You are hereNightline Face-Off: Does Satan Exist?

Nightline Face-Off: Does Satan Exist?

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By Windpressor - Posted on 16 March 2009

The devil -- also known as Satan, Lucifer and Beelzebub -- has become the primary antagonist in almost every major religion. He is seen as the rebel, a serpent and a fallen angel who tempts mortals into committing sin, and preys upon their despair. But does Satan really exist? That question will be debated Friday, March 20, when "Nightline" tackles the controversial and sensitive issue in the third installment of the "Face-Off" series.The "Nightline Face-Off" launched two years ago by asking the question "Does God Exist?" The Face-Off aired on ABCNews.com and more than 15,000 comments were posted on the Web site as viewers engaged in the debate.

The conversation will pick up with a debate on the devil in Seattle at the Mars Hill Church, moderated by Dan Harris, who covers faith issues for the network.

On one side of the debate is Deepak Chopra, famous philosopher and author of "Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment" and Bishop Carlton Pearson, author of "The Gospel of Inclusion." They will argue that Satan does not exist.

Chopra is the founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in California. He specializes in mind-body medicine and gives lectures and speeches around the world.

Pearson began his spiritual journey as a fourth-generation Pentecostal minister who enjoyed a vast following as an heir apparent to Oral Roberts. But his revelation almost a decade ago that a loving God would not condemn people to hell just because they are not Christian caused him to question the very existence of hell and the devil. It also caused him to lose the vast majority of his congregation. Since then, he has become an independent spiritual leader in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and preaches his message that God loves all mankind.

On the other side will be Pastor Mark Driscoll of the Mars Hill Church and Annie Lobert, founder of the international Christian ministry "Hookers for Jesus," who will argue that the devil does exist, and has made a personal impact on their lives.

http://abcnews.go.com

Parker's picture

Perhaps they should ask journalist Matt Baglio on the program:

The Story of a Modern-Day Exorcist
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1885372,00.html

Q: Many of the exorcisms that Father Gary witnesses are fairly low-key. What happens during the dramatic ones?

Baglio: If an exorcist sees 100 people, there are only going to be 2 or 3 that are dramatic. And I would characterize those as being when the person actually speaks to the exorcist. Quite often they'll be burping or belching or coughing or yawning. There's moaning and screaming, too. But in the stronger cases, in almost every instance, you'll have the voice. The person will speak in a demonic voice and they'll say things like, "This person belongs to us," "You have no power over us," "You can't defeat us." They are usually very dramatic in the sense that the person will be screaming at the top of their lungs. There can also be shaking. Picture a person sitting in a chair with their arms sticking straight out, their legs sticking straight out, convulsing. That's common.

But usually, the more dramatic cases deal with people who are screaming, using their voice, shoving and punching, getting up, smacking their head against the wall, just very violent. And that voice is beyond a simple mimic of a strange voice. It's very uncanny, very unnatural. And then, of course, there's vomiting, which is common. Father Carmine saw a case where a woman vomited up a small black toad that was still alive. He went to catch it and it dissolved into saliva. I had another priest who I talked to who dealt with a woman who vomited up seven little black nails, six of which dissolved into this black liquid. Father Carmine saw a woman vomiting up buckets of human sperm.

Q: Don't you think that regardless of your book or the testimonials by these priests, there are many people who aren't going to believe that exorcism is valid?

Baglio: For people to just outright discount it is a little premature. I think that there's clearly something going on here. Even if you don't believe in the devil, how do you explain the paranormal? I would dearly love if science could really explain some of these things, but until then the question is just too big to ignore.

ChefTony's picture

"Even if you don't believe in the devil, how do you explain the paranormal? I would dearly love if science could really explain some of these things, but until then the question is just too big to ignore."

Maybe it is presumption that it is "paranormal"

Diseases of the mind are probably the most difficult to understand.

Chef Tony

mazuur's picture

And a diseased mind can cause a person to do some very "strange" things too.

-Rich

-Rich

ChefTony's picture

"And a diseased mind can cause a person to do some very "strange" things too."

You mean like participating on PP! :P

Chef Tony

Virgil's picture

No way...that's not a disease. You know very well that this website is the product of the debil!

davo's picture

hmm… maybe that's certain ones are inclined to speak of us in terms of "get thee behind me…!" ROFL ;)

davo

Mick's picture

Davo,
No the only time I hear that is when I discuss Covenant Eschatology and Covenant Creation to people.

