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Can Anyone Scientifically Explain Demon Possession?


Lorena Rodriguez
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OK, I know that most of you are atheists and belive that demon possession (DP) is just mental illness (MI). I have been surfing the web for a while trying to find a clear explanation for why DP is just MI with no luck. Here are my questions with the answers I have come up with. I would love to read your views or any sources you can provide me with.

How do you explain that a person can speak in different tones of voice?

It is a dysfunction of the brain.

How do you explain that a person can become so strong as to overpower a number of men?

Perhaps there is something in our brain about that too.

How do you explain the fact that demons obey the bible and respond to the name of Jesus?

Perhaps they don't respond to the name of Jesus or to the bible. Maybe the exorcist gathers emotional strength and authority from the icons, and the mentally ill sucumb to such authority.

 

And there is that part of me that says: demons exist and Jesus is god. You go figure!

 

Thanks guys. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. :fdevil:

 

P.S. If there is a past thread on this, I'd like to hear about it.

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Or maybe we just don't know exactly what causes it, but it's no reason to make up half assed stories about imaginary bad guys taking control of your brain.

Because back when they didn't understand what caused the flu, that's what they thought, too.

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Go watch the movie the Exorcism of Emily Rose.

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The lawyer in the movie answers the questions very well compared to the skeptical defense attorney. It's a good movie too.

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OK, I know that most of you are atheists and belive that demon possession (DP) is just mental illness (MI). I have been surfing the web for a while trying to find a clear explanation for why DP is just MI with no luck. Here are my questions with the answers I have come up with. I would love to read your views or any sources you can provide me with.

 

 

And there is that part of me that says: demons exist and Jesus is god. You go figure!

 

Thanks guys. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. :fdevil:

 

P.S. If there is a past thread on this, I'd like to hear about it.

1. How do you explain that a person can speak in different tones of voice?

Anyone can change the tone in there voice. The people with demons that do it real well and grew up in church were probably singers in the choir used to change the pitch of their voice.

2. How do you explain that a person can become so strong as to overpower a number of men?

the person is epileptic?

Priest need to workout more, I don't know?

3.How do you explain the fact that demons obey the bible and respond to the name of Jesus?

most people who are possessed grew up in the chruch. Of course they would respond to Jesus

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OK, I know that most of you are atheists and belive that demon possession (DP) is just mental illness (MI). I have been surfing the web for a while trying to find a clear explanation for why DP is just MI with no luck. Here are my questions with the answers I have come up with. I would love to read your views or any sources you can provide me with.

 

 

And there is that part of me that says: demons exist and Jesus is god. You go figure!

 

Thanks guys. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. :fdevil:

 

P.S. If there is a past thread on this, I'd like to hear about it.

1. How do you explain that a person can speak in different tones of voice?

Anyone can change the tone in there voice. The people with demons that do it real well and grew up in church were probably singers in the choir used to change the pitch of their voice.

2. How do you explain that a person can become so strong as to overpower a number of men?

the person is epileptic?

Priest need to workout more, I don't know?

3.How do you explain the fact that demons obey the bible and respond to the name of Jesus?

most people who are possessed grew up in the chruch. Of course they would respond to Jesus

 

Generally I would say that demon possesion is probalby some form of undiagnosed MPD (multiple personality disorder)

 

Really, there are lots of things going on in the sub conscience of the brain, perhaps an inner manifestation of anger issues. One should ask themselves why demon possesions happen all the time in charasmatic churches and seeminly no where else. perhaps people are guided into the delusion because they believe it is real, or perhaps they become schizophenic or get MPD because of the nature of the charismatic culture they live in. Back when I was a christian I went on a mission trip with some charismatics and even at the time thought they were kooks.

 

1. I've never really witnessed but seems to be a fairly small issue, I can change my voice to sound demonic too....I mean really how does a demon even sound? really?

 

2. the power of suggestion is great...if people think someone is demon possesed they won't be able to overpower him because they believe they can't. at least thats one posiblity.

 

3. How do we know those stories are even real, and if they are, a person suffering from MPD or some psycological disorder still might have heard of Jesus, and thus responded and were healed because they percived he had the power to do so. again, the power of suggestion.

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First, "demon posession" is a supernatural concept, and has no place in scientific inquiry. However, the "symptoms" you mentioned do have obvious naturalistic causes.

 

How do you explain that a person can speak in different tones of voice?

Anyone can do this. Relax your throat, and you voice becomes lower. Tighten it, and it becomes higher.

How do you explain that a person can become so strong as to overpower a number of men?

Adrenaline explains this easily.

How do you explain the fact that demons obey the bible and respond to the name of Jesus?

