4/24/2003                                                                                       View Comments

Is Christianity based on pagan roots?

Original Article URL Here

This is a question that scares the crud out of most Christians. I, too, would have been angered and chilled by such words. Obviously it is utter nonsense. On the contrary though, if you really look with unbiased eyes (a major key to true enlightenment), and take into account the issue we just discussed, the lack of evidence concerning a 'physical' Christ, you will find amazing parallels with many ancient traditions. While it is entirely possible that a historical Jesus actually lived, it is also possible that a mythology could have arrived totally out of these earlier mythologies. Although we have very little evidence for a historical Jesus, we certainly have many accounts for the mythologies of the Middle East and Egypt during the first century and before that appear similar to the Christ savior story.

Remember that just before and during the first century, the Jews were prophesying about an upcoming Messiah based on Jewish scripture. Their beliefs influenced many of their followers. We know that powerful beliefs can create self-fulfilling prophesies, and surely this was just as true in ancient times. It was a popular vision expressed in Hebrew Scripture for the promise of the 'end times' with a savior to lead them to the promised land. Indeed, Roman records show executions of several would-be Messiahs, (but not a single record mentions a Jesus). It was widely thought that there could come a final war against the 'Sons of Darkness'.

This then could very well have served as the ignition and flame for the future growth of Christianity. This coupled with the pagan myths of the time give sufficient information about how such a religion could have formed. Many of the Hellenistic and pagan myths parallel so closely to the alleged Jesus that to ignore its similarities is to show indoctrinated, and biased views .

There have been dozens of similar savior stories that propagated the minds of humans long before the alleged life of Jesus. Virtually nothing about Jesus "the Christ" is original or new.

For example, the religion of Zoroaster was founded circa 628-551 BCE in ancient Persia and roused mankind in the need for hating a devil, the belief of a paradise, last judgment and resurrection of the dead. Mithraism, an offshoot of Zoroastrianism probably influenced early Christianity with their beliefs the most. The Magi described in the New Testament appear to be Zoroastrian priests. Note the word "paradise" came from the Persian pairidaeza. Other similarities between the Jesus story and other godmen such as Horus, Krshna, Mithras, Dionysus and Osiris are clearly illustrated below:

Horus
Horus and the Father are one
*Horus is the Father seen in the Son
*Horus, light of the world, represented by the symbolical eye, the sign of salvation.
*Horus was the way, the truth, the life by name and in person
*Horus baptized with water by Anup (Jesus baptized with water by John)
*Horus the Good Shepherd
*Horus as the Lamb (Jesus as the Lamb)
*Horus as the Lion (Jesus as the Lion)
*Horus identified with the Tat Cross (Jesus with the cross)
*The trinity of Atum the Father, Horus the Son, Ra the Holy Spirit
*Horus the avenger (Jesus who brings the sword)
*Horus the afflicted one
*Horus as life eternal
*Twelve followers of Hours as Har-Khutti (Jesus' 12 disciples)

Osiris-Dionysus
Egyptian/Greek godman (combined merely for the similarities of the 3)
*Osiris-dionysus is god made flesh, the savior 'son of god'
*his father is god and his mother is a mortal virgin
*he is born in a cave or humble cowshed on December 25 before 3 shepherds
*he offers his followers a chance to be born again through the rites of baptism
*he miraculously turns water to win in a marriage ceremony
*he rides triumphantly into town on a donkey while people wave palm leaves to honor him
*he dies at eastertime as a sacrifice for the sins of the world
*after his death he descends to hell, then on the third day he rises from the dead and ascends to heaven in glory
*his followers await his return as the judge during the last days
*his death and resurrection are celebrated by a ritual meal of bread and wine, which symbolizes his body and blood

Krshna, an incarnation of the hindu deity Vishnu
*was killed to atone for the sins of mankind
* was also the "full measure of the god-head" according to the Ramayana, ~300 years BCE
* was born miraculously by a virgin, his birth attended by shepherds and angels, according to the Bhagavad Gita and in accord with prophecy
* at birth was presented with frankincense and myrrh
* survived a command by Cansa, who ordered all the first born children to be put to death
* wrought many astounding miracles, including healing the sick, restoring the sight of the blind, casting out devils, raising the dead to life
* was baptised (ablution) in the river Ganges
* enabled his disciples to net large amounts of fish
* "transfigured" at a place called Madura
* spoke in parables
* taught that you should forgive your enemies, avoid sexual thoughts, love your neighbor, and condemn material wealth
* ascended back to Heaven in the sight of all men

Mithras
According to the Book of Origins, the Canon of the Mithrasic faith, "the universe was created through Mithras, and Mithras was born into the world to save humanity from the attacks of the evil one, Ahriman, who was opposed to human beings. Mithras released the goodness Ahriman had stolen from humanity, and then died to the world, going to the underworld to destroy the servants of Ahriman and bind Ahriman there forever. Then He returned to the earth to teach humanity His commandments and begin Mysteries and Rites which would help humans remember His acts on our behalf. Because of His actions, we can choose good without the overwhelming power of evil, even though evil's influence can still seem powerful because our minds believe it is. Because of His teachings, we know that the purpose of our lives is to serve others in the name of Mithras."

