Friday, February 27, 2009

When Atheists Call Religion "Supersition:" What We Can Learn form The Defitions

Robert Boyle

Many atheists make the claim that religion is superstition. One could find many exaples, but the one that I saw most recently and that ticked me off is this one from the CADRE blog:

Blogger David B. Ellis said...

More rationally-inclined people sometimes underestimate just how deep-seated superstition is in the rest of their species.

2/26/2009 02:01:00 PM

I can't wait to see the definition he offers. Ten to one it will be recursive, something like "superstition is believing God or gods." We see an example of that kind of circular reasoning in the definitions below.

Here are Web definitions:

an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear - Definition in context
Search Results
My belief in God arises neither form ignorance nor from fear. I was a very carefully informed atheist who had spent three summers researching to disprove the bible, and will put my education up against anyone's any time. The presence that I felt when God first revaled himself to me was not a presence of fear. I have felt "afraid" per se in relation to God; although I fequirelntly feel a sense of awe.

superstition: Definition from

superstition n. An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome. - 126k - Cached - Similar pages -

A good epistemologist could argue that about any causal relationship

superstition - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Definition of superstition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary with audio pronunciations, thesaurus, Word of the Day, and word games. - 34k - Cached - Similar pages -

Main Entry:
su·per·sti·tion           Listen to the pronunciation of superstition
Middle English supersticion, from Anglo-French, from Latin superstition-, superstitio, from superstit-, superstes standing over (as witness or survivor), from super- + stare to stand — more at stand
13th century
1 a: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation b: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition2: a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

As I've already demonstrated my belief in God is not based upon ignorance. To argue that belief in God is ignorance in and of itself the atheist must present that argument proves conclusively there is no God. My belief is not based upon the unknown since I claim to have intimate first hand knowledge (pheneomenoloigcally apprehended).

It might appear to the unwary that this definition says that belief in God is superstition. It does NOT say that! It says "abject" attitude of mind toward.... But iti s alsoa circular definition. This is usual for Webster's to be so lax. but look at it it says

what is the defintion of "superstition?" It is "...abject frame of mind resulting from...superstition."

Defining the word wtih the word.

superstition - definition of superstition

Definition of superstition - An irrational belief - ie, one held in spite of evidence to the contrary - usually involving supernatural forces and associated ... - 20k - Cached - Similar pages -
I have made 42 arguments for the existence of God and written several essays about why we don't need arguments. They are all quite good, none of them invole irrationality but demonstrate that belief is rationally warranted.

the clause "usually involving supernatural" is nothing more than propaganda and depends upon how one defines supernatural. I have proved on Doxa that Supernatural is empirical validiated, if we use the original and ture meaning of the term.

Defining supersition as "belief in the supernatural" then using the definition of superstition to prove that belief in supernatural is irrational because it's superstitious is merely circular reasoning.

Definition of Superstition

I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature ... - 14k - Cached - Similar pages -
The same kind of recursive and circular statement I just got through exposing. What makes it superstitious? Because it's religion. What makes religion superstition? Because it' superstition.

Why do we find so many circular definitions where the word is defined by the word, and religious belief is declared to be something that is derived itself from a criticism of the word used to define it. Religion is superstition, what is superstition?It's belief in religion. Why do we find this state of affairs even in a major dictionary like Webster's? In fact Noah Webster was a devoted Christian so he would not have defined belief in God as superstition per se. I think it's becasue the topic is tainted by the "superstitions" of the enlightenment.

The fault really lies with Newton and Boyle, Christians who were not trying to disprove Christianity but to demonstrate the veracity of their faith through science.They helped to create the attitude of the latter enlightenment that things of the supernatural were superstitious and anti-science. They did this in rebellion against the philosophy of scholasticism.(Willey, Basil. The Eighteenth Century Background: Studies On the Idea of Nature In the Thought of the Period. New York: Columbia University Press, 1941. But it was not because they had made any scientific advances that proved it. They did it purely out of propaganda because they wanted to identify science with their version of the faith. The first step was to identify Newton's physics with science as the only valid model for scientific thought. To do that they had to unseat competing models such as the Cartesian and the Leibnitzian models, or Plenism. They also had to replace the chemical model with the mechanical model. Boyle did all of that by creating his own protocols for scientific experiments and then propagandizing about how scientific he was. This a fascinating story which can be read in Leviathan and the Air Pump by Shappin and Shaffer.(Shapin, Steven and Simon Schaffer. Leviathan And The Air Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life. Princeton University Press, 1985).

Having accomplished that task they then went on to publicize Newton's ideas from the pulpit. Historian Margarete Jacob demonstrates in her ground breaking work The Newtonians that had it not been for the band of rationalist English churchmen known as "The Latitudinarians" Newton's physics might have remained obscure and unknown for fifty years longer, and he may have never been defied to the extent tha the was by English society.Jacob, Margaret C. The Newtonians and the English Revolution: 1689-1720. Ithica New York: Cornell University Press, 1976). The French Philosophes rebelling against the monarchy and the church that supported it on the eve of the French revolution just cast the net bigger and encompass Christian belief of all kinds since that took in the widest possible camp that might be sympathetic to the monarchy.

The birth of modern atheism involved LaPLace and his attempts to draw the circle D'Holbach to its widest possible extent and include even the Philosphe's with their deistic principles outside the circle. The taint took hold and religion was lumped in with superstition, magic, belief in ghost and witches and so forth, at least in the minds of atheists, but not in the minds of the greatest thinkers of age. Although was lost in the taint was very crucial:

(1) A proper understanding of the Sueprnatural, which was pillaged and distorted in order to defame any version of it. The watered down silly version took hold in the public mind as the true nature of supernaturalism.

(2) Scholastic philosophy in so far as it hedged upon the true understanding of the superantural was lumped in with the false understanding of it.

(3) Personal experince or what they used to call "experimental truth" (which was actually phenomenological or experintial) was identified with unreason, with irrational emotionaism and thus with superstition.

The upshot of all of this is that "superstition" is nothing more than a buzz word which atheists use in a propagandist way (complete with circular reasoning and all). Atheists apply their own superstition (fear,ignorance, disconnected logic) in charging religion with being superstitious point blank. The charge is nothing more than a hold over of propaganda from a former age the particulars of which are no longer understood.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Atheist Trun of Mind

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Nothing can ever count as evidence for God or against atheism in the mind of the atheist. I established this last time I was posting here. The skeptical mind forces itself into a corner which eventually, through constant use in a skeptical mode, tricks the user into thinking he/she is making some big gain of insight but he/she is actually closing off the ability to take the necessary risks to step beyond that which is proven and extrapolate to a position of belief.

I am not saying all atheists always think this way. I'm just saying these tendencies that are brought by the skeptical habit of mind.

(1) the mentality to dobut as long as possible.

If any kind of doubt is possible, however slight the probability, the atheist must take it.

(2) Unless something is totally proven it cannot be given any kind of presumption no matter how rationally warranted or how strongly evidenced.

If God is not 100% proven God is 0% proven and though one may consider God 99% proven if it is not 100% then its nothing.

(3) The "no evidence" circle.

this is a form of question begging/circular reasoning that works like this

*there is no evidence for the existence of God because God is not absoltuely proven.

*Since there is no evidence there can be no evidence

*since there can be no evidence than anything presented as evidence must be wrong.

these are all just a large circle of reasoning based upon the false premise in no 1. There are probably corresponding problems that the faith habit of mind produces. But what this mens is that atheism is unverifiable/falsifiable. It's not an analytical position because it's not open proof or disproof.

This applies especially to atheist on message boards. I think atheist seek to gain preferences for their view. the dictum about extraordinary evidence proves this. why should religious experience be deemed "extraordinary?" when it includes 90% of the people in the world.? the assumption is that their assumptions should be the "default." That's why they are always trying to claim mass populations they are not intitleed to, like Buddhism or all new born babies.

