Essay talk:A discussion of the Christ myth hypothesis as presented in Zeitgeist

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Having not seen the film I'm not sure where you are going with this. Nevertheless, it would seem probable that the Christian myths were built on earlier pre-existing myths - are you suggesting this is not the case or that the links are over-sold? Or are you just pointing out apparent technical inaccuracies in the film? --BobSpring is sprung! 16:55, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

No. I'm not suggesting that Christianity was not built on earlier myths. That was more than likely the case. The problem is that the points presented in the film have hardly any basis in fact. For example, there are legitimate comparisons between Jesus and Dionysus, but the ones that appear in the film are based solely on psuedoarchaeology/egyptology and outdated 'fringe' material. Some of the points, such as Mithra being worshipped on a Sunday, are true. The majority of it is not. --Danfly (talk) 12:58, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't think it's too controversial to say that Zeitgeist is almost entirely horseshit. Scarlet A.pngsshole 17:55, 19 July 2010


I know it's not. The part about the virginity of Isis contradicts two rationalwiki articles though. That's the only part I expect to be debated on this page. Besides, the myth Christianity is mostly based on is called Judaism. It bothers me how popular the Jesus=Horus crap has become though. --Danfly (talk) 18:30, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Okay, I've skimmed a few things on the net to bring me up to speed, although not too much. I think the confusion looks like it arised because there are "multiple" Horuses. Notably, one known as "Shed" was also called "Savior" and seemed to have a few parallels with the whole "Baby Jesus" thing. The thing with such parallels, though, is whether or not these ideas actually were copied (or "evolved") from the originals or whether the same themes are strong enough to emerge in different situations independently (IMHO, of course). Scarlet A.pngsshole 18:39, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

I came across Shed and the 'saviour' part while I was blogging about this yesterday alright. I just didn't find that many similarities. Mind you, I only looked at the wikipedia article, which I linked to from the Horus article. I haven't looked very far into it myself. I'll see if I can find anything more substantial. --Danfly (talk) 18:46, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I only got as far as WP, although there was something on the BBC about it that might have been worth watching (it even had an opinion from an Egyptologist, who you'd expect to be able to comment fairly well on the subject). Other than that, I found a lot of sites that were pushing agendas, either pro or anti religion that said conflicting things, so nothing terribly reliable and mostly opinion. I suppose the degree of similarity would be what TV Tropes calls "your mileage may vary" (I'm wondering if RW needs an equivalent?) in that it's all opinion. It's difficult to prove or disprove conclusively that an idea was or wasn't "plagiarised" (we even get that today as so many musicians sue each other for plagiarism of what is just a catchy chord sequence that anyone could have cooked up) as some people see similarities, others don't. I certainly see the "savior" thing and a few others with Shed/Horus as one big similarity; but I think it's more to do with a powerful recurring theme than an outright clone of one religion by another. Scarlet A.pngsshole 19:05, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
EC. I must confess that I'm struggling to understand the importance of this. Because, in any event, it's all myth. If one myth was, or was not, influenced by another - what difference does it make in the end? Did the Christians invent some new bits? Probably. Did they take lots for other older myths? Obviously. As I understand it these myths tend to have multiple versions anyway which probably affect each other mutually, and getting back to the "original" fairy tale is probably impossible. But what difference does it make?--BobSpring is sprung! 19:12, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
It's important because people may be using faulty reasoning to reject a myth. And while I'm sure you'll turn around with a burden-of-proof type argument, there's no excuse for RW to not critically evaluate faulty reasoning, even if it supports the site's collective view. Scarlet A.pngsshole 19:35, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
We need good reasons to reject myths? Do we need reasons to regard myths as ... well ... myths? Scratchchin.gif A "myth" is by definition "mythical". --BobSpring is sprung! 21:04, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
No. I'm just saying that when people do go out of their way to disprove things they should use good reasons and good methodology. As I said, it doesn't matter if the conclusion is sympathetic to your views, if the reasoning is faulty or the facts or fraudulent then they should be examined critically and rejected just as much as faulty or fraudulent reasoning and facts that conclude otherwise. Scarlet A.pngsshole 21:09, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Obviously. But as I said I'm not sure of the actual importance or usefulness of deciding in which order prehistoric myths influenced one another. It's obviously interesting academically but I'm not sure of the real-world implications. The stories of the Brothers Grim were (as I understand it) based on earlier stories. And for those interested in the evolution of fairy stories this is no doubt very interesting. But they remain fairy stories.--BobSpring is sprung! 21:15, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

As an archaeologist I'm obviously incredibly biased, but I do see a value in studying the evolution of religion over time and, to me, finding the original fairy story is a worthwhile point. As small as the probability of finding the original may be, it doesn't render the attempt to find the original pointless. Furthermore, I am indeed very interested in the evolution of fairy stories. Understanding how they actually evolved has implications in our understandings of several fields, such as psychology, cognitive science, anthropology, evolutionary biology and even linguistics. Not to mention, I consider it very important to treat unsubstantiated claims with scepticism, regardless of whether or not I agree with their implications. --Danfly (talk) 09:32, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, what he said. It's interesting, at least for the sake of it, to find naturalistic explanations and origins for myths and legends. It doesn't mean you're, shock horror, debasing Glorious Atheism by entertaining the ideas as true. Scarlet A.pngsshole 10:24, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Sure, interesting for it's own sake of course.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:25, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Isis the virgin goddess[edit]

If you go back to the 19th century there was a lot talk about Isis being a virgin goddess:

"This is the virgin who, the learned librarian of Alexandria, Eratosthenes, says, was called Isis {Era- tosth., cap. ix), the/mother of the youthful Horus, or the sun." Lloyd, Jacob Youde William (1882) The history of the princes, the lords marcher, and the ancient nobility of Powys Fadog, and the ancient lords of Arwystli, Cedewen, and Meirionydd: Volume 2; Page 360)

"...centuries before the Christian era Isis was called 'the celestial virgin,' and still in 'the fourth century AD, 'the holy virgin,' later ' virgo deipara,' and in Arabia the child of Isis, Horus, the newborn sun," (Historic magazine and notes and queries 1895)

"This Isis, Plutarch says, is the chaste Minerva, who, without fearing to lose her title of virgin, says she is the mother of the sun." (1874 Anacalypsis; an attempt to draw aside the veil of the Saitic Isis

"In ancient Egypt the birthday of Horus, the virgin-born son of Isis, was celebrated at the time and in the manner in which we celebrate Christmas. " (1884, Locomotive engineers journal: Volume 18 - Page 648)

"And the religions equally differed, the Greek representing his deity as the Virgin Goddess Isis" (1852 The Quarterly journal of prophecy - Page 115)

Many more examples can be found.--BruceGrubb (talk) 10:26, 29 February 2012 (UTC)