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brave_new_world

worthy of belief or skepticism

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Omnaka

I liked the bush video next to that one where he really comes clean about his agenda twards The human race.

Love Omnaka

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Dante's Inferno
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2aW2N46vf4Q&...feature=related

Does this make a good point? I think it does. Any thoughts anyone???

I would just like to say BNW that there is at the moment an interesting discussion in the 'to those who believe in God' thread. I'm intruiqued by the idea of where you draw the defining line between what is a religious fact nor truth and what is purely mythology! Check it out and give me your thoughts. How can people state God as being a divine spirit and then in the same breath dismiss zeus as purely mythological its really has me thinking alot lately!

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Something Like Laughter

Take the video's advice and check its claims. Avoid the internet if possible. Libraries are your friend.

How many threads have been started on this now?

Edited by Something Like Laughter

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macro
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2aW2N46vf4Q&...feature=related

Does this make a good point? I think it does. Any thoughts anyone???

Brave New World et al,

The material in this film has been dealt with in the "Religion Can Never Reform Mankind" thread (and I'm sure others as well).

Take the video's advice and check its claims. Avoid the internet if possible. Libraries are your friend.

Great advice, SLL. Whether one is a Christian or not, it only takes a little research to deal with this incredibly vapid material. Whoever made the Zeitgeist film is every bit as fundamentalist as any off-putting religious person I've ever seen. When someone thinks that there's a connection between the zodiac and Jesus simply because the zodiac has twelve signs and Jesus had twelve disciples we know that something is amiss.

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brave_new_world
Brave New World et al,

The material in this film has been dealt with in the "Religion Can Never Reform Mankind" thread (and I'm sure others as well).

Great advice, SLL. Whether one is a Christian or not, it only takes a little research to deal with this incredibly vapid material. Whoever made the Zeitgeist film is every bit as fundamentalist as any off-putting religious person I've ever seen. When someone thinks that there's a connection between the zodiac and Jesus simply because the zodiac has twelve signs and Jesus had twelve disciples we know that something is amiss.

And that Horus also had twelve followers? And had a virgin birth? The simarlarities arn't superficial.

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And that Horus also had twelve followers? And had a virgin birth? The simarlarities arn't superficial.

BNW,

That's the point behind my last post. There is NO evidence that Horus had twelve followers. When I say that I mean that even the Egyptians didn't record this. Horus had four, semi-divine followers, but not twelve human followers whom he taught. In fact, there's no evidence of Horus teaching anything. Also, the Egyptians don't record anything like a virgin birth for Horus. If memory serves correct, Horus's mom was depicted as a bird (an eagle?) who hovered over a phallic statue (an obelisk, maybe), thus becoming inseminated by it. Whatever we're going to call this, it's not exactly virgin birth--or at least not in the sense that the Christians speak of Jesus' virgin birth.

In short, not only are the similarities superficial; many of them simply don't exist. We discussed this stuff in detail on the forum I referred you to last post. I realize that Zeitgeist's critiques of the U.S. and George Bush (especially in relationship to 9/11) resonate with some folks. If you're into that, that's cool. But these so-called similarities are pure fabrication.

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Beckys_Mom
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2aW2N46vf4Q&...feature=related

Does this make a good point? I think it does. Any thoughts anyone???

nearly 10 minss..umm no thanks lol i'll skip that

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hairston630
And that Horus also had twelve followers? And had a virgin birth? The simarlarities arn't superficial.

I think they get the virgin birth idea from a piece of artwork. It showed a Mother holding a child.....if that is a virgin birth, then I could see the reason why people would think that Mithra being born out of a rock was a virgin birth as well.

Hairston

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Sherapy

Zeigeist, have you watched it Brave...

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brave_new_world
BNW,

That's the point behind my last post. There is NO evidence that Horus had twelve followers. When I say that I mean that even the Egyptians didn't record this. Horus had four, semi-divine followers, but not twelve human followers whom he taught. In fact, there's no evidence of Horus teaching anything. Also, the Egyptians don't record anything like a virgin birth for Horus. If memory serves correct, Horus's mom was depicted as a bird (an eagle?) who hovered over a phallic statue (an obelisk, maybe), thus becoming inseminated by it. Whatever we're going to call this, it's not exactly virgin birth--or at least not in the sense that the Christians speak of Jesus' virgin birth.

In short, not only are the similarities superficial; many of them simply don't exist. We discussed this stuff in detail on the forum I referred you to last post. I realize that Zeitgeist's critiques of the U.S. and George Bush (especially in relationship to 9/11) resonate with some folks. If you're into that, that's cool. But these so-called similarities are pure fabrication.

You are right about a lot of these things. I myself havnt seen Zeitgeist. I just found that youtube clip and thought I would post it up. Anyway you are right there is no evidence that Horus had twelve disciples and there is some doubt on the virgin birth according to at least 10 contemporary egyptologists. However not all similarities are pure fabrication.

Here is a site that lists some. Tis not a bias site in my view because it shows many similarities that can be verified as well as the similarities that cant.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa5.htm

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You are right about a lot of these things. I myself havnt seen Zeitgeist. I just found that youtube clip and thought I would post it up. Anyway you are right there is no evidence that Horus had twelve disciples and there is some doubt on the virgin birth according to at least 10 contemporary egyptologists. However not all similarities are pure fabrication.

