Can demonic posession be properly documented? Proved?

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  1. ananceleste profile image59
    anancelesteposted 9 years ago

    Can demonic posession be properly documented? Proved?

  2. Doc Snow profile image92
    Doc Snowposted 9 years ago

    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.

  3. MickS profile image60
    MickSposted 9 years ago

    How can you prove that which doesn't exist?

  4. medicinefuture profile image56
    medicinefutureposted 9 years ago

    "Demoniac possession" is not a physical  entity. It is psychic process only. psychic processes can never be experimentally proved in laboratory.

  5. scottcgruber profile image73
    scottcgruberposted 9 years ago

    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."

  6. Seeker7 profile image89
    Seeker7posted 9 years ago

    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.

  7. tom hellert profile image61
    tom hellertposted 9 years ago

    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...

  8. eapratte profile image59
    eapratteposted 9 years ago

    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.

    1. ananceleste profile image59
      anancelesteposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Is no secret that every culture has have their stories and legends about possession. Is interesting to mention the reluctant involvement of the Catholic church  in exorcisms. Their criteria is very specific for being a religious institution


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