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Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity 
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Post Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity

One of the most puzzling feature of Christ in Egypt is that it presents an apparently rigorous critique of Christian origins and context, but somehow fails to attract the attention of contemporary philosophy and theology. In this thread I want to explore the philosophical dimension of Murdock’s argument that Christianity emerged as a variant of older mythology, in order to argue that this material has wide ramifications that deserve to be a part of mainstream cultural dialogue.

Part of the problem of contemporary scholarship is that different disciplines and schools of thought have formed into camps which do not engage with each other. This problem is noted in Christ in Egypt, which is a very interdisciplinary work, straddling theology, archaeology, philosophy, astronomy and history, each of which now inhabits one or more separate academic silos. Just within philosophy, we have the materialist school of Anglo-American logical analysis, grounded in the eighteenth century empiricist tradition of which David Hume is an exemplar. Scientific atheism, such as the work of Richard Dawkins, stands within this tradition. There is also another big school known as Continental philosophy, whose roots are more in the textual analytic methods of scholastic theology, but generally rejecting dogma in favour of a method called phenomenology, after the motto of Edmund Husserl ‘to the things themselves.’

Murdock’s approach, I will argue here, draws primarily from the Continental textual method, but in a way that is not made explicit. Exploring these philosophical foundations can, I hope, help to show the coherence and importance of the argument in Christ in Egypt.

Continental philosophy today is closely associated with the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, with his method known as ‘deconstruction’. The wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deconstruction presents a very good summary of this philosophy. The quotes here are taken from this page, with my comments using it as a reference to draw out the logical vision of Christ in Egypt.

As a preliminary though, I would like to mention a problem that I have had with reading Derrida, apart from his often florid obscurity. This is the problem of cultural relativism, the idea that ideas are validated by their cultural tradition, so that contradictory claims can both be true when they sit within rival narrative frameworks. I am enough of a fan of David Hume to find cultural relativism logically incoherent, and I don’t think Derrida himself was relativist in any strong sense, although many of his postmodern followers are. The challenge posed is for a respect for textual diversity to also respect the unity of truth as understood by science.
Quote:
Deconstruction is a term introduced in 1967 by French philosopher Jacques Derrida. His purpose was to translate and adapt Martin Heidegger's German word Destruktion or Abbau to his own ends.
‘Abbau’, literally ‘unbuild’, means to look at the narrative of a tradition and analyse how that tradition embeds delusory fantasies. Heidegger used it to deconstruct the history of philosophy, claiming there is a dominant theory, especially seen in Descartes, that has built up a theory of truth that equates truth to concept rather than actuality. Heidegger sought to deconstruct Cartesian logic by showing that the method of the cogito, ‘I think therefore I am’, is incompatible with knowledge of the world and human existence.
Quote:
Heidegger's word was used in the sense of historicize the tradition, its categories and concepts, overcoming its blocks to our access to its primordial 'sources'.
'Historicising the tradition' is precisely what Murdock attempts to do with Christianity. To ‘historicize’ means to place in context, to attempt to understand the ideas of a tradition against the historical evidence of the situation in which it emerged. The massive parallels and proximity between Christian and Egyptian myth justify the hypothesis that Christianity primarily evolved as a mutation of Egyptian ideas. The deconstructive method looks at how a tradition blocks our access to the reality of its origins, which science tells us are always evolutionary rather than magical. For example, Christianity practiced such 'blocking' by burning all pagan texts, demolishing pagan institutions, building and art, and outlawing critical ideas as heresy and blasphemy. Murdock suggests that a primary motive for this conduct was to conceal the truth of Christian origins in myth.
Quote:
The first book in which Derrida talks about deconstruction is Of Grammatology (1967). The first passage ever mentioning it says another word for it is "de-sedimentation," particularly in an historical sense. It reads: The "rationality" [...] which governs a writing thus enlarged and radicalized, [defining writing as all that gives rise to an inscription in general, including pictorial, musical, sculptural "writing"] no longer issues from a logos. Further, it inaugurates the destruction, not the demolition but the de-sedimentation, the de-construction, of all the significations that have their source in that of the logos. Particularly the signification of truth. All the metaphysical determinations of truth, and even the one beyond metaphysical onto-theology that Heidegger reminds us of, are more or less immediately inseparable from the instance of the logos, or of a reason thought within the lineage of the logos, in whatever sense it is understood: in the pre-Socratic or the philosophical sense, in the sense of God's infinite understanding or in the anthropological sense, in the pre-Hegelian or the post-Hegelian sense.
Here the French floridity comes out, and I must apologize to readers who find this insufferably obscure. If I can try to translate into simpler terms, Derrida says that cultural traditions grow by a process akin to geological sedimentation, with new layers continually piling up over the course of time. The implication is that a tradition acquires its own internal logic, what Derrida terms ‘logos’, and what we could call a rationalization for its beliefs. He argues that metaphysics is inseparable from such rationalization.

But the rationality of deconstruction ‘no longer issues from a logos’, in that it seeks an objective understanding of cultural formation, looking at cultural sediments just as geologists look at physical sediments to understand the age of the earth and its processes of formation. It remains to be seen whether such objective rationality is possible in the cultural sphere, or if we are inevitably caught within the sediments of tradition. Taking such rational deconstruction as an ideal goal of philosophy, it seems Murdock makes a big step along the path of examining Christianity outside the constraints of its own logos by questioning the historical existence of Jesus Christ and showing how the doctrine of Christ grew in sedimentary fashion.
Quote:
In 1972 Derrida remarked the historical aspect of deconstruction: To "deconstruct" philosophy [...] would be to think – in the most faithful, interior way – the structured genealogy of philosophy's concepts, but at the same time to determine – from a certain exterior [...] – what this history has been able to conceal or forbid.
This idea of the genealogy of concepts, asserting that ideas have an evolving lineage just as parents and children do, also requires that 'family secrets' be revealed, that hidden taboos be explored in order to deconstruct the real motives and incentives within the tradition, as distinct from the stated motives that the tradition has constructed for its own purposes. Derrida’s observation that tradition tends to conceal and forbid things that reveal its nature is central to the hypothesis of Christ in Egypt regarding conventional Christianity.
Quote:
Derrida: I tried to work out - in particular in the three works published in 1967 - what was in no way meant to be a system but rather a sort of strategic device, opening its own abyss, an unclosed, unenclosable, not wholly formalizable ensemble of rules for reading, interpretation and writing.
This idea of the abyss, taken from Heidegger, is essential to deconstruction. Traditional rationalisation finds the idea that life is ultimately meaningless to be abhorrent, and so imagines a vision of divine purpose that provides simple comforting answers. For Christianity, the idea that ‘Jesus saves’ is a source of immense reassurance that faith connects us to an absolute reality. Indeed, absolution means becoming absolutely reconciled and forgiven through ritual.

