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View Poll Results: Is Demonic Possession real or group hysteria?
Absolutely real 10 18.87%
Probably real 2 3.77%
It's real, but you have to invite evil influences into your life 8 15.09%
No, not real; anyone claiming this is a mental case. 28 52.83%
There is a good force and a bad force in our universe-a person has to decide which force they choose to serve 2 3.77%
diamondbruno#9, do you have your own church and gospel? 3 5.66%
diamond you always make the best threads; cutting edge, pushing the intellectual and religious envelope; Bravo 6 11.32%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:13 PM   #106
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Originally posted by melon
The problem with all of this, at its core, is that it is always based on specious and/or weak evidence.

In terms of its relation to the Catholic Church, there is likely no insistence that believers accept the existence of demon possession. Plus, when it comes to things like Marian apparitions, they are taken by the Vatican especially skeptically, and only after they are satisfied by sufficient proof that it cannot be explained by any non-supernatural explanation will they accept that it is worthy of belief.

Basically, while demonic possessions and whatnot will always hit a point where it boils down to personal faith, supporters are just flat-out going to have to do their homework and do the scientific research required and offer it up to the scientific community. That will also include offering up such "possessed" people to the field of conventional psychiatry. There are strong indications that people who are under extreme guilt and who believe it is possible to be possessed by a demon can degenerate into such a psychiatric state as to act out what they think such a "possession" would be like. Such hysteria is similar to those during the era of the Salem Witch Trials, who, believing it to be possible for witches to wreak havoc on their lives, most passionately would believe that they had seen witches. Likewise, it appears that only those who believe that demon possessions can happen ever seem to get "possessed."

There is considerable reason to be skeptical.
What do you make of Jesus' encounter with a demon possessed man in Gerasenes as told in Matthew, Mark and Luke?

If Jesus thought he was talking to, and expelling, a demon then shouldn't all Christians at least entertain the idea of demonic possession?
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:45 PM   #107
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What do you make of Jesus' encounter with a demon possessed man in Gerasenes as told in Matthew, Mark and Luke?

If Jesus thought he was talking to, and expelling, a demon then shouldn't all Christians at least entertain the idea of demonic possession?
I think this comes down to an understanding of the times and context. How would Jesus have been able to explain something like mental illness to these men? I mean I don't Jesus bothered trying to explain to these men the world isn't flat, he spoke to them in a language they understood.

We still live in a world where people say they are wrestling with demons all the time. They don't mean it literally. I have a friend who's wrestling with the demon of drug addiction at this very moment. He often refers to it as a demon, in fact once or twice that "demon" has personified itself in my friends mind and it did become literal to him. But at the end of the day it was an internal struggle...
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:47 PM   #108
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What i do find mentally disturbing is that 12 believe its a whole load of crap and you are mentally disturbed for believing so, but if the question was does god exist and does god talk to you im sure those 12 people would fuck of to yes does does exist and talk to me.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:50 PM   #109
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:06 AM   #110
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What i do find mentally disturbing is that 12 believe its a whole load of crap and you are mentally disturbed for believing so, but if the question was does god exist and does god talk to you im sure those 12 people would fuck of to yes does does exist and talk to me.
I wouldn't.
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:06 AM   #111
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I think this comes down to an understanding of the times and context. How would Jesus have been able to explain something like mental illness to these men? I mean I don't Jesus bothered trying to explain to these men the world isn't flat, he spoke to them in a language they understood.

We still live in a world where people say they are wrestling with demons all the time. They don't mean it literally. I have a friend who's wrestling with the demon of drug addiction at this very moment. He often refers to it as a demon, in fact once or twice that "demon" has personified itself in my friends mind and it did become literal to him. But at the end of the day it was an internal struggle...
a better explanation than

just saying that angels flew out of the sky and all those other fantastic tales in the scriptures

most likely
it is the way the people that wrote it down made sense of it

if the building fell down

God made it happen


not bad soil conditions
or earth movement


we even have this today
with some people attributing
natural disasters to peoples wickedness
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Old 03-15-2008, 06:29 PM   #112
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I think we can round and round with what each of us think scriptual interpreation of given verses should be.