The better paradigm would be:

(1) doubt as long as you have real doubts and be willing to assign prima facie to good arguments.

(2) rational warrant.

rational warrant is about all any world view can offer. belief in God is a world view. there is no reason to islaote it form other views or set the bar any higher for it than for any of them.

This is only to rich. I put this put on CARM atheist board. And this atheist is going to show me what's wrong with it. here are his responses:

*there is no evidence for the existence of God because we've for naturalistic explanations for almost everything we've ever studied.

*If the God hypothesis were correct, we'd have found evidence for it by now.

*Since there is no evidence yet, we can feel comfortable in assuming tentatively that there is no God. Taking this assumption will put us in a position where atheism may disproved by contradiction.

Is it possible to saything that would more clearly illustrate the points I just made?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Atheist Assault on Higher Learning: O yea, Free Thinkers!

On the CADRE blog I got into it again with an Atheist from the DC crowd named "Russ."

I just can't keep my foot out of my mouth. Yet in his response which are totally ad hominem we not only see the Character assassination tactics I have referred to but also the true nature of that segment the atheist community which I refer to as "ideolgoical."

Of course I've met many atheists in school who were part of the history of ideas program where I did my doctoral work. Most of them would not fall into the category of which I speak. But the those on the net tend to be non academics (maybe working class or white collar business or probably most of them are computer people). Few of them really seem to have any background in anything like Arts and Humanities. They are all very opinionated about how evil useless and stupid arts and humanities are, but they will express a fondness for art because it's pretty. Yet they have nothing but total contempt for any sort of idea that emerges from the realms of human thought governed by arts and humanities as a discipline.

Let's face it, most atheists on the internet think that the only form of knowledge is science. I suspect his is becasue very few of them went beyond the sophomore level in college and most of them are products of trade schools, the kind that advertise "you don't have to waste years learning all that book stuff just get 'hand's on' professional computer learning." Despite this bias against any form of knowledge that doesn't cater to their reductionism, they still feel that they know all about the things they have never studied.

Here is an example of one of them, Ross, who in the comment section demonstrates his utter contempt for any sort of liberal arts ideas:

First he quotes me to show what he's going to attack:


You said,

Of cousre if you are willing to only examine the surface, like a good little reductionist, then of course you are going to create the illusion that there's no God.

You never have to see what you do not wish to see.

I suppose he thought I was saying that he's not bright because he mistakes the term "shallow" for an appraisal of his intellectual abilities. Nothing was further from my mind. I admit I should have used more careful wording not to convey that impression. I just wasn't careful enough. What I really had in mind was that as materialist most atheists believe on in the surface of reality. A rose is a rose is a rose it has has no larger significance, no symbolic value relating to any higher metaphysical meaning. Everything is on the surface. There are elements we don't see but not because they are in other other dimensions or made out of spirit, but just because they are too tiny. In my mind this is surface level because its cutting off a connection with anything beyond, behind or above the material level.

Of course he's been angered because thinks I've said he's not deep as a thinker, which I did not mean to say. I apologize for creating that impression, but I think we can learn a lot from the nature of his response.

His first statement demonstrates true contempt for any form of thinking now sanctified by the ideology Dawkinista reductionism:

There is no reason to go beyond the surface in theology or philosophy of religion. Christianity has had lots of time, most of two millenia, to show even superficially that it offers hope to believers. It doesn't. You can shroud all your pretentions in obscurantist schlock, but in the end, whether you argue at the deepest levels your near-PhD can take you or stick to the shallows where the failures and defects of Christianity are well-lit, you will, just like every other failure of a theologian before you, arrive at nothing of use to practicing believers. You might have an article accepted for publication, but - and you know this to be true - it will, in all likelihood, never even be referenced unless you do it yourself.

Only someone who has never studied these subjects would try to say this. He's saying he doesn't have to study Philosophy because he knows it's stupid. We have seen this voiced in other ways around the net. The major one is the fallacious "Courtier's Reply" which is nothing more than a broad indictment that "your source of knowledge is not sanctioned by my ideology." As I put it on my blog:

Again their reasoning is quite circular since the reasons they would give for reducing religion to superstition don't' apply to modern sophisticated theology, but the fact that it can be labeled "theology" and they don't even know what that means, they stipulate that it must be stupid. So even though their reasons don't apply they just demand that they must do so any way.

Again they are merely stipulating truth and insisting they are right without any just reasons. It's idiotic to try and criticize a whole field you know nothing about. To make up for appalling ignorance they imply a third rate gimmick that is actually made up of two informal fallacies: ipsie dixit and circular reasoning. (Ibid: see link above)

This reminds me of an argument I had with an atheist once who asserted that all Christian theology is a about a big man in the sky, and ti's stupid to believe in a big man in the sky. I answered that Paul Tillich's theology explicitly denyies that God is a big man or even a being at all. Process theology certainly denys that as well (based upon Whitehead it defines God as a "community of occasions"--don't ask). This guy asserted that I was lying. I told him well I sutdied theology andyou apparenlty have not. He then said that's just the "Couriter's Reply" as though I had committed some kind of fallacy of logic. I repeated, "you are factally in error i gave two examples of schools of thoguht in theology that expclitly contradict what you calaim all Christian theology is about. He merely retorted that it didn't count because theology is stupid so whatever the answer is it must be wrong. So he expclictly just refussed to to accept a documented fatual correction to his error on the grounds that he can basically say anything he wants and doesn't have to know what he's talking about because he's armed with the catch phrase "Courtier's Reply."

Then he gets into ad hominem attacks:

Your degree is largely useless to you and the rest of mankind. Your degree offers you no tools for adding to or augmenting the vast store of accumulated human knowledge.

It's pretty obvious that any Ph.D. is useless in his eyes unless the upshot of having it is to back his ideology. Dawkin's Ph.D. is good because science is the only valid from of knowledge. But if you study the history of science, that's invalid becuase it doesn't give you the sacred gatekeeping knowledge of the white lab coat guy. Of course if he knew Dawkins was reallly a Mesuieum keeper and that his chair was not earned but purchased it might some difference, but I doubt it.

He continues the Ad Hom:

So, you, the near-PhD, hang out on an obscure blog hoping beyond hope that someone will engage you in a way that will at least let you think your pursuing the near-PhD was not a complete waste of time. If it was anything beyond a waste of your time and money, you could solve or at least address some real problem facing humanity. You would not be left wrestling with issues that matter to none but the few helping you waste yet more time working through those fantasy issues over a few beers.
I am so very worred that it might have been a waste of time to learn things. Does not tell us his attitude, and the attitude of a segement of atheists, toward learning? Why would I have to worry that learning "might be" a waste? Why wouldn't I know up front if I thought learning was a value? Why would learning be a waste? Does this not tell us that his value is not leanring and knoweldge, his value sysetm places very low capital upon actually knowing, but rewards some sort of socail use, perhaps making money, but more probably confirming the ideology that he is brain washed upon. Knowledge is only of value in direct proportion to it's confirmation of the ideology, it's ability to assure him that God looks less and less likely, thus to freem him from the fear of hell. Actually knowing for the sake of possessing knolwedge is clearly not part of his value system. Neither is understanding the things he critcizies. In my view there is no greater intellectual sin than to criticize that of which of you have no knowledge. For the idieolgoue the ultimate criticism is that an idea is not sanctified byt he ideology.

Sadly, your near-PhD does not even provide you with the intellectual wherewithal to respond to my comments in context. It's obvious, J. L., that you did not even attempt to ascertain the context. You quote-mined for fragments that you could attack, then dove right in.
This said by the guy who failed even once provide any focuss upon the issues. This is the guy who focusses totally upon the ad hom and whose one great point of attack is that I studied a feild that his ideology does not jstifying as valid knowledge.

If you had a valuable degree in a useful discipline, you would have been able to discern that I was not in any way trying to disprove the existence of your Christian god. You should have been able to see that the data I noted simply clarified the point that while Christians make their self-serving claims, the veracity of those claims is simply not born out by the data.

