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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 03-18-2008, 03:41 AM   #161
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Fish to amphibian (one of many - including the living cousin of tetrapods the Coelacanth), the transitional fossils to mammals are from the early synapsids.

Evolution is not a directed process, every animal alive today fills some ecological niche and characters that serve specific functions today may have served radically different functions in their ancestors - this a product of heritable variation and it is really cool.

The theory (as in the best fitting model to explain the evidence) of evolution destroys special creation, it explains the origination of new species and renders a creator superfluous (theistic evolution as much as it reconciles theology to reality is still impressing a deity upon a process that demands no overarching controller).

To tie this back to the topic at hand (alleged demonic possession) the explanation for strange behaviour as satanic influence is also introducing an unneccessary element to an explainable phenomena. Mental illness and hypnotic suggestion are better explanations than an effectively impossible supernatural agent somehow siezing control of people. It beggars belief that people can live in the modern world, accept the benefits of science and modern medicine yet still subscribe to an extreme of illogical superstition (belief in God is majority approved moderate illogical superstition). On the other hand Christians that think it isn't real are letting their reasoning inform their religion - is somebody who's religion informs their reasoning to a greater degree a stronger believer, of more faith than someone that questions the literal word of God?
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:03 AM   #162
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMelon
Just out of curiosity, for those who actually profess to be Christian, yet voted that they do not believe in demon possession, how do you rationalize what occurred in the times of Jesus? Demon possession was apparently rather common then. I can understand perfectly how an atheist or agnostic can believe all of this is crap, but I'm a bit surprised by the amount of believers who brush it off as well.
Look back around page 8, INDY already asked this and some folks already answered this.
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:52 AM   #163
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMelon
Just out of curiosity, for those who actually profess to be Christian, yet voted that they do not believe in demon possession, how do you rationalize what occurred in the times of Jesus? Demon possession was apparently rather common then. I can understand perfectly how an atheist or agnostic can believe all of this is crap, but I'm a bit surprised by the amount of believers who brush it off as well.
Quote:
Originally posted by melon
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.
The same thing, in a way, goes for "leprosy." The modern bacterial infection that is "leprosy" today is not the same as the Jewish Tzaraath, which is really what they're talking about in the Bible. "Tzaraath" probably referred to any visible skin affliction, from acne to psoriasis to cellulitis.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:06 PM   #164
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anybody with tourette's syndrome

was most likely labeled possessed



and the "evil spirits" could be quickly removed by praying
anytime they reappeared.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:10 PM   #165
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Isn't the "point" of those stories more that people who are suffering deserve compassion and help, rather than stigmatization and persecution, anyway? As opposed to the idea that we should all be living in dread of the power of 'Evil.'
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:24 PM   #166
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Isn't the "point" of those stories more that people who are suffering deserve compassion and help, rather than stigmatization and persecution, anyway? As opposed to the idea that we should all be living in dread of the power of 'Evil.'


some people desperately need the devil to exist.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:32 PM   #167
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
anybody with tourette's syndrome

was most likely labeled possessed



and the "evil spirits" could be quickly removed by praying
anytime they reappeared.
Not now.

Not accurate.

Moses had a speech impediment with stuttering, nobody accused him of being possesed by a devil, he was called of God and he kicked Pharoahs backside who dealt from the darkside.

So there.

But I guess some of you think that Moses was a fictious character and never led God's chosen people out of Egypt, correct?



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Old 03-18-2008, 04:33 PM   #168
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Isn't the "point" of those stories more that people who are suffering deserve compassion and help, rather than stigmatization and persecution, anyway?
that was Mother Teresa's story

all the scriptures end with the person no longer being "possessed", "evil", "sick" or even "dead".


a denial of realty?

myths
fables
tales
....
scriptures?
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:36 PM   #169
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The scriptures to some are labeled to be myths and fariy tales to asauge their own consciences I suspect.



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Old 03-18-2008, 04:38 PM   #170
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asauge their own consciences I suspect.
I sleep like a rock


a flying stone
into the head of Goliath
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:20 PM   #171
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1 Timothty 4:2.



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Old 03-19-2008, 01:10 AM   #172
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond



Moses had a speech impediment with stuttering, nobody accused him of being possesed by a devil, he was called of God and he kicked Pharoahs backside who dealt from the darkside.

So there.

But I guess some of you think that Moses was a fictious character and never led God's chosen people out of Egypt, correct?



dbs
Since I am not one of the chosen people and neither are you


We should defer to an Israeli researcher for the truth about Moses

Quote:

Moses was high on drugs: Israeli researcher

Mar 4 08:07 AM US/Eastern

High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week.

Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.

"As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don't believe, or a legend, which I don't believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics," Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.

Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the "burning bush," suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.

"The Bible says people see sounds, and that is a clasic phenomenon," he said citing the example of religious ceremonies in the Amazon in which drugs are used that induce people to "see music."

He mentioned his own experience when he used ayahuasca, a powerful psychotropic plant, during a religious ceremony in Brazil's Amazon forest in 1991. "I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations," Shanon said.