He was:
* allegedly born on December 25th
* was born of the Sun God and a virgin mother
* created all life by slaying a bull, whose blood gave life to all useful things, hence the song, "Thou hast redeemed us by shedding the eternal blood." from an Avestan Hymn to Mithras
* considered the saviour of humankind, and stories abound of His healing the sick, raising the dead, and performing miracles (making the blind see and the lame walk)
* protector of human souls, a mediator between "heaven" and "earth" and was even associated with a "holy trinity"
* keeper of the covenant with mankind
* put to death on a cross and buried in a cave (some legends have Him held up in a cave to be reborn once a year)
* took part in a last supper with his 12 disciples (often associated with the 12 signs of the zodiac)
* ascended to the heavens to watch over His "flock" from above.
* was known as "The Way," "The Truth," "The Light," "The Life," "The Word," "The Son of God," and "The Good Shepherd"
* often pictured carrying a lamb on his shoulders
Mithraists believe:
* On judgement day, the faithful dead would be resurrected and light would triumph over darkness. They took part in ritual purification or baptism, held Sundays sacred, drank wine and ate bread as a symbol of the body and blood and even took part in ritualistic purging (purification rites such as flagellation).
* there is a "celestial heaven" and hell


Other interesting similarities to Christ in Pagan myth:

Quexalcote of Mexico:

He was:
* born of a spotless virgin
* retired to the wilderness and fasted for forty days
* was worshipped as a God
* crucified between two thieves
* was buried and descended into Hell
* rose the third day

Buddha, the 'Enlightened One' who spurred a new form of spirituality which is a tangent of Hindusim:

walked on water:

"He (Buddha) walks upon the water without parting it, as if it were solid ground."
~ Anguttara Nikaya 3.60 (see Mark 6:49 for parallel)

calmed a storm:

"Now at that time a great rain fell, and a great flood resulted. Then the Lord (Buddha) made the water recede all around, and he paced up and down in the middle on dust-covered ground."
~ Vinaya, Mahavagga I.20.16 (see Mark 4:39 for parallel)

walked through walls:

"He (Buddha) goes unhindered through a wall."
~ Angutta Nikaya 3.60 (see John 20:26 for parallel)

performed miracles:

"As soon as the Bodhisattva (Buddha)was born, the sick were cured, the hungry and thirsty were no longer oppressed by hunger and thirst. Those maddened by drink lost their obsession. The mad recovered their senses, the blind regained their sight, and the deaf once more could hear. The lame obtained perfect limbs, the poor gained riches, and prisoners were delivered of their own bonds."
~ Lilitavistra Sutra 7 (see Luke 7:22 for parallel)

Other 'mythologies' that compare in one form or another include Hercules, Mithra, Hermes, Prometheus, Perseus and others compare to the Christian myth. According to Patrick Campbell of The Mythical Jesus, all are pre-Christian sun gods, yet all allegedly had gods for fathers, virgins for mothers; had their births announced by stars; were born on the solstice around December 25th; had tyrants who tried to kill them in their infancy; met violent deaths; rose from the dead; and nearly all were worshiped by "wise men" and were alleged to have fasted for forty days. [McKinsey, Chapter 5]

The pre-Christian cult of Mithra had a deity of light and truth, son of the Most High, fought against evil, presented the idea of the Logos (the 'Word'). Pagan Mithraism mysteries had the burial in a rock tomb, resurrection, sacrament of bread & water (Eucharist), the marking on the forehead with a mystic mark, the symbol of the Rock, the Seven Spirits and seven stars, all before the advent of Christianity.

Hermes the Good ShepherdEven Justin Martyr recognized the analogies between Christianity and Paganism. To the Pagans, he wrote: "When we say that the Word, who is first born of God, was produced without sexual union, and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter (Zeus)." [First Apology, ch. xxi]

Virtually all of the accounts of the savior Jesus Christ can be accounted for by past pagan mythologies which existed long before Christianity and from the Jewish scriptures that we now call the Old Testament. The accounts of these myths say nothing about historical reality, but they do say a lot about believers, how they believed, and how their beliefs spread.

"In saying that the Word was born for us without sexual union as Jesus Christ our teacher, we introduce nothing beyond what is said of those called the Sons of Zeus." Justin Martyr, Apology, 3

"The mystic child at Eleusis was born of a maiden; these ancients made for themselves the sacred dogma 'A virgin shall conceive and bear a son,' by night there was declared 'Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given." Ibid, 48

The Christian Christmas song, "Oh Come Let Us Adore Him" was adapted from the Egyptian poem to Osiris:

"He is born! He is born! O come and adore Him!
Life-giving mothers, the mothers who bore Him,
Stars of the heavens the daybreak adorning.
Ancestors, ye, of the Star of Morning.
Women and Men, O come and adore Him,
Child who is born this night..." Murray, MA (1949) 68

References for these are as follows:Egyptian Religion by Wallis Budge (1899), The Bacchae by Euripedes lines 5, 723, 836, The Hermetica, The Ibid, F Cumont, 48 (1903), Cleanthes, from CH Kahn (1979), Concerning the Gods and the Universe 4 by S Angus (1925)

Hercules....Who was this guy?

If a person accepts hearsay and accounts from believers as historical evidence for Jesus, then should they not act consistently to other accounts based solely on hearsay and belief?

