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Christ in Egypt: Introduction 
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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Introduction
ScoobyNubis wrote:
YOU feel it's "obviously rational" (I actually don't feel that way and there's no particular reason anyone should) treating that as an unassailable fact which anyone who disagrees with is "stupid" (your word) and then trying to use your entirely unfounded proposition to disprove or demonstrate other theses. The second case is actually an ABUSE of the scientific method and amounts to little more than reducing it to a club with which to pound your opponents to silence, much as certain other people wield their Bibles.


My "stupid" comment was not directed at the claim that miracles are possible (although I do think it is stupid) but at claims that deny scientific accounts of the history of the universe, reject laws of motion and evolution, and question the periodic table of the elements. My "unfounded proposition" (your words) is actually that consistent observation is reliable, while inconsistent claims are unreliable.

The situation here is that over the years there have been numerous claims of events that defy the laws of physics. On examination, none have ever provided a skerrick of evidence, and, in my opinion, all reflect psychological wishful thinking or evil motives.

The parsimonious explanation is that people want to believe in miracles, and convince themselves and others they are possible, but they are wrong. This provides a complete explanation for why this false claim persists. Committing the same error over and over again in defiance of evidence is an old definition of stupidity.

I personally find advocacy for miracles to be offensive and unethical. Miracles serve a false and obsolete cosmology whose interest is the corrupt power of the priesthood. Decisions should be based on evidence, and there is no evidence for miracles. Miracles are nothing more than fraudulent lies aimed at manipulating public opinion. The big daddy of miracles is the purported incarnation of Jesus Christ. This is why Murdock condemns this story as a conspiracy, "the greatest story ever sold".

This debate on the epistemology of miracles all points to the need for a new paradigm in religious studies that systematically excludes unscientific claptrap. Suggesting there is any ethical content in belief in miracles is a way to undermine the need for coherence in religious analysis.

Sorry to be harsh about this, but vacillating on this topic is a recipe for confusion.

This is not an abusive stance on my part by any means. I am simply saying that I hold a position that coheres with all verified evidence, whereas the rejection of my view coheres with no verified evidence, and has a perfectly logical psychological explanation in wishful thinking. The weight of evidence means I am justified in saying I am right and my opponents are wrong. If searchers for the miraculous ever come up with any evidence, I am open to change my opinion, but it really ain't gonna happen. Don't hold your breath, unless you have a miraculous relationship to the need for oxygen.



Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:35 am
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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Introduction
Maybe I can put it another way.

I suggest that you as discussion leader should display an attitude that encourages anyone who wishes to participate to freely and fully express their point of view whatever it might be. Your hijacking the discussion to vent your personal views about the "evils of irrationality" or whatever one might call it is highly inappropriate because anyone who might wish to express an opinion that might be considered "unscientific" will justifiably feel they will be subject to ridicule or might get sidetracked into some tedious epistemological debate which really has nothing to do with the content of Ms. Murdock's book. You are doing no service to the discussion by turning into a forum to air and argue your personal beliefs.

With that in mind I bid you all farewell... I think I've made my best attempt at making my point and after this it would be more of the same old merry-go-round.

Peace and best wishes to all.



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Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:02 am
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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Introduction
ScoobyNubis wrote:
I suggest that you as discussion leader should display an attitude that encourages anyone who wishes to participate to freely and fully express their point of view whatever it might be. Your hijacking the discussion to vent your personal views about the "evils of irrationality" or whatever one might call it is highly inappropriate because anyone who might wish to express an opinion that might be considered "unscientific" will justifiably feel they will be subject to ridicule or might get sidetracked into some tedious epistemological debate which really has nothing to do with the content of Ms. Murdock's book. You are doing no service to the discussion by turning into a forum to air and argue your personal beliefs.

With that in mind I bid you all farewell... I think I've made my best attempt at making my point and after this it would be more of the same old merry-go-round.

Peace and best wishes to all.


I am not sure, but I think I understand what you are trying to say. Comming from a culture never really leaving their pagan roots, my cultures approach to any religion have at any time have been philosophical in form. The majority of the population in Norway do not cling to religion, nor do they feel comfort in labeling themselves with the concept known as atheist. Generations of people living in a country where nature displays every aspect of forces it wields know one thing, belief or no belief matters little as reality must be dealt with regardless.

