Tuesday, March 04, 2008

More Revisionist Nonsense - "Moses Was High on Drugs"

I've long been amused by so-called "revisionist" religion scholars, who attempt to explain Biblical phenomena using modern induction, hand-in-hand with a process known simply as "making things up". The latest example is particularly amusing both in terms of the assumptions being made, and the utter anti-scientific nature of it all.

Benny Shanon, a Jerusalem-based drug researcher is apparently dedicated to proving that mindless "intellectuals" aren't peculiar to Western society. In a recently-published, intentionally-provocative article, Shanon claims that Moses was high on psychedelic drugs, when Moses received the Ten Commandments. Oh, and it was drugs, not fire, that made the bush burn. Occam's razor has led Shanon to conclude that Moses and his thousands of followers experienced a shared hallucination (claps of thunder, a booming voice and so on) as a result of these trips. Fun times for all.

I'd like to see this guy chime in on other Biblical events. The Flood? A year-long worldwide drug free-for-all with massive casualties. The Battle of Jericho? More aptly called the Battle of Benzedrine.

The few papers who have published this article have given Shanon a pass on the fact that he's basically a drug researcher. Pretty much everything that he's ever published is on the psychoatric drug ayahuasca. When a researcher publishes a provocative article to draw attention to his or her research, appropriate context should be given in the article.

What's next? " 'Burning Bush a Consequence of Planetary Warming', Gore states."


  1. Anonymous5:56 AM

    I don't know if Moses can de called a "historical" person, as described in various "Holy" scriptures, forming the basis for Origanal Islam, Mosaic Judaism and The Important texts for Christians as well. I see nothing wrong with application of Natural Psycedelica in "religious" (or rather) spiritual contexts, if methods like meditation can be used. I think it wasn't Moses that had used something, rather those who made his-story...
    Tore Mikal

  2. I think the mere fact that the story of Moses is so old and so ubiquitous makes it a ridiculous premise on which to hang a theory. It would be ridiculous to deny the role of psychoactive substances in religion, though attempting to shoehorn your field of study into the Bible, especially when no evidence either way can be obtained, is far less reliable than examining the origins of the stories themselves.


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