Here is a site that lists some. Tis not a bias site in my view because it shows many similarities that can be verified as well as the similarities that cant.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa5.htm

BNW,

First, kudos on following up with the research. Lots of us get duped by unsubstantiated material, and I applaud you for looking into this further. That said, though, I've seen the material from religioustolerance.org before, and I must admit that these guys are found wanting. Sorry to tell you, but these guys are relying on the same sketchy material as the Zeitgeist folks. Virtually all of the comparisons they try to make between Jesus and Horus are wrong, but I'll list just a few for the sake of time:

1. There is no Egyptian record of Horus' crucifixion or anything approaching a resurrection. Resurrection is a Judeo-Christian concept that is without parallel in the ancient world. In fact, Horus' "death" is more of a kind of absorption into Ra the sun god. So we don't even really have a death here, so we don't have a tomb.

2. There is no Egyptian record that Horus taught anything (much less delivered a sermon from a mountian/hill), was baptized, or that he walked on water.

3. There is no Egyptian record that Horus was: a "fisher" whose symbol was a fish; called the "KRST" or "Anointed One"; came to fulfill any sort of law; or that he was supposed to have a 1,000-year reign.

4. Horus is called Great God, Chief of the Powers, Master of Heaven, Avenger of His Father, but there is no record at all of Horus being called Way, the Truth; the Light; Messiah; God's Anointed Son; Son of Man; Good Shepherd; Lamb of God; Word made flesh; or the Word of Truth.

The other material proffered by religioustolerance.org on this topic is every bit as incorrect as the Zeitgeist material. I think this is because they use (among other things) ideas found in Tom Harpur's Pagan Christs. This book if rife with phenomenally poor research and ludicrous ideas about how Christians stole this concept and that concept from non-Christian religions. It would be one thing if he could back up his claims, but he cannot and has not. Don't let any of this dissuade you from your intellectual pursuits concerning these issues; there is good material out there. Peace to you.

Edited by macro

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norwood1026

I've seen things some time ago there is alot of truth to the video. I can see why some people want it banned.

Although Mithras would of been a better choice heres why:

Was born of a virgin on December 25th, in a cave, attended by shepherds

Was considered a great traveling teacher and master

Had 12 companions or disciples

Promised his followers immortality

Performed miracles

Sacrificed himself for world peace

Was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again

Was celebrated each year at the time of His resurrection (later to become Easter)

Was called "the Good Shepherd"

Was identified with both the Lamb and the Lion

Was considered to be the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."

Celebrated Sunday as His sacred day (also known as the "Lord's Day,")

Celebrated a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper"

IN some stories Mithras was born in a cave not a virgin.

There are other Gods who were very Similar to Jesus

Dionysus' her mom was a mortal his dad was the supreme God Zeus. Dionysus celebrated the death of the God in the myth of young Dionysus-Zagreus, who died—was torn apart by the Titans, boiled, and eaten. Only his heart was left; it was buried and from it Dionysus was resurrected and ascended to heaven.

Attis, was hung on a tree The God was dead.Two days of mourning followed. Attis was also called "the Good Sheppard," the "Most High God," the "Only Begotten Son" and "Savior."

Now if you take a little out of each story about each of these Gods you can see where they came up with the idea of Jesus.

http://altreligion.about.com/library/weekly/aa052902a.htm

For those of you with closed minds this might help you some, then again it may not.

Edited by norwood1026

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I've seen things some time ago there is alot of truth to the video. I can see why some people want it banned.

Although Mithras would of been a better choice heres why:

Was born of a virgin on December 25th, in a cave, attended by shepherds

Was considered a great traveling teacher and master

Had 12 companions or disciples

Promised his followers immortality

Performed miracles

Sacrificed himself for world peace

Was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again

Was celebrated each year at the time of His resurrection (later to become Easter)

Was called "the Good Shepherd"

Was identified with both the Lamb and the Lion

Was considered to be the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."

Celebrated Sunday as His sacred day (also known as the "Lord's Day,")

Celebrated a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper"

Norwood et al,

Actually, this information is also untrue. Most (if not all) of this is taken from the same flawed sources.

1. December 25th: Nothing anywhere in the New Testament claims the date of Jesus' birth. Also, Dec. 25th is not designated as the celebration (NOT the actual birth-date) until centuries after the New Testament had been compiled. So even the folks who choose this day to commemorate Jesus' birth weren't interested in the birth-date.

2. There is simply NO proof from either the Iranian Mithrac tradition or the Greco-Roman mystery-cult tradition that Mithras: was a real space/time/history personage; a great traveling teacher; a leader of 12 disciples.

3. Sunday only comes to Mithras' "sacred day" after the Christian tradition had been started. Iranian Mithrasism and Greco-Roman Mithrasism were completely different, with only the latter being a mystery cult. We have no record of Sunday being designated as a sacred day for Mithras in the Iranian tradition. Furthermore, while Greco-Roman Mithrasism pre-dates Christianity, Sunday worship doesn't appear on the radar for the Mithras cultus until long after the Christian tradition was under way. So the borrowing is more than likely the other way around.

4. Like Horus, there is NO death of Mithras ever mentioned anywhere, so there's no crucifixion and no resurrection. And as I've stated before, the concept of resurrection is unique to Jews and Christians (and Muslims thereafter). Neither the Iranians nor the Romans adhered to any kind of embodied after-life, much less with all the nuances of the Jewish and Christian traditions.

5. There's no reference anywhere to Mithras being known as the Good Shepherd, the Lamb, the Lion, the Way, the Truth, the Light, the Logos, Redeemer, Savior, or Messiah/Anointed One.

6. There is no reference to Mithras's self-sacrifice for anything, much less world peace. And, as stated above, there's no mention from either form of Mithrasism of Mithras's death. So there's no sacrifice.

