Ramfan32’s “proof” of demonic posession or Bob Larson live!
I got into a debate with Ramfan over various things, one of them demonic possession. As proof for his/her claims (I don’t know Ramfan’s gender), he/she sent the video below. Following the video are my personal comments to him/her and on the video.
First, Ramfan and me:
>you know how you asked be the proof of demons? well here you go. believe or not i don’t care,
If you don’t care, then why did you send this to me? By telling me this you’re only proving that you have absolutely no desire to discover factual truths about the universe, but rather you’re only concerned with confirming that which you already believe, no matter how wrong you might be. If every scientist ignored evidence and only sought to confirm what he or she already believed, we’d never have discovered the distance to the stars, the depths of the oceans, or ways of transmitting electrical signals across tiny pieces of silicon which allow you to read this right now.
>but you have to realize is that this is similar to the demoniacs in the bible,
Given that the Bible has existed in some form for over three thousand years, that concepts such as demons have permeated popular culture for about as long, and that you, me, and millions of others were raised in cultures permeated by those concepts, it’s hardly surprising that what is described in the Bible is similar to what occurs in the video.
The problem is that this is a textbook case of confirmation bias. Presumably all of the people in the video were raised in some western culture like the US, Canada, England, or Europe. I would also include all of central and south America in there. If that assumption is true, then every single one of them has been exposed at least to the concept of a demon. Given that each of them willingly attended Larson’s workshop, it also stands to reason that not only had every participant been exposed to the concept of a demon, but also every participant was most likely actively searching out demons, exorcism, or something related. Considering all of this, each participant is confirming his or her own bias.
I would have been very impressed had they gotten someone in there who had never heard of the idea of a demon, but then I don’t know how you’d accomplish that.
A personal example of the above, as I’d probably told you earlier, is how I was indoctrinated to believe in the healing power of crystals. My parents told me that if I rubbed a crystal against a pained part of my body (a scratch on my arm, for example), that the healing energy of the crystal would make the injured part feel better. Did the scratch go away? Of course not. Did the bruise miraculously disappear before my eyes? Nope. But I could’ve sworn I felt energy transferring from the crystal into my arm. Why? Because I was looking for that to happen. I had been convinced that it would and so I was looking to confirm what I’d already been convinced.
>the demon possessed ppl i mentioned,
Which you admitted was hearsay.
>and you noticed how they said they were lighter than a feather like i and head welch felt?
Reporting to feel lighter than a feather proves only that someone has reported to feeling lighter than a feather. That doesn’t prove that the person actually lost mass, levitated, or was freed from the control of a demon. Just as healing energy was never transferred from crystals to my arm.
>sorry about the 10 minute vid. i hate when ppl send me long videos lol
I don’t mind and following are my specific comments (times are approximate).
:41 “Reverend Bob Larson is a self-proclaimed exorcist.”
Calling myself a vampire hunter neither makes vampires real nor me a hunter of them.
1:23 “But there is [a real Devil] and I meet him on a regular basis eyeball to eyeball.”
He makes the assertion that there is a Devil for which he provides no evidence. If we’re to consider the footage so far seen and that to come, then the Devil looks, sounds, and acts exactly like the people who’ve chosen to show up to his seminar.
1:41 “Larson says the Devil loves to prey on human suffering. People who have low self-esteem, have been abused or neglected in some way.”
How convenient that Larson’s definition for those who have been or could be possessed can easily apply to anybody anywhere. I’ve at one time or another suffered all of the above symptoms yet I’ve never been possessed. I wonder why I’m immune to the Devil’s incredible power and the people who’ve chosen to attend an exorcism seminar aren’t.
2:00 “Once they get to their deepest pain, if there’s a demon, it will show up.”
So suffering the above symptoms only leads to the possibility of being possessed. I wonder why low self-esteem is all the Devil needs to get into some people, but losing a parent, spouse, or friend isn’t enough pain for the Devil to take advantage of. Larson’s giving himself plenty of excuses as to why demonic possession occurs only in the communities he needs it to occur in.
2:07 “And then I get rid of it. …Out! Out! Out in the name of Jesus!”
The Devil, a supernaturally powerful being, has the ability to possess a human, but all it takes to exorcise the Devil or a demon is by commanding it to get out, placing a book on the victim’s head, and invoking Jesus’ name?
