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The Mythicist Position

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posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 02:16 PM
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"A rather friendly critcism of Acharya I would make is that the mythic position is not antagonistic and anti-Christian enough"


We cannot win them over to our side by constantly insulting them and terrorizing them. That's not how one wins people over to our side. How many Christians have come to our side due to Dawkins? He's one of the most popular atheists but not popular among theists. We cannot get an "antagonistic and anti-Christian" mythicist position entry into dictionaries or encyclopedias - it will just be dismissed as "hostile" towards religion/Christianity and will only serve to create more divisiveness as well as lower the level of discourse. We need the direct oppose at this point in time.

Besides, Acharya's books certainly blast all the Abrahamic religions. So, it's not necessary, useful or beneficial to have a hateful position that theists will never pay any attention to.


"my religion is based on ancient myths, but they are very good and useful myths"


The fact is that when one understands the substance behind the myths they ARE useful but, not in a religious way. We just need to update these myths from a secular standpoint. We now know, thanks to work like Acharya's, that much of those religious concepts originate with natural phenomena such as the sun, moon, planets, stars, constellations = astrotheology. And there's more, such as fire, lightning, etc. That is our very best weapon against religious fanaticism. The facts and evidence demonstrate that most of the "supernatural" claims of religion are based in natural phenomena that weren't necessarily understood entirely. Now we know, and that's why the myths can still be useful with a new scientific interpretation. With a "weapon" like that based on facts and credible evidence, there's no need to be "antagonistic and anti-Christian" - in fact it would only damage our strategy to win people over for the betterment of humanity.


"...generally consider Christianity to be a malevolent and abhorrent memetic virus and a curse on humankind which must be eradicated as soon as possible"


There's plenty of that out there and even in Acharya's books but, that sentiment is not what is needed in a succinct mythicist position that can entered into dictionaries or encyclopedias. We want to win people over, not push them away. We want theists (and atheists) to seriously study the mountain of credible evidence for the case for mythicism - nothing would do more damage to that than having an "antagonistic and anti-Christian" position to stop them from studying it before they even begin. We want NT scholars in academia to study it. As it is right now, they are not even looking at the case for mythicism, which means they really aren't experts on the subject of religious history, since mythicism is such a HUGE part of that. Yet, NT scholars are not required to study the case for mythicism in order to get their Ph.D.

The Mythicist Challenge Petition
www.freethoughtnation.com...


"Ancient religions are simply of no value to humanist ethics, since humanist ethics are the product of human reason and intution, and are not derived from myths of transcendental deities. "


There's much more to it than just that. So, as for just one example, what happens if we get hit by a major solar flare that takes out all electronics globally?

This is just one of many areas where these ancient myths would help us survive. Many of these myths were passed on from generation to generation were mythical stories giving practical information about how to survive. Many of the stone observatories also serve as calendars. They don't need electricity. Some of these myths had practical uses such as when to plant and when to harvest. The solstices and equinoxes served also as calendar markers and much more. It really would be a great loss to just toss all of that into the trash can.

The Solstice Project - Sun Dagger
www.freethoughtnation.com...

And then there are the Greek myths, for example, which inspired Socrates, Aristotle and Plato, who are the basis for many of our "humanistic ethics." Why should we throw all that away? That's some of the most fascinating stuff we can look at.

As I stated before, I like Dawkins. He has great philosophical arguments against theism. However, his work lacks substance and tangible evidence that demonstrates where the origins of these religious concepts came from based on natural phenomena in the first place - which is precisely what Acharya's work does. Dawkins is a biologist, not a theologian. He has never explored any of the mountain of credible evidence that Acharya's work is all about. Acharya's work is precisely what's missing from the discussion.

Were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson Jesus Mythicists?
truthbeknown.com...

Here's Dawkins himself admitting in that quote you provided on page 1 that "That would be an amazingly powerful weapon against Christianity if it were true"

Well, Acharya's work proves that. So, while Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris etc have much to offer from a philosophical stand point, Acharya provides the substance and credible evidence that they do not. The two together complement each other as made clear in the Harris link.

Acharya's Work Complements Sam Harris's Philosophy
www.freethoughtnation.com...


Secular Solstice and Equinox Celebrations: Community without the Dogma

In our view, astrotheology is the bridge between freethought and religion. A great way to create a community without all the dogma is through Secular Solstice, Equinox and seasonal peak Celebrations.

