HELP! Best ways to debunk Zeitgeist - your suggestions.

Discovered today atheists I'm quiet close to have embraced - gasp - Zeitgeist.

 

I fear an argument briewing so I need the cliff notes version on why Zeitgeist is a load of crap.

 

From searching this site, I've already dug up this link and sent it to them, but I shall need more

 

So what are the, let's say 10 biggest things wrong with Zeitgeist?

 

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Everything that I could say about it is already in the Skeptics link.

You should be able to get more then 10 reasons just from that (and with Googling references), but I will throw in one more;

it's bullshit! ;)

What I fear though is them comign back with a retort, I don't know how to answer, ancient egyptian history etc isn't an area I know much of anything about.

Richard,

I have several books on this subject, but you do not really need to read them to get your answers.

There are loads of websites from real scientists. You can look up the following on Wikipeidia:

Anctient Greek and Egyptian culture; History of Ancient Philosophy.

 

One very important thing to remember is, ancient peoples "thought" about the universe and the world around them COMPLETELY differently then we do.

It's not because they were stupid, it's because science had not been invented yet; there was no other way to explain anything in their lives in any other way then "the gods".

 

They did not have a "theiology", they left that part to the philosophers, they simply did what they thought would make the gods happy, and the gods would take care of them ;)

 

I have seen alot of websites from folks who totally missunderstand how these people lived and thought because they are attempting to rationalize using their modern way of thinking.

You have to abandon that rational to understand them, their beliefs, and their gods.

 

There are several websites that make the same false claims that Horus, Isis, Ra, etc. show paralles to Jesus; myth for myth, this is bullshit, it's not true.

The ancients had a "mindset" about what the "attributes" of a god or diety SHOULD be, they did not copy myth for myth.

 

For example, did the folks who invented Dr. Pepper invent the soft drink?

No, they took what was already accepted, carbonated water, sugar and flavors, and made a new kind :)

 

The ancients had a "mindset" about what the "attributes" of a god or diety SHOULD be, they did not copy myth for myth.

 

 

I have heard that about scribes copy scripture; scribe would happen across a piece of text which made a heretical claim or perhaps would inherit a marginal note containing an illustrative moral anecdote pencilled into the margins, and because they thought it's the sort of thign Jesus SHOULD do or if it sounded nifty enough that he could co-opt it. It's the running theory for how The woman caught in adultry gets included in the gospel of John - the pathos and twist and moral is a nice self-contained package, it matters not whether or not Jesus was the originator it gets attributed to him then later copyists turn it into scriptural orthodoxy.

Yep, this is one reason why the christian bible is full of redundency, contradiction, and sudden change in writting style. The notes, corrections, anecdotes, etc. written in the margins by translators and others, where included in the total modern version (along with some edits by King James ;)

There were alot of arguments about what should, should not be included.

In fact, the bible is actually quite edited from the original Hebrew (in the case of the old testament) and Greek (for the new). Which is a bit odd since the new testament is supposed to have been written entirely by Jews, though Greek was delared the "official" languge.

And some phrases had no english eqivalent meaning, so substitutions were made with the idea that "this" is what they "really" must have meant :\ but it was done honestly.

Since almost none of the original holy books exist, as they were written on parchment and other perishable media, alot of stuff is not known and still under argument.

For example, the ancient bible was much more polytheist then monotheist.

Saints, Mary, Paul, Moses, etc. where considered deities themselves, so the bible is really

polytheist in disguise! ;)

Richard,

Here are 2 very good texts I highly recommend:

"The Ancient Mysteries: A Sourcebook of Sacred Texts" by Marvin Meyer and,

"The Birth of Christianity: Reality and Myth" by Joel Carmichael.

 

They are NOT pop atheist books, they are well researched and peer reviewed texts, and

they are not as "dry" as you would think, they are really interesting to read.

 

A little off the subject, but one of the best books, is: "The Improbibility of God" by Michael Martin and Ricki Monnier. It's a collection of arguments by noted scientists and philosophers including a chapter on evolution by Richard Dawkins.

 

Any of the above books can be had used, cheap! from Amazon. I bought these for under $5 in very good (used) condition :)

 

Read them, and you will WIN any theist argument they can toss at you :)

I've previously read misquoting Jesus, and have some more Bart Erman queued up on my Amazon wish-list, I'll take a look at those other titles, I always appreciate personal recommendations.

Hi - I haven't seen Zeitgeist yet but it was mentioned on a couple episodes of The Atheist Experience and the hosts weren't kind to it.  Here's a page that goes through it in some detail, hope it helps even if it doesn't present a top 10 list of problems with it (link found at the Iron Chariots wiki along with the Skeptic link you already posted - http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Zeitgeist)

 

http://www.conspiracyscience.com/articles/zeitgeist/

 

 

Ah good thinking about the AE - I'll nip over to their homepage and see if I can find the episode!

Here's a Youtube clip of the Atheist Experience episode calling out Zeitgeist:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-y86El_Dwk

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to prove bullshit to those without functioning bullshit detectors.

Don't be afraid to counter their claims on Egyptian mythology, or basically any claim they make in their segment on Jesus Mythicism. Here's how you do it.

Your friend: "OMGZ MAN THIS IS SUM TOTALLY CRAZY SHITZ. HORUS WAS, LIKE, RESURRECTED AND HAD 12 DISCIPLES."

You: "Alright, let's examine that claim. Find me an ancient Egyptian text where it says that."

Your friend: "Eeeeeeerm, well I can't find the text itself, but here's this crappy unsourced New-Age or atheist apologist site which says the same thing as I'm saying: *usually jesusneverexisted.com or some really kooky sites will come up now*"

You: "That's still not what I'm asking for. I don't simply want another site making the same assertions, I want some evidence; I want actual references to actual ancient texts which document those beliefs."

Your friend: "... Well for some reason I can only find these claims repeated on these amateur websites and they never quote a passage or give a credible source..."

You: "Now connect the dots."

That's the way it goes. Always.

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