Atheism and the Greek (Gnostic/Egptian/Hermetic) Model of God!

docphin5

Well-known member
I'm sorry but this is clearly cognitive bias - you are seeing the tiny things that may correlate with Christianity and ignoring the mountain of beliefs that contradict it. You cannot read about Zeus, Osiris, Buddha, Huitzilopochtli, Odin, Jupiter, Ahura Mazda and The Coyote Spirit and possibly conclude they align with Christianity.

Cognitive bias is very well understood. It is when you favor information that conforms to your existing beliefs and discounting evidence that does not conform.

May I suggest that if you think the story of Brahma creating the world from the Great Serpent is the same as The Garden of Eden or that the Hindu concept of reincarnation is the same as going to Heaven then you clearly have some cognitive bias. They are just not the same - not even close.

It also seems very hard to believe that there is only the story of God but 10,000 religions saw it and somehow got it all fantastically wrong. It seems much more likely that all religious stories are fabricated by the people that developed them.
It is not cognitive bias, my friend, it is scholarly analysis of the texts in context of history and the culture of their times. This is just a sample of scholarly analysis. Also, I did not say 10,000 religions are all related, just the few which existed at the same time when the mysteries of Christianity were written anew for a new generation. The Gospel stories are the same myth written over and over and over and over: a god-man walks the earth and serves as an intermediary between man and the gods or supreme God in heaven. The Egyptians saw the Pharaoh in that role for well over a thousand years. Osiris' body was hung on a tree before his wife resurrected it. Furthermore, Osiris was according to the myth the first god-man Pharaoh of Egypt. There is a whole branch of Christianity, namely, Theosophists, who look for the common thread running through the great religions of our world.

Hermes the Egyptian, Section 2
Alexandro-Egyptian Hellenism & Hermetism
by Wim van den Dungen
<snip>
We know that numerous sects and schools arose from the Alexandrian mixture during the Graeco-Roman rules. The most important individual in the development of the Hebrew qabalah, resulting from a merger of Hebrew mysticism, Platonism and Pythagorism, was Philo Judaeus (ca.30 BCE - 45 CE). Philo of Alexandria was the leader of a large Jewish community at Alexandria and he was the first to apply Greek traditions to Hebrew scriptures. He hardly knew Hebrew and considered the Greek Septuagint as of Divine inspiration. He was acquainted with arithmology, attibuting numers to letters to gain access to a deeper level of meaning (cf. gematria). This isopsephy was used to interprete the Torah and gematria first appears in the rabbinic literature of the second century CE.

<snip>
Parts of the teachings of Alexandrian Hermetism got incorporated in the Christian theologies of Paul, John and the monastics (cf. the Nag Hammadi cache). The latter contemplative branch of the Roman Church stretched out from Egypt (4th century) to Ireland (9th century) and influenced the Cistercian movement and its mystics. The qabalah was directly influenced by Greek number symbolism and Alexandrian astral science. Lastly, via Harran, Hermetism was placed on the sacred map of Islam.

>> "The mystical powers of Hermes exerted themselves far beyond the pagan world of late antiquity, transmuting medieval Christian and Islamic understanding of the relationship between rational knowledge and revelation."

Green, 1992, p.85.

By the way, YHWH is seen creating the world while battling the great serpent, then feeding the serpent's body to the creatures on the earth. Maybe there is a common thread to be found between Brahma and YHWH. I know very little of Asian religions but maybe someday when I have time I will investigate what they believe... It is interesting that the Lord's body is fed to us in the sacrament just as the serpent's body is fed to the creatures of the wilderness...body...matter...serpent...Son...sustenance. See, my mind has already started making those connections. Ha ha!

Yet God (Elohim) my King is from of old,
working salvation in the midst of the earth.
You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.
You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
You split open springs and brooks;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
you have made summer and winter
(Psa 74:12–17).
 
