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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Richard Carrier on Zeitgeist part 1 at 1 minute to 3:30 during the Q & A.

Advocating extreme censorship, Carrier says about Zeitgeist: "[Zeitgeist] and all copies of it should be burned."

Perhaps Carrier's should do the same with his recently received PhD?

Richard Carrier Part 5


"They that start by burning books will end by burning men."
- Heinric Heine (1797-1856)


Code:
In Richard Carrier's blog (March 25, 2009) on the movie: 'The God Who Wasn't There' (TGWWT)

http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2009/03/god-who-wasnt-there.html

Richard Carrier states:

"TGWWT suffers from the unavoidable problem of all entertaining documentaries: it oversimplifies things. But it's nowhere near as egregiously full of sh*t as Zeitgeist: The Movie, which has been thoroughly debunked as absolute garbage by several knowledgeable commentators (the best critiques are catalogued by Jim Lippard at the end of his own blog post on that awful doco). I wouldn't recommend Zeitgeist at all. But I only wouldn't recommend TGWWT as a scholarly introduction to Jesus Myth theory. I still recommend it as awesome entertainment, played out with acceptable license. It takes liberties, but they aren't that excessive (as my white paper explains), and if you want authoritative discussion, you really ought to be reading a book instead."

Jim Lippard blog: http://lippard.blogspot.com/2008/06/zeitgeist-movie.html

So, Carrier cites Lippard's blog as "the best critiques" for debunking Zeitgeist yet, Lippard's blog was annihilated in the comments area with links to the facts and credible evidence that proves him wrong. So, what does that say about Carrier's opinion? It strongly suggests that Richard Carrier is simply not a reliable, credible or trustworthy source on this topic. One can learn in the thread, Zeitgeist Part 1 & the Supportive Evidence, how the original Zeitgeist movie was created and it states that : "[Zeitgeist] was never created to serve as a scholarly documentary and is merely a basic introduction into the world of comparative mythology and astrotheology." So, it's really not much different than 'The God Who Wasn't There' movie in that sense. It's blatantly obvious that Richard Carrier is jealous and prejudice against Acharya and her work. Carrier simply has never been a reliable or credible source of information on anything of Acharya's thus far, especially when one realizes he's never read a single book of hers, therefore, his criticisms have been intellectually dishonest and based in biases. One would at least expect a reputable historian to study the material first before jumping to false preconceived assumptions based on knee-jerk reactions - and Carrier is SUPPOSE to be on our side as a mythicist and non-believer of religion, yet, he is incapable of acknowledging that Acharya may be correct about ANYTHING, further demonstrating his biases.

If it's books that Carrier needs, well, Acharya S/Murdock has written several books totaling nearly 3,000 pages of material including over 7,456 footnotes/citations to primary sources and the works of highly credentialed and respected authorities in relevant fields of study from a wide variety of backgrounds, including many Christian scholars, adding up to over 2,314 bibliographical sources. Her books also include 456+ images thus far. She works hard to substantiate her claims with credible evidence and sources specifically due to the fact that this subject is so contentious.

The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Acharya S (Jul 1, 1999)
Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled by Acharya S (Sep 1, 2004)
Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ by D.M. Murdock, Acharya S (Nov 28, 2007)
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S (Feb 28, 2009)
The Gospel According to Acharya S (2009)
Man Made God: A Collection of Essays by Barbara G. Walker (2010)
Anahita: Ancient Persian Goddess and Zoroastrian Yazata (2013)
Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman s Did Jesus Exist? (2013)
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S (2014)

... with more to come, not to mention all the free online articles, more articles, blogs, more blogs, and more blogs, videos and her academic journal publications.

Obviously, Carrier is way out of line. More on his criticism HERE

From the new Zeitgeist part 1 Sourcebook:

Quote:
"...This effort includes much new source material drawn from primary sources as well the works from credentialed authorities in a variety of relevant subjects. Indeed, I have strived to include the best and most thorough, scholarly and modern sources wherever possible, with the result that many authorities cited here possess credentials from respected institutes of higher learning, and their publishers are some of the most scholarly in English (and other languages), such as:

E.J. Brill
Peeters
Kegan Paul
Oxford University/Clarendon Press
Princeton University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cornell University Press
Yale University Press
University of Chicago Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
University of Wisconsin Press
Johns Hopkins Press
Harcourt, Brace & Co.
MacMillan & Co., etc.

This Sourcebook thus provides relevant primary-source material and citations from respectable and credentialed authorities, along with germane images to support the first part of ZG’s contentions. There are over 150 sources cited in this Sourcebook, in nearly 350 footnotes...."

- Acharya S, Preface for the Sourcebook for Zeitgeist Part 1

Carrier is certainly welcome to review the new ZG1 sourcebook guide. Those who really know what academia is will recognize the list above as the best of the best respected institutes of higher learning. Hand-waving dismissals will not suffice.

* Also read this POST.

Quote:
Primary Sources, Publications and Scholars Cited in The ZEITGEIST Sourcebook

Contrary to popular misconception, the information in the religion part of the hit internet movie, the first "Zeitgeist" film comes from numerous primary sources, including the following, as well as the works of highly credentialed authorities in the best academic publications, also listed here. It should be noted that this list does not include the multitude of other artifacts and writings from antiquity that may be found in the other works of D.M. Murdock/Acharya S.

Ancient artifacts and archaeological sites

Lascaux, Altamira and Trois Freres cave paintings
Tassili N'Aijer figures
Mohenjo-daro, Indus Valley site
Goseck, Germany
Thirteen Towers, Chankillo, Peru
Nabta Playa, Egypt
Karanovo Tablet
Dendera zodiac and other Egyptian artifacts
Brindisi disk
Greek pottery, paintings, mosaics, temples
Roman mosaics, paintings and statuary
Early Christian artifacts, etc.

Murdock does research in a variety of languages, both modern and ancient, such as: Ancient and modern Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Vedic, Persian, Egyptian, Coptic, French, Italian, Spanish, German and a smattering of other languages as the need arises.