As I've stated elsewhere concerning this subject, it would've been ridiculous for the earliest Christians (who were Jewish people) to borrow from mystery religions. Judaism is packed with all of the elements that they supposedly stole. Why would Jewish people have to plumb the depths of mystery religions for anything when they've got everything they need in the Hebrew bible? This doesn't make sense.

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norwood1026

Just because you do not agree that does not mean that your right. Ask most any religious scholar & they to will tell you that Christianity is based on older Pagan beliefs. There is NO reference to Jesus being the son of God unless you read the bible, which makes that info biased & unbelievable.. Find a outside source & then just maybe you’ll have something. But like most because of your faith you refuse to open your eyes.

Like most Christians you don’t want to see what’s right in front of you & I get that. No Jesus was not born on the 25th of December but the Christians do celebrate it has his birthday, now why is that?

Considering that Christianity is only some 2,000 years old & there are much older religions I really doubt that someone copied them. There is reference all over the place but see what you want to. So your saying that somone went forward in time & copied christianty?

Even the teachings of Christ copy the parables of Buddha to an extent. But to each his/her own. Although he was some 400 B.C But Buddhda did not claim to be God.

There are even similarties between Jesus and Krishna both Pagan deties.

Once again it's all in how you want to see things.

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Just because you do not agree that does not mean that your right. Ask most any religious scholar & they to will tell you that Christianity is based on older Pagan beliefs. There is NO reference to Jesus being the son of God unless you read the bible, which makes that info biased & unbelievable.. Find a outside source & then just maybe you’ll have something. But like most because of your faith you refuse to open your eyes.

Norwood,

Actually, the majority of scholars who have researched these issues do not adhere to this notion. And I find it interesting that you demand outside references concerning Jesus, but yet the material concerning Horus, Mithras, and the other stuff from Zeitgeist/religioustolerance.org fails to live up the the kind of evidence you demand of the Christian tradition. Again, it is interesting that NO Egyptian material (for Horus or Osiris) and NO Iranian or pre-Christian Roman material (for Mithras or Attis) is able to substantiate what is being claimed for these deities. This means that even the people who revered these deities don't claim what is being said of them! Sure, my zeal for defending the Christian faith motivates me to respond to the claims of Christian borrowing of certain religious ideas. However, I did not merely say, "Well, I believe it, and that settles it, because faith in Jesus is superior to reason/proof!" I put forth reasonable arguments to make my point. And can't we say that your unbelief in Jesus is an equally powerful motivator? We are all motivated by various kinds of belief and unbelief. These things motivate us to argue in certain ways. And these motivators can compel us to rely on proofs/arguments outside of our faith/philosophical traditions to make our points. I used the total lack of evidence from any Egyptian texts/traditions to make my point concerning Horus, and I used similar evidence to make my point about Mithras. This is not merely an appeal to faith. It is an entirely reasonable appeal motivated by my faith.

Like most Christians you don’t want to see what’s right in front of you & I get that. No Jesus was not born on the 25th of December but the Christians do celebrate it has his birthday, now why is that?

Considering that Christianity is only some 2,000 years old & there are much older religions I really doubt that someone copied them. There is reference all over the place but see what you want to. So your saying that somone went forward in time & copied christianty?

Even the teachings of Christ copy the parables of Buddha to an extent. But to each his/her own. Although he was some 400 B.C But Buddhda did not claim to be God.

I've dealt significantly with what's in front of me on both this thread and the "Religion will never reform mankind.." thread. Again, I've attempted to appeal to reasonableness, not merely believe-ism. I think my posts adequately bear this out.

As for how an "older" religion can copy a "younger" one, it's easy. I have acknowledged that mystery cults were around before Christianity. Very true. But, as I've said before, there are certain things that we do not find in mystery cults until after the Christian tradition was already well underway. Example: Sunday is not revered as a sacred day for Mithras until a few centuries after Christianity was already well-established. My point here is that Mithrasism--an admittedly older religion--borrowed this aspect from Christianity because the Mithras cult was losing membership to the Christian faith. In this way, time travel is not necessary to copy from a religious tradition that is younger than your own.

Please provide me (and everyone else on this thread) with any teachings of Gautama Buddha that parallel those of Jesus. I hear about these parallels a lot, and I'm interested in exploring them (seriously, no sarcasm intended).

There are even similarties between Jesus and Krishna both Pagan deties.

Once again it's all in how you want to see things.

Actually, the supposed parallels between Jesus and Krishna are equally fallacious. And no, it's not merely about how we want to see things. But if everything merely boils down to perspective, then your criticisms of Christians (above) would turn in on you.

In my last post I stated something that I'd like to get your take on. Why would Jewish Christians have to borrow anything from mystery cults when they had so many concepts at their disposal in Judaism? (I'm speaking hypothetically here, because [as I've stated in many places on UM] I've demonstrated that the mystery cults didn't possess many of the concepts we'd like to attribute to them.) It makes no sense that Jewish followers of Jesus would have to "steal" anything concerning a redeemer figure, because the notion of divine redemption is deeply pervasive in earliest Judaism. The Exodus event is all about redemption. Why steal this from mystery cults when this is already deeply embedded in your culture? The same is true for the notion of a wandering, miracle-working teacher. If you're Jewish you've already got a whole Hebrew bible's worth of miracle-working sage figures like Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel (to name but a few!). Why would you have to turn to a figure like Mithras? Not only did they already have these figures in Jewish culture, but they actually thought these people existed! No mystery cult ever expressed an interest in whether or not their demi-god existed. The Jews already had sacrifice (check out Leviticus, among a myriad of other Old Testament material on sacrifice), and they already had a deity who they believe would bring peace and healing to the earth. Why turn to Mithras, Attis, Adonis, or Osiris for these things? This doesn't make sense.

