March 5, 2008
Sorry Sherlock, Moses Wasn't High On Drugs
'According to Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, psychedelic drugs formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times.......the acacia tree, frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, contain the same molecules as those found in plants from which the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca is prepared....."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."
I'm not going to defend Moses on this one or ancient Jews in Israel. I'm sure there have always been plants and concoctions throughout time that have had mind altering affects.
There is evidence that the acacia tree was around in Israel 3300 hundred years ago. But there is no evidence Moses existed, and even "negative evidence" that the Exodus occurred.
The story of Moses and the Exodus was most certainly a work of fiction that most likely got orally transmitted around 650-800 AD, until it was finally written down by Ezra and company around 450 BC.
Again I will link this fascinating video "The Bible Unearthed." Seriously, watch the series if you are at all interested in this topic (the history of Judaism) whatsoever. It is a real eye opener.
I look at history this way. If something deemed historical "factually" describes a supernatural event, then it is not historical non fiction; it is historical fiction.
I've lived on this planet for 47 years, and I've yet to witness a supernatural event. Even in an age with all sorts of cameras, I've seen nothing recorded that is supernatural. I've yet to see anyone fly, or an amputee magically grow back a limb.
I've never heard God's voice or has anyone ever recorded God's voice. Invisible people don't go to my house and move furniture. When I see a tooth brush in the kitchen, I know my cat brought it down the stairs.
My point is, that in order for history to be put together, all sources that claim the supernatural need to be ignored as fantasy. Dated real letters, archaeological artifacts, secular historian writings, etc. is what needs to be looked at to figure out what really happened.
There should be lots of evidence that Jesus existed found dated between 1-40 AD for example. None is found. Doesn't mean he didn't exist, but it does mean that it is highly unlikely. We do know someone started Christianity, and it was probably Paul or someone exactly like Paul. But as Rook Hawkins from Rational Response Squad points out, Paul never talked about Jesus as a historical person.
So it is possible that Paul was smoking or snorting too much acacia.
The same is true with the Exodus, but if you watch the video, the case for the Exodus is even less probable than a historical Jesus. Canaan was already full of Egyptians at the time the Exodus was to have occurred, and monotheism didn't appear until between 650-450 BC. If oral history had any legs, there should be immediate evidence that Jews worshiped one God from the Exodus on. The evidence points that Jews were most likely an ethnicity first, and then the ethnicity started a religion followed by the masses in a localized area by 450 BC.
No doubt, the original writers of these stories had very good imaginations, and it is highly possible they were doing mind altering substances when they made the stuff up.
Sherlock Holmes' author Sir Conan Doyle had a heroin/coke habit. Great imagination. He even gave Holmes a heroin/morphine habit which apparently helped give Sherlock that extra edge to be the greatest detective ever.
The "Burning Bush" could easily of been an acacia tree on fire. And the affects on anyone breathing in the fumes would have made them awfully creative.
The original dude who made up the Exodus/Moses story probably sounded a lot like Cheech and Chong with a middle eastern accent. No doubt he thought he was talking to that bush and the bush was talking back, giving him "the history" of Jewish people.