Ancient Writings

Egyptian hymns, hieroglyphs, papyri and carvings
Pyramid Texts
Coffin Texts
Book of the Dead
Herodotus
Berossus
Diodorus
Porphyry
Eusebius
Pausanias
Bible
Pythagoras
Plato
Aristotle
Diodorus Siculus
Epiphanius
Hippolytus
Plutarch
Tertullian
Justin Martyr
Minucius Felix
Clement Alexandrinus
Tatian
Augustine
Arnobius
Julius Firmicus Maternus
Lactantius
Macrobius
Julian
Vedas
Mahabharata
Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavata Purana
Mahāvastu
Lalita Vistara
Vishnu Purana
Hesiod
Homer
Euripides
Proclus
Origen
Celsus
Philo
Josephus
Avesta
Pseudo-Eratosthenes
Venerable Bede
Cyprian
Ambrose
Hipparchus
Archelaus
Epic of Gilgamesh
Assyrian, Babylonia, Akkadian tablets
Dead Sea Scrolls
Tacitus

The information also comes from the best and most thorough, scholarly and modern sources wherever possible, with the result that many authorities cited possess credentials from respected institutes of higher learning, and their publishers are some of the most scholarly in English (and other languages), such as the following.

Academic Publishers

E.J. Brill
Peeters
Kegan Paul
Oxford University/Clarendon Press
Princeton University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cornell University Press
Yale University Press
University of Chicago Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
University of Wisconsin Press
Johns Hopkins Press
Harcourt, Brace & Co.
Macmillan & Co., etc.

Those who really know what academia is will recognize the list above as the best of the most respected institutes of higher learning.

Professional Scholars

Dr. Miranda J. Aldhouse-Green, a professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University
Dr. Lee I.A. Levine, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary
Dr. Edwin C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory
Dr. Emund S. Meltzer, American Egyptologist
Dr. James P. Allen, curator of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dr. Erik Hornung, professor emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Basel
Dr. Henri Frankfort, Dutch Egyptologist
Dr. Jan Assman, professor of Egyptology at the University of Konstanz
Dr. Badrya Serry, director of the Antiquities Museum at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt
Dr. Bojana Mojsov, Egyptologist
Dr. Reginald E. Witt, Egyptologist and professor at the University of London
Dr. G. Johannes Botterweck, professor of Old Testament and Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn
Dr. Alfred Wiedermann, Egyptologist and professor of Oriental Languages at the University of Bonn
Dr. John Gwyn Griffiths, Welsh professor of Classics and Egyptology
Dr. Raymond O. Faulkner, English Egyptologist
Dr. Tryggve N.D. Mettinger, professor of Old Testament Studies at the University of Lund
Rev. Dr. Alfred Bertholet, a theologian and professor at the University of Göttingen
Dr. Herman te Velde, a chairman of the Department of Egyptology at the University of Groningen
Dr. Andrew T. Fear, professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Manchester
Dr. David Adams Leeming, professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at the University of Connecticut
Dr. Patricia A. Johnston, Brandeis University professor of Classical Studies
Dr. David John Tacey, professor at La Trobe University
Dr. Edwin F. Bryant, professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University
Dr. Hugo Rahner, Jesuit theologian, dean and president of Innsbruck University
Sir Dr. Edmund Ronald Leach, Cambridge professor and anthropologist
Dr. Donald White, professor emeritus of Classics at the University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Martin Schwartz, professor of Iranian Studies at the University of California
Rev. Dr. Harold R. Willoughby, professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago
Dr. Mary Boyce, professor of Iranian Studies
Dr. Payam Nabarz, Iranian scholar
Dr. Marvin Meyers, a professor of Religious Studies at Chapman College
Dr. Theony Condos, professor at the American University of Armenia
Dr. Aviram Oshri, senior archaeologist with the Israeli Antiquities Authority
Dr. Chris Dolan, American astronomer
Rev. Dunbar T. Heath of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
Dr. John L. Heilbron, professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley
Dr. K.A. Heinrich Kellner, a professor of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn
Dr. David Ulansey, philosopher professor at California Institute of Integral Studies
Dr. Robert M. Schoch, geologist and professor at Boston University
Dr. Henricus Oort, Dutch theologian and professor of Hebrew Antiquities at the University of Leiden
Rev. Dr. J. Glen Taylor, an associate professor of Old Testament at the University of Toronto

- http://truthbeknown.com/zeitgeistsources.html

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:02 am 
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HEY! That's my Alma Mater. I think I saw him there too when he was at MSU. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:41 am 
Sent him an e-mail and will post what he says about it.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:24 pm 
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This has been brought to my attention:
Quote:
Richard Carrier said...

Examine those "defenses" critically:

Most of it consists of Murdock citing herself (as if you didn't know, Acharya S is D.M. Murdock);

Much of it consists of backtracking (making excuses for why the claims in the movie aren't quite exactly correct but nevertheless one can infer such things from largely unrelated data, provided you ignore their original context and chronological disparities and the general unintelligibility of the connections once the accurate data is grasped; and pretend things like that there was no difference between Osiris and Horus so you can just assume anything said of either applies to both, etc.);

And the rest is bogus (outdated or non-scholarly authors are cited for facts that there is no real evidence of, which one can only learn by trying to hunt down their sources--the most amusing example being any resurrection story for Mithras: follow that trail and you'll find nothing but a dry well).

Some of it also omits crucial details that cast suspicion on any real connection (e.g. Did you know Dionysus died as a baby, being then hacked up, and was resurrected as a baby, before he even grew up or had a ministry or anything else? You won't learn that from the carefully cropped quotes in their materials).

After all that, what remains that's correct, doesn't entail any of the conclusions made in the movie. Like the constant emphasis on December 25 as a common divine birthday. That never existed in Christian tradition, until centuries later when it was assimilated to popular pagan practice. Thus this fact can't have in any way influenced or inspired the original Christian myth. "

August 05, 2010 2:51 PM
Code:
http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2009/03/god-who-wasnt-there.html

I'll address Carrier's comments later on when I have time.

Here's another professional historian who made monumental errors regarding Zeitgeist part 1 - Dr. Chris Forbes on Zeitgeist part 1

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:54 pm 
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Here are comments by Dr. Carrier long before Zeitgeist part 1 was ever heard of - from Carrier's own website.

* I thought it was a bit humorous that Carrier mentions the word "zeitgeist" below.
Quote:
Spiritual Body FAQ:

Q: Was the pre-Christian Osiris really "resurrected" according to ancient sacred narratives?

A: Yes. See my discussion in Osiris and Pagan Resurrection Myths: Assessing the Till-McFall Exchange (2002) and the distinctions I make in the materials cited above.
Code:
http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/Carrier_on_Osiris_.html

Q: Do you really think the Osiris myths inspired Mark's narrative?

