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Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position 
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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
Robert Tulip wrote:
Flann 5 wrote:
Contemporary scholars of Egyptology know nothing of these claimed parallels of Massey's and neither he nor you provide the primary sources for all the claims. Born of a virgin in a cave Dec 25th etc. So the onus is on you to prove the claims of these alleged parallels of Jesus life with Horus, by referencing the primary sources they are found in.


Isis was considered a perpetual virgin. There is ancient material that associates the birth of Horus with the December solstice.

I certainly don't claim to be an expert in Egyptology or it's religions and myths and am reliant on professional scholars and Egyptologists in relation to these claims.

They don't agree with Massey and Murdock on their claims but refute them. You are entitled to rely on Massey if you want to.

Isis may have been "considered" a perpetual virgin but it should be clear that the Horus conception is undoubtedly sexual and by definition is not a virginal conception and birth.

Mary was not a perpetual virgin and this was a later development in Catholicism which developed the cult of Mary and shows real signs of pagan influences.
The Christian primary sources are the old and new testaments where we find that Jesus had brothers and sisters and that Mary was married to Joseph.
It's preposterous and false to claim she was a perpetual virgin.

In line with this cultic teaching they then insisted that in the gospels accounts his brothers and sisters were really cousins. But the Greek word that is used is adelphoi for brothers. Adelphos means a brother according to Strong's and other Greek dictionaries.

http://biblehub.com/text/matthew/13-55.htm

Incidentally one of Jesus' brothers is named James, but Carrier thinks he can just dismiss this too by categorizing the gospels as myths.
Curiously, according to Carrier the gospel of Luke is of the genre of "myth",but according to him, the sequel Acts by the same author suddenly changes to the genre of "historical fiction"!

Murdock talks about artifacts but this can be confusing since we have to determine whether they are pre-or post Christian for starters.
The Luxor temple engraving is a matter of interpretation and even Carrier who advocates the pagan copycat thesis, along with Egyptian scholars again disagree with Murdock's interpretation.

And the Catholic co-opting of the pagan festival in making December 25th Jesus "birthday" is entirely unwarranted from the gospels accounts themselves, which give no date for this.
If the gospel writers really were promoting pagan ideas shouldn't they have put his birthday on Dec 25th?

Robert Tulip wrote:
The blindness to this simple material by Christian believers is truly astonishing, illustrating how they refuse to see any evidence that destroys their assumptions.

The big difficulty here is that Egyptology is a guild (rather like Christian theology) to which entry requires conformity. There are vast problems in Egyptology such as how the pyramids were built and the status of magic. Interest in ideas such as those of Massey is regarded with great hostility by the Egyptology guild, which is why Acharya, like Massey, has been so comprehensively shunned by academia.


So there are conspiracies in academia against mythicists by N.T. scholars, classical historians,and Egyptologists!

Robert Tulip wrote:
It is not about the intrinsic merit of the ideas, but rather the cultural politics that associates them with taboo areas, especially in this case the heretical Docetic critique of Christian dogma. There is a serious lack of follow up, other than by Acharya, to Massey’s pioneering research on the comparative religious question of the relationship between Egyptian myth and Christianity.

First of all N.T. scholars are not all Christian conservatives but include many agnostics and atheists like Ehrman. The very contentions between the Conservative and Liberal scholars on issues like the dating of the gospels and Acts, should be enough to tell you that.

It's frankly absurd to say that Egyptologists, Classical historians and liberal N.T. scholars are the slightest bit concerned about defending against Docetism.

While no expert, I find the arguments of the scholars in these fields more persuasive than those of the mythicists like Gerald Massey, who is outdated, apart from his not sourcing his claims in any credible way.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:15 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
Flann 5 wrote:
I certainly don't claim to be an expert in Egyptology or it's religions and myths and am reliant on professional scholars and Egyptologists in relation to these claims. They don't agree with Massey and Murdock on their claims but refute them. You are entitled to rely on Massey if you want to.
No, you are incorrectly using the term “refute”. The claims of Massey and Murdock have not been refuted, but have been distorted, ignored and denied. This is a typical syndrome in cultural politics where unacceptable research is marginalised. It is a fallacy to assume that traditional authorities are correct and that there is no need to analyse the evidence for new claims.
Flann 5 wrote:
Isis may have been "considered" a perpetual virgin but it should be clear that the Horus conception is undoubtedly sexual and by definition is not a virginal conception and birth.
Again, incorrect. Murdock provides abundant proof of Egyptian sources venerating Isis as the Perpetual Virgin. That is core to the myth. It is absurd for you to bring in the rhetorical terms “undoubtedly” and “by definition” when these are flatly contradicted by ancient evidence, and rest only on a misreading of Plutarch’s account of Isis and Osiris.
Flann 5 wrote:

