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.
This is amazing in and of itself. I think it's important to investigate this further from a purely mechanical/physical perspective, but one can surely not discount out of hand "supernatural" elements... one can doubt with good reason, but it will not be known until further investigation is made.
Until the situation is understood, we can still address Buz's points by granting the supernatural as an explanation, for the sake of argument.
All he was asking is (if the supernatural is involved) is this guy being possessed by a demon to enjoy the extraordinary powers he obviously has (even if it really wasn't for 40 years)?
Unfortunately I feel the form of the question creates a bit of a stock dilemma. Here are some alternative supernatural theories:
1) He really was blessed by a goddess 2) He was blessed by God and mistook it for a goddess (of a religion he understood) 3) He has achieved a higher spiritual reality all on his own and mistakenly attributes it to the blessing of a supernatural being.
My first question to buz is how would we determine which theory is correct?
The man appears to be ruling over no one and wholly separate from cannibalism so I am uncertain why the other example (whose veracity is much more dubious) holds sway here.
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)?
As a nonXian I must also wonder why I am not believe this poor pagan's story, and view Xians as servants of demonic (evil) forces. After all good and evil is simply tomayto tomahto from the viewpoint of those within religion.
This man is peace loving, yet your immediate characterization (from a Xian perspective) is of evil. Your analogous story is a disturbing tale of a missionary that when confronted by an extraordinary woman of old age and respect within her community, kills her in order to spread his faith (freeing them of their own, which is as you yourself state was not a cannibal tribe).
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?
This is not meant as sarcasm, but real questions which arise once the supernatural enters the picture.
quote:Notice the operative word claim. This is in contradiction to your phrase "Here is what we know for sure."
Actually there is no contradiction at all. What we know for sure is he CLAIMS etc etc. That is why the last two points are separate from the first. We know he went for ten days without food and water, the rest are merely claims and require much more investigation.
quote:Why is it that you always lean toward a supernatural explanation to the extent of not even considering the natural explanation? ... Would you have me believe that this is not a possiblility?
I am unsure what you are talking about. Is this addressed to me or to buz? I think there should be a natural investigation and my post said that (ie the reference to physical/mechanical perspective). In fact I am confident that is exactly where answers will be found.
This fakir could very well be a liar, but one thing is for certain and that is he didn't fake not eating and drinking for ten whole days (neither did he piss or sh**). That is pretty damn impressive and worth investigating.
That whole 160 year old lady exorcised by a priest totally sounds like a ripping yarn (ie a fake) and so I didn't really deal with it at all, except after granting it's veracity FOR SAKE OF ARGUMENT. I don't have to believe it at all, in order to address the problems it raises if it is true.
quote:Let me know what you think.
I am totally on board that if an exorcism were to be conducted... to prove the fakir is actually demon possessed... that it ought to be monitored by as many scientists with as many possible detection devices possible.
I'm unsure why a security force is needed (the guy looks like a toothpick).
You seem to be skeptical about whether the fakir actually went 10 days without food and water. Did you read Primordial Egg's post? It contained two different sources on the story. I suppose they could be fake, or something that will turn out later to be a hoax perpetrated on honest journalists. But I can't go around assuming that each story is a hoax because it seems extraordinary. It just needs to be checked up on.
Frankly I wish those scientists had extended the experiment to 60 days. If there were no signs of peril at 10, it seems to me that more data (and a much more incredible exhibition of human endurance) would have been worthwhile.
You understood most of my post was with an assumption that he was right, simply to address the next logical problems he would face?
quote:1. According to the doctors in the hospital, there is an elderly man who was able to go without food and water for 10 days.
You are absolutely right, and the change will make the statement more accurate.
I looked at the articles to see where I could find possible methods of the fakir being a faker. The fact that he had a sealed toilet was a pretty shrewd move on the doctors' part. That means it was pretty unlikely he was pissing or defecating during that time, whether or not he managed to sneak in food or water, unless of course he could somehow avoid detection during those activities and sneak those things out.
I did note that one of the pictures showed a devotee being allowed to come in and visit the guy. That surely sent up signals of possible fraud. I think what would be more helpful in this analysis is knowing how he was monitored, how visits to him were regulated, and if all visitors were checked for anything that could carry in/out material.
I was also affected by his loss of ten pounds. It seemed the doctors should have wondered about this loss. If his body was self-sustaining and had been so for 40+ years, why would he suddenly lose ten pounds. In fact 10 pounds over 10 days is a pretty big drop (especially for such a thin, elderly man).
This is why I am less likely to believe his body is self-sustaining, and more than likely (if the hospital report is true) this guy just has much greater level of endurance (perhaps slowing down metabolic activity, including needs).
Hey, what about talking burning bushes, and some entity telling Moses to go kill all men women and children that don't believe as he does. Today we'd call a man that did so, because a voice told him to do so, insane. If he wasn't crazy, why is that god constantly killing people, or having people kill other people, rather than promoting peace and love and fertility?
He also seems to hate knowledge of anything except for what he says.
If any other "cult" said that, wouldn't they be considered demonic?
[This message has been edited by holmes, 12-01-2003]
quote:1. ... I've also explained that any OT God sanctioned killing was disignated to a specific nation for a specific purpose in a specific time in history so as to establish a kingdom of God on earth, some day to be headed by a messianic king over the whole planet. Thus the restoration of the nation of Israel in our time for that purpose.
And this is different from other nations killing to establish their kingdom, or their Gods' kingdom on earth, how? This reads exactly like your claims of why we should be fearing Islam in your other thread.
quote:2... effecting upon earth a utopia of peace, health with long life and prosperity. This is also prophesied by several OT prophets.
And this is different from Islamic promises of a utopia on earth, how?
quote:3... A new heaven and earth void of evil will then be created with the redeemed of earth residing in what is called the NEW JERUSALEM where the streets of gold, pearly gates and river of life will exist for eternity beyond.
This is different from Islamic visions of paradise, and so motivation to support the Islamic cause, how?
quote:4. This all indicates that likely this earth was made to effect the demise of evil in the universe and we humans are caught up in the warfare between good and evil in the universe.
This is not what Genesis says AT ALL. If you can decide not to read Genesis literally with regard to purpose, then why not to method?
What I find interesting is that the Fakir who did not eat or drink (the original topic of this thread) was not advocating death or destruction leading to an ultimate utopia, yet you call him demon possessed. How can you read your own words regarding the death, suffering, and destruction your God has supposedly planned for earth, and not wonder if maybe you are being seduced by a demon?
holmes "...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)