Mickey E. Denen

Paige's picture

"Baglio: For people to just outright discount it is a little premature. I think that there's clearly something going on here. Even if you don't believe in the devil, how do you explain the paranormal? I would dearly love if science could really explain some of these things, but until then the question is just too big to ignore."

LOL, lets not outright discount it! Instead, lets outright jump to the conclusion that if we can't immediately explain it, it must be demonic!

Paige

Parker's picture

"lets not outright discount it! Instead, lets outright jump to the conclusion that if we can't immediately explain it, it must be demonic"

Ah, but Paige, that person who wrote that isn't a Christian. He was a mere journalist and skeptic going along for a story. Yet what he observed led him to consider the possibility of the paranormal. He's convinced something beyond the normal natural realm is occurring. He just doesn't know what, and he's telling skeptics not to discount what's taking place.

If indeed paranormal events happen which look and act like this, what in the world lies beyond our natural realm? I ask you to answer this *hypothetical* question. Again, I'm asking a hypothetical and would like your answer.

Thanks.

Paige's picture

It doesn't matter to me if the person writing, or holding to the opinion is a Christian, or not. Jumping to conclusions happens across the board and journalists haven't been granted immunity, last I checked.

Prime example: Baglio says, "The person will speak in a demonic voice..." Really?

Paranormal events don't have to be attributed to demons or a satan, do they?

What in the world lies beyond our natural realm? I would actually phrase that this way..."What lies beyond our current knowledge and understanding of normal?" I'd answer, "A whole lot."

Paige

Ed's picture

My question is: What's a "demonic voice" sound like? Where did this "knowledge" come from?

Re: the existence of demons. I believe that evil spirits existed, because the bible refers to them. Evil spirits may still exist to do God's bidding - I'm not sure, and since I am not running around looking for them, I don't care at this point.

Satan has been personified as one person, as has the antichrist, whereas the expression "satan" means nothing more than adversary, which we know is a common term for many different people - it is not a common name, as lucifer is not (study your Latin).

The biblical adversary of God was defeated in the parousia; however, I would argue that we still encounter "satans" everywhere today - in religion, in politics, in economics. That does not mean that I believe that the "Prince of the Power of the Air" continues to exist, or ever existed as portrayed by fundamentalist Christianity.

I do believe that the "paranormal" exists. Whether that means it is demon-related, I don't believe so.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Parker's picture

Hi Ed.

Please take a look at my recent responses to Paige, and feel free to continue to comment. I'm looking for characterizations and theories concerning these real phenomena.

I'm asking Paige and others to answer my questions without pre-conclusions so I can evaluate responsible suggestions to what's gong on. I'm very unsatisfied with most "naturalistic" answers that I've read. Such answers seem extremely disconnected from the physical facts of the real cases and disconnected from any scientific evidences in their support.

What do you propose is taking place in these vile extreme explosions of the human being? Why are they sometimes accompanied by paranormal physical events outside the people observing? (objects flying, furniture moving, languages not learned, knowledge unknowable to the subjects, etc.)

Parker's picture

Paige: It doesn't matter to me if the person writing, or holding to the opinion is a Christian, or not. Jumping to conclusions...

Parker: If a skeptic, after observing alleged cases, walks away warning people that something paranormal does seem to be taking place, it seems unreasonable to merely dismiss that person's eyewitness testimony.

Paige: Baglio says, "The person will speak in a demonic voice..." Really?

Parker: The journalist used the term in a colloquial way. He was not saying he believes in demons, but rather that the voices were so terrifyingly evil seeming. And that phenomenon is what I'm asking you to characterize from a purely hypothetical stance. Again: assuming that this journalist indeed saw these horrifying things with his eyes and ears, what is your answer to the causes and forces. We know that human beings don't act this way under natural circumstances. So what is causing these evil-seeming terrifying outbursts and related paranormal phenomena?

Paige: Paranormal events don't have to be attributed to demons or a satan, do they?

Parker: This is what I'm asking. Since preterists begin these discussions with a seeming pre-conclusion, I'm interested in what they propose that responsibly addresses these real phenomena. Who can deny that these experiences are terrifyingly evil and horrid and hellish? So, if one begins with the pre-conclusion that no evil forces exist, then what?

