Did The Egyptian God Osiris Exist? A Debate

There is one atheist argument that no Christian theist can really refute, and every time I’ve used it, no Christian theist has successfully tried to refute this. It goes like this: “Had you been born and raised in a different or past society / culture [like that of ancient Egypt] you’d be singing the praises of a quite different deity (or deities) with equal faith, belief or conviction [like Osiris] and you know this to be so. So what does that say about the existence of your Christian God?”

So how would my all too frequent debating colleague known as MG react to this? Well MG raised the issue of the existence of Osiris – a god within the pantheon of the ancient Egyptian deities.

MG – “Atheists actually do quite frequently say that God doesn’t exist… “

JP – Some do, but those people are misrepresenting the accepted atheist position. That is NOT the position I adopt. My position is that you, as a theist, making a positive claim, have the burden of proof to back it up. Now let’s see if you can. I seriously doubt it.

[Even though there is no evidence for God’s existence that doesn’t preclude the possibility that God exists just that the burden of proof exists with the theist making the positive claim. Can that argument be applied to the ancient Egyptian god Osiris?]

MG – “Likewise, no rational person says “I just haven’t seen evidence of Osiris”. No, Osiris does not exist, and we all know it.”

JP – The ancient Egyptians didn’t know that. Were they all delusional? If so, doesn’t that suggest that all deities are delusional since there’s no evidence for any of them?

JP – And the ancient Egyptians had evidence and sound reasons to believe Osiris did exist.

JP – The ancient Egyptians were intelligent and rational people and believed in the existence of Osiris. So your argument is downright silly. No matter how you slice and dice things, a lot of people, as rational and as intelligent as you, believed in the existence of Osiris. Who the heck do you think you are to pass judgment on them!

MG – “We have evidence and sound reasons to believe Osiris does not exist.”

JP – Who is “We”? Speak for yourself. Regarding the ancient Egyptians and Osiris, so what makes you think that you’re better, more intelligent, and more rational, than they were? A bit up yourself – yes? But further to the point, you are an atheist when it comes to Osiris. You say Osiris doesn’t exist, yet that’s just your opinion. How do you actually know Osiris doesn’t exist? You can’t absolutely prove that Osiris doesn’t exist and you know you can’t, but if you think that you can, do so here and now. Give the readers here your “evidence”.

MG – “OK, I have solid reasons to believe that Osiris does not exist. If Osiris did exist, then there would be a spiritual plain of existence in which our own spirits are judged (our hearts weighed against a feather). Since we do not have spirits, there can be no such place, and Osiris cannot exist.”

JP – While I quite agree with you that there is no spirit world, millions of other intelligent and rational people would willingly take you to task for your non-spiritual plain of existence worldview.

JP – Regarding Osiris: 1) Osiris may have been an actual human whose legend has over the centuries in ancient Egypt been blown out of all proportion with the telling and retelling and re-retelling of his story. 2) If we’re simulated beings then Osiris had the same degree of virtual reality as you now have. 3) Osiris may have been an ‘ancient astronaut’ – he is frequently depicted having green skin! 4) Osiris inhabited the underworld so he would normally be out of sight except to the newly dead awaiting judgment and possible resurrection into the Egyptian version of the afterlife.

Now using this question of Osiris as an example, I have the decided opinion that you’ve set yourself up as judge, jury and executioner over an entire ancient culture rubbishing them just because they held different belief systems than you do. So what makes you right and the entire ancient Egyptian Empire wrong? Finally, don’t knock another culture unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

MG – “The Egyptians (and other ancient groups) were rational people, but they didn’t have enough information to realize their gods didn’t exist. We have enough information to show these did not exist, as I did in the case of Osiris.”

JP – So again you’ve set yourself up as judge, jury and executioner over an entire ancient culture rubbishing them just because they held different belief systems than you do by suggesting they lacked sufficient information.

MG – “The point is that the gods of ancient civilizations can be shown not to exist, but the God of the Bible is even more plausible now (with more information accumulated) than He was back then.”

JP – Regarding evidence for God, well the ancient Greeks would give you evidence for Zeus (and the rest of the Olympians); the Norse evidence for Odin; the ancient Egyptians evidence for Osiris & Isis; the Aztecs evidence for Quetzalcoatl; the Incas evidence for Viracocha; the Hindus evidence for Brahma; the American Indians evidence for a Great Spirit; the Australian Aborigines evidence for their Rainbow Serpent and on and on it goes. You not only have to provide evidence for God, but refute all the evidence for Zeus, Horus, etc. You can probably come up with several other examples of deities that are currently believed in in other modern monotheistic religions; deities that you would also need to negate in order to prove God as the one true god.

JP – Akin to the Osiris argument, since nobody in the past several thousand years has proven the actual existence of your preferred deity (i.e. – God), what makes you think you can?

JP – So even after all of these posts of yours you’re still not one jot closer to providing any evidence for far less proving the existence of your preferred deity than you were when you started. Going off on tangents about Osiris does nothing to bolster up your case for your preferred deity.

JP – So let’s stay with modern times and just forget about Osiris for the moment who after all is quite beyond our reach and therefore his status can’t actually be determined. So, let’s say that when you finally kick-the-bucket you go off to the Pearly Gates only to be greeted by the Trinity of Shiva, Braham and Vishnu. Oops! Now you have a good billion or so rational and intelligent people, true believers living right now who accept the existence of the Trinity of Shiva, Braham and Vishnu. So why are they wrong and again, who are you to pass judgment?

Note: There was no response to this challenge.

Conclusion: The purpose here was not to show that Osiris actually existed rather than in principle the Christian God and the Egyptian deity Osiris are on equal theological footing since neither can be proven to have had existence or non-existence. There’s as much or as little likelihood for the one as for the other. That’s in contrast to MG who asserts that the Christian God actually exists in actual fact and that the Egyptian deity Osiris doesn’t exist and never has existed in actual fact.

oooooOOOOOooooo

Postscript: Now here’s one reason why I think you should find the Simulation Hypothesis appealing. All theologies could be ‘true’ – Osiris could have virtually ‘existed’.

Postscript: God is not a necessary being. Brahma, Shiva, Isis and Osiris perhaps, but not God. Actually in fact there is no such thing as a necessary being since beings or entities are in no manner, shape or form fundamental to existence.

Postscript: What about personal experiences? Personal experiences are just that, personal. They convey no evidence relating to that experience to anyone else who hasn’t shared that experience, an unlikely happening since, by definition, the experience was personal. Further, spiritual experiences are not confined to God, Jesus or the Virgin Mary. All manner of other deities from Osiris to Shiva to Apollo and Odin have been personally experienced. That also applies to extraterrestrials as well as having visions and communications with the deceased.

Postscript: The concept of a resurrection is not by any means restricted to Jesus. Resurrection, for example, was a common theme in Ancient Greek mythology. Hercules, as noted above, got resurrected by his daddy too! And in Ancient Egyptian mythology, Osiris was resurrected by Isis. Further, if you read the Gospels side-by-side instead on consecutively, you’ll note that the various accounts of the resurrection of Jesus are inconsistent and contradictory with numerous discrepancies with respect to who (that differs) saw what; between what actually happened (that differs too) and when; and between when (timelines also differ) whatever happened actually happened. The personnel, events and timelines are not consistent.