I think Freethinkers should challenge traditional religious holiday celebrations. Such as "Christmas" and "Easter" for example. There are perfectly valid scientific and historical reasons to celebrate Secular Solstice, Equinox and seasonal peak Celebrations. And especially the winter solstice and the spring equinox ... without any need for religious underpinnings at all. We do *NOT* need religion to celebrate these natural phenomena whatsoever.

Challenge Religious Tradition with Secular Solstice, Equinox and seasonal peak Celebrations. Today, we find atheists and Freethinkers like myself getting involved in the winter solstice fun:

"ATHEISTS: There has been a recent increase in solstice observances by Atheists in the U.S. For example, The American Atheists and local Atheist groups have organized celebrations for 2000-DEC, including the Great North Texas Infidel Bash in Weatherford TX; Winter Solstice bash in Roselle NJ; Winter Solstice Parties in York PA, Boise ID, North Bethesda MD, and Des Moines IA; Winter Solstice Gatherings in Phoenix AZ and Denver CO: a Year End Awards and Review Dinner (YEAR) in San Francisco, CA."
www.religioustolerance.org...

www.freethoughtnation.com...


In my opinion. I don't think bringing in "anti-christ" discussion is helpful here at all. It's distracting to the point of this thread. That is just a race to the bottom in a downward negative spiral leading us towards an even lower level of discourse at a time when it really needs to be raised.
edit on 23-2-2011 by GoldenKnight because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by GoldenKnight

"A rather friendly critcism of Acharya I would make is that the mythic position is not antagonistic and anti-Christian enough"


We cannot win them over to our side by constantly insulting them and terrorizing them. That's not how one wins people over to our side. How many Christians have come to our side due to Dawkins? He's one of the most popular atheists but not popular among theists. We cannot get an "antagonistic and anti-Christian" mythicist position entry into dictionaries or encyclopedias - it will just be dismissed as "hostile" towards religion/Christianity and will only serve to create more divisiveness as well as lower the level of discourse. We need the direct oppose at this point in time.

Besides, Acharya's books certainly blast all the Abrahamic religions. So, it's not necessary, useful or beneficial to have a hateful position that theists will never pay any attention to.



On some hindsight and reconsideration, I think it probably better to refer to the "tough cop / nice cop" analogy. Often when interviewing a suspect, police will use this approach. One of the police will display a more protective, motherly, understanding, conciliatory attitute to the suspect and the other will display a threatening, aggressive, intolerant and judgemental attitude. If we were to ask which approach is more successful, I probably think that the police would be expected to argue that "both" approaches used simultaneously are more successful.

The "criminal" in this case is the victim of religious hypnosis and indoctrination, some of whom are just innocent victims and some of whom are professional religious hypnotists of the Jesus business, but both do spread the same memetic virus.

If we extend this approach to the modern world, the "tough cop" is the Nietzschean approach which is an aggressive, militant anti-Christianity represented by Dawkins, Hitchens and Sam Harris. Whereas the "soft cop" approach is probably the "Acharya S" and Zeitgeist type approach, which is not really an atheistic approach; it is simply a more gentle deconstruction of myths, which to many are literal beliefs.

Personaly I also tend to use both approaches since I do understand that many people are just innocent victims of professional religious hypnotists of a very successful multi-billion dollar business which preys on the vulnerable, and I do understand how some people can be psychologically vulnerable.

I do not think that the Neitzchean / Dawkins antagonistic approach is unsuccessful on it's own however; I think that many educated and intelligent people are simply shocked and awoken by such an approach and become ashamed that they could ever believe such savage and primitive beliefs; it probably appeals more to the male psyche since males are more rational, while generally females seem to more emotional. The Zeitgeist film has, I think certainly also been successful in awakening many people by using a different, more gentle and less atheistic approach.



"Ancient religions are simply of no value to humanist ethics, since humanist ethics are the product of human reason and intution, and are not derived from myths of transcendental deities. "


There's much more to it than just that. So, as for just one example, what happens if we get hit by a major solar flare that takes out all electronics globally?

This is just one of many areas where these ancient myths would help us survive. Many of these myths were passed on from generation to generation were mythical stories giving practical information about how to survive. Many of the stone observatories also serve as calendars. They don't need electricity. Some of these myths had practical uses such as when to plant and when to harvest. The solstices and equinoxes served also as calendar markers and much more. It really would be a great loss to just toss all of that into the trash can.


