Author Topic: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?  (Read 413 times)

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Offline Captain Video

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Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« on: June 24, 2019, 03:31:50 PM »
https://themindunleashed.com/2019/04/israeli-researcher-says-moses-was-high-on-psychedelics-when-he-spoke-to-god.html?fbclid=IwAR1ESN_6GgHr_bHbK7pTaOJXpmlpeLVnyL1JyCy_dwAXN56-CMOr6ScG8a0

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Some researchers claim that Moses and the Israelites were on drugs during their legendary quest across the desert. According to Benny Shanon, an Israeli professor of cognitive philosophy at Hebrew University, this detail could explain the vision in which Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.

This theory may also explain that the “burning bush” in the bible is not a literal bush on fire, but a bush that creates a figurative fire in the mind. Shannon says that the components needed to make the psychedelic brew ayahuasca are native to the Sinai Peninsula, just as they are in the Amazon where the brew is more popular.

“As far as Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don’t believe, or a legend, which I don’t believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effects of narcotics,”Shannon told Israel Radio.

This would seem to have some merit. Other religions have and some still do use psychedelics. I wonder what other drug use has influenced Hebrew, Christian and Muslim texts.

Some of those monks must have been drunk during translation.
Did they smoke hash or opium around the time of Muhammad?

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Offline 2397

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 03:41:52 PM »
I don't doubt that drugs have influenced beliefs, but is there any part of Moses' story that we know is factually true? I could see someone making up the commandments and Moses all in one go. And/or telling the same story over generations could add a lot details to it.

Offline Shibboleth

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 03:48:41 PM »
I think the easier explanation is that nothing happened like it is stated in the Bible and the story of Exodus was either a great exaggeration of made up whole cloth.
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2019, 03:49:48 PM »
I don't think we have to explain the wandering in the desert or Moses's visions, since these are just legends, without any historical basis.

There is no evidence that the Israelites lives in Egypt or wandered the Sinai desert, or of the conquest of Canaan. The scholarly consensus, from what I understand, is that the Israelites emerged from the native Canaanite population.

And the Abrahamic religions aren't the only ones around. Norse mythology, Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology, Aztec mythology, etc, evolved independently of Abrahamism.

As for Muhammad, Historicity of Muhammad contains some interesting discussion. I think Muhammad very likely existed, but the orthodox Sunni and Shia schools of thought that we know today developed over the centuries after his death. I would consider the Hadith to be nearly totally unreliable as a historical source.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 12:36:23 PM »
Quetz beat me to it, but the Biblical account of the Exodus describes the Israelites traveling through lands where the people kept, and have left to this day, extensive written records. Not a single one of those groups has left even one single reference to a huge number of foreigners wandering through their lands. The Exodus never happened. Therefore there is nothing to "explain" by invoking drugs.

However, people have used mind-altering drugs whenever and wherever they had access to them, so it's entirely possible that the authors of the Bible were under the influence of powerful hallucinogenic drugs when they made up the stories.
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 03:21:44 PM »
What Quetz said.  If we had any evidence that Exodus was based in fact and didn't have evidence that the Israilite religion grew out of the Caanite religion this explanation might have merit. 


Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2019, 04:16:31 PM »
I once recall reading how some very rare weather phenomenon could have made it appearing like Jesus walked on water. Sure, it might have merit if there was wide historical documentation that he at least appeared to walk on water. But why try to explain something that is just a legend anyways with such elaboration?

Another problem with the exodus story is that it is usually placed either in the 14th century or 12th century BCE. This corresponds to the era of the New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1550 BCE – c. 1069 BCE). And look at the land they controlled, including Canaan. Did the Israelites flee from Egypt to... Egypt?

(click to show/hide)

The real regional conflict at the time did not involve the Israelites, to the extent that they existed as a distinct people then, but the conflict between the two local superpowers: Egypt and the Hittite Empire. A well-documented battle took place around 1274 BCE, the Battle of Kadesh, around modern-day Syria and Lebanon. It resulted in the Egyptian–Hittite peace treaty, which is historically interesting in its own right.

The extents of the Egyptian and Hittite empires at the Battle of Kadesh.
(click to show/hide)

If the Egyptians had lost their Canaanite cities and towns to invaders, especially slaves that had previously fled from them, I think they would have noticed. ;)
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 04:42:06 PM »
... why try to explain something that is just a legend anyways with such elaboration?

I suspect it comes from moderate, humanist Christian sects, who want to find some "truth" in the Bible without claiming supernatural intervention. An atheist argues the Bible is all bullshit because Jesus could not have walked on water or raised the dead; Moses could not have parted the Red Sea, and a thousand other equally preposterous stories. The Humanist Christian, who already regards the Bible as storytelling and allegory rather than as literal and inerrant truth, but still wants to see it as significant and relevant to their faith, searches for plausible origins of the stories that do not break the laws of physics but also do not make them out to be wholly without basis.

The above is my speculation. Plenty of Christians regard the Bible as important and relevant, but not literally true.
Daniel
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Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2019, 03:25:10 PM »
... why try to explain something that is just a legend anyways with such elaboration?

I suspect it comes from moderate, humanist Christian sects, who want to find some "truth" in the Bible without claiming supernatural intervention. An atheist argues the Bible is all bullshit because Jesus could not have walked on water or raised the dead; Moses could not have parted the Red Sea, and a thousand other equally preposterous stories. The Humanist Christian, who already regards the Bible as storytelling and allegory rather than as literal and inerrant truth, but still wants to see it as significant and relevant to their faith, searches for plausible origins of the stories that do not break the laws of physics but also do not make them out to be wholly without basis.

The above is my speculation. Plenty of Christians regard the Bible as important and relevant, but not literally true.

I think your speculation makes sense. The kind of Christians who want to maintain a historical core, while stripping it of the supernatural stuff.
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2019, 03:40:55 AM »
What about that freaked-out Revelation of Saint John the Mushroom-Head?
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Online Awatsjr

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2019, 09:52:31 AM »
What about that freaked-out Revelation of Saint John the Mushroom-Head?

Yeah, I thought Patmos Island had some connection there.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2019, 10:57:38 AM »
It should be noted that there were religions long before the time of Moses, or the time that Moses was supposed to have lived. The thread title should have said "Judaism" rather than "religion." Exodus is a myth of early Judaism and the religions that grew out of it, and is unrelated to other religious traditions, many of them much older.
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2019, 08:33:51 PM »
What about that freaked-out Revelation of Saint John the Mushroom-Head?

Yeah, I thought Patmos Island had some connection there.

I've actually seen a claim that he was high on ergot, rather than shrooms. Don't know how much stock to put in that.
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Online Awatsjr

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2019, 03:44:48 PM »
I would expect people back then to attribute a psychedelic drug induced experience to be a religious experience. People today still consider them relatable especially with DMT.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 02:10:09 AM by Awatsjr »

Offline stands2reason

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Re: Did religion arise from a long strange trip?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2019, 04:08:39 PM »

 

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