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Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
You only believe what you can prove is a pretty basic existence. I prefer to imagine and/or create things that are possible yet currently unprovable. This is how human civilization progresses— imagining what is possible!
To each his own I guess.
Oh I imagine all kinds of things. I hope for all kinds of things. But I only believe what is proven real.

I hope I win the lottery. However, it would be foolish to believe that I will win the lottery and start spending money like a millionaire today.

I hope we all go to a paradise after we die. I really do. I can even imagine it. But it is foolish to believe that is real just because I want it to be.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Oh I imagine all kinds of things. I hope for all kinds of things. But I only believe what is proven real.

I hope I win the lottery. However, it would be foolish to believe that I will win the lottery and start spending money like a millionaire today.

I hope we all go to a paradise after we die. I really do. I can even imagine it. But it is foolish to believe that is real just because I want it to be.

Um, I am trying to understand your analogy. So you would only believe the lottery is real if you actually won it. (I am not sure what your point was there.) Therefore, you would only believe God exists if you end up in paradise. Fair enough. Let us hope for your sake that he takes everyone.
 
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Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
Um, I am trying to understand your analogy. So you would only believe the lottery is real if you actually won it. (I am not sure what your point was there.) Therefore, you would only believe God exists if you end up in paradise. Fair enough. Let us hope for your sake that he takes everyone.
I meant that I would believe I would win the lottery only after I won it. I would not believe I was going to win the lottery just because I really, really wanted it to be true.

And I hope that if you are wrong about the afterlife that Osiris is kind to you :)
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I meant that I would believe I would win the lottery only after I won it. I would not believe I was going to win the lottery just because I really, really wanted it to be true.

And I hope that if you are wrong about the afterlife that Osiris is kind to you :)
How are you going to win the lottery if you don’t think it is possible?

And if you think it is possible to win the lottery before you have actually won it, then how does your analogy relate, in any way, to God since you refuse to imagine a possibility that he exists unless he is first proven to exist?

I sure do hope Osiris is kind to me or at least what he represents being the god of the underworld who welcomes righteous spirits to the afterlife. Osiris then rises from the underworld as the morning star (Khepri-Ra) and ascends to his place in the heavens bringing all the spirits with him— the same essence of truth ringing throughout the different ages and civilizations. One truth held by those who imagine the possibility of great things!
 
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Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
How are you going to win the lottery if you don’t think it is possible?
I think it is possible God exists. I do not believe for a fact that God does exist due to the lack of empirical evidence.
And if you think it is possible to win the lottery before you have actually won it, then how does your analogy relate, in any way, to God since you refuse to imagine a possibility that he exists unless he is first proven to exist?
The possibility is there. The certainty is not until we have evidence.
I sure do hope Osiris is kind to me or at least what he represents being the god of the underworld who welcomes righteous spirits to the afterlife. Osiris then rises from the underworld as the morning star (Khepri-Ra) and ascends to his place in the heavens bringing all the spirits with him— the same essence of truth ringing throughout the different ages and civilizations. One truth held by those who imagine the possibility of great things!
I loved this - thank you.

If any of the gods are real I hope we wind up in a happy place after death. And I hope you have a happy life on Earth for now :)
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I think it is possible God exists. I do not believe for a fact that God does exist due to the lack of empirical evidence.

The possibility is there. The certainty is not until we have evidence.

I loved this - thank you.

If any of the gods are real I hope we wind up in a happy place after death. And I hope you have a happy life on Earth for now :)
You admit to thinking that it is possible for a divine being to exist which is the same as believing it is possible for God to exist. Don’t worry I won’t call you a “believer” in God, but it is progress (ha ha!).