Yes well in the ancient world, science was entwined with religion, just as astronomy was entwined with astrology, whereas we seem to have progressed beyond that now.




I think Freethinkers should challenge traditional religious holiday celebrations. Such as "Christmas" and "Easter" for example. There are perfectly valid scientific and historical reasons to celebrate Secular Solstice, Equinox and seasonal peak Celebrations. And especially the winter solstice and the spring equinox ... without any need for religious underpinnings at all. We do *NOT* need religion to celebrate these natural phenomena whatsoever.

"ATHEISTS: There has been a recent increase in solstice observances by Atheists in the U.S. For example, The American Atheists and local Atheist groups have organized celebrations for 2000-DEC, including the Great North Texas Infidel Bash in Weatherford TX; Winter Solstice bash in Roselle NJ; Winter Solstice Parties in York PA, Boise ID, North Bethesda MD, and Des Moines IA; Winter Solstice Gatherings in Phoenix AZ and Denver CO: a Year End Awards and Review Dinner (YEAR) in San Francisco, CA."
www.religioustolerance.org...

www.freethoughtnation.com...



I am really coming from a Neopagan background and I live just near Glastonbury, which is probably the main pilgrimage centre for the European Neopagan movement; just walking down the street every day is a bizzare assortment of people dressed like they have just walked out of a witches' covern; I am not antagonistic towards mysticism and my partner is an evangelical feminist and Wiccanist. Perhaps I come across a bit like Richard Dawkins, but I am not a materialist; I have much more in common with the spiritual and philosophical Satanists.



In my opinion. I don't think bringing in "anti-christ" discussion is helpful here at all. It's distracting to the point of this thread. That is just a race to the bottom in a downward negative spiral leading us towards an even lower level of discourse at a time when it really needs to be raised


It is not necessary to "discuss" it, but it certainly is a fact that the Christians are waiting on the return of a militant, genocidal global theocratic dictator (i.e., the king of kings; the Second Coming of Christ ) which is very much a malevolent and Neofascist concept to most Neopagans and Nietzcheans / humanists; many of whom consider it a "moral emergency" to eradicate Christianity. Christianity (and also Islam) are not just harmless faiths, but religions with genocidal war gods, and which could have very serious consequences for future humankind.

Lux

edit on 23-2-2011 by Lucifer777 because: mis-spelling-itis



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 06:16 PM
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fantastic thread so far


It would appear to me (although my knowledge on the subject is limited) that idea of Mythacism is a very old one and one which was practised by most religious communities until the idea of an historical god figure arrived in 100-300AD?

As far as I was aware all religions prior to that point accepted that their god figures were mythical or allegorical?



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 08:39 PM
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reply to post by Versa
 


I suspect that in all these religions and mythologies there have always been those who understood that their deities were symbols, and who grasped the inner meaning, as well as those who didnt have a clue and took it to be real. Unfortunately, as with Christianity, those who didnt really have a clue came to dominate and overtake the religion, while those who actually understood were persecuted or marginalized.

Jesus was supposed to have said that he spoke in riddles to obscure the truth from those who were not ready for it, and only those who had 'ears to hear' would understand.

Christianity is an edifice created later by those who did not understand.
edit on 23-2-2011 by Malcram because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-2-2011 by Malcram because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 06:33 AM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by Versa
 


I suspect that in all these religions and mythologies there have always been those who understood that their deities were symbols, and who grasped the inner meaning, as well as those who didnt have a clue and took it to be real. Unfortunately, as with Christianity, those who didnt really have a clue came to dominate and overtake the religion, while those who actually understood were persecuted or marginalized.


Yes I think its far to say that the Gnostic's were well represented in Christianity before the 'Litralist's took over
edit on 24-2-2011 by Versa because: removed an extra letter



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 09:18 AM
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Originally posted by GoldenKnight
Student X,

How sure of that are you?


Pretty darn sure. Just to reiterate, my claim is that clarity comes through in-depth and time-consuming study, not by exposure to the alleged succinctness of one author. One reads a dozen books by Jung, and a dozen by Campbell, and a few books by people like Huxley, Huston, Armstrong, Hall, Eliade...and clarity gradually emerges. A few paragraphs or a book by one author is not a substitute for that.


edit on 24-2-2011 by Student X because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 01:42 PM
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Student X,


"Just to reiterate, my claim is that clarity comes through in-depth and time-consuming study, not by exposure to the alleged succinctness of one author. One reads a dozen books by Jung, and a dozen by Campbell, and a few books by people like Huxley, Huston, Armstrong, Hall, Eliade...and clarity gradually emerges. A few paragraphs or a book by one author is not a substitute for that. "


No sh it Sherlock. Your argument is a strawman fallacy. Nobody is claiming that we shouldn't do "in-depth and time-consuming study" nor is anybody claiming "a few paragraphs or a book by one author is a substitute for that."

