What's Wrong With The Zeitgeist Movie?

The Zeitgeist movie has been circulating on the internet since 2007. In the video its director, Peter Joseph, seeks to persuade viewers that the authors of the New Testament essentially plagiarized the concept of the virgin birth, December 25 as Christ’s birth date, the twelve disciples, the miracles, the crucifixion, and the resurrection from astrological sources and pagan mythology.

The focus of this article is to address the allegation that Jesus is a mythological amalgamation of pagan deities invented by various ancient cultures. I will deal primarily with Horus, as he is the first major mythological figure presented as a forerunner of Jesus. I will subsequently deal with the other allegations in brief.

False claims about Horus
The Zeitgeist movie makes the following claims:

Claim: “This is Horus. He is the Sun God of Egypt of around 3000 BC.”

Response: Horus is not just the sun god. He was also the falcon god whose name means ‘the far-off one’. Ra was the sun god who came to be identified with the mid-day sun. In addition, Horus was also the sky god, whose good or sound eye was the sun, and injured eye the moon.

Claim: “He is the sun, anthropomorphized, and his life is a series of allegorical myths involving the sun’s movement in the sky.”

Response: This is inaccurate. Horus was not the sun, but came to be identified with the position of the rising sun. Later, he was associated with the sun-god Ra. Atum was the god of the setting sun.

Claim: “From the ancient hieroglyphics in Egypt, we know much about this solar messiah. For instance, Horus, being the sun, or the light, had an enemy known as Set and Set was the personification of the darkness or night.”

Response: Seth — Horus’ brother — was Horus’ rival (and usurper of the throne of Egypt). There is debate as to whether the struggle between Horus and Seth was primarily geo-political or symbolic in nature. When the full Osiris complex becomes visible, Seth appears as the murderer of Osiris and would-be killer of the child Horus.

Claim: “And, metaphorically speaking, every morning Horus would win the battle against Set — while in the evening, Set would conquer Horus and send him into the underworld. It is important to note that ‘dark vs. light’ or ‘good vs. evil’ is one of the most ubiquitous mythological dualities ever known and is still expressed on many levels to this day.”

Response: The movie’s claim is dead wrong. Horus was never sent to the underworld. It was Osiris who was killed and became Lord of the underworld, while Horus was king of the living.

Claim: “Broadly speaking, the story of Horus is as follows: Horus was born on December 25…”

Response: This simply isn’t the case. At any rate, neither the Bible nor Christianity claim Jesus was born on December 25, so any parallels with ancient legends are completely inconsequential. The December 25 date only came into prominence under Emperor Aurelian in the third century A.D. But when was the date of Horus? It was during the Egyptian month of Khoiak (which corresponds to November on our calendar).

Claim: “…of the virgin Isis-Meri.”

Response: Again, the claim is simply in error. Horus was born of Isis. And there is absolutely no mention in any Egyptian literature of the trailing name ‘Mary’ as the movie would have us believe. Moreover, Isis was certainly not a virgin, but the widow of Osiris, the father of Horus.

Claim: “His birth was accompanied by a star in the east.”

Response: The video continues to make stuff up as it goes along. There is simply no mention of any stars pertaining to the birth of Horus.

Claim: “…which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adorn the new-born Savior.”

Response: First up, there are no ‘three kings’ mentioned in the birth account of Horus, nor is there a mention there ‘three kings’ in the New Testament account. Rather, it is wise-men, with the number not being specified.

Claim: “At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher.”

Response: Wrong again. Horus was never a child prodigal teacher. In fact, he was kept hidden away by his mother in the papyrus marshes, until he was ready to be ruler of Egypt.

Claim: “…and at the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and thus began his ministry.”

Response: Again, there is no evidence of any such baptism concerning Horus, nor are there any facts which suggest any form of ‘ministry’ of Horus.

Claim: “Horus had 12 disciples he travelled around with.”

Response: Horus did not have 12 disciples he travelled around with. It really is as simple as that.

Claim: “…performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water.”

Response: While it is true that some healing ‘miracles’ are associated with Horus, this is with Horus the Child as opposed to Horus the elder or his adult forms.

Claim: “Horus was known by many gestural names such as The Truth, The Light, God’s Anointed Son, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, and many others.”

