In the discussion thread: Caesar's Messiah, The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus [View all]
Response to Why Syzygy (Original post)
Fri May 11, 2012, 05:27 PM
daaron (763 posts)
15. Hm. This doesn't seem completely legit on premise.
Though I admit I don't watch internet videos or listen to podcasts, only because I prefer to get my info my reading, so can only speak to the premise.
Disclaimer: I'm an agnostic Christian currently in the midst of some questioning, so forgive any offense, I only intend to lay out the complexity of the issue before making presumptuous claims. I'm an old hand on Randi.org, but a noobie, here. I don't intend offense, but let's say I'm testing the waters, curious to know if skepticism, in it's most philosophical sense, is welcome in this group, or no. I do hope not to get binned.
My issue with this thesis is that while there are conflicting theories of the development of early Christianity, it is generally agreed that the foundational roots of the creed lie in the intersection of the Hellenistic Levant and North Africa, still under the sway of Zoroastrianism (in all its diversity and longevity). Sure, Rome was also heavily influenced by Zoroastrianism via Hellenism - Sol Invictus was the State religion, and Mithraism the dominant royal cult of Rome in the centuries in the neighborhood of 0 CE, and both were Syrian/Babylonian in origin. But so were a bazillion other teensy cults scattered about from China to the Ivory Coast, or Hyperboria (pardon my disparate timelines).
The very idea of "magic" was introduced to Greece by Zoroaster's disciple, Osthanes, centuries earlier. It's this wellspring of belief in magic that so influenced early Christianity, and gives it's peculiar respect for the Miracle Man -- the Mystic and Prophet who owes no allegiance to a human King. By the time of Jesus, such thinking was thoroughly ingrained in the populace, and had splintered countless times.
I do believe my agnosticism stems from a conundrum tucked away in here: was there was enough complexity, and enough archetypical similarity between various Zoroastrian-based sects (including Judaism, to a large extend -- see Ezekiel and the Babylonian exile) to really fuel the sort of myth-formation that many modern Biblical scholars of the academic stripe have argued must have occurred? (At least, since l'fin-de-siecle, with it's Salons and enlightened self-honesty (thank you, novelists)).
It's almost like the debate over global warming, except we have no recourse to science for objective answers. Was there enough metaphorical CO2 in the atmosphere to force a stable-state shift? Clearly, something happened. It was either divine, or human, or neither.
So are we back to Nice?
I am forced to wonder.
"Indeed he is in great fear, not knowing what mighty one may suddenly appear, wielding the Ring, and assailing him with war, seeking to cast him down and take his place. That we should wish to cast him down and have NO one in his place is not a thought that occurs to his mind." Gandalf
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Hm. This doesn't seem completely legit on premise.
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