The point of this thread and the point of having a mythicist position still flies way over your head. And, you're still unable to answer my simple questions asking you to provide a succinct mythicist position by Carl Jung (who, by the way, was a Swiss psychologist - not a theologian) or Joseph Campbell that would bring awareness and inspire others to do the further reading. Nor have you read a single book by Acharya S - which includes over 1,600 bibliographical sources. So, don't even try to pretend that her work is only one source because that would be false demonstrating that you know nothing about her work.

My previous questions that you refused to answer:


"What books by Acharya S have you actually read from cover to cover? None? How many theists are reading Jung and Campbell? How many theists or atheists are writing reviews saying those books changed their lives? In fact, how many Christians even know who Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell are?

Simply provide the succinct mythicist position by Carl Jung and/or Joseph Campbell or your argument remains an epic failure."

www.freethoughtnation.com...

The first wheel was probably made out of wood or stone. Henry Ford created the first factory of mass production. Computers were originally the size of a house. You're argument is essentially claiming we shouldn't attempt to improve upon anything and that there's no need for dictionaries or encyclopedias. I would be embarrassed to make that argument. The reasons for having a clear succinct mythicist position are axiomatic. If you don't understand that then, you have a lot of studying to do.


The fact remains that very few are even aware of mythicism or how it applies to religion. It's a vital part of the discussion and nobody is really discussing it right now beyond Acharya S and Zeitgeist. So yes, a mythicist position is very helpful as a *STARTING POINT* to bring awareness. There's plenty of further reading on the subject and it's highly recommended.
edit on 24-2-2011 by GoldenKnight because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 01:47 PM
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Lux,


"I probably think that the police would be expected to argue that "both" approaches used simultaneously are more successful. "


Yes indeed, and I have no problem with that. That's why I say that Acharya's work "complements" the Dawkins, Harris work. Different people require different approaches depending on what's important to them.


"It is not necessary to "discuss" it, but it certainly is a fact that the Christians are waiting on the return of a militant, genocidal global theocratic dictator (i.e., the king of kings; the Second Coming of Christ ) which is very much a malevolent..."


Yep, I think it's extremely important to address the 'end times' prophecy crap that intends to destroy 2/3rds of the human population - all non-believers of course. The idea of a 2nd coming of Jesus and the 12th Imam of Islam are what keeps these barbaric religions alive today. It must be addressed before they get us all killed totally unnecessarily.

A Brief History of the Apocalypse
www.abhota.info...

"Ever since Christ's death, many Christians have been expecting the second coming in their immediate future. Most believe that Christ will not actually land or stay on earth at this time; the "real" second coming will occur later, when he returns on a horse leading an army on horseback who will exterminate one third of the earth's population in a massive genocide. It will be numerically the largest mass extermination of humans in history."

www.religioustolerance.org...

Eventually 2/3rds of the human population i.e. NON-believers are to be wiped out according to the last book in the New Testament, Revelation. The Religious tolerance website has changed the information on that page but I saved it before they removed it.

Book of Revelation is Egyptian and Zoroastrian
www.freethoughtnation.com...

Comparing Abrahamic 'End Times' Prophecies
www.freethoughtnation.com...

edit on 24-2-2011 by GoldenKnight because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 02:07 PM
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I have no doubt that the person of Jesus was mythologized, particularly in respect to the circumstances of his birth, but I have a very hard time, when examining his sayings and teachings and especially some of his exchanges with challengers, and the anecdotal details, not concluding that there was an actual person there, with a character and a personality. It ia also difficult to explain the rise of Christianity in the first place, absent a historical person of Jesus (Yeshua). It's intereesting I've noted how Paul's letters are considered historically authentic, when he was a younger contemporary to Peter and debated and argued with Peter, so we've got Peter as an actual historical figure, but Jesus was entirely made up from whole cloth and is nothing but a representation of the sun...? I'm not buying it. And there are just so many aspects to the story, including the very meaning and significance of the cross, which contains a level of genuis so alien to our human conceptions of justice, which are just baffling, unless we see the fingerprints of the love of God in it - I'm with C.S. Lewis on that score as well. I often wonder if many of the Jesus deniers have ever really taken the time to examine the words attributed to Jesus and taken a look at the character there, and the spiritual genius of the man..? It is never wise to assume, a priori, especially with a contemptuous bias, prior to, investigation, since there is nothing to be learned by that.