Mary was not a perpetual virgin and this was a later development in Catholicism which developed the cult of Mary and shows real signs of pagan influences.
The Christian primary sources are the old and new testaments where we find that Jesus had brothers and sisters and that Mary was married to Joseph.
It's preposterous and false to claim she was a perpetual virgin.
Now you are just using your inerrant Christian assumptions and prejudices against pagan myth. Those methods have no value in this debate since it is precisely those methods which Murdock’s findings challenge. You cannot assume Jesus existed in order to prove Jesus existed. That is the fallacy called begging the question.
Flann 5 wrote:

If the gospel writers really were promoting pagan ideas shouldn't they have put his birthday on Dec 25th?
Great question. My opinion is that there is abundant astral/solar material concealed within the Gospels, but the authors felt that the agenda of achieving popularity required that all of this core Gnostic teaching be carefully hidden. So I think that the winter solstice Christ birth predates the Gospels, since we see it in the Horus myth, but the Gospel authors chose to leave that as one of the secret ideas reserved for conveyance from mouth to ear.
Flann 5 wrote:
So there are conspiracies in academia against mythicists by N.T. scholars, classical historians,and Egyptologists!
This is not a matter of conspiracy, which is just a term of abuse which you maliciously inject into the conversation. That is like saying that Newtonian scientists a hundred years ago were in conspiracy against Einstein, where the reality is that they just did not understand the new ideas and wished to preserve their own obsolete paradigm. Kuhn’s theory of paradigm shift does not accuse adherents of old paradigms of conspiracy but rather accounts for their resistance as a natural conservative reaction against new and surprising ideas.
Flann 5 wrote:

N.T. scholars are not all Christian conservatives but include many agnostics and atheists like Ehrman. The very contentions between the Conservative and Liberal scholars on issues like the dating of the gospels and Acts, should be enough to tell you that. It's frankly absurd to say that Egyptologists, Classical historians and liberal N.T. scholars are the slightest bit concerned about defending against Docetism.
Docetism is the belief that Jesus only seemed to appear in the flesh. It was rejected as heresy as early as the letters of John. Exactly what “seemed” means is actually quite a complex story, and if Docetism involves Christ Myth Theory then these conventional scholars could be expected to react negatively, given the extreme hostility of the Christian church to the assertion that Jesus was fabricated.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
Robert Tulip wrote:
Docetism is the belief that Jesus only seemed to appear in the flesh. It was rejected as heresy as early as the letters of John. Exactly what “seemed” means is actually quite a complex story, and if Docetism involves Christ Myth Theory then these conventional scholars could be expected to react negatively, given the extreme hostility of the Christian church to the assertion that Jesus was fabricated.

Docetism shouldn't be taken as evidence that Christ Myth theory had roots in the Mediterranean world of 2,000 years ago. CMT is distinctly modern, something which I believe even Richard Carrier concedes. There is no good evidence from the period for a belief that Jesus was a made-up character. Even Roman polemic writers who despised Christians never advanced that claim. If anything, docetism emphasizes the existence of Jesus by constituting an argument about the particular nature of that existence. Asserting that his body was not really there, as one variety of docetism has it, is very different from saying that he could have been known by no one, because no such identity existed.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
Robert Tulip wrote:
Flann 5 wrote:
I certainly don't claim to be an expert in Egyptology or it's religions and myths and am reliant on professional scholars and Egyptologists in relation to these claims. They don't agree with Massey and Murdock on their claims but refute them. You are entitled to rely on Massey if you want to.