Paige: What in the world lies beyond our natural realm? I would actually phrase that this way..."What lies beyond our current knowledge and understanding of normal?" I'd answer, "A whole lot."

Parker: But why do you pre-conclude that the natural realm is all that exists? Is God part of the natural realm in your mind? Or does God's existence prove the existence of a non-natural realm?

I look forward to your answers.

Paige's picture

Parker,

Did I pre-conclude that? God is part of the natural realm, as He is it's creator, and according to Rev. He dwells with man. Beyond that, why should I speculate?

Cancer can be hellish for those going through it. Should we now chalk that one up to demonic activity too?

You may never be satisfied with "my answers" and that is OK; find your own. You don't need my approval, or agreement to believe, or not believe something...

Paige

Parker's picture

Paige,

I'm interested in hearing your answers to specific questions.

First, you are the only person I know who believes God is part of the natural realm. Given your presupposition, it makes sense that you pre-conclude all possible outcomes in life must be nature based.

But virtually everyone else believes God is outside of nature, which means these folks accept the existence of a NON-nature realm--a parallel universe of sorts, or extra dimensions. And people who believe there is a non-nature realm are open to NON-nature explanations to seeming paranormal events.

The comparison with cancer fails, for we have located the cause and effect of cancer. But we do not have proven natural scientific explanations for paranormal events like the ones sometimes discussed as "possession cases."

I'm trying to get some serious answers to this issue, not trivial or snarky dismissals.

The fact is that unbiased observers (and even skeptics) who show up to watch so-called possession cases become terrified by what they see and hear and smell with their own five senses. Indeed, the documentary evidence is deeply disturbing to any person.

And so I ask again: what is going on in these cases? What are the forces causing these actions? Why are these phenomena utterly terrifying and evil and debasing to the human person?

Paige's picture

Parker,

Communication with you is near impossible. I'm entitled to see as I do. I don't need your permission to have my own opinion. You set up every scenario as an either/or. Nothing can ever be both/and. God dwells with man, so is he here, or not?

For me to say that God is part of the natural realm, does not then imply that I believe He is bound to it, or that there is not some other realm besides the natural. Your words are not mine, Parker. If God dwells in me, and I am present in the natural realm; is God not also present in it?

"But we do not have proven natural scientific explanations for paranormal events like the ones sometimes discussed as "possession cases.""

Something unknown today, may seemingly ONLY be explained with your so called, "NON-nature" explanations. So what? Long ago, epilepsy was thought to be demon possession. Did that make it so? Did we learn more about it, and learn how to treat it? Or, are we to assume it still to be possession by demons?

"The fact is that unbiased observers (and even skeptics) who show up to watch so-called possession cases become terrified by what they see and hear and smell with their own five senses."

Again, so what? People getting freaked out proves what? People see unexplainable lights in the sky, call them UFO's, and then jump to the conclusion that there are Martian visitors too. Does this make their explanation of the lights true?

There could be all kinds of things going on in these cases, and because I am not able to give some kind of satisfactory (to you) answer right this moment, does not then automatically mean that everything happening must be demonic. That was my original point to entering this conversation in the first place.

If you don't like what I have to say, so be it. This is the last time I'll be responding to you on this topic.

Paige

Parker's picture

Paige,

God pre-existed the material cosmos. That means there is another realm of existence unrelated to, transcendent of, and distinct from our current physical world. (Yes, God permeates and is the glue of the physical cosmos, but he pre-exists it as well and is no way subject to the natural world.)

This means that the trans-natural or super-natural exists. And, when we go about researching all reality, we may in fact encounter phenomena that are caused by forces in the trans-natural/super-natural realms.

Paranormal events are the sorts of phenomena that force us to consider the possibility of trans-natural causes. Events like cancer do NOT force us to look for trans-natural causation.

For the sake of discussion, I'm entirely willing to let preterists have their pre-conclusion of "no demons." But having made that concession, I'm asking them to provide real answers that responsibly address the horrible, vile, vicious, terrifying human-destroying forces unleashed during so-called possession cases.