Of course I said nothing to imply that proving the existence of God had anything to do wit the issue. He took it that way because, well for obvious reasons. Of course here he's trying to have it both ways by first asserting that it' snot about proving the existence of God then he tries to imply that somehow the data speaks agains the exitence of God. Of coruse ther eis no data against the existence of God, this is nothing more than the height of ignorance.

What is at issue bottom line in this venting of hatred? why do they have to drag their proloterian sense of supirior intellect into it every singel time as though understanding the truth of the universe is the ultimate proof of one'd intellectual worth. As though somehow one's metaphysics is determined by one's IQ? I think this has to do their sense of powerlessness. They hate Ph.D.'s and learning and education and liberal arts becuase they identify it with elites, with an education they are not able to obtain. I've noticed many times that the real venting of hatred agsint Christians by atheists is often linked to this sense of powerlessness. It caters tot he sense of being a total minoirty of being looked down upon for views that castigate the vast majority of humanity.

I'm sure that all suited up in your near-PhD, you've got a million proofs for a million gods. I'm sure that any day now, Christians will no longer use the word, "faith" because your proofs will give them reason to use the word "know." I'm sure that for all of your new and improved near-PhD efforts, all Christians will have lives so distinctly superior to that of any non-Christian, that all people will immediately convert to the one true religion headmastered by the one true god.

Doesn't this tell us more about his value system? I mean when I was in the working world in my youth I often found that people on jobs just refused to believe me.It seemed the basci procedure was to doubt what any worker told them. I asked an older worker why this would be the case an he said "they lie, so they expect you to lie. They steal so they expect you to steal." I see the same psychology going on here. The only thing "knolwedge" means to the ideolgoically motivated atheist is a standardized justification for belief system. Its' not a matter of learning, not a matter of expanding horizons, not a matter of straching yourself and seeking truth it's must a matter of justifying the ideology so you don't have to feel inferior anymore. This is his motive for learning, thus he expects it to be my motive for learning.

Millions of people are starving, J.L., and your imaginary god will not do anything about. You will, no doubt, tell me that Christians will do what they can and give the credit to their god, and attribute to god's will all the deaths. If all the time wasted getting near-PhD's and playing big fish on little blog were turned to useful human endeavors, perhaps fewer people would die. But, then if we actually took care of each other, there would be nothing for gods to do, and we know that theology near-PhD's working the religion industry would never stand for that.

I think this really proves my point about power. He equates the lack of social power with his atheism, and the presence of elitism and social oppression with the belief his ideology has singled out as the target of ridicule and the scapegoat for personal failings and the villain which explains the powerlessness they feel in society. Of course since history is not valid knowledge they are totally ignorant of the Christian left which goes back all the way to the Time Chrsit and finds Christians leading peasant revolts, contributing to socialist, liberation, and freedom movements from Johachin of Flora in the middle ages, to the Peasants of south Germany to the underground rail road to the abolition movement and w omen's suffrage to the civil rights movement to Obama, who is a total contradiction to everything this guy connects up with Christianity as a social ill. Not only are the Christian activist groups a total disproof of his statement (and a much more significant contributor to liberation if he only read some history and knew where to look for them) but theology as well. He's totally missed the 60, 70s, 80s and even 990s where liberation theology guided all of Latin America into revolution, and all of Western Europe into socialism and all of Asia into Min Jung theology and has created liberation and hope for people around the world. All of this escapes his notice because to know anything about it he would have to know something about the forces of knowledge that his ideology writes off as unjustified.

How can it be that a movement that bill itself as "free thought" is really based upon an ideology that excluded 90% of human knowledge as invalid and only sanctions the learning of a tiny sliver of what goes on in the academy? its' because they are not free. Knowledge is power. Instead of learning this they have told themselves and been told "only science is knowledge." Knowledge is power but the only true knowledge is science and the only true science is that which justifies a naturalistic view point. That is neither free nor knowledge. It is ideology. The atheist community is hard at work distributing an anti-intellectual gospel wrapped up in the phony garb of intellectuals. Gee if I studied history I might come with knowledge of another movement that told powerless people they could be powerful if hey eliminated a certain group that caused all their problems and stood in their way. But of cousre that's on the menu of valid knowledge so we can't learn about it.

It should be pretty obvious at this point why the ideology seeks to destroy all forms of knowledge save that which contributes to it's own propaganda. If one were to really learn history and the liberal arts one would see through the ideology.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Mission and Nature of Atheist watch

Here is a comment by Bill Walker about the nature of this blog. I thought it would be important to answer it up front so all can see.

Bill says:
I thought that Atheist watch was a group that sought dialog with Atheists. I am getting the impression from Mr. Hinman that he absolutely HATES Atheists. He's interested in spewing his hatred of us. Atheists are simply people who have no god belief. Period.We're a highly diverse group in any/all other matters. It's OK if others worship a god or gods.We don't care. I stopped believing way over 60 years ago, but I have friends & relatives who still believe. No big deal.

I'm glad you raised this issue, as it gives me a chance to clear up some misconceptions. First let me state that

(1) I do not hate atheists

(2) I do welcome dialogue

(3) I have not declined dialogue on this blog, as one might notice.

How can you say that I do not welcome dialogue when the last post was a long huge running dialogue with an atheist? The only comments I've rejected are those that contain personal attacks. I do get hate mail and hate comments sent to the blog that are aimed at destroying my self esteem. Having said that, the purpose of the blog has never been and is not stated to be dialogue. It's not a group, it's me. I am it. I am Atheist Watch, no one else is in on it with me. Let me tell you the history.

I first discovered the internet in 1998 when I was caring for my parents. They both had Alzheimer's and my father had a big heart attack. Rather than put them in a nursing home (60% abuse rate in Texas nursing homes) I took care of them at home. This took a total round the clock effort and I was not free to go out every much. It was like being in prison. The Net was a godsend. After my parents died I continued my apologetic because I had built up over three years an elaborte set of pojects (including my website Doxa, my first board on Inside the Web (long gong now). I made a lot of friends I had a thriving cybre social life. I saw reason to get off. One thing I really enjoyed was the fact that I had made a big splash. The atheists were sort of shocked by my arguments, they couldn't answer them. They didn't really share the same knowledge base that I had as a doctoral candidate in the history of ideas. It did flatter my ego. Some atheists came gunning and would actually "I've heard that you really have something and you can answer all the argumetns I'm here to take you down." It was almost like high noon, the gun fight. I was Marshall Dillon.

My academic career began to slip away during those three years I cared for my parents. But I managed to hang on and got though my language requirement while I was caring for my parents. Then I worked as a TA after they died, but only for a short time. Then I settled down to write my dissertation. My academic career was very important to me. It's the only thing I ever wanted to be (professor) and I began wanting that as a sophomore in high school. But after my parents died (two years apart) I was burned out. I had been so stressed from giving them constant care that even though I was working as a TA I could not write my dissertation. It took a couple of years to get back to a point where I could work on it. But by that time I has began losing the house in foreclosure because the mortgage company lied an cheated and stole the house. I fought them for a year, but I was unable to think about anything else. My brother was arrested during that time. This arrest largely involved Police not understanding people with mental problems. I was caring for my brother just as I done m parents. He helped with the parents too. But ultimately it was on me.

During all of this time I made great strides on the apologetic thing. As my graduate school career went down the tubes I retrenched more and more into my apologetic thing. I had published an academic journal. I was refereed and indexed and part of the academic world. A couple of major people in the field liked what I was doing and backed up. I had to give that up because I did not do that and change my parents bed pans, and change mother's diapers, follower her down the road to keep her from getting killed when she was in the wondering phase of Alzheimer's and so on. I lost everything I ever cared about and then what I wound up with was this internet apologetics thing. It is not a career, I wont be remembered for it. It wont ever be noticed by the academic world. Its' a really poor substitute yet it's all I had. So it was very important to me. It was too important. I agree I was rapidly moving from doing it for the right reason (wanting people to know God) to doing it for the wrong reason--to replace my academic career).

