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On 1/28/2021 at 6:44 AM, webmdave said:

 

[Linking imagination and mathematics] is a ridiculous and meaningless statement. 

 ·       Your opinion is entirely legitimate and is in fact the dominant view in much philosophy of science and analytical philosophy. However, there is also a highly scholarly counterview within academic philosophy, holding that the relationship between transcendental imagination and higher mathematics is close.

·       This field goes back to the philosopher Immanuel Kant, whom the schools of thought that support your view tend to regard rather unfairly as a proponent of word salad. 

·       Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has an excellent online article on Kant’s Philosophy of Mathematics, including his analysis of transcendental imagination.  This article illustrates just how influential and rigorous Kant's line of thinking is. 

·       The article also mentions that the leading analytical philosophers Bertrand Russell and Rudolph Carnap rejected Kant’s views as obsolete and irrelevant, supporting your suggestion that my comment is ridiculous and meaningless.  But the article provides a good critique of the Russell/Carnap line, explaining the validity in Kant’s reasoning.

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On 1/28/2021 at 6:44 AM, webmdave said:

If you honestly believe magic and science have anything in common

I don't think I have suggested magic and science have anything in common.

 

In general, science is right and magic is wrong, with the only similarity that both contain efforts to explain the world.  

 

I did make the point that modern science grew out of Renaissance mysticism.  That is a factual historical observation, albeit one that is often viewed with some disdain.

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On 1/27/2021 at 12:19 AM, Robert_Tulip said:

I find that there are three conflicting conventional reactions, based on whether people's viewpoint is based on science, religion or New Age beliefs.  Each of these schools of thought has strong bigotry about the other two, whereas I am trying to integrate all three...

 

Perhaps you are unintentially suggesting magic and science have commonality, but by labeling science, religion (magical thinking) and New Age (magical thinking) as three conflicting "schools of thought" and using the phrase "bigotry about the other two," then finishing off with "integrating all three," you appear to be  suggesting all three perspectives deserve equal respect as if each is an equally valid understanding of reality. I posit that it is not "bigotry" to reject magical thinking. 

 

Since you seem open to critique, as a general rule I prefer clear, succient writing. Excessive wordiness can be, in my opinion, a hindrance to achieving  clarity and retaining reader interest. 

 

With respect: This Could Have Been Shorter

 

 

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On 1/29/2021 at 9:29 PM, webmdave said:

 

Perhaps you are unintentially suggesting magic and science have commonality, but by labeling science, religion (magical thinking) and New Age (magical thinking) as three conflicting "schools of thought" and using the phrase "bigotry about the other two," then finishing off with "integrating all three," you appear to be  suggesting all three perspectives deserve equal respect as if each is an equally valid understanding of reality. I posit that it is not "bigotry" to reject magical thinking. 

 

Since you seem open to critique, as a general rule I prefer clear, succient writing. Excessive wordiness can be, in my opinion, a hindrance to achieving  clarity and retaining reader interest. 

 

With respect: This Could Have Been Shorter

Sorry to give that impression of equal validity.  Noting Pascal’s warning that you link, I apologise if this reply is on the long side, and thank anyone with the interest to read it.

 

You are right that my calling religion and New Age thinking 'schools of thought' wrongly inflates their credibility, although I do consider that both contain important neglected wisdom, alongside spurious magical views.  As generally practiced, these magical worldviews are hostile toward science because sound method demonstrates their beliefs are false, so their proponents react emotionally to facts.  Their imaginative fantasy contradicts scientific knowledge.

 

The hostility shown by scientific thinking toward magical worldviews is more complex, and you are right that bigotry is generally too strong a word, although it certainly does exist.  My comment you quote was only about the highly controversial assertion, known as astrotheology, that Jesus Christ was invented to personify the sun.  I consider this a scientific hypothesis, as the best explanation of the extant evidence. 

 

The complexity is that analysis of Christian origins can usefully integrate insights from religious and New Age perspectives rather than dismissing them out of hand. For example I view the New Age idea of zodiac ages as important for understanding the origins of Christian theology, providing a basis to reconstruct a coherent Gospel ethic.

 

Just because the popular worldviews involve magical thinking does not mean they do not also have legitimate insights. 

