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The Real ZEITGEIST Challenge

by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S

the real zeitgeist challenge image

The following article is a response to the purported "debunking" of the first part of the original "ZEITGEIST" film. Because of its length, it is divided into several pages. I have also provided a free ebook containing the entire article, linked at the bottom of each page as well. Please also listen to my appearance on Peter Joseph's "Zeitgeist Undebunked" radio show.

Listen to internet radio with Peter Joseph on Blog Talk Radio

"And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter."

Early Church Father and Saint Justin Martyr (c. 150 AD/CE)

The hit internet movie "ZEITGEIST," purportedly viewed over 100 million times worldwide in a variety of languages, has stirred up much controversy over the past three years since its release by filmmaker Peter Joseph. As a source for the religious segment—"Part 1"—of the original, official version of ZEITGEIST, I have been aware of the dramatic reactions from those who are religiously inclined, particularly towards Christianity, which ZG contends is a manmade contrivance based on Pagan and Jewish precedents. This part of ZG in particular draws the most fire, apparently because it is the most challenging to the faith.

Instead of welcoming this short digest of religious history that has the potential of providing much needed release from erroneous and deleterious belief systems, a number of individuals have become so flummoxed, distraught and challenged by ZG's revelations that they have gone on the warpath and created a series of dubious "debunking" articles and videos, including a "Zeitgeist Challenge" of their own, full of flawed logic and false contentions that have been addressed long ago but that I have also rebutted continually over the past few years whenever claims of ZG "debunking" or "refutation" have cropped up. My measures to demonstrate the overall factual nature of Part 1 of the original ZEITGEIST (ZG1.1) include an ebook, "The Companion Guide to ZEITGEIST, Part 1," a video and an exhaustive study of the ancient Egyptian influence on Christianity called Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection.

I have also written several articles and appeared on a number of radio programs, although ZG1.1 appears to be so controversial that the mainstream media seem terrified to give air time to any serious expert in comparative religion and mythology who actually knows about the profound but often difficult-to-find research and factual evidence behind the film's major contentions regarding religious origins and precedents.

In any event, once more I step into the fray to demonstrate—as I have already done many times over the past decades—that a number of salient "modern" religious notions are in fact very ancient, that Christianity is largely a rehash of earlier religions and mythologies, and that acknowledging this past, without all the brainwashing and conditioning that causes intellectual dishonesty, blindness and hysteria, represents the real "ZEITGEIST Challenge."

Logical Fallacy No. 1: Straw Men

One of the most prominent "debunking" attempts raises the straw man that ZG1.1 is "unscholarly," accusing the "makers of Zeitgeist" of failing to list "original texts," besides the Bible, in defense of the film's claims. Firstly, many of the "original texts" are found in a number of the sources Peter Joseph does cite, so this latter contention merely reflects the ignorance of the commenter in not knowing the subject matter in question.

Secondly, this 22-minute segment of ZEITGEIST was never meant to be a scholarly, exhaustive documentary on the subject. Although it does play the voices of certain individuals, there are no "talking head" experts in ZG1.1 with pristine credentials giving scholarly consensus at august universities, as we see in professional documentaries. ZG1.1 was not intended to serve as such; instead, it is a readily accessible and easily understandable digest of centuries of deep research and profound scholarship in the subjects of comparative religion and mythology. Such individuals in relevant fields with pertinent opinions do exist, however, and these scholarly assessments showing the true origins of religious thought are what I have spent the better part of the past two decades putting together in my works.

While ZG1.1 itself does not go through a list of its sources, Peter Joseph has created a "Sources" page on his ZeitgeistMovie.com website that carefully and thoroughly cites every contention in ZG1.1, a number of which were from my books, which include:

The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold
Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled
Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ

It is to these sources, then, that any serious student (and would-be "debunker") of ZG1.1 would need to turn.

