06 September 2009

Mithras - Pagan Origins of Christianity

In conversation with my Christian friends and family they struggle to link me with my non-belief in a deity, any deity. They know I don't steal, have no interest in harming anyone and yet I don't seem to follow any religious creeds or codes. How can that be? 'Where do you get your moral framework from?' A question I always dislike!
I suppose I give myself time and space to think and critically analyse information that passes my way. I don't believe anything I am told without giving it some thought.
Dr Robert Beckford, in this video, is a theologian who has some interesting information which I thought might get some brain juices flowing in relation to the origins of Jesus and paganism - particularly people who are theists. Unfortunately, most religions ensure their adherents are hardwired to reject anything which contradicts their teachings. It arrests human development and ensures rational arguments are not heard, whilst the abuse of children and vulnerable adults continues.

If I suggest that you watch this video you may have been told that I represent some imaginary devil and so you are more likely to turn away quickly, close your ears and encourage your children to do the same.

Remember this info is from a 'man of the cloth'!
Let me know what you think!


isabella mori said...

it's funny how we all come from different points of view. pagans influenced chrisitianity? yawn, doesn't EVERYONE know that?


i could never understand why people think you have to be part of a religion to behave ethically. it's like saying summer produces ice cream. just because you see the two together quite frequently doesn't mean one causes the other.

isabella mori said...

me again. just read this: "those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- voltaire" - thought you might like that :)

1skepticalbrother said...

Anyone with an objective mind should be able to appreciate that fact that none of the belief systems from this area of the world were immune from cross-pollination. Rational and reasonable folks need to study pre-Abrahamic religions and inform believers (not that information or facts will persuade them) when they approach us with their dogmas, that they need to do some research on their own. Now that the religious authorities no longer have a strangle-hold on the minds and utterances of the people, we should be ready with objective data and invite our believing sisters and brothers to sit down and reason with us. Thank you for being you Zee!

uglyblackjohn said...

I'm a Christian who believes that the religion is just an amagamation of wisdoms from thoughout time.
Isn't the message that which is important?

1skepticalbrother said...

My Brother uglyblackjohn, For me the answer to your question is not that simple. "Isn't the message that which is important?" This question/response has been offered to me when I've highlighted the bloody history of the message, the messengers and the message originator (the Judeo-Christian God). I can bring myself to understand how people can evolve in their behavior and treatment towards one another, but I cannot understand how their God, who is supposed to be UN-evolved, condoned and supervised the 2,000 year expansion project of the "message" that has caused so much suffering just because non-believing sovereign peoples, down through the centuries, rejected the "offer" of salvation. And please let us seriously examine this concept of Jews and Christians having "free will" while under the jurisdiction of a God that is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent...you can't convince me that you have it both ways. Either your deity is ALL, which means ALL, or it isn't. If you're interested you can google: The African American Agnostic, that's my blog/rant page, perhaps you may find some useful information there too. Peace and Critical Thinking ubj.

Blog Queen said...

Excellent post. Love your blog and what you're saying. Really appreciate whatever or "whoever" lead me here.

C Woods said...

I wish I knew where this quote came from ---it's one of my favorites:: "When reality conflicts with beliefs, people avoid reality." I am so convinced that it is impossible to change long-held beliefs, no matter how irrational they are, that I don't even try to talk to religious people about religion.

Mithra wasn't the only pagan god whose life was remarkably similar to that of Jesus. Attia, Krishna, Adonis, Buddha, Indra and others ----all were born of virgins and had similar characteristics as Jesus. And all of them were supposedly born long before Jesus. To me, it always seemed likely the early Christians used these ancient stories to develop the life story of Jesus.
Example: Krishna (lived about 1200 BC), born of a virgin (who was informed of the pending birth from an angelic heavenly voice), born in a cave, heralded by a star, visited by wise men bearing gifts, the birth occurred when his foster father was in the city to pay taxes to the king, the king sought the life of Krishna by ordering the slaughter of all male children born on that day, began speaking to his mother shortly after birth, imparted profound wisdom, performed miracles, was crucified. Sound familiar?

uglyblackjohn said...

