Demon possession on youtube
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08-02-2017, 05:41 PM
RE: Demon possession on youtube
Well played, sir. Well played.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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08-02-2017, 06:24 PM
RE: Demon possession on youtube
All "demon possessions" can be chalked up to two categories of people.

1. A person pretending to be possessed and at times, backed up with others who make up false claims of events that never happened.
2. A mentally ill person whose "possession" is the result of his mental illness being inflated by his indoctrination of their religion.

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08-02-2017, 06:42 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2017 06:48 PM by Shai Hulud.)
RE: Demon possession on youtube
I'll be the odd theist duck who says "meh, maybe, but probably not". An interesting difference in the modern era, between say, the Catholic Church (when protocols are followed anyhow) and a lot of the Pentecostal non-denoms or Evangelicals with "deliverance ministries" is that the Catholic Church now requires you to have a full battery of physical and mental examinations looking for a biological or psychological cause before an exorcism can even be considered as a possibility. Then, due in part to what I'm about to quote, you still have to have a licensed medical practitioner present at all times.

(08-02-2017 12:26 PM)Emma Wrote:  I just can't watch stuff like this and take it seriously. Why attribute to demons what is likely attributable to more natural causes? Brain function is becoming better and better understood. As that happens, supernatural explanations for stuff like this will continue to fade. Especially as treatments become more effective and available.

Take his #4, Anneliese Michel, who was known to an unspecified mental illness and epilepsy. Yet, she and her family became convinced that she was possessed by demons and pushed for an exorcism to be performed. Sixty-seven exorcisms were performed over a 10 month period! At what point do you have to decide that your god is just not strong enough to fix this? Medicine might not have been effective enough yet, or it might have been a bad diagnosis and improper treatment- but certainly you have to give up on the exorcism at some point, right? Early on during the 10 month period she stopped eating, and later died of malnutrition and dehydration. Wikipedia had this to say about the result:

"After her death, Michel's parents and the two priests were found guilty of negligent homicide, and were sentenced to six months in jail (reduced to three years of probation), and a fine. The Catholic church changed its position stating she was mentally ill, not possessed. The case has been cited as an example of a misidentified mental disorder, negligence, abuse and religious hysteria."

That's the only one I'm going to bother researching. I think probably all cases of "demonic possession" can be attributed to similar circumstance. Natural causes, rather than supernatural causes. Maybe we can't explain all of the natural causes just yet? I think in all cases we can get close enough to the natural cause to say that it's not unnatural.

To add just a bit to Emma's excellent summation...I watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose (the movie they made of it) in a church basement, drinking with several people (over 21). and a priest once. Even the movie makes great pains to not say she was actually possessed, rather leaving it very much up to the interpretation of the viewer.

Edit: Though just realized I should probably add that one of the Rites you go through during RCIA and entering the Catholic Church as an adult is a minor exorcism if you want to be technical, but nobody ever calls it such. And interestingly, no one ever reacts to it in a negative manner...probably because they don't realize it is one. Because it's just repeating a prayer:

So if one wants to be utterly technical, I've been through an exorcism and no demons popped out, no heads turned 360 degrees, no ancient tongues were spoken, no ruinous secrets of those around me were spilled, I didn't tell the priest that his mother sucks cocks in Hell (to quote the movie The Exorcist)or anything like that. Tongue

Need to think of a witty signature.
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