s the same thing.  Just another myth that came from another.  So, yes, learning that the christian myth is just re-written myth from previous myths can be faith shattering.

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Posted: 27 December 2007 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Oddly enough, I just watched the section on religion from the Zeitgeist movie just yesterday, before seeing this post (it’s a sign surprised ).  I got a similar skeptical response, that this information looks too good to be true.  When they scrolled the list of similarities between Horus & Jesus it reminded me of the similarities between the Lincoln & Kennedy assassinations.  If you look hard enough, simplify and stretch the facts you can come up with a lot of parallels. 

I pegged this movie as committing the same fallacies that many religious followers are guilty of, associating with the encouraging aspects and disassociating with the contradictory.  Although, this methodology could be more effective than cold hard reason, in helping some people break free of their bridle & blinders, I would have to say that this approach appears too unethical for my liking.

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Posted: 27 December 2007 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Sophos - 26 December 2007 09:09 PM

Although, bear in mind that there was no such thing as circumcision or baptism in Egyptian theology.

image002.jpg

There are many more visual depictions of circumcision on the walls of Egyptian ruins, as well as recounted in papyrus writings.  There are countless circumcision knives on display at museums throughout the western world.

The jews probably got circumcision from the Egyptians, because the jews were probably originally a sect of Egyptians.  By estimating a biblical time line from the time of the Exodus story, recounting Moses’ flight across the Red Sea from Pharaoh, and comparing that with the relatively rock solid time line for the Egyptian “Kings list,” we can fairly place the supposed Exodus story as having taken place some time during one of the immediate dynasties that followed Amenhotep IV (or Akhenaten).  This so-called “heretic king” had created a monotheistic cult of sun worship (the sun god Aten which was later infused with Ra), and moved the capitol of ancient Egypt from present day Aswan to Tell-el Amarna.  It would only make sense that Yahweh was, at least, loosely inspired by The Aten or Ra.  Similarly, it would seem logical that the Jews brought circumcision with them out of Egypt.

It should also be noted that the Libyans to the West of ancient Egypt did not practice circumcision.  While the Assyrians to the northeast and the Nubians to the south did practice circumcision.  Akhenaten and all of the subsequent Pharaohs were from upper Egypt (or southern Egypt) quite near to Nubia.

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Posted: 27 December 2007 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I agree with Doug, I find the origins of the myths very interesting, and sometimes they help us to understand why the people belive what they believe. Of course, I don’t think that the origins of a myth has anything to do with its value.

Regarding zeitgeist, I don’t have the knowledge to talk about its religious claims, but taking into account what is said about economics, I wouldn’t give credit to this movie.

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Posted: 27 December 2007 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Thanks for that post on Egyptian history.

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Posted: 27 December 2007 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Oh yes, and baptism was standard practice in ancient Egypt.  It was a fundamental procedure after death for preparing the body for the afterlife, as detailed in The Book of the Dead.  A variant of this activity is still practiced by modern day coptic christians in Egpyt.  It was also standard practice in daily life to cleanse ones body as a means of spiritual purification.  Temple priests were expected to wash themselves with water seven times a day.

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Posted: 27 December 2007 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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erasmusinfinity - 27 December 2007 07:36 AM

Yes Sophos.  That Zeitgeist film appeared on this forum not so long ago.

First comment to erasmus and maybe Doug/Occam as well. How does the “search” function work on this forum anyway? I tried searching on ‘zeitgeist’ and got nothing, tried advanced search, nothing, then tried ‘compass’ to see if it could find the posts about Golden Compass and I didn’t get anything. Am I using it incorrectly….

(so can you give us info to help locate the earlier discussion)

Thanks….

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