Gary: Why is it that demons only appear to people who believe in them?
Randal Rauser, PhD seminary instructor, Baptist apologist, former Pentecostal: What is your evidence in support of the claim that “demons only appear to people who believe in them”?
Gary: Do a google search on the subject. If you do an internet search, you will find that it is almost exclusively the case that people who claim to have encountered a demon were raised as children to believe in such beings. In fact, in the United States, if one does a google search on the topic of demon possession, one will find that the overwhelming majority of people who claim to have had an experience with demons are Pentecostals/fundamentalists.
How odd that devout 21st century Episcopalians and Presbyterians rarely if ever claim to have had an encounter with demons, but Pentecostals seem to see them on every street corner.
Rauser: If you don’t have evidence to support the claim that “demons only appear to people who believe in them” then don’t make it.
Gary: Don’t be ridiculous.
Belief in demons is dangerous. Shame on you as an educator for peddling such superstitious nonsense. Such belief is responsible for the persecution, torture, and death of tens of thousands of people throughout history, and even today. Check this out from a recent scientific article:
“Along with a handful of Vatican-sanctioned exorcists, there are hundreds of self-styled exorcists around the world. After attending 50 exorcisms during research for his book, Michael Cuneo states that he never saw anything supernatural or unexplainable: No levitation or spinning heads or demonic scratch marks suddenly appearing on anyone’s faces, but many emotionally troubled people on both sides of the ritual.
While most people enjoy a scary movie, belief in the literal reality of demons and of the efficacy of exorcism can have deadly consequences. In 2003, an autistic 8-year-old boy in Milwaukee, Wis., was killed during an exorcism by church members who blamed an invading demon for his disability; in 2005 a young nun in Romania died at the hands of a priest during an exorcism after being bound to a cross, gagged, and left for days without food or water in an effort to expel demons. And on Christmas Day 2010 in London, England, a 14-year-old boy named Kristy Bamu was beaten and drowned to death by relatives trying to exorcise an evil spirit from the boy.”
Randall, you grew up as a child in a fundamentalist, working-class (limited education), superstitious denomination (Pentecostalism). If you had grown up in an upper middle class Anglican or Presbyterian home, the odds of a “demonic experience” would be extremely low. Check with your local Anglican priest or Presbyterian minister how often he has performed an exorcism. Probably never. Then check out how often the local Pentecostal preacher has performed an exorcism. Weekly??? Why the huge difference?? Come on, Randall, use that educated brain of yours. You don’t need a double blind study to see the true cause of “demon sightings”.
Your brain has been programmed for demons since you were a toddler, just like a child growing up in the Serengeti has been programmed to think “lion” when he hears rustling in the grass.
End of post.