The problem with dialogueing with atheists has always been that there is something atheists do that they do not know they do. I beileve that the primary reason atheists go on message boards and blog and argue with Christians is to feel superior. they like the rush they get from feeling smarter than a whole group of people (the majority of people). Maybe I"m wrong about that, but what I'm not wrong about is that all Christians on the net always feel insulted and harassed by atheists. this problem has always been there. Atheists refuse to see it, they don't understand what they do. Every atheist has at some point presented a snotty attitude to religious people. Some do it not very much, some do it all the time. None of them ever seem to care. Most Christians believe as part of our faith that we are suppossed to respond in love, to just let it roll off your back, answer good for evil, and so on. So most of the time Christians just accept this attitude as par for the course. It's something all Christians talk about and always have. In private emails and in email groups and on private boards where atheists can't come we are always talking about the snotty attitude. The average sort of thing is like this "there's no proof for your sky pixie." The impression is constantly created that we are stupid, we just live by superstition, the atheist world view is based upon reason and logic and ours is based upon stupidity and superstition. Christians had learned that if you go on a message board you will be treated like this. We all accepted it as the price to pay for trying to tell people the Gospel.

Along about 2004 it got about ten times worse. This was when the first rash of books for the "new atheism" came out. People started using the phrase "new atheist." The attitude of the new atheists had first began to really hit the message boards. Atheists who had already been somewhat snotty suddenly became totally unapproachable for dialogue. A wave of vicious hatred was unleashed. Atheists would not accept and did not understand that they exhibited the old snotty attitude, they were totally in the dark about the way they came across (and I don't think many of them really cared anyway). This situation made me angry because it seemed by compensation for losing my career was being taken away. I came to realize that it is impossible to have a dialogue with someone who thinks this about you. you cannot have a rational discussion with unlevel playing field. People who treat you like you are a piece of shit will not listen to your view point fairly in a dialogue. If you think that people who vote for Bush (for example) are really dumb and that to vote for Bush is a sing that they are not bright and all there views are based upon ignorance, then you are not going to listen to what they say in a dialogue. Now I did not support Bush. If truth be told I though he was pretty stupid, I didn't think all his supporters were (I'm using that as an example, nothing more).

As this situation developed, I lost the house, we had to move to a bad apparent complex with lots of drugs and violence around. I couldn't find another job, I had to quite my studies right at the door step of getting the Ph.D. At that point a snow ball effect began to occur with the way atheists related to me and the way I related to them. The problem is I'm not content to be a door mate. I fight back. Atheists became extremely insulting, I insulted back. Well that may not be Christ-like, but it was definitely provoke. When the situation go to a certain point the atheists on secular web began a systemic campaign of character assassination. They spread the word, when I make arguments they can't answer they would turn to my personality. They began to circulate the ideas I'm arrogant vicious and insulting. Of course it never dawned on them that this might have been in response to the way they were treating me. Then they hit upon the one tangible short coming they could find: my spelling. They were too immature and ignorant to understand anything about dyslexia. They were not about to start researching it. They would just say "look how bad your spelling is" as though that answers all my arguments. Then they realized they could connect the two. They decided I must be lying about graduate career because after all, how could a guy with a Ph.D. spell as badly as I do? None of them knew anything graduate school. It never occurred to them that I put much more effort into papgers for school than I did for a board no the net! I would post about probably 20 posts a night on a slow night. I had a message board that I abandoned last year, went from summer 2000 to a year ago and has 25,000 posts by me. That is just a small fraction of the posting I did. I did maybe 14 short papers (1-2 pages) and about eight long papers a semester as a student. So of course I would put much more effort. I git my mother to proof papers when she was alive and in her right mind. I got others to proof them latter.

They spread the word, they would come on my blog and say "you lied, you never went to graduate school." "Now you know you never were a doctoral student, they wouldn't let you have a Ph.D you are too stupid." I earned a Ph.D. I did everything required and did it well. I had a 4.0 for five years. The only thing I didn't do was oral exam defense and turning in the dissertation. I even did my qualifying exams an the professors said "this is the best qualifying exams I have ever seen that this university." but the idiots on the internet don't know anything about Graduate school. It never dawned on them that when I spoke of the graduate experinces I reflected real experinces that I would not have known had not been a graduate student. they didn't know the material so it never dawned upon them I was highly conversant on the issues of the topics I spoke of. they have crummy vocabularies so it never dawned upon them that I have a 50$ per word vocabulary when I want to write that way (and I used to do that a lot). None of that meant anything,I can't spell, and spelling = intelligence in their stupid ass little minds so therefore I can't be smart. That dug in my heart like a knife. Here this was the compensation for losing the career I spent a life time developing and yet I was being cheated out of it by people who could not know what I went through, didn't care, had no concept of what I was talking about, with whom I could not communicate.

The Character assigns spread all over the net. When they got too hard to deal with at CARM which had become my main haven. Then the big atheist massacre on CARM came and the bright one's left. The one's remaining were totally hostile. The systemic character assassination spread throughout the net. I would try to find new boards and people on boards I had never heard of would say "O you are that Metacrock guy, we don't want you here because you lying about being a student and your real insulting and real stupid." The one thing I had left to hand on to that came out of the disintegration of my life (parents died, house stolen, career lost) was posting on the net and now it seemed I was universally thought of as a pariah by all atheists. If they would never take my arguments seriously there would no ponit in even trying to post. I had found my blog so I retreated largely into my own boards and my own blog and just began to react and lash out against them.

Then I began looking at the Atheist community as a whole. I moved beyond the little personal bickering matches in which I was bogged down and I began to ask myself "what is going on with these guys, what can I compare them too?" It seemed that a large segment of the message board atheists were just a bunch of thugs. they had no desire to talk and they just lashed out with a bunch of petty concerns designed to do nothing more than frustrate real argument. I had a long list of a whole bunch of boards and looked at them and showed that all Christians on there were treated like lepers, like scum. They were ridiculed, regaled, treated liked like pariahs. Atheists seemed to have an aversion to actually arguing they would just go for the personality of the apologist first thing. I explored these boards and even posted on them and found myself attacked this way just for trying to lay down serouis arguments: sec web, infidel guy, Atheist. org, and a several others that don't even exist and several I can't remember. In the beginning there were a couple of boards like this: the Wasteland, the Godless zone. Most of us just knew to stay away from them. After 2004 I could not find a single atheist message board that was not like that.

I used to put down a challenge to atheists to pretend to be Christians and go on those boards. Make serious but polite arguments and really try to defend the bible and see how you are treated. I've never heard form anyone who claims to have done it. Once I actually got the atheists on carm to go on atheist net and say " we are atheists we want you to argue seriously with Metacrock" and some did this, there were still a few that liked me then on CARM. They even cursed at those atheists and called them names, just for asking them to talk with me seriously. Slowly it began o dawn on me that there was a segment of the atheist community that was simply a hate group. I never thought it was the whole of all atheists. I never said it was.

The original Atheist Watch has as it's mission statement and slogan "keeping tabs on hate group atheism." Atheists took this to mean "all atheists are a hate group." I specifically denied that I meant it of all atheists. But no one ever acknowledged that I made this distinction. I said it over and over again in the beginning and yet they would say "you think all atheists are a hate group." I specifically said "No I don't think that." Next time they would go "you think all atheists are a hate group." I was aware of friend atheists who would help me and be nice to me. But they were the minority, the small minority. I began comparing this segment of atheists to the FBI hate group profile and find that up to stage four (there are about seven stages) they fit perfectly. God back and see the first post on this blog and you will find that comparison.

