Faith V Law (was Unposted quotes: 2002-2004 #6)
- Steve and Group,
1) "evolutionists" don't "say... only evolutionists can
understand the mysteries of science". They say evolution is so simple it
can and should be taught in schools. And there was no prerequisite that I
had to be an evolutionist to obtain a biology degree (which included all
distinctions in my evolution subjects); and
The fact is, the overwhelming majority of evolutionists believe that
their opponents don't understand true science. They only want
evolution to be taught in schools on the basis that it is taught as
unquestioned fact. Dawkins himself used the term "Nothing in Biology
Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution".
2) Christianity *does* teach that "The man without the Spirit does not
accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are
to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually
discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14).
A classic example is so-called "Bible contradictions" that
like Chris trot out. Most of them I can see the reconciliation almost
immediately without any effort but when I try to explain them to Chris and
his ilk, what I say gets rejected out of hand as "nonsense", etc,
confirms 1 Cor 2:14's "foolishness" Either because Chris, et al., don't
*want* to see the reconciliation or because they *cannot* see the
reconciliation, or both (since they are in the final analysis the same
It is an extremely dangerous position to dismiss all criticism of your
beliefs because you are convinced the critic is deluded or ignorant.
It is extremely arrogant to argue that all Christians are infallible
too. This line of "reasoning" (and I use the term loosely) is
indistinguishable from that of wacky cults (like Heaven's Gate), mad
despots (like Adolf Hitler) and evolutionists (like Richard Dawkins).
I understand that Steve is trying to wind down the debate, but I
demonstrated a fundamental and irresolvable Biblical contradiction in
my previous message that Steve has now chosen to ignore entirely on
the sole basis that he is a Christian (and therefore MUST be right)
and I am not (and therefore MUST be wrong).
CD>Mithras was born of a virgin, the "Mother of God" and remained
>celibate his entire life. Followers of Mithras believed in heaven andMost (if not all) of the above is simply *false* (Chris does not even cite
>hell. They believed that Mithras would purify them of sin and grant
>them eternal salvation would be theres in the next life. They drank
>wine ("drink, this is my blood") and ate bread ("eat, this is my
>body") as part of a eucharist ceremony. Sunday was the holy day, a day
>of bell ringing and prayer. They celebrated the birth of Mithras every
>year... on December 25th. Eggs were also very symbolic (probably not
>chocolate ones though). Before Mithras ascended to heaven to cherish
>the faithful from above, he held a Last Supper with his companions.
his sources) and similar claims have been refuted by me on CED (and on
one of the evolution-run lists I was on before CED). I haven't got time to
do it again (I am terminating CED in about 25 hours time).
It is a matter of historical fact that Mithraism existed before
Christianity and this is not controversial. For Steve to deny this is
the same as me denying that Jesus is an historical figure. If Steve
doesn't "want" to believe this or "cannot" believe this then nothing I
can say or do will change his mind (A good source of information on
the subject is available in "The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original
Jesus" a Pagan God?" By Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy).
But what I will do is say four things:
1) Leading classical historian Michael Grant (who is a non-Christian), has
dismissed as "hard to credit" that the first Christians (who were Jewish)
based their "story" about Jesus death and resurrection on "pagan
mythologies inventing fictitious dying and rising gods":
The first Christians weren't Jewish and Jesus was not a mythological
figure (although St Paul has successfully made him into one).
2) the only extant sources of Mithraism are post-Christianity. So it
more likely that the threatened pagan, syncretist mystery religions like
Mithraism imitated elements of Christianity than vice-versa;
Even if it were true that there are no extant sources of Mithraism
pre-Christianity, that wouldn't alter the fact that Mithraism as a
religion is older than Christianity. It would just mean there are no
extant sources. However, there are extant sources: scripture and
artefacts. Freke and Gandy detail these in the book mentioned above.
3) that some (not all-the Eastern Orthodox church didn't) branches of
Christianity *later* celebrated "December 25th" as Jesus' birthday and
adopted the pagan custom of Easter "Eggs" to celebrate Jesus'
is *irrelevant*. This is *not* in the Bible, which it would be if Chris'
Christ=Mithra version of the "Christ-Myth" theory was true.
Yet the New Testament recycles classic pagan mythologies by talking
about Jesus (as a God figure) dying for our sins and referring to God
as the Word and the Light of the World. The fact that Christianity can
so easily incorporate pagan mythology strongly suggests a common ancestor.
4) what all these Christ-myth theories (e.g. Christ=Mithra, Christ=Horus,
etc) theories don't explain is why *Christianity* won. If one of them was
the original (and which one was it?) and Christianity the counterfeit,
why is not Mithraism or Horusism(?) a world religion with nominally a
billion adherents, as Christianity is?
That's easy. Christianity won because it, and it alone, successfully
grafted itself onto Judaism. Therefore, Roman pagans all of a sudden
found that their religion could be traced back to Judaism, which *was*
the be all and end all of monotheistic religion at the time!) Judaism
gave Christianity a respectability that no other pagan myth had.