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Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:29 am
by Chapabel
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Chapabel wrote:I would agree with #4. I fully believe demon possession is a real issue. I also believe mental heath issues are real as well. There are chemical imbalances in the brain and injuries, as we are seeing in NFL players with concussions. The proper diagnoses is required to treat either.

Are you suggesting that all mental health problems have physical causes? This is interesting because then you and Sayak may be on the same page to some extent. Although I am not sure if Sayak's physicalism would stretch as far as saying that if there is no non-physical soul mental health problems must have physical causes and therefore physical solutions that is what your post seems to imply. Correct me if I am wrong.

Yes, I believe so. There is still alot about the brain that is not understood. Research is continually revealing more about mental health issues. Demon possession can affect people with completely healthy brains.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:21 am
by sayak
Rian wrote:
Rian wrote:
sayak wrote:Not scientific evidence surely? Does your friend see it with his eyes? Because whatever the eyes can see, a video camera can record too, and hence falls within things that can be observed systematically.

What about if it's something like how dogs can hear things that we can't? Our ears can "hear" certain frequencies, and dogs' ears can hear a different range. What if these people's eyes are just able to see a larger range somehow, that other people's eyes (and video cameras) can't pick up?

Just a thought that popped into my head ...

The human retina has a limited input spectrum


Sayak, what do you think?

(remember, I'm saying "something like" how dogs hear "more" than we do - IOW, just a rough idea)

See Rian, eyes can only see radiation. Even if the some people can see more of the spectrum, there are cameras that can record those. X-ray, Gamma rays, UV, Microwave etc. Light is basically waves made of photons of various frequencies, and scientific instruments can detect a really huge range of them, especially in cosmology and in medical detection. Furthermore if it were a matter of seeing, one can check if the eye is designed differently somehow between those that have these visions and those that do not. This is the case for dog and human ears of course.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:38 am
by Moonwood the Hare
Chapabel wrote:
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Chapabel wrote:Are you suggesting that all mental health problems have physical causes? This is interesting because then you and Sayak may be on the same page to some extent. Although I am not sure if Sayak's physicalism would stretch as far as saying that if there is no non-physical soul mental health problems must have physical causes and therefore physical solutions that is what your post seems to imply. Correct me if I am wrong.

Yes, I believe so. There is still alot about the brain that is not understood. Research is continually revealing more about mental health issues. Demon possession can affect people with completely healthy brains.

I think that this belief, that mental health problems have a physical cause and physical solution has caused a great deal of mischief. It's a convenient idea, and there is no doubt the drug companies have made a lot of money out of it, but it is, I think, based on a fundamentally false view about what human beings are. Essentially it is treating human beings as machines rather than persons. There is something that a person isinteneded to be,a Christian woulkd say intended by God, and although much of Christianity focusses on what God intends us to be ethically I think there are also intentions or norms in relation to emotional functioning. There is that within us that strives to be what God intended us to be and mental health problems are not flaws that can be fixed by ingesting the right chemicals but summons to grow into that intention.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:49 am
by Moonwood the Hare
sayak wrote:I do not believe demons exist. But if that frame of explaining what is happening to oneself provides most meaning to the person and if psychological support is couched in the language of exorcism purely because it benefits the patient, I will be okay with it. The person is more important than anything else, always.

No, I disagree. The reason is quite complex. Parts of the human person, the psyche, can be damaged or under developed and these parts get excluded from the ego, that part of the self of which we are aware. They are seeking readmission into the selfb as a necessity of personal growth and this is felt by the ego as invasion by something alien or evil and hence in those with religious beliefs that favour this it can be experienced as some kind of democic attack. Exorcism which tries to drive these parts out is worse than useless; rather they needto be accepted and integrated. Jung calls this the integration of the shadow but for complex reasons relating to his own history tends to write sometimes as if this involved the integration of evil into the self, rather it is the integration of what may seem evil so it can be turned to good. Walter Wink one of the last century's most important writers on demonology, and himself very influenced by Jung, distinguished this inner possession from outer possession where the invading contents come from beyond the individual self.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:30 pm
by sayak
I do not have any special knowledge on this and I would prefer not to speculate on anything other than metaphysics :).
I would simply note that trance states and various kind of possessions have been recorded in many many cultures and I would be hesitant in generalizing on the good/bad based on my limited knowledge.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:39 pm
by Rian
sayak wrote:See Rian, eyes can only see radiation. Even if the some people can see more of the spectrum, there are cameras that can record those. X-ray, Gamma rays, UV, Microwave etc. Light is basically waves made of photons of various frequencies, and scientific instruments can detect a really huge range of them, especially in cosmology and in medical detection. Furthermore if it were a matter of seeing, one can check if the eye is designed differently somehow between those that have these visions and those that do not. This is the case for dog and human ears of course.