Take this one example for instance. Examine the evidence for the Hercules of Greek mythology and you will find it parallels the historicity of Jesus to such an amazing degree that for Christian apologists to deny Hercules as a historical person belies and contradicts the very same methodology used for a historical Jesus, making it hypocritical.

Note how Herculean myth resembles Jesus in many areas. Hercules was born from a God (Zeus) and a mortal virgin mother (Alcmene). Similar to Herod who wanted to kill Jesus, Hera wanted to kill Hercules. Like Jesus, Hercules traveled the earth as a mortal helping mankind and performed miraculous deeds. Like Jesus who died and rose to heaven, Hercules died, rose to Mt. Olympus and became a god. Hercules was perhaps the most popular hero in Ancient Greece and Rome. They believed that he actually lived, told stories about him, worshiped him, and dedicated temples to him.

Likewise the 'evidence' of Hercules closely parallels that of Jesus. We have historical people like Hesiod and Plato who mentions Hercules. Similar to the way the gospels tell a narrative story of Jesus, so do we have the epic stories of Homer who depict the life of Hercules. Aesop tells stories and quotes the words of Hercules. Just as we have mention of Jesus in Josephus' Antiquities, so Josephus mentions Hercules in his 'Antiquities' (see 1.15, 8.5.3, 10.11.1). Just as Tacitus mentions a Crestus, he also mentions Hercules many times in his Annals. And most importantly, just as we have no artifacts, writings or eyewitnesses about Hercules, we also have nothing about Jesus. All information about Hercules and Jesus comes from stories, beliefs, and hearsay. Should we then believe in a historical Hercules, simply because ancient historians mention him and that we have stories and beliefs about him?

People consider Hercules a myth because people no longer believe in the Greek and Roman stories. Christianity and its churches, on the other hand, still hold a powerful influence on governments, institutions, and colleges. Anyone doing research on Jesus, even skeptics, had better allude to his existence or else risk future funding and damage to their reputations. Christianity depends on establishing a historical Jesus and it will defend, at all costs, even the most unreliable sources. People want to believe in Jesus, and belief alone can create intellectual barriers that leak even into atheist and secular thought. We have so many Christian professors, theologians and historical 'experts' around the world that tell us we should accept a historical Jesus that if repeated often enough, it tends to convince even the most ardent skeptic. The establishment of history should never reside with the 'experts' words alone or simply because a scholar has a reputation as a historian. If a scholar makes a historical claim, his assertion should depend almost solely on the evidence itself and not just because he/she says so. Facts do not require belief. And whereas beliefs can live comfortably without evidence at all, facts depend on evidence. This being said, we have no solid evidence to call this...a fact. It will remain...a belief.

Quickie similarities:

Krshna, Mithra of Persia, Quexalcote of Mexico, the Chinese savior Xaca, Ya, the Chinese monarch, Plato, Pythagoras, Tamerlane, Gengis Khan, Apollonius of Tyana and Augustus Caesar, were all supposed to have been the product of immaculate conceptions.

Krshna, Mithra of Persia, Quexalcote of Mexico, Chris of Chaldea, Quirinus of Rome, Prometheus, Osiris of Egypt, Atys of Phrygia, all rose from the dead after three days.

At the birth of Confucius, five wise men from a distance came to the house, celestial music filled the air, and angels attended the scene.

The Sacrament or Eucharist was practiced by the Brahmins of India, and was introduced into the mysteries of Mithras, as well as among the Mexicans.

The concept of the 'Trinity' is Hindu. The Sanskrit term is 'Trimurti', meaning 'three bodies in one godhead'. In the Hindu trinity, it was Siva; the other members of the trinity being Brahma and Vishnu. [sidebar: In the Mexican trinity, Y Zona was the Father, Bascal the Word, and Echvah the Holy Ghost, by the last of whom Chimalman conceived and brought forth Quexalcote.]



"The sign of the fish is widely used today as a symbol of Christianity, but originated in Pagan sacred geometry. Two circles, symbolic of spirit and matter, are brought together in a sacred marriage. When the circumference of one touches the center of the other they combine to produce the fish shape known as the vesica piscis. The ratio of height to length of the shape is 153:265, a formula known to Archimedes in the third century BCE as the 'measure of the fish.' It is a powerful mathematical tool, being the nearest whole number approximation of the square root of three and the controlling ratio of the equilateral triangle." See also: Anti-Tract Archive. Once there, click on the tract "Something Fishy" in the drop down menu box.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

wheras i believe christianity was basssssssssssssed on pagan roots it seems to me the story you have posited of krshna is not right that or i have not read the texts you have.So far as i recall Krshna was born of mother Yasoda and was the seventh son but in fact the eight child[read srimad Bhagavatum]......and further more IT WAS ONLY THE CHILDREN OF MOTHER YASODA THAT KAMSA KILLED> now i could go into this deeper but enough for now

Anonymous said...

I don't know the right number but I'm willing to bet that there are millions of people in the world who were once devout Christians who are no longer living their lives according to the Bible and who live a hellish existence because they feel that they are under God's curse for leaving the church. These people need to know the truth about Christianity in order to free them from the horrific existance that accompanies the so called apostate. Speaking from experiece I was a very devout, fire and brimstone preaching Christian who left the church over ten years ago. I've been suffering from lack of self esteem which came from the constant reminder and admonition of the Bible about how turning your back on Jesus means destruction. This website and others have helpmed me understand that I've been punishing myself. That there's no Jusus and that I am free to live my life in peace without God.

