A Little Friday Meditation on the Demons

Item:

Fun fact: Texas has half the population of Italy and twice the land. Unlike Italy, however, it has American health care and, above all, a GOP leadership of nihilist predators and a culture of “Screw you, I’ve got mine” that has managed to overcome Italy’s wussy Euroweenie Catholic and socialized medicine culture of consideration for others that was able to beat the Pandemic. Libertarian MAGA greed, brutality, and wilful stupidity is being pounded to death by the Invisible Fist of the Darwinian Market. Its victims will go to their graves not even knowing they killed themselves. And they will take a helluva lot of innocent hostages with them. 

And yet despite all this:

Texans descend on state capitol shouting “Bar Lives Matter” and demand the re-opening of bars. Because nihilist self-pity is only made perfect by mockery of the victims of racist violence.

Item:

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who scolded the lebens unwertesleben that “There are more important things than living” now scolds Dr. Anthony Fauci that he “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” Fauci accurately warned that we faced 100K-200K dead by this time. We just passed 130K. Yet none of that matters. Blind denial rules Texas.

While the MAGA Cult were thinking the coast is clear because it’s summer and they don’t have to care any more and besides masks are not manly like Trump and freedumm, the virus was not thinking at all. It doesn’t care about your thoughts, conspiracy theories, feelings, MAGA BS or lies. It just keeps killing and if you are stupid enough to do the things that increase the chances of infection, you or somebody you love are more likely to suffer and die and kill other people because you are a selfish jackass.

Here’s reality, whether the MAGA cult likes it or not:

Science-Respecting States
Delusional MAGA states

Darwin is going to deal brutally and in his ham-fisted way with the MAGA Cult because they self-select for suffering and death in their pigheaded stupidity. God have mercy on the innocent victims in their orbit.

Which brings me to this little quote:

“I have taken it for granted that educated men know that Aquinas and all his contemporaries, and all his opponents for centuries after, did believe in demons, and similar facts.”

G.K. Chesterton, being refreshingly blunt about the existence of demons and not mincing words to suit the temper of a skeptical age.

I too state that demons are facts, not concepts, imaginary beings like elves, or emotional moods. Your ignorance of their existence does not make them go away. Your pity or contempt for my willingness to face the fact of their existence has no power to make them go away either. It only makes you easier prey for them. That doesn’t mean I and other believers can’t be prey to them. As the spectacular illustration provided by such theists as Judas Iscariot or Caiaphas shows, demons can and do make short work of the proud theist just as they do of the proud atheist. But still and all, chance favors the prepared mind.

One way to think of demons is as the MAGA of the spiritual realm: spiteful pigheaded enemies of all that is good for no purpose other than spite at Him who is Being. They hate you simply because God made you and they will your destruction simply because they hate God and existence and even themselves. They cannot harm God, so they harm what he loves: you.

We live in a time when sunny optimists–who don’t think rational creatures can embrace such a mode of being–are being confronted with the error of that calculation and the problem of sin is asserting itself again. What the Christian tradition warns is that rational beings, both human and angelic, are capable of doing that to themselves. The angelic beings who have made that choice for nihilism are called demons. Humans who cooperate with them to live in spite and nihilist defiance of the Good are called “mortal sinners”.

The good news is that we are not consigned to being trapped in such choices. That is why God the Son took flesh, broke into our world and brought with him the power to repent and undo making ourselves into such enemies of life. We are punished by, not for, our sins and even that punishment has only one purpose. To bring even the worst of us to the place where we say,

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and put a new and right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence,
    and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of thy salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:10-12)

Even the most appallingly selfish person is loved by God.

“For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord God; so turn, and live.” (Ezekiel 18:32)

39 Responses

  1. As stated, your graphs are true. Let’s not forget that when you aggregate data that way, you get generalizations that are only mostly true. Thus, the Republican governor of my state, Maryland, has done an excellent job from the beginning, taking effective action even before the Democratic governor of Virginia. (And, of course, Gov. Hogan was criticized by Trump to getting masks on his own when he could not obtain them from the Federal Government.) In truth, the governors of both states and the Mayor of the District of Columbia have all been effective and responsible.

