May 2008

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Comments

nasim

About: Cure for Fundamentalism

I think we should use the drug in double course on the people that started this topic. Because, who made osama? who started pushing those child to death? and you ppl remained ignorant of that, because, your that part of brain is now stimulated! is it not?

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Victor

What is it my very fundemental brother? I told you read that Quran, Ramayan, Bible.

What? Yeah I am serious. It is very resolved sorted out kind of programming. Some ideas presented in a general sense and still works today.

But I am not Christian? So, read the Quran.

But I am not Muslim either? read the Pali Cannon's, the Buddhist Bible.

You got the idea.


Christians -->> Jesus --->> Bible
Muslims -->> Muhammand -->> Quran
Buddhist -->> Buddha --->> Pali Cannon's
Hindu -->> Krishna -->> Ramayana
Seek --->> Nanak -->> Guru Grantha
Taoist --->> Confuses -->> Li Ki
Zuluism --->> Zulu --->> Bushman Book
Animism --->> Kootha ---> Watch the Dog and the Bitch

John

YES!!! We should as restraining relious fervour (as that ia what it would inevitably do) is the best way to end the war in Iraq and Bush would proabably stop being an idot(mayybeee...) and making descions based on religion. It would also stop all of the wierd theories such as "intelligent design" and "intelligent falling". Plus car suicide bombings would stop and the whole "72 virgins" would now seem absurd. Hey. Imagine a world without religion.

Trevor

Scott,
Have you not read the article that you posted on the blog? The part of the brain that is linked to religious experiances is connected to the limbic system.

Ask any neurologist and they will tell you that you do not, EVER, want to mess around with anything remotely near the limbic system.

Neurological drugs are inherently unpredictable and the effects vary from person to person. Everyone has a different brain (specifically brain chemistry,) and a drug, such as the one you proposed might work perfectly on one person and have catastrophic results on another. That is why when you look at a bottle of antidepressants there is a whole slew of side-effects and why there are so many on the market, because one antidepressant might work on one person and induce suicide in another.

I know that you are proposing this for good humor, and it is funny in a weird way, but make sure you have all the facts becuase someday someone is going to take you seriously

pDale Campbell

"people who believe in free will would have to believe the drug wouldn’t work"

This is a fallacy. Just because the brain can be manipulated to thwart free-will, that doesn't mean free-will does not exist. In fact, how can you take something away if I don't have it to begin with?

If you chop off my legs, does that mean no-one can walk?

Gerald

Actually, it would be easier to discover the chemical basis for what causes this sensation than to discover the chemical that would suppress it. It would be just as easy for religious fanatics to drug the water with it than you would drug the water with the suppressant. Since most people have had a religious background, they would not, obligingly for the atheist, interpret the sensation as merely a pleasant experience, but God talking to them.

IT'S REVIVAL!

They, of course, could use the same arguments used for floridation to argue for use of the chemical to stimulate religious feelings.

What is interesting is that, if the shoe was on the other foot, depths of ethical reasoning suddenly would spring forth from those who supposedly don't believe in it.

Roby Bang

Oorrr...We could do it the other way around. Make a drug that enhances that part, causing people to experience a religious rapture. It could cure depression, since depressed people see no reason to live. Give them some, and they'll see God telling them to go to a third world country and give out bags of wheat. I'm too lazy to look up the statistics, but there are a lot of depressed people out there. If, conservatively guessing, 45% of these people felt the effects of the drug, there would be less suicides, more people partaking in religion, and lots of poor people with bags of wheat. Everybody wins!!!

Sondra

There is no need. There won't be any more attacks, Bush (read: Cheney) has generated all the fear he needs to to get the control he wants.

Andy Watt

Some cute logic as always Mr A!

Suppressing religion doesn't necessarily mean you'd change it, unless you're suggesting that not having religious experience is in some way a religion. Ah, the usual micro-breakdown of your sentences (no doubt embedded somewhere in the 100s of other comments!)...

but more worryingly, this drug might actually remove other blissful states: I often get something amounting to a feeling of "oneness with the universe" when I play bass and nail something really hard to play (like, say, "Teen Town" by Weather Report) - the hair on the back of the neck, heady, slightly euphoric sensation of being truly at one with something. I'm willing to bet my brain lights up in the same places; I treat music like a religion, probably at least in some part because I'm seeking that feeling when I play.

This drug would turn us all into bored zombies, and I'm willing to be the rate of suicides would shoot through the roof.

Instead, I suggest making a drug which kicks off this feeling and distributing it for free from healthcare stations, where you gather as a group to take it (a little like church?). The feelgood factor while in a group (not ecstacy style, mind) would give a sense of community which is now lacking. All the good feeling, without needing to go back to being "stupid enough" to believe in God (I use the quotes as personally I think Religion had its place in "sophisticated" socieites before the industrial and information revolutions when people's personal enlightenment was SOOOO much less.).