.:webmaster:. said...

Dear Anonymous Preacher,

Could you please message me at: http://exchristian.net/message.php?

I'd like to correspond with you.

Please include your email address in the message.

Thanks.
Dave

Anonymous said...

Yes anonymous, please do come back and correspond with us, so we can share our real Love and thoughts together, just make up a false name, we want your input, on everything. Thanks your friend, in truth, Ben

Anonymous said...

you wrote"

Krishna was killed to atone for the sins of mankind

Really??!! i believe he was accidently struck by an arrow from a hunter while he was relaxing in a forest.

* was also the "full measure of the god-head" according to the Ramayana, ~300 years BCE

first part ..OK. Latter: ru nuts!!! Shri Krishna is a character of Mahabharat and not Ramayan, the part of history which occured atleast 5000 years ago.(we can discuss on this)

* was born miraculously by a virgin, his birth attended by shepherds and angels, according to the Bhagavad Gita and in accord with prophecy

what are you talking about?? Shri Krishna was seventh son and eighth child to king Vasudev and Princess Devaki and was brought by his foster parents Yashoda and Nand.What shepherds??what angels?? and what prophecy?? Have u ever read Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta??

* at birth was presented with frankincense and myrrh

what ever that means???

* survived a command by Cansa, who ordered all the first born children to be put to death

Kansa ordered all infants of mathura be slained. But as mentioned above, Shri Krishna was eight child.

* wrought many astounding miracles, including healing the sick, restoring the sight of the blind, casting out devils, raising the dead to life

OK.


* was baptised (ablution) in the river Ganges

??

* enabled his disciples to net large amounts of fish

i would like to know the source of your information.


* "transfigured" at a place called Madura

transfigured?? He was born in the city of "MATHURA"


* spoke in parables

Really?? show me some.


* taught that you should forgive your enemies, avoid sexual thoughts, love your neighbor, and condemn material wealth.

Shri Krishna gave the divine knowledge to his friend and student Arjun right before the great war, Mahabharat known as "Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta" (The Song of the Lord). It contains much more profound philosophy than that.


* ascended back to Heaven in the sight of all men

No he did not. As said above, he was struck by an arrow.

Where did u guys get all that information from?? must be from Hindu texts written in a church in Vatican. Guys get ur facts right. its a missionary propaganda right from beginning to the end.
Cheers.
love and peace

man_gallore@yahoo.com

newly not said...

Let's not forget all the "Christian" holidays that are full of pagan traditions.

Anonymous said...

picking out errors in krshna is deviating from the point. are you just ignoring the fact this guy is correct, and indeed the story of christ can be easily derived from myths predating it? get over yourselves and your ancient superstitions....lets not forget no-one wrote about jesus till 30 years after his apparent death...funny for a guy who did SO much ay...."yeah lets just FORGET about jesus for 30 years...and then...wait, wasnt there some dude called jesus who did this crazy stuff, like, 30 years ago?? yeah totally!! oh man i cant believe we forgot, we better write it down quick! before we forget for ANOTHER 30 years!!!"...fools. the world isnt 10,000 years old. radiometric dating tells us this in a certain way....oh yeah lets not forget fossils. they rain all OVER your parade....oh and then theres the fact of evolution....

...for those people who are going to come back and say that the old testament is no longer taken literally, please tell me why, then, god sent himself to be sacrificed for original sin? i mean if the old testament isnt literal, then there WAS no original sin to be forgiven for, hence god thought it would be useful of his time to send himself down to be killed in order for us to be forgiven for something that didnt happen?? yeah right. you are either a fundamentalist christian, or you are not a christian. moderate christianity is a joke. fundamentalist christianity is paramount to idiocy.

Astreja said...

Anonymous: "......for those people who are going to come back and say that the old testament is no longer taken literally, please tell me why, then, god sent himself to be sacrificed for original sin? i mean if the old testament isnt literal, then there WAS no original sin to be forgiven for, hence god thought it would be useful of his time to send himself down to be killed in order for us to be forgiven for something that didnt happen??"

That is... brilliant. I don't think I've *ever* heard it put that way before. Thank you.

youknowurwrong said...

This article is a piece of crud. Very, very wrong in many points. c24lightning has brilliantly pointed these out here: http://www.criticalsecurity.net/index.php?showtopic=26242&st=40&p=173853&#entry173853

That link will take you to the exact line of the post, but you will have to scroll down a little bit to the part where it mentions in a quote the link to this article.

stronger now said...

Do to that site and you can read gems such as this:

"1. "Although we have very little evidence for a historical Jesus..." We have countless records of Jesus currently. Also, ever heard of BC and AD? What was the major event that took us into AD? It was Jesus's birth. AD stands for Anno Domini."

Continued:"This is one of the many that you can find about what AD is based on, which all say the birth of Christ. Now how on earth would this impact the whole worlds time, and even you and everyone else follow it? And BC wasn't known as BC before AD. If it was the year 100 BC that you were alive in, it would just be called the year 100, not 100 BC. No evidence of Christ, huh..."

Too stupid for words.

AtheistToothFairy said...

stronger now said...