  2. It was for Trump that the Son of God endured the Cross. The Cross was our idea, not his. He handed himself over to us saying, “Do with me what you will.” The Cross is what we willed. We ourselves made clear how badly we in need of salvation we were by making that our response to him. And we show that we have not (and cannot) change apart from his grace by making exactly the same choice by running after Trump as we ran after Barabbas and handing Trump’s victims over for death as we handed Jesus over.

  3. I have a graphic that I found a few weeks ago which I wish I could post. It was a Republican versus Democrat, or red versus blue, it was counties that voted for Mrs. Clinton versus counties that voted for Trump. The counties that voted for Trump we’re all experiencing massive increases: the curve went straight up. The counties voting for Mrs. Clinton experience just the opposite: the curve went straight down.

  4. The title of this post is “A Little Friday Meditation on the Demons.” Append “-trations” to the final word to reveal the hidden message. There’s plenty of excoriation here of people who demonstrated in public for the Wrong Reasons. No mention of people who demonstrated in public for the Correct Reasons.

    ”[The Coronavirus] doesn’t care about your thoughts, conspiracy theories, feelings, MAGA BS or lies. It just keeps killing and if you are stupid enough to do the things that increase the chances of infection, you or somebody you love are more likely to suffer and die and kill other people because you are a selfish jack[edited to avoid filters].”

    The Coronavirus also doesn’t care if you’re massing together, butt-to-gut, to protest the unjust killing of George Floyd, or to celebrate objectively disordered sexual inclinations. Under a consistent standard, things that increase the chances of infection, such as gathering in absolutely enormous crowds to chant “Black Lives Matter” or “Love is Love” would be considered no less dangerous than gathering in groups to petition the government to allow beaches to open. If you gather in crowds, irrespective of the reason, you’re causing others to suffer and die. But it appears that you’re not selfish if you cause others to suffer and die provided your motives are Woke. It’s only MAGA Demons who get raked over the coals here, because they do not Respect Science, unlike the BLM protestors and LGBTs, who do Respect Science as they breathe on each other.

    But hold on a second: let’s talk about that Science. As the BLM protests were getting underway, various “public health experts” were telling us that, yes, protesting will spread the Coronavirus, but “racism is a public health issue,” and therefore dead Grandma is a small price we must pay to end racism. (Gotta break some eggs to make the Racial Justice Omelette!) Well, what happened? If we use “States With Democratic Governors” as a proxy for “States With Massive BLM Protests” (which at least tracks the protests in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Seattle), then Science was wrong. And if these massive protests didn’t spread the virus as Science said they would, why should we Respect Science?

    There is no semblance anywhere in this post of the acknowledgement of these epistemological limitations. It simply divides the country into “Science-Respecting” and “Delusional” states. Nevermind that all the science-respecting done by the Science-Respecting states resulted in the virus ripping through those states, resulting in much higher initial death rates than in the Delusional states. Nevermind that the spike in cases in Texas has not translated to a spike in deaths, which indicates that the spike is most likely due to more widespread testing. Nevermind that Science has no answers for us as to whether the massive protests did or did not act as super-spreader events.

    Science used to be the handmaiden of theology. Now it’s the handmaiden of short-term retail politics and social-media hot takes.

    1. @ mort

      “ Science used to be the handmaiden of theology. Now it’s the handmaiden of short-term retail politics and social-media hot takes.”

      Well theN Theology and science can go hand in handmaiden then, can’t they? What about your whataboutism, and why do both your tone and your “points” seem to echo some other people who have never shown up here before? What about that?