OK, that's true about the other cameras - the original mention was "video camera", and I figured a standard video camera couldn't see all of the frequencies that there are.

However, there's also the processing end of vision - IOW, how the brain takes the input and then "makes" it into something we see. Visual processing and adaptation is really interesting! Maybe this person has some processing capability that is different than most people.

Anyway, interesting to speculate how it might happen (I'm not trying to say it IS happening; I'm just brainstorming how it MIGHT happen)

Thanks for your answer.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:35 pm
by humanguy
Moonwood the Hare wrote:I think that this belief, that mental health problems have a physical cause and physical solution has caused a great deal of mischief. It's a convenient idea, and there is no doubt the drug companies have made a lot of money out of it, but it is, I think, based on a fundamentally false view about what human beings are. Essentially it is treating human beings as machines rather than persons. There is something that a person isinteneded to be,a Christian woulkd say intended by God, and although much of Christianity focusses on what God intends us to be ethically I think there are also intentions or norms in relation to emotional functioning. There is that within us that strives to be what God intended us to be and mental health problems are not flaws that can be fixed by ingesting the right chemicals but summons to grow into that intention.


Studies show that some people with depression respond well to seratonin reuptake inhibitors. Studies show that people who can't sleep can develop multiple health problems, and that sleeping aids help such people to live healthier lives. It isn't a matter of treating humans as machines. It's using medicine to help people live better, healthier lives.

I don't see how it's a false view of what human beings are to provide a pill that can allow people with chronic depressive disorder to get out of bed, take a shower and begin enjoying life again as happy, productive and loving human beings.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:20 pm
by Moonwood the Hare
humanguy wrote:Studies show that some people with depression respond well to seratonin reuptake inhibitors. Studies show that people who can't sleep can develop multiple health problems, and that sleeping aids help such people to live healthier lives. It isn't a matter of treating humans as machines. It's using medicine to help people live better, healthier lives.

I don't see how it's a false view of what human beings are to provide a pill that can allow people with chronic depressive disorder to get out of bed, take a shower and begin enjoying life again as happy, productive and loving human beings.

Those are good points and I would not want it to be thought that I am opposed to the use of these medications. The problem begins when they are seen as a cure rather than a treatment or as the only treatment. They help control symptoms but they do not cure and handing them out for all cases of mental distress is rather like trying to treat all physical illness with nothing other than painkillers. Just as physical pain is an indicator that something is wrong and taking away physical pain is not a cure so mental distress and its accompanying symptoms is a way of telling us something is wrong. Carl Jung said neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering , and so we need to face our pain and not nullify it. Using medication alongside therapy can help people to cope but it is no substitute.

Furthermore if you examine those studies more closely you will find something remarkable. These medicines have a succesful outcome about 70% of the time which sounds quite good but a sugar pill will be succesful about 35% of the time. This means that at least 50% of the effectiveness of these medications can be put down to the placebo effect. Why at least 50%? Because unlike the sugar pill these medicatiions do have effects and side effects which can be experienced and the mere presence of such effects will tend to amplify the placebo effect to an uncalculable extent, and that means that the bulk of the effect of these pills even in masking symptoms is not physiological but psychological.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:10 pm
by Simplyme
There seems to be something wrong with your numbers.....

The "medicine" has a 70% successful outcome

"Sugar pills" has a 35% success rate

How does this equal to 50% of the medication effectiveness is due to a placebo effect?

What am I missing?

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:17 pm
by Razor
I think what she is getting at is the idea that half the effect of the "medicine" pill is just the fact that you're taking a pill, the other half is the effect of the actual properties of the pill.
This is why medicine has twice the efficacy of placebo.
(This is what I think she's saying)

You can't say anything like "at least " tho- that is just wrong.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:37 pm
by Simplyme
Razor wrote:I think what she is getting at is the idea that half the effect of the "medicine" pill is just the fact that you're taking a pill, the other half is the effect of the actual properties of the pill.
This is why medicine has twice the efficacy of placebo.
(This is what I think she's saying)

You can't say anything like "at least " tho- that is just wrong.