Response: Again, this is simply false. The only forms of the Horus-god are (1) Horus the Child; (2) Horus as son of Isis and Osiris (“pillar of his mother”; “savior of his father”); and (3) Horus as a sun-god (“lord of the sky; “god of the east”; “Horus of the horizon”).

Claim: “After being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus, resurrected.”

Response: Wrong again. There exists no accounts of Horus being betrayed, nor a death by crucifixion. There is an incident described in one account whereby Horus is torn to pieces, with Isis requesting that the crocodile god pull him out of the water — not quite crucifixion. Moreover, seeing how the movie puts the account of Horus at around 3000 B.C., this predates the invention and practice of crucifixion by thousands of years!

Other Claims
The Zeitgeist movie continues in the same vein as above with all the other mythological pagan gods. The Zeitgeist movie makes the claim that Hindu’s Krishna was also crucified and resurrected. However, again, the Zeitgeist is in error. Hinduism very clearly teaches that Krishna was killed by a wound inflicted from an arrow shot from a hunter who mistakenly hit him in his heal. Following his death, he ascended to be with Brahman. This can hardly be compared to the Christian concept of Christ’s resurrection.

The Zeitgeist movie claims, for example, that Mithras was born of a virgin. But this is in error. Rather, he emerged from a rock. It is also claimed that Mithras rose from the dead, but there is no textual evidence of his death, so there could be no resurrection. Mithras was not a teacher, and was not followed by twelve disciples, as Zeitgeist claims.

Neither is there any evidence of a bodily resurrection of Attis, the Phrygian god of vegetation, nor the virgin birth of Dionysus or Krishna (the latter of whom was his mother’s eighth son, so a virgin birth is not likely).

Conclusion
Sadly, the Zeitgeist movie has become widely circulated on the Internet, deceiving many people with misinformation. As Peter writes in his first epistle, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them — bringing swift destruction on themselves.”

According to their own testimony, the New Testament writers “did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty,” (2 Peter 1:16). They were testifying not to myths, but to ‘sober truth’ about events that had ‘not been done in a corner’ (Acts 26:25-26).

This article was originally published on AllAboutTruth.org.

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39 replies
  1. josiah says:

    While this is a good response to (the first section of) The Zeitgeist, I can’t help thinking it’s almost irrelevant. The facts are bogus, but what is really wrong with the movie is that the arguments don’t work.

    A cartoonified God is a straw man attack, yet still far more impressive because it’s more interesting than a list of Egyptian, Persian, or Greek deities. So too is an anticlimactic punch line “But he loves you”.

    Accounts of God as grasping or vengeful, as well as the inevitable lack of consideration or even substantiation, are little more than an ad hominem attack.

    Worst of all, the film makes a great deal of “the sUn of God rising from the dead, just as he’s done…”. In other words a keystone argument is based on an English (not even Greek or Hebrew) homo-phonic pun!

    Once people realize that much of the film is literally a joke, and the many other clearly ridiculous points the movie makes, they should be far more skeptical of the unsubstantiated claims to begin with and put the burden of proof where it belongs.

    Reply
  2. Mark Ducharme says:

    My brother published each and every word of the Bible for his on line “talking Bible”, with his girl friend being the voice, and he watched & believed this zeitgiest tripe and tried to sway me w/ it. Which is to say, perhaps we should keep in mind Matthew 7:6 more and focus on the hungry. FWIW, I pray for my brother constantly but the effort to reason w/ him when he has no intellectual curiosity seems fruitless at best.

    And so a Christian’s prayer life grows….

    Reply
  3. Tom Randall says:

    As a volunteer leader for my church’s youth group, I had a young man come to me two years ago with the video, I agreed, in front of other youth present that I would watch this as long as he agreed to allow me to research it and then present the facts to him. He agreed. I warned him by saying that I guarantee I will totally debunk this so he’d better be prepared for that. I went home, watched the videos (the whole production on the youtube site at the time was 3 or 4 vids long if i remember). Came back with my research, presenting it to the group, very similar in most respects to this article, showed him what I had found, his response: “Well, i Never should have shown it to you. I like to use the video to shake Christians faith up who don’t know much” His own words. I told him his mistake was allowing a Christian who thinks to get his hands on it. That experience alone taught me to never blink at these claims because The Truth will make them flinch first when the Light is applied to their lies.