By the way, I cannot prove God exists either, so I guess that makes me a believer in the possibility that God does not exist. We are just two souls who believe in the possibility of God. The only difference is that I am more confidant that God exists than you are.
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
You admit to thinking that it is possible for a divine being to exist which is the same as believing it is possible for God to exist. Don’t worry I won’t call you a “believer” in God, but it is progress (ha ha!).
I also think it is possible that Allah, Zeus, Poseidon, The Buddha, Lord Ganesa, and any of the 10,000+ gods are possible. It does not mean I am somehow closer to Christianity. I simply cannot prove that they do not exist so I acknowledge that they are possible - I just need someone to prove it with empirical evidence.
By the way, I cannot prove God exists either, so I guess that makes me a believer in the possibility that God does not exist. We are just two souls who believe in the possibility of God. The only difference is that I am more confidant that God exists than you are.
I disagree. You are way past the mere possibility of god. You have chosen to believe one of the 10,000 gods is real. Not just possible but real. Unless you worship all 10,000 equally :)

We are different. I reject all 10,000 gods because I cannot prove any are real. You also cannot prove any are real but for some reason you have chosen one of the gods and decided to believe in that one god.

I do not understand that but I accept it and wish you well :)
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I also think it is possible that Allah, Zeus, Poseidon, The Buddha, Lord Ganesa, and any of the 10,000+ gods are possible. It does not mean I am somehow closer to Christianity. I simply cannot prove that they do not exist so I acknowledge that they are possible - I just need someone to prove it with empirical evidence.

I disagree. You are way past the mere possibility of god. You have chosen to believe one of the 10,000 gods is real. Not just possible but real. Unless you worship all 10,000 equally :)

We are different. I reject all 10,000 gods because I cannot prove any are real. You also cannot prove any are real but for some reason you have chosen one of the gods and decided to believe in that one god.

I do not understand that but I accept it and wish you well :)
You seem to show up with a different position depending upon which day of the week it is. On one day you state that YOU believe it IS possible for God to exist (post #66), however improbable, then, subsequently, as if realizing the position you put yourself in you now show up on a different day and state that it is not possible, or in your own words, "past the mere possibility" for God to exist . You either think it is possible or not possible. Which is it?

Then you make this straw man argument that we were talking about 10,000 gods in order to make a case against them. Why not throw in unicorns and Santa Clause too while you are at it if you are going to invent a straw man? I even clarified what I was talking about in a previous post (post #61) where I consider a few great religions having a common thread running through them. To some the deities were not meant to be taken literally, instead they represented attributes of the supreme hidden one. For example, when describing the cult of Amun, Dungen says,

Just as in Brahmanism today, the worshippers of Amun never relinquished the idea (as did the religions "of the book", namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam) that the One Creator has millions of forms & transformations.

Contrary to these monotheist religions, the Theban cult of Amun-Re was not directed against all other deities, for each and every god & goddess is a light-manifestation (Re) of Amun. They are theophanies of His names or attributes.
(Dungen, <
http://www.maat.sofiatopia.org/hidden_chamber01.htm>)
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
Clearly you know absolutely nothing about the development of the Christian religion.

It is apparent that you have never heard of Docetism. Nor of individuals like Marcion or Valentinus. Nor the documents found in the Nag Hammadi "library". Nor later Christian sects like Catharism.

All these [and a great deal more] remain a closed book to you.
Knows more than you do.

The "isms" studied by the heathen are studies where churches drifted far away from the Bible.

Can you post the name of the historian imposter that claims apostle Paul started Christianity?
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Knows more than you do.

The "isms" studied by the heathen are studies where churches drifted far away from the Bible.

Can you post the name of the historian imposter that claims apostle Paul started Christianity?
The oldest extant writings on obtaining life after death belong to the Egyptians about 5,000 years ago. They taught that after death, one's heart was judged against the feather of "Maat" on a scale, representing truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. If one's heart was weighed down by bad deeds then it was judged unworthy of life after death and was subsequently extinguished. For those whose heart was not weighed down by bad deeds then they were guided to their next life in the heavens by the "Morning Star" (aka "Ra") the Egyptian solar deity based at Heliopolis.

Therefore, as a matter of fact, the message of salvation belongs first to the Egyptians. the Hebrew nation probably came about at the end of the New Kingdom when Egypt had reached its zenith. Therefore, "Out of Egypt he shall come" may be referring to the message of salvation. "Jesus" means salvation, BTW.

