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My Christian Friend Thinks She Saw a Demon.
Posted: 29 March 2007 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Feel free to move this if there’s a better thread… I’m not quite sure…

Anyway, I was having a lovely chat over MSN Messenger with my Christian friend, when she told me that she had decided not to live life for the sake of living life, but to devote all her time to church instead.

That’s not the worrying part.

She claims that what got her to change her opinion about life was that a "demon attacked" them during her youth group last night.

Anyway, she told me that what happened was that all six members of the youth group fell asleep at the same time and "felt the presence of the demon" in an "indescribable way."

Now, I have come up with four scenarios listed in order from least likely to most likely.

1) We are all wrong and there really are demons in the world. (of course, this is the least likely scenario.)

2) They were hypnotised. (another unlikely scenario)

3) The church drugged them. (unlikely… but, when you think about it, it may not be [i:4f9de2f4c5]entirely[/i:4f9de2f4c5] out of the question.)

4) She’s going crazy.

So, none of my other friends have given me any helpful advice, and this friend that’s probably going crazy won’t talk to me so I can’t help her.

I need advice, por favor.

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1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 29 March 2007 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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My Christian Friend Thinks She Saw a Demon.

Feel free to move this if there’s a better thread… I’m not quite sure…

Anyway, I was having a lovely chat over MSN Messenger with my Christian friend, when she told me that she had decided not to live life for the sake of living life, but to devote all her time to church instead.

That’s not the worrying part.

She claims that what got her to change her opinion about life was that a “demon attacked” them during her youth group last night.

Anyway, she told me that what happened was that all six members of the youth group fell asleep at the same time and “felt the presence of the demon” in an “indescribable way.”

Now, I have come up with four scenarios listed in order from least likely to most likely.

1) We are all wrong and there really are demons in the world. (of course, this is the least likely scenario.)

2) They were hypnotised. (another unlikely scenario)

3) The church drugged them. (unlikely… but, when you think about it, it may not be entirely out of the question.)

4) She’s going crazy.

So, none of my other friends have given me any helpful advice, and this friend that’s probably going crazy won’t talk to me so I can’t help her.

I need advice, por favor.

 Signature 

1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 29 March 2007 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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[quote author=“dougsmith”]Doubt it’s any of them. It’s like being afraid of the dark—happens to groups all of the time. That’s why the night seems “spooky”. One person in a group yells, and everyone gets afraid.

Also could have been a prank, an animal, who knows? The problem here is that you need more information about precisely what happened. “In an indescribable way” is no description at all, and certainly not of a “demon”.

That’s the best one so far. smile

How do I explain it to her?

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1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 29 March 2007 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sounds like another Christian I know.  rolleyes  Some how it seems like such people are very deluded, brainwashed, or something.  They don’t or can’t reason for themselves and it’s really sad.  :(  I feel sorry for them.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 29 March 2007 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Oh….......they’ve been “hypnotized” alright…......by the ‘church’.

Tell ‘em to call Randi….......... James Randi.

(better yet, don’t. this is hilarious teenage angst at its best)

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Posted: 30 March 2007 02:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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You know this thread brings up another topic about some weird thoughts of Christians.  How do you explain to them that the E.U.‘s Brussels Declaration is a sound document and has nothing to do with Eziekal or any other crazed Bible prophecy? I don’t know why, but it seems like some Christians (mainly the Fundies) have gone and lost their minds over this.  It makes no sense when the document itself gives people human dignity.

Now what the people do with it is another matter, but it still has nothing to do with anything in the Bible or “End Times”.  rolleyes  For some reason, I have a feeling the last thing I need to say it is that it reads similarly to the Humanist Manifesto 2000 that Paul Kurtz drew up recently- after all, we Humanists are the Anti- Christ.  rolleyes  Right!

Then again, it may serve as a very good education and enlightening experience if I did, but I seriously doubt she would accept the information.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 30 March 2007 04:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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[quote author=“logicisrefreshing”]How do I explain it to her?

The sad thing is, if she really wants to believe it was a demon, you probably can’t.  I remember a woman telling me about a spooky experience she had.  She had been working all day, helping a friend move, and as soon as she got home that afternoon, the first thing she did was plop down on the sofa.  After a moment, she began hearing ghostly footsteps walking through her house.  According to her, although she didn’t move from the sofa, she could clearly follow their progress as they came in the front door, walked around the house, and exitted out the back, without opening any doors.  When I started to explain about hypnopopic illusions (auditory hallucinations, essentially, that you may sometimes experience when your tired or drowsy), she immediately changed her story.  Suddenly she remembered that she hadn’t been tired at all, and to prove it, she said she had actually got up off the sofa and followed them!  Clearly she didn’t want to lose a good paranormal experience.

The first step would be to get a good description of exactly what she experienced, but refer to the scenario above and realize that you are still not likely to change her mind.

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Posted: 02 April 2007 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Well, I had a talk with her at lunch today.

I explained to her why it was all her imagination. She told me that she still believed that it was a demon. I then asked her what rational/logical reason she had to believe that it wasn’t a psychological phenomena afterall. She said “faith.” I explained to her why “faith” wasn’t a logical reason.

At this point, she began desperately calling over her Christian friends to help her debate, none of whom could come up with a rational reason either.

Friend: You’ve got to help me come up with arguments for this debate.
Friend’s other friend: Why?
Friend: Because she’s winning.

So I got her to admit that I was winning. This was a great achievment considering how incredibly obdurate she can be.

Anyway, ten minutes later she still couldn’t think of anything good to debate and her four-year-old complex came out. She covered her ears and said “I’m not listening, I’m not listening!”

However, though it may not seem like a win, the fact that I actually opened her mind for about thirty minutes was a miracle.