      Except that most of what you had to say is really whataboutism, and selective fact engaging. I sincerely doubt there was a bevy of epidemiologists telling people to go out and protest, not without observing all of the protocols necessary to keep people safe. The beds in Houston are FULL: not because they are reporting and testing more, but beCause more and more people are sick enough to require hospitalization. J

      And by the way “disordered sexual inclinations”, like the rest of your screed, is the polite religious way to Jusitfy 2000 years of misery inflicted on innocent people in order to justify your own issues, primarily the need to declare yourself a better, more moral human being than us fg*gs. YOU ARE NOT. Pride celebrations were cancelled world wide because we actually care about our communities. None of us are claiming this right to infect others for no particular reason at all, other than a disrespect for science. That would be your side.

      Gov. Insantis of Florida, Gov. Abbott (without Costello) and lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are all right to life Christians who frankly chose to disrespect science. There are a lot of sick and dead people as a result. They are now considering that maybe THEY SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO THE SCIENTISTS INSTEAD OF THEIR WALLETS AND JABBA THE TRUMP.

      At least the people who were out protesting were doing it for a cause they believe great and just, and not for a SamMich, a haircut, a day at the beach, or to own the libs.

      And if I didn’t make this clear to you and your disordered sexual inclinations, go find yourself a large cactus and have a bit of disordered sexual inclinations with.

  5. Let me preface this by saying that I get your point, and do understand that you’re coming at this from a Catholic perspective, directed primarily towards a Catholic audience. So, with that out of the way, lets talk about demons.

    Now, here’s the thing: you may believe in the existence of demons while I don’t, but I’m pretty sure I take their claims far more seriously than you ever have.

    Okay, so demons are real. So, how should our criminal prosecution and sentencing laws account for their influence on criminal behavior? How is the Catholic Church assisting in these efforts? Because if demons are real, and they are really affecting human behavior, then what we currently have is a grave miscarriage of justice.

    How many crimes would’ve been committed to a lesser degree, or never occurred at all if it weren’t for demons?

    What I’m trying to illustrate here is that reality doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Actions have consequences. Facts have implications. But somehow, the massive threat represented by demonic activity does not warrant a proportionally massive response from every governmental agency and authority at every level.

    And I’m not talking about the meaningless and self-serving deference to Christian religion, Christian churches and Christian symbols by what is supposed to be a secular government; I’m talking about real action that directly addresses the problems that we face.

    Should we be treating this as a health crisis or as an attack by a foreign power?

    If the former, in which ways should we train or medical professionals to both detect and treat people afflicted by demons? What public safety measures should be implemented to reduce and slow the spread of their influence? According to the Bible, demons can also posses animals, so how should we take that into account? How should we go about producing treatments for demonically enhanced diseases?

    If the later, why isn’t anybody trying to set up a meeting between our designated representatives and these warring spiritual factions in order to negotiate a ceasefire or have them take it somewhere else? After all, why should we be the ones caught in the middle of a proxy civil war, all because God couldn’t keep his minions in check?

    And most importantly, if this is a real existential crisis we are facing on a global scale, why in the blazes should we leave this up to a self-appointed authority with a questionable moral and ethical track record like the Catholic Church to handle?

    So, why do I think demons are fake? Because their singular purpose in life seems to be to promote and validate Christianity and don’t seem to exist apart from it.

    1. Mark has not replied, either because he has better things to do, or has thrown up his hands in frustration and this hodgepodge of ignorance and malice. I shall try my humble best.

      “The Devil made me do it” has never been a valid defense, legally or theologically. I might say, after a suitable number of drinks, “Trump should be shot.” If you do it, it’s all on you. Likewise, a demon might tempt you, but it is up to you to resist the temptation. I have always though that was what is behind the folklore that a vampire cannot come uninvited into your house.

