Friday, November 15, 2013

From "Cracked" and Amanda Mannen: Jesus, Horus, Mithras, and "Religulous"

#4. Religulous -- The "Jesus Is Fake" Evidence Is Fake

The Film:

In Religulous, Bill Maher sets out to make you question what you think you know about God, telling you everything church leaders don't want you to know. He interrogates everyone from truck stop parishioners to pious scientists to visitors of a holy amusement park, poking holes in their beliefs by pointing out things like how the original sin isn't mentioned in the Bible or how the Christ mythology is eerily similar to other ancient religions -- at one point, a Tumblr-ready slideshow informs us of the many similarities between Jesus and the Egyptian god Horus.

Man, that's some incriminating evidence right there. How come the entire Catholic church hasn't collapsed under the weight of this one documentary?

The Fallacy:

All this "Jesus was copied from earlier religions" stuff has been going around the Internet for a while, and it will make you look awesome if you post it on a Halo message board, but none of it is true. The Egyptian links have been debunked by actual Egyptologists.

Let's start with the "virgin births" part: You've gotta make some pretty big logical jumps to claim that any of those earlier gods were born from virgins, having come from a mother seven times over (Krishna), some freaky necrophilia (Horus), and a f---ing rock (Mithras).

Then there's the resurrection thing. Contrary to Maher's claims, Mithras was never resurrected, and the older versions of the guy's story don't have any of the Jesus similarities -- those came about in the first or second century A.D. (that is, after Jesus was born). Horus, like Mithras, was also never resurrected, didn't have 12 apostles, and didn't raise Asar from the dead (which doesn't translate to "Lazarus" even a little bit). There isn't even any record of a figure call Anup the Baptizer; the closest we come is Anubis, the god of embalming, which astute readers will note is a leeeeeetle different from baptism.

Oh, by the way, original sin is totally in the Bible, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a scholar who disagrees with the overwhelming evidence that a person (not necessarily a divine being) matching Jesus' description existed during his purported lifetime. So where did Maher get all this crap? Probably from the viral "documentary" Zeitgeist (which doesn't cite any sources) or, and this is a serious possibility, the f---ing Da Vinci Code (which is about as historically accurate as the movie Splash).
None of this means the Christian Bible is right or that it represents the one true religion. But if you think something is bullshit, the answer is not more bullshit.

--Amanda Manning.


Babel said...

I have been all over the board with this debate over the years. I acknowledge that I tend to completely endorse whatever position on this issue the latest thing I have read upholds. The arguments on both sides can be awfully persuasive. As a post on atheism from the website "What Really Happened" put it-
"You believe that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a woman made from a rib was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.
"And you don't understand why I have doubts?"

And the addition of so much information, misinformation, disinformation and just plain bullshit that has clouded the atmosphere over this issue has basically compelled me to the Pilate position of "What is Truth?" It is an easy out, an enlightened and open-minded way of copping out of taking a position on the most crucial question of our existence.
And that is why I smell the brimstone behind the cop out.
It occurred to me that a rejection of the entire issue IS making a choice. I have decided to apply the teaching of Jesus - "by their fruits you shall know them" as my guide- and not let historical truth confuse spiritual Truth-after all, if enough people set out to prove that George Washington never existed they could flood the internet with a shitstorm of "proof" that would then become part of the George Washington legacy that, since no one is alive that was a contemporary of his to counter it, would demand a leap of faith on the part of any one interested in him to execute.
Faith cannot be forged from historical fact; it can't be dissected; it is not even so simple as being a "feeling" one gets after examining the issue. To me, at any rate- it is a bond that is formed, a call and response between a creature and his Creator, an acknowledgement of alignment and atonement, a transcendent union that the word 'love' can only barely be useful to describe- it is a bond of belonging together, each inside the other, an acceptance of that coexistence. Jesus and those who practice what he taught are to me the bearers of the best and most Truthful "fruit." Mankind has never seen a better advocate for its' well being. I acknowledge my bond with Christ and our Heavenly Father and am content with being a member of His Kingdom.

Nathan said...

There's no doubt that there are similarities between the myths associated with Jesus and earlier pagan ones, but some people have really gotten carried away with finding things in common. Even before The Da Vinci Code or Zeitgeist (the latter of which I've never seen but really sounds antisemitic from the descriptions I've seen), there was Kersey Graves in the nineteenth century, who insisted that Dionysus was crucified. Well, no, he was said to have died and come back to life, but crucifixion certainly wasn't involved.