Moreover, from what we see in the New Testament (whether one believes it or not) the earliest Christians leaned heavily on Judaism and the Old Testament for their theology and understanding of Jesus. They believed that Jesus was the fulfillment of God's work in the world through Israel. They insisted that while God had done something new in the world through Jesus it nevertheless was consistent with everything God had done in and through Israel. So we see that not only would Jewish followers of Jesus rely on the Jewish tradition and scriptures; they did do this! This totally undermines the argument that Christians had to rely on material from the mystery religions to appeal to non-Jewish audiences. Most of the New Testament is written to either to entirely Gentile audiences or to Jewish-Gentile audiences (with the exception of the letter to the Hebrews). Yet we see copious and obvious references to the Hebrew bible. The Christians demonstrate a dependence on the Jewish tradition, and this is consistent with their Jewish outlook. Not only was there no need to rely on mystery cult material, but everything we have from earliest Christianity (again, whether we agree with it or not) shows an unabashed reliance on Judaism, not the mystery religions.

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norwood1026

Perhaps it was because people starting to think outside the box & wanted to see what other religions were about. Your right the older Pagan religions were dieing off but someone tells you to convert or die what do you do?

I doubt that you’ll agree to what’s posted on this site much like a would disagree what any evidence that you have shown me. We both have our ideas of what it true & what isn’t. Most of is based on faith not always fact. Anything.

Here’s what your looking for,

http://www.heartlandsangha.org/parallel-sayings.html

I do stand by the idea that because something is not written down by man who can & has changed words to suit his/her needs does not make it any less true.

Your asking me to believe that people who didn't like the christian God went out & made other Gods up who sounded the same. I'm not buying it.

All religions are a collection of some other religion always has been always will be. I've never hard of Jewish Christians before I find that intresing because the Jews do not believe that Jesus has even returned being that they are Gods chosen people. Sorry that was a bit off topic.

For every article that you or bit of information you post there is equal amount of evidence showing the oppersite so at some point we're both spinning our wheels here! :D

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Something Like Laughter
For every article that you or bit of information you post there is equal amount of evidence showing the oppersite so at some point we're both spinning our wheels here! :D

The difference is that the things you post, norwood, originate mostly with a long dead English poet.

Go to a library.

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norwood1026
The difference is that the things you post, norwood, originate mostly with a long dead English poet.

Go to a library.

Most religions are based on people who already dead besides the libary is full of dead people who some of those books too.

I'm glad you think that doesn't mean much but whatever.

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Perhaps it was because people starting to think outside the box & wanted to see what other religions were about. Your right the older Pagan religions were dieing off but someone tells you to convert or die what do you do?

Norwood,

Offering "out of the box" thinking as a reason why Jewish Christians would jettison crucial aspects of their religion only to appropriate the same aspects of mystery religions is not very compelling. This line of thinking takes our late 20th century/early 21st century Western dissatisfaction with the Judeo-Christian tradition and foists it upon people who existed 2,000 years earlier. Also, Christian-imposed forced conversion is not a reality until some time after Constantine. So this kind of (repugnant) behavior cannot in any way account for conversion from mystery cults for the first three centuries of the Christian tradition. Also, despite some instances of forced conversion in Christian history, there are far more instances of legitimate conversion.

As for the the site that finds commonality between the teachings of Buddha and the teachings of Jesus, I'll give you (and the Heartland Sangha folks) props for offering some interesting insights. These sayings between the two (Buddha's being older) do have some similar veins running through them. More specifically, the eight sayings are similar in terms of 1) Buddha and Jesus' teachings of detachment from the world and 2) their teachings on love/compassion for others. Good work.

I will point out, though, the limitations of said similarities so as to be respectful of both the Buddhist and Christian traditions.

First, these similarities don't point to ANYONE (Buddhist or Christian) "stealing" teachings from one another. Because of universal human needs and experiences, it is natural that there would be some inherent similarities between religions. All religions wrestle (in some way) with questions of origin (Where do we come from?), meaning (What is the purpose of life/the world?), morality (How do we live?), and destiny (Where are we ultimately going?). It makes sense that there would be some similarities in how some of these things shake out. This doesn't automatically mean one person "stole" or copied from another. It merely points to the universality of the human experience. While, ultimately, religious traditions disagree at important junctures, it makes sense that some agreement would occur. Also, if you (or anyone else) wants to maintain that Jesus/Christians stole/re-formulated teachings from Buddhism, you've got to go beyond just pointing out apparent similarities. You've got to demonstrate how exactly they would have come into contact with one another and if either group would've had an opportunity to do this. In the Christian tradition, the only person who was a contemporary of Jesus' who would have even come close to coming in contact with Asia would have been Thomas the apostle. According to Indian Christian traditions, Thomas brought the gospel of Jesus to India, and he even spoke at length to a king of India. Thomas was martyred by unfriendly Hindus in the process. This is as close as we come before the 5th century Nestorian Christians (named after bishop Nestor) preached in Asia.

Second, while some of the teachings of Buddha and Jesus do have apparent similarities, these points of agreement diverge significantly when we place their teachings in their overall outlook on the world. Below, I'll use the outlook on detachment between the two teachers to tease this out.