      Why not government action against demons? You know very well that secular societies do not recognize their existence. More importantly, they are not the sort of problem to be dealt with by large government contracts. And it is not just the Catholic Church that must resist them. It is the duty of every church and every Christian. Every non-Christian for that matter. You too,

      Even if everything else you said were true, your last paragraph would be a non sequitur. It is also false on its own merits. Most priest and the Church generally would much rather preach forgiveness and corporal acts of mercy than talk of demons. The church’s main job is to preach the Good News of salvation

      1. @ Robert

        I see neither ignorance nor malice in 3vil’c comment. I see a rational man asking a rational question.

        “ “The Devil made me do it” has never been a valid defense, legally or theologically.” it certainly won’t work legally, beCause as you note, a secular society does not believe in demons and devils. Even religious society X doesn’t believe in the same DemonS as religious society Y, because they believe in different gods entirely. But what we are told by religion X is that there are immortal beings, so powerful that they can challenge god Pancreator himself, without consequence for thousands of years, workingGrave harm on merely weak and untrusting people. Father of lies, father of deceptions. Why, there are even Christians who believe that whole societies have been brought low by demons, or will be, if a single Christian baker ever has to make a cake for a f*g.

        “Why not government action against demons? You know very well that secular societies do not recognize their existence.” Of course they don’t, because there is only belief, not fact. No one has ever captured a demon and shown it to anyone. And it is very interesting to note, demons never seem to attack unitarians, quakers, Jews, atheists, liberal Christians, liberal Jews,

        “More importantly, they are not the sort of problem to be dealt with by large government contracts.“ why not? If they are real, we ought to be able to study them. It’s not like they are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or a virus created in a Chinese lab which they Used to experiment on their own people before attacking us, or the Vast soros-and-Hilary conspiracy to take over the US and send Christians to re-education camps, or running a pedophile ring out of the nonexistent basement of pizza parlor.

        “And it is not just the Catholic Church that must resist them. It is the duty of every church and every Christian.” Except that liberal denominations don’t seem to have a problem with them.

        “Every non-Christian for that matter.You too.” Catch one, show it to me.

        “Even if everything else you said were true, your last paragraph would be a non sequitur. It is also false on its own merits. Most priest and the Church generally would much rather preach forgiveness and corporal acts of mercy than talk of demons. The church’s main job is to preach the Good News of salvation“. Largely a non sequitur. Especially since it isn’t true.

    2. In exactly the same way as Mark and other Catholic and Christian bloggers let people contest our beliefs and don’t ban you, even though your only goal seems to be attacking faith.
      Bloggers have tools that let them create a safe space in the comments section. I rarely see Christian blogosphere use that.

      1. @toughluck, you are correct that it is hospitable of Mark to let us atheists comment here, and we appreciate it.

        Nonetheless, I must note that you did not address 3vil5triker’s point: It is extremely unlikely that demons are real, because even the Church doesn’t act like it thinks they are real.

      2. I’m sorry, but the implication that Marks faith, and that of the Catholics who visit this site, is so fragile that it cannot tolerate any dissent or inquiry, is actually quite insulting.

        I’ve commented for years on Mark’s previous blog without incident. And while I’ve not always agreed with him and have pushed back on a number of issues, I’ve always tried to do so in good faith and without resorting to personal attacks. And I think we’re both better off for it.

        Besides, what’s the worst that could happen, that he might have to come up with better arguments? That he might have to rethink, rephrase or clarify what he means when he states that the existence of demons is a “fact”?

        You know, if my questioning of the existence of demons makes you uncomfortable and uneasy, you could’ve just asked and I’m sure either Mark or some other commenter would be glad to provide an adequate response.

        A faith that’s afraid of interacting with the real world, in other words, one that needs a “safe space”, is truly no faith at all.

    3. @3vil

      So, in short…

      If demons are real, let’s treat them as real and take them seriously.

      If demons are simply metaphors, let’s not pretend they are real.