A: In part, possibly. But when I cite the parallels (and those are not the only ones, e.g. Osiris, like Jesus, was about thirty years old when he died, at least according to Luke 3:23 and Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris 13.356c), I state that "I don't know what to make of" them. Though I say they "seem an improbable coincidence," that does not entail they are, as what seems to be the case often is not, especially when trying to estimate probabilities among nebulous data. My only significant reason for mentioning them was in support of my statement that the "third day motif was certainly widespread" in ancient deathlore. In other words, I do not argue that Mark got the third day motif from the Osiris myth, but from the zeitgeist of the time--the same place the Osiris myth got it from (that it is present is determinable from the narrative: Plutarch reports that Osiris dies on "the 17th" of the month, and then his resurrection is celebrated "on the 19th" of that month, thus on the third day, counting inclusively just as for Jesus).

Nor do I argue in The Empty Tomb that Mark got any of the other paralleled ideas from the Osiris myth. Though I may argue that in the future, as I stated quite plainly in The Empty Tomb, "I see no need for such a connection." But I do remark upon them because they are odd. I still do not know what to make of them. Some or all of them could just be a coincidence, though I can't be sure. Hence I do not use them to make any argument in The Empty Tomb. For example:

* Osiris and Jesus both die during a full moon. For as I note, Jewish Law entailed every Passover would fall on a full moon (Exodus 12, Leviticus 23:5-8, Psalm 81, and Mishnah, Rosh Hashshanah 1.3ff.) and Jesus dies during a Passover (e.g. Mark 14:16ff.). Is there a deliberate symbolism in a murdered-then-revived-and-exalted god dying on a full moon that both stories are emulating, or is it merely accidental that Passovers fall on full moons? Beats me.

* Plutarch reports that a conspiracy of 72 men brought down Osiris, and Mark says the Sanhedrin conspired with Judas to bring down Jesus (though notably in each case the killing is done not by them but by a greater hostile power: the Egyptian Set, the Roman Pilate), and we know a complete Sanhedrin court at the time was legally required to consist of 71 men (the Great Sanhedrin, the largest court in Jerusalem), and conspiring with Judas makes 72 (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 1.5-6, which I already cited in n. 276 on p. 220). Though in reality the whole court would only sit at certain major cases, one of those was the trial of a false prophet. Of course, Mark might not have known there were lesser courts, or not have cared about such details (he already disregards other legal realities, such as that capital trials must be deliberated for two whole days and never at night: Mishnah, Sanhedrin 5.5 and 4.1j-l). He may have simply assumed (along with his intended readers) that "the whole Sanhedrin" would encompass all the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:55 and 15:1). One could also argue that Mark implies (truthfully or not) that at least one of the crimes Jesus was tried for was false prophecy (see Convicted as a False Prophet?). The full court would also sit if Jesus were a high priest, which could have been a deliberate symbolic implication (given Hebrews 2:17, 3:1, 4:14, etc.). But if Mark thought or meant the full Sanhedrin would sit at Christ's trial (for sound or unsound reasons), are both stories (one overtly, the other covertly) creating a conspiracy of 72 because this has some important symbolic meaning, or is it merely accidental that full Sanhedrins consisted of 71 members and adding Judas just happens to make 72 conspirators? Again, beats me.

* Being sealed in a chamber at one's burial (whether a tomb or a sarcophagus) is also shared by both tales, but I am already quite certain (as I argue on pp. 360-64) that Matthew added the detail of a seal to emulate (and in fact call attention to) Daniel in the Lion's Den, and thus obviously not Osiris (or any other god or hero who may also have been sealed in death in stories that don't survive). Matthew is also alone in adding that detail (or even the story that generates the pretext for it), just as Luke is alone in mentioning the age of Jesus. But double and triple entendres were popular in mythography, and ancient rhetoric generally, so both connections could easily have been intended. But is that what Matthew was doing? Or is it just an accident that Osiris and Daniel (and thence Jesus) both had seals placed on their places of burial? Once again, beats me. "
Code:
http://www.richardcarrier.info/SpiritualFAQ.html

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:11 pm 
Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
This has been brought to my attention:
Quote:
Richard Carrier said...

Examine those "defenses" critically:

Most of it consists of Murdock citing herself (as if you didn't know, Acharya S is D.M. Murdock);

Much of it consists of backtracking (making excuses for why the claims in the movie aren't quite exactly correct but nevertheless one can infer such things from largely unrelated data, provided you ignore their original context and chronological disparities and the general unintelligibility of the connections once the accurate data is grasped; and pretend things like that there was no difference between Osiris and Horus so you can just assume anything said of either applies to both, etc.);

And the rest is bogus (outdated or non-scholarly authors are cited for facts that there is no real evidence of, which one can only learn by trying to hunt down their sources--the most amusing example being any resurrection story for Mithras: follow that trail and you'll find nothing but a dry well).

Some of it also omits crucial details that cast suspicion on any real connection (e.g. Did you know Dionysus died as a baby, being then hacked up, and was resurrected as a baby, before he even grew up or had a ministry or anything else? You won't learn that from the carefully cropped quotes in their materials).

After all that, what remains that's correct, doesn't entail any of the conclusions made in the movie. Like the constant emphasis on December 25 as a common divine birthday. That never existed in Christian tradition, until centuries later when it was assimilated to popular pagan practice. Thus this fact can't have in any way influenced or inspired the original Christian myth. "

August 05, 2010 2:51 PM
Code:
http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2009/03/god-who-wasnt-there.html


This was my response to him:

Quote:
Carrier I would like to state the obvious, out about 345 footnotes Murdock (Acharya) is cited in 78 of them. That makes 267 citations that don't have her in the footnotes.

Also there are about 300+ sources throughout all. If you look at the amount of time Murdock is cited in the 267 footnotes and compare it to all the other sources cited, contracting with the amount of footnotes she isn't, you would find that her work only constitutes about 16% of the overall source guide.

In regards to detailed information that is left out... this is what I keep finding frustrating because Zeitgeist is talking attributes, not detailed history. In other words, it doesn't have to be a detailed by detailed account of how the person died; it just has to account for the critical points in the story.

I am pretty sure you and I can agree that pictorial events of how Oden hung himself on a tree certainly added to help Christians in their depictions of Christ being hung on the cross (or the pictorial statement found in Acts and the Epistles that he was hung on a tree). If this is the case, why does one need more information about him, like the reason why he did it or further detail; you also are ignoring the usage of typology to create myths (which is the most commonly used technique both in Classical Greek Myths and especially in Judaism).