The issue that I described as bigotry is more that scientifically minded people just tend not to have interest in the topic of astrotheology, and often have strong prejudice against it. They quite reasonably associate it with magical thinking, which is so disreputable that people who rely on sound method regard it with contempt, and have no interest to engage with it. 

 

What I called an integrated world view, combining insights from science, religion and New Age thinking, should not treat magical and scientific ideas as equally valid, but should recognise that the astronomical (and astrological) framework of zodiac ages is a highly plausible candidate for the cosmology that was used to invent Jesus Christ. 

 

The integration I would hope to see takes the magic out of the magical worldviews except as poetic allegory. As Dawkins said in his wonderful book Unweaving The Rainbow, as followed up in The Magic of Reality, there is more ‘magic’ (or at least more imagination and poetry) in Newton’s explanation of the wave structure of light seen in a prism than in the poetry that derides science for its mechanistic analysis.

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I appreciate your clarification. 

 

Perhaps you would be willing to share how your idea of astrotheology compares with this description:

 

https://oxfordre.com/religion/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.001.0001/acrefore-9780199340378-e-10

 

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It's not the first description in the link, you have to read further down the occult description.

 

That's the general context that astrotheology applies to the mythicist movement. Which came in hot quoting a lot of Freemason's and 19th century esoteric types originally. And Robert's using it in the same context: 

 

 

This academic use of the term astrotheology is not the only one in contemporary parlance. The term also stimulates considerable excitement in the occult, among neo-pagans and New Age enthusiasts. For many astrotheology is tied to astrology, especially ancient astrology. Allegedly, looking to the skies inspired our ancestors to worship the impressive phenomena of nature, especially the stars and the planets. Today’s astrotheologians of this brand study ancient myths and petroglyphs to recover lost wisdom, wisdom allegedly suppressed by organized religions such as Christianity. Since pagan astrology preceded Christianity, and because Christianity incorporated the very astrotheology it rejected, Christianity is de facto a form of paganism. “The knowledge about astrotheology would reveal the Christians’ own religion to be Pagan in virtually every significant aspect, constituting a remake of the ancient religion.”3 Ancient astrology, according to this school of thought, is the basis and origin for all of our myths, legends, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, folklore, and holy scriptures. An undisguised anti-establishment tone accompanies this version of astrotheology, a tone common to the new religious movements of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

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10 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

It's not the first description in the link, you have to read further down the occult description.

 

So happens I did read the entire article, and although I appreciate your attempt to correct my apparent ignorance (which is undoubtedly vast), my question to Robert remains unanswered. With sincere respect, I would prefer to hear directly from Pegasus' mouth (so to speak) as apposed to Equuleus'.

 

🌠

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On 1/30/2021 at 10:04 PM, webmdave said:

I appreciate your clarification.   Perhaps you would be willing to share how your idea of astrotheology compares with this description:  https://oxfordre.com/religion/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.001.0001/acrefore-9780199340378-e-10

·       Certainly.  Thanks very much for sharing this interesting article on astrotheology.  I met the author, Dr Ted Peters, at a conference in Canberra in 2002 on Creation and Complexity, where I presented a talk on my ideas, under the title ‘Complexity and Christian Faith: A Fractal Theology’. 

·       The fractal method I explored in that paper sought to set theology in a scientific framework, addressing the creation and complexity theme. At that time I believed that Jesus Christ was historical, although one listener wrote that my paper was a challenge to drop all assumptions.  Re-reading it now, I would not defend all its claims, but they still present a useful starting point.  The main changes I would make are to shift the hypothesis of “special significance” of stars in paragraph 32ff to ground this cyclic resonance upon orbital climate science rather than the speculative astrological idea of progression, and to also put the analysis of theology more into a natural framework, excluding the supernatural themes that were still part of my thought at that time.

·       The philosophical questioning of presuppositions remains my approach, partly following the method of existential phenomenology that I explored in my Masters thesis.

·       It is interesting to look back at how my thought has evolved since then.  I have steadily tried to make my ideas more accessible and grounded, while staying true to my basic conviction that the world needs a series of interlinked paradigm shifts.

·       Ted Peters’ institution is the Center for Theology and Natural Science.  God is the elephant in the room for his research.  I find that theologians are intimidated by the church context, leading them to not adequately question supernatural premises, and to not really be willing to engage in broad dialogue, at least not with people who disagree with them.

