The two best points made in Bill Maher's film "Religulous " (2008)
RRoocckkyy50 | 5.IV.2012
- 0:38 No, Bill Maher, I just detected your part in a "conspiracy" to stamp Creationists as Conspiracy "kooks".
"There would have to be an enormous conspiracy"
Not really, no. You only need a certain culture.
There would however need to be a culture in which it was felt to be OK to make several minor conspiracies at a moments notice as soon as anyone threatens to seriously dismantle the intellectural fabric of your culture.
Including to refuse creationists papers to pass peer review, in general as a cultural thing, by stating "science can't have God in the premisses, that is circular reasoning" (as if God were not sufficiently well concluded for other reasons, including historical ones, well before you come to specific fields of science). And, on occasion, should a creationist point this out as ill based or should he circumvent this by saying "this here on one hand is a religiously motivated position, but this here on the other hand is my strictly scientific fact checking", well, to refuse peer reviews even on the "strictly scientific fact checking" part, as well as continue touting "if it is not passing peer review, it's not science".
With such simple rules for a conspiracy, it can be very enormous in extent because it is so diffuse most of the time about the fraudulent intent.
What you need is basically people who are willing to say:
- we are right
- unfortunately we seem to be proven wrong here
- instead of admitting an embarrassing situation, how about conspiring a little to hide it?
And, unfortunately, there are plenty of this kind of people.
I think Asuza Street revival, the birth of Pentecostalism, got such things in the luggage from one of the founders being an ex-Freemason.
And a lot of atheist scientists are in fact ex-Pentecostals and therefore ex-ex-Freemasons, if you see their cultural history through beyond their own generation. Even some who grew up as atheists come from families or surroundings with ex-Pentecostals.
And, at 2:39 the Apostate Coyne is claiming there can be no science in Scripture because "modern science" - note the bait and switch between a category of human behaviour, science, and a category of cultural history, modern science - began c. 1400 years (on his view) after the redaction of last Biblical book (which he places 100 years too late and therefore outside Apostolic era, making him an Apostate).
Well, what can we say? It's like saying "modern mathematics began in Germanies (between Switzerland and Russia) with Euler, therefore there can be no mathematics in ..." chose anything pre-Euler. But you did not need to read Euler to know 2+2=4. And being before Newton etc. doesn't make you scientifically inaccurate.
The relevant question is whether truth comes mainly from God's Revelation or mainly from a certain kind of human effort.
If it comes from God's Revelation, one can count on the hagiographers writing it down to, by God's guidance, include nothing contradicting any scientific truth. It's very possible Moses and the Prophets and even the Apostles had no idea about the "germ theory", not of disease in general (there is no germ for diabetes or for cardiovascular most diseases, even if germs could contribute to some of them - or no, that was ulcer), but of some diseases. It is sufficient that they wrote nothing contradicting it or contradicting good procédures to keep germs away from open wounds, for instance, and indeed we find one.
Wine has a lower alcohol content than distilled, but still so much that it will have some disinfectant properties, especially if polyphenols are "added" (as in red wine). Now, read up on Good Samaritan.
I mean added to the mental equation, they are already there naturally in the wine, the polyphenols.
- 3:36 Bill Maher, did you buy that Zeitgeist stuff?
1) Krishna has a biography very other than that of Christ.
Among others, he is mourned by widows of whom the four most devout throw themselves on his funeral pyre.
Among others, he is trying to stop a war and then he gives up and says "you will have your war".
Among others, he was before that moment a benefactor of refugees, whom he was offering a "new life" rather than the revenge they wanted on those who banished them.
Among others, he discussed with one of these during the war, who was having second thoughts, and told him "everything is the same, it doesn't matter one way or the other, so now go on and do what your warrior honour code orders you, to proceed with the revenge".
2) Going around the Mediterranean.
I don't think Arabian Sea or Bay of Bengal qualify as Mediterranean. India is a very different world from the Mediterranean.
3:47 Mithra, of whose Roman mysteries next to nothing is known.
The myths are reconstructed from the iconography of the Mithraea, that is not a sane way of doing history.
IF any better known religion started out as Mithraism, Odinism is probably a better candidate than Mithraism (check how Odin arrives as a foreigner in Sweden and persuades people there he is "god" of heaven and earth, with some of his pals).
Much of the warrior ethos one could expect in a cult practised widely by Roman soldiers matches the warrior ethos of Odinism.