And, unfortunately, I'm not getting any satisfying scientific answers. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

ChefTony's picture

I believe, Parker, that the onious is on you to provide that there is a "supernatural" event taking place. I purpose that all that is taking place is a natural, but abnormal condition cause by some mentle defect.

Likewise, good brother, I'm not getting any satisfying "paranormal" answers either. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.th

Be well Good Parker!
Chef Tony

Chef Tony

mazuur's picture

"Since preterists begin these discussions with a seeming pre-conclusion"

I start with what the Bible clearly teaches. Since it teaches "Satan" was finished at AD 70, than that is that. No different than trying to prove God exist. The Bible states He does (and assumes that from the get go, it never tries to prove it either), so I start there and define existence through that paradigm.

"Who can deny that these experiences are terrifyingly evil...and hellish?"

I can, because the Bible teaches otherwise. Now they may be horrid or really freaky, but so what? That is a matter of personal feeling. Marilyn Manson may feel right at home around such things.

"So what is causing these evil-seeming terrifying outbursts and related paranormal phenomena?"

A state of mind that is either self-induced or convinced by others. Not to mention, I'm still waiting to see some of this so-called "paranormal phenomena". Any "priest" every taken a video camera to an exorcism so we can see these flying chairs and moving tables?

Heck, I watch that show "Ghost Busters" all the time and they have yet to ever catch anything on camera. And they go looking for it! And how come these demons/ghost don't want to be seen? Seems like today we should have all kinds of footage of them doing their thing, whatever that is.

I think people have watched The Exorcist too many times.

-Rich

-Rich

Barry's picture

Satan is within the context of covenant eschatology, types and figures dependent.

The biblical adversarial setting given for the Adversary in question, whatever that may be, has standing only while the types and figures have standing.

Other "adversarial" proposals and propositions other than that which is attached to the types and figures of covenant eschatology are not the Satan of the Bible whatever they may or may not be.

Quote:
Since it teaches "Satan" was finished at AD 70, than that is that.
End quote.

Yes, exactly.

Barry

we are all in this together

Parker's picture

Hey Mazuur,

My line of questioning allows you to hold your theological beliefs as you have stated them. **But it then proceeds to ask for your rational scientific explanation about what is causing these phenomena.**

What I'm finding is that the suggested answers from Paige (and now you) are not answers at all. They don't come close to a serious attempt at explaining what is taking place.

Your best attempt is a proposition that these are self-induced states of mind. But for that to be valid, you would need to show lots of support that such "self-induced states" are known within common human psychology. Yet such proposed "states" aren't addressed in human psychology as it has been currently researched and developed--that is, modern psychology has no answers. So we're left without any good answers.

Next, you admit you have no first-hand experience or observation of such cases to begin with. So, you're admitting some ignorance about the phenomena altogether. Paige appears to be just as ignorant on the topic and yet just as opinionated (she even views God as a part of nature). That's not very helpful to investigating truth.

I'm glad to hear you call for empirical documentation of such cases. That's what the journalist of the Time magazine article received by GOING to exorcisms to witness them for himself. And he, after witnessing events firsthand, concluded: "For people to just outright discount it is a little premature. I think that there's clearly something going on here. Even if you don't believe in the devil, how do you explain the paranormal? I would dearly love if science could really explain some of these things, but until then, the question is just too big to ignore."

I suspect that this journalist is correct: namely, these phenomena take place, and we have no good natural explanations for them. We may wish it was otherwise, but wishing things doesn't make them so.

mazuur's picture

Hey Parker,

"how do you explain the paranormal?"

Did this "journalist" take a video camera? I doubt it. hmmmmm......that's a funny thing being a journalist and all. This is 2009 after all.

"Your best attempt is a proposition that these are self-induced states of mind. But for that to be valid, you would need to show lots of support that such "self-induced states" are known within common human psychology."

If the Bible rules out the supernatural, than what do you have left? It that's easy Parker.

Also, there is a large number of video's showing people working themselves into an alternate state of mind. I've watched such behavior. Ever visited a pentecostal Church? You'll see it there all the time. You don't think these people who are "convinced" that being slain in the Spirit is real, really do "pass out" when the "pastor" touches them on the forehead? And that all takes place on Sunday morning.

Then you move onto what some of these African (or Haitians, which I've been to) tribes do while sitting around beating on their drums for hour on end until they've worked themselves into a frenzy/alternate state of mind.

