Blogger binobolumai said...
A. Were elements the other gods' myths copied from each other?
For example, according to the stories ancient gods all did miracles. That's sort of what made them gods, right?
NO, that is not what makes them gods. You need to realize the basic principle that something so general it could come from anywhere is not evidence of copying. For example every myth has the sun coming up in the morning. Does this mean they are all copied form an original myth that had the sun coming up? No, it means everyone on earth experinces this phenomenon every morning so they all work it into their views.
Things like healing, and strange events, signs and portents, these are things that people experienced, things all that people interpreted from the aspects of nature around them. That is no more evidence of one copying another than all of the saying the sun comes up in the morning.
Most scholars rule out any sort of borrowing by Christianity from the mystery cults for their notions of rebirth and salvation. There may have been some linguistic influences, but the most direct would have been Hellenistic, not Persian or Egyptian. (See W. F. Flemington, The New Testament Doctrine of Baptism (London: SPCK, 1948), 76-81.)
Eliade's theory of the Mono myth is more likely as an origin for ideas of redemption and sacrifice than is conscious copying. It's a psychological archetype. These concepts, the concept of a god itself, the concept of sacrifice, redemption, resurrection, these are archetypes. That means these shared phenomena that are found in all cultures would would be found in all cultures even though they had no contact with each other at all. These are metaphors that are in our psyche and they are universal. We would find them without any influence from other cultures.
BB goes on
So my questions are:
1. Do you think these gods really did miracles? Or do you think someone just made up the other gods' miracle stories?
First that's going to lead to a protracted discussion about what is a Miracle? I don't necessarily agree that any did actual miracles. But I'll stipulate that they all had "supernatural" happenings. That need not be a thing they copied. That's like saying they all have the sun so they all copied each others myths of the sun. The sun is available to us all. It makes more sense to say they have the sun in their myths because they all had the sun. They all had these things in their myths because they are common arche types that we all hve in the psyche.
One of the fallacious assumptions you are making here is to think that only Hebrews could have miracles, or that God would only work in one culture. The Bible actually tells us (Acts 17: 21-29) that God works in call Cultures. See my pages on "Salvation and other faiths." It need not be that ideas of miracles and healing are copies at all since these are natural ideas that appeal to the mind based upon need and imagination. To the extent that God has given us a means of acquiring prevenient grace and experiencing the supernatural, there is no reason to think these things don't happen in other cultures. In that Passage in Acts 17 (v27) Luke says:"God did this [created humanity and scattered them into different cultures] so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out and find him though he is not far form each one of us." This implies that God not only wants to work in other cultures, but that it is actually his plan to do things in this way. Perhaps through a diversity of insights we might come to know God better. Perhaps it means that through spreading the Gospel people would come to contemplate better the meaning of God's love. That could actually be construed as a basis for the arche types.
2. You know other gods healed the sick, right? Asclepius did. Isis did. Chaldean miracle workers did, Syrian magic men did, Apollonius of Tyana did, Glycon did, Vespasian did, etc. You know this, right?
Meta: First of all, I would have to examine each individual case to see if they have any sort of similarity to Biblical healing. Most of them do not. Most of them are not "healing" in the Biblical sense for example Isis, whom did she heal? If you are thinking of Osiris she did not heal him she turned him into a living mummy with a dull thoughtless half life. She did not restore him to his flesh and blood state. Some of the others such as Apollonius of Tyana could be copying Heberw Prophets or even Jesus.
Secondly, and this is more to the point, everyone gets sick. Most people recover at least once from some form of illness. So the idea of being healed is too general and too universal to use as signs of copying. This the basic principle you need to learn. If it's so general and universal that everyone has it anyway, there's no need to explain it through copying. If it is connected to arche types there is no need to explain through copying.
So here's the question: The idea of a magic man healing the sick, was that something new and original to each of these godmen, or was it an idea that was part of ancient culture that got applied, in made up stories, to various people / gods?Meta:Your assumption is that if the Bible was true only Hebrews would have healing, or even the idea of healing. That is a false assumption. Especially the idea that only Hebrews could think of healing. Because certainly any culture could come up with the wish that they have magic healing. There's no need to expalin that through copying.
What criteria do you use to make this judgment?
Meta: common sense, logic, history, psychology and the works of Eliade and Campbell.
Where did you derive those criteria?Meta: My head, books, graudate school (ie works of Eliade, Keranie, and Campbell).
B. On what basis do you theorize that Jesus' magic miracle stories were not similarly invented by credulous primitives?
Meta: (1) They are attested to by eye witnesses. There is no such attestation for any mythologcial character.
(2) I've experinced miracles myself. So If miracles happen today they probably happened back then.
(3) Good scientific evidence of miracles exists at Lourdes.
What criteria do you use to make this judgment?You have to be more specific. Frame the context in which you want to discuss criteria
Where did you derive those criteria?
Meta: My own life, books, see the link above.
