Zeitgeist; a film.

Some of you may have heard of this, and if you have you probably have very strong opinions about it.

For those of you have haven’t, I suggest you watch it if only for pity’s sake: http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

I am not really sure what to say on this matter, I just finished watching it myself only but a minute ago, and have not completely digested and done any of my own research on the topics raised.

Don’t be turned off by the seemingly unrelated first 45 minutes which talks about religion, it does tie in at a later part and is worth watching- though I have to say those first 45 minutes were very poorly operationalized and asked for a similar kind of ‘acceptance’ without providing source material, as they were disproving. After that it picks up a bit, deals with ‘terror’ and such things… a very interesting watch if only to fuel these so-called ‘conspiracy’ theories.

Secretly I wonder what the RPGC intelligentsia has to say on the matter; as believe it or not I hold some of you in high regards.

I will post further once I have come to some of my own conclusions.


I’ve only watched through the end of the religious portion, but I plan to watch the rest tomorrow.

There’s definitely interesting material. I enjoyed the exploration of Christianity’s pagan roots, and the startling resemblances of the Christ-story to the stories of Horus, Mithra, etc. The movie seems to conclude that Christianity is a fraudulent enterprise capitalizing on the more primal belief systems it hearkens back to. This is a plausible argument.

However, the movie fails to mention that Christianity’s resemblance to paganism has <i>always</i> been acknowledged. I’m no expert on the subject, but I know that modern Catholic doctrine is that other religions, both pre-Christian and post-Christian, are imperfect manifestations of the same divine revelation. According to that view, the prophets of other religions that look so much like Christianity, actually <i>were</i> in touch with God; just not fully so. This is why they end up seeming so similar to Christianity. JRR Tolkien (a devout Catholic) argued that all the mythologies preceding Christianity were reflections of a single true Christian myth. I don’t claim to be Christian in any way, but I find Christian arguments just as persuasive as those of the movie.

The movie’s segment on Christianity as the source of religious violence is comparatively bland and run-of-the-mill. There was always bloodshed among the pre-Christian ancients, and there has always been bloodshed in parts of the world untouched by Christianity. Consider who represents more of a violent impulse: medieval monks preserving books and ancient learning in their monasteries, or the non-Christian barbaric tribes meanwhile plundering Europe? There are major exceptions to every generalization about religious people. All it takes is a little bit of human awareness to know that there are deeper impulses behind most violence than the happenstance of believing in the Judeo-Christian God.

cool a zeitgeist worse than the smashing pumpkins album of the same name

I’ve seen some of whatever that should be called, and it wasn’t too revelatory. It’s naive to ever think that things don’t resemble the worst imaginable situation.

Also, X-wing did a good job of saying basically what I would have. In the ideological battle between Christianity and atheism’s modern incarnation, it’s more fun to play for the underdog (and for the belief requiring more imaginative power.)

You lost me now. Atheism is the underdog on global level but Christianity requires more imaginative power. So which one is it?

I haven’t seen the movie yet, what with holidays and it being 2h long.

In my parts of America (the urban Midwest) and in most of Old Europe, at least, where people think and are liberally inclined, any form of transcendent religion, or thinking, is certainly the underdog. Everyone possessing real worldly power in the West is almost doomed to atheism, contra to whatever creeds they may profess. I’m not trying to say Christianity is even good, but compared to the nihilistic materialism of so many at the top of our civilization, it seems preferable.

How many representatives or senators are openly atheists in the Midwest? Not to mention bigger fish like presidential candidates (or even those adhering to the “wrong” faith a la Huckabee/Romney). I guess your point is that people in power don’t always behave according to their faith’s tenets thus being effectively atheists.

Atheism does not equal or inspire nihilism, postmodernist cur. It doesn’t even approach it.

I’m not ignorant, but the heck is nihilism and should I even know?

…Are you serious? Midwest seems like a pretty strange place then. I disagree with your belief that anyone who possesses power in the West is doomed to atheism. Huckabee is a Southern Baptist minister I believe and not only was he successful Arkansas Governor but a real presidential contender because of his beliefs.