So yes to developing a drug, but NO to supression of that area of the brain: enhance it! Who knows, we might find a chemical way to that state of enlightenment which seems so elusive in this jacked-up hyper-speed competitive craphole we call Western Capitalist Society....

Johnny Marretada

Well, poison added to the water supply certainly would decrease the church attendance but it doesn't make it a religion suppressing drug. Or does it? :)

TallDave

"On the other side of the issue, people who believe in free will would have to believe the drug wouldn’t work."

Depends on how you define free will. If "free will" is just the ability to act on information to make decisions about ourselves, then there is no paradox here: the question is whether you TELL people they are under the influence of the drug; not many people will change their religion if they know the urge to do so is inspired by a chemical added to the water.

rebel

"Should we fund development of this drug?"

Who is "we"? The taxpayers?

Does that mean that the people will be forced against their will to pay for the development of a draconian drug that will be used against their will to brainwash and subjugate them?

I thought America was supposed to be a bastion of freedom and human rights!

“If the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands, they must be made brighter in our own.... [i]f in other lands the eternal truths of the past are threatened by intolerance, we must provide a safe place for their perpetuation.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1938

M V, cubicleless engineer

Natural anti-religion "drugs" already exist: sex hormones.

Electric Maenad

I certainly think using such a drug, if it were possible, on a population unaware of its effects would be unethical, but then I'm one of the free-will fence-sitters. I also am not entirely sure it would have the desired effect in any case, because it's entirely possible that the gradual loss of faith and feeling of connection with one's chosen deity might very well spur the faltering believer to greater and more fanatical efforts to "prove" his/her faith and dedication to the cause. Perhaps there are two sorts of fanatics - those who believe blindly, and those who blindly desire to believe in anything.

Jason Dumler

I think you'd find the people doing the terrorizing are the ones with little or no activity in that area of the brain - or activity in that area coupled with activity in a schizo part of the brain.

If you amped up that portion of the brain, I bet people would have less desire to impress God (in whatever form) because they'd already feel close to God (in whatever form). In the schizo people, you just stop the schizo part of the brain and leave the close to God (in whatever form) part alone.

K

"For people who hold that view, morality is considered an illusion, so they would have no ethical problem with using this drug."

Nor should they have any problem with terrorism

Little me

[Researchers have found an area of the brain that gets active when people have religious experiences.]
Doesn't that make atheists ... retarded?

le Big MAC

RLG says: "try producing a drug that removes irrational frustration and the overriding urge to win arguments using violence."
They made it. It's called Marijuana, and it's outlawed by many governments. How are we going to give up all our rights to our corporate lords if we are rational and peaceful?

rebel

This entire thread reeks of elitism. "We", the intelligent few, have the right to determine what the people should drink, and how they should think; and we should force them to conform to our standards, without their even knowing. How unfortunate to be one of those whose minds are not guarded by our great wisdom and vigilance.

After all, people's lives are too precious to let them run themselves.

levi civita

I am from Kansas. Only Kansasians will go to heaven, everyone else will burn in hell forever.

Sorry, dammit, no exceptions.

Dan Quixote

Scott - We know you're not serious. Thanks for the funny post.

Thanks for having the intellectual honesty to not confuse correlation with causality, and to not inflict such confusion onto the readership. That's huge.

But if the Art Bell crowd is to be believed, there's already mind-manipulation warfare being waged by governments (or shadow governments), including ours, via subliminal propaganda and electromagnetic waves, in addition to the overt propaganda.

E

Scott,

Could we measure the part of the brain that feels pleasure when thinking about, "blowing up myself and innocent people in Pizza Hut" and make a suppressing drug for that instead?

There are millions of people on earth who claim some sort of deeply felt relationship with God that don't kill themselves or other people. And many of them also don't believe heaven is an arab virgin 'girls gone wild' video.

Will Von Wizzlepig

We do plenty of things to each other already without consent.

We have social rules and ceremonies and other such nonsense to explain away these actions, though, so nobody seems to mind or notice.

If I were to endorse the production and dissemination of this drug, I'd have to be convinced that it would work in the long run.

Sure, some people might stop being religious for a while. But just like providing food and vaccinations to third-world countries creates as many problems as it solves (because the culture is not ready to change that drastically), yanking religion out of the world at this point seems a bit too early.

Sure, I'd love to see it gone yesterday. Everywhere. All religion. Kaput. Gone.

I don't think it's time yet, even in these supposedly educated first world countries most of us inhabit. As advanced as we think we are, many of us still buy in to nonsensical mythology- in fact, just like 1000 years ago, many of us can still get so riled up as to think it's a crime punishable by death to talk smack about some non-existent being. That, we can all do without.

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