...And BC wasn't known as BC before AD. If it was the year 100 BC that you were alive in, it would just be called the year 100, not 100 BC. No evidence of Christ, huh..."

Too stupid for words

---
Hi Stronger',

I saw the same comment and had the same reaction you did!!

Someone, PLEASE tell me that modern day humans aren't spewing
such trash and actually believing it to be true?
Surely this is really some 'rift-in-time' in our universe, and stone age thinking of the past is worm-holing it's way into our present time web blogs?

There surely is some explanation here as to how someone who went through school (presumed) and can also find their way onto a computer, could still be mentally living with the Flintstone family.


ATF (who also wonders what they are putting in Flintstone vitamins these days)

webmdave said...

Amazing research! Thanks for putting this all together so clearly!

webmdave said...

Article: "Although we have very little evidence for a historical Jesus, we certainly have many accounts for the mythologies of the Middle East and Egypt during the first century and before that appear similar to the Christ savior story."

Actually, I think that is being a little too generous... I have seen "zero" evidence of an historical Jesus, based on physical archeological evidence dating to his time frame of hypothetical existence.

However, if there is "any" archeological evidence for a historical Jesus during his time frame/era, I would like to examine it, to further my understanding.

Peace
D8

webmdave said...

Becky,

Firstly, I am grateful for the clarification.
I think alot of confusion stems from some of the comments made regarding institutionalised science education. It seemed to imply that science education had a biased or sinister agenda.

My intepretation of your current post that you dislike the attitude of scientists rather than the veracity of their viewpoints?
And that you agree that scientific theory is different from theory?

Freely correct me if i am wrong. just a clarification.

webmdave said...

Though I have never though of myself in those terms, I guess I am an "ex-christian." The things rooted in my subconscious, that I am still rooting out, still tell me not to be so harsh, but it is still true. I could write a book on my experience and journey to this point, but I won't. I'll say only this: I really appreciate this type of candid expose on a subject that will earn it's believers one of a thousand negative labels. I'm finally allowing my head to wrap around what my gut has been telling me for years, but my intellect is stubborn and I really desire to read many of the things you have, personally. My "intellectual pattern," if you will, is to want to become an expert on the things I research. If I can't explain what I do or don't believe, and why, in an articulate manner, to other, I find it frustrating.

What would you suggest?

webmdave said...

hmmm..... i dont think the argument was ever about evolution being true or false.

Its about what does scientific theory means.
You are using the word "theory" in a way that it conflates one meaning with "scientific theory" and then relying on that verbal confusion to justify your position.
Its fine if you dont agree with evolution (for whatever reason) but saying its not based on scientific fact requires you to back it up with something more substantial than a conflation of terms.

regardless on your position on evolution, thats neither accurate nor is it intellectually honest.

webmdave said...

Hi there,

I just found this site and truly appreciate it. It's taken me about 4 years to get to the point of being able to call myself an ex-christian. I was 'saved' at 3yoa and knew something wasn't right growing up when I was asked repeated to suspend my logic and 'just have faith.' I share this so everyone knows I am NOT defending christian beliefs in this comment. I would simply like to point out a few things that I've read in other comments.

First, one comment earlier wrote...

'yeah lets not forget fossils. they rain all OVER your parade....oh and then theres the fact of evolution....'

While I certainly DO NOT believe in creationism, I have to point out that evolution is not fact either. It is called the theory of evolution for a reason. It is of course peddled as fact in our schools, but it has a lot of problems with it as well. In fact, often times, this theory is defended with the same blind indignation as religion. There are secular authors who have been ostracized by the scientific community for even bringing up some of the 'problems' with the evolution 'belief'.

My only point is this, I left the christian community and faith with all it's inconsistent beliefs and inwillingness to even talk about some of the issues I, and others, had because I took my quest for truth seriously. So seriously, in fact, that I am unwilling to put down one pre-packaged set of beliefs just to pick up another. This life is about individual truth and freedom. I would encourage everyone reading this to NEVER accept someone else's version of the truth, someone else's version of reality, so to speak.

This is just one topic, the topic of our origin, I mean to apply my own logic to this and every other topic. Don't think that the 'world's' experts don't have just as much of an agenda as the christian's experts have. There are lots of different beliefs throughout our very rich and diversified history - different beliefs on different topics, yet we're expected to only embrace what is being taught now. Don't forget that's how people believed the world was flat, everyone just took the experts' speculation instead of doing their own research.

I guess this is my only point, be aware. Be aware of your world and your beliefs regarding that world. Know what you believe and WHY you believe it. We live in a society that encourages people to just believe but not to know why they believe it (the ultimate 'because I said so').

I hope this has made sense. I mean it with love and as encouragement. I gave away my power for so many years by letting others tell me what to believe, and I simply want others to have enough confidence in themselves that they know they don't have to defend what they believe to others to know that it true to them.

Cheers,

Becky

webmdave said...

becky, becky, becky,

While I certainly DO NOT believe in creationism, I have to point out that evolution is not fact either. It is called the theory of evolution for a reason.

Unfourtunately, for you, becky, the residue of christianity and ignorance are still gumming up your cognitive abilities and the propoganda of crerationists still infiltrate your guillable mind.

Science is totally based on fact. Go back to school and learn something. Facts are the world's data and scientists conduct empirical research through observation to explain the realities before them. In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." Science makes no claim to perpetual truth, only the religious do.