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by GoldenKnight

No # Sherlock.


I didn't read past this. Our conversation is over. I don't bother with people who talk the way you do. Goodbye.



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 


Re: The Three Wise Men from the Orient (far East).

I am very much persuaded that this myth represents an allegory to Jesus' (Yeshua's) appropriation of the teachings of Lao Tzu, Confucius and Buddha, who were contemporary to one another approximately 500 years B.C. which, when combined with his Jewish mysticsm, culminated in an epiphany at the "birth" of "the Christ" or of his Christ-consciousness. To this day, there is a commemorative celebration of the Three Wise Men near Christmas called "Epiphany Sunday"... The star over Bethlehem may then be likened to the morning star proportedly seen by Siddartha at his realization, which I believe would be, Venus..? I call this "star of enlightenment", within the Buddhist context and frame of reference the "star of isolate consciousness" since it denotes the absolute one-ness of nirvana apart from which there is nothing that is not. Jesus then, imo and pov, reinterpreted this realization within the context and framework of what I like to call "the relativity of human being" or the "brotherhood of man" as a family framework within one grand "heavenly household" of a loving God as the collectively shared, unconditioned ground of being (and as "spirit and truth"). His "sacrifice" may then be seen, instead of the liberation from all suffering by the attachment of desire, as in Buddha's enlightenment, as that of the sympathetic sufferer willingly carrying and taking upon himself all the sins and sorrow and strife of his fellow man, according to a passionate desire for atonement (at one ment) and unity, from within his contextual reframe of the great realization, as that of the "Good Shepherd" willing to go to any lengths to retrieve the one lost sheep in accordance with a passion and a love that knows no bounds in either space or time. This type of love is addressed in the Baghavad Gita and is referred to as the love of Bhakti, and that is how I think we ought to understand Jesus' relationship with his father (Abba), as the eternal love between the lover and the beloved other, extended from there, to us everywhere and always. "And as my father hath sent me, even so send I you." Whether entirely true or not, this moves me to no end..

Just something to ponder..


edit on 24-2-2011 by NewAgeMan because: edit



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by Student X

Originally posted by GoldenKnight

No # Sherlock.
I didn't read past this. Our conversation is over. I don't bother with people who talk the way you do. Goodbye.

No, you haven't read any of the links or viewed the videos on the subject of this thread either. Your argument simply failed miserably. Come back when you've actually studied the subject of this thread.
edit on 24-2-2011 by GoldenKnight because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 



"It ia also difficult to explain the rise of Christianity in the first place, absent a historical person of Jesus (Yeshua)."


I've heard that argument many times before and it fails miserably because we could easily apply that same argument towards any other Pagan religion. How could the Egyptian religion have come into existence without Osiris? Same with Mithra, Zeus etc.

It just falls apart when you think about it for more than a minute. We know that Christianity was "created ... in order to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion," which is what Acharya's first book, "The Christ Conspiracy" was all about - that quote comes from the description on the back cover.

A major problem stems from the fact that there is no credible scientific evidence of the biblical Jesus - there's not even a mention of him during the time period in which Christians claim he existed.

The canonical gospels didn't exist until around 180 when Irenaeus first mentioned all 4 of them altogether in his book, "Against Heresy." That is the time period in which we get the first historical and literary evidence of their existence. That is what the evidence shows. There is no evidence for the existence of the canonical gospels before the end of the second century.

Mentions of the 'memoirs of the apostles' are not the canonical gospels. And, around 85% of the sayings in the gospels are found not to be authentic to Jesus. The other 15% couldn't be decided either way due to a lack of evidence.

"The memoirs are not the same as the canonical gospels, and the mention of & quotation from Justin Martyr's book doesn't serve as evidence of the existence of the gospels" ... as he never mentions them by name nor shows any awareness of them"

"Justin's book was different from our Gospels"
- Keeler 21-22

"Justin's version of the gospel tale & church history contradicts the NT"
- Cassles 249
- "Suns of God" 419-20

freethoughtnation.com...