I personally feel a growing number of people promoting science and atheist views without understanding the concept "Absolute" being other than a created logic necessity. The scientific method reflects proof within a degree of certainty set by system of own creation.

So if I understand you correctly you say: To say something is impossible, is to claim knowledge of what is certain and what is uncertain. Absolute, omnipotent knowledge

If that was your point, I understand and agree with you on that point. ( Remember language in written or oral form are extremely flawed when it comes to communicating the vast amount of information processed in our mind.)

Personally I find the mythicist position appealing because it connects to my personal interest and field of knowledge, the realm of language and communication. I do not know if understood your point, or missed it totally. Regardless I would like to comment some of your words, concepts and expressed views, I find confusing and hard to understand.

ScoobyNubis wrote:
Strictly speaking, saying miracles are impossible is not a scientific statement because it cannot be proved. "It is impossible to materialize a fish out of thin air" is a faith-based statement. (And no, I have never seen anyone materialize a fish or anything else, and perhaps it is in fact impossible. But I actually see no necessary reason to assume that.)


The word miracle istelf is described as concept of action/event influenced by motion outside of the natural world. Science relates to reality limited within what we regard as natural world. If science could explain a miracle, it would no longer be a miracle. Saying miracles are impossible is a scientific statement, but perhaps not a philosophical statement. When you gain knowledge of something that was unknown, it is no longer unknown. You can not expect the unexpected, explain the unexplainable, etc....

You do see the necessary reason to assume fish or anything else materialize out of thin air. That is why you went to school, got a job, earned money, bought your food, and behold the wonder... are alive and well so that you could claim you lacked reason to assume possibility of things materializing out of thin air. ( I see no reason to go deep into the laws of thermodynamics, but they support energy changing form in regard to the absolute/certainty argument mentioned earlier.)



I admit and acknowledge having limited knowledge about many things in this world. I understand expansion of my exsisting knowledge is attained from external sources. I hope few, if some at all, are discouraged by the distortions and distractions human communication are limited to with using written or oral language when attempting to transfer subjective perception of reality. In effort of promoting a discussion open and valuable for mutual gained knowledge and understanding I qoute Clemens of Rome and his understanding, as something that might cause reflection upon the complexity of subject at hand.

1Clem 20:3
The sun and the moon and the dancing stars according to His
appointment circle in harmony within the bounds assigned to them,
without any swerving aside.


1Clem 24:1
Let us understand, dearly beloved, how the Master continually
showeth unto us the resurrection that shall be hereafter; whereof He
made the Lord Jesus Christ the firstfruit, when He raised Him from
the dead.


1Clem 24:2
Let us behold, dearly beloved, the resurrection which happeneth at
its proper season.


1Clem 24:3
Day and night show unto us the resurrection. The night falleth
asleep, and day ariseth; the day departeth, and night cometh on.


1Clem 24:4
Let us mark the fruits, how and in what manner the sowing taketh
place.



Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:44 pm
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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Introduction
ScoobyNubis wrote:
Maybe I can put it another way.

I suggest that you as discussion leader should display an attitude that encourages anyone who wishes to participate to freely and fully express their point of view whatever it might be. Your hijacking the discussion to vent your personal views about the "evils of irrationality" or whatever one might call it is highly inappropriate because anyone who might wish to express an opinion that might be considered "unscientific" will justifiably feel they will be subject to ridicule or might get sidetracked into some tedious epistemological debate which really has nothing to do with the content of Ms. Murdock's book. You are doing no service to the discussion by turning into a forum to air and argue your personal beliefs.

With that in mind I bid you all farewell... I think I've made my best attempt at making my point and after this it would be more of the same old merry-go-round.

Peace and best wishes to all.


Thank you for dropping by. In response, may I just say that part of the reason I like Ms Murdock's writing is the refusal to compromise with irrationality. Now of course people who insist on holding irrational beliefs will say this means she is ridiculing them. The bottom line here is that Christ in Egypt is very much a book about epistemology, the theory of knowledge, in its argument that Christian claims about miracles are entirely false. Murdock argues that all the stories in the New Testament just represent a rehash of older myth. Whether you like it or not, this claim involves a theory of knowledge in which literal belief in miracles is subject to ridicule. Recognizing that controversy is not a 'hijack' but a central insight that you would gain if you read the book we are discussing.