However, as Murdock shows, there is no evidence that Jesus lived, so the traditional idea of Christ as an incarnation of God is absolute fantasy. This recognition that Christianity is baseless leaves us with the bleak abyss of a meaningless universe, unless the deconstruction of the Christian narrative is able to provide a new and bigger sense of meaning that is somehow grounded in objective observation. Recognising the very longstanding presence of Christian ideas within mythology can be a start on this process of rescuing us from the abyss.
Quote:
Derrida said the devaluation of writing is an ancestral bias that was born with Western civilization itself, and remains crucial in modern culture, including science. In fact, the unmasking of the "devaluation of writing" (and the way in which it has "sedimented" in our culture in the course of history), was a key topic in Derrida's work, that proved fruitful not only in the deconstruction of classics of philosophy and the "socio-historical totality" of our civilization, but also for the deconstruction of texts of the most modern social sciences (linguistics, anthropology, psychoanalysis), and even contemporary texts alleged to be scientific. Everywhere in these texts, the devaluation of writing showed to be "insistent, repetitive, even obscurely compulsive," and "the sign of a whole set of long-standing constraints. These constraints were practised at the price of contradictions, of denials, of dogmatic decrees."
Does modern society devalue writing? I think so. In Christ in Egypt, we read of how dogmatic Christianity engaged in furious elimination of texts that challenged its simple myth. Rather than its asserted ground in the word of Christ, Christianity found its ground in the institutional power of the priesthood, in ritual authority. As such, Christianity was able to ruthlessly suppress older ideas that relied on writing for their life. What we see is that once a dogmatic conformity takes hold, it is proof against all logic.

What Derrida calls an "insistent, repetitive, even obscurely compulsive” sign of long-standing constraints can readily be seen in the hostile critical reception by apologists to Murdock’s work. Christian apologists are not interested in logic or evidence because the authority of their tradition is of key emotional importance.
Quote:
Derrida: One of the definitions of what is called deconstruction would be the effort to take this limitless context into account, to pay the sharpest and broadest attention possible to context, and thus to an incessant movement of recontextualization.
Dogmatism is the denial of context, the refusal to analyse how Christianity emerged from prior religious concepts. Deconstructing Christianity means placing it in its real historical context. Considering the vigorous censorship exercised towards all ideas that challenged the incarnational monotheism of the Christian trinity, it becomes very apparent that comparing Christianity to Egyptian religion is a fertile method to contextualise, and therefore deconstruct, contemporary Christian faith.



Last edited by Robert Tulip on Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:52 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
Well Robert, having gone from a believer position as a youth, to an evemerist position as a mid to late teen and early adult, to eventually discovering the truth about both Christian and scholarly claims that such a person as Jesus did exist in the early first century, I have done a lot of destructing of the mythos in my own mind. And of course that deconstructing brought with it many times of standing on the edge of a pointless, meaningless existence. I understand that existence itself is grounded in deep mystery. It can have no one particular fixed meaning because it simply is, it just exists without explanation. As a youth I viewed God in the same way as I have just represented mere existence. God just was, and is, and will always be. There's no fixed reason for the existence of a God with no beginning, and in that sense, the God is beyond having any fixed meaning. You take away the mythological personification and the very same issue of the God without beginning or end applies squarely to mere existence, which is actually what the God myth is referring to. We're stuck with an infinite regression of antiquity for mere existence itself. The problem is the same for science, philosophy, or religion.

But having accepted all of this, and knowing that mere existence (and so all that exists) can have no one fixed meaning, I still have the feeling that there is meaning for the existence of a universe, matter, and life. Perhaps it's something I can never overcome because of my theistic youth in fundamentalist religion, but the fact remains that I can not for the life of me shake the feeling that existence does have meaning in some way. Nor should I be too eager to force the issue either. I agree that even if I am wrong, there is a need to at least think that life has some type of meaning.

And so over the years I've always noticed little clues here and there in the natural world that seem to radiate meaning while doing so from a completely theistic-free understanding of the universe and existence. I tend to think that life is a natural part of the general evolution of an entire universe - a means by which the fabric and structure of existence itself can look around, observe, and experience itself. I tend to think that our universe or hubble volume is but one of many others - just as our galaxy and solar system are but one of many others - possibly one of an infinite amount of other universes each with the same natural evolution that brings forth life as has happened in our own. These are not set in stone concrete beliefs by which a religion can be formed on the basis of absolute claims, in the way that Judeo-Christian claims are. They are thoughts, ideas, concepts, possibilities, but they all hinge around the underlying sense that existence and life are not actually devoid of purpose and meaning, despite the fact that I know that our religious myths are not literally true.

Books such as Christ in Egypt which question the historicity of Jesus - question the literalness of mythic Gods and God-Men - do not offend me because I know good and well that these things are not the foundation stone for life and existence having some type of meaning. So what if there was never actually an historical Jesus living in the first century as described in the gospels? Does that instantly mean that we are not the fabric and structure of this earth, the universe, and indeed mere existence as whole, the totality? No, it doesn't. There are deeper meanings to be sought after and discovered beyond the meanings given in these primitive mythological tales. And some of the mystics who like to apologize on behalf of gnosticism and eastern philosophies understand that. But even they can be wrong and misguided and I'm also very aware of that. So then what? There is still deeper meaning to be sought after even when the literal bible falls, all of the mystical esotericism falls along with it, and the only thing left standing is pure modern science and the never ending quest for truth by our best means possible...


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A) The Origins of Religious Worship

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C) The Mythicist Position

D) YEC theory put to rest!


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Robert Tulip, spoonwood
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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
Robert I do not know how you get all that out of a book that appears to be nothing but sources.....I ordered it on Kindle this morning and have been glancing through it to say I was completely disappointed is an understatement but maybe I will come up with something to discuss here but from the way it looks now its doubtful....I would have preferred the "Christ Conspiracy" I think its a much better work...



