Researchers Say Moses Was High

Breitbart.com brings us this story:

High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week. Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.“As far 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 effect of narcotics,” Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the “burning bush,” suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.“The Bible says people see sounds, and that is a clasic phenomenon,” he said citing the example of religious ceremonies in the Amazon in which drugs are used that induce people to “see music.”

And here we see a very Kantish / Cartesian view of observable reality.  Benny Shannon flows right into modern theological thought.  The cosmic, the divine, cannot be observed and therefore is not a logical explanation for these events.  Similarly, the history itself is not enough as history cannot be observed with the senses.  Shannon has observed, however, the state he was in when he took drugs and that he begins to associate with this reality. Modern thought and philosphy sure has done some rough things to theology.

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8 responses to “Researchers Say Moses Was High

  1. Okay…the question begs to be asked…If you don’t believe, why seek to disprove?

  2. This claim is nothing new. I had a roommate in college (back in the olden days, the 1970s) who believed that Ezekiel was on ‘magic mushrooms’ when he had his visions. However, when my roommate was high (which was frequently), he never wrote down prophecies that eventually made it into sacred canon.

  3. EB

    I wonder if people seek to disprove because the presence of a religion that permeates a great deal of the population forces one to constantly be in the presence of an accountable standard of living.

    If you discredit it, you have no guilt in not living up to it.

  4. Mark, is this one of those times when you say you have a “friend” that used to do shrooms, but it’s really a cover up for your habits?

    Yeah, nothing new. It’s just funny to see this marketed as legitimate research in a fact-loving age.

  5. Never did shrooms, but I’m honest enough to say I did inhale.

  6. Haha!

    Don’t let JTM see that!

    It’s good to see you hanging out around here again. I hope all is well.

  7. I am a well educated, 41 year old, bible believing Christian that moves in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I hate to say it but like many young adults of my generation, I experimented with mild and on a few occasions, strong hallucinogens during my university years and for a brief period thereafter.

    Spiritual experiences that are brought about by drug use including alcohol, are both real and false. They are real because they open the user to human spiritual consciousness, false because they do not emanate from God.

    On the contrary drug use hinders the gifts of the Holy Spirit or contaminates them. Anything ‘received’ while under the influence must be treated as false prophecy.

    Note: According to one web-based resource the etymology of the root word for pharmaceuticals is quite telling.

    PHARMACUS: CHIEF ARTIST OR PROTAGONIST OF A VILLAINY also THE PERSON CONDEMNED TO DEATH or WHOSE SACRIFICE REPRESENTED A PURIFICATION or ATONEMENT or THE ONE WHOSE DEATH COULD PURIFY.

    PHARMACEIA: A NYMPH PLAYMATE OF OREITHYIA. SHE LIVED IN A WELL OF POISONOUS POWERS.

    PHARICON or gr PHARIKON: POISON.

    Anon.

  8. Hum, Let’s see . . . a druggie from the desert becomes one of the world’s most revered men. Hundreds of thousands follow him out into the desert and stay around 40 years to finally inherit a prime piece of property, through which all the world has to travel on trade expeditions. An accidental testimony to a polytheistic world of the worship of one God.

    The world’s three major religions claim him as their founder and leader.

    I don’t think so. Is this what a Phd does for you?

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