The scientific method, let's review,
1. Make an observation.
2. Make an hypothesis. This is the part you get confused; that all of science is best guesses. A hypothesis is an educated guess used to render a tentative description of what was observed.
3. Make a prediction.
4. Test those predictions with experiments or more observation.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theories and experiment.
6. Construct, formulate, support or cast doubt on a scientific theory.

SCIENTIFIC THEORY, also confuses you with the word "theory".

A theory, in science, is not a guess, speculation, or suggestion, which is the popular definition of the word "theory." A theory, therefore, is built of reliable knowledge--built of scientific facts -- and its purpose is to explain major natural processes or phenomena. Scientific theories explain nature by unifying many once-unrelated facts or corroborated hypotheses; they are the strongest and most truthful explanations of how the universe, nature, and life came to be, how they work, what they are made of, and what will become of them. Since humans are living organisms and are part of the universe, science explains all of these things about ourselves.
These scientific theories--such as the theories of relativity, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, evolution, genetics, plate tectonics, and big bang cosmology--are the most reliable, most rigorous, and most comprehensive form of knowledge that humans possess. Thus, it is important for every educated person to understand where scientific knowledge comes from, and how to emulate this method of gaining knowledge. Scientific knowledge comes from the practice of scientific thinking--using the scientific method--and this mode of discovering and validating knowledge can be duplicated and achieved by anyone who practices critical thinking. -- Steven Schafersman

--S.

webmdave said...

becky,

I find it interesting that you chose to resort to calling me, or, at the very least, implying I am, ignorant, gullable, etc.

I'm not implying -- I'm outright stating you are ignorant and gullible.

Not only are you ignorant and gullible, now you are willfully stupid.

Evidently, you can not absorb and comprehend what I wrote. You willfully continue to coalesce "scientific theory" with the word "theory".

They are two very different concepts.

Did you even read what I wrote?

Scientific theory is not a guess or speculation it is a way of explaining major natural processes or phenomena which is built of reliable knowledge based on scientific facts.

I have to point out that evolution is not fact either. It is called the theory of evolution for a reason.

This statement, alone, proves you are ignorant, gullible and have no business talking about science.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
-- Mark Twain

Additionally, I am not Dr. Steven Schafersman, nor did he make any assumptions. Dr. Schafersman is a geologist and retired university professor, who now is the president for the Texas Citizens For Science, which works to protect the accuracy and reliability of science education in Texas and opposes creationism in the classroom.

My guess is that you believe the current institutionalized education is without bias. If that is the case, you and I would definitely disagree. Having gone to college myself, I believe our current educational system is not lacking bias. Do you believe the history that is taught in our schools and universities is the truth as well?

You can make all the lame accusations you want. Can you substantiate your claim that science being taught is self serving or biased and can you do it without jumping to other subjects like history? I'm talking about science here and your idiotic conclusions.

--S.

webmdave said...

I want more friends like Becky. Thank you for the encouraging words. The world needs more people like you in it to thrive.

webmdave said...

It took me approximately six years to come to grips with idea of evolution. My entire life I'd been taught that evolution was asinine. Long held programing from childhood is not easy (or maybe it's impossible) to fully break.

Today I don't pretend to really understand how or if evolution works. I don't have the time, interest, or perhaps even the mental acuity to sit down and study the science long enough to make educated comments on the topic. I am content when confronted with this topic to honestly admit, "I don't know."

Having admitted to ignorance, I still think it more likely and plausible that all of nature has natural causes. I find it unlikely as well as implausible that a supernatural wizard will one day be found to be hiding behind the curtain.

As far as our educational system having a bias, I would say that everything and everyone has a bias. My opinion is that a truly unbiased position is virtually impossible. All the information we ingest has to be interpreted through the filters of our experiences, our personalities, our upbringing, our prior education, our natural intelligence, and probably dozens and dozens of other conscious and subconscious prejudices. Then when we regurgitate that interpreted information, it has to go through that process again with the next person. It's amazing to me at times that any of us communicate even somewhat accurately.

Even so, I think the scientific method is the best process humanity has developed for interpreting nature. The information is submitted to so much testing, falsifying, and re-testing that most if not all of the filtering and interpreting process has been removed. And, when better information is discovered, that information is added to the mix and the whole process starts anew.

Regardless, the only real purpose of this site is to encourage former Christians. Former Christians agree that Christianity is baloney. Former Christians don't necessarily agree on anything else.

webmdave said...

Congratulations! You are the first person to take advantage of the Seesmic video reply option!

Applause all around!

Oh, and good post!

webmdave said...

webmdave,

Thanks for your reply. It was fun doing the video - horrible lighting though =D

I definitely agree with what you said about being here to support each other in our experiences and revelations regarding christianity. There's an entire world out there on which we may never agree. That's the beauty of being individuals. That's my main goal as a human, to support others in their individual journey - even if that journey is WAY different than mine. I'm not a fan of labelling people or putting people in boxes. I don't agree with making people feel/look stupid when they choose to believe differently than I do. Did we not have enough of that when we were christians? (asked with a smile)

I love how your were able to state your view, and that's it. Thank you for respecting all of us here enough to simply share.

