"The disease was believed to be delivered upon the people by the displeasure of the gods, by other supernatural powers or, by heavenly disturbance. Innocent groups of people were blamed for spreading plague and were persecuted by the panicked masses."
I know of exactly zero studies at the CDC that investigate demonic forces being responsible for illnesses. Exactly zero.
Why should I believe that a _supernatural being_ cannot completely overpower the chemical constituents of brain chemistry? This is beyond comprehensible to my mind. I have known people who were put through so much nonsense because a church wanted them to have demons exorcised when their doctors said, "No, this person has a problem with their brain chemistry."
And, here is another absurdity of various theologies regarding Satan and the demons. We are told that they are all about glory, and in the past they manifested physical phenomena in the world, such as the video on http://www.milkmiracle.com, or other things.
A pastor told me that the reason I should believe that Many Saints came back from the dead and were Seen By Many in Matthew 27:52 despite no secular historical accounts of this is that God can do anything. His reasoning for not outright _disbelieving_ in miracles in other religions was that Demon Activity is responsible.
Ok, then let's go with that theology. Given that logic, why do the demons not get on CNN and multiply food in the name of a false God? Does God not allow it? If so, why does he allow all these fundamentalists to see demonic activity over there or just around the corner, but they can never present video evidence of something like demons being cast out of a man and tossed into a herd of swine?
Something is just not right with this picture.
Why does Satan not possess someone or Many People on TV and make they pay homage to Osama bin Laden, then have them kill themselves and then manifest a puff of smoke that exits their nostrils and ascends, showing the soul "going up" to heaven?
Well, obviously, God has his angels guarding against such infestations of the demon forces. This is certainly the most parsimonious explanation since we _know_ via scripture that demons exist, right? God is orchestrating legions of demons such that they never perform physically irrefutable satanic miracles on television the likes of which would leave no doubt of the supernatural.
The next rebuttal is that demons are only allowed to _influence_ behavior, not force behavior. Ok, fine, then do demons only do this in those who do not have the Holy Spirit indwelling? And do fundamentalist nuts that kill people have the holy spirit or just _think_ they do? What is the discerning factor in determining whether someone _really_ has the spirit?
Christians like to say that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". Well, is "presence of evidence evidence of presence?" So, present the evidence. Get Satan and the demons on CNN, tonight, and have them regrow a severed hand in the name of Osama bin Laden. This would draw _max_ glory away from Jesus Christ, the True Lord and Savior, would it not? I guess that won't happen though, because God won't allow it and the angels are battling against it. God only lets Satan go so far as to influence actions, like directing jets into twin towers and then manifesting puffs of smoke in the likeness of Lucifer.
Let's face facts: nobody believes in the same God. No two people anywhere have ever believed in the same God. Whatever your conception of God is, it is not the same as mine or anybody elses by virture of the imprints within our brains. Whatever this universe is, it exists independent of us, but our conceptions are how we understand it. The scientific method has helped weed out charlatanism and superstitionism and while it may never ultimately describe the exact nature of the universe, I think it fully reasonable to believe that the theology of demons and satan is ludicrous, unless you want to let those people in Africa believe that the gods are really angry at them and that is why they get disease.
What about Goblins, huh? Doesn't anybody believe in Goblins?
Yes, I agree it's within. I do not believe there are beings outside orchestrating chemical imbalances in people's brains or causing people in Africa to become sick. In my opinion, "Satan" is a personification of evil caused by self-deluded egotism and unwillingness to accept personal responsibility.
But, so long as the populaces at large do not see the figurative underlying meaning of these things, there will always be fanatical leaders who can rally people against another people, touting something like, "My god can beat up your god." Christ versus Allah, the sequel.
Interesting ideas! I don't think human nature has changed all that much despite all the technology and books and writings. Maybe we describe it in different ways today, but the basic ideas that people have always tried to wrestle with are still there. This 7 business reminds of another ancient idea, the 7 chakras, but I don't really remember much about them other than some of them being "base" and animalistic while the others were more human and higher-thinking.