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
tat tvam asi wrote:
Well Robert, having gone from a believer position as a youth, to an evemerist position as a mid to late teen and early adult, to eventually discovering the truth about both Christian and scholarly claims that such a person as Jesus did exist in the early first century, I have done a lot of destructing of the mythos in my own mind.
Thanks Tat. This material about the status of mythology deserves careful and precise analysis. Going back to Derrida’s statements, we see that his critique is of ‘logos’, understood as traditional logical narrative explanations. A logos is a linear argument, starting from premises and proceeding to conclusions. For example, the premise that Jesus Christ is the incarnate son of god enables the logical conclusion that he saves us from our sins. Question the premise and the conclusion also is thrown into doubt. ‘Mythos’ is more complex and chaotic than this traditional linear logos thinking. Mythos is more an enfolding context that does not readily admit of coherent understanding. So I would say the destruction is of the logos, not the mythos of Christianity.

Christianity asserts that its claims about Jesus are part of logos, indeed are identified with a cosmic logos, as the ‘word made flesh’, and that ‘mythos’ is only ascribed to heathen error. So there has been a privileging of logos over mythos in the western tradition. This is why Derrida calls for a deconstruction of the false claims of logos. Deconstruction is actually a way of placing a new value on mythos, as a deeper background reflection of the underlying intent that is superficially rationalized as logos.

In Derrida’s terms, Murdock is deconstructing the Christian logos in order to open an understanding of the enframing mythos. This is admittedly a bit complicated, because it involves the observation that what Christianity claims as logos is actually part of mythos.

I recently talked about this distinction in my booktalk review of Karen Armstrong’s book The Case for God. Armstrong uses Stephen Jay Gould’s idea of ‘separate magisteria’ to suggest that Christianity is about mythos while science is about logos. But I would rather say that dogma, in asserting access to an absolute truth, sets itself firmly within logos and denies that mythos, what you call the mystery of existence, should be viewed as the real context of thought. When Christians say everything can be explained simply in a catechism, they claim an invalid narrative logic of just the sort that Derrida deconstructs as logos.

Quote:
And of course that deconstructing brought with it many times of standing on the edge of a pointless, meaningless existence.
Deconstructing the Christian logos really shows how the false meaning provided by Christian myth, masquerading as logic, has a seductive attraction. We are so used to the assertion that ultimate meaning has to be validated by a supernatural God that people find it mind-bending to find meaning in nature alone. Yet the fact that the human mind is the most complex thing detected in the known universe sets human continuity and flourishing as a real source of meaning and purpose.

The astrotheological recognition of how Christian myth has its roots in ancient observation of the cycles of nature points to a deeper natural meaning behind the supernatural veneer. For example, Murdock’s analysis of how the Christ-Mary archetype points back to the rising of the sun at dawn incorporated in the Horus-Isis myth suggests a real natural meaning behind the myth.
Quote:
I understand that existence itself is grounded in deep mystery. It can have no one particular fixed meaning because it simply is, it just exists without explanation. As a youth I viewed God in the same way as I have just represented mere existence. God just was, and is, and will always be. There's no fixed reason for the existence of a God with no beginning, and in that sense, the God is beyond having any fixed meaning. You take away the mythological personification and the very same issue of the God without beginning or end applies squarely to mere existence, which is actually what the God myth is referring to. We're stuck with an infinite regression of antiquity for mere existence itself. The problem is the same for science, philosophy, or religion.
I prefer to argue that an astronomical understanding of the relation between the earth and the cosmos points to a fixed meaning. The three main cycles of the earth are the day, the year and the Great Year of precession of the equinox. The Great Year is caused by the slow wobble of earth’s spin axis. We are used to finding meaning in the day and the year as the ordinary cycles of life, while the Great Year tends to get condemned as some sort of obscure magical speculation. However, the Great Year is real, an invisible slow cycle that is actually reflected in myth, especially the Christian idea of Christ as the avatar of the Age of Pisces. So by enframing time in the natural period of the Great Year we avoid the problem of infinite regression by seeing how myth is grounded in natural cycles.
Quote:
But having accepted all of this, and knowing that mere existence (and so all that exists) can have no one fixed meaning, I still have the feeling that there is meaning for the existence of a universe, matter, and life. Perhaps it's something I can never overcome because of my theistic youth in fundamentalist religion, but the fact remains that I can not for the life of me shake the feeling that existence does have meaning in some way. Nor should I be too eager to force the issue either. I agree that even if I am wrong, there is a need to at least think that life has some type of meaning.
As I have previously noted, the Great Year of precession does actually affect the earth, observable in the 21,000 year cycle of climate caused by the interaction of precession with the cycle of earth’s orbital ellipse. This is a purely scientific observation from Milankovitch. Where it takes on a mythic dimension is in the claim that the declining light over the last 10,000 years since the dawn of the Holocene maps to the cosmology of the fall, and the suggestion that the increasing light over the next 10,000 years maps to a mythic eschatology of redemption. I see this cyclic scientific framework as a way to find meaning in existence.
Quote:
And so over the years I've always noticed little clues here and there in the natural world that seem to radiate meaning while doing so from a completely theistic-free understanding of the universe and existence. I tend to think that life is a natural part of the general evolution of an entire universe - a means by which the fabric and structure of existence itself can look around, observe, and experience itself. I tend to think that our universe or hubble volume is but one of many others - just as our galaxy and solar system are but one of many others - possibly one of an infinite amount of other universes each with the same natural evolution that brings forth life as has happened in our own. These are not set in stone concrete beliefs by which a religion can be formed on the basis of absolute claims, in the way that Judeo-Christian claims are. They are thoughts, ideas, concepts, possibilities, but they all hinge around the underlying sense that existence and life are not actually devoid of purpose and meaning, despite the fact that I know that our religious myths are not literally true.
There is no evidence for the multiverse theory, which is a purely speculative concept. By contrast, the Great Year of precession is readily observable. Precession does provide what you call absolute claims, although of course the relation to mythology is something that is far from accepted in mainstream opinion. I argue the evidence for this relation is strong, and simply needs rigorous systematic analysis to be accepted.
Quote:
Books such as Christ in Egypt which question the historicity of Jesus - question the literalness of mythic Gods and God-Men - do not offend me because I know good and well that these things are not the foundation stone for life and existence having some type of meaning. So what if there was never actually an historical Jesus living in the first century as described in the gospels? Does that instantly mean that we are not the fabric and structure of this earth, the universe, and indeed mere existence as whole, the totality? No, it doesn't. There are deeper meanings to be sought after and discovered beyond the meanings given in these primitive mythological tales. And some of the mystics who like to apologize on behalf of gnosticism and eastern philosophies understand that. But even they can be wrong and misguided and I'm also very aware of that. So then what? There is still deeper meaning to be sought after even when the literal bible falls, all of the mystical esotericism falls along with it, and the only thing left standing is pure modern science and the never ending quest for truth by our best means possible...