It's either self-induced or they are convinced by someone they believe (spiritual leader ie. priest or pastor).

-Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Rich,

I wish you would adopt the scientific method approach for studying this.

Instead of saying, the bible says such and such, I'm asking instead that you simply observe the phenomena and begin looking for natural explanations. If you find them, great. But if you can't, then what?

I am arguing that all believers in God also must by necessity believe in a realm that is transcendent from and parallel to the physical natural universe. And, since believers in God accept that the spiritual realm intersects in some way with the physical natural realm, I suspect that we should be open to that explanation with certain phenomena we observe in our world.

The alternative states theory is nice, but it falls short because possession cases so often involve accompanying external physical events (levitation, flying objects, etc). In addition to those, they often include demonstrations of knowledge (such as perfect use of foreign human languages) unknown to the subject. These and many other accompanying paranormal activity are not explainable by the "internal state of mind" thesis, whatever that might entail.

ChefTony's picture

PARKER SAID: "I suspect that we should be open to that explanation with certain phenomena we observe in our world.

The alternative states theory is nice, but it falls short because possession cases so often involve accompanying external physical events (levitation, flying objects, etc)."

Good Parker, you have not proven your presupposition of "demon possession" or a "paranormal" event has taken place either.

Parker said:
"And, since believers in God accept that the spiritual realm intersects in some way with the physical natural realm"

Good Parker, this is jumping to conclusions. Maybe for some believers, but not all believers; I think this is an obvious categorical mistake on your part

Chef Tony

Parker's picture

Chef Tony,

These phenomena are well documented, and the Time magazine piece is merely one example of a skeptic "going along to see what happens" and coming out of the session deeply disturbed by what was seen and heard.

The events are happening, Chef. The question is: What is causing these terror-inducing, horrid, life-destroying, human exploding events to occur? There simply aren't any believable natural explanations at present, as our fine skeptic reporter notes. It's a total mystery.

Finally, it's not jumping to conclusions to suggest that all believers in the Christian God on principle accept that the spiritual realm intersects the physical natural realm. Christians may disagree on how intersection takes place, but they do not disagree that the intersection takes place. Even Paige admits that God, a spirit being, permeates our physical cosmos in some way. So she admits interaction between the physical and spiritual realms.

Therefore, the question becomes: To what degree does intersection occur? Are paranormal events caused from that intersection since they defy natural causes and laws of physics?

mazuur's picture

"so often involve accompanying external physical events (levitation, flying objects, etc). In addition to those, they often include demonstrations of knowledge (such as perfect use of foreign human languages) unknown to the subject."

Wrong! I have yet to see this, except in the movies. Stuff like this is always perpetuated along through interactions like we are having right now, but no prove is ever provided.

It doesn't happen Parker.

-Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Ah, but it does happen, as our fine Time magazine author himself discovered by checking into it firsthand. We don't know the causes, but something physical and gravely horrid happens.

For example, the documentation of the 1949 St. Louis Exorcism case includes a host of eyewitnesses: hospital staff members, medical and psychology experts, family and extended members, clergy from multiple denominations. As many as 40 signed eyewitnesses swore to having seen paranormal activity associated with the case. Activities such as:

Bed's full violent movement which continued night after night.

The 13-year-old boy began speaking Hebrew and Latin.

Self-moving armchair, comb, milk, orange, coats, and desks in the boy's room.

Bloody scratches on the boy's body.

Skin branding words like "WELL" and "SPITE" and "LOUIS."

Smells, clouds, and other physical phenomena which accompanied the boy's tortured screaming, vomiting, defecating and spitting.

Virgil's picture

Parker, strangely enough these events only seem to happen in low-income, un-educated countries or neighborhoods inhabited by people prone to accepting magic and other super-natural events like the ones you are describing.

There is no biblical support requiring faith for accepting belief in Satan, so until I see it, I hate to be the empiricist in the ointment, but I cannot accept second-hand stories which cannot be verified or confirmed.

Parker's picture

Virgil, you're talking to an empiricist. I wouldn't be having this discussion, nor would I be a Christian, if there wasn't reliable empirical evidences of certain trans-natural claims.

I don't bother discussing any claims of the miraculous/paranormal that don't have significant eyewitness testimony collaborated by multiple eyewitnesses.