How does it still add up? You can't state that out of the 70% that the medicine worked for, 50% was because of a placebo effect, simply because sugar pills are effective 35% of the time. Your adding apples with oranges.

I'm truly curious. Again I ask. Am I missing something?

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:16 pm
by Moonwood the Hare
Simplyme wrote:
Razor wrote:I think what she is getting at is the idea that half the effect of the "medicine" pill is just the fact that you're taking a pill, the other half is the effect of the actual properties of the pill.
This is why medicine has twice the efficacy of placebo.
(This is what I think she's saying)

You can't say anything like "at least " tho- that is just wrong.


How does it still add up? You can't state that out of the 70% that the medicine worked for, 50% was because of a placebo effect, simply because sugar pills are effective 35% of the time. Your adding apples with oranges.

I'm truly curious. Again I ask. Am I missing something?

You have 200 pills. 100 are antidepresants, 100 are sugar pills. With the sugar pills 35 people show some improvement. With the antidipressants 70 show improvement. We can assume that of 35 out ofthe second group would have improved even if the drug did nothing physiological and we can put the additional 35 down to the physiological effect of the drugs. So we can say that in the trial 50% of those who recovered did so because of the physiological effects ofthe drug and the other 50% because ofthe psychological effectof taking a drug. It doesn't mean that when the drug does work half of its effect is down to placebo in each individual case and I now realise I may have seemed to be saying that and apologise.

Try this http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/11/it-prozac-or-placebo
And here for razor is an explanation from it of the 'at least' factor
A person is brought into a clinical trial and told, 'You may be getting placebo or drug. The real drug has the following side effects.' Put yourself in this position. You're certainly curious about what you're getting. And you want to get better. You notice that your mouth is getting dry, which is one of the side effects they told you about, and that leads you to conclude that you've been assigned to the drug condition. Presumably, a placebo works by affecting a person's expectancy about what is going to happen. If you know you've been assigned to the drug con-dition, you may have a stronger placebo effect because you're now more convinced that you're getting something that's going to help you." Greenberg's research shows that both patients and raters in clinical trials often "break the blind" by guessing which condition they have been assigned and that the most powerful drug effects are reported when this occurs.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:31 pm
by Simplyme
You have 200 pills. 100 are antidepresants, 100 are sugar pills. With the sugar pills 35 people show some improvement. With the antidipressants 70 show improvement. We can assume that of 35 out ofthe second group would have improved even if the drug did nothing physiological and we can put the additional 35 down to the physiological effect of the drugs. So we can say that in the trial 50% of those who recovered did so because of the physiological effects ofthe drug and the other 50% because ofthe psychological effectof taking a drug. It doesn't mean that when the drug does work half of its effect is down to placebo in each individual case and I now realise I may have seemed to be saying that and apologise.


I'm almost with you......

Bold and underline above:

In the sugar pill trial how do you get "50% of those who recovered did so because of the physiological effects of the pill and the other 50% because of the psychological effect of taking a pill" out of the confirmed 35% showing improvement? You get 50% when you are looking at the 70% for the "antidepressant" minus the 35% for the "sugar pill". Adding oranges with apples.

Seriously I'm not trying to be an asshole. Something about those numbers has me twitching.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:51 pm
by Moonwood the Hare
Simplyme wrote:I'm almost with you......

Bold and underline above:

In the sugar pill trial how do you get "50% of those who recovered did so because of the physiological effects of the pill and the other 50% because of the psychological effect of taking a pill" out of the confirmed 35% showing improvement? You get 50% when you are looking at the 70% for the "antidepressant" minus the 35% for the "sugar pill". Adding oranges with apples.

Seriously I'm not trying to be an asshole. Something about those numbers has me twitching.

Try it with something different. Say someone was trying to argue that people get better from a certain condition, say cancer, because of prayer; wouldn't you want to know how many people spontaneously recover and take that into account.

Re: Exorcism and Possession

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:19 pm
by tirtlegrrl
We know from the placebo group that the mere action of taking a pill worked for 35 people out of 100. You give a real pill to 100 people and twice as many people get better. We may surmise then that half of the people from the non-placebo group who got better (35/70) did so simply from taking a pill regardless of its actual chemical composition.

(did I phrase that right, Moonwood?)