The interesting thing here is to take the knowledge available from modern science, such as the dynamic cause of precession in lunisolar torque, and look to see how this knowledge played out in ancient observation. As Lockyer notes, the Egyptians could not have known the cause of precession, but they most certainly observed its effects, as their temples that pointed to bright stars such as Sirius and Canopus ‘stopped working’ after a few centuries because the wobble of the earth had thrown them out of alignment. Similarly, the ancients, for all their ‘primitive mythological tales’, could readily observe the movement of the spring point along the ecliptic, defining the conventional ages such as Taurus, Aries and Pisces, and justifying the mythological language that results from this cosmology. Seeing how this real cosmology informs the Bible is a decisive factor in deconstructing the conventional faith.

In The Dawn of Astronomy, which by the way is extensively cited in Christ in Egypt, Lockyer tells an intriguing story from Herodotus, the father of history, of how the Egyptian priests placed a large emerald in their temples which was only lit up when the star to which the temple was oriented, such as Sirius, rose or set, creating a sort of magical effect. The effect of precession was readily seen when these stars rose and set at different points on the horizon from what the priests had been accustomed to for centuries.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
Quote:
So I would say the destruction is of the logos, not the mythos of Christianity.

I should have written mythology instead of mythos because I was simply referring to the fact that I have deconstructed the Judeo-Christian mythology - the stories of the bible including the use of Plato and Philo's solar "Logos" - over the years as I continued truth seeking my way through life. The use of the Logos is to use a solar reference in the myth, at least that's the context that the word is used in John and such. Even more in-depth it's addressed not only to the sun but to the mystery source of power within the sun and within all things. It's a completely mythological concept all the way around.
Quote:
In Derrida’s terms, Murdock is deconstructing the Christian logos in order to open an understanding of the enframing mythos. This is admittedly a bit complicated, because it involves the observation that what Christianity claims as logos is actually part of mythos.

Yes, the solar logos that Christianity took from the Plato filtered through Philo mysticism - dealt with in CiE - was a completely mythological concept from way back. And ultimately addressed to the mystery of mere existence according to Campbell's scholarship.
Quote:
I prefer to argue that an astronomical understanding of the relation between the earth and the cosmos points to a fixed meaning. The three main cycles of the earth are the day, the year and the Great Year of precession of the equinox.

What fixed meaning is that? Why does a universe exist in the first place which has material in motion which life on this planet that can observe all of these cyclic patterns? I was going for the deepest possible sense of existence in the paragraph you were responding to. In the deepest sense of the mystery of mere existence itself - the existence of constellations, the earth, cycles, etc. - there can be no one fixed reason for why any of it even exists to begin with, at least no fixed reason that I am aware of. It just is. But I suspect that it probably has something to do with the properties of the universe being able to rise to a level of self awareness through intelligent life forms which can perceive and observe things, like the cycles of time, the size of the universe, and so on. This being a critical function of the universe itself and necessary during it's evolution. Eric Lerner has similar ideas:
Eric Lerner wrote:
Cosmic pessimism is unsupported by science.

... the idea that the evolution of humankind is purely an accident, divinely engineered or otherwise, ignores the vast mass of evidence that there are long-term trends in biological evolution. Over these millions of years there has been an irregular but unmistakable tendency toward adaptability to a greater range of environments, culminating in human adaptation to virtually any environment. Over this period the intelligence of the most developed animals on earth has risen with increasing speed, from trilobites, to fish, to amphibians, to the dinosaurs, to mammals, to primates, to the hominid apes and the direct ancestors of humankind.
Of course, through this long period there have been many chance events, many zigs and zags, advances and setbacks, which determined the exact timing and mode of the development of a creature capable of social evolution. Yet this unpredictability in no way erases the long-term tendency that makes the development of higher levels of intelligence, and eventually something resembling human beings, all but inevitable - as inevitable as the development of amino acids in a primal chemical soup.
Thus we find that the apparently improbable accidents of the universe are neither the products of a random and incomprehensible cosmos nor evidence for a designing creator. Rather, they are misinterpretations of the general evolution of the universe.

Robert Tulip wrote:
As I have previously noted, the Great Year of precession does actually affect the earth, observable in the 21,000 year cycle of climate caused by the interaction of precession with the cycle of earth’s orbital ellipse. This is a purely scientific observation from Milankovitch. Where it takes on a mythic dimension is in the claim that the declining light over the last 10,000 years since the dawn of the Holocene maps to the cosmology of the fall, and the suggestion that the increasing light over the next 10,000 years maps to a mythic eschatology of redemption. I see this cyclic scientific framework as a way to find meaning in existence.

Now if what I suspect is correct, and the meaning of life has to do with the properties of the universe gaining the ability to look around and figure itself out from within, well then yes you have point that the meaning of it all is tied up in life on the planet looking around, observing the natural cycles of time, finding it's place in the universe, searching for other life, breaking matter down to discover what it is on the sub-atomic levels, and basically everything science has evolved to do and will continue to evolve to do. But this isn't necessarily a fixed meaning for mere existence, just a possible meaning.
Quote:
There is no evidence for the multiverse theory, which is a purely speculative concept. By contrast, the Great Year of precession is readily observable. Precession does provide what you call absolute claims, although of course the relation to mythology is something that is far from accepted in mainstream opinion. I argue the evidence for this relation is strong, and simply needs rigorous systematic analysis to be accepted.

Yes, that's what I was saying. The multiverse theories and a variety of other competing infinite universe theories are the subject matter of speculation and not concrete. But I don't see any alternative to existence being spread out on an infinite scale. Every boundary mark is eventually broken and I don't think that there is any ultimate boundary line where on one side you have existence and the other non-existence. Mere existence likely goes on without end in my view.