You mean, why does the "demon-possessed" person obey the Bible and respond to the name of Jesus? Because the person is familiar with Christianity and is aware of its teachings regarding demons. Find me an "possessed" African tribesman who's never heard of the Bible and also responds to the name of Jesus, and then you might have something.

And there is that part of me that says: demons exist and Jesus is god. You go figure!

Which "part" is that, exactly?

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1. I can sing from tenor to baritone.

 

2. Go try to hold someone down who is having a seizure, even several men would have problems with just about any sized person.

 

3. You have to assume that demons respond to the name of Jesus, unless you have actually been to an exorcism you won't know if it is true or that they are just saying these things to support the efforts of the church. It's typical fear-mongering. Leave Hollywood out of it, they tend to get more wrong than right even on historical and biographical pictures.

 

nick5 has the right of it, if demons were still believed to cause illness we would still be bloodletting with leeches.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallucination

 

Well, maybe it wasn't really about demons and how "they" respond...

 

I think when it comes to people being exorcised, they fall into a kind of "peer pressure" or self induced "do what's expected of me" mode.

 

My son told me about some experiment where they had a group of people, everyone but one were in on the "scam", and this is what they did.

 

They showed pictures of sticks (or bars or whatever), and they were supposed to point out the longest bar.

 

The people that were in on it, kept on pointing out the shortest instead of the longest.

 

The test subject, that didn't know the others faked it, in IIRC 70% would agree to the group, instead of clear observation and facts.

 

I think there's a lot to it, we do adapt to ideas and group thinking. When it comes to exorcism, I think the subject subconsciously imitate "demons" or how they think demons would act, and everyone around thinks it's real. The subject thinks so too, but don't know they fool themselves into "agreing" on the common idea. I'm sure someone else on the site can explain it better than me. :)

 

--edit--

 

When it comes to strength, the human body is extremely much stronger than we personally know. Another experiment with weight lifters they did following:

 

A person worked up a strengt to bench press 200 lbs, but had a really hard time breaking the barrier.

 

The lab people changed the weights to 210 lbs, but they had labeled them "wrong", so it looked like less than 200 lbs.

 

The test subject now could lift the weights.

 

They say 70% of your strength is in your mind.

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Really, there are lots of things going on in the sub conscience of the brain, perhaps an inner manifestation of anger issues. One should ask themselves why demon possesions happen all the time in charasmatic churches and seeminly no where else. perhaps people are guided into the delusion because they believe it is real, or perhaps they become schizophenic or get MPD because of the nature of the charismatic culture they live in. Back when I was a christian I went on a mission trip with some charismatics and even at the time thought they were kooks.

 

1. I've never really witnessed but seems to be a fairly small issue, I can change my voice to sound demonic too....I mean really how does a demon even sound? really?

 

2. the power of suggestion is great...if people think someone is demon possesed they won't be able to overpower him because they believe they can't. at least thats one posiblity.

 

3. How do we know those stories are even real, and if they are, a person suffering from MPD or some psycological disorder still might have heard of Jesus, and thus responded and were healed because they percived he had the power to do so. again, the power of suggestion.

I pretty much second these explanations, but would add to #2 that the mind can produce unbelievable feats of strength under certain conditions. Rhetorical Question: How many cops does it take to subdue a suspect on PCP?

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5, and 1 with a flashlight or a baton.

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:)Lorena Rodriguez, have you ever personally witnessed the 'switching' of Multiple Personalities (MPD), also known as Disociative Identity Disorder (DID)? It is amazing! Once I saw a wonderful 35 year old lady transform into a darling 6 year old girl... and these results were profoundly astonishing! Facial muscular features changed, eye color changed, voice changed, demeanor changed, etc. It was an incredibly comprehensive transformation! I was so scared, I wanted to run out of the room! The situation did not allow me to do this, and to keep my demeanor was of the utmost importance... yet quite difficult. That lady and I ended up being quite close acquaintances.

 

I have never seen someone who was supposedly possessed, however, I think they probably have MPD or DID. Probably one personality (or more) is very angry! MPD/DID was not recognized by most mental health professionals till fairly recently. My understanding of its treatment is the opposite of casting it out, but rather to reconcile all the parts into one. Yep, it seems the church got it wrong again. *sigh* The casting out of demons referred to in the Bible, IMO, is just casting out the lie. Where the truth is, the lie will not survive long.

 

:)Taylork45, thanks for referring that movie. I hope I can find it!

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I've seen demons cast out of people. I wasn't Catholic, so not like an excorcism, but praying and laying on of hands. My own mother claims to have a demon come out of her when she was saved. She claims it came out of her leg while she was at work thinking about Jesus. She says she saw it. I guess it was a black form that quickly disappeared.