Most people are not aware that New Testament scholars are not required to study the case for mythicism in order to get their Ph.D., which means they really aren't experts on the subject of religious history, since mythicism is such a HUGE part of that.


"It's intereesting I've noted how Paul's letters are considered historically authentic"


Half of Paul's letters are not considered authentic. The rest are still questionable.
en.wikipedia.org...

Apollonius, Jesus and Paul: Men or Myths?
www.truthbeknown.com...


"the very meaning and significance of the cross"


The cross as a symbol existed long before Christianity. In fact, it's one of the oldest symbols representing the sun.


"The most important symbol in Christianity today is the cross. However, there is no cross in early Christian art before the middle of the 5th century, where it appears on a coin in a painting. The first clear crucifixion appears in the late 7th century. Before then, Jesus was almost always depicted as a fish or a Shepard, never on a cross. Any bible that contains the word "cross" or "crucify" in dishonest.

"The Babylonians, Egyptians, Aztecs & others had cross symbols. However, there is no cross in Christianity. No cross at all! There is no cross anywhere in the bible. The words which have been translated "cross" & "crucify" in the New Testament are "stauross" or "stavross" & "stavrooh". All translators, even fundamentalists, agree that a they are *NOT* a cross. Liddell & Scotts A Greek-English Lexicon defines "stauross" or "stavross" as "upright pale or stake". W.E. Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament words, another Christian resource, reports that "stauross" or "stavross" - "denotes, primarily, an upright pale or stake".

- "Losing faith in faith" pg 203-4



"In the gospel story Jesus tells his disciples to "take up the cross" & follow him. Obviously, the cross already existed and was a well-known symbol, such that Jesus did not even have to explain this strange statement about an object that, we are led to believe, only gained significance AFTER Jesus died on it..."

- Christ Conspiracy pg 218



"I often wonder if many of the Jesus deniers have ever really taken the time to examine the words attributed to Jesus and taken a look at the character there, and the spiritual genius of the man..?"


I was originally a saved, baptized evangelical Christian for about 20 years. I simply got tired of being lied to.

From a former Preacher of 20 years:

Why Jesus?; Are the teachings and deeds of Jesus admirable?
ffrf.org...


"It is never wise to assume, a priori, especially with a contemptuous bias, prior to, investigation, since there is nothing to be learned by that."


Yes, it is bad to assume, a priori, that Jesus existed without a shred of credible evidence to substantiate the claim.

"Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance"
— Albert Einstein

The problem here is that honest NT scholars who are also professed Christians admit in their books that there's no credible evidence for Jesus. Of course, the usually go on to claim "but I believe ..." and can never quite find credible evidence for why they believe beyond faith.


"We are a Jesus-haunted culture that is so historically illiterate that anything can now pass for knowledge of Jesus."
- Dr. Ben Witherington



"One would naturally expect that the Lord Jesus Christ would be sufficiently important to receive ample notice in the literature of his time, and that extensive biographical material would be available. He was observed by multitudes of people, and his own followers numbered into the hundreds (1 Cor. 15:6), whose witness was still living in the middle of the first century. As a matter of fact, the amount of information concerning him is comparatively meager. Aside from the four Gospels, and a few scattered allusions in the epistles, contemporary history is almost silent concerning him."

- Merrill C. Tenney

- "Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ" (WWJ) 85-86

* Dr. Tenney is a conservative evangelical Christian who was a professor of Theological Studies and the dean of the school of Theology at Wheaton College. Tenney was also one of the original translators of the NASB and NIV editions of the Bible.



"Apart from the New Testament writings and later writings dependent upon these, our sources of information about the life and teaching of Jesus are scanty and problematic"

- F.F. Bruce, a founder of the modern evangelical movement

- "Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ" (WWJ) page 84



"...there are very few sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus beyond the four canonical Gospels. Paul and Josephus offer little more than tidbits. Claims that later apocryphal Gospels and the Nag Hammadi material supply independent and reliable historical information about Jesus are largely fantasy. In the end, the historian is left with the difficult task of sifting through the Four Gospels for historical tradition."

- John P. Meier

- Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ page 86

* Dr. Meier is a Catholic University New Testament professor, Catholic priest and monsignor



"The gospels are in fact anonymous"

- Dr. Craig L. Blomberg

- WWJ (60)



"The Gospels are neither histories nor biographies, even within the ancient tolerances for those genres."

