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Why Are Demons a Primarily Christian Phenomena


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#16 MoonChild

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:52 AM

Teachings of Christ, or Buddha or KRSNA or whoever says Universal Truth. The problem with the people who interpret those teachings are their own limitations and level of awareness, and moreover we human beings have a tendency to "personalize" things so that it is easy to comprehend. But as I see it "good, bad and the ugly" are all different aspects of the same personal Self. Depending on the level of understanding, awareness, we tend to project whatever quality is ingrained in our ego.

Just my thought.


And to answer the original question Why Are Demons a Primarily Christian Phenomena, (some unproven ideas and speculation...)

There are two reasons as I personally see it.

#1. More of such incidents could have been documented in a Christian dominant society, especially the medieval Europe.

#2. The political structure of church may require to "demonise" various happenings, so as to keep the followers.

But with the advent of Information Age and a more open minded approach the boulders or religion (almost all religions) are fast falling apart.
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#17 Oiche

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:50 PM

It got a little ridiculous, no? Fortunately in the last 45 years or so as CrystalEyz pointed out, the RC Church will consult a Psychiatrist on alleged cases of possession to rule out mental illness
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#18 MoonChild

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:28 PM

I personally wouldn't blame it on Church alone. Every religious structure yearn for control and fear is a perfect key for them to play the number game. But with Catholic Church there is more of documentation and media coverage, and I guess that is why the demonic incidents are considered a more Christian phenomenon.
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#19 Oiche

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 03:19 PM

They've become more progressive to be somewhat more in tune with their flock and that's a good thing, but the long term goal should be similar to raising a child, the child being able to make their own decisions as far as ethics and morality without a need for near constant input from the parent. But as you said, its control and I'm sure there are heirarchs in the structure who fear that the church becoming too lax would result in people leaving
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#20 aloha_spirit

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:47 PM

I think that Christianity is plagued by demons more so than other religions in part because they are a little less likely to accept human failings as human nature than other religions. IMO Christianity focuses on repressing the darker side of human nature as a means of evolving the spirit. Other religions accept and embrace the darker side, while trying to get beyond that dark side.


I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is a pertinent verse found in the Book of Mosiah about this very topic. King Benjamin is dying, so he has his son Mosiah gather their people for one last sermon.

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.


So, we accept that human failing are part of human nature, but we don't want to be the natural man, but rather saints. The process of becoming like God includes learning to control appetites and base urges. The natural man seeks revenge when wronged, but the saint turns the other cheek. It's more than repressing the dark side, it's removing the dark side from who were are.

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#21 PhenomInvestigator

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 09:02 PM

Perhaps it is useful to back up the beginning to consider an alternate proposition.

Demons are a powerful metaphoric force. Whether they exist or not, it is amazing how many people are more than willing to believe in them. But why is this? We don't have fears of the Tooth Fairy. So why 'demons' in general?

Organized religions had a problem many centuries ago. They had few followers - most worshipped some form of paganism. In other words, there was massive competition. As any good marketer will tell you, when you have competitors, you must do several things to get and keep their attention.
You must identify a problem they may or may not have, and convince them they do have the problem. You must offer a solution to their problem (which by now they indeed believe is real), and you must assure that others either have no solution or offer only inferior solutions compared to yours.

In this light, the whole matter as things might have played out centuries ago becomes a bit more clear. Pagans had the attention of those people organized religions wanted. Wars were being fought over these people. A better way was needed. An advertising campaign was required. The people had to be motivated in a way they could not deny or dismiss. Enter life after death, the immortal soul. But it would not do simply to tell people that their mortal souls were in danger. Something had to be done to convince them of the reality of this danger. And that something conveniently was found in medical anomalies of the time. In a world where medicine was simple by today's standards and psychology was non-existent, there was a plethora of human ills that could be referenced as clear signs demons were at work. How could these be combatted? What was the poor lay-person to do?

The answer offered was to align with organized religion. Pray with us (and as important give us your tithing) and we will assure you of immortal salvation. One must admit, when put in these rather crass terms, the whole religious faith thing takes on a different perspective.

As medical and scientific breakthroughs changed the world, mostly for the better, most of those problems of long-ago are better understood and, in many cases, solved. The case for demons is nowhere near as strong as it was in those heady days of long ago. But the faithful still persist, as long as there is something amiss in life, there is hope for those selling the idea of demons.

Curiously, today the church is far less engaged and it is the non-theologians who mostly promote the notion of the reality of demons and demonic forces. As usual the cited rationalizations lurk in the dark recesses that science and philosophy have yet to illuminate. And of course, there is still profit motive, although today it is more about selling tickets to conferences, online seminars and books about the subject matter. The para-celebrities have in some ways replaced the prophets today.

But if this is all true, where is organized religion in all of this? They sit on the sidelines for the most part, musing that many of the faithful still believe in these, by now, rather archaic ideas. There is of course a place for demons and demonic forces in most theological teachings. But these are not statements of absolute fact; instead they are more akin to parables.

If one has strong faith and little belief or understanding of behavioral sciences, it is reasonable to presume that demons would make sense. Many have been swayed by amazing forces and demonstrations which seem to have some basis in reality, although not necessarily a reality that involves interactions with discarnates in any form, especially including demons.