@ 1sb - I didn't say that I had the answers - only that it is the answers that I am seeking.
I read a Julian Jaynes book that still has me questioning many of the beliefs (or method of belief) that I'd acquired throughout life.
I still believe in God - I just haven't been able to come up with a workable proof.

1skepticalbrother said...

ubj, please excuse my rants, I did not mean to imply that you had the answers. May I submit to you a few questions and comments for you to ruminate on. You asked..."Isn't it the message that's important ?" Okay, where is the historical evidence that documents Christians using the power of the "message" to convert non-believers over the past 2,000 years without the use of WMD's? You stated..."I still believe in God." Which "God?" Yahweh makes some very clear statements about amalgamating him with rival gods...see Isaiah 44:6 KJV. Jesus is alleged to have given similar warnings against god mixing in John 14:6. So perhaps it might be more accurate to state which god(s) you believe in. According to your holy book of preference, all gods are not equal. Keep searching for your truth ubj. Peace

uglyblackjohn said...

@ 1sb - Religion isn't itended to be a tool to govern others - only oneself.
"I" didn't mix everything up - the church did in an effort to subjugate it's people.
Why do these same stories keep popping up in most cultures?
Maybe there is a truth that we keep missing but that is so important that it keeps coming back.
This is the message I am seeking. Kind of like seeking singularity in quanta.

Shinade aka Jackie said...

I am just a very simple person and don't have any authors or fancy quotes to post.

I do believe to lump all Christians or any group together is just simply wrong.

It is stereotyping anyway you look at it.

What you say about all things here are true.

There are also pagan societies in history which also have committed many atrocities too.

Why must we always be on a quest, whatever our beliefs are to condemn, ridicule, and stereotype people simply because they have chosen a different road?

In my humble opinion I think you have targeted a very clear problem in the world today with this post.

The problem of lack of respect for all human beings no matter color, religious belief,sex and/or any reason.

I hope you have a great weekend!!

1skepticalbrother said...

My Dear Brother ubj,

I'm going to address each line with the hope that we can reason together.
1)"Religion isn't intended to be a tool to govern others- only oneself"Just go to dictionary.com, type in religion and read the first three (most applicable) definitions...that should clear up point #1.
2)"..."I" didn't mix everything up- the church did in an effort to subjugate it's people." Please reference the first line of you comments made on September 6th, 2009. Again, please go to dictionary.com, type in amalgamation, look to the left under synonyms...that should clear up point #2.
3)"Why do these same stories keep popping up in most cultures?" Because the human family is still in its infancy regarding the advancement of rationality, reason and science. Until we get over our fear of death, of the dark and of each other (none of which has happened yet to any great extent), the majority of us will continue to create myths and believe in the supernatural. Which inevitably leads to division and conflict. That's why these same stories keep popping up.
3)"Maybe there is a truth that we keep missing but that is so important that it keeps coming back." Perhaps you're correct, and perhaps this statement may represent one of the cornerstones of ubj's life philosophy. As I stated in my last response, keep searching for "your truth." For me, part of the problem with us [human beings] is that we seem to insist on mailing liquid water [the mystery of life] in an envelope [religious dogmas].
4)"This is the message I am seeking. Kind of like seeking singularity in quanta." I respect you quest to find this singularity or unified field theory. Occasionally I find my version of this when I venture out on a clear night in the countryside and feebly attempt, with my small 3 lb. brain, to minutely comprehend the incomprehensibility of the cosmos. There is more than enough marvel and mystery right there to keep my silly ass in its' proper place. Peace My Brother

uglyblackjohn said...

@ 1sb -
1 - Okay, but I'm using one of the other FIVE defintions listed.
2 The church philosophy is an amalgamation of historical wisdoms - not the church itself (Or maybe it is).
But I don't see your point.
3 - Well... it's really my understanding of a truth that I may never really understand.
I'm not saying that everyone else should take the same path - only that it is the one I've chosen.

