Religion

Religion People may have different views about a belief or religion, but often both sides see a place of importance to them in the same way. Jerusalem has a religious importance for three religions. For Christians, the city is the site of many of the events in the life of Jesus Christ. For Jews, Jerusalem is the focus of their religious longing, the site of their ancient Temple, and their historical capital. For Muslims the city is their third holiest as the site from which Muhammad is said to have risen to heaven, and the site of important mosques. As a pilgrimage for three world religions Jerusalem is considered to be the holy city. The importance of Jerusalem to Jews stretches back about five thousand years. About 2500 B.C.E., the Canaanites inhabited the city, later Jerusalem became a Jebusite citadel. When David captured the city in 1000 B.C.E., the Jebusites were absorbed into the Jewish people. David made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom, and Solomon built the first Temple to house the Ark of the Covenant.

( Elon, 1989, p.89) Because of David making Jerusalem the capital of their kingdom and Solomon building the first Temple located in Jerusalem, which is important to Jews because it housed the Ark of the Covenant which Jews see as important to them because it is a symbol of their freedom from slavery and the Covenant God made with Moses, and allowed Jews to establish their promised land. Jerusalem is considered by Jews as their holiest city. In 586 B.C.E., the Babylonian, Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and exiled the Jews to Babylonia. Fifty years later in 537 B.C.E! ., Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylonia and permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple. ( Safdie, 1990, p.107) Jerusalem is the holiest city for Jews because their Temple, their place of worship was placed here until it was destroyed.

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Again when they were allowed to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem they obviously had a religious attachment to this city and that is why today it remains a holy pilgrimage for Jews. Persia held Jerusalem until 333 B.C.E., when Alexander the Great added Palestine to his empire. About 198 B.C.E, king Antiochus III conquered Judea of which Jerusalem was a part, making it a tributary to Syria. The Jews later revolted under the leadership of Maccabees and defeated the Syrians. The Temple was reconverted in 165 B.C.E., and the Maccabean dynasty ruled until Rome took the city in 63 B.C.E.

The Romans set up a local dynasty, the house of Herod, to rule most of Palestine. Herod the Great rebuilt much of Jerusalem, including the Temple. While suppressing a major Jewish revolt, the Romans destroyed the second Temple in 70 C.E. In 135 C.E., after the failure of! the Bar Kochba revolt, Jews were banished from Jerusalem. ( Thubron, 1987, p.45) Bar Kochba, also known as Simeon ben Koseva was the leader of the Jewish rebellion against Rome to regain their holy city, Jerusalem. After a lengthy and heroic defence, the rebellion failed, fifty fortresses and a thousand villages were destroyed.

The Jews fought hard to get back control of this city which must be of great importance to them or they would not put up such a fight. It was during the period of Davids kingship that the city of Jerusalem became the centre of Israelite government and religion. Until Davids reign, Jerusalem was held by the Jebusites, a people from Canaan. Over time, especially as the monarchy declined, Jerusalem became the symbol of Gods promise to Israel and the centre for Israels hope for the future. ( Peters, 1987, p.

135) This shows how important the city of Jerusalem is to the Jewish religion and to their existence. The importance of Jerusalem to the religion of Judaism is quite evident, in addition to Judaism! , Christianity also sees Jerusalem as a holy pilgrimage for their religion. Jerusalem for Christians is the site of many of the events in the life of Jesus Christ, who is the Messiah for the Christian religion. From the early fourth century, when Christianity became legal in the Roman empire, Jerusalem developed as a centre of Christian pilgrimage. ( Bahat, 1989, p.230) When Christianity was recognized as a legitimate religion by the Romans, Christians built churches and Christian shrines in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem to Christians is where the first Christian community was formed. More importantly this is where Jesus Christ the Christian Messiah was tried, condemned and executed as a claimant to Jewish kingship, and where his resurrection into heaven took place. Jerusalem had been under Muslim rule since the seventh century, but pilgrimages were not cut off until the eleventh century, when the Turks began to interfere with Christian pilgrims. For Christians, the very name of Jerusalem evoked visions of the end of time and the heavenly city. ( Peter! s, 1987, p.38) Like to Judaism and Islam, Jerusalem is extremely important to Christianity, because the basic beliefs about the religion take place in this holy city. The importance of Jerusalem to Christianity is quite clear, in addition to Christianity, Islam again sees Jerusalem as a holy city for their religion. The city of Jerusalem is the third holiest for the religion of Islam.

Jerusalem was under Roman control until 638 C.E., when the Muslim Arabs took it over. The Arabs in 668-91 C.E. built the Dome of the Rock mosque on the site of the Temple in Jerusalem. (Elon, 1989, p.79) With the building of the mosque in Jerusalem, Muslims would see Jerusalem as a holy city for their religion and would try to take control of it. In the eleventh century, Muslim toleration of both Jews and Christians gave way to persecution under the Seljuks, who took control of Jerusalem in 1071. This led way to the launch of the Crusades by the Christians, who conquered Jerusalem in 1099. Saladin recaptured the city for the Muslims in 1187.