Man has been unsuccessful at this for several millenia.

Some scriptures are to be taken literally, others figuratively, others metophorically and some scriptures can be interpreted with all 3 correctly.

Instead of arguing about what the interpretations should be, I find sane peoples' near death experpiences that who have been pronounced clincally dead for a span of time by medical doctors, and then for some greater purpose been able to return to this liife to complete what they've been told from a higher power is "their mission" on earth is not completed, that they have more to offer mankind, or lessons to learn here-to be much more enriching and on par with Scripture both canon and non canon and to be very spiritually enriching.

Consider this Extreme Athelete Mickey Robinson who was horribly disfigured in a plane crash and died for a short while, he was able to see Heaven and Hell.

He's not a member of my faith nor or the other people referenced in this thread, however their expereiences are on par with what my faith teaches.

Enjoy and please don't ridicule; watch this with an open mind is all I ask:

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Old 03-15-2008, 07:56 PM   #113
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You keep changing the subject. Is your whole purpose to "prove" there is a heaven and hell?
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:34 PM   #114
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Basically in the big picture yes.

The topic of this thread has gone off on tangents;not intened by the author.

My aim is to clarify that good and evil do exist; that God and the devil do exist and it's up to us in this life to choose whom we'll serve.

And whom we choose to serve is not done by mere lip service alone; but by our actions towards our fellow men.

dbs
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:40 PM   #115
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Originally posted by diamond


My aim is to clarify that [...] in your opinion God and the devil do exist
A bit more accurate.
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:02 PM   #116
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Good and evil dont exist, its just human nature. Im a good person but i have not chosen to serve " god " and the devil hasnt returned my calls.

The heaven and hell, good v evil and god v satan is a bit sunday school isnt it
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:10 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally posted by vaz02
Good and evil dont exist, its just human nature. Im a good person but i have not chosen to serve " god " and the devil hasnt returned my calls.

The heaven and hell, good v evil god v satan is a bit sunday school isnt it
Most athesists I know are wonderful ppl, better than many "God fearing" ppl.

I believe God doesn't want us to ever fear him; but man has been befuddled into thinking this.

A lot of atheists have had NDEs and changed their minds.
Books have been written; cases have been documented.



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Old 03-15-2008, 09:45 PM   #118
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Simply because they believe it was supernatural doesn't make it so.
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:19 PM   #119
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Originally posted by diamond




A lot of atheists have had NDEs and changed their minds.
Books have been written; cases have been documented.



dbs
Maybe they changed their minds because they dont wanna tempt faith just in case, i know numerous people of all faiths who have turned their back on "god" after years and years of being a sucker to the system.
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:05 PM   #120
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Originally posted by INDY500
What do you make of Jesus' encounter with a demon possessed man in Gerasenes as told in Matthew, Mark and Luke?

If Jesus thought he was talking to, and expelling, a demon then shouldn't all Christians at least entertain the idea of demonic possession?
Many years back, I had a Catholic high school religion teacher that taught us that the New Testament, as written, was probably apt to legend and exaggeration. That is, Jesus, His core teachings, His gift to humanity....all true. The details beyond that? Apt to the exaggerations of legend. In this case, I imagine my old teacher answering your question here as this being part of the mythos of Jesus, rather than the historical Jesus.

That aside, my main skepticism on issues of demon possession have everything to do with what I described before. Those who are under pathologically unhealthy levels of guilt and stress can quite thoroughly convince themselves that they are "possessed." There have likely been those in similar situations who have thoroughly convinced themselves that they are the "Antichrist," and, as such, have committed crimes in that role. Similar scenarios have been described during the era of the Salem Witch Trials regarding witches. It's not a coincidence that all these "witch sightings" disappeared after people stopped believing that they existed, and there were quite a few highly distressed women who caved in and openly confessed that they were, indeed, witches!

In terms of reconciling that fact with what's written in the New Testament...well, I don't claim to know everything, and, thankfully, I don't think it has any bearing on Jesus' moral teachings. I'll defer again to Romans 13:8: "Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." I figure that there's some mystery in life worth having; otherwise, things would probably get boring.
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