Just tonight on Fox News it was announced that an old Hindu man has lived for 66 years without food or water. According to the source, this has been verified by medical doctors and people come to him to pay respect and reverence.
Have you bothered to track down the facts or did this not seem just a little too fantastic for you?[66 bloody YEARS man!] Who were the medical doctors? They most certainly must have records of such an incredible event.This also needs to be asked why would medical doctors be any better at determining the facts than somebody else?
The observers have determined that his energy comes from some metaphysical or spiritual power.
Really? Do medical doctors have tests that they can conduct to determine metaphysical or spiritual powers?[Does yours?] Just how do you observe something like that? Did the newscast say what instruments they used or what expertise medical doctors have in this field?
I recall back in the 60's I heard a Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary speak at our church who had just returned to the states on furlough from a deep pagan tribe in the jungles of New Guinea and told the story of his ministry there in a remote pagan tribe. he said that when he first arrived at the village he knew he must deal with this witch woman who had total spiritual dominance and authority in the village because of her powers. Upon investigation and inquiry he learned that this woman had lived a much longer life than any human was able to live, something like 160 years or so, if I recollect accurately.
I am confused here. Is this a deep pagan tribe or a remote pagan tribe? Seriously now.What calender did this deep remote pagan tribe go by that they were able to establish 160 years as being accurate? Did the missionary have a name and did he leave records of his journey? How did he determine her age accurately? If the woman had absolute authority over this village then how did he glean any information?
He determined upon a plan to fast and pray for three days after which he would confront the woman whom he had determined to be demon possessed. After his fast, there was to be a public spiritual exercise of the village at which all the villagers were to be present and the woman would do her ritual thing. As it commenced, he approached the woman and rebuked the demon, demanding it leave the woman's body. To his amazement and the amazement of all present, the woman fell dead. He determined that the woman was kept alive solely by the demon she was posessed of and that her body became nothing but a shell/house for the demon to live and operate.
The woman fell dead and after this they were able to determine that she had been kept alive solely by the the demon she was possesed of. How did they determine that? Is there a blood test or something for this?
Did YOU question any of this? What is the name of this tribe and are they able to be contacted by any means to determine their side of the story?
Please feel free to answer me at your earliest convenience.
Do we have any documentation of demon possesion that was critically evaluated ?Is there a medical textbook that descibes the condition and proscribe a cure.
Allow me to relate to you an artcle in the Skeptical Inquirer[nov/dec 2003] Titled Autistic Boy Killed During Exorcism.
On Friday August 22003,eight year old Terrance Cotrell.Jr,Who suffers from autism,was held down by church members during a prayer service to exorcise the evil spirits they blamed for his condition. According to the New York Times,'his shirt was drenched in sweat when the church members who were holding him down,saying they wanted to rid him of demons,finally noticed that he was dead.He had urinated on himself,and his small brown face had a bluish cast.' According to the medical examiner,there was extensive bruising on the back of the little boy's neck and it appeared that he died of mechanical asphyxiation from pressure placed on his chest.Pat Coper,the boy's mother,told investigators that she held down one of Terrance's feet,while other women held down other parts of his body.
Anyway I will leavre it at that ansd see how the people here absorb this.If you wish you can purchase a copy and look in the news and comments sction on page 11.
There are other recorded instances of death through this sort of magical thinking however what is probably not shown is how often is it unassesed as such.The idea of demonic possesion is medieval and dangerous.That such a system of "witchdoctoring" is still prevalent on the modern world is frightening in the least,tragic and heartrending in the actual. By what means of logic do people such as these determine such these ludicrous levels of treatment.The boy in my example was autistic for christ's sake. I do not believe that the people here would have any possible means of excusing such acts.
To quote further."Though the county medical examiner ruled the boy's death a homicide,Hemphill[the preacher] has been charged only with felony child abuse,and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and five years court supervision if convicted.No one else was charged."
I beg of you ,read the article in full. There is a partcularly heinous one involving a five year old girl.
No it doesnt that is true however if such deads were performed by doctors they would never see the light of day nor the end of lawsuits.And the public outcry would be extraordanary.I do not see how thinking people can assume that such a thing exists without being sceptical.
I am going to include one other death that occured as I found in the Skeptical Inquirer
"1997, Bronx,New York: A five year old girl died after her mother and grandmother forced her to drink a lethal cocktailcontaining ammonia,vinegar, and olive oil and then bound and gagged her with duct tape. The two women claimed that they were merely trying to poison a demon that had infested the little girl several days earlier." Why do things like this not make the #1 story across the nation as a wake-up call to people who place belief in such things.Perhaps they need to make graphic to these people how incredibly horrible and painful the death must have been not to mention the emotion horror of your mother and grandmother being the ones doing it.