·       That failure of dialogue is shown by Peters’ unfair dismissal in his article of the ideas of Acharya S as somehow “occult”, a wrong assumption that she took pains to disavow.  What we see here is a conventional Christian, apparently a believer in an interventionist personal God, who wishes to condemn and suppress any scholarly recognition that astrology was a key element of ancient Christian theology. 

·       The main issue in the astrotheology of Acharya S is not whether astrology is true in any sense, but to what extent the ancients believed it, to what extent the existence of that belief can be proved by sound scholarship, and how it influenced their thought, for example in the construction of the Gospels.  Peters appears to see such questions as anathema.

·       Peters suggests that “esoteric” teachings contrast with science because they are hidden while science is open.  In fact, the concealment of such teachings was mainly due to the oppressive Christian culture that condemned naturalistic spirituality as heresy. It is now possible to analyse so-called esoteric beliefs openly. A problem with such analysis is that the secrecy of systems of initiation into ancient mysteries made them highly vulnerable to attack by the orthodox, and led to the loss of much of their thinking.  When Christ said everything he told the public was a parable, while the truth was reserved for initiates, that twin track approach presumably included the secret that his own existence was entirely fictional. 

·       Peters goes on to claim that “astrotheological knowledge derives from astronomy and related sciences, which replaced astrology and rendered astrology a pre-modern form of pseudo-knowledge.”  Unfortunately, the “theology” part of Peters’ ‘astrotheology’ looks entirely unscientific, as it is based on the project of reconciling supernatural Christian dogma with science, without analysing how dogma arose with a symbolic rather than literal function.

·       He says “the academic astrotheologian works from within the circle of Christian theological discourse, not within pre-Christian pagan circles.”  This charmed “circle” of his academic guild only deals with speculative problems such as the theological implications of the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, ignoring the historical problem of the role of ancient astronomy in constructing ancient religion.  Explaining Christian origins is a big problem for the nature and ethics of contemporary Christianity, and requires much stronger analysis of their cosmology.

·       The astrotheology of Acharya S that I largely support is in my view entirely scientific, since its purpose is to understand how ancient people actually thought, rather than assuming the layers of deceit over the centuries of the church provide an accurate history.  It is true that Acharya made some mistakes by repeating views of older scholars, but the contention that these small errors affect her main ideas is in my view entirely wrong.

·       My own view of astrotheology is about understanding deep time, at the level of human existence, analysing how orbital cycles provide a real framework for the evolution of human culture, looking to a systematic explanation of the complex connections between our planet and the cosmos. 

·       The framework I suggest begins with the Milankovitch orbital cycles that explain our planetary climate as in large part a function of precession of the equinox.  My approach then looks to how these natural climate patterns have been expressed in culture, especially in the underlying symbolic ideas of Christianity.

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4 hours ago, Robert_Tulip said:

The astrotheology of Acharya S that I largely support is in my view entirely scientific, since its purpose is to understand how ancient people actually thought, rather than assuming the layers of deceit over the centuries of the church provide an accurate history.  It is true that Acharya made some mistakes by repeating views of older scholars, but the contention that these small errors affect her main ideas is in my view entirely wrong.

 

I never really saw a problem with those citations myself.

 

The Christ Conspiracy first edition took all kinds of heat for citing Albert Pike and similar. But the context of those citations was very clear. She wasn't promoting esotericism, she was clearly pointing out that esoteric's like Albert Pike, 33rd degree Freemason, understand books like Revelation to be an astrotheological allegory. As in ancient knowledge that passed down through the years which people like these high ranking Freemasons have been privy to all along.

 

Of course christians saw that as low hanging fruit for criticism. And some atheist types encountered it, quickly saw the usage of astrological symbolism, and quickly wanted nothing to do with any of it. 

 

It was only a mistake in that it confused people. She didn't see it that way when she wrote it. But she went to lengths in every previous book to make the same case and arguments with different source material. And focused on academics and left the esoterics alone after that. 