( Thubron, 1987, p.56) Jerusalem being the religion of Islams third holiest city did not mean it had no importance to them. Muslims fought long and hard to regain control of Jerusalem which obviously meant there was a great significance to having it as part of ! their religion. In the year 619, according to Islamic tradition, Muhammad experienced one of the most remarkable events of his life. Muhammad was woken one night by the angel Gabriel, together they journeyed to Jerusalem, then, from a prominent rock, to heaven. There he said to have met with the great prophets Abraham, Jesus, Moses and others. ( Safdie, 1990, p.98) For Muslims, this miraculous journey is further evidence of Muhammads profound spiritual nature, and the religious significance of Jerusalem.

Muhammad was welcomed by the Jewish population of the city of Medina because of the peace he promised to bring to the feuding Meccans and Medinans. They soon had second thoughts about his leadership and his teachings. Muhammad considered incorporating certain Jewish practises into the rituals of Islam. For a time, Muslims and Jews prayed together in the direction of Jerusalem. ( Bahat, 1989, p.110) This shows that Muslims do see the city of Jerusalem to have importan! ce to their religious beliefs.

Three religions of the world see Jerusalem as a pilgrimage for their beliefs, that is why Jerusalem is considered to be the holy city. Jerusalem is a religious pilgrimage for three religions. For Christians, the city is the site of many of the events in the life of Jesus Christ. For Jews, Jerusalem is the focus of their religious longing, the site of their ancient Temple, and their historical capital. For Muslims the city is their third holiest as the site from which Muhammad is said to have risen to heaven, and the site of many important mosques. Different types of people may have opposite views about certain beliefs or practises, but often both sides may see a place of importance to them, in much the same way.

Religion

CLAIM FOUR: “Marijuana causes long-term changes in the brain similar to those seen with other drugs of abuse . . .”
Back in the 1970s, animal experiments led to groundless fears that marijuana blew holes in brain tissue. The experiments organisations like NIDA now fund are more sophisticated but the controversy still rages.

George Koob, an addiction researcher from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, claims the new message from the animals is simple: “The more we discover about the neurobiology of addiction the more common elements we’re seeing between THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in cannabis) and other drugs of abuse.” And for Koob, one of these newly discovered “common elements” is marijauna’s ability to trigger chemical changes in the brain that lead to strong withdrawal symptoms.
In humans, some researchers claim to see clear evidence of insomnia, anxiety and even flu-like symptoms in heavy cannabis users who abstain. But if there’s a consensus, it’s that symptoms are mild and variable. By contrast, Koob’s rats are shivering wrecks. Does this mean marijuana is more addictive than we think?
Not a bit of it, says Roger Pertwee, a university pharmacologist and president of the Cannabinoid Research Society. That’s because those symptoms aren’t so much observed as manufactured. The animals are injected with high doses of THC, then injected with a second chemical to block cannabis receptors in the brain. Without the block, the sharp withdrawal symptoms can’t be seen because cannabis clears so slowly that even heavily doped rats are likely to experience a gentle wind down.
Another debate rages over animal studies into the short-term effects of marijuana on brain chemistry. Heroin, cocaine, alcohol and nicotine all trigger a surge in the chemical dopamine in a small midbrain structure called the nucleus accumbens. Many researchers regard this as a hallmark of an addictive substance.
Last year, experiments showed that cannabis presses the same dopamine button in rats, leading to claims that the drug must be more addictive than previously thought. To critics, it is just another example of those old exaggerated fears.
What nobody tells you, says John Morgan, a pharmacologist at City University of New York Medical School, is that rats don’t like cannabis. It’s easy for them to get hooked on heroin or cocaine — but not marijuana. Nor, Morgan claims, are researchers exactly open about awkward observations, such as the fact that there are plenty of nonaddictive drugs that stimulate dopamine in the brain.
It’s easy to understand why biologists want to find simple chemical traits that are shared by all addictive drugs. Unfortunately, the differences are as important as the similarities when it comes to weighing the relative risks and pleasures involved in taking drugs. And subjectively at least, the intense rush of cocaine and orgasm-like high of heroin have little in common with dope’s subtler effects.
A compound related to the active ingredient in marijuana may be accumulating in the spinal fluid of people with schizophrenia. This might explain why many sufferers smoke pot.

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Many researchers blame schizophrenia on an overactive dopamine system in the brain. Daniele Piomelli and colleagues at the University of California at Irvine already knew that making rats dopamine receptors hyperactive caused a surge in anandamide, a lipid that binds to the same receptors in the brain as marijuana.
Now Piomellis group has examined cerebrospinal fluid from 10 schizophrenic patients, taken for diagnostic purposes at the Medical College of Hannover in Germany. They found that fluid from schizophrenic patients had on average twice as much anandamide as fluid from people who didnt have schizophrenia (NeuroReport, vol 10, p 1665).
One explanation for the higher levels in schizophrenics is that the brain is attempting to compensate for a hyperactive dopamine system. Its the brains response to bring this dopamine activity down, says Piomelli. But the brain cannot keep the amount of anandamide high enough to lower dopamine levels, he says.
This might also explain why schizophrenics often smoke marijuana. The drugs active agent, THC, and anandamide both bind to the same receptor, so patients might be treating themselves, he says. But because pot does not act selectively in the brain, Piomelli does not consider it a useful treatment for schizophrenia. I dont think the patient wants to be high, he says. I think the patient wants to feel better.