He said the psychedelic effects of ayahuasca were comparable to those produced by concoctions based on bark of the acacia tree, that is frequently mentioned in the Bible.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:09 AM   #173
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Mmmm DMT

I would not have a spiritual experience; I am perfectly willing to put my mind where my mouth is.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:54 AM   #174
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Originally posted by deep


that was Mother Teresa's story

all the scriptures end with the person no longer being "possessed", "evil", "sick" or even "dead".


a denial of realty?

myths
fables
tales
....
scriptures?
Was it compassion and want to help, or was it to see the suffering of Christ in the suffering of the dying (hence no pain medication in the houses for the dying).

People take different things away from the same scripture, even faithless nuns.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:06 AM   #175
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
But I guess some of you think that Moses was a fictious character and never led God's chosen people out of Egypt, correct?
There's reasonable evidence that Moses was substantially mythical, actually.

For one, in spite of this all happening in an advanced civilization like that of ancient Egypt, there's no corresponding Egyptian records to back up what the Old Testament says.

Secondly, "Mosaic Law" bears more than a passing resemblance to Persian Zoroastrian "Purity Codes" themselves. The Book of Ezra, in the Old Testament, is the most explicit text showing Persian influence in the revival of Judaism. We see Persian king, Cyrus the Great, making pronouncements, as if he were Jewish himself, in spite of it being very well-known that Cyrus had a habit of taking a minority religion in his kingdom and changing it substantially to ensure loyalty to the Persian Empire. A famous example is what Cyrus did with the followers of Marduk. He first made an appeal that he believed in Marduk, then declared that he was Marduk, and, as "Marduk," destroyed the religion.

Regardless, Ezra 7 states something very interesting on this subject. Approximately 80 years after Cyrus permits the Jews to return to Jerusalem, King Artaxerxes I, by decree, puts Ezra in charge of Jerusalem's ecclesiastical and civil affairs. What would a Persian Zoroastrian king know about Judaism to make him more qualified than the existing Jewish priesthood?

Quote:
[Artaxerxes I speaking] "As for you, Ezra, in accordance with the wisdom of your God which is in your possession, appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to all the people in West-of-Euphrates, to all, that is, who know the laws of your God. Instruct those who do not know these laws. Whoever does not obey the law of your God and the law of the king, let strict judgment be executed upon him, whether death, or corporal punishment, or a fine on his goods, or imprisonment." - Ezra 7:25-26
It is thought by some scholars, thus, that, due to the lack of any evidence of Jewish enslavement in Egypt and the fact that all of our extant Old Testament texts are post-exilic in date, that the whole thing might be a parable. That is, with a Jewish community looking to rebuild from two centuries or so of exile from their homeland, the story of Moses, their escape from Egypt, and their conquering of Israel meant that they had all done this before. And with Mosaic Law being roughly equivalent to Zoroastrian religious law and God, now no longer resembling a typical Semitic angry warrior deity, but, instead, being a peaceful, loving, and benevolent God very much like the Zoroastrian supreme god, Ahura Mazda, they have achieved their ultimate goal of having a nation that they would not fear of rising up against them. Indeed, the Persian Empire is the only foreign state treated with gushing adoration in the Bible.

Of course, in a couple of centuries, Alexander the Great defeats the Persian Empire and consigns it to history. Thus begins the influence of the Greeks and eventually the Romans, both of whom are hated.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:02 AM   #176
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


There's reasonable evidence that Moses was substantially mythical, actually.



Quote:
We should defer to an Israeli researcher for the truth about Moses
Some have a funny definition of the word "truth".

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

II Timothy Chap 4:4
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:19 AM   #177
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Some have a funny definition of the word "truth".

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

II Timothy Chap 4:4
The least you could do is argue my points directly, rather than resorting to subjectively vague platitudes. 2 Timothy 4:4...it could easily be argued that modern Christians are living a faith of "fables" that have very little to do with the core teachings of Jesus. We judge Christians today on whether they believe in the most preposterous of writings--Adam and Eve, global floods, etc.--and, yet, look the other way when they contradict the most central tenet of Jesus--"Love one another." Indeed, many ministers would argue, more or less, that "hate" is an admirable trait.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:33 AM   #178
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Originally posted by melon

2 Timothy 4:4...it could easily be argued that modern Christians are living a faith of "fables" that have very little to do with the core teachings of Jesus. We judge Christians today on whether they believe in the most preposterous of writings--Adam and Eve, global floods, etc.--and, yet, look the other way when they contradict the most central tenet of Jesus--"Love one another." Indeed, many ministers would argue, more or less, that "hate" is an admirable trait.
Quoted for truth...
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:03 PM   #179
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


more or less, that "hate" is an admirable trait.

Then they're going to the wrong church.

I'll respond to the other attempts of convenient scriptual spin when:

1-I have time
2-I feel it would be worth while.

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Old 03-19-2008, 01:02 PM   #180
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Then they're going to the wrong church.

And that's a pretty big number here in America.
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