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Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:00 pm
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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Introduction
For what it's worth Robert, some good points were raised. But with respect to the miracles we do have to factor in the astrotheological content of the allegory and the fact that these supernatural stories lack any concrete evidence. It's a double wammy. Take the resurrection miracle of people rising out of their graves and walking the streets of Jerusalem for instance. Not a shred of evidence from the contemporary period had been given, by anyone writing and documenting that time period. Probably one of the most sensational events in the history of the Jews would have caused much writing and awe struck amazement. Certainly the Romans would have reported back to Rome on such a large scale miracle. But there's nothing. No evidence, witnesses, or anything at all from the contemporary period. The gospels all being non-contemporary writings written by unknown authors given the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John at even later dates. There's no real evidence for any of this whether possible or not.

A basic run of the mill atheist may argue strickly from the scientific view point of miracles being an unproven fallacy. And the debate between run of the mill theists verses atheists has been never ending from the 'miracles are possible verses impossible' perspective. In the MP we are in fact trying to take it to another level and go a bit beyond this old never ending debate. It isn't just that these miracle stories run contrary to science, it's the fact that they are arranged to relate very specific messages which delve into re-told pagan myths and astrotheological dramas.

Whether possible or impossible, the main point here is that we can take several of these miracle myth stories and penetrate them to the astrotheological level and consider the whole thing from that perspective. Hell, miracles could even be possible and yet elusive to scientific observation, and yet the astrotheological structure of these allegories remains just the same. So whether or not science can prove or disprove miracles isn't really the deciding factor here. It has more to do with how these ancient people constructed their religious myths and fanciful stories. And I can't wait until we move along further into chapters dealing with deconstructing some of these supernatural miracle stories and uncovering the astrotheological cores...


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A) The Origins of Religious Worship

B) The Christmas Nativity

C) The Mythicist Position

D) YEC theory put to rest!


Last edited by tat tvam asi on Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:50 pm
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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Introduction
Quote:
I am not sure, but I think I understand what you are trying to say. Comming from a culture never really leaving their pagan roots, my cultures approach to any religion have at any time have been philosophical in form. The majority of the population in Norway do not cling to religion, nor do they feel comfort in labeling themselves with the concept known as atheist. Generations of people living in a country where nature displays every aspect of forces it wields know one thing, belief or no belief matters little as reality must be dealt with regardless.

Hey Valhall, thanks for bringing a Norse perspective into the discussion.


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A) The Origins of Religious Worship

B) The Christmas Nativity

C) The Mythicist Position

D) YEC theory put to rest!


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Introduction
tat tvam asi wrote:
with respect to the miracles we do have to factor in the astrotheological content of the allegory and the fact that these supernatural stories lack any concrete evidence. It's a double wammy. Take the resurrection miracle of people rising out of their graves and walking the streets of Jerusalem for instance. Not a shred of evidence from the contemporary period had been given, by anyone writing and documenting that time period. Probably one of the most sensational events in the history of the Jews would have caused much writing and awe struck amazement. Certainly the Romans would have reported back to Rome on such a large scale miracle. But there's nothing. No evidence, witnesses, or anything at all from the contemporary period. The gospels all being non-contemporary writings written by unknown authors given the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John at even later dates. There's no real evidence for any of this whether possible or not.

A basic run of the mill atheist may argue strictly from the scientific view point of miracles being an unproven fallacy. And the debate between run of the mill theists verses atheists has been never ending from the 'miracles are possible versus impossible' perspective. In the MP we are in fact trying to take it to another level and go a bit beyond this old never ending debate. It isn't just that these miracle stories run contrary to science, it's the fact that they are arranged to relate very specific messages which delve into re-told pagan myths and astrotheological dramas.