 

I rather enjoy seeing the citations to people like Albert Pike. I want to know what the Freemasons think of the book of Revelation. I want to understand every angle. And I prefer the opportunity to make my own sense out of all of the available evidences and information. Had she not cited Pike, I would be missing a piece of the puzzle, basically. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Robert_Tulip said:

·       Certainly.  Thanks very much for sharing this interesting article on astrotheology.  I met the author, Dr Ted Peters, at a conference in Canberra in 2002 on Creation and Complexity, where I presented a talk on my ideas, under the title ‘Complexity and Christian Faith: A Fractal Theology’. 

·       The fractal method I explored in that paper sought to set theology in a scientific framework, addressing the creation and complexity theme. At that time I believed that Jesus Christ was historical, although one listener wrote that my paper was a challenge to drop all assumptions.  Re-reading it now, I would not defend all its claims, but they still present a useful starting point.  The main changes I would make are to shift the hypothesis of “special significance” of stars in paragraph 32ff to ground this cyclic resonance upon orbital climate science rather than the speculative astrological idea of progression, and to also put the analysis of theology more into a natural framework, excluding the supernatural themes that were still part of my thought at that time.

·       The philosophical questioning of presuppositions remains my approach, partly following the method of existential phenomenology that I explored in my Masters thesis.

·       It is interesting to look back at how my thought has evolved since then.  I have steadily tried to make my ideas more accessible and grounded, while staying true to my basic conviction that the world needs a series of interlinked paradigm shifts.

·       Ted Peters’ institution is the Center for Theology and Natural Science.  God is the elephant in the room for his research.  I find that theologians are intimidated by the church context, leading them to not adequately question supernatural premises, and to not really be willing to engage in broad dialogue, at least not with people who disagree with them.

·       That failure of dialogue is shown by Peters’ unfair dismissal in his article of the ideas of Acharya S as somehow “occult”, a wrong assumption that she took pains to disavow.  What we see here is a conventional Christian, apparently a believer in an interventionist personal God, who wishes to condemn and suppress any scholarly recognition that astrology was a key element of ancient Christian theology. 

·       The main issue in the astrotheology of Acharya S is not whether astrology is true in any sense, but to what extent the ancients believed it, to what extent the existence of that belief can be proved by sound scholarship, and how it influenced their thought, for example in the construction of the Gospels.  Peters appears to see such questions as anathema.

·       Peters suggests that “esoteric” teachings contrast with science because they are hidden while science is open.  In fact, the concealment of such teachings was mainly due to the oppressive Christian culture that condemned naturalistic spirituality as heresy. It is now possible to analyse so-called esoteric beliefs openly. A problem with such analysis is that the secrecy of systems of initiation into ancient mysteries made them highly vulnerable to attack by the orthodox, and led to the loss of much of their thinking.  When Christ said everything he told the public was a parable, while the truth was reserved for initiates, that twin track approach presumably included the secret that his own existence was entirely fictional. 

·       Peters goes on to claim that “astrotheological knowledge derives from astronomy and related sciences, which replaced astrology and rendered astrology a pre-modern form of pseudo-knowledge.”  Unfortunately, the “theology” part of Peters’ ‘astrotheology’ looks entirely unscientific, as it is based on the project of reconciling supernatural Christian dogma with science, without analysing how dogma arose with a symbolic rather than literal function.

·       He says “the academic astrotheologian works from within the circle of Christian theological discourse, not within pre-Christian pagan circles.”  This charmed “circle” of his academic guild only deals with speculative problems such as the theological implications of the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, ignoring the historical problem of the role of ancient astronomy in constructing ancient religion.  Explaining Christian origins is a big problem for the nature and ethics of contemporary Christianity, and requires much stronger analysis of their cosmology.

·       The astrotheology of Acharya S that I largely support is in my view entirely scientific, since its purpose is to understand how ancient people actually thought, rather than assuming the layers of deceit over the centuries of the church provide an accurate history.  It is true that Acharya made some mistakes by repeating views of older scholars, but the contention that these small errors affect her main ideas is in my view entirely wrong.

·       My own view of astrotheology is about understanding deep time, at the level of human existence, analysing how orbital cycles provide a real framework for the evolution of human culture, looking to a systematic explanation of the complex connections between our planet and the cosmos. 

·       The framework I suggest begins with the Milankovitch orbital cycles that explain our planetary climate as in large part a function of precession of the equinox.  My approach then looks to how these natural climate patterns have been expressed in culture, especially in the underlying symbolic ideas of Christianity.