    Reply
    • Fredrik Andersen says:

      You are right that many details about these gods are wrong, but it is still a fact that many of these god stories are somewhat inspired by each other. So in the bigger picture, this article doesn’t really matter too much, but I think its good that you´re all critical to the information you are given, cause I think thats important in general. Anyway, this is what I wanted to say:

      If you can, just for once in your whole life, manage to see the world and all of humanity with some PERSPECTIVE (this is an important keyword here), also considering the fact that our entire world is just a microscopic speckle in relation to the universe, THEN you should realize this (all objective facts, so no need to argue):

      Human beings have ALWAYS felt the need to believe in something greater than themselves, and they have ALWAYS had the ability to create this “greatness” all by themselves. You see, humans are equipped with an incredibly complicated brain. If our minds feels like something is missing, it´s actually able to fix that by itself, by using different methods such as ignorance, denial, strong belief and submissiveness. These are all “tools” used subconsciously by the brain to make us feel more insightful and at peace within our own existence. What´s NEGATIVE about this, is that it´s very degrading to our curiosity and to our intelligence. How? Because the brain makes a “short-cut” by pursuing BELIEF instead of pursuing TRUTH, which can be difficult to handle for a lot of people.

      Thats why religion is still around us; if you have spent your whole life believing in a God, and if that God suddenly disappeared from your mind, you would experience a massive void or emptiness. After all, this God of yours has taken up quite some space in your mind over the years, and therefore it can be difficult to let it go and start pursuing truth instead.

      Reply
  4. Dane Dahl, Author & Historian says:

    Zeitgeist is like a stopped clock: its assertions are correct two times out of every twenty-four hours. The rest of the time it is wrong! Legitimate scholars calls such ideas: “fringe nonsense.”
    As a person with university training in history, I can best summarize my low opinion of the long list of claims made in this movie by limiting my comments to 3 topics. All of them pertain to the opening part of the movie. The absurd nature of the claims made by Zeitgeist concerning these three topics causes me to conclude the entire movie may have no validity.
    1. Horus: A precursor of Christ?
    Zeitgeist says: Born on Dec 25 of a virgin mother, crucified, buried and resurrected (Originally the ideas of a unqualified and discredited 19th century writer named Gerald Massey)
    The stopped clock: there was an Egyptian god named Horus. Everything after that is WRONG! According to Wikipedia: twenty leading Egyptologists, including Professor Emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Liverpool Kenneth Kitchen, and Professor of Egyptology at the University of Toronto Ron Leprohan. The scholars were unanimous in dismissing any similarities (born on Dec 25 of a virgin mother, crucified, buried and resurrected) suggested by Massey, and one Egyptologist criticized the comparison as “fringe nonsense.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Christ_in_comparative_mythology
    2. Mithra of Persia: Prototype of Christ?
    The stopped clock: there was a Persian god named Mithra. Everything after that is WRONG! Regarding Zeitgist’s claims: 12 disciples, died, buried three days , resurrected,
    Wikipedia says: “No written narratives or theology from the religion survive, with limited information to be derived from the inscriptions, and only brief or passing references in Greek and Latin literature. Interpretation of the physical evidence remains problematic and contested.”[10]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraic_mysteries More fringe nonsense?

    3. Attis: Prototype of Christ?
    The stopped clock: there was a Greek god namedAttis. Everything after that is WRONG! Regarding Zeitgrist claims: Born of a virgin on Dec 25, crucified, dead 3 days, resurrected,
    Wikipedia says: Nana who was a daughter of the river-god Sangarius picked an almond and laid it in her bosom. The almond disappeared, and she became pregnant. Nana abandoned the baby (Attis). The infant was tended by a he-goat. As Attis grew, his long-haired beauty was godlike, and Agdistis as Cybele, then fell in love with him. But the foster parents of Attis sent him to Pessinos, where he was to wed the king’s daughter. According to some versions the King of Pessinos was Midas. Just as the marriage-song was being sung, Agdistis/Cybele appeared in her transcendent power, and Attis went mad and cut off his genitals. (The self-inflicted wound was fatal). Attis’ father-in-law-to-be, the king who was giving his daughter in marriage, followed suit, prefiguring the self-castrating corybantes who devoted themselves to Cybele. But Agdistis repented and saw to it that the body of Attis should neither rot at all nor decay.[4] Born of a virgin on Dec 25, crucified (???), dead 3 days, resurrected http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attis
    More fringe nonsense?
    Dane Dahl, Author & Historian

    Reply
  5. Steven K says:

    The main argument is less about tit for tat arguments about details no one can collectively agree on on either side. And more importantly about what Peter Joseph is ultimately trying to say about religion’s effect on the world as a whole (if you watch the two sequels to this movie you will get the correlation with religion). Which is that organized religion and it’s proponents with personal agendas creates separatism in the world (The Crusades is one historical example. This modern-day conversation on this forum right now over this movie is also another irrefutable example of the conflict of two different views, we’re living it!). Thus creating unnecessary belief struggles which lead to emotion-based debates (not reasonable ones), personal crimes, violence, and even worldwide wars. Who’s God is right is like a grand-scale version of children fighting over which Ninja Turtle is the coolest. Personal belief in a God or lack of is your choice, but when you set out to make other people choose it too, whether you have an atheist, agnostic or religious background.. Conflict will occur, whether you’re “right” or “wrong.” Keep it to yourself.

    Reply
    • Tom McNeil says:

      Well, obviously it’s not about ‘tit-for-tat’ arguments, since as explained above, literally almost every ‘argument’ (i.e. blatant falsehoods) it makes regarding these ancient gods is untrue. You say we should not argue over which god is true, and that this is the point of the movie. So the movie seeks to achieve this end by making vicious, unsubstantiated, blatantly untrue claims, clearly in an attempt to discredit Christianity? This is his idea about how to avoid ’emotion-based debates and separatism’ in the world? Complete garbage.

      Reply
  6. Terry L says:

    Stephen K:

    Personal belief in a God or lack of is your choice, but when you set out to make other people choose it too, whether you have an atheist, agnostic or religious background.. Conflict will occur, whether you’re “right” or “wrong.” Keep it to yourself.

    Two questions for you…

    First of all, does this statement not commit suicide? Is it not ironic that you are sharing the idea that others should keep their ideas to themselves??

    Secondly, say you’re driving into a certain city. I’ve just left that city. We both stop at a cafe for lunch and strike up a conversation in which I discover your destination.

    I also notice that you have red hair… and I know from personal experience that the people in the city murder everyone that enters their city that has red hair.

    Assuming that this is actually true, do you, or do you not, want me to keep that information to myself?

    I’ve heard that Churchill once said, “The most important thing in life is the truth… it’s so important that it’s often protected with a bodyguard of lies!”

    The most important thing one can have is the truth! How are we to find truth if no one is willing to share their ideas? That’s what this site is about. Most of those that I interact with here do not share my views; yet we manage to discuss our thoughts with a reasonable amount of civility. I’ve valued every interchange, but especially the ones with those who disagree with me. They’ve helped me to clarify my beliefs in my own mind. They’ve even been right, on occasion! 😉

    Conflict doesn’t arise because people seek the truth; conflict arises because people refuse to let go of a lie, or because (as you allude to above) they attempt to force another to accept what they believe. However, ideas cannot be forced upon anyone. It must be accepted willingly. You can force compliance with your ideas, but you cannot force acceptance of them.

    So I can’t force anyone on this board to believe as I do… but I can present my ideas for their review, and they can do the same. The ideas will either stand or fall based on the evidence. Every new poster brings new evidence to be considered… new points of view, more chances to chip away the “bodyguard of lies” to get at the gold nugget of truth.

    In short, we need more, not less discussion. If no one is talking, then we sit festering in our ignorance unaware of the lies we tell ourselves to keep ourselves comfortable. Take it from one who’s been there, if you can stand your ideas before a firing squad of dissenters who try to tear them apart, and then walk away still convinced of the truth of those ideas, you’re beginning to know why you believe what you claim believe. That’s the first step away from blind faith.

    Reply
  7. Robert says:

    If not for the rise of secular humanism, skepticism, free thought, atheism, in the West angry Christians would hunt down the makers of this movie, torture and murder them. I think Bible believers are jealous that the Muslims can still behead their critics.

    Reply
    • SK WIlliams says:

      Robert-

      Robert says:

      ‘b.If not for the rise of secular humanism, skepticism, free thought, atheism, in the West angry Christians would hunt down the makers of this movie, torture and murder them. I think Bible believers are jealous that the Muslims can still behead their critics.’éb.

      This is bunk and we both know it. This is why I don`t take the Neo-Atheism seriously. Just tryign to create an image of Chritians as violent and dranged socipaths kept in line only by modern Atheism and Secularism is silly, just as it`s silly to think aAtheist hav nevr killed in the name of Atheism liek Dawkisn peddles.

