Copycat Religion… #5 (6 of 10)

Bob & Trent,

As promised in #4, my first thought topic to engage your considerable critical facilities in opposition to your internalized myth biases may as well be a biggie: The Ten Commandments.

I’ve chosen TTC from hundreds of equally feebly and immoral biblical teachings because it is 1) directly given by God, 2) it is ‘The Law’ and as such is 3) foundational to Judaism and therefore 4) foundational to Judaism’s lineal descendants; Christianity and Islam.
(And because in the movie Moses was played by the head of the National Rifle Association.)

So, if I can help you shatter these stone tablets, we may be putting a crack in the stone cell of myth and superstition which imprisons reason.

[ An Aside: Why is it if someone asserts a strongly held belief with no empirical evidence (i.e.; ‘Faith’), in any number of ideas like holocaust denial, Elvis sightings, or overnight abductions for extraterrestrial rectal exams, they are shunned as being shit nuts, but if on ‘Faith’ alone you believe a burning bush spoke to a guy you’re ‘devout’? Or,

If I mumble some Latin over my Pop Tarts and milk Sunday morning and my ‘Faith’ lets me honestly believe, and in all sincerity assert that through transubstantiation my breakfast had literally (not symbolically – literally) become the body and blood of James Dean then wouldn’t I be considered delusional? ]

With brief examples I will first illuminate the inane, petty and vicious nature of TTC and, more importantly, next I will show from where they were plagiarized, and then I will call for a show of hands on who would wish to live under the moral code of the author.

In the Pentateuch there are three versions of the Decalogue. I will use the first as it is probably the Sunday School version most of us were subjected to, Exodus 20, versus the reprised iteration after Charlton Heston got a little pissed and smashed the first set, Exodus 34, or the third version in Deuteronomy 5.

    1. I am the Lord
    2. No graven images of living things in the air, on the earth or in the water. No prostrations are to be made before any such images. Interestingly this is the only commandment with a proscribed penalty. And the punishment will be on the sinner’s family until his fourth generation descendants. After that, going on to state he is a jealous God seems a bit superfluous. And he will not allow other Gods to be put on an equal footing with him. (Sounds like he knows there are other Gods.)
    3. Is another ego trip; the people are ordered not to take God’s name in vain. More bullying.
    4. Remember the Sabbath Day, yup, more; “I’m the Boss” but not much in the rules to live by department. (BTW these folks would have meant Saturday, not Sunday.) With 1 through 4 we’re finally done with the; I’m the bad ass, honor me, praise me, remember my day, bullshit.
    5. Honor thy Pops and Moms. OK, but it comes with a creepy inducement “that your days may be long upon the land…” So doing the right thing for the folks because they are your folks, or, so you can inherit the ‘ol family farm ?
    6. Don’t murder anyone. OK, but two pages later God tells Moses to have his people kill all the males of the neighboring tribe, kill the women “who have laid with men” (biblical MILFs), but keep the females virgins for your best fighters. So… “Thou shall not kill, unless as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign to take the next tribe’s land.” was probably too long to write on the tablet.
    7. No fuck’in around with another member of the tribes wife. OK, and by the way, the Mafia added daughters.
    8. Don’t steal. Ok
    9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. OK, this one actually makes sense.
    10. And like all good Catskill comics he saved the best for last: “You shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife, (where the quote usually ends) nor his house, nor his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his goat, his donkey….” I kid you not. Go home and tell your wives the foundation law of the three monotheisms lumps her in with servants and donkeys, go on, I dare you.

Number 10 is also the first recorded condemnation of a thought crime: it doesn’t say you can’t fuck your neighbors wife, or steal his goat (both covered elsewhere). No, number 10 says you can’t think of doing it because the mere thought is deemed prohibited.
Meaning we are all in jeopardy all of the time, so if anything, TTC may be more relevant to the foundation of the Orwellian totalitarian crushing of an individual’s moral code, more than the foundation of a moral code.

This is all garbage. Bronze Age petty insights of people so primitive they were terrified by myths of a vengeful and jealous God, and so ignorant of the natural physical world they thought lightning and thunder were his farts.

So, can we at least agree to resolve: The Ten Commandments, or a diluted version of same, may serve to impress children with infantile instruction, i.e., Mom says don’t steal is weak compared to God says don’t steal. But if you think there is sufficient moral example contained in TTC for it to be the basis of any moral code, that it’s only down to you having been told as much long before you had obtained the critical facilities to question false promises and exaggerated claims.

To close on the substance of TTC topic; there are more moral lessons to be derived from a randomly chosen chapter from Homer’s Iliad. Marcus’ Meditations. Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, or Tolstoy’s War and Peace, than in the entire blood soaked, racist, slaver, infanticidal, misogynistic, genocidal garbage known as the Old Testament.

So much for the content of TTC, now on to where they came from:

Inscribed on the walls of the Temple of Luxor (Bruce – that’s Egypt not Vegas) +/- 3,500 years ago is Spell 125 from The Egyptian Book of the Dead. The Spell details God giving Mises (yeah, Jews didn’t bother much thinking up new names) a stone tablet inscribed with the confession of one who would be deemed worthy. Including; I did not steal, I did not kill, I have not lied, etc.
So everyone happy to be within the cartoonishly simplistic moral compass of the Pharos raise your hand.

