Or, Never a Hobbit Around When You Need One
One can’t imagine the effect of a movie like Zeitgeist
* is having on true believers. (To say nothing of the book, 'The Grand Design
' by Stephen Hawking
.) The triumph of the theory of evolution
is one thing. It never seems to strike the literalists or fundamentalists as fatal. Perhaps they think heathen nonbelievers have been hiding dinosaur bones all over the world to discredit religion. Besides, the rising doubt among scholars of antiquity that such a person as Jesus Christ
actually existed must be disturbing to adherents who are sincerely interested in the truth.
We will forgo the difficulty with Jesus’ historicity
for the moment ** (although see here
); however, if we look at symptomatic Sun Gods
– we find some born in December of a virgin mother who had an annunciation from an supernatural being. The birth was accompanied by a bright star in the east which led the mighty and the humble to his adoration. He was a teacher at the age of reason, baptized by a holy man, executed and resurrected in the spring. Many virgin-conceived crucified-saviors can be found from antiquity. Many of them are born near the Winter Solstice and older than Christianity. These are Sun Gods, The Light of the Ages and The Son of God. A sun religion is depicted with crosses – the cross dividing the Zodiac
into the twelve constellations
with the number '12' being in prominence, as in the 12 apostles. With Christ, the passing of an age occurs with the procession of the equinoxes. Christ
heralds the coming of the Age of Pisces
, – the two fish – 1 AD to 2150. After Pisces comes The Age of Aquarius
. The symbol of fish in The New Testament
is ample. Christ’s first followers are fishermen, he miraculously feeds huge crowds with two fish and so forth.
You might be surprised, but some of this occurred by design. Academic philosophy
in a pathetic attempt to save supernatural reality turned its back on rationality
. This occurred post David Hume
after a wedge had been driven by him between nature
. Reason was soon considered an epistemological
device no better than instinct
or even faith
. By disallowing inductive knowledge
as valid, human reason
was greatly restricted from many areas; ethical, metaphysical, political, etc. The path this restriction took
was through Kant, Hegel, the three American Pragmatists, English Positivists, Continental Philosophers, notably the Phenomenologists, and especially, the ever popular Vienna Circle.
From that event over time, religion philosophically gained equal footing with reason, particularly in regards to issues of morality, faith and tradition. This incrementally allowed the resurgence of worldwide theology and fundamentalism
. The religionists quite aware of the declaration by many philosophers that reason and faith were two different, yet compatible ways of seeing reality and seeking truth, wasted no time. Nietzsche’s
haunting foreboding, “God is dead
!” turned out to be premature. Always the academic philosophers embraced the criticism of reason, a distrust of open societies and disdain for sensual inductive knowledge
has long been their romantic favorite, the idealist who first envisioned the philosophers in charge–the masses obliged to become beholding to these self-preoccupied elitists. They saw no conflict of interest. See also, Platonic Apologetics
This drama, like the Sun Gods one, appears to be one thing and yet is actually another: the Christ Myth endorses a platonic scorn of rational selfishness, individualism, science and pluralistic societies. Many of today’s thinkers accept the Christ Myth as characteristic of a Sun God phenomena, then embrace Christianity’s platitudes about morals, many of these bromides aren’t based in reason at all, but rather in tradition. Most are quite indefensible from any rational point of view, and in fact are pointedly irrational, where other preferable outlooks
"Today, American Protestants are below average in wealth, and being raised in an Evangelical or fundamentalist Protestant family is correlated with downward economic mobility." The Triple Package.
* Both the original Zeitgeist and Zeitgeist Addendum are Switch/No-Switch movies which take fascinating and interesting points of view and turn them into outlandish and irrational conspiracies. The Switch/No-Switch is like explaining a phenomena such as how The Federal Reserve manipulates debt to print money and set monetary policy for its own advantage – a viable theory worthy of consideration – and then covertly switches the theme to argue that a resource-based economy makes slaves of us all and a robotic technocracy would solve the problems. Could you imagine civilized man without a work ethic? Resources produced entirely with robots? A society without consumer restrictions? It would produce worse hedonistic monsters than the current consumer society has. What are they thinking? And what about their spooky Venus Fly Trap project? Perhaps it was supposed to be a utopian lark and I missed the point? One friend said to me, “What about TWC #7? That can’t be explained away.” Would you like some False Flags and Black Opts with that conspiracy? Some things even George Bush Junior can’t pull off. I mean either he’s a genius or an idiot. I shall leave it for others to decide. The National Institute of Standards and Technology investigators believe a combination of intense fire and severe structural damage contributed to the collapse of TWC #7 and that good enough for me.
** Many scholars of antiquity conclude that such a person as Jesus Christ actually existed, that he was publicly baptized and crucified by Pontius Pilate but agreement on little else is forthcoming. Statements by the Roman Historian Tacitus in 116 AD, in one of the last books he wrote, there is a non-Christian reference to Jesus Christ as opposed to the many Christian sources such as The Gospels or the Pauline letters. Nonetheless, 116 AD is over seven decades after ‘The Crucifixion’. With the historian Plutarch (46 -120 AD) who is an even closer contemporary of the alleged Jesus Christ figure and has many extant works, such a world-rending event as the Son of God arriving on planet earth is not ever mentioned. Unlike many historical figures from that time, such as Julius Caesar, there are absolutely no primary sources for Jesus Christ, not one. The skeptics' incredulity remains understandable. Christopher Hitchens was probably right when he said that the movement was started by some individual preacher (likely a Jewish apocalyptic prophet-messiah from Nazareth). It’s hard to believe that his name at the very beginning would have been Jesus Christ; nonetheless, maybe it was. The important thing here is, that a peace & love (i.e., the glad-tidings) proto sun-religion with many Jewish traditions and a few pagan rituals was over time radically altered by three commingling events: it’s conversion from a religion of resignation to one of (Messianic) resentment by St. Paul, the infusion of Platonism by St Augustine and the acculturative backdrop of Neoplatonism. Platonism defined the centuries of its birth in the Middle-East and Mediterranean, seeping by social osmosis -- through Jesus of Nazareth or otherwise -- into most of the early doctrines of Christianity. As it moved north to the heart of Empire, it became revolutionary; i.e., violent, much like Islam started as a religion of accommodation and tolerance in Mecca and transformed to a Jihad-Warrior Code in Medina. Christianity became a legal religion under Constantine (AD 272 -337) and a state religion under Theodosius (AD 347 - 395). No one that I've read argues against the historical fact that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are now, or were at times in the past, religions of intolerance and violence.