      Please, your claim has no barign on Reality.

      heck, by yoru Logic the Amish are the most violent peopel on Earht since they are enturely dedicated to their Christian Faith.

      Reply
  8. Charles says:

    “…Christians would hunt down the makers of this movie, torture and murder them.”

    Yet another entry to the ever growing list of grossly misguided perceptions of Christians.

    It wasn’t Christianity that slaughtered people; as usual it was bad theology.

    If you think living amongst all Atheists would be a peace loving comfortable way of life? Go hang out in North Korea amongst the regular folk for a month then come back and tell us how wonderful it was.

    Reply
    • Stephen B says:

      The ‘regular folk’, or the people in charge? The regular folk are brainwashed, semi-starving drones – they’re not particularly violent!

      Reply
  9. Charles says:

    “The regular folk are brainwashed, semi-starving drones…”

    You’re right and it is because of the oppressive communist government. The people may not be particularly violent but that doesn’t make their situation ideal. To my current understanding of atheism and highly socialist countries; brainwashed, semi-starving drones are normally what they want. How many “free thinkers” do you think would survive very long?

    Reply
    • Stephen B says:

      “How many “free thinkers” do you think would survive very long?”

      Few. Freedom of religion is important – freedom to practice the religion you want, and freedom to practice no religion at all. North Korea shows the danger of dictatorships, not the danger of atheism. Likewise any theocracy.

      If you discount countries without freedom of religion, countries where people freely choose to be less religious tend to do better on all sorts of metrics than countries where people freely choose to be more religious.

      Compared to America, Western Europe has lower crime rates, lower obesity, fewer murders, lower rates of child mortality etc.

      Reply
  10. Charles says:

    “…to be less religious…”

    So would you say that it is not necessarily God that people have a problem with but religion?

    Actually; I don’t think that I can argue with that. The religion of Israelite Hebrews was actually intended to show them just how bad the idea of “religion” was. Religion, by concept, is about control. God; however, doesn’t necessarily desire control. We believe He has control; but initially (referencing Genesis 1 through the 3rd Chapter w/ John 1:1-5) He desired order.

    Some Christians may argue about this point but I believe it to be quite self evident within the pages of Scripture. Adam and Eve didn’t have a “religion”. The problem is humanity’s collective lack of self control; thus we have an abundance of different religions. It is easy to see how ,with so many religions, many people shun religion all together. Subsequently (and unfortunately) they end up wanting nothing to do with faith in God.

    Reply
  11. Terry L says:

    I’m happy to find myself agreeing with Stephen more than usual lately! 😉

    Stephen, I’d like your opinion on something: (Others… feel free to chime in!)

    You said, “Few. Freedom of religion is important – freedom to practice the religion you want, and freedom to practice no religion at all. North Korea shows the danger of dictatorships, not the danger of atheism. Likewise any theocracy.

    For the most part, I agree with this. While I disagree with your atheistic worldview, I strongly champion your right to believe as you do.

    The problem is, how does you and I make our opposite viewpoints work in a “free” society? I’ll give you an example:

    As you well know, I’m a creationist. Not necessarily a young-earth creationist, but I believe the evidence stands against evolution. You are, based on our past conversations, an atheist and do believe in evolution.

    I’m naturally going to teach my children why I believe as I do. I expect you to do the same. If that’s as far as it goes, everything is fine. Atheist and theist can both live with this. We can even have conversations as we do on this site in an effort to convince the other that their position is wrong. But apart from thinking that the other is wrong, we have no conflict.

    But now the government has taken over our children’s education, and is intruding more and more on that right every year. What shall THEY teach our children? If they teach evolution to the exclusion of Christianity, then I’m upset. If they teach creationism to the exclusion of naturalistic evolution, then you’re upset. They’ve set us up against each other.

    But that’s not the real issue; the real issue is that ultimately the responsibility of our children’s education lies with us. If the government takes that from us, then we expect that our children will be taught the truth. But, you and I disagree on what the truth actually is! When seen through this perspective, I can actually applaud an atheist’s efforts to keep creationism out of public schools; I equally approve (well, perhaps not quite equally… I’m prejudiced to my own point of view) of the theist’s attempts to teach the truth of Christianity. (On a personal note, I have no problems with schools teaching the theory of evolution as a theory, not established fact, so long as they present all of the evidence, both supporting and defeating.)