In spite of all of this I still see the Hate movement aspect as confined to a small subset of the whole. I was an atheist. I know what it's like to be one. I once faced down a whole class of first year philosophy students who were just a bunch of redneck hicks in a Texas university trying to fulfill a requirement. They wanted to beat me up because I was an atheist. But I didn't back down. Yet, the atheists today remind me more of the rednecks who wanted to beat me up then they do of the atheists I knew in college. I get hate email all the time. They don't just "you are stupid" they really try to smash my whole concept of who I am as a person. They curse my life, they say my whole reason for existing is gone and I should kill myself. Some have accused me of lying about my parents they were never sick I didn't care of hem ect et. Some have alluded to my penis size, which of course they do not know. They are nothing but scum. I know this is not all atheists. I know all are not like this, but there's no question that there is a segment who are like this.

I concerned me that I saw the hate segment growing. I still see it growing but i think it has slowed down a bit. I still see now real understanding among atheists about how the come across to religious people or any consciousness of what they do that sets religious people off and makes them feel insulted. For a while I focused on trash. I focused on the most hateful things I could find among atheists. Then I began to realize focusing on hate made me more hateful. Now I am not concerned with unearthing the hate incidents on the net. I also found that there is a paranoid right wing among the fundies who think they are begin persecuted when they are merely being disagreed with. I think it's more important to create understanding between the two groups than to make the atheists aware of how bad some of their ranks can be.

Atheist watch was down for a few months becasue I purged the old examples a dredged up of hate speech among atheists. The new mission is rational criticisms and an understanding of why atheists think as they do. Maybe I've focused more upon the arguments agianst atheism than I have on understanding why they think as they do, but I do feel that the New Atheist Watch is a lot more fair minded and balanced and civilized than the first go. Maybe there is still room for improvement. But I think atheists have to be honest with themselves and become critical of their own movement. I don't yet see any real desire expressed among their ranks to understate this change. In the long run I think development of these qualities will serve your cause better than continuing to deny that there are any hate elements among atheism at all.

They have made my personality the target of their vile attacks so long that I began to act like this is all about me. It's not about me. It not about my personality. I am arrogant. I think a right to be to an extent. I really did have a find education and I did have a bright future I will never see now. I can be very insulting and I have been insulting to people, but it was never just because I'm mean slob. It was always a response to perceived abuse. Yet there comes a time when you have to just stop responding to the crap and shut up. Otherwise it just goes on and one. So I am not going to defend myself any further. I think the only real cure is understanding. But atheists must begin to look at themselves critically.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Dialouge with Binobolumai: Jesus Myther stuff

Late second-century statue of Glycon. (National History and Archeology Museum, Constanţa)
Late second-century statue of Glycon. (National History and Archeology Museum, Constanţa)

I have had a plesant and insightful dialogue with a poster in the comment section named "Binobolumai" (I wonder what that means). It's getting pretty long now, so I am putting the last exchange on this secton. Then I will have one summarizing piece in the next day or so summarizing my views on the Jesus myth idea, then I'm done with the topic for a while. Unless, of course, something new breaks.

Bino begins by quoting me:

Meta (before)
Meaning, if you can show similarities in a general sort of way they could
be either coincidence, or archetypes. In either case it does not count as
evidence against the truth claims of the Bible.

It's only when accounts are so very similar in many ways that it is clear
there have been some form of influence that they could even theoretically
impend upon the truth claims of Christianity.

Even in that case most of the time the evidence demonstrates the
borrowing the other way (pagans copied Christians).


I acknowledge this is internally consistent. But it seems to me not to explain all the evidence. Specifically it seems not to explain the many pagan – pagan similarities.

Meta: But I have disproved them. they don't exist in real mythology I have demonstrated this several with with every example.


The Christian defense against the mythers' Jesus-is-Horus-fact-for-fact nonsense is to look at the old texts and discover that Jesus isn't Horus fact for fact. Fine. We agree. You may stop refuting the point.

But neither is Osiris Horus. Nor is Isis Kore, or Glycon Dionysus, etc., pair after pair. None of the ancient gods had myths with identical facts. So if one applies the Jesus-isn't-Horus analysis to all the other possible pairs of ancient gods, the analysis would lead one to conclude each and every ancient god was new and unique, a thing unto himself.
Meta: I've demonstrated that this is true. Jesus is not Horus. The so called parallels are not in the real mythology. for example Mithra was not born of a virgin even in his own myth. He was born of a rock. The general pattern of the savior god born of a virgin, dies on the cross, raises from the dead leaving an empty tomb, is not repeated throughout mythology the mythers want us to believe. There are universal themes, there is a monomyth but this isn't it. It's a lot more general. For example the journey of the hero is more or less a universal pattern (although I have found numerous exceptions and contradictions).


This seems to me not believable. Much more believable is the idea that, like our idea of marriage, ancient Mediterranean culture had the general ideas of gods, demons, godmen, miracles, heaven, hell, salvation, and that different people in different places at different times applied those ideas to their own circumstances. The myths they made up had different facts, but facts built around the same core ideas.
Meta: Yes, that's true to an extent. But the core ideas were not the idea of the Gospels, or the details of the Jesus story. That is a forced and often dishonest application by peopl w ih an ax to grind against Christianity.


So we understand Dionysus as the Thracian version of a pagan god, and Osiris as an Egyptian version. Etc. etc. And Jesus as the Judean/ Syrian version.

Meta: except for one problem: you are just including Jesus arbitrarily. Since I've proven none of the details of the Jesus story are really found in pagan mythologies, then that is just read into it for ideological purposes, no reason to include Jesus in that mix. Jesus was not conformed to the conventional pattern of a pagan god. you have me no reason whatsoever to think he was. you are dogmatically gainsaying the evidence.


This theory has the virtue of explaining all the evidence, with similar criteria applied in similar circumstances.
Meta: I have explianed the evidence by disproving it. The evidence is a lie, it doesn't exist. I've demonstrated this. You are just dogmatically insisting that it has to be there.

show me any pagan god who actually had a virgin mother, not whose mother was rapped by another God but a woman who was made to be with child by a god without having sex with him! there are none!

show me another savior who died on a cross. there are none!

show me a savior who returned from the dead to his actual flesh and blood life. there are none...

Bino (before):

A. I'm puzzled by #1.

a) Do you really believe our bible stories are just one more example of archetypal godmen doing magic? Then Jesus is like Osiris and Attis and Thor

Meta (before)
> Osiris and Attis didn't do any healing. Attis didn't do much of
> anything except get his pecker whacked off (I'm serious). .

As you should be. I'm sure Attis found it serious himself.

Meta: Hu?

Meta (before)
> I think the general idea of a healing redeeming God figure is an
> archtype. The difference is Jesus actually was a felsh and blood
> historical person. Two possiblities:

> (1) either he really did the things claimed, in which case he's the
> embodiment of the arhcetype and that indicates divine: because
> he's the one real example of all the metaphors (that's called hte
> "dress rehearsed theory, the pagan myths were the rehearsal and
> jesus was the real thing).

> Or

> (2) the arche typical concepts were stuck on to the memory of the
> real guy for some reason (such as he was so cool people built him
> up into something bigger than life). You can decide which you
> accept. I choose the former and that is based upon my own current
> experinces of Christ in my own life.

Yes, exactly. We have identified our point of disagreement. I believe in what is possible given facts and evidence. You believe in magic.
Meta: what? LOL how do you figure? come on now, you have not given me one single stich of evidence. On every hands turn I've disproved every single simialrity to Jesu sof every figure the mythers use:


and other, I've proven none of them were ever said in their real actual myths to be:

born of virgin
die on cross
raised from dead
leave empty tomb
Laid in manger

none of them! I use a large bib of secular scholarly source. You have no sources. You do not give me one single example. Yet you have the gaul to say that I" believe magic and you believe facts!

I submit that you do not believe facts. I think you don't give a rat's ass about facts becasue facts say sound in red YOU ARE WRONG. your misguided world views has been shattered by the facts!

You have no right to say I belive magic becuase you have given no facts to refute. We are not discussing my metaphyics in the first place. I also submit you know abosltuely nothing about my metaphysics. You are basing that upon a misgudied and hateful understanding of what Chstiians believe: in other words you are seteriotyping.