 

Thanks, Robert. Now I understand where you are coming from. 

 

Regards,

 

Dave

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51 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

 

I never really saw a problem with those citations myself.

 

The Christ Conspiracy first edition took all kinds of heat for citing Albert Pike and similar. But the context of those citations was very clear. She wasn't promoting esotericism, she was clearly pointing out that esoteric's like Albert Pike, 33rd degree Freemason, understand books like Revelation to be an astrotheological allegory. As in ancient knowledge that passed down through the years which people like these high ranking Freemasons have been privy to all along.

 

Of course christians saw that as low hanging fruit for criticism. And some atheist types encountered it, quickly saw the usage of astrological symbolism, and quickly wanted nothing to do with any of it. 

 

It was only a mistake in that it confused people. She didn't see it that way when she wrote it. But she went to lengths in every previous book to make the same case and arguments with different source material. And focused on academics and left the esoterics alone after that. 

 

I rather enjoy seeing the citations to people like Albert Pike. I want to know what the Freemasons think of the book of Revelation. I want to understand every angle. And I prefer the opportunity to make my own sense out of all of the available evidences and information. Had she not cited Pike, I would be missing a piece of the puzzle, basically. 

 

I actually prefer Robert M. Price's approach to the topic over to Murdock's, but as the saying goes,  à chacun le sien. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, webmdave said:

 

I actually prefer Robert M. Price's approach to the topic over to Murdock's, but as the saying goes,  à chacun le sien. 

 

 

 

Price was a member of her freethoughtnation forum. I used to run ideas by him from time to time. But I lost contact with Price after Murdock died and the forums were taken down. I like Price and I do like Carrier too, even though I was banned from Carriers blog just by association with being on Murdocks forum staff. Nevertheless, I think Carrier has come along. He was very new to it all back then. 

 

The one that stands out in my mind is when I took a second look at John 1:30 and ran it by Price to see what he thought. 

 

If Jesus is the piscean age avatar and John is used as the aquarian age avatar, then the verse does outline precession of the equinoxes.

 

Pisces comes after Aquarius during the annual procession. But during the great year, Pisces is the first world age and Aquarius comes after Pisces. 

 

So, 'he who comes after me is greater than me because he was before me.'

 

These things aren't very well provable or something that you can win an argument with of course, but Price seemed to think that it does make sense along side of the other precession content in the synoptic's. I found this because an apologist challenged me to find anything astrotheological in John. It seemed to be there right from the beginning. Which isn't surprising because John is the most mystical of the gospels and mysticism and astrotheological allegory tend to go hand in hand. 

 

After going over this with Price I decided to use it in the discussion / debate with the apologist. The apologist never accepted it, obviously. But I did rattle his cage somewhat because he was determined that there isn't anything remotely astrotheological in John for some reason. And then I went page by page pointing out what seemed astrotheological. 

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This is something of an aside, but I remember Price giving one hell of a review of Christ in Egypt. They had become very friendly after a rough start: 

 

http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/reviews/murdock_christ_egypt.htm

 

This is no doubt the best book by this controversial author. Any and every fault, real or perceived, that one might have detected in The Christ Conspiracy was already absent from Suns of God, and it is hard even to remember them while one is reading Christ in Egypt...

 

...First, I find it undeniable that, as Ignaz Goldziher (Mythology among the Hebrews) argued, following the lead of “solar mythologist” Max Müller (yes, the great historian of comparative religion and world scripture), many, many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets, and constellations. This theory is now ignored in favor of others more easily made into theology and sermons, but it has never been refuted, and I find the evidence overwhelming. And once you recognize these patterns in the Old Testament, you start noticing them, albeit to a lesser degree (?), in the New. Hercules’ twelve labors surely mark his progress, as the sun, through the houses of the Zodiac; why do Jesus circumambient twelve disciples not mean the same thing? And so on.

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Gotcha. 

 

I am still not too worried about finding the TRUTHTM in all this, as for me it makes no appreciable difference to the rational conclusion that this Jesus character was not the creator of the Universe. Whether his real life was simply buried under a mythology that quickly evolved, such  as Ernest Renan supposed or as Bart Erhman has posited, or if he never existed at all is irrelevant to me, as the person as he is understood and worshipped today certainly never existed. 

