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Christians And Their Belief In Demonic Possession


bluewizard
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Christians have a belief in demonic possession and it seems very weird. I just heard a story today about a guy who witnessed one supposedly at a Christian camp, he said there was an explosion in the campfire from something and a lot of the kids saw a face in the fire, there was also a girl who was "possessed" and was speaking in a voice not of herself and would generally act Anti-christian and acted like an evil spirit and said her name was Miriad, which I heard meant many demons in the bible and eventually came out as a result of an exorcism. I know this story has probably been replayed in many different versions but what does science say about this? I think it wasn't demons or evil spirits but stories like this are very interesting, not trying to convicne anybody demons are real because I don't believe in them. My philosophy teacher also said he has spoken with demons and angels himself and said he spoke with the Devil before, one thing that doesn't surprise me about these possessions is they only happen in Christian environements, do you see any of us atheists getting "possessed", hell no. What do you and what does science say about this subject? To me it's just a way of explaining the unexplained like many things thorugh history have done.

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Though I personally don't feel able to completely rule out spiritual realms and possible interaction with our world, I think there are generally very simple natural explanations for this.

 

It is, quite simply, mass hysteria. This can have both physical and biological aspects, with people going into trance-like states, hyponitising themselves or being part of a mass hypnosis.

 

Stupidly, many Christians will tell you the reason that evil possessions happen to them is because they are closer to god. Satan doesn't care about us because we're not pissing him off by worshipping god. Paradoxically, it is also only in the same people, groups and places that divine intervention in healing and spiritual gifts, occurs. Thus they are able to claim that it is supernatural, even though it is blatantly obvious that it is not.

 

There have, I believe, been studies in charismatic churches where people are 'slain in the spirit', i.e. faint. When the ushers were not there waiting to catch them, the people were no longer subtly being brainwashed into thinking they are going to faint. And, guess what?, they didn't.

 

Unfortunately, in a handful of cases, 'possession' specifically may be the result of an actual medical condition. It enfuriates me that some will deliberately reject sound medical advice for fairy tales and bullshit, especially when it involves children, in which case I think the kids should be taken into care and the parents charged with abuse.

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Christians have a belief in demonic possession and it seems very weird.

In all fairness, not all xians have that belief. You find that mainly among super-fundie sects that have a thing for the mystical stuff. A lot of xians don't believe demons, if they exist at all, can possess anything or anybody. Then of course there are those like me who think this is nothing but silly superstition, a holdover from old and outmoded beliefs in "evil spirits" being responsible for our everyday troubles in life. In a purely scientific sense, there is no evidence that any such things as demons exist. I didn't believe in them when I was a xian, and I don't believe in them now. But they're great material for movies.

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Guest skeptic griggsy
Christians have a belief in demonic possession and it seems very weird.

In all fairness, not all xians have that belief. You find that mainly among super-fundie sects that have a thing for the mystical stuff. A lot of xians don't believe demons, if they exist at all, can possess anything or anybody. Then of course there are those like me who think this is nothing but silly superstition, a holdover from old and outmoded beliefs in "evil spirits" being responsible for our everyday troubles in life. In a purely scientific sense, there is no evidence that any such things as demons exist. I didn't believe in them when I was a xian, and I don't believe in them now. But they're great material for movies.

To rule out a supernatural explanation is to apply Occam's razor .Just as we rule out demon possession , so we can rule out God, the unimformative tautology that God wills what He will and " hides our ignorance behind a theological fig leaf." That is the ignotist argument. The Occam and the ignotist plus that the free will defense of God lacks cogency are the essentials in a natural atheology.

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