The interesting thing is that Isaiah speaks favorably of the city where the Egyptian solar deity's temple was based, namely, Heliopolis.

"In that Day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canann and swear allegiance to the Lord of Hosts. One of these will be called the city of the Sun* (aka "On", "Annu", or "Heliopolis", the Septuagint [Greek] version reads "city of righteousness"). In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt...And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day..." (Isaiah 19:18-21)

* The Jews in Jerusalem were opposed to the idea of anything good about the Egyptian religion so they minutely altered the word for "Sun" ("ch-er-es") so that it read "Destruction" ("he-res") instead. so there are some versions of Isaiah which still contain the word "destruction".
 
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Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
You seem to show up with a different position depending upon which day of the week it is. On one day you state that YOU believe it IS possible for God to exist (post #66), however improbable, then, subsequently, as if realizing the position you put yourself in you now show up on a different day and state that it is not possible, or in your own words, "past the mere possibility" for God to exist . You either think it is possible or not possible. Which is it?

Then you make this straw man argument that we were talking about 10,000 gods in order to make a case against them. Why not throw in unicorns and Santa Clause too while you are at it if you are going to invent a straw man? I even clarified what I was talking about in a previous post (post #61) where I consider a few great religions having a common thread running through them. To some the deities were not meant to be taken literally, instead they represented attributes of the supreme hidden one. For example, when describing the cult of Amun, Dungen says,

Just as in Brahmanism today, the worshippers of Amun never relinquished the idea (as did the religions "of the book", namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam) that the One Creator has millions of forms & transformations.

Contrary to these monotheist religions, the Theban cult of Amun-Re was not directed against all other deities, for each and every god & goddess is a light-manifestation (Re) of Amun. They are theophanies of His names or attributes.
(Dungen, <
http://www.maat.sofiatopia.org/hidden_chamber01.htm>)
I may have misspoken or you may have misunderstood. Allow me to clarify my position:
  1. I reject all gods and religions: As an atheist I reject all 10,000 gods as having no evidence. I often cite other religions as a comparison to Christianity but I do not believe any of those religions.
  2. Any god is possible: I also think that any of the 10,000 gods are possible - Jesus, Zeus, Xenu - all possible. I simply need empirical evidence.
  3. Christians are beyond the 'God is possible' stage: I also think that if someone identifies as a Christian, prays to the Christian god and attends a Christian church then they are a theist and believer. It is inaccurate to say they believe in the 'possibility' that God is real. They act, worship, and pray as though one of the gods is absolutely real.
I hope that helps understand my own atheistic POV :)
 
D

Diogenes

Guest
There's more to the Gnostic Christians than just a Greek model of God as even God in orthodox Christianity is a result of Judaeo-Hellenistic syncretism. For example atheists don't go on about salvific hidden knowledge or the Demiurge.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I may have misspoken or you may have misunderstood. Allow me to clarify my position:
  1. I reject all gods and religions: As an atheist I reject all 10,000 gods as having no evidence. I often cite other religions as a comparison to Christianity but I do not believe any of those religions.
  2. Any god is possible: I also think that any of the 10,000 gods are possible - Jesus, Zeus, Xenu - all possible. I simply need empirical evidence.
  3. Christians are beyond the 'God is possible' stage: I also think that if someone identifies as a Christian, prays to the Christian god and attends a Christian church then they are a theist and believer. It is inaccurate to say they believe in the 'possibility' that God is real. They act, worship, and pray as though one of the gods is absolutely real.
I hope that helps understand my own atheistic POV :)
Regarding point 3. If we did a survey among those claiming to be Christian and asked if they have ever doubted God in their life then I guess that most would say yes. In that case most Christians are not 100% certain despite going to church, praying, etc. And there is nothing wrong in admitting that. God knows we struggle in life at times even to the point of questioning our beliefs. It happens!
As far as point #1: I bet you cannot even name 10,000 gods which you disbelieve. So you take a position in something that you know nothing about. That is no better than fundies who deny evolution without considering the evidence. In both cases it is irrational.
 