But that's why I like the Time magazine article I posted. It shows that unbelieving skeptics brave enough to show up at possession cases walk away deeply shaken up by what they see and hear. They become disturbed by the total inability of science to address what is taking place. And that's a reasonable response, given what they witness.

Possession cases must be studied using scientific standards and methods of research. When this takes place, we find that many of the phenomena associated with these cases defy known laws of physics.

mazuur's picture

Parker,

Time mag didn't witness anything like that. Sure he put in his book what he "heard" presented in a classroom, and what he was told what so and so saw, but again, never any proof.

The 1949. Who knows what all went on. Are you telling me all those people (49) were in the room during the "exorcism"? I doubt it. Why is it that no cameras are ever at these? Is the demon suddenly not going to react when there is a camera present? Seems if he is being "driven out", then he can be driven out whether cameras are there or not. Funny, how these things are always done behind closed doors.

The day they take an independent film crew into an exorcism and video the whole thing where paranormal activity happens is the day I will start considering a scientific explanation.

What is also interesting is, if all these demons are out there and can enter into people, then it seems to me there would be thousands of cases, not a one off here and there.

-Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

No offense, Rich, but you obviously aren't well researched on the topic.

So-called possession cases are horrific, they terrify everyone involved (skeptics included), and they are often well documented. If we were to think of them as strictly medical cases, they would represent the most terrifying of medical conditions known to human kind. They are nothing less than the physical and psychological explosion of the human person. These cases baffle medical authorities at the present time.

mazuur's picture

parker,

no offense, but neither are you. You merely want to believe it, so you just accept the same old stories being pass along from person to person.

You speak of documentation, yet none is ever given except so and so saw this or that. C'mon man.

-Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Actually, Rich, I'd rather not consider supernatural explanations. I'm predisposed against them.

Unfortunately, eyewitness testimony from hundreds of cases--combined with the medical community's inability to provide answers--compels reasonable people to remain open minded and curious. That is, only unreasonable people reject corroborating eyewitness testimony of multiple eyewitnesses. (For that is the highest form of legal evidence known in human experience. )

A person who rejects corroborating testimony of multiple eyewitnesses rejects our entire court system and has no better form of proofs at his or her disposal.

mazuur's picture

Parker,

Here is an exorcism in Islam, I suppose a demon also has to fear the god of Islam and depart from a Muslim.

http://paranormal.about.com/od/demonsandexorcism/a/aa052906.htm

-Rich

-Rich

foxworthy's picture

People should read Deuteronomy 28 The Blessings if the Israelites kept the covenenant or the curses if they broke it...Gow would send madness, blindness, astonishment of heart etc etc etc...The 1st century "possessions" were caused by God because they broke his covenant. Jesus came to break the curse.

mazuur's picture

I've never considered Duet 28 in that light. Have to give it another read.

-Rich

-Rich

davo's picture

Parker… since you propose that there are no proficient psychological or psychiatric answers to such supposedly "demonic" scenarios, [??], what according to your own requirement is your **rational scientific explanation** for said demonisations? – I'm after your own "rational scientific explanation"…

davo

Parker's picture

I don't know.

It would be easy to subscribe to the "internal mental states" thesis if cases didn't often involve paranormal activities *external to the person* witnessed by many different people with many levels of skepticism.

External accompanying phenomena debunk the "internal states" theory.

davo's picture

Ok… then with regards to **rational scientific explanation** is it reasonable to be demanding the same of others then?

Further, I wonder if "abnormal" might be a more appropriate word than your somewhat suggestive and evocative term "paranormal"?

davo

Parker's picture

"Further, I wonder if "abnormal" might be a more appropriate word than your somewhat suggestive and evocative term paranormal?"

"Paranormal" is the right term, for it gets at the issue much more accurately and clearly. Namely, what do we do with activities and events that break known laws of physics? Such things cannot be said to just be rare exceptions, statistical outliers, or "out of the ordinary." An object that propels itself across the room is not a mere rarity. A human being that has immediate use of foreign languages never learned is not merely "out of the ordinary."

We're dealing with the realm of the paranormal, and the only people who doubt it are those ignorant of cases, people who haven't witnessed the extent of possession cases. I like the Time magazine piece I posted, for it shows what happens when unbelieving skeptics sit in on exorcisms. They become deeply disturbed by what they see and hear, and they search in vain for science to provide answers---but no believable answers come.