Buddha taught detachment because he sought to short-circuit human desire as a pathway to alleviate suffering. For Buddha, if you short-circuited the desire for things, then you could avoid the suffering caused by wrong desires, unfulfilled desires, and the (possible) pain involved in trying to fulfill desires of any kind. Jesus taught detachment not as a cutting off of desires, but as a taming of desires. For Jesus, the world was a creation of God made (among other things) for enjoyment for humankind (this is not so for Buddha). Because of evil's intrusion into the world, detachment is sometimes necessary. But this is not for its own sake. Detachment, for Jesus, contextualizes human desires, instead of obliterating them. For instance, Christian fasting is not done because food (or any other thing) is inherently bad. Christian fasting is done so that we can remember that food and the pursuit of food is not everything. Also, Jesus never preaches about detachment in isolation from attachment. For Jesus, we detach ourselves either from evil things altogether or from good things for a season to focus more on God and others. So when Jesus commanded his disciples to leave everything to follow him, it wasn't just for the sake of blind asceticism. The other side of this command was "follow me" and "enter the kingdom of God". To go back to fasting, I know some Christians who fast regularly to identify with the poor and hungry in the world. They take the money they would've spent on food for their fast period and give it to an organization that combats world hunger. Here, the focus is not on fasting in itself. The focus is on the poor and the God who so radically identifies with the poor that he experienced divine poverty in coming to us as a human in Jesus.

On the same note, while Jesus and his disciples did live a somewhat austere lifestyle, they also enjoyed life as well. We find Jesus and his disciples at a raucous wedding John 2 and at two common-meal gatherings at the houses of Pharisees in Luke 7 and Luke 14. This explains one of the sayings of Jesus posted on the Buddha-Jesus site: "The son of humanity came eating and drinking and they said look a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners." This is taken from Luke 7 in which Jesus is saying to his critics, "My forerunner John the Baptist came fasting and wearing camel-hair and you say, 'He nuts and probably possessed!'. I come eating and drinking, and you say, 'he's a glutton and a drunkard'". Jesus is saying here that his critics will find any reason to be critical of truth, even it they contradict themselves in the process. It's weird that the folks at the Buddha-Jesus site would find similarity between this and Buddha's statement, "They agreed among themselves, friends, here comes the recluse, Gotama, who lives luxuriously, who gives up his striving and reverted to luxury." This statement was true of Buddha. I don't get what the similarity is supposed to be. In the context of Luke 7, Jesus' meaning bears little to no resemblance to Buddha's. Jesus' ethic of detachment was not an end in itself. For Jesus, detachment's end was severing us from evil things permanently and contextualizing good things in such a way that temporary deprivation prevents us from idolizing good things. This outlook comes from Jesus' very Jewish view that the world, though infected by evil, is essential good and made by a good God who uses detachment to help humans enjoy creation in the way it was intended. True Buddhism is atheistic and does not have its detachment ethic rooted in a creational outlook.

The site also provides us with this apparent similarity:

Buddha: With the relinquishing of all thought and egotism, the enlightened one is liberated through not clinging.

Jesus: Those who want to save their life will loose it. Those who loose their live for my sake will save it.

For Buddha, the relinquishing of thought is an end in itself. This is enlightenment in itself. For Jesus, this is only part of the picture. The saying from Jesus is from Mark 8, where Jesus is has revealed to his disciples that he is the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. He warns his disciples that (contrary to expectation) his messianic identity will be marked by suffering. However, he promises that he will be vindicated by God in glory through resurrection and on the day of judgment in which he will be seen in all his splendor. In the saying above, Jesus is not merely promoting detachment for its own sake. The paradox is that the loss one experiences because of identifying with Jesus is minimal when compared to the glory of sticking it out with Jesus. Said glory is not restricted to the day of judgment (pie-in-the-sky, by and by), but it will be most powerfully and wonderfully realized on that day. In this respect, loss for the sake of Jesus ("for my sake") is actually salvation. This is a far cry from detachment for its own sake and this is thusly remarkably different from Buddhist teaching.

Thanks for doing the footwork on locating this site. I'm sure we'll be in touch about this more.

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brave_new_world
The site also provides us with this apparent similarity:

Buddha: With the relinquishing of all thought and egotism, the enlightened one is liberated through not clinging.

Jesus: Those who want to save their life will loose it. Those who loose their live for my sake will save it.

For Buddha, the relinquishing of thought is an end in itself. This is enlightenment in itself. For Jesus, this is only part of the picture.

Actually this comes down to personal spiritual interpretation. One could interpret Jesus and Buddha as the same in essence. Both said to look within. Jesus refers to God and Buddha doesnt. These two quotes here could be interpreted to mean the same thing. Jesus also says that it is the things that come out of us that cause trouble and not that which enters us. Buddha says that it is our own mind that is our own enemy. I interpret this to mean the exact same thing but with different words.

Im not saying christianity is a copy of Buddhism here but that this is a similar point they agree on because it is a universal metaphysical truth.

Edited by brave_new_world

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brave_new_world
BNW,

First, kudos on following up with the research. Lots of us get duped by unsubstantiated material, and I applaud you for looking into this further. That said, though, I've seen the material from religioustolerance.org before, and I must admit that these guys are found wanting. Sorry to tell you, but these guys are relying on the same sketchy material as the Zeitgeist folks. Virtually all of the comparisons they try to make between Jesus and Horus are wrong, but I'll list just a few for the sake of time:

1. There is no Egyptian record of Horus' crucifixion or anything approaching a resurrection. Resurrection is a Judeo-Christian concept that is without parallel in the ancient world. In fact, Horus' "death" is more of a kind of absorption into Ra the sun god. So we don't even really have a death here, so we don't have a tomb.

2. There is no Egyptian record that Horus taught anything (much less delivered a sermon from a mountian/hill), was baptized, or that he walked on water.