Let’s think about this a second. Let’s assume that Judaism and Christianity are valid views of reality. The Devil exists, demons exist, they have their proscribed attributes, and they’ve had them since the beginning of time (alternately a mere few thousand years to a few billion years depending on whom you ask). How is it possible that the Devil and his demons are powerful enough to enter a human’s body and control him, but another human’s petty rituals are enough to override the Devil or demon’s supernatural powers?
More to the point, assuming the Devil and demons have existed since the beginning of time, don’t they have an R & D department? Haven’t they figured out yet that all we humans have to do to overcome their amazing, supernatural powers is tell the Devil and demons to stop using their powers? You’d think that in the thousands (or billions) of years of existence, the Devil and his demons would’ve at least once tried a different strategy or counter-attack. And what about the human’s rituals? Placing a book on someone’s head and invoking Jesus’ name is enough to exorcise one demon one time, but the Devil and his demons can always get back in later? Are we to understand that the Devil and his demons, and the Bible and Jesus’ name are equally powerful? Considering that the two sets of things both exist in a universe supposedly ruled by an omnipotent god, that seems impossible. Why would an omnipotent god set the rules such that the forces of good and evil are equally matched? Who’s side is God on?
2:35 “The next time I do an exorcism on a spirit of murder that is violently trying to rip my head off, [any critic is invited] to come up on stage and take my place.”
Oh please. In all the footage they took no one, not a single person was trying to “violently” rip his head off. The most anyone was doing was making a snarling face.
I’ll take him up on it. I’ll happily go up on stage and face the demon-possessed. And let’s say he’s being literal. Let’s say that someone is trying to rip his head off. That’s only evidence that someone’s trying to violently rip his head off. People might rip heads off of other people for all sorts of reasons. Influence of drugs, crimes of passion. There is no direct, verifiable correlation between the possibility of demonic possession and violent behavior.
4:27 “My body was taken over by something and it started contorting. And vulgar words at God came out.”
There’s no way to verify that something took over his body.
Contorting could be caused by any number of things such as seizures or restless leg syndrome. I’ve used “vulgar words” in reference to God and I wasn’t possessed.
4:50 “The majority of people who have a demon don’t know they have a demon.”
Until they show up to his seminar and confirm their bias towards demonic possession under the social pressure to exhibit possession symptoms? If Larson’s claim is true, then what the hell is the point of any of it? If I’m possessed right this second as I write this, I obviously don’t see a difference between being possessed and not being possessed. If there’s no discernable difference between being possessed and not being possessed, then the one that I can verify as normal, not being possessed, is the most likely state actually occurring.
5:15 “I talk to the Devil on a regular basis.”
Of course he does. It’s how he makes his living. He wouldn’t eat if he didn’t talk to the Devil. But what evidence does he have, other than people snarling and rolling around on the floor, that any of this is true? Telling the audience over and over that he’s looked into the Devil’s eyes only proves that he claims that he’s looked into the Devil’s eyes. There’s no way to objectively verify that.
5:22 “The exorcist says the transformation these people go through during an exorcism is proof.”
It’s proof that something happens, yes, but not proof of what’s claimed. People snarling, being touched by a book, then ceasing their snarling is only proof that they were snarling, were touched by a book, and then ceased snarling. There’s no way to objectively verify that the claims made were proven.
6:02 “I can tell them right now this is real!”
If I claimed that I’d been possessed by leprechauns, started speaking in a silly Irish accent, went to a leprechaun exorcist, were touched by some book, and then ceased speaking in my Irish accent, that wouldn’t be proof that I’d been possessed by leprechauns. It would only be proof that I’d spoken in an Irish accent and then ceased speaking in that accent.
6:51 “That seems to be why he can’t get rid of them.”
This makes no sense. The Bible and invocation of Jesus’ name is only enough sometimes? Some demons can’t take the Bible heat, but some can over and over? What does “generational” mean? Do demons inherit humans? Does a demon’s son who claims ownership of a human have to battle it out in court against his brother who also claims to inherit that human? Are there demonic human-inheritance attorneys in Hell?
Just like with all religious belief, once you start to examine this even just a little, it reveals itself for what it truly is: insane, ridiculous hogwash.
What’s with Larson holding the mic up while doing his exorcism? Does the mic enhance the powers of the Bible? Or does it just amplify the sounds, making everything more dramatic?