There's only one clarification I'd like to make - hope it's useful in explaining my viewpoint. I agree with you regarding filters and individual bias. We all interpret through our own perspective. I see a vast difference, though, between an individual bias and an institutionalized bias. The span of infuence is incredibly larger when the bias is coming from an 'expert'. Often times, there is one version of the truth presented, other 'experts' are dismissed, and anyone that questions what is taught is seen as something less than respectable (whether the label given is crazy, ignorant, a troublemaker, or a heretic). I want those around me to be comfortable to discuss their beliefs with me knowing they won't be judged as they may have been in the past. I believe that's what each of us owes each other. When we use sarcastic writing tones or insults, however, I feel it discourages others from sharing a different point of view. I encourage everyone to be strong enough to express those views whether popular or not.

Like you said, webmdave, the long held programming from childhood is not easy to fully break. I've referred to my own work as having to pull out the roots, which were very deep in my case. We are all here, I'm guessing, because we share similar experiences (as far as leaving the church). We know how tough it is to have those still in the church make us feel less than because we now believe differently than they do. Let's not do it to each other in here - not now that we've worked so hard to free ourselves from the mental bondage with which we were raised.

Much love to all of you!

Becky

webmdave said...

becky,

I believe that's what each of us owes each other. When we use sarcastic writing tones or insults, however, I feel it discourages others from sharing a different point of view.

Once you comprehend and can articulate what SCIENTIFIC THEORY really means and you don't make ignorant statements about it, then you will have earned a certain amount of respect, until then I'll call it as I see it.

--S.

webmdave said...

S,

After this post, I am done conversing with you on this topic. You are obviously very attached to your beliefs, and I respect that. Please, though, stop trying to hurl them at me (wrapped in venom, I might add). Your methods are reminiscent of those I've experienced from close minded christians.

On that note, I will take a moment to clear up one thing... I did read what you wrote, every word of it. I do, however, have serious doubts as to how much of my writings you actually read, and read openly. You seem sensitive to this topic and, I would guess, are reading everything through a very skewed filter. I have been very clear in my overall message - redundant, even. My focus is not that of evolution. It is the fact that we all have the right and freedom to individual thought and expression and to question those around us who claim to have the only truth.

I can comprehend and articulate scientific theory. I even cut and paste a definition of it in an earlier post to try and appease you on that detail. Just because I am encouraging people to think for themselves and to understand that even facts can manipulated (quick sidenote: I am not saying evolutionists are manipulating facts - I'm speaking in general terms) you feel the need to get defensive and attack. Let it go, man. Believe what you believe - I don't care. Why are you trying to convert me to evolution?? I haven't even stated my beliefs on the topic of our origin. I have only stated my beliefs regarding the individual's right to believe what they want and responsibility (to themselves only) to know why they believe it.

Respect, by the way, is deserved no matter what. Life deserves respect, period. You can have all the expected hoops through which one must jump in order to deserve your respect - that's fine. I will say, though, I'm saddened by your approach because I have the feeling that the standards you impose (that have to be acheived before one is worthy of love and respect) are probably way harsher on yourself than anybody. That's an emotionally exhausting way to go through life.

Much love (and respect) to you, S,

Becky

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions. --Albert Einstein

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. --Albert Einstein

The important thing is not to stop questioning. --Albert Einstein

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. --Mark Twain

webmdave said...

Some general comments:

One of the most significant differences between "Religion"(as a philosophy) and "Science"(as a methodology) is that the latter does not claim the ability to know Absolute Truth, while the former does. Yes, both methods of thought are, of course, "biased". Stated again---yes, the proponent of "Science" - including those in the "educational system" - are "biased"! That's right...they are biased to want to find out what ultimately stands the best chance of actually being true. It's "cRaZy" like that. Moreover, "science" is provisional to begin with, thus, when the educational system teaches "Evolution by Natural Selection", they aren't teaching you this information conditionally---with the exception of possibly passing some examinations/tests. The same is true for what the "educational system" teaches you about "George Washington", or the "Civil War"---they aren't teaching you this "knowledge", absolutely.

In any event, once school is behind a person, one can revert back to whatever subjective, personalized hypothesis for the diversity of life on earth their heart desires(pun intended). "Science" would be happy for someone - anyone - to come along and prove them wrong---you could be win a Nobel Prize, for cryin' out loud! Until then, "Evolution by Natural Selection" - complete with "gaps" - is the leading and best explanation for the diversity of life on earth. "Evolution" is both "theory", and fact.

To close on this topic---for one to insinuate or hint that "science" is the dogmatic, "faith"-reliant counterpart to "religion" is erroneous, IMO.('not saying anyone's necessarily insinuating this; I'm speaking generally)

~ The unknown is not unknowable

webmdave said...

becky,

I can comprehend and articulate scientific theory. I even cut and paste a definition of it in an earlier post to try and appease you on that detail.

You, like every, other, creationist moron, out there, equate "scientific theory" with guesses and conjecture, until you understand the difference you too wallow in the muck of ignorance -- I have no respect for you until you can learn the difference and can explain it to me without pasting and cutting general definitions that combine the two meanings.

Additionally, respect is earned and what I'm talking about (your ignorance pertaining to scientific theory) has nothing to do with having respect for life in general.

I haven't even stated my beliefs on the topic of our origin. I have only stated my beliefs regarding the individual's right to believe what they...