As noted, I have also created several pertinent articles, ebooks and videos, along with an enormous, in-depth study specifically addressing the Egyptian/Horus claims in the film, which largely emanated from a list in my book The Christ Conspiracy (p. 115). These ZG1.1-inspired works include:

The Companion Guide to ZEITGEIST, Part 1
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
Was Horus Crucified? (Article)
Was Horus Crucified? (Radio)
The Nativity Scene of Amenhotep III at Luxor
The Star in the East and the Three Kings
Jesus as the Sun throughout History
Skeptic Mangles ZEITGEIST (and Religious History)
"ZEITGEIST, Part 1" Debunked? Acharya Responds (Video)
"ZEITGEIST, Part 1" Debunked? NOT!" (Blog)
ZEITGEIST Part 1 section at TBK Forum
Acharya's Frequently Asked Questions
Was Krishna's Mother a Virgin?
Metafysiko Interview of Acharya S

Here I will reiterate some of the same material, as well as steer the reader to my previous writings, where the "debunking" of ZG1.1 has already been addressed, thoroughly and repeatedly. I will also provide more fascinating information that has not been included in my other writings.

Logical Fallacy No. 2: Appeal to Authority

Some of the most notorious "debunking" of "ZEITGEIST," Part 1, has been largely by Christian apologists, although they infrequently identify themselves as such, as they apparently understand this admission will leave them open to charges of bias. In not a few instances, these would-be debunkers have also pretended not to be Christians, presenting themselves as "atheists," while appealing to other purported atheists, whose alleged expertise is flung around in order to drub ZG1.1 and its proponents. When apologists remark that "even so-and-so says so, and he's an atheist," they seem to be raising up the atheist as some sort of omniscient god whose word should be taken on face value because his unbelief must somehow make him an expert on the history of religion and mythology. If so, then we must also take as true and factual the atheist's declarations that there is no proof of a god. Apparently Christians and other theists, however, draw the line at the atheist's "expertise" on this point. The reality is that simply because someone lacks a belief in a god—the definition of "atheism"—he or she is not an expert on religion by any stretch of the imagination.

While these ZG1.1 "debunkers," whether theists or atheists, themselves frequently have no relevant credentials, they often harp on the supposed lack thereof by ZG1.1's sources. This "appeal to authority" fallacy could therefore be applied to them as well, as they are usually far less qualified to be writing about religious origins than a number of the film's sources, including lay Egyptologist Gerald Massey, an important analyst of the Egyptian claims as found in ZG1.1 and elsewhere about whom I write in my book Christ in Egypt, an excerpt of which can be found at the following link:

Who Was Gerald Massey?

In sum, the highly peer-reviewed Massey was far more erudite, educated and qualified on this subject than the bulk of his detractors.

I too possess academic credentials from excellent institutions that are certainly relevant to the subject and sufficient enough to allow me to become an expert in the field of comparative religion and mythology. While this subject is extremely interesting and important, it isn't "rocket science" or brain surgery that requires a slew of advanced degrees to study, master and present the facts in a professional, scholarly manner without the bias and kneejerk reactions that lead the debunkers to make so many erroneous contentions. Expertise in this field nevertheless does require some skills that are not abundantly found in the general populace and are usually procured through education, such as I possess, including the ability to research in a variety of languages.

I have been studying a number of languages in addition to English for nearly 40 years, starting in the early 1970s. Not only did I study French, Spanish, Italian, German, ancient Greek and Latin formally in school/college, but I also taught myself modern Greek, as well as other languages, including Sanskrit, Hebrew and Egyptian, to varying degrees. I used Greek abundantly during my trips to Greece, where I did both undergraduate and postgraduate studies, including traveling extensively to archaeological sites throughout the country, serving as a teacher's assistant on Crete, and excavating at Corinth with the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

Such language skills very much come with the territory of archaeology, history and religious origins, and without them no investigation of the subject of ancient religion and mythology can be thorough, including any attempts at "debunking" ZG1.1. These skills are, of course, necessary for the study of ancient texts or primary sources.



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The Real ZEITGEIST Challenge Free Ebook

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Christ in Egypt Preface
D.M. Murdock/Acharya S's Media Appearances
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