Moses on Drugs

Jim beat me to this with his post “See What Dilettantism Hath Wrought.”

Yet another dilettante has recently opined that the narrative about Moses proves he was a drug user. AFP reports

763B92E7-631F-4EC9-840B-6A391AC8A9EA.jpgHigh 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.

What an idiot. They must pass out Professorships like crack in the hood these days.

A fuller version of the story Jim links to was sent to me this morning by my colleague Philip Jenkins. Within that story (which I think must be a poor translation from Hebrew, you will see what I mean in a minute) is a line that I think summarizes such research.

Mr Shanon said after he experimenting [sic] with drugs similar to those available in the Sinai Desert, it was perfectly plausible to imagine bushes burning.

Yes. Yes, I suppose it is perfectly plausible. I happened to be in a meeting with our President and Provost at the time and asked if I could have a research grant to verify this scholar’s results. Upon due consideration (2 seconds) the response was no.

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