    4. I’m not sure you are being serious. Given that demons and angels are not corporeal, I’m not sure what you think the state is supposed to do here. Though the Church says that there are rare instances when a personality is so damaged that it can be vulnerable to possession, the normative way in which demons work is through temptation and accusation. In short, humans retain their freedom and misuse it. The questions the state are concerned with are whether a crime was commited and whether the perp did it with sufficient freedom and understanding to incur guilt before the law.

      As far as health goes, there are in fact psychologist who are consulted by exorcists, so you’d want to talk to them. That’s outside my wheelhouse.

      You seem to have the idea that the concept of evil spirits was invented by Christians. I assure you it was not. It both predates Christianity (which is why it was taken for granted by the culture into which Jesus was born and was, in fact, used as an accusation *against* Jesus by his enemies) and it exists outside the Christian tradition at this hour.

      The Church’s work of exorcism is not “self-appointed”. It is part of the mission given it by Jesus, who himself performed exorcisms. That said, the bulk of the Church’s work is not with the colorful and cinematic notion of exorcism that occupies pop culture, but with the ordinary work of helping people resist sins, most of which are small and unnoticed. Refusing to give in to the temptation to hate some dick online who just insulted your wife is, as a general rule, far and away more the work of the Holy Spirit, than the pea soup vomit and levitating girls you see in the theatre. Most spiritual warfare is in the shadows, not the spotlight and does not involve things the state cares about. Now and then it comes out into the open in Holocausts and Trump Administrations. But its roots are often very hard to trace into the microscopic tendrils that go into the human heart like the fibers of a cancer.

      1. “there are in fact psychologist who are consulted by exorcists”

        Please. Academic psychology does not teach demonization or exorcism, and the APA has no policy on exorcism except avoidance. Creationists like to cite the tiny number of legitimate scientists who support their cause as proof that creationism is scientifically respectable. You are now doing the same thing with demons.

      2. So, demons are real, that’s a fact, but their activities are indistinguishable from ordinary human thoughts and temptations. They really incite people to do things, but they’re the things they would’ve done anyway. They attack us by introducing extraneous thoughts into our mind, but our free will and rationality are not actually impaired.

        So, what exactly are they bringing to the table? Lamest. Alien. Invasion. Ever.

        And yeah, the Church’s work of exorcism is not self-appointed, it was handed down by the Church’s figurehead; I’m sure that makes it uniquely qualified to represent the entirety of humanity in these matters. And, no Christianity didn’t invent the generic concept of evil spirits, but your particular brand calls for your particular Church to intervene. Or would you recommend employing the services of a shaman to perform a spiritual cleansing and/or exorcism if no Catholic priest were available?

        But in all seriousness, if this was a real thing, its exactly the the type of problem the government would get involved with. We’re talking about a direct threat to public health and safety. If this were a brain parasite that was causing people to loosen their inhibitions and behave more recklessly, even by a slim margin, you wouldn’t scoff at the idea of getting government agencies involved.

        That doesn’t change because the nature of the threat isn’t “corporeal” or whatnot. If something is real and its affecting people in some way, its no longer of the exclusive domain of the Church.

        For real, lets take a step back and take the religious connotations out of this for a second. How would you react if I were to tell you that it was known fact that non-corporeal beings from another dimension were invading and influencing our minds in negative ways, but that the government shouldn’t get involved in any way? You would think I was putting you on.

        Look, I’m not trying to change your mind regarding demons, but I am trying to get you to understand how this all comes across to outsiders as both telling them about a serious threat and telling them not to take it seriously. Also, consider the fact that other points in history, government authorities were directly involved in these matters, yet now you find the whole idea ludicrous. Why is that?

      3. @ 3vil…

        One of the basic principles of social psychology is that things that are perceived as real, are real in their consequences. Note that neither clause requires demons to Actually be real.

        Bertrand Russell once wrote that there is no difference between the man who Eats too little and sees heaven, and a man who drinks too much and see snakes. There is an obvious and important difference, of course: one of them sees heaven and the other sees snakes. But another, more subtle difference is that one doesn’t see heaven unless one believes in it and can recognize it. And there is no guarantee that either will produce the expected result.

