My theory is that in religion, the purpose of fasting was to inhibit the function of parts of followers brains, so that they would be most receptive to the greater than usual level of religious brainwashing which is supposed to occur on the fast days.

The jewish holiday of Yom Kipur, or the "day of judgment" takes place later this month, and while I am at work and at home trying to live well, my parents will be ensconced in a synagogue, not eating for 25 hours (one more hour than the number of hours in a day), and following along in their prayer books while the cantor and a choir lead everybody in reciting the Jewish liturgies, for most of the day. On this day, as I was taught, if I say the liturgies sincerely enough, HaShem will forgive me of everything I have done wrong in the previous year. Like all religions, judaism has an obsession with sin. judaism seems to teach followers that human beings are born defective and then we have to do the religion in order to fix ourselves but that still won't be good enough, and if we don't keep constantly blessing, praising, laudifying, and extolling god and doing the rituals, a prayer called the Shema says he will become angry and prevent the rain from falling and the crops will not grow, our evemies will kill us, and so on.

This is not the only fast day of the jewish year, but it is the only one that lasts 25 hours instead of just sunrise to sunset.

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I love it how the Muslims her always appear to put on weight during Ramadan.

They fast between sunrise and sunset, but appear to pig out as soon as the sun goes down.

So they eat too much between daily fasting.

So they are not being deprived of nutrition, but get too much.

Fasting for Islam is a symbol of control.

If they are not fasting, then there is a probability that they may be thinking of leaving the faith.

So those not fasting are scrutinized thoroughly.

My school friend tried to get out of fasting, and they treated him as if he was considering apostasy.

I think they have got the concept and benefits of fasting wrong.

I grew up in a Jewish home where fasting on Yom Kippur was a matter of personal choice. We wouldn't have breakfast or lunch together, but it was clear that it was OK to eat (or not) as we wanted.

It's traditional to eat a big festive meal just before the holiday, and to break the fast together. (For many years we went to family friends' huge break-fast gathering in the late afternoon -- significantly earlier than is strictly traditional, but then, there's no monopoly on "One True Judaism". It's healthier for the tradition to serve the people rather than vice versa!)

Humans subconsiously recognize that we get resources or success with difficulty, whether exertion, work, battle, saving etc. Self denial (including fasting) plays upon this instinct; there's an unconscious expectation that feels (incorrectly) that by suffering more, we will get more.

This stuff is pathetic submission, and inherent in all forms of obsequious subservience to theological threats.

Non-believing adults see it as submission.

Schoolchildren believe their teachers' delusions.

My Catholic dad told my brother and me that if we get in trouble at school we are in trouble with him too, so we didn't ask him for his opinion on the fasting.

Most religions are based on a complex form of allegory and religious practices are efforts to bring metaphoric relationships into the real world.   In order to recognize this fact it certainly helps if one understands the real world meaning behind metaphors.  In regards to food and beverage, I have so far identified “water” as “writings”, “bread” as a form of “history”, “wine” as “philosophy”, “honey” as a type of “stolen knowledge” and “meat” from “unclean” animals is forbidden knowledge.   Based on these identifications as well as other observations, it seems clear to me that “food” is a general metaphor for knowledge and thus “fasting” is a metaphor for the promotion of ignorance.  (When “fasting” occurs in Biblical stories it means that some damaging knowledge was in circulation during the period in which the story occurs and efforts to censor this knowledge were put in place.) 

Hopefully, people will see this as “food for thought”.   Note that this theory helps to explain the Catholic claim of Transubstantiation of the bread and wine in Communion since the words spoken during the Communion service itself contain elements of “history” and “philosophy”.    (Keep in mind the idea that  “...the Word was God…”)

And of course this also helps to explain Christ’s “miracle” of turning “water” into “wine”.  This miracle was actually performed by Philo (via the Word) when he converted the writings of Moses into a form of philosophy.   At the time that Christ supposedly walked the earth, Philo was claiming that the works of Moses could be understood allegorically.  Philo’s interpretations were, of course, only superficial (half eaten) “walking on water” since he did not dip into the underworld of hidden meanings.  (Judas the Galilean had created an “apocalypse” or “uncovering” when he opposed “tax collecting” and founded the pre-Christian Gnostics and exposed the secrets of religious allegory.  To undo the damage Philo led a campaign of disinformation and Gnosticism was transformed into Christianity through infiltration of Gnostic sects and one representation of this change is provided by Paul’s conversion on the “road” to “Damascus”.  Philo's efforts were aided by the fact that all real world ideas can be expressed by multiple metaphors which gives the impression that allegory can be interpreted to mean whatever one wants it to mean.)