- Dr. John Dominic Crossan

- WWJ (24)

* Dr. Crossan is a major figure in the fields of biblical archaeology, anthropology and New Testament textual and higher criticism. He is especially vocal in the field of Historical Jesus studies


For a little extra fun we'll add a Jewish source:


"The only definite account of his life and teachings is contained in the four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All other historical records of the time are silent about him. The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations; in Jewish writings there is no report about Jesus that has historical value. Some scholars have even gone so far as to hold that the entire Jesus story is a myth"

- The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (v.6,83)


Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ




"If there were valid scientific evidence in support of the supernatural religious claims, faith would not be the main requirement."

- Christ in Egypt, page 3

edit on 24-2-2011 by GoldenKnight because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 05:12 PM
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I agree that a Jesus as represented by Bible and the Church may never have existed, just as many of the other godmen may not have existed quite as they are recorded in mythology. But I do think that there may have been a spiritual teacher called Jesus who may have existed around whom the universal myth was created.

This may have happened in many cases, with many godmen.

I imagine it like how a pearl is formed. There is this relatively ordinary piece of 'grit', a man, who somehow embeds himself in the 'oyster' of human consciousness and soon the universal pearl of the godman myth grows around him.
edit on 24-2-2011 by Malcram because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 01:41 AM
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reply to post by GoldenKnight
 





Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell are greatly appreciated and Acharya S cites them throughout her books, however, they simply never organized a "succinct, clearly explained comprehensive position for mythicists" that could be added to dictionaries or encyclopedias.


So what is 'new' is a new word? Seems like a pretty slim foundation for an argument/discussion.

Jargon doesn't define philosophical viewpoints or make them 'new', it merely categorizes them. Even then the new category is probably superfluous.

Its nice to have a term to rally the like minded around, but there is nothing new about the 'mythicist position' except, perhaps, the name.



posted on Feb, 27 2011 @ 05:59 AM
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Zeitgeist is full of factual errors, assumptions and absurdities, on every level, political and religious.

It fails in the same way that Maxwell does, jumping into conclusions, or, should I say delusions, and completely miss the point. These people should do some additional research before they make these absurd claims. Seems to me that they are a bit mentally ill (paranoid), as sad as it is. I know they mean well, but they're just plain wrong.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 01:57 PM
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Tryptych,

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.


"...This effort includes much new source material drawn from primary sources as well the works from credentialed authorities in a variety of relevant subjects. Indeed, I have strived to include the best and most thorough, scholarly and modern sources wherever possible, with the result that many authorities cited here possess credentials from respected institutes of higher learning, and their publishers are some of the most scholarly in English (and other languages), such as:

E.J. Brill
Peeters
Kegan Paul
Oxford University/Clarendon Press
Princeton University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cornell University Press
Yale University Press
University of Chicago Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
University of Wisconsin Press
Johns Hopkins Press
Harcourt, Brace & Co.
MacMillan & Co., etc.

This Sourcebook thus provides relevant primary-source material and citations from respectable and credentialed authorities, along with germane images to support the first part of ZG’s contentions. There are over 150 sources cited in this Sourcebook, in nearly 350 footnotes...."

- Acharya S, Preface for The ZEITGEIST Sourcebook Part 1: The Greatest Story Ever Told

* Those who really know what academia is will recognize the list above as the best of the best and most highly respected institutes of higher learning. Hand-waving dismissals will not suffice.
www.freethoughtnation.com...


The New Zeitgeist Part 1 Sourcebook (2010)
www.stellarhousepublishing.com...

Zeitgeist Part 1



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by rnaa
 


rnaa,

It's interesting to note that Joseph Campbell's books, "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" and "The hero's journey" make no mention of these key words used in the recently created mythicist position:

"astrotheology," "mythologist," "mythicist," "mythicism," "Euhemerus," "evemerist," "evemerism," "personify," "natural phenomena," "anthropomorphism" "anthropomorphisation," "anthropomorphic," "anthropomorphise" and only one mention of "constellation."

4 mentions of "constellation" in "The inner reaches of outer space: metaphor as myth and as religion"

Just one mention of "mythologist" referring to himself and one mention again of "constellation" in "Thou art that: transforming religious metaphor."

Getting the picture yet? One CANNOT get educated on the mythicist position by reading Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell alone. Those who make such claims only embarrass themselves by demonstrating their blatant ignorance on the subject.