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Nouveau

Well-known member
Regarding point 3. If we did a survey among those claiming to be Christian and asked if they have ever doubted God in their life then I guess that most would say yes. In that case most Christians are not 100% certain despite going to church, praying, etc. And there is nothing wrong in admitting that. God knows we struggle in life at times even to the point of questioning our beliefs. It happens!
Christians believe Christianity is true. That can be believed with less than certainty, but it is still more than mere possibility.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
As far as point #1: I bet you cannot even name 10,000 gods which you disbelieve. So you take a position in something that you know nothing about. That is no better than fundies who deny evolution without considering the evidence. In both cases it is irrational.
I doubt you can name all of the characters in The Lord of the Rings. Does that mean you are irrational to consider them all fictional?
 

Lighthearted Atheist

Well-known member
Regarding point 3. If we did a survey among those claiming to be Christian and asked if they have ever doubted God in their life then I guess that most would say yes. In that case most Christians are not 100% certain despite going to church, praying, etc. And there is nothing wrong in admitting that. God knows we struggle in life at times even to the point of questioning our beliefs. It happens!
As far as point #1: I bet you cannot even name 10,000 gods which you disbelieve. So you take a position in something that you know nothing about. That is no better than fundies who deny evolution without considering the evidence. In both cases it is irrational.
I agree that most Christians probably have doubted God at some point in their life. However, this proves my point. When a Christian thinks it is possible that God may be real it is a crisis of faith. Thus demonstrating that their normal state is belief that God is real. I think it is inaccurate to compare that to an atheist whose default state is non-belief but leaves open the possibility that one of the gods might be real.

I do not understand your other point. Are you saying that I cannot say I do not believe in 10,000 gods because I cannot name them all? Okay. I am just saying that I do not believe in any god and humans have invented about 10,000 of them. You are right - I have not gone through and rejected them one by one.

I think saying my rejection of the moon goddess Mama Quilla is the same as someone rejecting evolution is a bit of a stretch. But I see your point.

Thanks :)
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I doubt you can name all of the characters in The Lord of the Rings. Does that mean you are irrational to consider them all fictional?
Your analogy is useless because nobody claims anyone in the story is God. We don’t reject the existence of God just because Santa claus is not one. It is irrational. Reason would dictate that a person consider the evidence for the God or gods that there is information on going back thousands if years and not the innumerable gods nobody even knows or talks about, to include, Bilbo from Lord of the rings.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
Your analogy is useless because nobody claims anyone in the story is God. We don’t reject the existence of God just because Santa claus is not one. It is irrational. Reason would dictate that a person consider the evidence for the God or gods that there is information on going back thousands if years and not the innumerable gods nobody even knows or talks about, to include, Bilbo from Lord of the rings.
That wasn't the point of the analogy. The point was that in neither case do you need to be able to name all of the entities in a class to rationally conclude that none of them are real.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I agree that most Christians probably have doubted God at some point in their life. However, this proves my point. When a Christian thinks it is possible that God may be real it is a crisis of faith. Thus demonstrating that their normal state is belief that God is real. I think it is inaccurate to compare that to an atheist whose default state is non-belief but leaves open the possibility that one of the gods might be real.

I do not understand your other point. Are you saying that I cannot say I do not believe in 10,000 gods because I cannot name them all? Okay. I am just saying that I do not believe in any god and humans have invented about 10,000 of them. You are right - I have not gone through and rejected them one by one.

I think saying my rejection of the moon goddess Mama Quilla is the same as someone rejecting evolution is a bit of a stretch. But I see your point.

Thanks :)
Your statement shows that you reject many things that you have not seriously considered. When you reject things that you know nothing about then you do as fundies do. In their case it is evolution. For you it is the thousands of gods you have never heard of but just in case there is one you have never heard, you reject them anyways because it suits your position.
 
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