    And that’s the rub… it’s easy to say that “Freedom of religion is important – freedom to practice the religion you want, and freedom to practice no religion at all.” The problem shows up when you try to live out this creed.

    So to my questions: Would you agree that:

    a. The Federal Government should not be involved in our children’s education: That all schools should be private, and each parent should be responsible for finding a school that matches their expectations?

    b. If the government does continue its current role in education, that it should either teach all points of view re: origins, or no points of view at all?

    And though I’m not necessarily contesting your statement, do you have a source for this:

    If you discount countries without freedom of religion, countries where people freely choose to be less religious tend to do better on all sorts of metrics than countries where people freely choose to be more religious.

    Compared to America, Western Europe has lower crime rates, lower obesity, fewer murders, lower rates of child mortality etc.

    Charles:

    I’ve heard it said, (and I agree) that religion is man’s search for God; Christianity is God’s search for man.

    We shouldn’t care about religion… what we should care about is truth! I think it’s self-evident that living as if a lie is true is, at best, inefficient and at worst, deadly. If atheism is true, then I would expect that all men would be better off if they live as if it is. If Christianity is true, the same applies; all who live according to its teachings are better off. The same with Islam, or any other worldview. The bottom line is, one group (theists/atheists) is wrong. We can’t both be right… therefore one group is living a lie. Neither can both Christianity and Islam be right (although in this case, if the atheist is right, then both are wrong).

    Unfortunately, as I said earlier, ideas must be accepted willingly. No atheist on this board can force me to believe in atheism; no theist can force the atheists here to believe in God. Compliance with such a belief can be legislated, but that only ensures outward compliance, not acceptance.

    Reply
    • Chris l says:

      “What shall THEY teach our children? If they teach evolution to the exclusion of Christianity”
      No specific religion should be taught in any school. Instead a rounded subject of religous studies (all religions) as well as evolution should be curriculum as many schools are starting yo do in Australia. .

      Reply
  12. Stephen B says:

    Simple Terry – government teaches the scientific consensus. If creationists want their ideas to be taught in science they need to do proper science.

    Reply
  13. Robert says:

    Terry,
    Human origins are not a matter of opinion they are a matter of fact. You have a much bigger problem than the government and public schools. Every Christian college and university with a science department also teaches evolution. Not only that these Christian schools have gone to great lengths to distance themselves from creationism in any of its disguises and the people who promote creationism like William Dembski and Michael Behe.

    Reply
  14. Toby says:

    “a. The Federal Government should not be involved in our children’s education: That all schools should be private, and each parent should be responsible for finding a school that matches their expectations?”

    Bit of a libertarian? There’s this false idea that the “free market” is somehow better than government ran institutions, but as someone who has worked in both (a VA hopsital vs private ones) I can say that that the government wastes no more and is no less efficient than it’s private counterpart and in many cases much better. Do you recall when there was talk of a ‘public option’ in the healthcare act. What did companies say? They cried like a kid with a skinned knee “We can’t compete with that! Waaaaah!” So ask yourself do you want there to be private fire departments? Private police forces? Every time you get a ticket not only would you pay a fine, but pay the cop for having to stop you. Can you imagine what a fire department would charge to put your housefire out? So what happens? Suddenly we need to pay for fire and security insurance and the prices go up and up and up. And when it comes to all private schools you start setting up a class system based on people’s wages or lack thereof and breed gross inequality into our lives (more than we currently have I would imagine).

    “b. If the government does continue its current role in education, that it should either teach all points of view re: origins, or no points of view at all?”

    You have sunday school to teach religious views about the beginning of the universe and evolution. But we’re talking about science classes. Science classes are based on work by scientists and that work is meant to be reproducible and testable. There is nothing about ID or creationism that is either of those things otherwise we’d have stacks of experiments supporting them. If you want an optional philosophy class based the “controversy” fine, but I don’t think it’d play out well for ID or creationism unless the teacher happened to support them and skew things in their direction.

    “The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.”
    P. J. O’Rourke

    Reply
    • Stephen B says:

      There’s actually much more free market in the ‘socialist’ UK system. The NHS will put contracts out to tender – all the makers of, say, false legs in the country submits their bids for a massive job of providing for the NHS, all competing with each other. In the US the hospital just gets to charge it to the insurer, so has no incentive to keep costs low. Result is that US health costs are far higher for no better result.