I like your work Carrier, I just think that if your going to criticize someone you don't throw out these old arguments that don't make any sense due to your apparent bias.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:26 pm 
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Richard Carrier supports Naturalism as a Worldview

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysical_naturalism

Naturalism compliments our Mythicist Position and Pantheism but don't tell Carrier that because he might freak out. From what I've read from Carrier (Sense and Goodness without God) he would agree with about 90% of Acharya's work. Carrier just has a knee-jerk reaction to the way she presents it. Someone else could say essentially the same thing and Carrier would probably agree with it - until he found out it came from Acharya then, he'd freak out over it. The idea that Acharya may be right is something that I don't think Carrier could handle. He has already shown that he has no intention of ever being objective or supportive of her work (when or *IF* he ever does actually read it). Carrier just comes off as jealous and misogynistic.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:29 pm 
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Carrier does have a bias and he can't see the similarity in part because he's a literalist. That is he thinks it has to be word for word the same, but a stauros can be anything that is an upright stake. If one looks up cross in Strong and Vine they would see stauros and that the T stand for Tau, which comes from Chaldea and symbolizes Tammuz. That's my shorten version of what Strong and Vine say. It's all in there though and this can be applied to any dying and rising deity of the past.

No, I don't think Carrier can handle that she is right, but yet he says basically the same thing.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:03 pm 
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Response to Richard Carrier on the 'ZEITGEIST Sourcebook'

Below we find a response by Richard Carrier about the "ZEITGEIST Sourcebook." Here I'll be addressing his claims one at a time. As we can see, it appears that Carrier merely skimmed the Sourcebook prior to commenting on it. Carrier just cannot find it in himself to acknowledge that Acharya may be right about anything at all. His biases against her is obvious.

Quote:
Dr. Richard Carrier said...

Examine those "defenses" critically:

Most of it consists of Murdock citing herself (as if you didn't know, Acharya S is D.M. Murdock);

Much of it consists of backtracking (making excuses for why the claims in the movie aren't quite exactly correct but nevertheless one can infer such things from largely unrelated data, provided you ignore their original context and chronological disparities and the general unintelligibility of the connections once the accurate data is grasped; and pretend things like that there was no difference between Osiris and Horus so you can just assume anything said of either applies to both, etc.);

And the rest is bogus (outdated or non-scholarly authors are cited for facts that there is no real evidence of, which one can only learn by trying to hunt down their sources--the most amusing example being any resurrection story for Mithras: follow that trail and you'll find nothing but a dry well).

Some of it also omits crucial details that cast suspicion on any real connection (e.g. Did you know Dionysus died as a baby, being then hacked up, and was resurrected as a baby, before he even grew up or had a ministry or anything else? You won't learn that from the carefully cropped quotes in their materials).

After all that, what remains that's correct, doesn't entail any of the conclusions made in the movie. Like the constant emphasis on December 25 as a common divine birthday. That never existed in Christian tradition, until centuries later when it was assimilated to popular pagan practice. Thus this fact can't have in any way influenced or inspired the original Christian myth. "

August 05, 2010 2:51 PM

Scholars citing their own work

Quote:
Richard Carrier: "Most of it consists of Murdock citing herself (as if you didn't know, Acharya S is D.M. Murdock)"

False. From my count, her work only constitutes 78 out of the 345 footnotes, or about 23% of the overall citations, which means that 77% - almost 4/5ths - of it is not her citing herself. To say that "MOST of it consists of Murdock citing herself" is therefore quite inaccurate and unscientific.

Nevertheless, as someone with a PhD should know, scholars DO cite their own work often. There's just no need to re-hash several pages of material repeatedly when one can cite where they've already addressed specific issues. This is a ludicrous argument.

As a major example, the scholar Dr. Ramsay MacMullen is arguably the best Roman historian in English alive today. In this 331-page book, published by Yale University, he cites his own work at least 60 times, sometimes four or more on a page:

Corruption and the Decline of Rome by Ramsay MacMullen

Quote:
RC: "Much of it consists of backtracking (making excuses for why the claims in the movie aren't quite exactly correct but nevertheless one can infer such things from largely unrelated data, provided you ignore their original context and chronological disparities and the general unintelligibility of the connections once the accurate data is grasped; and pretend things like that there was no difference between Osiris and Horus so you can just assume anything said of either applies to both, etc.);"

There is no "backtracking" or "excuses" - quite the opposite. What there is, however, represents further substantiation from the most highly respected scholars, along with more primary sources and the further explanation of these issues. As concerns his comments between the parentheses, Carrier seems utterly unable to conceptualize how myths are made - if one believes that the gospel story of Christ is a myth, then one surely knows that whoever made it up took bits and pieces of other stories, not whole stories in perfect chronological order. What culture has ever done that?

Is Carrier saying that there are NO borrowed myths or mythical motifs in Christianity? If not, then he either believes that gospel story happened or that its authors just made everything up whole cloth - either way would demonstrate a supernatural and unrealistic view. If so, were these borrowed in perfect chronological order or as separate elements?

Interchangeability of Egyptian gods

Also, as professional Egyptologists know, many ancient Egyptian texts are quite specific about the interchangeability of the Egyptian gods, including and especially Osiris and Horus:

"...the deceased in the Coffin Texts also represents Osiris, as at CT Sp. 475 and the interchangeability of the deceased with Osiris—and Horus—is likewise illustrated at CT Sp. 215, in which the speaker states: '…he [Osiris] says: He is his son, he is his heir; He is Horus, and I am he.'"

- Murdock, Christ in Egypt, p. 38

"In the Book of the Dead, the deceased is made to take a variety of roles, demonstrating the interchangeability of the characters in these recitations, utterances or spells. For example, in BD 69, the dead king is made to say, '…I am Horus the Elder on the Day of Accession, I am Anubis of Sepa, I am the Lord of All, I am Osiris.' The unity of divine and mortal personalities is also recognizable in the Coffin Texts, as at CT Sp. 485, in which the deceased says, '…I am Horus and Thoth, I am Osiris and Atum.' In this regard, the fusion of the deceased and the many deities—not a few of whom possess solar attributes—also needs to be kept in mind as we attempt to outline the Egyptian mythos and ritual."

- Murdock, Christ in Egypt, pp. 55-56

"So interchangeable are Osiris and Horus that there is even a hybrid god Osiris-Horus or Asar-Heru. Indeed, the two are so close that one sees discussion of the 'Horus-Osiris king,' referring to the pharaoh, who is both Osiris and his son, such as by [Egyptologist Dr. Rudolf] Anthes, who repeatedly refers to 'Horus-Osiris' as a single entity.

