Re: Mu (Was Re: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians, stonewalling the facts)

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Sun Apr 03 2005 - 19:52:11 EDT

Message1st, your view of Genesis goes precisely 0% of the way toward "allay[ing] Pauls concern about if CHrist be not risen, then we are most to be pitied." If that's the concern you have to look at the evidence relating to a putative event of ~ A.D. 30. Whether or not early Genesis is historical is only marginally related to such an investigation.

2d, your argument would be much more compelling if you actually demonstrated the historical character of early Genesis &/or its accuracy relative to modern science.
But you do neither. Your historical arguments are all "might have been" ones that require pushing the supposed historical events millions of years into the past so that the chances of actually verifying that the text is "real history" is essentially zero. & your attempts to get an elementary version of a modern scientific description of origins from Genesis requires that you first put that description in. Genesis 1 doesn't have an elementary version of big bang cosmology. Sure, you can read it now as if it did but that's quite different from doing it before Friedmann & Hubble.

In other words, your claim that Genesis shows that the God of the Bible has communicated at some level how he created the universe simply isn't true. Genesis doesn't tell us about the big bang, MWB, condensation of the solar system from interstellar material, or biological evolution. (It does speak about mediated creation of life, thus opening up onessibility for us to think theologically about evolution, but that's another matter.) So even if it were necessary to have the kind of proof you want about the how of these matters, Genesis doesn't give it to you.

(& even if it did, this would provide no way of distinguishing between Christianity, Judaism & Islam.)

3d, while I don't think this is very important in the present context, I think you've been rather uncritical in accepting the claims of your source about Mithraism. That's a religion that I happen to know something about & while there are indeed significant similarities, the list you give overstates them. & there are also significant differences - the most important for our present purpose being that few scholars today would deny that Jesus ever lived while even fewer would claim that Mithra - or for that matter Attis or Horus - did live.

4th, I could paraphrase your statement "If a god is clueless about how the world is created, then he isn't THE God" with "If a god is clueless about the ultimate structure of matter [or whatever scientific issue you wish], then he isn't THE God." Then I could start doing my own eisegesis by trying to find the electron in Heb.11:3 (Rimmer) or the strong nuclear interaction in Col.1:17 - & you would justifiably ridicule me.

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Glenn Morton
  To: 'George Murphy' ; 'asa'
  Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 6:29 PM
  Subject: RE: Mu (Was Re: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians, stonewalling the facts)

  Ok, I will take full responsibility for starting it up again. Why, I am not sure. What the punishment is, I am not sure.

   To me, the question I asked is a real, valid question. Without some grounding in REALITY, there is NO way to know that these scriptures are THE Scriptures. All religions ask us to have faith in their vision of theology. The way one becomes a muslim is simply to believe that Allah is the only god and Mohammed is his prophet. Simple faith. The way most protestants say one becomes a christian is faith in Jesus as Lord and savior. To become a Mormon, one must have faith that the book of mormon is telling you the way.

  Historical information is not enough to know whether or not a set of scriptures is THE Scripture. From our perspective, we can't prove the resurrection. All we have is some support for it. And clearly the resurrection itself is not so persuasive as to have converted the entire Roman empire who suddenly said, Wow, that guy got up from the dead!. Thus, the evidence for the resurrection, even in the First Century is not a logical necessity.

  While the resurrection may be the foundation of the Christian faith, it can't be the foundation for knowing that THIS religion is THE religion. My complaint is that your approach ultimately rests on fideism which excludes the possibility that other religions might be the true religion. That is why I say that the more liberal approach is doing the same as the YEC--never risking the possibility that the entire show might be false. Only by risking that, do we have a chance of determining its truth. For instance, there are many other resurrection religions
  Horus, Attus, Mithra, Zoroaster, etc.
  Here is what zoroaster taught:

  --Zoroaster was born of a virgin and "immaculate conception by a ray of divine reason."
  --He was baptized in a river.
  --In his youth he astounded wise men with his wisdom.
  --He was tempted in the wilderness by the devil.
  --He began his ministry at age 30.
  --Zoroaster baptized with water, fire and "holy wind."
  --He cast out demons and restored the sight to a blind man.
  --He taught about heaven and hell, and revealed mysteries, including resurrection, judgment, salvation and the apocalypse.
  --He had a sacred cup or grail.
  --He was slain.
  --His religion had a eucharist.
  --He was the "Word made flesh."
  --Zoroaster's followers expected a "second coming" in the virgin-born Saoshynt or Savior, who is to come in 2341 CE and begin his ministry at age 30, ushering in a golden age.

  And Mithra

  Mithra of Persia

  --Mithra was born of a virgin on December 25 in a cave, and his birth was attended by shepherds bearing gifts.
  --He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
  --He had 12 companions or disciples.
  --Mithra's followers were promised immortality.
  --He performed miracles.
  --As the "great bull of the Sun," Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.
  --He was buried in atomb and after three days rose again.
  --His resurrection was celebrated every year.
  --He was called "the Good Shepherd" and identified with both the Lamb and the Lion.
  --He was considered the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," [Word] "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."
  --His sacred day was Sunday, the "Lord's Day," hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ.
  --Mithra had his principal festival on what was later to become Easter.
  --His religion had a eucharist or "Lord's Supper," at which Mithra said, "He who shall nto eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved."
  --"His annual sacrifice is the Passover of the Magi, a symbolical atonement of pledge of moral and physical regeneration."

