Recent reading & links (schizotypalism)

Schizotypalism, evolution, and religion

Here Stanford Neurologist (Dr Sapolsky) presented a theory that Paul’s religiosity came from a form of epilepsy, prophets were schizotypal, the writers of Jewish religious law for cleansing had OCD, and under the right circumstances mental illness could convey an evolutionary advantage through the conduit of religion. He mentions that brain damage makes rats and people more susceptible to superstition. (I’ll note that Schizophrenia has made at least one feminist vulnerable to believing she was being stalked by mailmen, who were mostly male.)

Pastor calls for killing gays for AIDs free Christmas

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/04/pastor-calls-for-killing-gays-to-end-aids/19929973/

Not exactly scientific, but this is the kind of violent hate and bigotry religion fosters unlike rational alternatives.

Miraculin

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miraculin

I want to get a hold of this African berry and experiment with sugar subsitutes. If you chew on it then sour foods taste incredibly sweet for up to an hour. Some people chew on them and eat pickles and lemons, you could use it to switch to eating various healthy but sour foods, and it would be useful for anyone going through chemo therapy. The Japanese government doesn’t have the same hang ups we do with food additives and the distilled form was first found by a Japanese scientist, so maybe I could get it there.

Hunter Gatherer Afluence

http://kk.org/mt-files/reCCearch-mt/kaplan-darker.pdf

The 50’s myth of starving hunter gatherers has been revised into “hunter-gatherer affluence.” It’s now believed they were more affluent in a sense than man has been ever since the industrial revolution and unchecked capitalism. On average they work fewer hours intermittently to aquire food (i.e. meet their modest needs.)
Somewhere around three to five hours on average a day is spent on aquiring food by these communities worldwide, which is much shorter than 40 + hour work weeks with fixed schedules. A book I read titled, “Don’t sleep there are snakes” describes the same scenario with a primitive Amazonian tribe in the 70’s. Objectively they have a lower standard of living and they don’t live as long, but the account painted them as genuinely happier there than in most modern societies.
The tribe had a strange sleep cycle too…they never slept straight through the night, and would only sleep for a couple hours at a time, with someone always waking up to chatter in the village throughout the entire night, and they took multiple naps through the day. It’s a good indication that the fixed cycles we consider normal are not necessarily how we were throughout most of our history.

Behold the Man

Found this sci-fi classic about a guy who builds a time machine and goes to meet Jesus only to find that Jesus is a retard and Mary is a whore. Joseph openly scoffs at her claim to have been impregnated by God. So he takes up Jesus’s role, and his last words as he dies on the cross are in English, “It’s all a lie, it’s all a lie.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behold_the_Man_(novel)

The same author wrote “Epic Pooh:”

http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=953&page=1#

  In this essay he criticized C.S. Lewis and Tolkein for writing comforting fantasies with prose that belongs on the walls of a nursery school. He says they rely on escapism, conservative Toryism that yearns for the simple rural life, believes themselves inherently justified against some vaguely described evil, and they don’t challenge the reader. Instead they deliberately impart Christian propaganda in the former case, and rather inevitably can’t help but do the same in the second. He refers to Rowling’s work as equally escapist, and praises the writing, questioning and tensions of writers like Ursula Le Guin.

I think he’s onto something and if I ever try my hand at fantasy again I would do well to keep in mind that you can have more than escapism. You can provide relief from the real life, while actually asking provocative questions that give insights into the reader’s cause of anxiety.

Mom’s imaginary friend more important than her son

This reddit post really sums up how religion divides people rather than bringing them together. I find it hilarious that Ruth in the bible says, “I will follow you, and your God will be my god,” which Christians think is a big deal, but really since gods don’t exist this doesn’t sound as profound to me. Maybe I too would say something similar if I had to value a relationship more than keeping the truth. There’s no harm in saying nice words when you don’t believe they have power right?

Winning arguments for Theists?

It’s like a game of whack of mole. You explain to them why some trait isn’t proof of intelligent of design in evolution or astronomy, and they’ll still go to Utah and see an eroded rock and think, “My God, I knew you were real.”

utah arch.png

Retired Tampa police captain tried to use stand your ground law after he shot someone in a movie theater for throwing popcorn in his face.

Looking into this case, and the debate, I feel myself drifting closer to the gun control side. This guy thought he was above the law and on an impulse acted the way my grandpa would have when he gets mad or especially arrogant. When you have a hammer everything starts looking like a nail, and when you have a gun….
At the very least senior citizens shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun. And the worse part is this geezer was let out on bail because supposedly he had a good record, and was a Christian, etc. Even though they confiscated his guns, I don’t think anyone with such a short temper that they’d be willing to kill a stranger over a confrontation they triggered and escalated, should be allowed to go on bail.

 

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