Now precession hardly relates to the paragraph you're responding to. It's not as if there is some competition between infinite cosmological theories and speculation and the precession of the equinox. I'm not sure where that response even came from. Of course there are absolutes. The natural laws, proven cycles in the solar system and beyond, and any number of absolute truths proven true. But what do they have to do with the speculation I was talking about? I was talking about what I suspect the greater realm of existence could be like, the greater realm which surrounds everything you've just mentioned. On one hand we have the known, the observable, and on the other hand we have the question of what may exist beyond. Real, material, but beyond visibility. One doesn't knock away the other or compete with the other as I understand it. So I'm not sure where this is going...
Quote:
The interesting thing here is to take the knowledge available from modern science, such as the dynamic cause of precession in lunisolar torque, and look to see how this knowledge played out in ancient observation. As Lockyer notes, the Egyptians could not have known the cause of precession, but they most certainly observed its effects, as their temples that pointed to bright stars such as Sirius and Canopus ‘stopped working’ after a few centuries because the wobble of the earth had thrown them out of alignment. Similarly, the ancients, for all their ‘primitive mythological tales’, could readily observe the movement of the spring point along the ecliptic, defining the conventional ages such as Taurus, Aries and Pisces, and justifying the mythological language that results from this cosmology. Seeing how this real cosmology informs the Bible is a decisive factor in deconstructing the conventional faith.

Ok, now something a little more understandable. It does seem that the Egyptians knew of precession before the Greeks, even though that is not accepted in the mainstream currently. It would have been obvious to them when their temples were no longer in alignment for sure. They probably didn't know what caused it but only that it happens. And then eventually the Greeks got it from the Egyptians if I were to guess. It was a primitive observation that was worked into the mythologies and which had to be refined as humans evolved better and better observational skills and tools. For instance, all of the precession figures from mythology have been refined by modern astronomy. They were getting close but not as close as we now know.

And considering this from what I was saying earlier about the universe having a general trend towards life, intelligence, and observational skills this evolution makes sense. I'd say that there is probably some type of meaning in observing the natural cycles which is linked to the quest for the meaning of life itself in that sense. But when looking behind the modern era to the old astrotheological religions and how they were combined into Christianity we're looking back at darker times, times when we know so much less about the universe, life, and mere existence. The discoveries made were almost accurate and impressive in that sense considering the primitive times from which these observations were being made by the astronomer-priestly class and navigational travelers. So ultimately much of this may have something to do with the actual meaning of life, permitting that we ever move from the current position of uncertainty to a position of certainty and these proposed meanings align with the actual meaning if or when it is ever discovered absolutely...


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
tat tvam asi wrote:
Quote:
Now precession hardly relates to the paragraph you're responding to. It's not as if there is some competition between infinite cosmological theories and speculation and the precession of the equinox. I'm not sure where that response even came from. Of course there are absolutes. The natural laws, proven cycles in the solar system and beyond, and any number of absolute truths proven true.


"Infinity" is a strange word. A concept humanity can not comprehend, as the universe we exist and experience are a continuated pattern of finites. It seems that our limited, yet necessary, need to communicate our experience of reality with short sounds in pattern sometimes deceive us. We have even created and use a concept we have given the name "unknown". Not because we understand it, but to create a frame to differenciate it from the concept and understanding of what we regard as known. Constructions without other purpose than being logical necessities.

Absolute truths proven or not proven true are concepts belonging to religion. Science and scientist relates to degree of certainty compared to believed uncertainty. Gödel's incompleteness theorem and later works based on same theorem relates to humanities abstract system of describing perception of reality called math, although useful and best known system being limited. 1+1=2 depends on the abstract reality of the mind, as two ABSOLUTELY identical objects of any kind are not known in the natural world. Even the amazingly useful Pi is in reality when using term absolute, unknown. The particle acclerator in Cern have no purpose if our perception and interpretation of natural laws reflects absolute truths proved true.

I would like to believe that I could and would understand everything, but settle fine with accepting my human limitations. To see myself as the prime example of evolved life is met with indifference by a passing dragonfly. Indifference that probably thousand of species regarded as superior have met, as history is filled with insignificant forms of life trying to find same formula of success before vanishing.

I very much agree on the interesting thing here is to take the knowledge available from modern science. Neurosience says perception and understanding of our experience of reality is adaptable to the environment it is in. If events in history, of unknown cause, lead to humans or related origins taking the path different from relating to more than just the present and only reality truely existing as "here and now". Environment gradually shaping perception of reality as past, present and future from early hunter/gatherer, enforced by observing motions from one point in time to another as a reckognizable pattern. Granting the gift/curse of agriculture that have taken us to present society as we know it. A society based upon relating to a future we seek as it is the point where reality is, forgetting that future itself is the abstract imagined perception of reality. Something that at times make us scratch our head in wonder, not understanding why our imagined reality could be so different from the reality of here and now that we are forced to relate to.

Image


By all means Tat Tvam Asi, do not be confused by my understanding expressed as I do. We agree on most, and have a much more similar understanding than what probably could be understood from what I write. Nuances you know ( potato , potato reference are useless in writing.. he he ).

I took this approach on purpose. Ambitious questions and ambitious answers should be honored with ambitious reflections. Personally I lack the understanding of questioning the meaning of life, and relate to the reasons of where it originates from. I know little other, if any at all, other than life. To question life and purpose imply there being some kind of alternative other than existing. Still trying to grasp understanding of what life is, questioning meaning of life seems to me as irrelevant and unrelated defined.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
Tat Tvam Asi wrote:
What fixed meaning is that? Why does a universe exist in the first place which has material in motion which life on this planet that can observe all of these cyclic patterns? I was going for the deepest possible sense of existence in the paragraph you were responding to. In the deepest sense of the mystery of mere existence itself - the existence of constellations, the earth, cycles, etc. - there can be no one fixed reason for why any of it even exists to begin with, at least no fixed reason that I am aware of. It just is. But I suspect that it probably has something to do with the properties of the universe being able to rise to a level of self awareness through intelligent life forms which can perceive and observe things, like the cycles of time, the size of the universe, and so on. This being a critical function of the universe itself and necessary during it's evolution.