        In short, the only actual variable in place is what is already inside one’s head.

    5. Mark is making the point that you don’t have to believe in demons to be affected by the people who exist under their influence.

      I’m inclined to believe Hitler was possessed based upon first hand accounts of his behavior, and his fascination with the occult. I’ve also heard that he was physically abused as a child, and rejected by his father. This is why nobody who believes in the existence of Hell can say for certain that he is there.

      You say that if demonic possession were real, we would have a massive system to treat the problem. Have we made the same massive efforts when it comes to domestic abuse?

  6. Mark has not replied to this, maybe because he has better things to do, maybe because he read this hodgepodge of ignorance and malice and threw up his hands in despair. Therefore I shall try my humble best.

    “The Devil made me do it” has never been a valid defense, either legally or theologically. One must agree to be affected by the demonic temptation. This has always seemed to me to be what was behind the legends that vampires cannot come into your house uninvited. Since one can resist their temptations, one is legitimately guilty, morally and legally, if one chooses not to.

    There is no massive government response to them for two reasons. One, we live in a secular world which does not recognize demons. More importantly, the defense against malefic action must be within the human heart. It is not the sort of problem to be met by letting expensive government contracts. Therefore, fighting this type of evil is not left up to the Catholic Church. It is the responsibility of every church and every Christian. Yours, too, whether you choose to accept the burden or not.

    Even if everything else you said were valid, your last paragraph would be a non sequitur. The fact is that priests and the Church generally devote little time to teaching about demons. They would much rather preach forgiveness and the corporal acts of mercy.

  7. @joel:

    cademic psychology does not teach demonization or exorcism, and the APA has no policy on exorcism…

    Precisely. That is why exorcists consult them. Contrary to what you might imagine, exorcists know that much of what may appear to be daemonic possession is attributable to psychological disturbance – and, in addition, that daemonic influence or possession affects the person’s psychology. Exorcists know that they cannot, as exorcists, heal psychological problems. They do not go to psychologists for help with exorcism, but to deal with what is the psychologist’s expertise: psychology.

    1. So you imagine that sometimes the psychologist will examine the subject, say “There’s nothing psychologically wrong with them, so I recommend you go ahead with exorcism.” Right.
      Look, if the exorcist realizes that he might be wrong about demonization then that is to his credit. But no competent psychologist will ever recommend exorcism. Psychologists know about the trauma caused by attempted exorcisms:
      https://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/02/jn

      1. @jeol

        So you imagine that sometimes the psychologist will examine the subject, say “There’s nothing psychologically wrong with them, so I recommend you go ahead with exorcism.”

        No, and you know perfectly well that’s not what a Catholic thinks. You are being disingenuous, trying to say that Christians expect psychologists to acknowledge the existence of daemons. You know quite well that I am saying that the exorcist acknowledges both daemons and psychological disturbance – indeed, they surely normally go together. The exorcist is not talking about being wrong but talking about knowing that both the psychological – which is to say, the human natural level – and the spiritual worlds are real. He acknowledges the psychologist’s area of expertise and wants the psychologist to treat what he can treat. He does not think that it is an either/or question.

        You do know this. You simply enjoy picking a fight. It’s a waste of time.

        jj

    2. @ JJ

      “ Contrary to what you might imagine, exorcists know that much of what may appear to be daemonic possession is attributable to psychological disturbance – and, in addition, that daemonic influence or possession affects the person’s psychology.”

      We are told that Demons are supernatural, immortal creatures, infinitely subtle and capable. How is anyone To know where the one ends and the other begins? Would not a particularly well trained demon be able to fool us mere mortals?

      Why is it that no therapist ever says, “ Well, I can’t figure out what this guys problem is. Therefore, demons! I’ll go see father Anthony and see if he can help me out with the problem.“

      Why is it demons don’t bother with atheists, or atheists with demons?

