Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Not just the zeitgeist

A few people have asked me about my sources for the posts last weekend (see links below) and pointed out a similarity (although thankfully only a passing similarity) to a 2007 movie called Zeitgeist.  You can see extracts from it on Youtube (link to part 1 here).  Now that I have watched it I feel that it is that strange mixture of a fascinating topic presented in a way that makes it not quite believable.

For example, it mentions that the star Sirius moves into alignment with the stars of Orion's belt and points to the position where the sun rises on 25th December.  Well it might happen to point to roughly the right place, but it certainly doesn't move into alignment with anything.  You might have noticed that it is in exactly the same place all year round.  That is one of the features of stars!  They stay where they are relative to the others.

Having forced myself to watch three parts and semi-enjoyed it in a kind of masochistic sort of way, I have decided that it is impossible to know which parts to believe.  However, you may notice that I aluded to this in my summary of the similarity of the Jesus story to those of Mithra, Horus and Krishna.  You don't have to believe every single line of comparison but you can easily get the flavour that it was not a new story at the time of Jesus.

The thing that clinches the question of veracity for me is the source of the original idea for those posts.  Several times I have heard Christopher Hitchens refer to the fact that the story of Jesus was by no means original, so I started to look around for more details.  Of all the atheist speakers I have heard, Hitch is one of the few that I respect the most.  His erudite presentation of well researched material in a hard-hitting, no-nonsense format has my respect and admiration.  I feel certain that he would have his facts absolutely correct for one good reason.  He has debated some formidable opponents and if he used erroneous evidence in his argument it is certain that an opponent would use it against him.

Long live Hitch!

Additional small note:  I am reminded via Twitter that Bill Maher covered the topic in his movie, Religulous too.  I wish I could remember who I had lent my copy to!  I haven't seen it for over a year.

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