3. There is no Egyptian record that Horus was: a "fisher" whose symbol was a fish; called the "KRST" or "Anointed One"; came to fulfill any sort of law; or that he was supposed to have a 1,000-year reign.

4. Horus is called Great God, Chief of the Powers, Master of Heaven, Avenger of His Father, but there is no record at all of Horus being called Way, the Truth; the Light; Messiah; God's Anointed Son; Son of Man; Good Shepherd; Lamb of God; Word made flesh; or the Word of Truth.

The other material proffered by religioustolerance.org on this topic is every bit as incorrect as the Zeitgeist material. I think this is because they use (among other things) ideas found in Tom Harpur's Pagan Christs. This book if rife with phenomenally poor research and ludicrous ideas about how Christians stole this concept and that concept from non-Christian religions.

This is very well presented information. I myself am still on the fence. Could you perhaps show a link or references to your claims here? I have never heard of Tom Harpur's Pagan Christs but what evidence can you give that it is of poor reserach?

It would be one thing if he could back up his claims, but he cannot and has not. Don't let any of this dissuade you from your intellectual pursuits concerning these issues; there is good material out there. Peace to you.

I dont plan to. :lol:

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BlueZone
In my last post I stated something that I'd like to get your take on. Why would Jewish Christians have to borrow anything from mystery cults when they had so many concepts at their disposal in Judaism? (I'm speaking hypothetically here, because [as I've stated in many places on UM] I've demonstrated that the mystery cults didn't possess many of the concepts we'd like to attribute to them.)

I don't think it's a matter of the Christians "having" to borrow anything. I think that people simply absorb the faiths around them. This wouldn't be true of religious scholars who consciously examined their beliefs. But most people fill their spiritual void with concepts drawn from folk beliefs as well as their official religion. Many people who accept Jesus still won't walk under a ladder and notice black cats crossing their paths. You hear people say things like, "Well I'll ask So-and-so about this in church today, if I can even make it to church through this blizzard, knock wood". I'm sure you're thinking, "those things aren't Christian". Well, to my way of thinking if more than 50% of the Christian population believes something, it's on the way to slowly becoming part of Christianity. Next time the Bible gets translated, the translator's inevitable slant will incorporate that cultural tidbit. The population will nod and say "yup, that's a good translation" and-- voila-- it becomes part of the Bible.

It's a pleasure to read your posts, macro, because you're obviously well informed. But sometimes your comments remind me of the Academie Francaise's take on French. They have these official meetings to decide whether or not a given word is part of the French language. It seems to me that if zillions of people in France are using the word to communicate with each other... it's French. Language is a complex, nebulous human thing. So is religion. Using the example of Jesus' birthday, in another thread you said that the date of Christmas (December 25th) didn't have a place in the discussion of Pagan influences on Christianity because this was appended to the religion 200 years after Jesus' death. To me this implies that you think the date of Christmas isn't really a part of Christianity. By my thinking, it absolutely IS. Do you think that Christianity is an absolute that doesn't change over time? To me it seems like an ever-evolving tradition with Pagan influences galore.

From what I know, Jesus himself grew up around a carpentry shop. Say half of his father's customers were Roman. Do you think the remarks these people made (and the remarks his dad probably made about them over the dinner table) had no impact on how Jesus organized his thoughts and viewed the world?

Trying to summarize this rambling post--

Jesus grew up as a human being in a human community with all sorts of Pagan influences.

Religious traditions incorporate thousands of years of folk knowledge as well as the spiritual message preached by the central prophet.

Religion is a human thing. Every human and every human institution is influenced by surrounding events and beliefs. It's just the nature of humanity.

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brave_new_world
Buddha taught detachment because he sought to short-circuit human desire as a pathway to alleviate suffering. For Buddha, if you short-circuited the desire for things, then you could avoid the suffering caused by wrong desires, unfulfilled desires, and the (possible) pain involved in trying to fulfill desires of any kind. Jesus taught detachment not as a cutting off of desires, but as a taming of desires. For Jesus, the world was a creation of God made (among other things) for enjoyment for humankind (this is not so for Buddha). Because of evil's intrusion into the world, detachment is sometimes necessary. But this is not for its own sake. Detachment, for Jesus, contextualizes human desires, instead of obliterating them. For instance, Christian fasting is not done because food (or any other thing) is inherently bad.

Buddhist fasting wasnt because food was inherently bad either. Buddhism didn't actually conceive that the world was bad. Buddha taught that attachment to it was bad (because it reulted in suffering)

Christian fasting is done so that we can remember that food and the pursuit of food is not everything. Also, Jesus never preaches about detachment in isolation from attachment.

Again this comes down to interpretation. I agree that christianity isnt a copy of Buddhism (so you dont have this in mind when I put forward my argument). God and nirvana can be looked upon as the same thing. One giving up worldly desires so one may be attached to God (Spirit) can be the equivalent to giving up all thought and desire and being left with the end result which is nirvana (or spirit under another name). Because both spirit (or kingdom of God which 'comes without observation')and nirvana are beyond thought or image.

Buddha shows also how the world can be seen as not a cause for suffering:

As a mother, even at the risk of her own life, protects her son, her only son, so let there be good will without measure between all beings. Let good will without measure prevail in the whole world, above, below, around, unstinted, unixed with any feeling of differing or opposing interests. If a man remain steadfastly in this state of mind all the time he is awake, then is come to pass the saying, " Even in this world holiness has been found."

---Metta Sutta

For Jesus, we detach ourselves either from evil things altogether or from good things for a season to focus more on God and others. So when Jesus commanded his disciples to leave everything to follow him, it wasn't just for the sake of blind asceticism.