Bino (before):
But if men and women in Tampa get married and so do men an women in Dallas that's certainly not archetype. That's shared culture. People in the culture share an idea, "marriage," and the specific events in Tampa and Dallas are instances of that idea being played out.

Meta (before)
> Yes but that doesn't they copied each other cultures. It means the
> idea of marriage began long ago when humans weren't so scattered
> over the planet.
Bino's answer:

Well Florida sub-culture is quite different from Texas sub-culture, but they're both parts of the same country, and the idea of marriage spreads across the entire country, across the greater culture.

The Roman empire was one country, with many sub-cultures that shared larger cultural ideas. Gods, miracles, healings, heaven, hell being some.

Meta: first, you are still missing what I said about marriage being so old and basic that it began before human had spread accross the earth as far. Probalby before they crossed the land brige. I'm talking about after we emergered from Africa as Zenjanthropus and evovled into homo spiens. I'm sure marrige was proabbly a Neranderthal invention. Maybe the serimony was Cromagnon. I don't know.

But you cannot assume that the Roman empire was the core culture or that what they had was the infulence upon everying. We know that most these ideas are much much older than the Roman empire. the Romans got their gods from the Greeks. They got them via the Etruscans. So they are very much older than the empire.

So, question: Does your theory of ancient miracles recognize that within boundaries of a culture similar events appear and reappear because they are expressions of shared cultural ideas and not because they each emerge separate and unique from some archetype?

Meta: I've already spoken to that. You are forgetting what was said about what was said about the more specific the more it looks like a copy. So the idea of healing may be an archetype, but the idea of mud-spit on blind eyes looks like a copy. The idea of a savior dying for the world is an archetype, the idea of doing on a cross may be too specific and seems like a copy.

But you have done nothing to indicate any sort of cultural barrowing. You have showen mo mytholoigcal propensity for any of the parallels that mythers point to when they aregue that Jesus was copied after pagan gods.

Meta (before)
> yes but shared cultural ideas are not copying in the Jesus myther
> sense. you have to learn what these guys are saying about the
> Gospel story. They are not saying there happen to be some kind of
> similarities for cultural reasons. they are saying that the Gospel
> authored copied specific things that pagan gods do because they
> were too stupid to "invent" their own story line.

> Besides they don't take into account that none of the figures they
> use in the dying-rising savior god argument were popular in the
> middle east. They don't take into account that fiures they pick out
> such as Osiris were not even the stars of their cults by the time of
> Christ. They don't take into account that it would very unlikely for
> Jewish authors to pattern consciously after pagans.

Yes, Jesus is not Osiris fact for fact. You're refuting a position I am not arguing.
Meta: but you are, serupticiously. You just did above. In saying "I cant' by your idea there's some barrowign" but you show any, then you are just opening the door to going back to the original hypothesis as though it has not been disproved, which I just did.

You cannot demosntrate that the general similairties that do exist are not arche types. Arche types do not lend themselves to the myther hypothesis. I am willing to that there are arche types and in that sense Jesus has some semilarities to pagan gods. That is not copying. the Jesus myth idea is the copy cat idea.

God can exist. God can send Jesus to earth in the flesh to die for humanity and rise again, and arche types be true. Both of those things can be true. They are not contradictions of one antoher. They do not disprove Christianity.

bino (before)
And if in San Francisco two men get married, will you agree with me that they did not get the idea of marriage from the Archetype, they got the idea of marriage from American culture, and they adjusted that cultural idea to fit their own circumstances? So even though factual details of two events differ, the origin of the ideas fundamental to the events may still be the general culture.

Meta: (before)
> Not when they are so specific as dying on a cross to forgive sins
> and rising from the dead.

We don't know the theologies of the mysteries were, so I don't know about forgiving sins.

Meta: If we don't know them you can't assert they are paralel. You can't give me a reason to think they would be. If we dont' know them they can't be evidence for the Jesus myth.

Raising the dead seems to have been a cultural convention.

Meta: where? I mention with every figure there is no resurrection myth. Show me which one actually retured to his flesh and blood life as though he had not died, and left an empty tomb behind? I've already demosntrate there aren't any and you have given no exmaples.

I agree about dying on the cross. And a mother named Mary, and a father named Joseph, and 12 disciples, etc. etc. etc. But, again, every ancient myth was different in its details from every other ancient myth. Only Dionysus was sewed up in Zeus' thigh. Only Magna Mater came to Rome as a rock. They are all unique.
Meta: So what's the basis left for thinking Jesus is a myth? "The fine brash hypothesis dies the death of a thousand qualifications" (Antony Flew).

So your criteria that some uniqueness in circumstantial detail proves the story of the magic miracle working immortal son of god proves He is different from all the other magic miracle working immortal sons of god seems to me unreasonable.
Meta: LOL can't you see the massive contradiction to your own arugment you just made? You just conradicted everything you said. You seem to want it both ways.

You are arguing in a've accepted the idea that there has to be this pagan ideal of a Jesus like guy and even though I've dipsroved allt he evidenc esupporting that and you admit that much, you still arbittarily cling to it as though it's some high ideal that cannot be abandoned even it has no support at all.

Arche types are not support. Arche types can be from God. The dress rehursal idea. So arguing archetypics is not an answer.

Meta (before)
> you don't have to turn to pagan mythology to account for that. all of
> those elements are in the OT or Hebrew history.

Yes. Judaism was just another ancient religion, confluent, except in the extremity of its tribal racism, with other ancient religions. Josephus says somewhere that the priests allowed pagans to sacrific for healing in the temple in Jerusalem, so the ancient Jews and pagans saw this confluence themselves.

Meta: you don't seem to understand the importance of the general idea. Yes healing is a general arche type, so that means its not a copy. There's no reason to assume Jesus some confromist to a pagan pattern Just he share general things that all people share. Its' the unique things that make him unique. He has a head and turnk and four limbs, he has hair he has skin that doesn'tmake him a copy.

Bin0 (before)
B. Now that I see what you mean in general, I'm unclear what you mean by "copying" miracles, especially in #2.

Meta: you are strating to muddl t the arguments. I'll watch to see if this is an intentional tachci. the Jesus myth notion turns on the idea that Jesus is a copy. If you don't watnt o argue that stop defending it because that's what this is about.

Meta (before)
> what I just said. The Jesus story stuff, virgin birth, dying on cross to
> atone for sins, rising from dead, empty tomb.

Bino (before)
I gather that to you "copying" means copying factual details. Is your theory aware that common cultural ideas played out in different circumstances may result in different factual details?

Meta (before)
> bs. The more similar the more likely copying took place. that is
> merely logical. Give me an example of anything you are talking
> about (not marriage that's not an example for reasons explained
> above).

Gods were immortal beings who lived in the sky, came to earth, had magic powers, cared about people, and did things to help or hurt them. Gods healed the sick, walked on water, spoke to people in dreams, commanded demons, and occasionally brought a better life after death.
Meta: first, not that walking on water isn't general, but show me an example of a god who does that. (No dophins pulling Posiden's sea shell charit pelase, real actual walking on water).

In most pagan myths gods do not care about people. The Greeks had sacrfice for healing but that proablby devleoped before the spcific characters of their mythology. The Greek gods were mericless tyrants who did not give a damn about people. They are horribly cruel to people and they are total selfish and egotistical. Athena skinned a guy alive because he invented a flute to honor her. She killed him in a horrible way becuase he wanted to honor her, but did it in a way that made her cheeks puff out so she punsihed him curelly. Apollo is said to have skinned a guy alive becasue he challenged a god (him) to a lyre contest. (see Mythology Edith Hamelton for both of these stories).

