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Showing posts from March, 2013

Nothing To Fear But Neuroscience?

I just watched Mel Gibson's 2006 movie Apocalypto on television. It's pretty remarkable coming from such a proselytising Christian, because its message to me appeared to be pure Nietzsche - innocent and virtuous pagans destroyed by not one but two evil organised religions, the Mayan blood cult and Spanish Christianity. Early in the movie its hero meets the remnants of another forest tribe who just escaped a massacre, and his father uses them as a lesson: "Fear. Deep rotting fear. They were infected by it. Did you see? Fear is a sickness. It will crawl into the soul of anyone who engages it. It has tainted your peace already. I did not raise you to see you live with fear. Strike it from your heart. Do not bring it into our village." The purple prose may be straight out of Edgar Rice Burroughs, but the content is quite profound. The infectious and debilitating nature of Fear has been well known to those who deal in Power for millenia, from Mongol conquerors and robber…