Ecstasy And The Almighty

drugsI haven’t yet decided whether it is drug use or religion that is most insidious.

  1. Both drugs and religion create a form of other-worldly euphoria in deep contrast with the reality that has been abandoned.
  2. Both cultures have practitioners who swear that the world they perceive in their altered state of mind is superior to or transcends the one they’ve abandoned.
  3. Both devalue reality and the objective tools of science and logic that can best assess reality, and instead emphasize subjectivity and the emotions innate to that subjectivity.
  4. Practitioners in both cultures defend their “usage” by claiming that a world that did not contain the imaginary entities of their respective delusions would not be worth living in.
  5. Both cultures attempt to co-opt and distort scientific and statistical research after contributing little to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
  6. Both cultures attempt to plug logic into illogical and faith-based assumptions to generate circular vortexes of verbiage that sound profound as they swirl around inside the compromised minds of their practitioners.
  7. In both cultures, practitioners seek to enhance their altered state of mind with aural, visual, tactile and social stimuli that heighten the subjective appeal of the addiction.
  8. An extended period spent in either culture produces a mind that no longer has the ability to asses whether it has the ability to assess whether it is delusional.
  9. Both cultures claim persecution when there are attempts to prevent their behavior from negatively affecting the rest of society.
  10. Practitioners within both cultures claim that you’ll understand the “truth” of their culture only after you surrender yourself to the delusion.

Perhaps the only real difference is that the religiously delusional are more likely to wield a weapon in defense of their delusion.

See also Jesus and Drugs.


11 thoughts on “Ecstasy And The Almighty

  1. andj4613 says:

    Yet consider this question: What is the source of the doctrines on which we went from a world where Barak Obama would have been a slave, to one in which he can become President of the most influential country in the world?

    Check this out. [ deleted irrelevant URL ]

    • How your comment relates to my post, I’ll never know. But it seems to be a fine example of a common dishonest tactic employed by Christians to introduce red herrings to blunt the strength of an argument.

  2. DeScepter says:

    I believe that religion is far more insidious, hands down.

    Religion is a delusion that has led to the destruction of entire civilizations and cultures. It responsible for more death and misery in the history of this world than any other single factor.

    Drugs abuse, although terrible, tends to only affect the abuser and their close family and friends. It certainly has an impact on society as a whole, but no more so than any other human vice and weakness (greed, corruption, hate, etc.)

    As you said, an entire society of people will take up arms and murder each other without abandon because of religion. Drugs don’t do this.

    • Thanks for your comment, DeScepter.

      There are definitely those social consequences of religion, but the consequence of “faith” that is most troubling to me is the resulting lack of critical thought for the believer’s entire and only lifetime. Only a diminutive and shallow existence remains after trading the pleasure of pursuing truth in intellectual integrity for a biblical box of faith-based assumptions.

      These consequences are perhaps less tangible than the clear physical and mental effects of drug use, but just as devastating to the potential of a young mind.

  3. ophalm says:

    Interesting Phil
    I’ve never experienced ecstasy but for other psychedelics the effect is similar.
    I’m glad you note it’s the culture that gives those attitudes towards the drugs, and not the drugs themselves.
    As someone who approaches drugs and their effects from a very scientific point of view, I can only say that the positive effects I gain from psychedelics are analogous to the anxiety relief someone else might gain from valium. That is to say that I believe the drugs do not give something to the person which could not have ever been achieved “naturally”, but is merely a chemical “shortcut” to a different perspective

    When the beatles took LSD to a person high up in Hinduism during a spiritual retreat in India, his response was “so what”. the beatles thought LSD gave them amazing insight and a unique perspective (which it certainly may have – and most likely did), but they missed the point that they thought LSD not only caused it, but was the only possible cause of it. Of course the hindu priest (sorry I am lost for the correct terminology) had been practising meditation for his life and while LSD possibly created superficial effects meditation could not produce (visual hallucinations) the mental aspect – the real draw card – was available to the brain via totally natural unadultered applications of consciousness

    And from that understanding is where I get my enjoyment and understanding of psychedelics. It is somewhat hypocritical to life my busy life without practising the art of meditation and then expect to go use psychedelics to achieve a similar state of expanded consciousness, but yeah, that’s the way it goes. Not that I rarely do it anymore anyway.
    If it can show me a new way of understanding something, then that is excellent. If all I receive is a fun day in nature, then that too is a large bonus.
    It’s not the secret to a better life – although I personally feel that the “big picture” mindset that they (psychedelics – probably not ecstasy as it’s not a “true” psychedelic) tend to force yourself into could have a collective benefit on an immensely insular selfish consumerist society (anything that gets people to think outside the box is good in my mind – if you understand what I mean)

    The culture you describe comes from a lack of education and understanding and a fundamental attitude towards itself. Maybe if people could remove themselves, understand what was really happening and see the reality of the situation the drug could be legitamely used to help people – because it certainly does have that ability

    your last point – interesting. it certainly shines a light on the intent of the culture, but in some ways it’s also true. you wouldn’t know (for example) how awesome the matrix (movie) might be until you had seen it.

    • It’s rather interesting that most analogies only work in one direction. I thought religionists would be encouraged to reassess their commitment to their faith though the commonality faith has with drug usage. But I did not anticipate that proponents of drug usage would also find the analogy challenging.

      I think the analogy holds well from the other direction also, but much of this is from personal experience.
      1. As christians take “short-cuts” to happiness or enlightenedment through a faith that bypasses the inconvenience of processing reality rationally, drug users do the same.
      2. As christians construct an internal ontology of entities and realities that they then claim to transcend the external world, drug users are often guilty of the same. There may be an ontology that can be shared by users of the same drugs, and this ontology may include some very amazing entities, but life must be lived in the world external to this constructed ontology. I’ve seen many drug users neglect the real world and the fact that their actual lives are in shambles, while they go on about how enlightened they are.

      I greatly welcome comments on this.

  4. ophalm says:

    That is a shame, the reality of some drug use.
    Although I would have to say that “drugs” is too broad of a term to discuss like this. The insidious effects of methamphetamine can not be compared to a psychedelic experience as given from say mescaline. “drugs” covers too many different substances with such vast different effects that to say “drug users” or “drugs” is far too simplistic.

    I would say your argument is very apt for those on the more addictive drugs, but it may not be the same for the more psychedelic ones.

    I understand your points, but what is your argument?

    • I guess I have no argument if your drug usage does not match my points.
      My subjective opinion is that in my current situation, any benefits of drug use would be far outweighed by the risks.

  5. ophalm says:

    What I mean to say is, if someone can use the drugs without these religious like effects, is there a detriment necessarily?

    • If there were no negative risks or effects, then I’d see nothing wrong with drug use.
      However, I will say that most drug users I’ve met have not carefully assessed the risks and effects.

  6. ophalm says:

    Fair enough. Although once again “drug use” is too broad of a term. People are prescribed methamphetamine in the US for ADHD.. it’s never black or white. And in more or less controlled settings with understanding and education, there is no reason that psychedelic drug use has to be dangerous at all.
    It’s like fire, or maybe more like a flame thrower.. as an analogy

    I did think of one thing about the drugs/religion analogy. Is that in religion the effects are derived from the faith, where with drug culture the faith is derived from the effects..

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