As has been observed here and elsewhere, if these forces were indeed prevalent as they are alledged to be, why are they not known throughout humanity. Why do they indeed seem to be focused on certain groups? The same question might be asked regarding certain prophets or deities. The most obvious answer is that these are creations of Man, perhaps motivated by spritual or divine information and influence, but at the end of the day these are human creations with all the indicators of human foible.

Perhaps in that last analysis is the true answer to the original question.
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#22 Oiche

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 11:48 PM

Hi, Aloha, I'm not sure its possible to remove our darker nature, we can surpress it certainly but to remove it entirely may be causing more harm

Very interesting theory, Phenom
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#23 CaveRat2

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 08:09 AM

While modern society is explaining everything using science and logic, thus pushing the demon side into obscurity we take pride on our enlightenment. We rationalize everything and it all seems to make sense. Increasing numbers of people imply believe demons don't, and never did exist.

Howveer, consider satan has always been defined as the great deceiver. And one of the best deceptions a being in that position could pull off would be to convince the world he did not exist. Thus he could go about whatever work he wanted with impunity. I would put forth the supposition that possibly Christianity has more demon activity because satan and the demons feel more threatened by this belief system. Might this logic be extended to include that Christianity is more "anti-satanic" than other belief systems, and thus more of a threat to evil?

(NOTE. I am not putting this out to belittle other faiths; but only to extend this topic of discussion!)

#24 aloha_spirit

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:52 PM

I'm curious as to where in Christian lore it says that angels are fallen demons. I will agree that demons don't need to get man to turn towards the Devil; it suffices to get man to turn away from God.

Edited by MoonChild, 29 September 2010 - 11:10 PM.
removed MasterofUnseen's quoted post.

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#25 Oiche

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 11:25 PM

Hmmm...beat me to it, Aloha:P

Unseen, I think God's love for man was a part of that, certainly, but it also had to do with the fact that Lucifer was God's second in command, and a member of the highest Choir of the Hosts but as much power as the Seraphim held, they had no will of their own other than to serve, but man...this whining cringing creature that measured their span of years by the handful was given the right to choose
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#26 QRDA

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:39 PM

I would assume that Demons are primarily a christian phenomena because Christians, or those whose primary ideas about the paranormal come from the christian ideology are far more likely to interpret any non-human spirit (or being) as a demon. As an example, a 2-3 foot tall, blue or red horned being is automatically going to be identified as a demon by a christian. Whereas someone conversant with native american folklore might identify it as a pukwegie (yes, I am aware I misspelled it. lol). I think it all comes back to what your central knowledge base says.

#27 kskattebo

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:55 PM

But a puckwegie basically is a demon. Not always bad though sometimes mischievous and sometimes helpful.
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#28 Oiche

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 05:45 PM

I think a lot of it depends on cultural background
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#29 TwiceGreat

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 05:34 PM

Demons do not seem to be a Christian-specific phenomenon. I agree that a large percentage of Christians and people influenced by a Christian culture will probably take anything supernatural to be rather demonic, aside from ghostly phenomenon, but that has been popularized by modern media.

As a pagan, occultist and otherwise, I have had experiences with demons to a greater or lesser degree, often-times through another non-Christian person. It all depends on what a demon actually 'is'.

I believe that spirits, as a whole, are very non-denominational. This isn't always True, and I'd go so far as to say certain spirits get 'tuned-in' by the reality structure of a believer. Most demons are simply spirits infused with something negative. Experience has shown that a spirit can, with enough attention, adopt the aspects of an idea and then fill out that aspect. The point is simple and predatory - the demon just wants to feed and expand itself by triggering more events, energies and patterns that coincide with it. If it gets a nice, Christianized form along with it, all the better. This way, a demon receives sub-conscious permission to be use even greater power to its own ends.

There's one low-down, and there's much to be said for different kinds of demonic entities. Qlippoth, goetia and 'fallen angels', may or may not represent the same sort. Qlippoth are shells, and are referred to as both Entities, Realms of Being, and the Lords of those Realms. Perhaps they are the inhabitants of a cast-off, dying reality strata that must affect our reality to even exist? And you may not even classify the Goetia as 'demons' and reserve them a title as potent spirits with a connection to our shadow-selves, a potent set of spirits that follow their own rites and methods.

The world is a big place and the unseen world is even bigger. It'd be pretty heavy folly to assume that a religion that can't even agree with itself is privy to any real portion of it.
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#30 Cryscat

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 06:21 PM

Jinn can be positive or negative. The Jinn are supernatural creatures in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings. Jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of Allah. According to the Qur’ān, the two creations that have free will are humans and jinn.

The Qur’an mentions that jinn are made of smokeless flame or "the fire of a scorching wind". They have the ability to change their shape. Like human beings, the jinn can also be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent.

The Jinn seem to be pre-Islamic.

Types of jinn include the shayṭān, the ghūl, the marīd, the ‘ifrīt, and the jinn. According to the information in the Arabian Nights, ‘ifrits seem to be the strongest form of jinn, followed by marids, and then the rest of the jinn forms.
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