"...as the sun progresses through the day and night, 'he' becomes a number of characters—or changes his epithets and characteristics, as it were, as he merges with other gods—beginning with the rising sun, Horus, who at noon becomes Re, who at sunset becomes Tmu or Atum, who at midnight becomes Osiris, who becomes Horus at sunrise, and so on."

- Murdock, Christ in Egypt, p. 56[/b]

"As Dr. [Claude] Traunecker also states, 'Rare are deities who make do with having a single function, and many are those who declare themselves to have been the Sole One at the first moment of creation.' This contention for the multiplicity of function and interchangeability of roles will be understood more so for the Egyptian religion than for, say, the Greek or the Roman, with their distinct deities and well developed myths. In Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt, [Egyptologist Dr. Erik] Hornung discusses Egyptian syncretism, remarking:

"'…The natures of the individual gods are not clearly demarcated, so that aspects of one god can be identical with those of another. Here we encounter a phenomenon that is of the greatest importance for Egyptian religion and its deities: "syncretism."'"

- Murdock, Christ in Egypt, p. 58

"The 'confounding' of deities so abundant within Egyptian religion constitutes not an error but may be deliberate since, as stated, the myths and characteristics of gods and goddesses frequently blend into and overlap each other. The interchangeability of Osiris and Horus, for example, becomes evident on a daily basis, as the night sun Osiris at dawn becomes Horus, as we have already seen. Regarding Osiris’s transformation into Horus, [Egyptologist Dr.] James Allen states:

"'Within Nut’s womb, he embodied the force through which the Sun received the power of new life, to appear at dawn as Osiris reborn in his own son, the god Horus.'"

- Murdock, Christ in Egypt, p. 62

Clearly, professional Egyptologists disagree with Carrier. There's much more on this subject throughout Christ in Egypt. Also, in the Roman Empire by the time Jesus supposedly lived, the Greeks and Romans themselves were combining their gods with each other and with others in the empire, like the Egyptian. So, they equated Osiris with Dionysus, and Horus with Apollo, for example. Acharya's not just conflating gods all over the place - she's very specifically discussing gods that the ancients themselves syncretized.

Quote:
RC: "And the rest is bogus (outdated or non-scholarly authors are cited for facts that there is no real evidence of, which one can only learn by trying to hunt down their sources--the most amusing example being any resurrection story for Mithras: follow that trail and you'll find nothing but a dry well)."

"The rest is bogus?" That is not a very scientific, scholarly or accurate statement at all. What "rest?" While Acharya does use a relatively few sources from an earlier period, these older scholars are supported by other evidence, which she also provides, and shows that dismissing them as "outdated" and "non-scholarly" is really just calumny.

Of the some 170 sources in the bibliography, only 25-30 are of this older generation, and out of the 345 footnotes, these are cited about 50-60 times. That's 15-18% in the bibliography, and 14-17% of the citations. And, again, these are backed up by other evidence, either here in the Sourcebook or in Acharya's other works. Some of this percentage is from professional Egyptologists like Budge, Lenormant and Sharpe, and they are not necessarily "outdated" just because they wrote in the 19th or early 20th centuries.

Sources in the "ZEITGEIST Sourcebook"

Most of the Sourcebook is from highly credentialed modern scholars from relevant fields like the following. To reiterate, the new ZG1 Sourcebook actually contains many NEW sources, as explained in the Preface:

"...the best and most thorough, scholarly and modern sources wherever possible, with the result that many authorities cited here possess credentials from respected institutes of higher learning, and their publishers are some of the most scholarly in English (and other languages), such as:

E.J. Brill
Peeters
Kegan Paul
Oxford University/Clarendon Press
Princeton University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cornell University Press
Yale University Press
University of Chicago Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
University of Wisconsin Press
Johns Hopkins Press
Harcourt, Brace & Co.
MacMillan & Co., etc."

Those who really know what academia is will recognize the list above as the best of the best respected institutes of higher learning. Hand-waving dismissals will not suffice. And saying, "the rest is bogus outdated or non-scholarly authors" is sloppy, irresponsible and unbecoming of a serious scholar with a PhD. Not only is the material NOT "bogus," but it also comes from sources who are NOT "outdated" or "non-scholarly authors" at all - that's an insult to them and to Acharya.

Here's a taste of those "outdated" and "non-scholarly authors" Acharya cites in the ZG Sourcebook:

Dr. Miranda J. Aldhouse-Green, a professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University
Dr. Lee I.A. Levine, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary
Dr. Edwin C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory
Dr. Emund S. Meltzer, American Egyptologist
Dr. James P. Allen, curator of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dr. Erik Hornung, professor emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Basel
Dr. Henri Frankfort, Dutch Egyptologist
Dr. Jan Assman, professor of Egyptology at the University of Konstanz
Dr. Badrya Serry, director of the Antiquities Museum at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt
Dr. Bojana Mojsov, Egyptologist
Dr. Reginald E. Witt, Egyptologist and professor at the University of London
Dr. G. Johannes Botterweck, professor of Old Testament and Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn
Dr. Alfred Wiedermann, Egyptologist and professor of Oriental Languages at the University of Bonn
Dr. John Gwyn Griffiths, Welsh professor of Classics and Egyptology
Dr. Raymond O. Faulkner, English Egyptologist
Dr. Tryggve N.D. Mettinger, professor of Old Testament Studies at the University of Lund
Rev. Dr. Alfred Bertholet, a theologian and professor at the University of Göttingen
Dr. Herman te Velde, a chairman of the Department of Egyptology at the University of Groningen
Dr. Andrew T. Fear, professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Manchester
Dr. David Adams Leeming, professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at the University of Connecticut
Dr. Patricia A. Johnston, Brandeis University professor of Classical Studies
Dr. David John Tacey, professor at La Trobe University
Dr. Edwin F. Bryant, professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University
Dr. Hugo Rahner, Jesuit theologian, dean and president of Innsbruck University
Sir Dr. Edmund Ronald Leach, Cambridge professor and anthropologist
Dr. Donald White, professor emeritus of Classics at the University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Martin Schwartz, professor of Iranian Studies at the University of California
Rev. Dr. Harold R. Willoughby, professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago
Dr. Mary Boyce, professor of Iranian Studies
Dr. Payam Nabarz, Iranian scholar
Dr. Marvin Meyers, a professor of Religious Studies at Chapman College
Dr. Theony Condos, professor at the American University of Armenia
Dr. Aviram Oshri, senior archaeologist with the Israeli Antiquities Authority
Dr. Chris Dolan, American astronomer
Rev. Dunbar T. Heath of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
Dr. John L. Heilbron, professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley
Dr. K.A. Heinrich Kellner, a professor of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn
Dr. David Ulansey, philosopher professor at California Institute of Integral Studies
Dr. Robert M. Schoch, geologist and professor at Boston University
Dr. Henricus Oort, Dutch theologian and professor of Hebrew Antiquities at the University of Leiden
Rev. Dr. J. Glen Taylor, an associate professor of Old Testament at the University of Toronto

And that's not all of her sources, the rest of which are listed in the Sourcebook bibliography. Maybe we should email some of these people - all of them are modern scholars - and ask them what they would think about Carrier's comment that they are "outdated" and "non-scholarly authors."