       Furthermore, the Vatican itself is built upon the papacy of Mithra, and the Christian hierarchy is nearly identical to the Mithraic version it replaced . . .
  . . . Virtually all of the elements of the Catholic ritual, from miter to wafer to altar to doxology, are directly taken from earlier Pagan mystery religions.
  the above from http://www.geocities.com/inquisitive79/godmen.html#mithra

  Is he, Zoroaster or is Jesus the one? This is a really important question that you wipe off the table by simply starting out by ruling this kind of question out of bounds or never really addressing it. This is why I raised Mu, this is why I talk about how both YEC and Libs tend to play the same game, never risking the discovery that the whole game might be a pseudo-theological joke from the 5th century BC. You don't ever address the real issue about WHY I look so hard at Genesis. It is the only place I can find that one has any hope of answering the above question, or at least getting some indications of an answer.

  Maybe the question isn't interesting to you, but that doesn't mean it isn't very vitally important. I am convinced from the anthropic principle that the odds are really good that someone created this universe so that it could evolve. I am also convinced that something very much like us would have been evolved if you played it again (This is Conway Morris' view). But the question is, which, if any of the multiple gods did it? I have faith in Jesus, but then, I have deluded myself before by believing in YEC.

  It doesn't seem enough to answer this question simply based upon the religion my mother had (my father was an atheist). Nor does it seem valid to answer it based upon my own conversion experience. One can have an experience smokin dope or chewing mushrooms. And I know how easy it is for me to delude myself--after all I was a publishing YEC writing much nonsense. It would be very easy for you or me to fool ourselves into believing that we are in the correct religion when we are not. My view of genesis is an attempt to allay Pauls concern about if CHrist be not risen, then we are most to be pitied.

  I do share one thing with AiG. If a god is clueless about how the world is created, then he isn't THE God. You won't consider that question because you start with the fideist position that this IS the God and work from there. I don't. this question of God's cluelessness is why Genesis is so important.

  As to your view of Genesis, you do pick and chose what is historical. You have told me several times you don't accept talking snakes. If the snake ain't real, then he is something like: allegorical or poetic, or deeply meaningful. But if that is so difficult to accept, why is a risen savior so easy to believe? It seems easier for a snake to talk than for a brain without oxygen for 3 days to talk again. Your approach is a terrible ad hoc methodology as far as I am concerned. Heads the Christianity wins, tails all other religions lose.

  But then, the YECs play the same game. Heads the Bible wins, tails science loses.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: George Murphy [mailto:gmurphy@raex.com]
    Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 4:22 PM
    To: Glenn Morton; 'asa'
    Subject: Re: Mu (Was Re: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians, stonewalling the facts)

    OK Glenn, you started it up again. I have NEVER said that scripture is "unreal" even in the sense in which you use the word. I have ALWAYS insisted that scripture contains historical information. In particular, it contains historical information which provide reasonable support for the claim that Jesus of Nazareth lived, was crucified and was raised from the dead.

    That is the foundation of Christian faith. It does not mean that Genesis or any other part of scripture is irrelevant but the historical truth of early Genesis is not the article by which the church stands or falls. Your arguments, on the other hand, give the impression that you share with AiG the belief that Christianity is based on the historical truth of Genesis. Only the cartoons are missing. It's misleading to suggest that the basic difference between us is that you think scripture speaks of what's real and I don't. The difference is really more about what's of primary importance.

    & please stop suggesting (as below) that my view of Genesis is that it's "allegory." It isn't. Rich F e.g., thinks Genesis is to be read as allegory & you can argue with him about that, but it isn't my view.

    Shalom
    George
    http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Glenn Morton
      To: 'George Murphy' ; 'asa'
      Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 9:22 AM
      Subject: RE: Mu (Was Re: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians, stonewalling the facts)

      And the serious question is: How do we know that the Scripture isn't the funniest pseudo-theology every published?

      That is why it must be real. If it there isn't reality in it, it is pseudo-theology. And one thing the laity, who accept YEC are telling us, is that REAL trumps so-called 'truth' in human psychology. That is why they reject the allegorical approach and why they reject science.
        -----Original Message-----
        From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of George Murphy
        Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2005 2:11 PM
        To: Glenn Morton; 'asa'
        Subject: Mu (Was Re: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians, stonewalling the facts)

        I said Glenn could have the last word this time but I would be cheating others on the list if I didn't point out to others on the list that the Mu books to which he referred are some of the funniest volumes of pseudo-science ever published. (Most things of that sort are pretty dreary.) If you have a chance to get James Churchward's The Lost Continent of Mu (Paperback Library, 1968 - 1st published 1931) cheaply, don't pass it up. It has wonderful scholarly footnotes like "Greek Record" and a drawing of "An Ancient Maya Tablet" that looks remarkably like a gumball machine.

        Shalom
        George
        http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
Received on Sun Apr 3 19:54:48 2005

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