I can also use my theory to expose the true nature of “Baptism”.  In the Gnostic work The Tripartite Tractate, one can find the statement: “ (Baptism) is called ‘silence’ because of the quiet and the tranquility.”  If this statement is taken seriously then it creates the suspicion that the 1st Century chroniclers the “tacit” Tacitus and the “tranquil” Tranquillus were actually baptizers.   If one accepts Plato’s concept of the “correctness of names” (see Cratylus) then it seems natural to suspect that “baptism” is again related to censorship.   

 The “driving out of demons” can also better be understood if one accepts Socrates statement in Cratylus that “…he (Hesiod) called them demons, because they were daemones (knowing or wise)…”   This then means that a "demon possessed" person has some knowledge that must be driven out.

As suggested by these examples, religion is about controlling the masses and the suppression of certain knowledge.  Often when scientific knowledge is opposed, it is because it messes up metaphoric relationships.  For example, the world was "flat with 4 corners" because it was created on the written page, and since the Church eventually lost the argument as to the Earths position in the solar system, the Flat Earth Society was created to preserve at least a memory of the metaphoric relationship.

I know that nobody yet accepts my theory as to the allegoric basis for religions, but I feel that it works far better in fitting all the pieces of the puzzle (i.e. preservation of "errors" and "contradictions", “parallels” between Christianity and other religions, identifying the source of “traditions”, Kabbalah, etc.)  together than any other approach.

In some ways these allegories may make sense... they would appeal to a religious person or somebody writing a sermon... I still mainly prefer to explain religion in terms of base, banal scientific-like explanations which have to do with biology, evolution, psychology, and/or sociology.

These are not the type of interpretations that a religious person is likely to embrace.  Since, others have accused me of being a theist simply because I view the Bible as allegory, I will state for the record: I am an Atheist! 

The Atheist community seems to have entirely conceded allegoric examination of religious texts to the theists.  While I cannot be certain as to the reason for this, my own interpretations of the allegory tells me that the infiltration of opposing groups is a common tactic employed by those that defend the secrets of religious allegory.  (The name "Jonah" means "dove" and the "dove" is a metaphor associated with the "spy".  Jonah is just one of many spies that are mentioned in the allegories and the association of the "white dove" with "peace" suggests how important their role has been.)  In other words, I suspect that the atheist community has been infiltrated by those that are determined that the secrets of religious allegory will not be exposed and they are working to ensure that my approach is not tested by others.  

If any one disagrees with this position, I would then like them to provide me with the name of an atheist author or scholar who has made a concerted effort to decipher Biblical allegory without relying on the ramblings of theist interpreters as a guide.  Any suggestion that no atheist is pursuing this route because it simply leads nowhere cannot stand because I have easily found a wide range of literary evidence that strongly supports my approach.   

I could without difficulty take the book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" and by placing all the evidence it's authors provide in the correct context, create a far more convincing argument than theirs.  A secret is only of value when it can be proven, otherwise it belongs in the realm of rumor and conjecture and the supposed secret of Christ fathering a child cannot be proven.  However, if you have thousands of examples of religious allegory that are created using a consistent set of rules, then accurately deciphering this allegory should provide all the proof that one needs. 

Superstition is true or it's not. There's no allegorical assumptions or ''holy blood, holy grail'' to contend with, it's either nonsense or it's the truth. Discussion of these ideas are as stupid as the ideas themselves. Delusion is no less delusion just because someone has a conjecture or a so called philosophical evaluation of the subconscious convictions that people hold regarding impossible events. We don't need to wake up we just need to stop dreaming.

Assuming that religion is all delusion seems to completely disregard the idea that some sort of conspiracy is involved.  If you believe that no one deliberately conspired to create religions to control mankind, then go ahead and ignore the vast number of clues that suggest otherwise. 

Actual religious belief (belief in gods, hearing the voices of gods, need to do rituals) is a maladaptive, bizarre waste of time, or a mental disorder. The first people who brainwashed or coerced their tribes or kingdoms into religion probably had these three characteristics: extreme obsessive-compulsiveness, schizophrenia, and great public speaking abilities.

The reason metaphors in holy texts exist is not because the original writers intended for their writings to have these metaphors, because novel and poetry and essay and other styles of writing had not evolved to the way writing is now. Thw reason old texts have metaphors is because a later person read the writings and then invented the metaphors. The purpose of the metaphors (the text represents water, a page represents the flat earth, and the millions of other stuff) is to force the texts to mean whatever the metaphors maker wants them to mean, in order to assist in propagating the religion, because t is easier to make up metaphors based on already existing texts than to write new texts nand invent new religions. To me, it is all a bizarre waste of time or worse.

Michael, it's not a waste of time to those who want control and the benefits that control brings them.

They, and I sometimes, see not having control as dangerous and not wanting control as bizarre.

You sometimes state your own interests rather forcefully. Is that not wanting control?

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