Whether possible or impossible, the main point here is that we can take several of these miracle myth stories and penetrate them to the astrotheological level and consider the whole thing from that perspective. Hell, miracles could even be possible and yet elusive to scientific observation, and yet the astrotheological structure of these allegories remains just the same. So whether or not science can prove or disprove miracles isn't really the deciding factor here. It has more to do with how these ancient people constructed their religious myths and fanciful stories. And I can't wait until we move along further into chapters dealing with deconstructing some of these supernatural miracle stories and uncovering the astrotheological cores...


Thanks Tat, that is a useful clarification. When I first raised the problem of miracles in this thread at this post, I commented that "the claim that purported miracles are allegory for real observation entirely removes Christianity from the realm of supernatural fantasy. If you read the New Testament with a view to saying that wherever the authors describe something impossible, they are actually talking in symbolic terms, then the message can be reconciled with science."

At the end of the day, easily the most probable conclusion is that the allegorical meaning of miracles is compatible with our modern scientific rejection of miracles, but is not compatible with the miraculous actually being possible, because that completely conflicts with scientific observation of the consistency of nature. If we want to be consistent and systematic, it makes sense to say that claims of the miraculous have been invented for secular purposes, to give force to a claim that a story is special and that religious events occupy a higher magical plane than ordinary existence.

The agenda is not to disprove miracles, which involves the impossibility of proving a negative, but to reject imaginary supernatural accounts of them on a psychological and political basis of the balance of probabilities. If we can explain the motivations for invention of these stories we provide a compelling and lucid explanation of why they arose and why they have been believed. So I disagree with your statement "miracles could even be possible" except in the purely logical sense that we do not absolutely know that the universe exists and the sun will rise tomorrow. We should have the same level of confidence in the rising of the sun as the impossibility of miracles.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Introduction
Yes Robert, but in saying "miracles could even be possible" and yet this, this, and that, I only meant to say that even if something like miracles were possible, we're still dealing with an allegory about the heavens and the story is clearly not about real bread and real fish supernaturally reproducing to feed the masses.
tat tvam asi wrote:
Hell, miracles could even be possible and yet elusive to scientific observation, and yet the astrotheological structure of these allegories remains just the same. So whether or not science can prove or disprove miracles isn't really the deciding factor here.

This isn't to make a case for the possiblity of miracles, obviously. I personally don't believe in supernatural events. Other's may, as has been pointed out, and so to be fair about it while discussing the book perhaps we can take a slightly less aggressive presentation. That was all Scooby was getting at.


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B) The Christmas Nativity

C) The Mythicist Position

D) YEC theory put to rest!


Last edited by tat tvam asi on Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Introduction
Hi folks -

I'm just going to make a brief post here to summarize what I've said in the "Introduction" to my book, in defining my purpose in writing it.

On pp. 3-4, I remark:

Quote:
Despite the disparagement and dismissal, the reality remains that the many Egyptian myths and rituals, including numerous gods and goddesses, prayers and hymns, were not obscure and ignored but were known by millions of people over a long period of time. These hallowed Egyptian motifs included the sacredness of the cross, the virgin mother who gave birth to the divine son, a godman who taught on Earth, led 12 followers, healed the sick, and raised the dead, and who was murdered, buried and resurrected, etc. Although they were often deemed "mysteries," a number of these important concepts were undoubtedly in the minds of many people by the time the Christian religion appeared in the same areas of the Mediterranean. As pointed out by renowned Swiss Egyptologist Dr. Erik Hornung...the Egyptian mysteries were not necessarily secrets but were carried out in public, such as the annual passion play of the god Osiris.... These mysteries were particularly known to those responsible for the creation of religion, the priests, who actively studied and imitated other priesthoods in their fabrications. Knowing what we do about the priesthood and the manufacture of religion, and noting the obvious parallels between the Egyptian religion and Christianity, it would seem disingenuous to suggest that Christianity represents a "unique, divine revelation" to a small group of people in the tiny area of Palestine/Judea. Instead of thus denying the clear connection between the two religions, we will explore it here, using as many relevant and quality sources as is possible.

That's the work in a nutshell.

In the "Introduction," I also discuss my various sources, which include the oldest primary sources to the most modern research by credentialed authorities in relevant fields.

Christ in Egypt can be perused on Google Books, by the way.



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