      Reply
  15. Charles says:

    Terry L,

    I agree as well that if government continues its involvement in public education then schools should be obliged to at least expose all known points of view. This, however, doesn’t seem practical with the current US education system as emphasis has been taken away from fundamental comprehension and focused its attention on indoctrination and standardized testing.

    “government teaches the scientific consensus. If creationists want their ideas to be taught in science they need to do proper science.”

    I don’t think theistic scientists, in general, aren’t doing proper science. In some recent university debates scientists seem to agree with each other regarding the material world. What is amazing is how careful exegesis of Scripture written so long ago is supported by much of the current scientific stance from astrophysics to biology to quantum physics. Personally, I think the gap is closing but the underlying problem continues to be about worldview which probably shouldn’t have much bearing on natural science.

    Reply
  16. Stephen B says:

    “I don’t think theistic scientists”

    Indeed. The majority of scientists who accept evolution are theists, and the majority of theist scientists accept evolution. No problem there.

    But there’s no scientific support for creationism, and therefore it has no right to be science classes. There’s no special treatment – if evidence is on your side you get taught. If it isn’t, you don’t belong in science classes. This isn’t about ‘indoctrination’.

    Reply
  17. Charles says:

    “This isn’t about ‘indoctrination’”

    Indoctrination is another issue all together. I was just inferring how impractical it might be for the educational system to actually implement curricula that gives an honest and thorough overview of the known points of view. That is, of course, if the government intended to maintain oversight of the educational system which is currently more indoctrinal than an actual learning environment teaching students to think for themselves.

    Reply
    • Stephen B says:

      Standard dictionary def will do. If you’ve got a def that fits with what is taught in class (as in doesn’t disagree with modern science) then I don’t have a problem with it.

      Reply
  18. Charles says:

    “Facts, truth – that’s what it’s about.”

    I agree.

    Webster’s defines creationism as: “the belief that God created all things out of nothing as described in the Bible and that therefore the theory of evolution is incorrect”

    I agree with the first half of this definition. The theory of evolution I have certain reservations with but for the most part I am not opposed to it. I would assume I am still a creationist. I don’t see how this contrasts big bang cosmology.
    If the current science maintains the Universe had a beginning or singularity I think it automatically assumes a creation. It seems to fall on the question of whether God created it or not. I happen to believe He did.

    Reply
    • Stephen B says:

      Sure. I don’t really get what it is in schools that you’re objecting to, if indeed you are. I’m not aware of any curriculum teaching kids that God doesn’t exist or that it’s not possible that God was behind the singularity. Kids get taught about evolution for the same reason they get taught about the holocaust or that the earth is a sphere – because of the wealth of evidence behind it.

      Reply
  19. Charles says:

    I guess I’m not objecting to anything except, perhaps inadvertantly, YEC. Interesting.

    Unfortunately for centuries, it seems, Christians have been relying solely on personal experience without putting ideas, thoughts, doctrine or Christian concepts through testable scientific studies. If I believe the Bible to be true (and I do) then I shouldn’t have a problem with scientific scrutiny (and I don’t). The Truth should hold its own under any condition.

    Reply
    • SK WIlliams says:

      Charles, I don`t think your statement is acurate. Have Christins for centuries relied on Personal expeirnces rather than Testable claimsÉ Well, no, they havent. The Middle Ages saw Theologians actually engaged in utilising Aristotilian Logic to defend Christain beleifs, which was the Hight of `Science`in its day, which culimated in `The Suma THeologica: by Thomas Aquinas. None of the Medaeval Theologians rested on PErsonal Expeuirnce alone.

      Then came the modrn Era, when Catholics, and even Protestants, did put their Trust in Reason (Again, Proper Science did not exist to bother with), with few exceptions who emrbaced oure Fideism.

      Even today most Christain Theologians tend to look at otuside evidence from Science.