I wonder if anybody out there who believes in demon possesion can tell me how they these people made an error in distinguishing demons from some other event.Is there some special formula they have for working it out? Come on guys this sort of story really brings out a need for justification.
What we know for sure: 1) There is an elderly man who was able to go without food and water for 10 days 2) he claims this ability was granted by a goddess, and 3) he claims he has not eaten in 40 years.
Notice the operative word claim. This is in contradiction to your phrase "Here is what we know for sure." As the saying goes "what they do not appreciate is not if it is possible or not but whether it is going on or not."
The same goes for demon possesion. We have a claim made and when the claims have been properly investigated they have fallen apart in the presentation of evidence.Why is it that you always lean toward a supernatural explanation to the extent of not even considering the natural explanation? He might just have been lying. Would you have me believe that this is not a possiblility?
Perhaps we should have a priest come in and try to exorcise the man under strict scientific observation. If the priest failed, what would this indicate to you (ie would it act as proof of anything)?
Good idea.You find the example and I will get in contact with CNN and CSICOP and have a real examination by competent doctors and skeptics to ascertain the veracity of the claim under conditions to eliminate deception and self-deceit.Then we could also get the information on how an exorcism is properly done and how the people performing it are confident to demonstrate that it is actual and not itself a lie or self-deceit.
Would you consider this a fair and even way to go about establishing the truth of the matter? Under scrutiny of the camera and a security force we could determine if indeed the man goes without food as he says. If he is indeed lying then it would not take much to determine that he is doing this,most especially if he appears to be well fed.
As to the question of demon possesion being true or not,again it is something that should be aired on nation wide TV over a number of cases,previously agreed to in writing by both sides,that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt[Although that will not halt unreasonable people from continuing to believe despite evidence]whether it is an actual phenomena or a bullshit run by people who are easily fooled.
Let me know what you think.
[This message has been edited by sidelined, 11-30-2003]
Holmes Sorry if I misread your post as I did miss the change in time from 66 years without food in buz's first post to your post of ten days.
I also misinterpreted this part.
"When longlife and general happiness is what these pagans appear to be experiencing, and death and intolerance is what Xianity brings to the picture, why should I not suspect if the supernatural is real Xians are following an evil death cult?"
On first read I thought you were supporting the supernatural point of view.I apologize profusely and shall sacrifice my first born in atonement.
Honestly the only evidence for the existence of god,angels and demons is personal experience. I know they exist because of my own experiences with them but i cant blame anyone here for not believing cause they havent seen them.
What personal experiences did you have with God ,angels,and demons and why do you suppose it is only you who can know about them? Just what experience did you go through and what were the events surrounding it?
"Life is not a static thing. The only people who do not change their minds are incompetents in asylums, and those in cemeteries." --Everett McKinley Dirksen
The very error of assumption on your part that demons exist is reflected in your statement here.
Suppose, for the sake of argument and testing, that demons exist.
You conveiently allow for arguement but you do no testing.Missing also is the removal of extraneous notions in order to simplify the study.You assume demons are egoistsbefore establishing their existence.This biases your investigation into demons and brings into play errors in thought. You make further assumptions in this statement.
Confusing the issue. Here we are, in a land where it is known that calling on the blood of Jesus, or holding up crossed fingers, can cast out demons.
Here we are assuming that christ exists, that demons confuse issues that crossing fingers works magic.
You could never be trusted to do a proper study of something you have a foregone conclusion upon.What makes you think that this is remotely related to investigation procedures?
How about showing us evidence seperate from your beliefs that there even exists demons.That in this day and age that people could swallow this medeival crap is frightening.
So, with the idea that demons exist, first we suppose that they do.
This is granted,however you do not proceed from there to investigate how such beings operate but fall to the bible ,c.s. lewis et al and you do no testing.
But try prayer experiments, bringing God as a truth giver into the study. I found that such experiments readily confirmed the presence of demons as normally hypothesized to exist.
Now we have you hinting at experiments but you do not give us the details of how you went about it. How do I know from what you have presented here that you have not decieved yourself or used proper controls?
A priori, I find the reluctance of many to believe that demons exist most puzzling.
The reluctance is not in believing whether it is true or not but in showing whether it is going on or not.
Talk is cheap old man,where's the beef?
------------------ Chemical kinetics firmly restrains time's arrow in the taut bow of thermodynamics for milliseconds to millennia.