No, you made this ignorant, statement: I have to point out that evolution is not fact either. It is called the theory of evolution for a reason.

Care to elaborate? Care to revise and amend this statement?

Why are you trying to convert me to evolution??

Get one thing straight, I'm not trying to convert anybody to anything. I don't give a shit if you believe in evolution or not -- I'm just calling you out, on your willful nescience, especially in regards to what scientific theory actually means. Your rants about being opened minded, finding the truth and biased education are irrelevant if you do not comprehend what scientific theory factually means.

--S.

webmdave said...

becky,

...in writing has been completely overshadowed by this theory vs. scientific theory sub-topic.I wrote one sentence that spawned all of this.

Yes and here it is, again: I have to point out that evolution is not fact either. It is called the theory of evolution for a reason.

Now, were you mistaken? Did you misspeak? Or was it an ignorant statement?

My ONLY position this whole time has been for people to figure out and research their own truth.

Yes we get it, but you are not saying anything profound or new. Most of us here at exchristian have broke the chains that have shackled us and the resounding battle cry is: Can you substantiate your claims? This question is not directed at you, per se, but to the multitude of christians claiming their own brand of truth with nothing to back it up except, wishful thinking, ignorance, silly superstition and flights of fancy.

I do, however, want you to back up your claim, stating that, "evolution is not fact either" and "it is called the theory of evolution for a reason." Can you do that? Can you explain why you said that?

Why do you insist (not neccesarily you, Monkeys, you were just making a point) on perpetuating the Us vs. Them mentality? Isn't that one of the main reasons we left christianity?

If you could reason with the religious there wouldn't be religion.

...and my battle isn't against them; it's against ignorance, ineptitude and intolerance.

--S.

webmdave said...

becky - of the dictionary definitions you provide of the word "theory", only definition 1 is the technical, scientific usage of the word theory. The theory of evolution is an explanation of how evolution operates. The existence of evolution is a fact (an independently observable, verifiable phenomenon). Similarly, there is a theory of gravity, but the existence of gravity is a fact as well. The theory explains how gravity operates based on current understanding and observations.

webmdave said...

Sconnor, You sir are the worst kind of fundamentalist! You don't
even search for truth in the name of humanity--you do it for your
Ego. You serve a God, a jealous god! Get over yourself please before
turn people away from rational thinkers, who actually have a heart
as big as your ego. Science will survive without you, count on it!

webmdave said...

incognitoes

Sconnor, You sir are the worst kind of fundamentalist! You don't
even search for truth in the name of humanity--you do it for your
Ego. You serve a God, a jealous god! Get over yourself please before
turn people away from rational thinkers, who actually have a heart
as big as your ego. Science will survive without you, count on it!


What the fu(k are you talking about?

Your paragraph is just one big equivocation; care to elaborate and share specific examples of what the hell you are talking about?

--S.

webmdave said...

incognitoes,

RE:Sconnor

I sure wish I had a clue as to what your problem/point is.

Your almost random thoughts are all over the place, like crap in a sewage treatment plant.

If you return, you may want to consider laying off the booze/drugs before posting here again.

ATF (Who wonders how a 'god' could ever be jealous over anything, other than another god)

webmdave said...

incognitoes,

RE:Sconnor

I sure wish I had a clue as to what your problem/point is.

Your almost random thoughts are all over the place, like crap in a sewage treatment plant.

If you return, you may want to consider laying off the booze/drugs before posting here again.

ATF (Who wonders how a 'god' could ever be jealous over anything, other than another god)

webmdave said...

I have just read all the comments from the discussion about scientific theory and blah blah blah. Seriously, if you guys who were tearing into becky were to go back read what you have written, you would see that for the most part, you have no reason to be writing anything. I mean who the hell cares about evolution and all that crap. You are missing the whole damn point. No one knows everything and everyone is misinformed or wrong about one thing or another and that doesn't make you ignorant or any of the other names you were calling her sconner. So get the fuck off your high horse because you are no better or smarter than she is.

webmdave said...

People misuse the word “theory” all the time. They sagely state that, “evolution just a theory, not a fact.” This implies that they are opposite things, which they are not. Theories explain facts, and facts support theories, or they can disprove theories. All of science is built around theories, and theories are strongly supported by observational facts. All theories contain gaps and we are constantly learning and filling those gaps. The theory of evolution was pretty “gappy” a hundred years ago, but we have made tremendous progress since then.
Gravity is just a theory too. Jump off of a building and see how factual that “theory” is. The “theory of evolution” is now being called “The Unifying Theory of Biology” by the National Academy of Science because it unites so many different disciplines.
The theory of evolution explains the mechanisms (e.g. non-random natural selection acting on random mutation) by which organisms change over time (microevolution), become more complex, and diversify into new species (macroevolution). Evolution is the central unifying theory of biology, supported by independent evidence from paleontology, geology, genetics, molecular biology and genomics, developmental biology, biogeography and behavioral ecology. Even though new information from nearly every field of science has been applied, attempts to falsify evolutionary theory using the scientific method have failed. As is true for any active science, the details of the theory are continually debated as new data are collected. However, there is no controversy in the scientific community about the fact of evolution.

webmdave said...

Seesmic video reply to Tracy from Becky.