Here's the definition of a "Position":

"mental attitude; point of view; stand: what's your position on this issue?"

"the act of positing a fact or viewpoint"

"mental attitude; stand: one's position on a controversial topic."

dictionary.reference.com...


The Evemerist position: "Evemerism represents the perspective that many of the gods and goddesses of antiquity had been real people, such as kings, queens and other heroes and legendary figures, to whose biographies were later added extraordinary and/or supernatural attributes."

So, we have opposing words in dictionaries and encyclopedias such as theist/atheist, gnostic/agnostic etc but, when we get to the evemerist position there is no counter position, which would obviously be the mythicist position.

The Evemerist position has existed since the 3rd century BCE. Now, how on earth can there still not be a mythicist position in existence in any dictionary or encyclopedia in 2011, over 2,300 years later? There's something very disturbing about that. It's just very basic common sense.

So rnaa, I've just easily proven you wrong in your claim that the only thing new about the mythicist position is the word or name. Also demonstrating that you have no idea what you're talking about on this issue.

What this means is that there is absolutely no discussion of the mythicist position in academia, universities or schools. That's precisely why NT and biblical scholars and theologians are not required to study the mythicist position at all in order to get their Ph.D. Get it? "The most logical explanation is completely missing in action" as the video even says.
edit on 2-3-2011 by GoldenKnight because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


Malcram,


"People become very confused about this subject, making arguments such as "if there is even a single authentic saying of Jesus, then the mythicist argument is false." That statement in itself reflects a lack of deep thinking.

There are two simple insights to keep in mind when it comes to the mythicist position:

1. When the mythological layers of the story are removed, there is no core to the onion.

2. A composite of 20 people is no one.

Even if you could find some guy there named "Jesus" who said a few things, the New Testament character is not him, if all the rest of the story is myth. Indeed, we know that there were several Jesuses saying things, including both the author and editor of the pre-Christian text the "Wisdom of Jesus" or "Ecclesiasticus." In that text we have two Jesuses who said things - some of which closely resemble sayings in the New Testament - are these two Jesuses the "one historical Jesus" people are looking for? No."
freethoughtnation.com...



"When the mythological layers of the gospel story are removed, there remains no core to the onion, no “real person” to point to as found in the evemerist position. To put it another way, a composite of 20 people, whether mythical, historical or both, is no one."

- Christ in Egypt, 12


Excuses to Christ mythology- "Differences outweigh the similarities!" 1 of 7


Excuses to Christ Mythology-Splitting Hairs vs Syncretism 1 of 2


www.freethoughtnation.com...



posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by GoldenKnight
 




It's interesting to note that Joseph Campbell's books, "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" and "The hero's journey" make no mention of these key words used in the recently created mythicist position


Campbell's works are on the order of 50 to 60 years old. If the word 'mythicist' has only recently been coined, how could he mention it?

The ideas that appear to be embraced by this new term are discussed in detail by Jung, Campbell, and dozens if not hundreds of others. There is nothing new about the ideas, as you seem to acknowledge:



The Evemerist position: "Evemerism represents the perspective that many of the gods and goddesses of antiquity had been real people, such as kings, queens and other heroes and legendary figures, to whose biographies were later added extraordinary and/or supernatural attributes."
...
The Evemerist position has existed since the 3rd century BCE. Now, how on earth can there still not be a mythicist position in existence in any dictionary or encyclopedia in 2011, over 2,300 years later? There's something very disturbing about that. It's just very basic common sense.


Because you have just said that the word was only recently coined! How could a word, coined in the year 2011 appear in a dictionary, encyclopedia, or scholarly treatise at any time before it was coined!

Words don't define the ideas. Certainly Evemeras' ideas have been around for a long time and I have heard of his ideas ages ago. I have never heard of them described as 'The Evermerist Position'. So what? That just means the term has been coined after I ceased to pay attention, not that the ideas are new, hidden, unstudied, misunderstood, or newly articulated; it just means that new terminology has been coined.

Likewise, the term 'Mythicist Position' is a new term. Fine. That doesn't mean the ideas are new, hidden, unstudied, misunderstood, or newly articulated; it just means that new terminology has been coined.

I am not trying to denigrate your enthusiasm for your study of 'Mythicism', I am merely trying to get you to add some perspective to your zeal for hyperbole. Giving a new name to old ideas doesn't make the ideas new.



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