Pagans did not have the same concepts of demons that Jews did. In fact in the OT Jews didn't have demons. They probably got the concept from the Persians in the exile. Greeks did not have a notion of evil demons. Other pagans may have but not the Greeks. For the Greeks demons (dymon--form of dunimos, means "power" we get the word dynomite) were a lower order of god. They were divine but not Olympians, mostly connected with nature. They could be sons of Olympians. An example would Pan. Another might be Cupid (he was the son of an Olympian--see Hamelton).(according to"There are various versions of the birth of Pan. In one, his parents are Zeus and Hybris. In another version, the father of Pan is Hermes and the mother is a nymph. In another, Pan's parents are Penelope, wife of Odysseus and her mate, Hermes or, possibly, Apollo. In Theocritus, Odysseus is Pan's father. Pan was born in Arcadia.")

Jesus is totally unique. The comparsion and saving grace of Christianity are totally unique.

Bino (before)
A marriage in Tampa on a boat, in Dallas in a corral with horses, say. Different factual details, same fundamental purpose. Same fundamental origin.

Meta (before)
> Marriage has been part of human culture for a very long time.It goes
> back the dawn of human cultural. It pre dates the journey across the
> ice bridge. It's not copying per se because when it began there was
> closer to being just one culture.


Exactly. But the fact the wedding in Tampa is on a boat and the wedding in Dallas was in a corral – too different for fact-by-fact copying; Jesus is not Horus – does not prevent either of us from seeing that each wedding was a specific expression of general cultural ideas.
Meta: you are arguing in circles trying to have it both ways. Healing is a general arche type. It probalby also has more to do wtih some particular sort of perceptual phenomena associated with it that is not arche typical, such as the fact of real healing, or apparent ones anyway.

Stop the game. you are trying to agree that the specifics of coypiong are out but still keep the juice for the myther idea in the general concepts which do not inovle copying so they don't really fit what the mythers are asying. The real Jesus myth hypothesis has been destoryed. you keep tyring to sneak it in the back door.

The whole point of them saying Jesus was a copy was to argue that he didn't really exist. If simialirties are arche types or the result of universal perceptions (such as healing) this can be the case and Jesus still be real. So the Jesus myth theory is totally dead.

If you want to aruge theat there are some similarties in spite of the reality of Jesus or the potential reality and hit has nothing to do with the Jesus myth idea, fine but I see no reason to have such a discussion.

Bino: (before)
Speaking now about healing gods in the ancient world, as you know Isis healed, Asclepius healed, etc. etc.

Meta (before)
> Isis didn't walk around in society as a felsh and blood person
> healing. She didn't go up to cripples and go "take up your bed as
> walk."

As an aside, take up your bed and walk was a cultural convention understood to prove the power of the magic man's spell:

"I was still a young lad, about fourteen years old, when someone came and told my father that Midas the vine-dresser, ordinarily a strong and industrious servant, had been bitten by a viper toward midday and was lying down, with his leg already in a state of mortification….Not to make a long story of it, the Babylonian came and BROUGHT MIDAS BACK TO LIFE, driving the poison out of his body by a spell, and also binding upon his foot a fragment which he broke from the tombstone of a dead

Lucian, Lover of Lies, Chapter 12 "

Meta: that is just the kind of meaningless similarity Jesus myth thrives on. This is not evidence of any sort. It does not prove what you said to any degree. you are assuming this is some sort of standardized phrase "take up your bed" just because in one story a pagan picks up a bed. Beggars and people who were did have little mats they did carry them around. that is not spcific enough for copying. Becasue they gus not say "pick up your bed and walk." The sick guy picks up the bed. big deal not close enough!

You need to quote an expert scholar sying that the healing telling the sick "pick up your bed and walk" was some kind of standard sign becuase it happens all the time. It does not and this is not proof.

The only similarity there is he's walking around healing, and that is arche typical. The bed thing is not enough to indicate that the Gospels copied the story.

Meta (before)
> so this falls under he category of arche type because it's very
> general and other than the aspect of healing itself there's nothing to
> suggest one influence the other.


Again, recourse to circumstantial factual details misses the underlying ancient theology: gods had the power to heal.
Meta but it's not enough to disprove Christianity! it doesn't prove copying because its too general and archetypes don't hurt Christianity!


> Now when Alexander claimed Glycon healed, in the second century, how
does your theory imagine Alexander came up with the idea of having his god heal people? Do you think Alexander came up with his lie from some archetype, or was there a general cultural idea of gods healing, and Alexander invented Glycon's healing power based on that?


> did you not read my post? did you not understand what I said?
> Alexander and Glycon were fictional characters. they wade up by
> Lucian the play write. they never existed and they were probably
> patterned after Paul and Jesus. Do you get what I"m saying? Jesus
> was the pattern for Glycon. It was an intentional direct copy. That
> cannot be a proof that the Jesus story was copied form pagan gods.


Yes I understood what you said. I didn't want to be boorish by pointlessly correcting your facts. Lucian did write some dialogues, but he was not a playwright. He did not write plays. He did not have plays produced.

Meta: yes, sorry he did. Alexander is a charter in a play. he was a playwright and this is from a play.


Alexandros ho Pseudomantis is not a play. It is not to my reading, fiction, or intended to be. Further you can today go online and buy ancient Paphligonian coins with a snake god with a human head and the word 'glykon' stamped on them. Alexander was a real man. Glycon was a "real" god.

Glycon was a snake god, according to the satirist Lucian, who provides the only literary reference to the deity. Lucian claimed Glycon was created in the mid-second century by the Greek prophet Alexander of Abonutichus. Lucian was ill-disposed toward the cult, calling Alexander the "oracle-monger" and accusing the whole enterprise of being a hoax — Glycon himself was supposedly a glove puppet.

see where it says he was a "satirist?" That's a play wright. that's what a satirist is. Note it says Glycon was made up in the second century. So he cannot be an influence upon the story of Jesus as it appears in the Gospels. That was on Wikipedia.

according to Roger Pearse

AN account of the false priest of Asclepius, Alexander of Abonoteichus. It has been discussed in detail by Cumont in the Mémoires couronndes de l’academie de Belgique, vol. xl (1887).

Although Alexander achieved honour not only in his own country, a small city in remote Paphlagonia, but over a large part of the Roman world, almost nothing is known of him except from the pages of Lucian. Gems, coins, and inscriptions corroborate Lucian as far as they go, testifying to Alexander’s actual existence and widespread influence, and commemorating the name and even the appearance of Glycon, his human-headed serpent. But were it not for Lucian, we should not understand their full significance.

Alexander’s religious activity covered roughly the years A.D. 150-170. The cult which he established outlasted him for at least a century. It was highly unusual in its character, as Cumont observes. Sacred snakes were a regular feature of sanctuaries of Asclepius ; but to give a serpent a human head and style it the god incarnate was a distinct innovation. Moreover, the proper function of Asclepius was to heal the sick, who passed the night in his temple, expecting either to be cured while they slept or to have some form of treatment suggested to them in their dreams. But at Abonoteichus we hear nothing of incubation, and only incidentally of healing; the “new Asclepius” deals in oracles like Apollo, and gives advice on any subject. This, together with Alexander’s extravagant claims of divine descent, confirms Lucian in his appraisal of him as an out-and-out charlatan, aiming to play upon the gross credulity of the times and to secure the greatest gain with the least effort.

Lucian was in a position to know a good deal about Alexander, and clearly believes all that he says. Without doubt his account is essentially accurate, but it need not be credited absolutely to the letter. Lucian was no historian at best, and he was angry. In the account of his relations with Alexander he reveals his own personality more clearly than usual, but not in a pleasant light.

The piece was written at the request of a friend, after A.D. 180, when Alexander had been in his grave for ten years.

According to Nationmaster Encyclopedia

According to the satirist Lucian, who provides the only literary reference to the deity, the cult of the snake god Glycon was founded in in the mid-second century by the Greek prophet Alexander of Abonutichus. Lucian was ill-disposed towards the cult, calling Alexander the "oracle-monger" and accusing the whole enterprise of being a hoax - Glycon himself was supposedly a glove puppet.
simply the product of Lucian's comic imagination. There is solid archaeological evidence of its existence. It probably originated in Macedonia, where similar snake cults had existed for centuries. The Macedonians believed snakes had magical powers relating to fertility and had a rich mythology on this subject, for example the story of Olympias' impregnation by Zeus disguised as a serpent.

