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Bill Maher - New Rules

Food networks, death, new planets, mustard, abortions, and crazy people all get new rules




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I've always enjoyed Maher's description of faith as a mental disorder. It rings true.

As one who has suffered from similar symptoms due to substance based flashbacks I can attest to the similarity of the rush of warm feelings of clarity and oneness with everything that precedes the swirly delusions of persecution and violent paranoia.

I don't tend to think that medication is any kind of answer, but perhaps researchers at pharmaceutical firms need to start investigating a chemical option to curb the growing percentage of bat-shit-crazy fundamentalists running rampant and breeding like rabbits the world over.

Something like say sterilisation.

I kid, I kid.

Or do I?

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Just one pet peeve. Crazy people don’t kill people. Not as often as “normal, healthy” people. If you look at the statistics the mentally ill commit fewer violent crimes than the clinically normal. Paranoid schizophrenics as a group commit far fewer violent crimes than, say, the clinically depressed. People with red hair commit more violent crimes than schizophrenics. /rant and 2 years of lurking :)

Have to agree with him on the watery mustard stuff, that really ruins a good meal.

TheRealChristopher, sterilization isnt the answer, banning Catholc schoolgirls is! Get rid of them and the number of kids born into religion would drop by millions.

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Portaloo, I hope you're not also advocating the banning of Catholic schoolgirl's tartan skirts.

Because that'd just be unreasonable.

Also I hate watery mustard and the same crap happens with tomato sauce too. Very annoying.

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Well, one could just shake the Bottle but then there's nothing to complain about. Perhaps I've just become too Canadian to understand it.:)

Many years ago I had a number of revelatory visions of angels and demons and other unpleasant things. It embarrasses me now but I did seek solutions and even protection in Christianity.

I too got that warm wonderful feeling of being in direct contact with the whole universe and some pretty dumb ideas began to make sense. Then I discovered that I suffered from tempral lobe epilepsy, normally triggered by heavy stress loads.

A change in life style brought relief from the 'demons' that tons of prayer and bible reading and religious study couldn't touch. In fact my meditations, fasts, and prayer vigils made it worse, much worse. I thought I was under some sort of 'spiritual assault'.

My neurologist was not a believer but was well versed in the massive tricks the body and brain can play on us. A few weeks of following his advice stopped the 'assaults'.

Because I had a religious/magical view of the world at the time, my hypnogogic visions took the form of demons and angels instead of space men with anal probes.

If you have ever been to a charismatic church,AKA holy rollers, it is difficult not to see it as a sort of induced mass hysteria.

Now, a long time atheist, I can still speak in tongues, spirit sing and dance and all of the other goofy tricks, using the very same techniques the believers use. The difference being that I know it is a trick and I know how to trigger the resonse, any damned time I want to and to turn it off just as fast.

BTW, a well known secret in the community of rollers is that a lot of people become strongly sexually aroused in those sessions and the deacons avoid rolling with the congregation in order to keep a check on such things.

Either the holy spirit is a horny bastard or something else is going on. I think the latter.

I do not believe most religious people are insane but they have given into a form of magical thinking that short circuits their thinking and makes them easy pray for the preachers, may of whom are cynical money grabbing fakes of the worst sort.

If spiritualism were in vogue many of them would be spitting ectoplasm, table knocking, bell ringing, and telling people their passed loved ones love them but need help that only lots of money can fix. Or that someone has put a curse on the seeker that can be removed if only you can come up with a proper love offering to prove your sincerity.

Magical thinkers can convice them selves of almost anything given the right motivation and a few nudges in the direction you want them to go.

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Yeah Magical Thinking from T.L.E. brought on by stress and drugs was the exact same diagnosis I had Thomas.

I am still getting over it.

It reminds me of that Ben Folds song about the guy who climbed up a tree on an acid trip and came down the next morning a Born Again.

I had those same weird thoughts and revelations in the weeks and months after.

It is for this reason, after being raised an agnostic by lapsed Catholics, that I now find my previously hard-line atheistic tendencies have softened. I now view the believers or "the saved" as they like to call themselves as sufferers of a powerful meme-like mental delusion.

I now have a great deal of pity for them.

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Twenty five per cent believe Jesus is coming back this year? Twenty five per cent?? On the one hand, this magical thinking has gotten out of control. On the other hand, I wonder if that belief is a response to the fear, that I share, that the world is coming unhinged and is just one big wind away from the doors coming off. Maybe this is just their attempt to cope, hoping their divine white knight is about to come to the rescue.

