An interesting question. I suspect not--not because there are no demons, though I believe that there are not--but because, if there were, they would supposedly be 1) beyond natural law, and 2) utterly deceitful, both for strategic purposes and because it is allegedly inherent to their nature.
#2 would mean that they would not wish to allow such documentation, and #3 would mean that they would always have the advantage, would always be able to 'cheat,' to make it seem there was some other explanation for whatever they were doing. That's probably partly why the idea is enduring (apart from the sheer paranoid self-aggrandizement of believing that humans are so important as to be the focus of attention of creatures so powerful and transcendant)--it contains its own built-in antidote to any form of reality-testing.
Just like many other brands of conspiracy theory.
"Demoniac possession" is not a physical entity. It is psychic process only. psychic processes can never be experimentally proved in laboratory.
200 years ago, it was widely believed that all diseases were caused by demons. Then we discovered bacteria and viruses and understood what really caused disease.
We've made great advances in neuroscience, but much about the brain is still a mystery. I'm confident that, in time, science will "exorcise" demons from the mental disorders that religious groups cling to as "demonic possession."
I don't think it could be entirely by physical science as this event is on a psychic level rather than physical. Although many of the manifestations would seem to appear as physical phenomena. Many who study these cases are in two camps I think. Firstly you do have groups who believe that they have come across some cases which indicate that demonic posession had occurred - this includes the 'victim' having knowledge they couldn't possibly know through usual means, or speaking in an ancient language not known to the general public and so on. So basically what these groups feel is that if a person displays a number of points from a check list, over a certain period of time, then they would conclude that demonic posession was involved. For them, this is proof.
However, other researchers would say that these incidents don't 'prove' that a demon is involved. That it could be some other entity or cause for the events. They also believe that many victims who are alleged to have been posessed were under the influence of psychological suggestion - perhaps being told by family or a spiritual leader that they were posessed - and so they sub-consciously displayed charateristics of posession. Given the power of the sub-conscious I would imagine that these displays could be impressive.
This is not to say the demons don't exist, but it's difficult to prove just by physical manifestation of events.
There is a fine line between belief and truth, the documentation is the "key to truth". Truth is only truth if it is "proven". The key to proof is documentation, at what point does documentation = proof? How many eyewitnesses and what quality of witness? what makes a good witness? a preist a psychologistpsychiatrist? psycic? its all too ethereal...
I have to disagree with @Medicinefuture, respectfully. Most belief systems regard demonic possession as a psychical and physical process, as they believe that the demon is trying to force the will of a person into submission so that the demon can be the dominant will in the body, thus take over it.
Possession is technically in the DSM, the official diagnostic criteria reference of the American Psychiatric Association. It does not state "demonic possession" however. In the “DSM-IV-TR™", Under the code # 300.15 - Dissociative Disorders Not Other Specified, paragraph 4, it is stated:
“4. Dissociative trance disorder: single or episodic disturbance in the state of consciousness, identity, or memory that are indigenous to particular location and cultures. Dissociative trance involves narrowing of awareness of immediate surroundings or stereotyped behaviors or movements that are experienced as being beyond one’s control. Possession trance involves replacement of the customary sense of personal identity by a new identity, attributed to the influence of a spirit, power, deity, or another person, and associated with stereotyped “involuntary” movements or amnesia and is perhaps the most common Dissociative Disorder in Asia. Examples include amok (Indonesia), bebainan (Indonesia), latah (Malaysia), pibloktoq (Arctic), ataque de nervos (Latin America), and possession (India). The dissociative or trance disorder is not a normal part of a broadly accepted collective cultural or religious practice.”
Demonic possession is often documented when an exorcism occurs. The Catholic Church requires exorcisms to be documented, but I am not sure of other denominations or religions. If it can be "properly documented" is really a matter of opinion, what you mean by "properly documented" as well.
by Harlan Colt 5 years ago
Mental Illness VS Demonic possessionIn Jesus day, he expelled many devils from possessed people. Do we today, confuse demonic possession for certain forms of mental illness? I believe there is a difference, but... what would you say is the difference? How does one know the difference?
by Jacob 8 years ago
What does the Bible say about demon possession / demonic possession?
by thoughthole 9 years ago
In a case of demonic possesion what is it that the possesor is trying to acheive, and why? Is the objective to have a romp in human form, to make people aware, to be a terrorist of sorts, or something else?
by Tony Lawrence 10 years ago
Anyone who thinks they are possessed by demons is obviously mentally ill, but we have hubbers here who think this is real and that it has a religious solution.I would support laws requiring secular intervention and fining or otherwise punishing any church or individual involved in...
by Kathryn L Hill 8 years ago
I think they can be proved but one must be open to the reality of intuitive perceptions and spiritually based practices. For instance, mediums open themselves up to spirits from beyond the physical plane. However, one must not be skeptical and proclaim that the mediumis just acting.
by Tammy 8 years ago
What is considered Demonic Posession?I had a person ask me one day what I would consider demonic posession. I could only think of biblical answers but was curious where this topic was going? The person asking was wondering where good and bad ghosts came into play with haunting people, which led to...
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