The assumptions you make that the similarity of any two things must imply that the Bible authors copied it from pagans is nonsense. First of all you totally ignored the evidence I put out that all the elements of Mithrism said to be like Christianity were copied by Mithrists form Christianity. The evidence is that we have no artfacts, texts, or discriptions of Mithrism form any writer that that pre dates the time of Paul. Secondly, the evidence from Cumont shows clearly that Chrsitianity and Mithrism rarely came into contact, they were not major competitors and that Mithrism post dates the major developments of Christianity. There is even such evidence which will be forth coming in parts 2 and 3 which I wil get to very soon.
The ideas you choose are way too general to be evdience. But this is a very important point. Wheh I first stated doing internet apologetics in 1998, the Mythers had a totally different set of arguments. Those arguments have whittaled down little by little over the years. This is a process I not only watched but am proud to say participated in. The figures I picked out to attack on my site (Mithra, Hercules, Attis, Osiris, ect) represent the dying/rising Savior god argument as it was made in 99 by most mthers. Over the years it's been whittaled away. For example they don't claim Osiris anymore, because my information on Osiris was so deveistating they moved it to Horus. But I've bashed the Horis hypothesis. They argued Justin Martyr for a time but then I spend some real quality time on that one in some major pissing sessions on carm then they dropped that. Now they are doing mriacles and healing miracle men.That's just another retreate from the original hypothesis which ahs been dahsed so many times they don't go near it anymore. But since they hate Christiantiy and their mission is to destory faith in the bible (as assinged by Skeptical inquier and the committee on proapaganda) they are still flogging it over miracles and such.But that's a hopeless task because its so general itsl like saing all the cultures that say good morning to each other must have copied good morning form some original group.
Hebrews said "good morning" when they first woke up.
Egypitians said good morning when they first woke up.
therefore, Hebrew religion is copied after Egiptian religion.
Anothy Flew said (when he was young, before he lost his marbles--this is actually a quote form his gardener parable so he said this original in battle against Christianity as a major atheist thinker of this day:
The death of a fine brash hypothesis comes through a thousands qualifications.This is what we see at work in the Jesus myth senerio. All of their original major lines of evidence have been smashed and the orignal hypoethsis has been quailfied so many times that now they are down to these piddeling ideas that are so veg and general they don't require any sort of copying to be expalined.
More evidence that the dying/rising savior gods are false concepts:
In Babylonian Mythology was the consort of the goddess Ishtor. He was also the god who died and rose again continually. This was another crop cycle relationship based upon nature. (Herbert Spencer Robinson, Myths and Legends of all Nations, New York: Bantum Books, 1950, 13-16). This is purely mythological. There is no historical figure that Tammuz is based upon. He did not die and rise as a flesh and blood human, but only as a mythical figure. He healed no real people, only the mythical goddess Ishtar. Since his dying and rising is crop related we can suspect that he is not even faintly based upon a real figure. This was a copy of nature for fertility purposes. He was consort to Ishtar who was goddess of 'love' in the crass sense, related to fertility.
1) No Virginal Birth
There are no stories of Tammuz as the product of a virgin birth. I suspect that documentation comes from Achyra S. She has been totally discredited as one who gets her information from UFO contacts.
2) No Crucifixion
He was not crucified but killed by a wild bore (Ibid.).
3) No Resurrection
Easter: Myth, Hallucination or History
by Edwin M. Yamauchi
(prof. of History at Miami University, Osford Ohio)
Updated 22 March 1997"In the case of the Mesopotamian Tammuz (Sumerian Dumuzi), his alleged resurrection by the goddess Inanna-Ishtar had been assumed even though the end of both the Sumerian and the Akkadian texts of the myth of "The Descent of Inanna (Ishtar)" had not been preserved. Professor S. N. Kramer in 1960 published a new poem, "The Death of Dumuzi," that proves conclusively that instead of rescuing Dumuzi from the Underworld, Inanna sent him there as her substitute (cf. my article, "Tammuz and the Bible," Journal of Biblical Literature, LXXXIV , 283-90).He was not a savior figure, he did not have a cult of salvation seekers founding a mystery religion after him, he was not a savior but a symbol of the crop cycles, the male counterpart to the Greek Procepheny.
A line in a fragmentary and obscure text is the only positive evidence that after being sent to the Underworld Dumuzi may have had his sister take his place for half the year "(cf. S. N. Kramer, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 183 , 31). "Tammuz was identified by later writers with the Phoenician Adonis, the beautiful youth beloved of Aphrodite. According to Jerome, Hadrian desecrated the cave in Bethlehem associated with Jesus' birth by consecrating it with a shrine of Tammuz-Adonis. Although his cult spread from Byblos to the Greco-Roman world, the worship of Adonis was never important and was restricted to women. P. Lambrechts has shown that there is no trace of a resurrection in the early texts or pictorial representations of Adonis; the four texts that speak of his resurrection are quite late, dating from the second to the fourth centuries A.D.". ("La 'resurrection' d'Adonis," in Melanges Isidore Levy, 1955, pp. 207-40).