Indeed science has no answer yet, and if possession cases are messy intersections between the natural and spiritual realms, we may never have good answers.

mazuur's picture

"I like the Time magazine piece I posted, for it shows what happens when unbelieving skeptics sit in on exorcisms."

And if you read the article closely you'll find he saw none of the paranormal activities.

For example the article states, "If an exorcist sees 100 people, there are only going to be 2 or 3 that are dramatic. And I would characterize those as being when the person actually speaks to the exorcist. Quite often they'll be burping or belching or coughing or yawning. There's moaning and screaming too. But in the stronger cases, in almost every instance, you'll have the voice. The person will speak in a demonic voice, and they'll say things like, "This person belongs to us," "You have no power over us," "You can't defeat us." They are usually very dramatic in the sense that the person will be screaming at the top of their lungs. There can also be shaking. Picture a person sitting in a chair with their arms sticking straight out, their legs sticking straight out, convulsing. That's common.

But usually, the more dramatic cases deal with people who are screaming, using their voice, shoving and punching, getting up, smacking their head against the wall — just very violent. And that voice is beyond a simple mimic of a strange voice. It's very uncanny, very unnatural. And then, of course, there's vomiting, which is common. Father Carmine saw a case where a woman vomited up a small black toad that was still alive. He went to catch it, and it dissolved into saliva. I had another priest who I talked to who dealt with a woman who vomited up seven little black nails, six of which dissolved into this black liquid. Father Carmine saw a woman vomiting up buckets of human sperm."

notice the reported saw none of the paranormal things. He only speaks of the person talking. And even that he doesn't say he saw it, but I think one can conclude it from the context.

-Rich

-Rich

Windpressor's picture

***************

" ... it dissolved into saliva. I had another priest
who I talked to who dealt with a woman who
vomited up seven little black nails, six of which
dissolved into this black liquid. Father Carmine
saw a woman vomiting up buckets of human sperm."

OK. Was the 7th nail secured and analyzed?
The "buckets of human sperm" have a lab
analysis report with a count of wigglers and
preserved ... uh where?

This is so much like the "Truth Stranger than Fiction"
books I read as a teen. I couldn't sleep at night for fear
of ghostly or demonic apparitions or that I could suddenly
disappear, or actually burst into flame spontaneously
[SHC might have a scientific explanation].
Well, I outgrew that and later thought Carlos Castaneda
was telling the truth about a sorcerer's ability to navigate
through a separate reality.
I recall having similar experiences in my youth.
I would make a surprising transition from a visit to other
realms where I had secure hold of a handful of quarters
or some prized object. Some how in the transport, I would
find myself in bed opening my eyes and look at my tightly
clasped hand for real things that had mysteriously disappeared.
There must be something about that place that won't allow
bringing stuff out.

I sure hope Sam and Dean Winchester win the fight
against the Demon invasion and stop the outbreak
of the Apocalypse.

................................

G-Juan Wind

mazuur's picture

One also might ask, how do they know it was human sperm? hmmmmm

Concerning Sam and Dean. Ah, now were talking. My favorite show, and I watch it religiously. Do those boys rock or what? I am really wanting to see Lilith get it. The one thing I don't like about the show how they portray of angels. Of course Biblically that have nothing right, but it's great entertainment.

-Rich

-Rich

Virgil's picture

FYI - this debate will be aired on Mach 26 on Nightline and ABCnews.com

foxworthy's picture

Beelzebub in the Old Testament was just an idol. Idols were things they made with their hands and bowed down to worship them...similar to what most Christians do with this idea of satan....Satan only means adversary. Man is God's adversary not some fallen angel.

ChefTony's picture

AMEN!

Chef Tony

Virgil's picture

Why do you think so many people miss the point you just made and instead they tend to personalize Satan?

ChefTony's picture

Hi Virgil!

Tradition, mostly.

Hey Virgil, did you see the video I sent to you yet? Did you even get it?

Chef Tony

Virgil's picture

I am not sure which video you mean - send me an email and let me know.

Islamaphobe's picture

I'm with you! For me the big question is has he emerged from the abyss? I am inclined to believe that he may have done so.

John S. Evans

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