RC: "no real evidence"

Actually, Acharya's provided a HUGE amount of evidence, but Carrier wouldn't know that because he hasn't studied it. She provided the evidence in this very Sourcebook, in which she quotes or cites the following primary sources and ancient testimony.

Ancient artifacts and archaeological sites such as:

Lascaux, Altamira and Trois Freres cave paintings
Tassili N'Aijer figures
Mohenjo-daro, Indus Valley site
Goseck, Germany
Thirteen Towers, Chankillo, Peru
Nabta Playa, Egypt
Karanovo Tablet
Dendera zodiac
Brindisi disk
Greek pottery, paintings, mosaics, temples
Roman mosiacs, paintings and statuary
Early Christian artifacts, etc.

And writings such as:

Egyptian hymns, hieroglyphs, papyri and carvings
Pyramid Texts
Coffin Texts
Book of the Dead
Herodotus
Berossus
Diodorus
Porphyry
Eusebius
Pausanias
Bible
Pythagoras
Plato
Aristotle
Diodorus Siculus
Epiphanius
Hippolytus
Plutarch
Tertullian
Justin Martyr
Minucius Felix
Clement Alexandrinus
Tatian
Augustine
Arnobius
Julius Firmicus Maternus
Lactantius
Macrobius
Julian
Vedas
Mahabharata
Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavata Purana
Mahāvastu
Lalita Vistara
Vishnu Purana
Hesiod
Homer
Euripides
Proclus
Origen
Celsus
Philo
Josephus
Avesta
Pseudo-Eratosthenes
Venerable Bede
Cyprian
Ambrose
Hipparchus
Archelaus
Epic of Gilgamesh
Assyrian, Babylonia, Akkadian tablets
Dead Sea Scrolls
Tacitus

More of the "non-existent" evidence can be found here:

Documented Sources for Zeitgeist Part One (much of it comes from Acharya's books and her sources)

Zeitgeist Part 1 & the Supportive Evidence

As we can see, there is plenty of evidence.

RC: "trying to hunt down their sources" - with the long list above, the only "hunting" one needs to do is to be able to read English. But isn't "hunting down sources" what scholars are supposed to do, as Acharya has done here? And, in fact, in her books, especially Christ in Egypt and Who Was Jesus?, she's hunted down some amazing sources in a bunch of languages and provided the translations as well. But, only someone who had actually read her work would know that.

Mithra and resurrection

Also, Acharya has already been working on an article about "Mithraism and Resurrection." So, in the meantime, here is just one of the quotes at the beginning representing the premise of the article:

"In the rites of Dionysus, Attis, Serapis, and above all in the Mithraic ritual, the death and resurrection of the god were central feature of the myth....

"...the central element in all the various Mystery-cults is some form of rite de passage by which the initiate passes from a state of darkness and sin to light and freedom. In many of the cults this element is a symbolic identification of the devotee with the death and resurrection of the god, whose passion and triumph is related in the myth...

"...a closer examination points to the presence of this element of identification with the death and resurrection of the god in the Mithraic mysteries."

- Dr. Samuel H. Hooke, The Siege Perilous, pp. 80-81, 85.

Wiki says that Dr. Samuel Hooke (d. 1968) was a scholar of Comparative Religion and a professor of Old Testament Studies at London University. I see also that Christian apologist F.F. Bruce edited his work. Apparently, this long-term professional scholar and professor knows more about this supposed "dry well" than does Carrier.

Quote:
RC: "Some of it also omits crucial details that cast suspicion on any real connection (e.g. Did you know Dionysus died as a baby, being then hacked up, and was resurrected as a baby, before he even grew up or had a ministry or anything else? You won't learn that from the carefully cropped quotes in their materials)."

Carrier apparently skimmed through the new ZG1 Sourcebook a little too quickly - if at all - because the issues he brings up regarding Dionysus ARE addressed in no. 21, pp. 42 to 47:

"In the common myth about the birth of Dionysus/Bacchus, Semele is mysteriously impregnated by one of Zeus's bolts of lightning—an obvious miraculous/virgin conception. In another account, Jupiter/Zeus gives Dionysus's torn-up heart in a drink to Semele, who becomes pregnant with the 'twice born' god this way, again a miraculous or 'virgin' birth. Indeed, Joseph Campbell explicitly calls Semele a 'virgin':

"'While the maiden goddess sat there, peacefully weaving a mantle on which there was to be a representation of the universe, her mother contrived that Zeus should learn of her presence; he approached her in the form of an immense snake. And the virgin conceived the ever-dying, ever-living god of bread and wine, Dionysus, who was born and nurtured in that cave, torn to death as a babe and resurrected...'"

That's Joseph Campbell's word, "resurrected."

RC: "before he even grew up or had a ministry or anything else"

Dionysus is born again and then as an adult travels around in his "ministry." There are loads of images of Dionysus as an adult. The point here is that Dionysus dies and is reborn or resurrected. Carrier apparently thinks this myth is a real story and really happened, if he is not understanding how mythmaking goes, taking one element and combining it with others, not necessarily in that order. Nobody's claiming that this story took place in real, linear time.

December 25th/winter solstice

Quote:
RC: "After all that, what remains that's correct, doesn't entail any of the conclusions made in the movie. Like the constant emphasis on December 25 as a common divine birthday. That never existed in Christian tradition, until centuries later when it was assimilated to popular pagan practice. Thus this fact can't have in any way influenced or inspired the original Christian myth. "

Wow, where to begin? This sounds like something out of the Christian apologist playbook. First of all, "After all that?" All what? It's blatantly obvious that Carrier didn't even read the Sourcebook before making these sweeping generalizations and dismissals. Everything that's "left" is certainly relevant to the subject matter - because it all is to begin with. But, again, he wouldn't know that because he obviously didn't read it.