4 - Oh, believe me... I'm as lost as the next guy.
But the idea of a UFT seems as elusive as a proof of God.
Some theories work with other theories but lack a compatibility with those remaining. (I'm thinking that it might be explained using fractals for each dimension.)

But even this may be an example of our lack of understanding - in that we need several non-unified theories to explain seemingly simple matters.
When each non-unified theory (each working for it's own intended purpose)is combined with another, we get a better understanding of the whole.
Maybe the denominations and different religions work the same way. (Each only representing a small part of the universal truth.).

Again... not saying that I have the answers or even a provable idea - just that the real meaning behind any superstition or dogma is what I'm seeking.
I'm looking for the "Q" (original source) of the religion to which I was born.

Zee Harrison said...

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for taking the time to post here. I see this is an interesting topic and has generated a discussion - which is great!

I love your comment esp 'it's like saying summer produces ice cream...'
Voltaire was correct.

We seem to live in an age where being stupid has value, where the more of an airhead you appear to be the more popular you become. People who think are strange, to be avoided at all costs. Far better to pick up your holy book (any of them, it doesn't matter - better to have one that not) and pray.
Thank you for being a skeptic!

I think you are on a journey where you are in some discomfort at having to defend christianity. The facts are clear and it is, understandably, difficult to distance yourself from the information which has been drummed into you as truth. I see it with my friends and family. There is a fear of what will happen if one doesn't believe anymore.
I enjoy reading your comments but I hope you someday free yourself - it's worth it.

Thanks. I don't believe in anything other than coincidences - so good to have you here!

Thank you for your comment. You are right. People will avoid reality when it conflicts with their beliefs. We see it all the time.
The Bible is a composite of various stories and not very good at that. Maybe I will write a post detailing a couple of the similarities to the Jesus myth.

We believe different things. I find it difficult to respect belief systems which have contributed to such atrocities and arrested development of human beings. Religions have contributed little to the scientific development of humans.
I cannot and will not be an apologist for religion or any belief in a deity. If we do not wish to leave outmoded thinking behind us then fine but I cannot smile and feign respect for systems which are negative for us.
I will write some more on this topic but suffice to say I created this blog for the express purpose of sharing my thoughts as a woman whom happens to be a member of the black community, a community which has held steadfast to an unhealthy belief in the supernatural, and I will say what the majority of blogs are not saying: religions and belief in the supernatural are social and political control mechanisms. Fullstop. I don't buy it. I wish more people wouldn't.

I enjoy all your contributions. Thanks again.

1skepticalbrother said...

Good to hear from you too Zee. If you ever get a moment out of your busy schedule, visit my blog page; The African American Agnostic (hamptonroads.com), I would value your opinions. I'm working on my first book and also on some youtube videos...I'm a bit of a clown....a clown with some intellectual WMD's. Thank you again for this website!


laBiscuitnapper said...

I generally agree with 1sb's point about the cross-pollination of all religions and cultures, but I'd be careful with the specifics about this particular historical myth as a)ancient religious myths come in a huge variety, often several per god (just look at the gospels!) and b)I have read this idea being pretty much debunked by Classical historians (I will find a link if I can).

And this is probably just me being a pedant (sorry Zee - I appreciate your blog too much to not be a pain ;)) but the whole argument about religion, morality and belief in God is so confused and ridiculous. I tend to think that people do need religion to be good, if only because to me, 'religion' is just an organized collection of beliefs/ideas/ideals which every reasoning person has - but plenty of unreasoning people don't... - and without which, morality has no relevance or meaning.

As for God and morality, I always say to believers that if God is the source of all goodness and It exists, then a person will have the ability to be good in such a universe regardless of personal belief in the existence of said God - I mean, you don't fall down *because* you believe in gravity, no matter what the New Agers say! In fact, there was me thinking that Christians are meant to call this 'Grace', but apparently not...