Romney is the one with the “wrong” religion by the way according to the xenophobes. We’ve already had Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton elected to the presidency and they were Southern Baptists; even though Carter lapsed from the more conservative extension of the church.

That’s quite false, despite your apparently vehement disbelief. In fact, it is rather safe to say that atheism is the royal road to nihilism. Perhaps “atheism” is a word even more misunderstood than “nihilism.” In all his irony, evasion, and occasional bluster, even Nietzsche is clearly some kind of Transcendentalist.

Read it with me: “a” - no “theism” - god-ism. Atheism. No god. It takes willful abuse to misunderstand the definition of the word. In no way does the statement atheism makes even seek to rob the world of meaning. If you really want to go after nihilists, we can make a campfire, sit around it, and insult a variety of clever linguistic theories.

If we want to talk about a handful of thinkers and university philosophy professors’ constructions of atheism, I will concede that they do not seek to “rob the world of meaning.” However, the zeitgeist among the common liberal man, especially the young, in America today is a quite different beast.

The young have always wanted to rob life of all meaning.

It makes it easier to do unlawful things and not care.

It’d be a good idea to define our terms but I’m interested in how the world has no meaning for the common liberal man, especially the young, in America today. Or, additionally, in what way that differs from the common man in the US today. Sounds like broad brushing.

At least you know they are searching for meaning, as they remain alive. And he that seeketh findeth :wink:

It’d be a good idea to define our terms but I’m interested in how the world has no meaning for the common liberal man, especially the young, in America today. Or, additionally, in what way that differs from the common man in the US today. Sounds like broad brushing.

It is broad brushing, because I think we’re reaching the culmination of the modernist crisis. People are forgetting how to read and think. People don’t understand metaphor. We’ve lost our religion. The Soul is a laughing stock, and men do not yet know how to make a religion of science.

Now, now, I’ve read Bloom too (well, sort of. My eyes kind of glazed over when he started complaining that rock and roll makes people have lots of sex and that the damned kids should get off his lawn or whatnot). I don’t think the solution to the problem of modernity will be found in retreating to churches and temples (or desert caves or wilderness retreats or etc.) or religion of any kind. Perhaps I don’t share in this panic of despondency over a loss of meaning or ability simply because I fail to witness it among nonbelievers (or believers either, but emphasis on the former since they’re knee-deep in the supposed cause).

The monks that only sought to preserve their books, no. The Bishops, Cardinals, Popes, Holy Kings and Emporers all “exemplifying” the religion however are different. To obtain such high status they all had to do something evil and murder a few peasant children along the way (by starvation or by the knife). Those same Barbarian tribes you mentioned also became handy tools when they finally also converted to Christianity and the Pope needed a holy war to remove [STRIKE]Eastern Orthodox Christianity as an equally powerful religion[/STRIKE] radical Muslims from the holy land (despite the Dark Ages Europeans being more barbaric, having JUST learned the Arabic numbering system.) Mind you, I’m half decended from Europeans, so I get to freely criticize the actions of my ancestors.

Mind you, that’s the way power is. Even here in a “Democracy”. Everybody has a body in their closet.

Christianity isn’t a bad religion, but many bad people tend to follow it and dirty its name.

That’s exactly the point: that Christianity is not a “source of religious violence” in itself, but rather a facade that people put over their own self-interested aggression. There were always bad bishops and kings, just as there were bad high priests and emperors. It’s also generally ignored that there were very good bishops and Christian kings in those horrendous medieval days, probably as many good ones as bad ones.

Again, to the way people conduct themselves in positions of power, Christianity has mostly been incidental.

Who said anything about Bloom? First of all, he’s known as something of a lecher as well as an (a)gnostic, so perhaps you’ve weakly misread him.* And take my word, he’s certainly not the first to bemoan the decline of Western civilization. I don’t think the solution is in “retreating to churches and temples” either, and those buildings have always been a rather inadequate house for the soul. Essentially, I’m pressing the argument for a culture of scientific mysticism.


I think I see what you mean. Perhaps developing a mythology that suits today’s knowledge. Not a religion but more a belief system, a set of legends. Man, maybe I watched too many Joseph Campbell videos.