Actually Krishna is the only one of these figures who bares a striking similarity to Jesus, but not in any of the characteristics mentioned above. This will be dealt with in the argument below (IV) but suffice to say Krinsha is a totally mythological being. There is no real evidence that he ever existed, no record of people who met him, no body of his teachings, no eyewitnesses, and no historical personage to whom he can be related. Within in the context of the myth, he bares no similarity to Jesus. He was not a teacher or a healer but a King and Chariot driver, a warrior and archer. (Robinson, 53).
1) no virgin birth
It simply is not there, it is not part of his story.
2) no crucifixion
Killed by an arrow in battle.
(Robinson, 62) (Achyra S. apparently, and Kane on his website say that he was hung on a cross and then shot with an arrow, but the graphic Kane shows which he says shows him on a cross includes no cross at all. I find no record of a cross any of the literature I have read of him, and since he was killed in battle one wonders what that cross was doing on the battle field).
3) No resurrection, he does not raise from the dead, no story pictures him doing this.
"Cybele, also known as the Great Mother, was worshiped through much of the Hellenistic world. She undoubtedly began as a goddess of nature. Her early worship included orgiastic ceremonies in which her frenzied male worshipers were led to castrate themselves, following which they became "Galli" or eunuch-priests of the goddess. Cybele eventually came to be viewed as the Mother of all gods and the mistress of all life." (Ronald Nash," Was the New Testament Influenced by Pagan Religions?" The Christian Research Journal, Winter 1994, p.8)
1) No Virgin Birth
There is nothing in the story about a Virgin birth.
2) Not Crucified But Self-Castrated!
Cyble loved a Shaped named Attis. Because he was not sufficiently attentive she drove him mad. In response to his madness Attis castrated himself and died (Ibid).
2) Supposed "Resurrection" false and related to crop cycles"The presuppositions of the interpreter tend to determine the language used to describe what followed Attis's death. Many writers refer carelessly to the "resurrection of Attis." But surely this is an exaggeration. There is no mention of anything resembling a resurrection in the myth, which suggests that Cybele could only preserve Attis's dead body. Beyond this, there is mention of the body's hair continuing to grow, along with some movement of his little finger. In some versions of the myth, Attis's return to life took the form of his being changed into an evergreen tree. Since the basic idea underlying the myth was the annual vegetation cycle, any resemblance to the bodily resurrection of Christ is greatly exaggerated." (Ibid)[Ouch!]
C. Attis1) Late Sources For Attis
Most of our information about the cult describes its practices during its later Roman period. But the details are slim and almost all the source material is relatively late, certainly datable long after the close of the New Testament canon. (Ronald Nash, Christian Research Journal, Winter 94 p.8)
Lambrechts has also shown that Attis, the consort of Cybele, does not appear as a "resurrected" god until after A.D. 1 50. ( "Les Fetes 'phrygiennes' de Cybele et d' Attis," Bulletin de l'lnstitut Historique Belge de Rome, XXVII 11952], 141-70).
2) Christian-like affectations long after Christ's time
Nash States:It was only during the later Roman celebrations (after A.D. 300) of the spring festival that anything remotely connected with a "resurrection" appears. The pine tree symbolizing Attis was cut down and then carried corpse-like into the sanctuary. Later in the prolonged festival, the tree was buried while the initiates worked themselves into a frenzy that included gashing themselves with knives. The next night, the "grave" of the tree was opened and the "resurrection of Attis" was celebrated. But the language of these late sources is highly ambiguous. In truth, no clear-cut, unambiguous reference to the supposed "resurrection" of Attis appears, even in the very late literature from the fourth century after Christ. (Nash p.8)
Christian Think Tank
on the specifics of Buddha,Buddha was born of the virgin Maya. [We have already seen the radical differences here, and the data that his mom was married before his conception counts against the factuality of this. There ARE later traditions, however, that assert that she had taken vows of abstinence even during her marriage (a bit odd?), but it can be understood (so in EOR) to refer only to the time of that midsummer festival. The first and finest biography of the Buddha, written by Ashvaghosha in the 1st century, called the Buddhacarita ("acts of the Buddha") gives a rather strong indication of her non-virgin status in canto 1: "He [the king of the Shakyas] had a wife, splendid, beautiful, and steadfast, who was called the Great Maya, from her resemblance to Maya the Goddess. These two tasted of love's delights, and one day she conceived the fruit of her womb, but without any defilement, in the same way in which knowledge joined to trance bears fruit. Just before her conception she had a dream." (Buddhist Scriptures, Edward Conze,Penguin:1959.:35)
D. Buddha and Krishna
Both of these figures were in the East before an during the time of Christ. They never exerted any influence in Palestine, and probably very few people knew about them. No connecting link can be shown as to how they would spread to Palestine.