Hopefully you begin to see God did not create Man, but Man sure has created (albeit without much originality) a whole bunch of Gods.

Next Up: Why are all these Gods born on December 25th ? Or, what I learned in Celestial Navigation 101.

And next up after that we’ll consider what constitutes the 1,300 additional ‘commandments’ Bob’s Orthodox buddy told him about. Spoiler alert: There’s lots of steer butchering, goat cooking, female hygiene, and genital mutilation instruction included in ‘commanded’.

And next up after that we’ll examine Catholicism’s very own Satanic verses in how the Vatican to this day explains the prototype Jesuses.


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Copycat Religion… #4 (5 of 10)

Bob & Trent,

Brother Trent has taken the first step on the long road to rationality. I propose we continue this terrific discussion, preferably in person although I am not opposed to the medium at hand.

Lest this degenerate into Aunt Tillie’s annual Thanksgiving Bible thump complete with frothing testimonials and a Middle School understanding of the epistemologies of the competing theologies; I suggest we a) define the objectives of our own arguments, b) agree not to dig in our heels on another fellows assertion of fact in a way which closes the discussion, (e.x.; ‘nowhere in the OT does it say…’) but rather table the point at issue until someone can objectively substantiate their assertion, and c) stipulate to Hitchens’ razor: “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

As to my objectives; I will argue you into agreeing:

  1. God was created by Man. Man was not created by God.
  2. Confessional Faith has been the most destructive force in history.
  1. God was created by Man: My modus here will be to supply you with endless references in the New and Old Testaments which are plagiarized from earlier texts. The point of the exercise is not to bring suit on behalf of the original authors (the statutes of limitations have run) but rather to have you agree; If X is asserted as revealed truth, and X can be shown to have been copied from Y then Y was either also revealed truth (believe Archangels visited Poseidon, Shiva and Dionysus ?) – or – the original authors were men, really smart men, but men. Men relying on Reason, without claiming ‘a spirit speaking through them’, or ‘divine revelation’. Socrates, the Stoics, and many others will serve. And, given Trent’s just pride in the University of Virginia, I think somewhere along the way I might heavily cite Mr. Jefferson’s Bible.
  2. Faith as a Destructive Force By 1) Challenging you to name a good act done in the name of religion (barring exorcisms) which could not be done by a non-believer. 2) All faiths’ resistance to rational inquiry and scientific method. 3) The famous formulation ( was it Stephen Jay Gould’s ?) that in a natural state good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things, but to get good people to do bad things you need religion. 4) Actually this topic is such a target rich environment I may actually enjoy it!

Well, I think I’ll begin with one (actually two) of the stones under The Pentateuch, your Bible and the Koran: The Ten Commandments.
Let’s shatter these tablets between the hammer representing their vacuous stupidity and the anvil of their original author, whom I doubt any of you would worship.

Until that time Eustis,


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Copycat Religion… Reply to Trent (4 of 10)

Bob & Trent,

I think you’ve missed the forest for the trees. I said Adonis was my favorite as a joke implying the Adonis physique is the one I could most relate to.

You needn’t cut and paste a précis on every God I noted. The point of the names was twofold: 1) Other intelligent men in other places believed as fervently in their Gods as you do in yours. And 2) the Bronze age authors may have been influenced by thousands of years of time tested foundational myth elements; annunciation, virgin birth, sacrificial death, resurrection, ascension, etc.

Doesn’t make ’em bad guys, just shows Man created God , not the other way around.


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Copycat Religion… Reply from Trent (3 of 10)

Trent takes issue with something I said…


This argument is often circulated on the Internet and given the ever changing and massive number of pagan deities and practices over history, support for almost any argument that Christianity copied some pagan practice could be made I suspect.

Since Adonis is your favorite, the claim that Adonis was born of a virgin mother I thought worth a short examination as I was not familiar with it. Perhaps you have read The Jesus Mysteries, written by Timothy Freke and Peter: “In Syria, Adonis’ virgin mother is called Myrrh.” Not only do they provide no source for this claim, but apparently it is contradicted by most mythology sources. One writer noted the online Encyclopedia Mythica portrays the conception of Adonis as follows:

“The generally accepted version is that Aphrodite compelled Myrrha (or Smyrna) to commit incest with Theias, her father, the king of Assyria. Her nurse helped her with this trickery to become pregnant, and when Theias discovered this he chased her with a knife. To avoid his wrath the gods turned her into a myrrh tree. The tree later burst open, allowing Adonis to emerge. Another version says that after she slept with her father she hid in a forest where Aphrodite changed her into a tree. Theias struck the tree with an arrow, causing the tree to open and Adonis to be born. Yet another version says a wild boar open the tree with its tusks and freed the child; this is considered to be a foreshadowing of his death.”

A writer also noted that James Frazer, not pro Christianity, in The Golden Bough claims that Adonis was born of an act of incest too.