      Reply
  20. Fredrik Andersen says:

    You are right that many details about these gods are wrong, but it is still a fact that many of these god stories are somewhat inspired by each other. So in the bigger picture, this article doesn’t really matter too much, but I think its good that you´re all critical to the information you are given, cause I think thats important in general. Anyway, this is what I wanted to say:

    If you can, just for once in your whole life, manage to see the world and all of humanity with some PERSPECTIVE (this is an important keyword here), also considering the fact that our entire world is just a microscopic speckle in relation to the universe, THEN you should realize this (all objective facts, so no need to argue):

    Human beings have ALWAYS felt the need to believe in something greater than themselves, and they have ALWAYS had the ability to create this “greatness” all by themselves. You see, humans are equipped with an incredibly complicated brain. If our minds feels like something is missing, it´s actually able to fix that by itself, by using different methods such as ignorance, denial, strong belief and submissiveness. These are all “tools” used subconsciously by the brain to make us feel more insightful and at peace within our own existence. What´s NEGATIVE about this, is that it´s very degrading to our curiosity and to our intelligence. How? Because the brain makes a “short-cut” by pursuing BELIEF instead of pursuing TRUTH, which can be difficult to handle for a lot of people.

    Thats why religion is still around us; if you have spent your whole life believing in a God, and if that God suddenly disappeared from your mind, you would experience a massive void or emptiness. After all, this God of yours has taken up quite some space in your mind over the years, and therefore it can be difficult to let it go and start pursuing truth instead.

    Reply
  21. Fredrik Andersen says:

    You are right that many details about these gods are wrong, but it is still a fact that many of these god stories are somewhat inspired by each other. So in the bigger picture, this article doesn’t really matter too much, but I think its good that you´re all critical to the information you are given, cause I think thats important in general. Anyway, this is what I wanted to say:

    If you can, just for once in your life, manage to see the world and all of humanity with some PERSPECTIVE (this is an important keyword here), also considering the fact that our entire world is just a microscopic speckle in relation to the universe, THEN you should realize this (all objective facts, so no need to argue):

    Human beings have ALWAYS felt the need to believe in something greater than themselves, and they have ALWAYS had the ability to create this “greatness” all by themselves. You see, humans are equipped with an incredibly complicated brain. If our minds feels like something is missing, it´s actually able to fix that by itself, by using different methods such as ignorance, denial, strong belief and submissiveness. These are all “tools” used subconsciously by the brain to make us feel more insightful and at peace within our own existence. What´s NEGATIVE about this, is that it´s very degrading to our curiosity and to our intelligence. How? Because the brain makes a “short-cut” by pursuing BELIEF instead of pursuing TRUTH, which can be difficult to handle for a lot of people.

    Thats why religion is still around us; if you have spent your whole life believing in a God, and if that God suddenly disappeared from your mind, you would experience a massive void or emptiness. After all, this God of yours has taken up quite some space in your mind over the years, and therefore it can be difficult to let it go and start pursuing truth instead.

    Reply
    • Joshua says:

      You’ve missed the point and the facts. They AREN’T based off of each other. The movie lied and you’ve been fooled.

      Besides that, I believe the rest of your comment can be summed up by Voltaire: If God doesn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent them. However, there are some that take the overwhelming cultural and historical belief in a power greater than us to be part of a proof for God’s existence. The question then becomes, which God is most plausible.

      However. NONE OF THAT HAS TO DO WITH THE MOVIE’S FIRST HALF BEING COMPLETELY BUNK!!!!!!

      Reply
  22. Jonsey says:

    The film challenged me, even though I’m choosing not to finish it. I became slightly lost for a few minutes until I found this to help me restore my confidence in God. I’m not sure why I even doubted it, but I’m apt that now I now know that the film is filled with lies

    Reply
  23. Sage says:

    Now i can’t say i’ve actually visited their resource, but at the end of this zeitgeist film they do list their resources for all of their claims. I just find it absolutely hilarious that on all of these sites with articles trying to debunk this film, not one have i seen list their resources. The only resources i’ve seen is quotes from the bible. But there’s no bibliography listed at the end of any of these articles i find. Only christian based websites that wanna talk bad about it rather than possibly accepting these ideas to better their own religion and/or selves. Doesn’t that sound like the correct thing to do? Adapt the good parts rather than dismissing it all because it doesn’t agree with the starting idea. Progression is what this world needs, not conservatism, as i assume most people disagreeing with this movie are conservative.

    Reply
    • Doug says:

      I looked up documentation from the Tibetan Book of the Dead many years ago and found their claims to be false but I don’t have it now. I do remember that the most convincing similarity to Christ was a Hindu (Sanskrit?) style that was not used until 300 AD — so if you want to look up documentation go right ahead.

      Here is one web site against zeitgeist with documentation/sources listed http://
      skepticproject.com/articles/zeitgeist/part-one/

      Reply

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