Thomas,

Having sat in on numerous "cult" gatherings from new-age healers to apocalyptic-bible fanatics over the years (I find them fascinating and enjoy experiencing the atmosphere - even made a movie about it), I'd agree that the leaders are almost always swindlers looking to make a quick buck. One faith-healer in San Diego I met had three homes, numerous sports cars and in the three days I stayed at his place he did his weekly christian ministry on Public Access TV, did a hex breaking for a woman who flew there from the Bronx as well as numerous aura readings and psychic readings of which he charged $500 an hour. Another is a man in NYC who has a chain of antique store all run and operated by his cult of end-timers who he's convinced are serving Jesus through his businesses. He doesn't pay them, they all live in a house in Queens where they are deprived of sleep and food for long hours of fasting. I had lunch with a former memebr and have visited the stores but haven't yet been able to "infiltrate" the actual cult as of yet.

Having been raised in the Catholic church it's amazing the similarities between these freakish fringe cults and the mainstream religions. I'm glad for you that you found help and no longer suffer your fantastic assaults.

Best wishes and thanks for sharing your story.

John > I couldn't believe the 25% thing, I thought it was a joke, or caricature of the situation. But it's not! Came out from an Associated Press/AOL poll http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-12-31-new-year-predictions_x.htm

A poll by Ipsos, an international polling firm, found that 11 percent of respondents said it is "very likely" that Jesus will return to Earth this year and 14 percent said it was "somewhat likely."

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070103/24761.htm

Maher: There's an old frequently used definition of insanity, which is 'performing the same action over and over, expecting different results'.

His definition can be easily extended to 'expecting the second coming to occur this year, despite it having failed to occur for two millenia.'

The lunatics anticipating the second coming in 2007 will undoubtedly expect it again in 2008 when 2008 rolls around, and yet again when 2009 arrives, ....

Interesting, isn't it? This definition of insanity is basically the opposite of the bedrock assumption of the scientific method.

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Yes, believing the world is coming to an end seems to be responsible for such ideas. Revelations was written at a time when the Roman empire appeared to be collapsing. The early Christians thought that the second coming was going to happen at any moment, for the same reason. The world as they knew it was in great turmoil and massive change was afoot.

Wars, revolutions, economic disaster always creates end of time cults. The bigger the change the larger the response.

That so many people believe this is the time indicates just how unstable American society is. The stresses are stretching the seams.

BTW, I really appreciate the response to what I wrote above. That episode in my life is still a source of embarrassment.

I've come to believe that what I experienced is the same or very similar to what so called alien abductees experience and I believe that supporting that belief only makes the problem worse, much worse.

The perception centres are in the tempral lobe. A disturbance in the perception centres is almost impossible to distiguish from reality because it is happening in the part of the brain that perceives day to day reality. Very very disturbing stuff if you don't know what is happening. Disturbing even when you know what causes it but much more so if you don't know.

I had had those episodes since I was 15 but they were very infrequent. The real problems started when I was in prison for my resistance to the Vietnam horror show. Prison is a very stressful place, especially a maximum security lock up full of serious criminals. It lasted for almost four years. Not prison, the 'attacks'.

Once I knew what was happening it didn't take too long to get it under control. Part of my personal thearapy was to spend a lot of time researching what was understood about brain functions. Fortunately, pot was my only drug and if anything, it reduced the symptoms.

My errant beliefs about what was happening only increased the stress factor by quite a bit. All powerful Jesus couldn't do a damned thing about it but a doctor, some real world information, and a life style change, which included getting the hell away from religion did wonders.

Christopher, you may already know this but hypo glycemia often plays a role in triggering some types of TLE. That is one of the reasons the episodes often happen in the wee hours of the morning. That is one of the times that blood sugar levels are at their lowest.

Controling the hypo glycemia was part of the fix for me. I'm an insulin dependent type 1 diabetic. Too much insulin in the system brings blood sugar levels down enough to trigger those episodes and even grand mal seizures if TLE is already a problem.

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Thanks Thomas,

I actually did not know that and although I am not diabetic I am mildly hypo-glycemic and get really angry when I haven't eaten for a while.

It would make sense as it does seem to coincide with my attack periods.

I researched it all for a while; spirituality, religions, the mind, alien abductions, night-hag syndrome, psychotic breaks, and nothing worked except separating myself from stimuli and other people while trying to calm my breathing.

Luckily for me my next door neighbour just happens to be one of Australia's leading and most respected psychologists dealing specifically in the field of THC abuse and its effect on the mind. The use of THC has been shown to lead to just such psychotic breaks and either bring on Temporal Lobe Epilepsy or emulate its symptoms.

The whole thing really messed with my mind and I was convinced that "it was ALL REAL" a phrase that would suddenly be blurted out randomly during my lowest moments of panic attack mode. I'm sure you too are well aware of this feeling and the inability to keep such a 'revelation' to yourself.

As a result of my experiences I can no longer get too angry whilst debating starey-eyes Xtians.

They know not what they do.

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