No, you are incorrectly using the term “refute”. The claims of Massey and Murdock have not been refuted, but have been distorted, ignored and denied. This is a typical syndrome in cultural politics where unacceptable research is marginalised. It is a fallacy to assume that traditional authorities are correct and that there is no need to analyse the evidence for new claims.


Hi Robert. In the article I linked earlier various contemporary scholars of Egyptology were questioned on these claims and disagreed with them, from their knowledge of these things. I'll leave it at that as we just don't agree on this.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Flann 5 wrote:

Mary was not a perpetual virgin and this was a later development in Catholicism which developed the cult of Mary and shows real signs of pagan influences.
The Christian primary sources are the old and new testaments where we find that Jesus had brothers and sisters and that Mary was married to Joseph.
It's preposterous and false to claim she was a perpetual virgin.


Now you are just using your inerrant Christian assumptions and prejudices against pagan myth. Those methods have no value in this debate since it is precisely those methods which Murdock’s findings challenge. You cannot assume Jesus existed in order to prove Jesus existed. That is the fallacy called begging the question.


My point is that it's evident from the gospel accounts that Mary is not portrayed as a perpetual virgin,not withstanding pagan beliefs about such things, or later claims to this effect.

As I've said Carrier's claim that the gospels are of the genre of myth are strongly disputed by scholars like Burridge and Bauckham.

So his dismissal of James as the brother of Jesus in the gospels as myth is questionable, and particularly in view of Paul,Josephus and other's confirmations of this.

The evidences supporting an early date for Acts and therefore the gospels also are further problems for Carrier's thesis and mythicism generally.If these are early then eyewitness testimony is relevant and all fabrications are subject to immediate and fatal
refutation by early contemporaries.
It's interesting the sheer variety of attempts to explain Jesus' life and the rise of Christianity. Oddly, Bart Ehrman is often little more than a hairsbreadth away from the mythicists and even Carrier in term of his arguments.

He explains the post death appearances of Christ as real but psychologically induced this being a variant on Carrier's hallucinations theory.
He like the mythicists, uses the Apollonius of Tyana story to try to undermine the historicity of the gospel accounts while still trying to assert the historicity of Jesus!
He seems persuasive and trades on his reputation as an N.T. scholar and textual critic which he is.

However, he sensationalizes and exaggerates the problems in his view of textual transmission and reliability, and has to rein them in when challenged by an equally well qualified textual critic like Dan Wallace.

http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2 ... und-three/

Robert is right in identifying the vituperation often expressed on these issues which seem more like battles of ego's than scholarly debate at times.
David Marshall get's a bit heated here but he has some valid criticisms to make about Ehrman's use of Apollonius of Tyana.
http://www.christthetao.blogspot.ie/201 ... dents.html

Bart explains the early belief in the divinity of Christ as stemming from their psychologically induced visions of him and their then supposing his resurrection and deification.
He uses as a proof text, Paul's writing in Romans 1 of Jesus being appointed/declared the son of God by the resurrection from the dead.
The following response may seem rather tedious to most people, but a close examination of Ehrman's thesis highlights the flaws in his arguments and even scholarly ineptitude,dare I say.
http://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/CostaT01.pdf

Finally, he ducks the problem of having to explain the empty tomb by relying on questionable information about crucifixion and burial in Jerusalem in Jesus' time,contrary to the known evidence about this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC1GyMXDfzM

Many are impressed by Bart Ehrman's arguments but these too need to be examined and questioned.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
DWill wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
Docetism is the belief that Jesus only seemed to appear in the flesh. It was rejected as heresy as early as the letters of John. Exactly what “seemed” means is actually quite a complex story, and if Docetism involves Christ Myth Theory then these conventional scholars could be expected to react negatively, given the extreme hostility of the Christian church to the assertion that Jesus was fabricated.

Docetism shouldn't be taken as evidence that Christ Myth theory had roots in the Mediterranean world of 2,000 years ago.
DWill, I am intrigued that you advance these opinions, which I utterly reject. I have repeated my comments above that you quoted, because they begin the task of showing your mistakes. The Docetist heresy, the idea that Jesus Christ seemed to exist in the flesh, can have a range of conflicting meanings, for example as to whether the fleshly Jesus was illusion or imagination or parable. There is a basic clash between the theory of Jesus as hallucination and the astrotheology hypothesis of Gnostic origin of Christianity within a secret mystery school of astronomer priests, with the Historical Jesus meme only evolving subsequently. And yet both involve the idea that Jesus only ‘seemed’ to exist in the flesh.