 

Anyway, just my opinion. Seems to me that some people can get as wrapped up in these "doctrines" post-Christianity nearly as much as when they were in Christianity. It's almost like a denominational thing. 

 

However, if the topic makes your life better, then by all means dive in! 

 

Respectfully, 


Dave

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On 2/2/2021 at 12:26 AM, Joshpantera said:

The Christ Conspiracy first edition took all kinds of heat for citing Albert Pike and similar. But the context of those citations was very clear. She wasn't promoting esotericism, she was clearly pointing out that esoteric's like Albert Pike, 33rd degree Freemason, understand books like Revelation to be an astrotheological allegory.

Josh, I greatly admire Acharya’s ideas as a starting point for the argument that the evolution of Christian origins were utterly different from received opinion. Acharya had some views that differ from mine, such as on my interest to work within the Christian church to reform it to cohere with science. Acharya’s hostility to Christianity largely rejected it as obsolete and irredeemable.  She sought to promote a broader religious perspective, whereas I see such a broader perspective as compatible with the essence of Christianity. 

 

Her description of the New Testament as “warmed over” versions of older myth seems to me to not adequately recognise the great integrating synthesis that Mark’s Gospel presents when read in its original allegorical meaning. And while Acharya recognised that precession was an important part of ancient religion, she did not see it having the central place that I propose for understanding how the authors of the Bible understood God.

 

As an independent scholar, Acharya followed her passionate vision all her life, living in poverty in order to work on highly controversial material with almost no support and few resources, and facing strident criticism, a situation that killed her far too young at 55.  Despite those barriers she managed to publish some superb ground-breaking books based on excellent original research and analysis, books that do not deserve snide inaccurate comments from the likes of Ted Peters. 

 

I edited the second edition of her first book The Christ Conspiracy with Bob Price and NW Barker. In her introduction to the second edition written before her death, Acharya explained the need for a second edition to take into account further research since original publication in 1999. There were a few statements that the editors left out of the second edition because the evidence for them was uncertain, and because the book was too long, but most of the book remains from the first edition. 

 

I think the broad academic failure to engage with her work shows that people cannot imagine that dominant opinions about the origin of Christianity could be so wrong. There is a strong Orwellian dimension to Christian history, reflecting the line from 1984 that whoever controls the present controls the past and the future.  Like Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, the church was able to rewrite the past enough to obliterate almost all evidence of its origins.  Orthodoxy has removed memory of how the Gospels were actually compiled, and Acharya is an important figure in uncovering this historic deception.

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2 hours ago, Robert_Tulip said:

facing strident criticism, a situation that killed her far too young at 55. 

 

I was under the impression Ms. Murdock died of cancers in her immune system and liver. 

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2 hours ago, Robert_Tulip said:

the church was able to rewrite the past enough to obliterate almost all evidence of its origins.  Orthodoxy has removed memory of how the Gospels were actually compiled

 

No offense, but I would need a bit more than an unsupported comparison with an allegorical novel followed by an anecdotal supposition in order to swallow another conspiracy theory. These days I generally ignore conspiracy theories, regardless  of how well they might help confirm my own biases. 

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52 minutes ago, webmdave said:

These days I generally ignore conspiracy theories, regardless  of how well they might help confirm my own biases. 

That's exactly what they want you to do.

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22 hours ago, webmdave said:

Anyway, just my opinion. Seems to me that some people can get as wrapped up in these "doctrines" post-Christianity nearly as much as when they were in Christianity. It's almost like a denominational thing. 

 

It is, or was at one point, like a denominational thing. Fierce internal battles between mythicist authors with differing views on how to theorize the possibility of a christianity without a fixed historical core. Fights about what direction to take arguments in. At one point people like Murdock, Price, and Carrier had what were like denominational followers. 

 

I stopped paying attention to the debates for the most part. Once I mapped out the only possible conclusion.

 

As to the historicity of jesus, it's impossible to successfully argue for or against. It's lost to time. Contemporary witness doesn't exist. And it's beyond being firmed up as knowable at this point. Unless new evidence presents itself. The church's historical evidences are late, non-contemporary, and can't prove their position.