Agreed. But Buddha didnt advocate blind asceticism. It is said that Buddha experienced intense asceticism and realized that the middle path was best.

However it is expressed in the bible in John's first epistle ( teaching he learnt from Jesus?) that to love the world means that 'the love of the Father is not in him'.

Love not the world , neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,is not of the Father,but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

---1.John, 2:15-17

And the we have Jesus quoting what he believes to be the most important of all commands:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and Great commandment.

Mathew 22 37-38

One could interpret this as detaching completely from the personal ego so that one can merge with God. God, spirit, kingdom of God, heaven are all metaphors for nirvana and vice versa. A state of mind in which identification with the personal self is vanquished.

Buddha was all about striving for what was true and permanent. So was Jesus:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

---Matthew 6:19

The other side of this command was "follow me" and "enter the kingdom of God". To go back to fasting, I know some Christians who fast regularly to identify with the poor and hungry in the world. They take the money they would've spent on food for their fast period and give it to an organization that combats world hunger. Here, the focus is not on fasting in itself. The focus is on the poor and the God who so radically identifies with the poor that he experienced divine poverty in coming to us as a human in Jesus.

Kingdom of God can be interpreted as nirvana in my view. Different cultures use different languages and contexts but this doesnt mean that they cant mean the same thing.

On the same note, while Jesus and his disciples did live a somewhat austere lifestyle, they also enjoyed life as well. We find Jesus and his disciples at a raucous wedding John 2 and at two common-meal gatherings at the houses of Pharisees in Luke 7 and Luke 14. This explains one of the sayings of Jesus posted on the Buddha-Jesus site: "The son of humanity came eating and drinking and they said look a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners." This is taken from Luke 7 in which Jesus is saying to his critics, "My forerunner John the Baptist came fasting and wearing camel-hair and you say, 'He nuts and probably possessed!'. I come eating and drinking, and you say, 'he's a glutton and a drunkard'". Jesus is saying here that his critics will find any reason to be critical of truth, even it they contradict themselves in the process.

Yes what the people dont realize here is that even though jesus is caught dinning with sinners and tax collectors, Jesus at one time fasted which rivalled that of John the Baptist. Jesus in my view would have eaten at these feasts in detachment.

It's weird that the folks at the Buddha-Jesus site would find similarity between this and Buddha's statement, "They agreed among themselves, friends, here comes the recluse, Gotama, who lives luxuriously, who gives up his striving and reverted to luxury." This statement was true of Buddha. I don't get what the similarity is supposed to be.

The similarity is that both Jesus and Buddha detached from their egos and therefoe could do whatever they wanted because whatever they did wasnt what they wanted to do but what the spirit , God or nirvana wanted them to do.

In the context of Luke 7, Jesus' meaning bears little to no resemblance to Buddha's. Jesus' ethic of detachment was not an end in itself.

This comes down to personal interpretation. I believe that both Jesus and Buddha were on the same wave-length here. One can only enter the kindgom of heaven or nirvana through detachment and go where 'moth and rust doth not corrupt'.

For Jesus, detachment's end was severing us from evil things permanently and contextualizing good things in such a way that temporary deprivation prevents us from idolizing good things. This outlook comes from Jesus' very Jewish view that the world, though infected by evil, is essential good and made by a good God who uses detachment to help humans enjoy creation in the way it was intended.

In my view Jesus detachment was so that one could leave behind the self and its will so that one could be acquainted with God's will (which like nirvana is eternal and brings about eternal rest). This is the truth that will set you free. When Jesus said 'I and the Father are One' I believe he implied that all could achieve this and realize the world for the illusion that it was and see God as all.

Just as Buddha preaches that Nirvana and samsara are one.

There is no nirvana except where the world of suffering is; there is no world of suffering apart from nirvana. ---Lankavatara Sutra

True Buddhism is atheistic and does not have its detachment ethic rooted in a creational outlook.

This comes down to which branch of Buddhism you go with. Mahayana Buddhism has a Universal mind or Buddha womb which is the equivalent of the Impersonal Absolute Brahman.

Buddha also was never asked (if it was there was no record) about Brahman in the context of identifying with atman instead of atman being that of individual soul or psyche.

Edited by brave_new_world

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macro
You hear people say things like, "Well I'll ask So-and-so about this in church today, if I can even make it to church through this blizzard, knock wood". I'm sure you're thinking, "those things aren't Christian". Well, to my way of thinking if more than 50% of the Christian population believes something, it's on the way to slowly becoming part of Christianity. Next time the Bible gets translated, the translator's inevitable slant will incorporate that cultural tidbit. The population will nod and say "yup, that's a good translation" and-- voila-- it becomes part of the Bible.

BlueZone,

Thanks for the encouragement in your last post. Actually, your "knock wood" comment is not exactly an example of how the knock-wood superstition has influenced Christianity at all. This person doesn't try to incorporate the good or bad luck associated with knocking on wood into the Christian framework, and their usage of it by a Christian doesn't in any way point to it's eventual incorporation. If, by some stretch of the imagination, someone did incorporate this into scripture I would imagine that the original superstitious meaning would be as lost in the usage as it is lost in our usage today. So said usage wouldn't even come close to the kind of influence many are claiming mystery cults had on the Christian tradition. By the by, "knock wood" is a pretty old saying, and there have been a fair amount of translations during the time of its popular usage. It has not made its way in yet (meant with tongue firmly in cheek!).