Taking the theme of this thread, astrotheology, the idea that the Christ Myth evolved from syncretism between the Horus myth and various other Sun God traditions, requires ancient Christ Myth Theory, because it postulates that Jesus did not actually exist and was invented. If Jesus did not exist then Christ Myth Theory was ancient, by definition.

The overall problem here is to bring Bayesian Logic to bear on the available evidence, to ask how likely the available facts would be against various possible antecedents. My sense is that a mythical Christ as a Common Era revision of the Horus Myth integrated with Jewish and Greek ideas stacks up well against the facts.
DWill wrote:
CMT is distinctly modern, something which I believe even Richard Carrier concedes.
No, that is absurd, and I have never encountered such an absurd idea in reading Carrier. For you to assert that Christ Myth Theory is modern entirely begs the question of whether it may be true, since if Christ myth theory is entirely modern then Jesus Christ must have actually existed as a real individual. There is no logical middle ground. If Christ did not exist then he was invented and those who invented him knew they did.
DWill wrote:
There is no good evidence from the period for a belief that Jesus was a made-up character.
My comment that you quoted above directly refutes your assertion here. The Epistles of John say there are people who did not believe that Jesus Christ came in the flesh.
DWill wrote:
Even Roman polemic writers who despised Christians never advanced that claim.
You have no evidence for that claim. Writings such as those of Celsus are lost, in all probability precisely because they discussed the invention of Jesus, an idea that became a capital crime for a thousand years.
DWill wrote:
If anything, docetism emphasizes the existence of Jesus by constituting an argument about the particular nature of that existence.
Yes, but the nature of that existence for Docetism is imaginary. It is a bit like in mathematics, where some people will say only real numbers are real, and others will point out that imaginary numbers are real because they are necessary in engineering.
DWill wrote:
Asserting that his body was not really there, as one variety of docetism has it, is very different from saying that he could have been known by no one, because no such identity existed.
It is useful to read the wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docetism to get a handle on these complex questions.

Thanks for introducing these problems, which are far from easy.


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 Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
"Here's a video clip of modern Egyptologist Dr. Bojana Mojsov admitting parallels between Osiris &/or Horus with Jesus. And, at 5:30 you'll see a stone carving of Isis as she hovers over Osiris in the form of a bird to receive the divine seed (notice there's no 'member') of Osiris. Mojsov then says, "It's a miraculous birth of the savior child."

"Isis came to be worshipped as the Primordial Virgin and their child as the Savior of the World."
- Egyptologist, Dr. Bojana Mojsov "Osiris Death and Afterlife of a God", on page xii

"The miraculous birth of Jesus could be viewed as analogous to that of Horus, whom Isis conceived posthumously from Osiris, and Mary was closely connected with Isis by many other shared characteristics."
- Renowned Egyptologist Dr. Erik Hornung

"...it is not improbable that even early Christian texts were influenced by ideas and images from the New Kingdom religious books."
- Renowned Egyptologist Dr. Erik Hornung

"The influence of Egyptian religion on posterity is mainly felt through Christianity and its antecedents."
- Egyptologist, Dr. Siegfried Morenz, director of the Institute of Egyptology at the University of Leipzig

"In this picture we have the Annunciation, the Conception, the Birth, and the Adoration, as described in the First and Second Chapters of Luke's Gospel; and as we have historical assurance that the chapters in Matthew's Gospel which contain the Miraculous Birth of Jesus are an after addition not in the earliest manuscripts, it seems probable that these two poetical chapters in Luke may also be unhistorical, and be borrowed from the Egyptian accounts of the miraculous birth of their kings."
- Dr. Samuel C. Sharpe, highly respected Egyptologist and translator of the Bible

Even more honest Christian scholars concede:

"...Christian scholars over the centuries have admitted that ... "there are parallels between the Mysteries and Christianity"1 and that "the miracle stories of the Gospels do in fact parallel literary forms found in pagan and Jewish miracle stories," 2 "...According to Form Criticism the Gospels are more like folklore and myth than historical fact."3

1. Metzger, HLS, 8.
2. Meier, II, 536.
3. Geisler, CA, 320.
- Who Was Jesus? page 259

Here's what non-biased scholars say about Jesus:

"The only definite account of his life and teachings is contained in the four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All other historical records of the time are silent about him. The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations; in Jewish writings there is no report about Jesus that has historical value. Some scholars have even gone so far as to hold that the entire Jesus story is a myth."

- The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

Rabbi: Did Jesus actually exist?

The Truth about Judeo-Christianity

Rebuttal to Dr. Chris Forbes concerning 'Zeitgeist, Part 1'

Osiris: Pagan Origins of Christianity




Bart Ehrman: Gospels not written by eyewitnesses, no Jesus in historical record



Jesus Christ, Sun of Righteousness



The idea that there exists no credible primary source evidence that Christianity was heavily influenced by the Egyptian religion comes from those who have an agenda and/or have never studied the subject. It's time for Flann 5 to come out of the closet and finally admit that Flann 5 has never actually read a single book by Acharya S/Murdock; even the book this thread is about Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection, like so many other critics who think they're experts. Flann 5 has omitted many credible rebuttals and as I and others have pointed out he repeats the same arguments even after they've been thoroughly annihilated. Flann 5 needs to just start his own thread so he can post all the JP holding/tekton garbage and other apologist crap all he wants - here in this thread Flann 5's posts here have been demonstrated repeatedly to offer unreliable sources and mere trolling that absolutely does not improve the discussion, in fact it brings it down to the scum off the bottom of the barrel just like we always expect from JP Holding & company. Trolls And Other Disrupters : A Pragmatist’s Guide To Moderating Online Freethought Groups

Flann 5 insists on merely regurgitating false information from the net about Gerald Massey by others who also have no idea what they're talking about. The fact is that Gerald Massey was very heavily peer-reviewed by the top Egyptologists and other scholars of his day. A factoid that people like Flann 5 insist on omitting. Again, most of Massey's work has been substantiated by modern Egyptologists independently. If you read "Christ in Egypt" you'd already know that - but Flann 5 and other bigoted trolls have to omit these facts: Who Is Gerald Massey?


ISIS IS A VIRGIN MOTHER!!!

Mythicism and the Ph.D.: A Brief History

Evemerist vs. Mythicist Position

It's too bad Acharya is no longer alive to defend herself from the trash and malicious smears by trolls: Acharya S/D.M. Murdock Memoriam

"Your scholarship is relentless! ...the research conducted by D.M. Murdock concerning the myth of Jesus Christ is certainly both valuable and worthy of consideration."

- Dr. Ken Feder, a very highly respected Professor of Archaeology. Dr. Feder's own book's are used to teach archaeology classes and his latest edition cites Acharya/Murdock specifically due to the fact that she is reliable and does have a lot to offer.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
Hi FTL, thanks again for dropping by to booktalk and posting this important material.

I am really looking forward to watching the video you have provided of the Egyptologist analysis of the relation between Egyptian myth and Christianity. Prima facie these links are expected and obvious, as Massey and Acharya abundantly proved. With trolls like Flann it is best to just ignore their comments unless there is something constructive. People who lack scientific method and have an evangelical fundamentalist creationist agenda are bound to just preach nonsense anyway.

I really miss Acharya. She really sacrificed a lot for her vision, including her health, since she lacked the funds to do preventive work on her teeth and other tests which would have prevented her untimely death. The morons who criticize her have much to answer for. She should have been a professor and a national figure, but instead these bigots cast her into the outer darkness. It all shows how religious studies is a field that is traumatised by conventional Christian fundamentalist myths which are just untrue, but which are maintained passionately by zealots whose opinions belong in the dark ages. Acharya brought light to the world, but as Saint John says at 1:5, people prefer darkness to the light of reason and evidence.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
FTL99 wrote:
"Here's a video clip of modern Egyptologist Dr. Bojana Mojsov admitting parallels between Osiris &/or Horus with Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZmvBzBpt14


Having watched this short piece, my view is that it helps uncover some traumatic taboos in human psychology regarding the relationship between science and religion. Academics consider that their scientific scholarly reputation requires complete disdain for magical supernatural thinking, as part of upholding intellectual standards of rigorous method and scholarship. One unfortunate and rather illogical result of this outlook is an incoherent approach to the topic of comparative religion.