      1. One of the guys my sister dated used to terrify us with tales from the mental hospital he worked at. He wasn’t a Christian, or at least not overtly, but he’d tell us what the possessed ones would act like as opposed to the ones with just mental illness.

        And just as an aside, do you happen to remember that movie called “Eyes Wide Shut”? I’d heard about that mansion in Montecito at least 20 years before the movie came out. I don’t think they ever stated that it was based on a true story. Wealthy Satanists.

      2. @ben:

        Read my reply to Joel. This is a false dichotomy. No one is to know where the one ends and the begins. It is not like that. If the spiritual world exists – you do not, of course, acknowledge that – but if it exists, trying to say where the one ends and the other begins is like trying to say where the mind ends and the brain begins. Materialists think there is only brain. Fine, they are welcome to that. But for those of us who believe in both, they are coterminous. Likewise, if the spiritual world exists, then it and the natural world are coterminous.

        Argue about something real, not about straw men.

        jj

    3. Argue about something real? That’s my whole point. The whole discussion is about belief, versus an assertion of fact

      As for the spiritual world, I actually do acknowledge it, whatever it may be. I’m not prepared to say, myself, existing as I do, very much in the real world. I’m not prepared to say, myself, existing as I do, very much in the real world. I’ve had a few experiences in my life that are frankly unexplainable. For example, my former partner appeared to several people after he died, including me. None of us are inclined to believe in ghosts of any sort, but there he was. Was there anything that could explain what happened? No, there was not. Can we even define what happened? No, we can’t. All we can do is re-count what we experienced.

      And so, we have all left it at, “I can’t explain it.“ We certainly don’t try to explain it with theology. And your theology can’t explain it, either. In fact, the visitation is in direct contradiction to your theology.

      But you were actually somewhat admitted that when I and 3vil contend is true. You said that demonic influence and psychological disturbance often go together. If you’re going to say that the demonic influence is real, how do you determine where one ends and the other begins? Do you have the same problems Which is which with atheists that you have with conservative Christians?

      You seem to want to have it both ways: real as real can be, yet at the same time, undefinable. It reminds me not just a little bit of former poster JD Saint George, who inserted that scientists, especially atheist scientists, we’re busy proving that Eucharistic miracles are real and exist. Whatever happened to faith? Faith is demanding evidence in the real world, because faith alone isn’t proving anything except that some people are willing to believe the claims of faith.

      The question is, why doesn’t an exorcist exorcise demons from nonbelievers?

      1. @ben – no, the original argument was about what Joel said above, it is true that “Academic psychology does not teach demonization or exorcism, and the APA has no policy on exorcism except avoidance.” That statement only makes sense of Joel – or you – believe that an exorcist believes that academic psychology does have policies on daemons. I’m not interested in arguing about whether daemons exist or not – that would be completely pointless. A person who is a materialist – most atheists – has no basis for even considering the existence of daemons. At most a materialist would ask for material evidence of the existence of daemons.

        So, yes, this stuff from Joel, and you, is an attempt to impute a belief on the part of Christians – that they think psychologists should consider daemons – and then to argue about the basis of that belief. Christians do not believe that.

        jj

      2. How does your spiritual experience contradict Catholic theology? I ask this as an honest question, as I’ve always been under the impression that God can and does allow the souls of the departed to appear to the living if He wants them too. Padre Pio was supposedly visited by a soul from Purgatory, for example.

        My understanding is that we aren’t to believe in “ghosts” in the sense of dead people who are stuck on earth haunting houses for all eternity and that we aren’t supposed to try and conjure up the dead on our own.

  8. Angels, demons, unsettled souls. No thank you.

    Even the angel that spoke boldly to me, to give space to my nursing child unsettled me.

    I’m not really afraid of the evil ones anymore, but they are a massive bummer. The unsettled ones mean no harm.

Leave a Reply

Follow Mark on Twitter and Facebook

NEW BOOK!

Advertisement