 

Basically, I think people think they are possessed and they are. Lots of swearing, screaming, crying, yelling, shaking, falling on the ground, and convulsing when the demons are extracted. Looking back, I think these people just wanted attention. I wonder how many people would be demon possessed if the idea of demon possession wasn't around.

 

Though, demon possession seems to be on the down swing. Failed crops? It's the neighbors fault, they are kind of odd, so they must be demon possessed. Lots of mental illnesses that are now helped with medication were thought to be demon possession. You can read about old cases, but few if any new cases and they seem to be in some far away, superstitious country.

 

Taph

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1. Voice actors are good examples. Lots of women voice male characters. I can sing from soprano to baritone.

 

2. Adrenaline and fear. If I had a bunch of people I believed are going to hurt me coming at me, I'd fight tooth and nail too.

 

3. Another vote for "it's expected." Then again, facing down an angry christian that feels perfectly justified and willing to take my life if all else fails isn't something I'd want to push anyway. I don't think anybody is exactly sane when it comes to exorcism.

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How do you explain that a person can speak in different tones of voice?

How does the doode from police academy do it :shrug: ?

How do you explain that a person can become so strong as to overpower a number of men?

How does Lou Ferrigno have the ability to overpower a number of 10 year olds? Or how does a parent suddnely have the strength to easily move a heavy object, in which they normally had a difficult time doing so, when it falls on their child? adrenaline.

How do you explain the fact that demons obey the bible and respond to the name of Jesus?

How is that relevant to a scientific study of demons?

And there is that part of me that says: demons exist and Jesus is god. You go figure!

If part of you says Jesus is god, than you must be possessed by some other demon.

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nick5 has the right of it, if demons were still believed to cause illness we would still be bloodletting with leeches.

 

Um... we are still bloodletting with leeches. They were used because they work for many things. Especially with limb reattachment.

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nick5 has the right of it, if demons were still believed to cause illness we would still be bloodletting with leeches.

 

Um... we are still bloodletting with leeches. They were used because they work for many things. Especially with limb reattachment.

 

 

Yes, but I wasn't referring to the modern use of leeches, I was referring to the old way of using leeches for any old thing because they wanted to get rid of the bad blood. Such as using it for the flu or bronchitis which is impractical. Let's not be stupid about it.

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I almost replied to this thread before I read Zach's post. He pretty much answered each question the way that I would have.

 

The adrenaline thing has got to be where the strength comes from. You either get a shot of it from fear, or anger. Once it is there, the strength is there.

 

Back when I used to work out (I could probably still do it now but there's no need to), I could play a mind-game with myself in order to breech a plateau. (Did I say that right? :shrug: )

 

But anyway, if I was stuck at a certain point where I needed to be able to lift more in order to progress, but found that I couldn't, I could actually purposely enrage myself. Within a matter of seconds I could feel the heat, rise in blood pressure, and yes, I felt stronger.

 

Hell there was a couple of times where I scared myself doing this. The feeling would be so intense that I would start shaking and tears would come out of my eyes. :twitch:

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Yes, but I wasn't referring to the modern use of leeches, I was referring to the old way of using leeches for any old thing because they wanted to get rid of the bad blood. Such as using it for the flu or bronchitis which is impractical. Let's not be stupid about it.

 

I suspect that was known to be bad medical practice even at the time. It wouldn't make sense even under the old system of four humours just to suck blood out for anything wrong.

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Yes, but I wasn't referring to the modern use of leeches, I was referring to the old way of using leeches for any old thing because they wanted to get rid of the bad blood. Such as using it for the flu or bronchitis which is impractical. Let's not be stupid about it.

 

I suspect that was known to be bad medical practice even at the time. It wouldn't make sense even under the old system of four humours just to suck blood out for anything wrong.

Dude, if they thought it was bad, they wouldn't've done it. Just like they wouldn't've slit people's wrists to let them "bleed out" a sickness.

 

Seriously. Just read up on Victorian and earlier medical practices. Not only were leeching and bloodletting considered to be valid medical practices, but they was encouraged for virtually every sort of illness and disorder, from fatigue and headaches, to mental illness, to influenza.

 

No good Victorian home was without a handy-dandy bloodletting bowl, complete with an arm rest equipped with razors...

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HallucinationWhen it comes to strength, the human body is extremely much stronger than we personally know. Another experiment with weight lifters they did following:

 

A person worked up a strengt to bench press 200 lbs, but had a really hard time breaking the barrier.

 

The lab people changed the weights to 210 lbs, but they had labeled them "wrong", so it looked like less than 200 lbs.

 

The test subject now could lift the weights.

 

They say 70% of your strength is in your mind.