Furthermore, Carrier of all people should know that the Dec 25th motif is an ancient Pagan solar motif that was borrowed by Christianity. If there's a "constant emphasis" it's because all these Pagan gods were said to have been born on that date!

"The December 25th birthday is not given in the gospels; rather, it is a traditional date assigned to the birth of Jesus based on prior Pagan traditions. ... If we factor in the other solar and astrotheological motifs within Christianity, both in the New Testament and in Christian tradition, along with the highly important Pagan festivals of the day such as celebrations of the solstices and equinoxes, we can understand why Christians later appended the December 25th/winter-solstice holiday to their religion."

- ZG Sourcebook, #23, p. 52

"The well-known solar feast…of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date [for Christ’s Nativity]."

- "Christmas," Catholic Encyclopedia (III, 727)

"Thus, Christ's birth at the winter solstice was not formalized until the fourth century—and this fact demonstrates a deliberate contrivance by Christian officials to usurp other religions, as we contend the entire Christian religion was specifically created by human beings to do.

"It should be kept in mind also that this December 25th date was related to the Nativity of John the Baptist at the summer solstice, or June 24th, per the Catholic calendar of festivals. The placement of Christmas and St. John's Day as six months apart is based on biblical scripture at Luke 1:24-27, in which the Baptist's mother was said to have conceived six months before the Virgin Mary did likewise. The astrotheological nature of this tale is evidenced further at John 3:30, in which the Baptist is made to say mysteriously in reference to Christ:

"'He must increase, but I must decrease.'

"While this peculiar statement would make little sense if applied to human beings, it may provide a clue that the gospel writers in fact knew that they were discussing the winter and summer sun as it moved from solstice to solstice."

- Murdock, Christ in Egypt, pp. 81-82

John the Baptist and Jesus's Birthdays

Nobody has said that the winter solstice birthday or "Christmas" was part of the original Christian myth, so that's a straw man. The point here is that it demonstrates Christian tradition in glomming onto Pagan themes and using them to enhance their god, godman and religion. We can trace loads of other themes like this one - many of them solar or astrotheological - in the gospel story and other Christian tradition. This shows a pattern - and a very obvious one at that. Is Carrier seriously arguing that we should ignore this blatant and huge parallel in comparative religion studies?

Conclusion

Again, it doesn't appear Carrier even read the Sourcebook, or he skimmed it in haste (as he has done before with his Luxor article, which has been addressed here Luxor and in the FAQ's) as many of the points he claims weren't addressed actually were addressed.

It also appears that Carrier is stuck in his rigid adherence to knee-jerk reactions to anything by Acharya S - even if he agrees in the end. It just seems like he has no intention of ever being objective or friendly towards her or her work - even though we're all really on the same team. He really comes off as jealous and unprofessional. I'm not sure how he got the idea that he was the king of religious history and that nobody can do it right except him. There's always room for legitimate and constructive criticism; surely, Carrier can do better than knee-jerk reactions? It should be pointed out that Acharya has never done anything to Richard Carrier to warrant any of his derogatory comments over the years, which has influenced others to do the same. His behavior sets a bad example, bad influence and lowers the level of discourse. And, to the best of my knowledge, Richard Carrier still hasn't read a single book by Acharya S/Murdock!!!!!

Here we are trying to gather attention to the MYTHICIST POSITION, and atheistic and freethinking scholars like Carrier are making sure that this material doesn't get into the academic circle and continues to be dismissed and ridiculed. This sort of thing is pretty much the same as what the Christian apologists have done for nearly 2,000 years. Whose side is he on? Is he just in this for himself? We are trying to get this fantastic information out to the masses, because they have a right and responsibility to know the origins, evolution and history of religious concepts. Carrier appears to side with Christian apologists in trying to continue to suppress, censor and keep buried this information for another 2,000 years. We find this suppression to be appalling. We're working hard here to present the facts and evidence that really exists, and to try to make it easier for the public to digest. And that's where Zeitgeist part 1 has succeeded like no other form of medium in history.

People tend to forget that Zeitgeist part 1 was not our movie - we didn't create it. We would've presented it differently but until something better is created it does serve as a basic introduction.

Basic factoids concerning the creation of Zeitgeist part 1:

Zeitgeist part 1 is only around 25 minutes long and was never created to serve as a scholarly documentary. The transcript and subtitles have been translated into nearly 3 dozen different languages, and the film has been viewed over 100 million times worldwide. All one has to do is read the Q & A at the Zeitgeist website to see how ZG came into existence:
Quote:
"Zeitgeist came into existence as a personal project which was shown in New York as a free public awareness expression. After the event was over, "The Movie" was tossed online with little thought given to a public response. Within a month, the film was getting record views. Months later, the "Final Edition" was completed. In total, the views for "Zeitgeist, The Movie" have exceeded 50,000,000 on Google video alone. Considering the other posts in different formats, along with public screenings, it is estimated that the total world views are well over 100 Million."

- Peter Joseph
from here


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:11 pm 
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Good response and it is very much accurate from what I can tell.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:41 pm 
Pretty good response, I wouldn't use Murdock's work alone to validate her claims... but that is just me. I would use her work to take a portion of her claim then validate it with other sources that show is right.

That is my approach but that is about it.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:02 am 
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Hi FTL, thanks for drawing my attention to this debate.

I hadn't heard of Carrier before, so looked at his wikipage and found that "in his contribution to The Empty Tomb Carrier argues that the earliest Christians probably believed Jesus had received a new body in the resurrection" and he believes it is "possible the original body of Jesus was misplaced or stolen."

Really, this literalist reading of the Bible is like debating whether Frodo Baggins was actually related to Gollum in the Lord of the Rings.

His desire to engage in such apologetic debate basically rules Carrier out as a defender of naturalism. His commentary on the empty tomb puts him on an entirely wrong track regarding the identity of Jesus Christ. There is no naturalistic evidence for Jesus, so debating about the empty tomb is a careerist suck-up.

What we see here is that an emotional supernaturalism creeps back in to a so-called atheist naturalism.

Naturalism requires that we analyse cultural evolution on the basis of empirical evidence. This is precisely what Acharya S and other mythicists such as Earl Doherty have done.

The reaction of hysterical book-burners is actually unsurprising, if very disappointing. Abrahamic faith has enormous vested interests, and sees the intrusion of non-Abrahamic identities as a threat to its identity and power. Yet, the evidence suggests Abraham means 'out of Brahma' and Sarah is the Sarasvati River, displaying an Indian mythic origin for the Abrahamic doctrines.