A distinction has to be drawn here between the knowable finite and the unknowable infinite. While we can speculate about how the finite may reflect the infinite, our efforts to find meaning really have to be confined to the finite and observable universe. This is where precession is so valuable as enframing what I have called a fixed meaning. Precession is the main long term regular temporal structure of the earth. As such, it presents the big picture of time, what Plato called in the Timaeus 'the moving image of eternity'. We get a sense of the meaning of the eternal by seeing how it is mirrored in the temporal. We do not need an ultimate explanation of why the universe exists to find meaning in our own lives, grounded in an evolutionary story whose context is the regular orbital cycles of our planet.
Quote:
But this isn't necessarily a fixed meaning for mere existence, just a possible meaning.
The existence of our planet is the only context in which we can explore real meaning. It is all about how our lives actually relate to the evolution of the universe. This relation is enframed by cosmology. On the one hand, we have impossible stories of supernatural miracles that have been seen as an ultimate truth. On the other hand, the deconstruction of Christian myth into its enframing mythos is significantly advanced by looking at what the original authors were trying to say about how events on earth reflect the cosmos - in the words of the Lord's Prayer 'thy will be done on earth as in heaven'. "In heaven" we see the earth has slow regular orbital cycles. "On earth" we see these cycles are reflected in mythology, with varying levels of transparency.

Quote:
I don't see any alternative to existence being spread out on an infinite scale. Every boundary mark is eventually broken and I don't think that there is any ultimate boundary line where on one side you have existence and the other non-existence. Mere existence likely goes on without end in my view. Now precession hardly relates to the paragraph you're responding to. It's not as if there is some competition between infinite cosmological theories and speculation and the precession of the equinox. I'm not sure where that response even came from. Of course there are absolutes. The natural laws, proven cycles in the solar system and beyond, and any number of absolute truths proven true. But what do they have to do with the speculation I was talking about? I was talking about what I suspect the greater realm of existence could be like, the greater realm which surrounds everything you've just mentioned. On one hand we have the known, the observable, and on the other hand we have the question of what may exist beyond. Real, material, but beyond visibility. One doesn't knock away the other or compete with the other as I understand it. So I'm not sure where this is going...

The risk here is that if we speculate about the infinite we can easily ignore the real story about the finite. Murdock observes that there is a real finite story about the myth of Christ as the avatar of the Age of Pisces. (p457) Because this story, for all its concreteness, is still so vastly bigger than what we can simply observe in a lifetime, it is easy to conflate it with infinite speculation. The mythicist critique of Christian fable is about setting it within a finite cosmology, and rejecting the speculation about an infinite God and supernatural intervention. Replacing speculation about a personal creator with equally uncertain speculation about multiple universes simply does not seem to me to help the analysis of the reality behind the myth.

Quote:
It does seem that the Egyptians knew of precession before the Greeks, even though that is not accepted in the mainstream currently. It would have been obvious to them when their temples were no longer in alignment for sure. They probably didn't know what caused it but only that it happens. And then eventually the Greeks got it from the Egyptians if I were to guess. It was a primitive observation that was worked into the mythologies and which had to be refined as humans evolved better and better observational skills and tools. For instance, all of the precession figures from mythology have been refined by modern astronomy. They were getting close but not as close as we now know.
This question of Egyptian knowledge of precession is an important point about priorities in scholarship. Lockyer was an extremely prestigious scientist, but his findings on this topic have been ignored by the scientific and theological mainstreams. There are a few factors here, namely that this material is unsettling both for mainstream scientific opinion and for Christian dogma. So a few comments about Lockyer being discredited or rebutted, despite being untrue, are enough to produce neglect. Graham Hancock's work on this topic is very interesting, but the association with wild speculation of the type advanced by John Anthony West and Walter Cruttenden shows that this research is still in its infancy. The Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge is viewed as a rather fringe activity, because of advocacy of discredited theories such as the idea that the sun has a binary companion that causes the appearance of a spin wobble. My view is that efforts to understand the extent of Egyptian understanding of precession have to be based very firmly in modern scientific knowledge, and should not be distracted by speculative ideas from astrology or wherever.

Quote:
And considering this from what I was saying earlier about the universe having a general trend towards life, intelligence, and observational skills this evolution makes sense. I'd say that there is probably some type of meaning in observing the natural cycles which is linked to the quest for the meaning of life itself in that sense. But when looking behind the modern era to the old astrotheological religions and how they were combined into Christianity we're looking back at darker times, times when we know so much less about the universe, life, and mere existence. The discoveries made were almost accurate and impressive in that sense considering the primitive times from which these observations were being made by the astronomer-priestly class and navigational travelers. So ultimately much of this may have something to do with the actual meaning of life, permitting that we ever move from the current position of uncertainty to a position of certainty and these proposed meanings align with the actual meaning if or when it is ever discovered absolutely...
I set out my views on meaning in natural cycles in earlier work on Milankovitch cycles. In summary, there is a strong correlation between the old myth of a cycle between a golden age and an iron age and the actual cycle of light that drives terrestrial climate. The fact is we do have a lot of certainty about astronomy, but the challenge of relating this to observed patterns in human culture remains a difficult and contested task. Christ in Egypt is immensely important in clearing away the undergrowth of wrong thought, somewhat along the lines of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, to gain access to the big picture of the relation between religion and cosmology.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
Robert Tulip wrote:
The existence of our planet is the only context in which we can explore real meaning. It is all about how our lives actually relate to the evolution of the universe. This relation is enframed by cosmology.

Yeah, that's what I've been saying. The real meaning is likely pointed at the emergence of consciousness in the universe for the purpose of observation. This has very much to do with our evolving cosmologies and the quest to figure out what is and what is not.
Quote:
The risk here is that if we speculate about the infinite we can easily ignore the real story about the finite. Murdock observes that there is a real finite story about the myth of Christ as the avatar of the Age of Pisces. (p457) Because this story, for all its concreteness, is still so vastly bigger than what we can simply observe in a lifetime, it is easy to conflate it with infinite speculation. The mythicist critique of Christian fable is about setting it within a finite cosmology, and rejecting the speculation about an infinite God and supernatural intervention.

Before going any further we ought to air out that mythology has always been addressed to "seeing the radiance of eternity through all of the forms and images of time..." as Joseph Campbell made perfectly clear in his scholarship. This applies to Hinduism, Buddhism, and indeed Christianity. The heavenly father represents the eternal or infinite if you will. The Son of God represents the eternal presence among the forms and images of time. This is how the solar personification myths go. The "Suns of God" as it were.

Now the mythicist critique is coming from the perspective of knowing what the ancients were doing with mythology. They were taking the natural world and previous myths about the natural world that have been used for mystical purposes of trying to relate to the eternal, or infinite, and passing them along. It's about nature as well as what the ancients believed is behind the forces of nature. Everything they were doing was tied up in "infinite speculation" regardless of the precession myths, solar myths, lunar myths, or any of it. That's the larger picture that all of these myths were addressed to. And that's also what we're still striving towards with all of these advanced cosmological speculations we see in this day and age. There is something about the human condition that constantly strives towards thinking about the infinite and great beyond. The plasma theory, electrical universe theory, multiverse theory, wave structure of matter theory, and how ever many other emerging theories all have to do with trying to understand the observable universe as limitless and boundless. This is something that humanity has always been trying to reach towards and grasp from mythological days to the present scientific age...


