My Favorite Atheist Meme

So, this has got to be my number one favorite atheist meme:

Jesus vs demigods

Basically, it tries to show how Jesus is an utterly derivative mythological figure, with almost all his legendary attributes being drawn from various mythological demigods before him.

I have to say, it would be pretty persuasive … if any part of it were true.

Unfortunately, not a bit of it is. It is basically an atheist fabrication from whole cloth from beginning to end.

Here are the refutations, if you want to go through them all.  They are pretty interesting.

Probably the most interesting thing to know is that there are some parallels between Jesus and Krishna, but the dating in this meme is misleading. Krishna’s story in its original ancient form in he Mahabharata is only about 25 lines long and says almost nothing.  It really gets filled out around 200 A.D.— definitely after Christianity had reached India, which it did in the time of the Apostles, with Saint Thomas journeying there and founding one of the earliest Churches, where he remained, and Saint Bartholomew making an extended journey there. Indeed, the oldest Christian church still in existence (in the sense of church building) is located in India.

Similarly, there actually is a story of Dionysus turning water into wine, but that part of the Dionysus story is post-Christian and is a borrowing from the Christian story, in a late pagan attempt to jazz Dionysus up to appeal to Christians or even pagans, who by then had mostly lost all interest in the old myths.

Jesus vs Horus

Jesus vs Mithra

Jesus vs Krishna

Jesus vs Dionysus

And then I made this for Twitter replies. I may as well stick it on the end here:

Jesus vs demigods


10 comments on “My Favorite Atheist Meme

  1. wtquinn says:

    Below Joseph Atwill links present compelling historical drama around the emergence of the Christ saviour figure/gospels through the political power of the Roman Flavians. For believers this is fake news. For others perhaps not. Admittedly Saviours throughout history satisfy a Maslow-like emotional/social bonding hierarchy of needs for individuals within a group. Atwill does not attempt to directly negate the scientific phenomenon of faith existing in the world.


    • Garth says:

      Gosh, those Romans were clever! Create a new religion that would appeal to Jews (who they notoriously found incomprehensible) and then persecute it! Brilliant!

      Kind of awkward that Judaism was a religio licita while Christianity wasn’t, don’t you think?


      • wtquinn says:

        I understand your rebuttal. And I love sarcasm. So thank you. I’m not pushing back here. You may or may not have listened to Atwill speak – actually deliver his presentations. If you have (or will) he’s very sober minded and rebuts his rebutters very well. I’ll leave it at that.


    • Jonas says:

      To cite your last link
      Robert M. Price(!): “[Atwill] gives himself license to indulge in the most outrageous display of parallelomania ever seen.”
      Richard Carrier(!): ” “The Roman aristocracy was nowhere near as clever as Atwill’s theory requires.”
      Bart Ehrman: “I know sophomores in college who could rip this … to shreds”, “[Atwill has] no training in any relevant field.”

      I know that Robert Price and Richard Carrier are not undisputed “authorities”, but still


  2. Jason says:

    Are you sure the Dionysus turning water into wine bit is post-Christian? I could have sworn it was mentioned in the Bacchae.


  3. I honestly would not find this convincing, even if it were true. There were many prophecies about Christ from many prophets – could not a pagan society have heard these and misunderstood them?


  4. One time I saw this argument and was absolutely amazed by it. There are so many comparisons between Jesus and the other mentioned gods. But I did some of my own research and looked up the myths behind each of the other gods, and none of them actually mentioned the facts that assimilate them to Jesus. The only time those came up were when the article explicitly compared them to Jesus. So yeah, it would be really cool if it were true, but it does seem to be a fabricated argument.


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