Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Viktory Unassured

One last “they never learn” for now. Of course, those never end, so we’ll have plenty more someday.

I mentioned in a past post “Doctor Logic” and his silly claims about various figures like Mithra being resurrected. He’s not the only one who’s perpetuating the ignorance. Roger Viklund – whose primary hobby horse is trying to force-fit Jesus into a frame made of Buddha – also peddles this tripe, and does so without any shame concerning how much grease he has to apply to do it.
He admits to start that “there are no proofs that Mithras was a dying god, and he had to die in order to rise again.” But he immediately changes the subject to something else:

In almost all mystery religions, however, the initiates underwent a symbolic death and rebirth.

Really? “Almost all”? Where’s the evidence for that? None is given, though Viklund thinks he has some proof from the Mithraic cult, from The Chronicles of Emperor Commodus. This document says that the emperor:

... polluted the Mithraic rites with real homicide, whereas the custom in them is only to say or to pretend something that creates an appearance of fright.

Hold on a second though. Where does this say there was a symbolic death? It doesn’t – it refers generally to “something(s)” that “create an appearance of fright.” That might be a death, but what it symbolizes isn’t said at all. It might also be something else scary – like dressing as a mythical creature, or presenting a lot of tax forms.

Beyond this, it escapes Viklund that this – and the “image of a resurrection” said to be in Mithraic rites by Tertullian – comes from hundreds of years after Jesus, which means that if there’s any copying that was done, the evidence says, “other way.” In addition, Tertullian also says he’s relying on his memory – which is a sort of code for, “I may not have got this right.”

Finally, there’s no indication that the “resurrected” entity was Mithra himself.

Thus, despite Viklund, there remains no solid evidence for a death of Mithras – just as the experts in Mithraism say. They never learn.

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