- 4:19 "many of the gods were born on December 25"
You know, we have for 2000 years around Mediterranean and lands North of it, been having a calendar with December as twelfth month. It started out as calendar of the city state Rome.
It began having ten months, March to December, and not counting months for a winter season - and the months were lunar.
Later, it came to have twelve named months - except when it had thirteen. March was preceded by February, which means "when you can expect to lie in a fever before spring". December was followed by January, which means "here is a gateway looking between two years". In some years, there was also Mercedonius, it probably meant "hey, winter is long this year, lets trade some before it ends".
In the Punic wars, insertions of Mercedonius became erratic. Rome had for the next 200 - 300 years (when it became the Mediterranean superpower!) no time for being nicely accurate about when to insert and when not to insert Mercedonius.
Then, 2050 years ago and some, Julius Caesar was pontifex maximus and he gave us the basics of what we have today.
It is ridiculous to talk of December as a reference around the Mediterranean for 1000 BC to AD1. Especially as Rome itself even didn't get the first version of its calendar till twohundred fifty years later than 1000 BC. And five following centuries, was very irrelevant outside Italy which is neither where Indians worshipped Krishna nor where Persians worshipped Mithra. Nor where Egyptians worshipped Osiris.
And one more, 2000 years ago, no one would have said in daily life "December 25". This term was used by mathematicians motivating calendars and so on, but the common way to denote the date was "ante diem octavam kalendis januariis" = one week before January 1. Even this way presumes there is such a thing as the first of each month being Kalends, and shoving sth off to "the Greek Kalends" presumes that the Greek city state calendars (of which the Athenian one is best known) don't note the first of each month as a "red day" called "Kalends".
So, the statement certainly cannot stand as the statement is worded.
One more thing, no Roman feast was December 25 back then (there was one later under Aurelian). And for Roman and Greek gods, since they were supposed to be born well before there were any calendars, most of them, their feasts were not their birthdays anyway. I don't know any feast dedicated to celebrating Romulus', Hercules', Theseus' birthdays, either in Rome or Greece. But these, arguably, actually were born, and therefore actually had birthdays.
- 4:48 "he was born to a virgin mother"
No. Isis getting impregnated on the detached phallus of her killed husband (and brother) Osiris which she found after piecing the rest together does not exactly make her a virgin.
"He was baptised in a river by Anup the baptiser"
Since Anup is a Sanskrit name, funny that there is an Egyptian god or hero in connection with Horus called so.
Perhaps the Zeitgeist stuff you bring around, Bill Maher, is Hindoo nationalist?
I mean, one collaborator of Zeitgeist was during most of her later life known as Acharya Sanning - now, Sanning is Swedish for truth, but Acharya is ....
"In Indian religions and society, an acharya (IAST: ācārya) is a preceptor or instructor in religious matters"
AND Hindoo nationalism tends to be Antichristian.
I think a few decades ago, Hindoo nationalists reasoned "look, we can't have Christian missionaries coming here, if they wanted their religion in their own counry like Shintos or Amerindians, we wouldn't mind, but as they are a missionary religion, we need to get against Christianity in their own countries".
I think Zeitgeist could be such a project.
And "Anup the Baptist" a faking of evidence done by someone who in a moment short of inspiration stumbled on a very Indian name.
And Anup the Baptist later beheaded? No. Since he didn't exist in the first place. Nile is not rich in spots where baptism of a ritual type could be conducted year round, since it has annual floodings.
"Like Jesus, Horus was tempted when alone in the desert"
No, he fought Seth, his daddy's murderer and his uncle in the desert, with Seth taking a form of a [rhinocerus]. Hippopotamus.
Nice, [Republican In Name Only] becomes the Egyptian version of the devil, and Horus becomes a precursor of Hamlet - killing an uncle who had killed his father. But not relevant to non-miraculous explanations of Christianity.
Unless the stuff is meant as miraculous time and space travel (note, this is a joke, OK!)
But this is not a joke: I am leaving the Horus stuff to this link:
Oh, one more, Horus was not presented as "saviour of humanity", since humanity was not a concept.
He was presented as saviour of Egypt and of Egypt's Maat protected by his father Horus, and as such as the first Pharao.
It is possible Hor Aha both lived and had a biography more or less corresponding to that of mythical Horus, except he didn't get up into the sky as the Sun and his father maybe went down to the netherworld, but not as god of the just.