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B) The Christmas Nativity

C) The Mythicist Position

D) YEC theory put to rest!


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
Robert the Egyptians may not have understood precession but they recognized it in some form even in ancient cultures before during the Winter Solstice they realized that during December the sun moved further away. I don't believe they had actual knowledge of the workings of events that occurred but they recognized it in some forim or fashion.

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Solstice Celebrations Associated with the hieroglyphs, calendars, buildings, myths and clocks were celebrations and festivals, not a few of which in Egypt revolved around the winter solstice, as we have seen from Plutarch, Epiphanius and Macrobius, among others. In addition to the Kronia and Kikellia festivals already discussed, we find another example of an Egyptian winter-solstice celebration in the inscription from Khnumhotep II’s tomb at Beni Hassan (12th Dynasty, c. 1820 BCE), in which the winter solstice is referred to as “the feast of little heat.”[446] Such would be an appropriate designation, especially in Egypt, which does not suffer the severe winters of northern Europe, for instance, where the winter solstice could be called “the time of intense cold!” From this inscription we know for a fact that there existed a winter-solstice festival in Egypt almost 4,000 years ago, in addition to the commemoration that evidently occurred at the beginning of the First Dynasty, some 5,000 years ago. In CT Sp. 623, the Osiris remarks upon “those happy monthly festivals of yours of the summer, of the inundation season and of the winter.”[447] As have seen, the Egyptian winter-solstice festivals apparently occurred well into the common era as well.


S, Acharya; Murdock, D.M. (2011-01-29). Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection (Kindle Locations 2738-2749). Stellar House Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Do you think it was more of an adaption to the surrounding environment more than anything else? This is something that I have never totally understood and the information on astrotheology out there is extremely limited I have tried to wrap my brain around it.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
Tat Tvam Asi wrote:
the quest to figure out what is and what is not


What if we were to say the finite "is" and the infinite "is not"? This seems a logical way to deconstruct talk of the infinite.

I approach these questions through existential philosophy, seeing life against the finite framework of time. The existential idea that care is the meaning of being puts thought into a solely finite frame, and sees talk of the infinite as meaningless, a traditional metaphysic that has been superseded by modern understanding of finitude.

Thinking about infinity presents severe problems. The examples you give, such as electric universe and the multiverse, really do not have any strong intellectual standing except as mind games about what might be possible.

As the god of the gaps has steadily been spakfilla-ed away, a prime casualty has been the panentheist idea of an infinite god beyond the universe. Pantheism is resolutely finite, simply because talking about infinity allows meaningless talk about imaginary entities into the picture. Having been banished from the finite universe, god is cowering in his infinite hideyhole. Mythicism is like a caulking gun for the god of the gaps.

One way of looking at it may be that 'God the Father' represents eternal unchanging principle, while 'God the Son' represents the process of the eternal principle working its way out in time. Eternal does not mean infinite. For example, mathematical relations such as pi (mentioned above by Valhall) are eternally true, but finite. The fact that pi is not a fraction does not make it infinite, as it is always more than three and less than four. The eternity of pi arises from the necessary ratio of diameter and circumference of a circle.

Astrotheology presents a rigorous method to deconstruct language about infinity by setting it within the finite reality of the cosmos. It is about recognising religion as pointing to finite truth. Any talk of the infinite here is just an analogy for the unknown, as when we say things like 'in freedom we are oriented to infinite possibilities.'



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
Azrael wrote:
they realized that during December the sun moved further away

This is not quite true. Earth's orbit is elliptical, so we do move towards and away from the sun, but this has nothing to do with the seasons in an annual sense. The tilt of the earth causes the seasons. At the present, the northern hemisphere is actually closer to the sun in winter than in summer. The perihelion, the point of closest approach to the sun, passed the winter solstice in 1296 AD (a candidate for the bottom point of the Kali Yuga). Over the next ten thousand years we will move to a position where the winter solstice is at the aphelion, the furthest point from the sun.

This cycle is driven by earth's spin wobble, as is precession of the equinox, and is a main driver of long term climate cycles. For interest, the link between precession and global climate over the last 420,000 years can be seen in this chart of ice core data.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
Quote:
What if we were to say the finite "is" and the infinite "is not"? This seems a logical way to deconstruct talk of the infinite.
...Any talk of the infinite here is just an analogy for the unknown, as when we say things like 'in freedom we are oriented to infinite possibilities.'

Here lies the problem. People refer to this or that as infinite, obviously not referring to literal infinity. Such as the example of "infinite possibilities" when referring to something finite in reality. I'm actually referring to something quite different. I'm referring to the fabric and structure of space extending beyond the finite range of our current perception. Yes, that is to refer to the unknown. But it's to logically deduce what we should expect to extend beyond our immediate range of perception. And these theories are very rational expecting that space and matter must necessarily continue on without limit. No one claims to know for sure until empirical data is gathered, but at the same time all of these people are working off of empirical data that they think points to a limitless space. That's one of the concerns of the LISA satellite. Humans want real answers to the hard questions, at least some of population does to be fair about the claim...

Robert you're hilarious because you have one foot planted in atheist science (strict BBT standard model science) and the other foot floundering about in liberal Christian views. Both strict standard model cosmology and Christian mythology have traditionally been hostile towards infinite cosmologies. And I've often differed with many from both of these polar opposite sides. With you I have the entire conflict wrapped up into one neat little package. :lol:

This is itself a never ending debate with cosmologies changing from infinite to finite and back and forth according to the current state of society at the time:

Quote:
"In our century the cosmological pendulum has 'swung back'. The universe of present-day cosmology is more like that of Ptolemy and Augustine than that of Galileo and Kepler. Like the medieval cosmos, the modern universe is finite in time - it began in the Big Bang, and will end either in a Big Crunch or in slow decay and dissipation of all matter. A universe of unlimited progress from an infinite past to an infinite future makes sense when society is 'advancing'. But when that advance halts, when the idea of progress is mocked by the century of Verdun, Auschwitz, and Hiroshima, when the prospect of human betterment is dim, we should not be surprised that the 'decaying cosmos' again rises to dominance." - Eric Lerner


Ultimately I think that the right thing to do is to stick with the current standard model until it's been changed. You're justified in doing so in my view.