The Library notes:

“…this Smyrna conceived a passion for her father, and with the complicity of her nurse she shared her father’s bed without his knowledge for twelve nights. But when he was aware of it, he drew his sword and pursued her, and being overtaken she prayed to the gods that she might be invisible; so the gods in compassion turned her into the tree which they call smyrna (myrrh). Ten months afterwards the tree burst and Adonis, as he is called, was

I have also read that the earliest known record of a tradition involving a revived Adonis [annually for one day and clearly not a defeat of death but more like a seasonal plant – I’d say vastly different than an eternal resurrection] comes from Lucian of Samosata, the author of De Dea Syria. In that work, he wrote of an annual ceremony commemorating the death, or apparent death, of Adonis and that he was killed, or apparently killed, by a boar:

“They say, at any rate, that the deed that was done to Adon by the boar occurred in their land, and in memory of that misfortune every year they beat their breasts and mourn and perform the ceremonies, making solemn lamentations throughout the country. And when the breast-beating and weeping is at end, first they make offerings to Adon as if to a dead person; and then, on the next day, they proclaim that he is alive and fetch him forth into the air, and shave their heads as the Egyptians do…”

But De Dea Syria was written during the second century AD, so the New Testament could not have been influenced by De Dea Syria.

The above from only a short lunchtime internet prowl, but rebuttals of F. Cumont, Kersey Graves, and Frazer abound and seem far more grounded, but work beckons, so no time to visit C. S. Lewis today.

In Faith

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Copycat Religion… (2 of 10)

Bob & Trent,

I thoroughly enjoyed the dinner conversation.

Having (I hope) defended my recollection of various quotations in the prior e-mail it now occurs to me I neglected to include the promised list of Gods which were once worshiped by more people than are currently alive. Gods you likely would have believed in had you been alive then, as you would likely have been bred to believe in the Hindu pantheon had you been born in New Delhi vs. New York.

Illustrating the foundation myths of all religions are pale plagiarisms of prior plagiarisms all of the Gods listed below were a) born of virgins, b) born (star in the East followed by three Kings) on December 25th, c) or, resurrected on December 25th having been ‘dead’ for the prior three days.

I can expatiate on the celestial cycle which, in the northern hemisphere, gives rise to the astrological allegory dictating the dates common to all the Gods listed, but I’ll let you figure out the virgin connection for yourselves.

The Famous:

  • Horus – Egypt 3,500 BC
  • Attis – Greece 1,200 BC
  • Krishna – India 900 BC
  • Dionysus – Greece 500 BC
  • Mithra – Persia 1,2oo BC

And the Not so Famous:

  • Chrishna – Hindostan
  • Budha Sakia – India
  • Zulis / Zhule / Osiris / Orus – Egypt
  • Odin – Scandinavia
  • Zoroaster – Persia
  • Baal / Taut – Phoenecia
  • Ball – Afghanistan
  • Jao – Nepal
  • Wittoban – Bilingones
  • Thammuz – Syria
  • Atys – Phrygia
  • Xamolxis – Thrace
  • Adad – Assyria
  • Deva Tat – Siam
  • Alcides – Thebes
  • Mikkad – Sintoos
  • Beddru – Japan
  • Hesus / Ero / Bremrilleh – Druids
  • Thor – Gaul
  • Camdus – Greece
  • Hil / Fetta – Mandaites
  • Gentaut / Quexalcote – Mexico
  • Mon – Sibyls
  • Ischy – Fermosa
  • Fohi / Tien – China
  • Ixion / Quirinus – Rome
  • Prometheus – Caucasus
  • And my personal favorite; born of the virgin Io (who started that little tit for tat {Io > Europa > Helen} we like to call the Trojan War)
    the big bad boy; Adonis

There are many others but I’m turning in.

Your Brother in Christ (or any of his prototypes)


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Copycat Religion… Promised Citations (1 of 10)

Bob & Trent,

Matthew 10:34 – “Think not that I have come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace but a sword.”
‘Send’ is translated as ‘bring’ in the 1611 KJV.

Luke 22:36 – “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment to buy one.” Said at Last Supper in anticipation of imminent arrest.”

Luke 12:51 – “Suppose ye that I have come to give peace on earth? Nay, but rather division…”
…followed by eleven examples.

C. S. Lewis’ “Jesus Trilemma” (commonly referred to as “Lewis’ Lord, Liar or Lunatic”) was part of his oft repeated apologia used in his Oxford lectures, BBC commentaries, and memorialized in his book Mere Christianity.

Discussing the morality of the numerous examples of Jesus’ preaching to his followers; that they should take no thought or preparation for the future, but follow him and become ‘fishers of men’ is morally justified only if Jesus believed Judgment Day was imminent.

Lewis said that absent belief in an imminent Second Coming: “A man who said the kind of things Jesus said would either be a lunatic or else he would be the Devil of Hell.” Elsewhere he refers to this argument as “aut Diosaut malus homo” (either God or a bad man).

So… looks like you can, and I hope will, argue my conclusions, but to say my quotes from scripture and Lewis were wrong – when they were practically verbatim – was incorrect.

Your Brother in Christ…


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