Archaeologists, it seems to me, tend to lump together comparative religious analysis under the heading of unfounded speculation. They also tend to have a cultural relativist view, rejecting on principle the comparison between different cultures against a common standard. Another factor in the mix when it comes to Egypt is the strong traditional cultural influence of conventional Christianity with its demonising of Egypt as symbol of the corruption of the flesh.

So, against all these factors, the idea that Christianity evolved from Egyptian myth is automatically rejected by mainstream Egyptology with extreme prejudice, as foolish and impossible.

You will find that people who value their academic reputation will not even consider this video, since to do so would be to commit what George Orwell perspicaciously described as ‘thoughtcrime’, something to be avoided at all costs by the method Orwell called 'crimestop', which identifies heretical lines of thought and assiduously avoids examining their implications. For conventional Egyptology, analysing the memetic connection between Osiris and Jesus is a thoughtcrime, which in former days posed the high risk of incurring the wrath of the Christian church. Now that the church is falling into disrepute, we can expect that this important material will get more of a hearing.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
Hi Robert, thanks for your comments ... I always appreciate your thoughts and analyses on these important issues. You have a broad understanding of academia as well as Acharya's work and it has been a big help in pointing out the flaws in academia and arguments by Acharya's critics. The loss of Acharya is a devastating blow to the case for mythicism as she could do what none of the other mythicists alive today could or are even willing to do (thanks to all the extreme criticism as you point out) and that is simply to investigate and analyze and trace back the origins of religious concepts and their relationship to the heavens ie the sun, moon, planets, stars, constellations and milky way etc. It has always been an epic failure on the part of academia to omit and actively suppress this investigation as it really is suppression by omission: Mythicism and the Ph.D.: A Brief History

I love this article by Acharya and it was one of her last: Star Worship of the Ancient Israelites

These are related but independent:

Zodiacs on the Floor of Synagogues

2,750-year-old solar-aligned temple discovered in Israel

Astrotheology of the Ancients

That video is a clip from the documentary, "The Hidden Story of Jesus" by Robert Beckford:

Here's another clip: Mithras: Pagan Origins of Christianity





Now that Acharya is gone, I'd like to find a way in the future to be able to offer scholarships to those who utilize Acharya's work and pursue the case for mythicism in college and hopefully work towards a new Department of Astrotheological and Mythological Studies that focuses on the origins of religious concepts and their relationship to the heavens - the giant elephant in the room ignored by academia. It really is an Occam's razor explanation for so many of our oldest religious traditions and beliefs. This knowledge has the power to neutralize religious fundamentalism and bigotry around the world when the entire world realizes how religion is related to the stars as well as each other in so many ways ie all the borrowing or syncretism. The knowledge and understanding of mythicism makes the world a better place.