 

It's one of the body's maintainence systems. When there is no percieved danger or stress factor, the brain will only use ~30% of the available muscle and vary which parts of the muscle it uses in order to even out muscle fatigue. However, in extreme cases the brain will allow use of more muscle at great risk to the bones they are attached to. One such example is when a woman managed to life a car onto its side to get at her son trapped underneath. She broke a rib or two doing it, but she saved the kid nontheless.

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How do you explain that a person can become so strong as to overpower a number of men?

Perhaps there is something in our brain about that too.

 

Other than movies, have you verified that this has ever happened? If it has, I would be willing to bet it is rare. But still, many have mentioned adrenaline. It's a chemical. Have you ever seen a video of police officers attempting to subdue someone under the influence of the chemical PCP? This occasional show of strength does not prove demons or possession.

 

How do you explain the fact that demons obey the bible and respond to the name of Jesus?

 

Who says that this is a fact? I have participated in and witnessed many supposed 'deliverance' or exorcism sessions. I've seen children screaming and contorting. But there really are natural explanations for all of this. Mental illness and chemical imbalance would probably cover the vast majority of cases.

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Good point Trashy.

 

How does anyone know that the "demons" respond and obey the name Jesus? Someone have a seisure, someone shout Jesus, the guy stop having seisures, was it because of the name or because the seisure was over?

 

If no one can prove demons to exist, and can prove that demons are either in a body, or outside a body, then no one can ever "know" these so called demons are obeying anything!

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I'm sure there are others here that can do this much better than I, but I'll take a stab...

 

How do you explain that a person can speak in different tones of voice?

It is a dysfunction of the brain.

 

Demon position is infused into parts of ours and other cultures. Those who may or may not have mental illness surely have been at least exposed to what a DP person is supposed to behave like. I mean who hasn't at least some knowledge of the Exorcist? We can all change our voice tones so much of this is just acting or a subconscious mimicking of what is collectively "known" about DP.

 

Take for example the alien-believing culture. Why is it that they overwhelmingly describe aliens that they have seen in movies or pictures? Why is it that alien descriptions have evolved with alien media?

 

How do you explain that a person can become so strong as to overpower a number of men? [/color]

Perhaps there is something in our brain about that too.

 

Adrenaline. I understand PCP overdose victims can over power several grown men as well.

 

How do you explain the fact that demons obey the bible and respond to the name of Jesus?

Perhaps they don't respond to the name of Jesus or to the bible. Maybe the exorcist gathers emotional strength and authority from the icons, and the mentally ill sucumb to such authority.

 

And there is that part of me that says: demons exist and Jesus is god. You go figure!

 

See my first response. Xtianity is infused into the fiber of our culture. Those who believe they are DP are just playing out the darker side of the xtian belief so since they believe on a raw level that they are to be overwhelmed by the name of Jesus they indeed are.

 

 

My answers are not scientific and may contain logical flaws. The point is though that there are other explanations that can at least sound equally if not more viable than the religious explanation.

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Hi guys,

 

Thank you for your views. They add up to a very good argument. A lot of food for thought there.

I definitely feel that you've given me very good insights. Keep'em comming.

 

Thanks!

 

Good point Trashy.

 

How does anyone know that the "demons" respond and obey the name Jesus? Someone have a seisure, someone shout Jesus, the guy stop having seisures, was it because of the name or because the seisure was over?

 

If no one can prove demons to exist, and can prove that demons are either in a body, or outside a body, then no one can ever "know" these so called demons are obeying anything!

 

You're right that the situations are ifi. However, I find it interesting that ex-christians are not addressing the issue. Hearing stories about that was a big part of my christian experience. I think it is an issue that needs to be faced head on and debunked.

 

Hmmm....maybe I can make it my own project. Or maybe I should just get on with my life. Whatever is left of it anyway.

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How does anyone know that the "demons" respond and obey the name Jesus? Someone have a seisure, someone shout Jesus, the guy stop having seisures, was it because of the name or because the seisure was over?

I use to be involved with a jail ministry. The Jail gave us an orientation before they would allow us to go in with the prisoners. They said one time someone was having seizures, and the minister was casting out demons. :ohmy: The jail system emphatically insisted this is NOT proper precedures at their institution... and to seek medical assistance immediately. :Doh:

 

Demon position is infused into parts of ours and other cultures. Those who may or may not have mental illness surely have been at least exposed to what a DP person is supposed to behave like. I mean who hasn't at least some knowledge of the Exorcist? We can all change our voice tones so much of this is just acting or a subconscious mimicking of what is collectively "known" about DP.

I agree and this is very interesting. I've heard that those who believe in Voodoo and believe there is a spell cast on them by a prominent Voodoo priest... have been known to actually die! :eek:

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