Saturday, May 21, 2016
The Strange Chapter Of Dr. Jewkyll And Mr. Hymn
My name is Dr. Henry Jewkyll. I’m a tenured professor of psychiatry at a University. “Tenured” means that basically I’m retired except that I still receive a monthly paycheck. I’ve always been fascinated by the effect that ancient religious writings have on the behavior of many people. There seems to be an intrinsic human desire to believe that the older a writing is the more credibility it has. I can easily understand how a person could come to believe that an ancient religious writing is the absolute truth if they have been raised in a culture which has always taught them to believe that. But what if a person is exposed to an ancient religious writing which is different than the culture they were brought up in? Which is stronger? The religion of one’s upbringing or later, exclusive exposure to a different religion’s ancient writings?
I’ve decided to conduct an experiment to determine which is stronger and because I’ve had a lot of free time since I became tenured I will be the subject of the experiment. My own upbringing is Reform Judaism where the Bible is seen as mainly figurative and designed to teach moral and ethical lessons. I will be gradually exposing myself to ancient Christian religious writings. Every morning I will select a specific Christian writing to read later. I will then temporarily self-hypnotize myself into believing that I had no religious upbringing and currently have no religious views of any kind. After hypnosis I will read the selected Christian writing and at the end of the day I will note in a diary any changes in my behavior.
The Christians claim that Isaiah Chapter 53 is the best evidence of the truth of Christianity so that will be the first writing I select for reading.