Somer's Psychological Analysis of Biblical Prophets

Discussion of the implications of the bicameral mind theory for religion. Also neurotheology and the origin of religion.
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Somer's Psychological Analysis of Biblical Prophets

Post by Moderator » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:42 pm

Dr. Herman Somer's psychological analysis of Biblical prophets dovetails nicely with Jaynes's work, specifically Book II, Chapter 6 and Book III, Chapter 2.

His books, "Toen God sliep, schreef de mens de Bijbel. De Bijbel belicht door een psycholoog" (While God was Sleeping, Man Wrote the Bible: The Bible Seen by a Psychologist) and "Jezus, de Messias. Was het Christendom een vergissing?" (Jesus the Messiah: Was Christianity a Mistake?) have not been translated from Dutch, but the article below is a brief introduction to the topic:

Understanding the Bible: Does Psychopathology Help?

Butterfly
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Somer's Psychological Analysis of Biblical Prophets

Post by Butterfly » Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:02 am

Interesting article! I think Somer's perspective is somewhat in conflict with Jaynes. If the voice of God as heard by Moses was a result of the bicameral mind, it doesn't seem fitting to say he had a mental illness. If you go with the mental illness theory, then would you say that all people living in that bicameral state had mental illnesses? I am intrigued by the idea of psychological analysis of Biblical figures, however.

Soupdragon
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Somer's Psychological Analysis of Biblical Prophets

Post by Soupdragon » Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:06 pm

Butterfly wrote:Interesting article! I think Somer's perspective is somewhat in conflict with Jaynes. If the voice of God as heard by Moses was a result of the bicameral mind, it doesn't seem fitting to say he had a mental illness. If you go with the mental illness theory, then would you say that all people living in that bicameral state had mental illnesses? I am intrigued by the idea of psychological analysis of Biblical figures, however.
If psychiatrists get to convince the world that we are all, near as damn it, mentally ill, then they get to sell a lot more drugs.

If this sounds cynical or conspiratorial, then think again, the psych industry has always been quite overt in this regard.

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Somer's Psychological Analysis of Biblical Prophets

Post by Moderator » Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:52 pm

Butterfly: Essentially they are both identifying the same phenomenon (i.e. auditory hallucinations in Biblical prophets) but calling it by different names. As Somers does not seem to be familiar with Jaynes’s bicameral mind theory, he is placing auditory hallucinations in a modern psychiatric context (mental illness). I sent him an e-mail suggesting the similarities between his and Jaynes’s work, but have not yet received a response.

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