Maybe I’m Jesus in a female body. raspberry

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1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 02 April 2007 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I have experienced Sleep Paralysis several times, always accompanied by the seeming presence of a person in the house. To me it has always seemed like someone broke in while I was sleeping and is coming to kill me. It’s very terrifying.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnagogia

I would really like to see CFI take on this issue, because a lot of people experience it, and this should be something that children are taught about in health classes in school.

Many of people’s claims about seeing demons, ghosts, alien abduction, etc., comes from this very experience.

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http://www.rationalrevolution.net

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Posted: 03 April 2007 03:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Good job, logicisrefreshing. The most we can hope to do in a conversation is to open minds a little bit to another possible way of looking at the world—through reason.

And re. sleep paralysis, Joe Nickell and others have written about this phenomenon extensively for Skeptical Inquirer. Check THESE out for instance. Interesting stuff, though I’ve never experienced it myself.

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Posted: 03 April 2007 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I suddenly remembered that I had saved the story that she told me. The reason why you don’t see my replies (just in case anybody’s wondering) is because I wasn’t at the computer but I was signed in. Anyway, for anyone who’s interested:

Mac says:
Hi.
Mac says:
...Are you there?
Mac says:
Ok, if you are there, and are just really pissed off at me because I was busy today, then I’m really soorry.
Mac says:
But I was not in the mood to talk about it.
Mac says:
Lucia, I am not crazy. I do not have a tumor, I am not schitzophrenic, and aliens have not abduted me. It’s just what happened.
Mac says:
here’s what happened.
Mac says:
Right before we got srtarted, Sean was sitting on the armrest next to me when he “fell” over and sat on me. I should be used to it now (after all it is sean) but for some reason it totally scared the crap outta me. So after that I was really uncomfortable and I could barely concentrate on what Erik was saying, when suddenly the fear and the pain and, like, everything just got a ton worsae.
And su
Mac says:
(started means right before youth group)
Mac says:
And suddenly CJ and Erik both felt it and we all started praying about it because at least half of us could feel it. It was so scary. and then I went and sat on the stairs (I admit it was because I was so scared?) and cj went past and when she got to the hallway by the bathroioms she started sobbing horribly.
So I wenty up to see what was wrong (obviously) and she was whispering “go away, go away!
Mac says:
!!” (eek, scary!!) and I ran downstairs and got Erik. It was one of the scariest things that’s ever happened.
Because after cj calmed down, i went i to the bathroom. while I was looking at the mirror, my face turned…evil. It was like me, but I looked like I could kill someone. and It was so scary.
But themn we all go ttogether again sand started praying and Sean was shaking really bad and Toni
Mac says:
was crying and it was…crazy.
Cj, Heather, and I went to the place where we had felt the most “badness” and we sstartted parayting.
And then the scariest thing happened.
I felt like something bit my leg.
It hurt really bad, and I was almost crying.
Bt we regrouped after it was all over, and we decided that God must’ve let the demon in, not t hurt us, but to remind us that this isn’t a game.
It’s
Mac says:
a war.
So that’s what happened.

Mac says:
I hope you forgive me. I’m sorry i didn’t want to tell you earlier, I was afraid you would think I was crazy. and I don’t need that right now.

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1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 03 April 2007 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I go back to my previous analogy: scared kids at a sleep over. I wonder what their group leader is preaching to them. I suspect something suitably troubling and anxious-making. Kids in groups can blow even small issues totally out of proportion, and basically scare themselves into a panic. Heck, adults can do the same thing.

In that sort of context, getting a leg cramp or some other psychosomatic leg pain is not a surprise.

(I also wonder if there isn’t some other sort of “tension” between Sean and Mac ...)

At any rate, there’s nothing remotely supernatural here.

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Doug

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El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

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Posted: 04 April 2007 03:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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You don’t have to be schizophrenic to experience an hallucination.  This might be a case of contagion.  Ever watch “Ghost Hunters”, when they’re walking down a dark corridor, and one suddenly jumps and goes, “What was That?  Did you see that?”  In a matter of seconds, the whole group can convince themselves that they saw something.

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Posted: 04 April 2007 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I also thought that it might’ve been someone saying “I feel something,” and everyone else, feeling that they’re less holy for not feeling it, convince themselves that they’re feeling it too.

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1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 06 April 2007 03:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Speaking of demons reminds me of the time I stopped to talk with a street-corner evangelist who was handing out tracts and asking everyone who passed if they were saved.  He assured me that demons were indeed real—in fact, every atheist has a demon which follows him around, constantly whispering “God doesn’t exist” (or words to that effect) into his ear!  He literally seemed to think there was no other logical explanation for how someone could not believe in God.

When I wondered aloud if there was any way to be sure this demon existed, he said that if that was what I really wanted, he would pray and ask God to allow me to see the demon for a few hours.  I agreed, and he prayed for me right there on he spot.  I immediately began looking over my shoulder, and he explained that over the next few hours, I would start noticing strange events, similar to poltergeist activity, before the demon would finally become visible, probably just for a few moments.  I thanked him and left.  I don’t think I need to add that I never noticed anything out of the ordinary, let alone a demon.  I expect he was counting on my imagination playing tricks on me, but since I didn’t believe in demons, nothing happened.

On the other hand, other Christians have told me that only believers are plagued by demons.  Satan already “owns” us atheists, so the last thing he would do is send a demon to bother us.

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Posted: 07 April 2007 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Thank you, advocatus, for brightening my day. You wrote, “only believers are plagued by demons. Satan already “owns” us atheists, so the last thing he would do is send a demon to bother us.” I am still chuckling about that.

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Robert Burdick

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