P.S. Hanging in there; please continue your support


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Robert Tulip, youkrst
Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:55 am
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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: The Mythicist Position
FTL99 wrote:
Hi Robert, thanks for your comments ... I always appreciate your thoughts and analyses on these important issues.
Hi FTL, thanks. Since I first read Acharya’s work, beginning with The Christ Conspiracy, it has not ceased to amaze me how what you call “these important issues” are subject to scorn and mockery from both scientific and religious people, who really should know better, and who obviously have personal blockages that destroy their capacity for objective study of the evolution of religion. It is very clear and obvious, as Massey and Dupuis proved two hundred years ago, that Christianity evolved in large part from Egyptian myth. But this observation is unacceptable on principle to both science and religion, because it requires respect for myth as a framework of meaning.
FTL99 wrote:
You have a broad understanding of academia as well as Acharya's work and it has been a big help in pointing out the flaws in academia and arguments by Acharya's critics.
In my family context, critical spirituality was just how we thought. So it is immensely surprising to me to encounter dogmatism that is incapable of approaching religion in a scientific and rational way. Such dogmatism exists within supposedly rational circles, if not quite as much as among the adherents of religious myth.
FTL99 wrote:
The loss of Acharya is a devastating blow to the case for mythicism as she could do what none of the other mythicists alive today could or are even willing to do (thanks to all the extreme criticism as you point out) and that is simply to investigate and analyze and trace back the origins of religious concepts and their relationship to the heavens ie the sun, moon, planets, stars, constellations and milky way etc.
I think, FTL, that it is important to see Acharya’s work as a valuable foundation for the future, something that continues to live in her writing and in the work of those who discuss her research. Perhaps Acharya was not able to cut through into the mass culture because the zeitgeist was not ready. But these ideas steadily percolate through the culture, such that in a few decades the things for which Acharya was attacked will be seen as obvious universally recognised scientific observations.
FTL99 wrote:
It has always been an epic failure on the part of academia to omit and actively suppress this investigation as it really is suppression by omission: Mythicism and the Ph.D.: A Brief History
To understand this problem of academic prejudice I think it is really valuable to contrast the social reception of Charles Darwin and Gerald Massey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Massey in Victorian England. Darwin’s demolition of the Christian myth of creation fell on the fertile soil of the interest of biologists in coherent evidence, providing a valuable basis for the rational empiricism of empire. But Massey lacked any such comparable political constituency, since his ideas destroyed the missionary story of western superiority and so were highly inconvenient, alleging that those the empire saw as inferior were in fact superior. That context is explored at length in Black Athena https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Athena . Acharya’s vision of comparative religious evolution is highly complex and counter-cultural, easy to attack with the simplistic nonsense of pulpit evangelism, and difficult to reconcile with a vision of how religion could or should evolve today to accept the massively corrupt and fraudulent fantasy at the heart of Christian origins, and how a redemptive message might yet be salvaged from the wreckage of this fantasy. These are academic problems in the history of ideas and cultural evolution, topics that require high interdisciplinary scholarship of which Acharya was a great exponent.
FTL99 wrote:
I love this article by Acharya and it was one of her last: Star Worship of the Ancient Israelites
Yes it is a great article. One area that I suspect Acharya could have worked on more if she had lived is Jewish mysticism. There is a vast body of secretive material, ranging from the Talmud through to kabala, which has strong cultural roots but is very difficult to appraise.
FTL99 wrote:
Now that Acharya is gone, I'd like to find a way in the future to be able to offer scholarships to those who utilize Acharya's work and pursue the case for mythicism in college and hopefully work towards a new Department of Astrotheological and Mythological Studies that focuses on the origins of religious concepts and their relationship to the heavens - the giant elephant in the room ignored by academia.
That is a tough call. I think it is more likely that independent scholars without institutional affiliation will promote debate about astrotheology, much as Acharya has done.
FTL99 wrote:
It really is an Occam's razor explanation for so many of our oldest religious traditions and beliefs.
Yes, the relation between myth and nature has a parsimonious elegance which is obvious to those who are not blinded by prejudice. The whole relation between the seasons and the Gospel myth is very simple, but is rejected because it proves that the Christian idea of salvation is symbolic not literal.
FTL99 wrote:
This knowledge has the power to neutralize religious fundamentalism and bigotry around the world when the entire world realizes how religion is related to the stars as well as each other in so many ways ie all the borrowing or syncretism.
That worthy goal of neutralising error has to begin with a vision of something better to put in the place of error. That to my view is the failure of atheism, that it lacks any replacement for the social function of religion.
FTL99 wrote:
The knowledge and understanding of mythicism makes the world a better place.
Yes, but the challenge is to shift mythicism from the shadows into the light, to open public dialogue and debate about how and why religion has become fixated on fantasies, and how those fantasies could contain nuggets of authentic wisdom concealed among the dross. For example, making the world a better place requires sharing a vision of ethical purpose, but it seems to me that the various critiques of the legacy theories of faith remain very fragmentary and contested, notably on the core problem of how and why the story of Jesus arose. Thanks again, sorry to hear you have not been well, best wishes.


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