But sometimes your comments remind me of the Academie Francaise's take on French. They have these official meetings to decide whether or not a given word is part of the French language. It seems to me that if zillions of people in France are using the word to communicate with each other... it's French. Language is a complex, nebulous human thing. So is religion. Using the example of Jesus' birthday, in another thread you said that the date of Christmas (December 25th) didn't have a place in the discussion of Pagan influences on Christianity because this was appended to the religion 200 years after Jesus' death. To me this implies that you think the date of Christmas isn't really a part of Christianity. By my thinking, it absolutely IS. Do you think that Christianity is an absolute that doesn't change over time? To me it seems like an ever-evolving tradition with Pagan influences galore.

From what I know, Jesus himself grew up around a carpentry shop. Say half of his father's customers were Roman. Do you think the remarks these people made (and the remarks his dad probably made about them over the dinner table) had no impact on how Jesus organized his thoughts and viewed the world?

There are two problems here, Blue. First, I do not think that Christianity doesn't change. Clearly, the Christian faith changed over time, and continues to change. The movement started as a tight-knit group of Jewish folks all following one miracle-working, itinerant rabbi. After his death and resurrection it quickly became a Jewish and Gentile movement that, while centered in Jerusalem, spread into various places in the Greco-Roman empire. Eventually, leadership became more formalized, the apostlate became more diffuse, and ecclesiastical centers shifted from Jerusalem to Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome. And all that happened in the first 100-200 years! The New Testament itself boasts of necessary changes.

But whether or not change in the church happens is not the point. The foundation from which change springs is the point. So when gnostics came along and said, "Hey we're not into this bodily resurrection of Jesus stuff because we think that the material world is inherently evil and that the spiritual world is good," no one said, "Hey, change rocks; let's roll with it." Sure, gnosticism would've been a "change", but a change at the expense of some pretty foundational stuff. Throughout history, Christians have without question changed and re-thought things in light of new circumstances, but adapting to new circumstances and uprooting foundational things are two different things. In the Christian tradition, when change compromises concepts/events that are foundational to the church's existence it is deemed heresy. This sounds harsh to many with an everybody-into-the-pool approach to these issues, but I think that even non-Christians would like this. I mean, many non-Christians who admire Jesus' preference for the poor, oppressed, and marginalized, along with Jesus' teachings that dissuade gluttonous consumption bristle at things like the prosperity gospel (a la the idiotic Joel Osteen et al) that is (sadly) captivating some people. Many non-Christians (rightly) say, "That's not anything close what Jesus was about!" This is interesting. Couldn't we say, "Hey, change happens! We're in a capitalistic consumerist society, and Christianity and the church are just adapting! Good for them." Many Christian and non-Christian critics entirely reject this, and rightly so. Why? Because they realize that something foundational is being tossed to by the wayside by charlatans. Christian history is littered with much change and adaptation. Again, I would have to be either naive or terribly ignorant to refute this. In fact, in many instances I revel in the remarkable and necessary changes. But good changes do not uproot the foundations. In fact, good changes are more reverent of foundational things, and proponents of said changes are preoccupied with discovering the splendor of tradition rather than 1) mindlessly conserving tradition for tradition's sake or 2) mindlessly uprooting tradition for the sake of a goal-less sense of progress.

Second, you are speaking about how something could have happened as opposed to what did happen. We don't have to try hard to imagine a scenario in which Jesus could have come into contact with this person or that person who could've influenced him in some way. Alright, well and good. I think that imagine is actually deeply important to both historical study and theology. However, our imaginations have to be tempered by some sense realism. For instance, when I refute the notion that Christians got the idea of Jesus' resurrection from mystery cults, one of the first things I state is that resurrection, as far as anyone has been able to tell, is a concept that is only found among Jews and Christians in the ancient world. A belief that one's postmortem existence could be experienced and lived out in a body was something that the rest of the world simply wasn't into. I'm not saying that everybody else was stupid or even ignorant. It's just that the notion of an integrated humanity in which soul and body were distinct yet inter-dependent (even in the after-life) was specific to Jews and Christians. So while I can imagine that a Roman customer walked into Joseph's wood shop and struck up a conversation with Jesus about something called "resurrection", when I look at the fact that Romans simply did not envision postmortem existence in this way I have to realize that this simply isn't plausible.

As for Christmas, I celebrate it myself every year. My point in locating when it became a part of the Christian tradition is not to say that pre-Christmas Christianity was better than the later Christianity that had a Christmas celebration. Clearly, I'd be a hypocrite for doing so. My point was simply this: December 25th was not regarded with any kind of significance in the earliest tradition. Even the later tradition that brought this in did not believe Dec. 25 to be Jesus' birthday anymore than earlier Christians did. The point was not to get the date correct. The point for these later devotees was to celebrate Jesus' birth. Yes, they did this to coincide with some sort of Mithrac celebration. However, this need not point to a borrowing of theology. When I worked as a college campus minister my students and I routinely had "Harvest Parties" on campus during Halloween. This was an intentional alternative to Halloween in which we would dance (a lot), eat, have costume contests, and just let our hair down. Many Christians and non-Christians came every year. Someone could look at this and say, "Wow, if they had a harvest party on Halloween, who knows what other things revolving around Samhain (sp.) they brought into the Christian faith!" But this is not the case. Our celebration of Jesus' birth on an admittedly pagan sacred day (with the pagans having it first) need not point to any kind of shaping of Christian doctrine. And keep in mind that my arguments for my point don't stem from either a resistance (on my part) to the idea that Christianity changes or from a resistance to the notion that Jesus/the earliest Christians/the church has had vital contact with non-Christian traditions and ideas. I've stated as much elsewhere. Instead, my point is that the core, foundational things are not compromised in the process of inter-cultural and/or inter-religious contact.

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