 

Telescoping back from now trying to prove a mythical origin is even further removed from the contemporary period in question. And it doesn't seem possible to show whether a historical setting was mythologized with astrotheology or whether an astrotheological allegory was historized. 

 

That's what this all boils down to. It's an agnostic situation of neither side being able to know for sure. And it branches off into who thinks which direction is more probable. 

 

Do you agree with this summary of the landscape, Robert? 

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

That's exactly what they want you to do.

 

 

And who the hell are "they?" :49:

 

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15 minutes ago, webmdave said:

 

 

And who the hell are "they?" :49:

 

The Queen, the Vatican, the Gettys, the Rothschilds, and Colonel Sanders before he went tets-up. Oh, I hated the Colonel with is wee beady eyes! And that smug look on his face, "Oh, you're gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!"

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9 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

The Queen, the Vatican, the Gettys, the Rothschilds, and Colonel Sanders before he went tets-up. Oh, I hated the Colonel with is wee beady eyes! And that smug look on his face, "Oh, you're gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!"

 

I was thinking "they" would be US govenment leaders responsible for 9/11 and covering up all the UFO alien visitations. I need to revisit the Zietgeist movies.

 

 

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Just now, webmdave said:

 

I was thinking "they" would be US govenment leaders responsible for 9/11 and covering up all the UFO alien visitations. I need to revisit the Zietgeist movies.

 

 

Okay, Mulder.

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13 hours ago, webmdave said:

 

I was under the impression Ms. Murdock died of cancers in her immune system and liver. 

She said her breast cancer was caused by an untreated tooth abscess, after she could not afford the required treatment.  

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13 hours ago, webmdave said:

 

No offense, but I would need a bit more than an unsupported comparison with an allegorical novel followed by an anecdotal supposition in order to swallow another conspiracy theory. These days I generally ignore conspiracy theories, regardless  of how well they might help confirm my own biases. 

Good point.  However, I am not suggesting a conspiracy theory about Christian efforts to control the past.  The Edict of Thessalonika issued by Emperor Theodosius in 380 AD made promotion of all beliefs other than Nicene Christianity illegal in the Roman Empire.  There was nothing secretive or hidden about this suppression of heresy as a capital crime.  A good explanation of the results is at https://www.jesusneverexisted.com/theodosius.html

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“The world’s earliest totalitarianism – of Catholic Christianity – was inaugurated by Theodosius. …’ In short order, the Roman world was compelled to be Christian – on pain of death! … Theodosius issued fifteen edicts directed against heretics and pagans… [and] sanctioned the destruction of non-Christian temples and sanctuaries; the burning of heterodox writings; and the exile or execution of recalcitrant polytheists and all who refused to believe, or at least to profess, the truth. ... Sectarian Christians lost possession of their churches and were forbidden even to assemble together…. With an imperial edict, in 384 AD Theodosius made divination from the entrails of a chicken a crime of high treason which could be expiated only by the death penalty.

The result of these official imperial policies was that within the Christian church, a ‘monkish sieve’ evolved that systematically destroyed heretical ideas.  Possession or advocacy of heresy became a capital crime under Christendom for a thousand years.  Ancient libraries were systematically expunged of heretical literature, as proved by the finding of the Gnostic Gospels hidden in a jar in desert sand in southern Egypt in 1945, the only place where this major literature could survive the official suppression.  Keeping old books often required that they be copied laboriously by hand, so anything marked by the taint of heresy did not survive.  The extant literature is therefore a highly distorted selection of the original debates, with most heresy only surviving in the twisted attacks of dogmatic persecutors.   

 

As to whether all this constitutes “conspiracy”, I don’t suggest the church conspired to deliberately destroy material they knew to be true (as in the 1984 story).  Rather, centuries of indoctrination had convinced them that their orthodox beliefs were true, and that elimination of heresy was a good and proper activity.  It is worth noting that Acharya’s title “The Christ Conspiracy” was imposed on the book by her publisher.  In any event, rather than lumping Christian thought together with conspiracies, the point is to understand the entirely plausible and documented processes that have impoverished historical understanding of the intellectual situation of the ancient world. 

 

The situation now is like seeing an empty field, and trying to find the surviving traces of the rich forest that used to grow there.  Accusing people who are trying to describe the forest of engaging in conspiracy theory is an unproductive contribution.

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