But this has very little to do with the Mythicist Position and a scientific evaluation of ancient myths and more to do with modern cosmology. The mythicist position is addressed to anyone from any perspective who feels that "many Gods and God-Men" of mythology are in fact personifications of the natural world and not necessarily based on real people, kings, rulers, sages or whatever. The MP is not addressed to finite or infinite cosmological speculation and that is in fact an aside to the MP itself, with people from both perspectives converging together in the MP. You and I are a primary example. We (mythicists) have theists and atheists as well. Deists, agnostics and gnostics. This is an all inclusive position that has to do with a scholarly oriented opinion on comparative mythological studies. Like the science of archaeo-astronomy. There is no fixed religious belief system associated with the MP. And it seems that there has been a little confusion over that issue due to the strong religious proselytizing tone you've taken in these discussions.

For instance, when we first met we did little more than debate back and forth, you from an evemerist position on Jesus and me from the MP. You were dead set against the MP as I recall. And I'm glad to see that you've grown alot after much reading and contemplation. When you say: "Mythicism is like a caulking gun for the god of the gaps" it's interesting to see how you've evolved since those initial conversations at FTN. Now there are panentheist's out there who take the MP, so obviously there are people who don't see it the same way you're seeing it. The MP, in and of itself, doesn't do anything to the "God of the Gaps" or any God belief really. Remember, it's actually an all inclusive position that doesn't really wipe out anyone. Even Christians can take a look at the evidence and lack thereof concerning the claim of an historical Jesus and conclude that mythicism is a sound position. Tom Harpur has done just that. He believes in God in some way, but understands that the Christ myth is a human construction at the very same time. It's important that when you express your personal feelings on mythicism that you make it clear to unsuspecting readers that you're offering a personal opinion about an all inclusive position that does nothing to bolster or eliminate God belief in and of itself.

I am a pantheist myself, as you know and others may not. But that doesn't make the MP an exclusive pantheist position. I actually offered it to the world pantheism community in our private discussion forums with very flaccid results. No one seemed to understand it. Most of the others favor evemerism, no different than most atheists out there. Although the MP fits well with Pantheism when all is said and done. Murdocks beliefs are expressed in her book "The Gospel According to Acharya S." I recognize many of them as pantheist type beliefs about the God concept. It would be incorrect for her or I to go around saying that the MP is exclusively pantheist just because we happen to favor pantheist philosophy. And the same holds true for your efforts to re-arrange Christianity into a focus on it's underlying astrotheological format and the possible compatibility with science. The MP is actually a mixing pot and likely will always be because it's nothing more than something that freethinkers in general can gather around regardless of personal belief or lack thereof. It wouldn't be right to present the MP any other way...


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D) YEC theory put to rest!


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
But really, the mythicist deconstruction of conventional faith starts from the rational assumption that the universe is consistent. Murdock makes a similar point when she says the Egyptian gods were understood within a cosmology that recognized the unity of the universe. So it starts with deconstructing the old claim that Jesus was god incarnate, and moves on to deconstruct the claim that miracles literally occurred. If we doubt that Jesus was a walking talking individual man, the ground is cut out from the idea that he literally performed miracles.

Deconstructing old myths about infinity is a direct logical extension from this mythicist analysis. It seems to me very hard to accept the doubt about the myth of Christ and then turn around and say that infinity is real. It is like making the infinite something finite, which is contradictory.

The part of Christianity that is much harder to deconstruct is the ethical teachings. Even when all the fantasy is stripped away, there are sublime texts such as the sermon on the mount and the last judgment that have an enduring meaning. I would say that the meaning of these texts is sharpened and clarified by setting the analysis of them within an objective finite scientific understanding. Even accepting that there are many Biblical ethics that have not stood the test of time, such as the endorsement of slavery and sexism in the ten commandments, the effort to deconstruct biblical morality still comes up against an enduring core.

So I would not accept that my marriage of mainstream science and 'liberal Christianity' is somehow 'floundering'. To me it is a coherent way to accept the truth in the various sources and reject the error, although the word 'liberal' is yet another term that stands in need of deconstruction. Murdock's argument in Christ in Egypt reflects a rational fury at church deception, and she implies at many points that she thinks Christianity as a whole is discredited by these findings. I prefer to say that even understanding that Christ is a myth does not detract from the essential ideals within the myth of a transformation of the world into a community of love and peace and truth and justice.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
It wouldn't be fair for me to toss around the term "Liberal Christian" without clarifying what I mean by that. What I mean is that as long as I've known you, you've presented yourself as raised Christian, still attending church services, but also pantheist and atheist too. You were not raised in a conservative fundamentalist Christian environment from what I understand, or at least you never really subscribed the fundy views. Some one who professes Christianity but also rejects the supernaturalism of the mythology, is necessarily "liberal" about their Christianity. This should be plainly clear.

The only reason I say "floundering" around with one foot in liberal Christianity is because it's as if you're not confident enough to take that last step and remove yourself from the religion entirely. Instead this philosophical deconstruction seems like some type of way of trying to cling on for dear life to something, anything, that can be claimed as valid and scientific with regards to Christianity. This whole "mythos" verses "logos" is nothing but just that: 'Oh yes folks, the "logos" is in error for sure, but now the "mythos", that's entirely valid...' lol

Everyone has to follow their own path. And I accept this as you're personal journey. It's really interesting. And you have a lot of courage to make the stands that you do for what you believe in. As we read along I'll just chime in if I think you've gone beyond what Murdock has written and crossed over into what could be called "Tulipism." lol There's nothing wrong with Tulipism BTW, it's just best to be clear on where it parts ways with basic mythicism...


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B) The Christmas Nativity

C) The Mythicist Position

D) YEC theory put to rest!


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: A Philosophical Deconstruction of Christianity
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it's as if you're not confident enough to take that last step and remove yourself from the religion entirely

It is not about confidence, it is a view that rejection achieves far less than reform. My view is that mythicism presents a path for the reform of Christianity to make it compatible with science, for example in understanding that the Christ Myth has its origins in older heritage and in observation of the stars. Given that the original source of the Christian ideas appears to be astrotheological, a return to these sources offers far more prospect of changing people's opinions than the rather forlorn idea that we can abandon religion completely. It is better to be inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in. What do you see as replacing the social function of religion?



Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:49 am
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