One weakness in the data so far is that five of the patients were taking medication for their symptoms and three others were using marijuana daily. The effects of these drugs on endogenous cannabinoid levels is not known. It is imperative to continue with a larger sample, says Piomelli. The researchers are now testing fluid from more patients to see if the correlation still holds true.

Health officials in Geneva have suppressed the publication of a politically sensitive analysis that confirms what ageing hippies have known for decades: cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco.
According to a document leaked to New Scientist, the analysis concludes not only that the amount of dope smoked worldwide does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes, but that the same is likely to hold true even if people consumed dope on the same scale as these legal substances.
The comparison was due to appear in a report on the harmful effects of cannabis published last December by the WHO. But it was ditched at the last minute following a long and intense dispute between WHO officials, the cannabis experts who drafted the report and a group of external advisers.
As the WHO’s first report on cannabis for 15 years, the document had been eagerly awaited by doctors and specialists in drug abuse. The official explanation for excluding the comparison of dope with legal substances is that “the reliability and public health significance of such comparisons are doubtful”. However, insiders say the comparison was scientifically sound and that the WHO caved in to political pressure. It is understood that advisers from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drug Control Programme warned the WHO that it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalise marijuana.
One member of the expert panel which drafted the report, says: “In the eyes of some, any such comparison is tantamount to an argument for marijuana legalisation.” Another member, Billy Martin of the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, says that some WHO officials “went nuts” when they saw the draft report.
The leaked version of the excluded section states that the reason for making the comparisons was “not to promote one drug over another but rather to minimise the double standards that have operated in appraising the health effects of cannabis”. Nevertheless, in most of the comparisons it makes between cannabis and alcohol, the illegal drug comes out better–or at least on a par–with the legal one.
The report concludes, for example, that “in developed societies cannabis appears to play little role in injuries caused by violence, as does alcohol”. It also says that while the evidence for fetal alcohol syndrome is “good”, the evidence that cannabis can harm fetal development is “far from conclusive”.
Cannabis also fared better in five out of seven comparisons of long-term damage to health. For example, the report says that while heavy consumption of either drug can lead to dependence, only alcohol produces a “well defined withdrawal syndrome”. And while heavy drinking leads to cirrhosis, severe brain injury and a much increased risk of accidents and suicide, the report concludes that there is only “suggestive evidence that chronic cannabis use may produce subtle defects in cognitive functioning”.
Two comparisons were more equivocal. The report says that both heavy drinking and marijuana smoking can produce symptoms of psychosis in susceptible people. And, it says, there is evidence that chronic cannabis smoking “may be a contributory cause of cancers of the aerodigestive tract”.

HEAVYusers of marijuana who suddenly go cold turkey have aggressive impulses as powerful as those felt by
The reaction is far less intense than the withdrawal symptoms of alcoholics or people addicted to cocaine or heroin, and may reflect a psychological dependence on the drug, rather than a genuine physiological addiction. But it still might be enough to keep some marijuana users from kicking their habit, says Elena Kouri, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Kouri and her colleagues recruited 17 volunteers who had smoked marijuana on at least 5000 occasions, and who continued to be heavy users of the drug. They also studied 20 people who either took marijuana occasionally, or who had already given it up. None of the volunteers had a history of violence or any other psychiatric disturbance.
The researchers used a computer game to measure the volunteers’ aggressive behaviour during a 28-day period of abstinence from marijuana, which was monitored by daily, supervised urine tests. The volunteers sat alone at a computer screen with two buttons. The first added money to an account in their name, but they were told that a second would subtract money from the account of their opponent, sitting at a similar screen in the next room. On the day they gave up marijuana, and one, three, seven and 28 days later, the two players were given 20 minutes to take it in turns to push one or other button, after which they could keep the money left in their account.
In reality, there was no opponent. The researchers had instead arranged for the computer to provoke the volunteers by frequently subtracting money from their account. When tested on the third and seventh days of abstinence, this ersatz “nasty opponent” managed to get the heavy users noticeably hot under the collar. Says Kouri: “Subjects that on day zero hadn’t cared at all that they were losing points started swearing and punching the keyboard, yelling ‘I’m going to get you back!'”
The heavy users hit the “punishment button” more than twice as often as the control group on days three and seven– an increase in aggression that compares roughly with that produced by a three-week course of testosterone supplements in another study by Kouri. The increased aggression had subsided completely by the time the volunteers were tested again at the end of the abstinence period, however (Psychopharmacology, vol 143, p 302).
The study is the first to measure aggression during withdrawal from a long period of heavy marijuana use. But Margaret Haney, a psychologist at Columbia University in New York, says that people who show aggressive tendencies in the laboratory do not necessarily become violent in the real world. “I would hesitate to say that it would translate to physical violence,” she says.


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