To put Abraham and Christ in this bigger scientific framework of cultural evolution, analysed through comparative mythology, is taboo to the insecure minds of orthodox institutions. They would rather hold on to the coat tails of Abraham as their security blanket than allow free speech in universities. The censorial attitude displayed by Richard Carrier is appalling and backward and should be condemned by all who aspire to enlightenment.

On the question of links of Christ and Egyptian myth, Carrier displays an inability to comprehend the mythic formation of identity. The sun is both Osiris and Horus, in its aspects at midnight and dawn. It is the same sun, but it has a different relation to the earth and human life. The sun is also Jesus Christ, taking on a new identity for the new age of Pisces-Virgo.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:48 am 
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Voice of Reason wrote:
Pretty good response, I wouldn't use Murdock's work alone to validate her claims... but that is just me.

Please note the very first paragraph in my response:

Nevertheless, as someone with a PhD should know, scholars DO cite their own work often. There's just no need to re-hash several pages of material repeatedly when one can cite where they've already addressed specific issues. This is a ludicrous argument.

As a major example, the scholar Dr. Ramsay MacMullen is arguably the best Roman historian in English alive today. In this 331-page book, published by Yale University, he cites his own work at least 60 times, sometimes four or more on a page:

Corruption and the Decline of Rome by Ramsay MacMullen

Also, citing others is precisely what she does already anyway. When she cites her own work it often leads to primary sources and scholarly commentary on them. Her book titled, Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection (CIE) alone is nearly 600 pages and contains almost 2,400 footnote/citations to primary sources and expert commentary on them from a wide variety of backgrounds & expertise from over 900 bibliographical references to scholarly journals, books, articles etc and 60+ images and a map.

Acharya S/Murdock currently has five books to date with over 2,100 pages of text, including over 5,700 footnotes/citations to primary sources and the works of highly credentialed and respected authorities in relevant fields of study from a wide variety of backgrounds, including many Christian scholars, adding up to over 1,600 bibliographical sources. Her books also contain over 300 illustrations.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:19 am 
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Thanks for your thoughts Robert, very well said. To reiterate your point. In another thread here there was an issue that came up questioning the Jesus Seminar position on a historical Jesus (HJ). So, I asked Acharya to e-mail Dr. Price on the Jesus Seminar issue of their acceptance of a historical Jesus on an a priori assumption rather than credible evidence. Since he is a Jesus Seminar fellow - he was there, below is his response to her.
Quote:
"As for the Jesus Seminar, none of the Fellows (besides me and possibly the Unitarian minister Davidson Lohr) took the Christ Myth hypothesis seriously, though neither did they waste time denouncing it. (Bob Funk somewhere very late in the 90s announced that the Seminar did not dismiss or denounce Christ-Myth theorists.) I think they were essentially pursuing the historical Jesus paradigm as far as it could be taken: on the assumption that there was such a figure, what can plausibly be attributed to him? Nor is that a bad way to proceed, though the meager residue (an authentic 18% of both sayings and stories) makes me think it's past time to rethink the whole premise.

"As for this tiresome business about there being "no scholar" or "no serious scholar" who advocates the Christ Myth theory: Isn't it obvious that scholarly communities are defined by certain axioms in which grad students are trained, and that they will lose standing in those communities if they depart from those axioms? The existence of an historical Jesus is currently one of those. That should surprise no one, especially with the rightward lurch of the Society for Biblical Literature in recent years. It simply does not matter how many scholars hold a certain opinion. If one is interested in the question one must evaluate the issues and the evidence for oneself. This is what you and I have done... "

- Dr. Robert M. Price, Biblical Scholar

Carrier has apparently decided to join in on that axiom of a HJ. In other words, he has sold out i.e. "a careerist suck-up" as you put it.
Quote:
On page 108, of "The Gospel of Jesus" "99" by Jesus Seminar Director & founder Robert W. Funk:

"The Jesus Seminar concludes that approximately 85% of the words and actions of Jesus as reported in the New Testament are not authentic -- he never said or did most of those things."

Yet, the JS still assume a priori that there existed a historical Jesus - without credible evidence to substantiate the claim. They simply disagree with the New Testament version of who he was, what he said and what he did.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:09 pm 
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In response to Robert Tulip, I would just like to inform him that I have read the anthology compiled by Jeffrey Jay Lowder and Dr. Robert M. Price, The Empty Tomb, of which Dr. Carrier was one contributor. In fairness, his essay was in no way an "apologetic" screed. The book dealt with the issue on a hypothetical premise of an historical Jesus crucifixion, complete with a missing corpse upon visitation of his presumptive tomb during the Passover in the morning after the conclusion of Sabbath. The arguments presented by the essayists were heavily weighted against the conclusion of resurrection and in favor of a medley of naturalist explanations, contrary to such noted apologists like Dr. William Lane Craig, Dr. Gary Habermas, and Lee Strobel.

Price and Carrier did and have elsewhere expressed arguments of doubt about the historicity of the premises. Lowder and others are more inclined to accept historical claims. But the objective of the compilation was to express arguments against resurrection as a viable explanation even if sources and accounts of historical crucifixion and entombment were unimpeachable. I thought Carrier's essay was informative, structurally sound, a bit pedantic but otherwise interesting, and his arguments not always persuasive. As to his assertions about the physiological character of the resurrection among early Christians, my study leads me to believe that Christian dynamism was extremely fragmented and sectarian right out of the starting gate. Bob Price's note of the versatility in the properties of the resurrected Christ from within the gospel accounts boosts my inclination to believe that there was never a consensus view on the properties and essentials of what precisely it was that was resurrected in nascent Christianity, given that the movement itself stemmed from such a broad cross-current of cultural influences.

Carrier has a bias that favors high-degreed academic scholarship. What is more disturbing is that he buys into the Columbia (and history departments of other schools) updated view of historiography that even academic scholarship as source material should be discarded that is more than roughly 50 years old, a methodology reviled at places like Harvard which claim venerated historians of old such as Samuel Elliot Morrison and Francis Parkman. Of course the credentialed expositor who lays claim to these crackpot ground rules can and do reference "exceptions" without explanation to the violations. The emergence and study of newly revealed primary sources and expository texts closer to the occasion of the studied historical event always leads us to change our conclusions about events and circumstances in history, but this phenomenon is hardly grounds for sweeping all away former scholarship from this humanity be it derived from an academic or journalistic background, or otherwise.

Drawing assumptions about
"lack of evidence" just because a secondary source is not recent or authored by a sufficiently credentialed investigator is slovenly.


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