So the snake cult may have existed. That does not mean Glycon had an existence in history as a flesh and blood man. like Jesus. He's just a mytholgoical being, (ie archetype) we don't know much about him. This source also says Lucian was a playwright (that's what a satirist is). All we know about Alexander is what Lucian has in his paly so he could have been fictional.

Even if he wasn't all of this is from the second century so it could not have influenced the Jesus story. You are still trying to cling to it as evidence to sneak the Jesus myth in the back door, but its' gone. its' been purverized. there is no reason for it now.


The shortcoming of your Glycon copying theory seems to me it's implausibility. As you correctly point out Jesus is not Horus because the circumstantial facts of their myths differ. If that's true about Jesus and Horus it must also be true about Glycon and Jesus. The circumstantial facts differ. The underlying theologies – miracles, powers, prophesies, healings, raising the dead – do not differ.

Meta Still paying your little games. You want to sneak the Jesus myth in the back door. as I said, general simliarities are archetypes and archetypes don't disprove anything about Jesus. they don't disprove the Bible. You don't seem to get the point here.

And you have the further problem that Christians were then reviled as atheists – by Alexander. Lucian says so, and Lucian was there himself, in Abnoteichus, at Glycon's oracle
Meta: Again, you try to sneak the Jesus myth theory in the back door. Alexander was aficiton. The only evidence for the cult is the mid second centruy. The onlky things we know about it come from a ficitional world, Glycon did not live as a man in history> the whole thing is too late to be an influence upon the Jesus story. Archetypes do not hurt Chrsitainity.

Christians were reviled as atheists becuase the word didn't mean at that time the same thing it does not. It didn't mean who who believes in no God, it meant one who does not believe in the right gods. (ie the Greek/Roman Gods).


According to your theory, do the stories about of the Son of God and a mortal woman, come to earth, healing, miracle working, do as I say and you'll have a happy eternal life after death god Jesus, and the stories about of the Son of God and a mortal woman, come to earth, healing, miracle working, do as I say and you'll have a happy eternal life after death god Dionysus, do those stories reflect any shared cultural ideas?

Meta: What's wrong with you? Why can't you stick to a point? I've proved over and over again there are not such pagn myths. they did nt have them. they are made up modern atheists who are trying to destroy christainity. they did not have that kind of similarity (btw Chrsitianity does not say "do what i say and you will be happy" there's a bit more to it than that).

stop playing this game. I've disproven those alledged similirites stop turning aroudn and acting like they are there. there they do not exist!

hear me? they do not exist!

C. I'm interested in your idea that Tacitus and Alexander the FP copied from our gospels. On what factual basis do you believe Tacitus or A the FP had ever heard of our Gospel of John?


> Alexander never lived as a human in history. He was a fictional
> character made up by Lucian. Lucian lived in the second century.
> So he's clearly patterned after Jesus because there are not
> examples of such people in pagan myth before that.

> I'm still reseraaching the Tacitus story. But the kicker is Vespacian
> lived after the events that were suppossed to have taken place in
> the Gospels. I can prove that the Gospel stories circulated in written
> form as early as AD 50. That would pre date the time in which
> Vespasian healed the guy. That event had to take place around AD
> 60's or 70s.

> It wasn't written until the 2nd century and since it is so like the
> episode in the Gospels which was written at least by AD 80 but
> probably before AD 50, then that's a good reason to assume that
> Tacitus or his source copied the Gospels.

Yes I know about fanciful early dates for our gospels. They strike me as unconvincing.

Meta: but seeing what a tenuous grasp you have on understanding the arguments so far, the idea that you understand dating methods of textual critics does not inprie confidence. That has been proved very conviencingly by the major scholars.

But as to the Tacitus account your problem is greater still. You would need to show not just that the gospel had been written, but that Tacitus might have known about it, and had some reason to copy from it.

Meta: sorry. you have become confussed. We already agreed that great similarities mean that there a likihood of copying, no? yes I think we did. These two stories are similar so there is a good chance that one copied the other. Of cousre it would be better to prove that Tacitus knew aout the gospel, but even if he didn't there's a chance that it's a copy. But you are confussed into thinking that my case depends upon it being one. That is not the case. Because weather a copy or not it i s totally impossible taht the gospels copied Tacitus and pretty unlikley they copied some other source that Tasitus had such as Vespasian. Because both Tasitus and Vespacian came after the pre Mark redaction of the Gospels. If there is any basis to the incident at all it would have happened at about the same time that Mar or Matt were being writtne. So the gospel did not copy the story, we can say that wtih a high degree of certainty.

Weather or not the story copied the gospel is not so important.

The facts as I know them are that not only is there no evidence Tacitus knew our gospels, there's no evidence in the early 1st century that any Christian knew it. Paul doesn't mention it. Ignatius doesn't mention it. 1 Clement doesn't mention it. No one mention it until well into the 2d century.
Meta: that is not evidence that the Gospel writers copied the story from Pagan soruces. That is evidence that they did not. Because for them to copy it would have to be known. There is no ealier example of that story outside of Tacitus.

If you are trying to say that therefore the Gospel writers didn't know that is totally disproved. The fact prove that a pre Markan redaction existed. Thsi is part of that redaction. All four Gospels and the Gospel of Peter draw upon the primordial Gosepl source.


Then you have the further improbability that Tacitus, who somewhere sneers at the Jews addiction to superstition, would copy a legend from a Jewish splinter sect. A sect whose people were just then apparently being killed for their superstitions. It's just improbable on its face, like Billy Graham lifting a miracle from the Book of Mormon.

Meta: That would depend upon who he phrases the story. show me that he's serious about it. He might mocking Vespacian. BTW Vespacian knew Josephus. So that's a conduit through which he could have learned the story himself.

I'm not aware of any Christian mentioning John until well into the 2d century. Are you?
as I said, John Ryland's fragment dates to 135. So someone had to know it because it clearly existed. Obviously the people in the John community knew it. There is evidence that others knew it as early as first quater of second century. There is good evdience that Iganitous knew it.

> yes. The Gospel of John was know factually was written before 135
> AD. This is because of the John Ryland's fragment which date to
> that year. You have allow travel and copy time so that puts the
> writing of John in the 90s.

I'm afraid I can't agree. The Colin Roberts date of P52 was not "before 135" it was "first half of the 2d century" – and it is at any rate an exercise not of science but of imaginative theology, as a quick read of the paper itself will show:

Meta: that link doesn't work

and as the Harvard Theological Review finally admitted in 2005: The Use and Abuse of P52: Papyrological Pitfalls in the Dating of the Fourth Gospel

Meta: That is not a great difference 135 and mid century are very close in terms of historical development of a text. There is record of the story outside the gospels until Tacitus (I would have to see it to determine if it was really a copy--if it's like the "take up bed" thing that is totally unimpressive). But the point is there is nothing there to sugest that the gospels are copying Tacitus. He would have been a small child when John was written ayway.

135-155 would be the time when the Ms shows up oin Egypt not it's date of composition. That woudl have been (theortically) at least 20 years before. They always give a rule of thumb in textual criticism 10 years for travel time and 10 years for copy time.

The incident itself in Tacitus does not invovle mud. Moreover, the blind man asked Vespasian to spit on him. This is slight simiarity but not exact. Not srue it proves your argument, even if you can prove prior dating.

> As for as authorship there were writers in the second century that
> attributed it to John. I support the Elder John theory but that works


My quibble wasn't authorship, it was early attestation. There is none. Therefore that Tacitus should have had it as his source is unbelievable.

Meta: yes, and as a consequence I don't believe it. But that is not proof that theGospels borroweed another source. I am still waiting to see the passage itself.