Was host Alex Tsakiris being too aggressive and disrespectful towards the good doctor? Or was Dr. Patricia Churchland – Oxford educated, MacArthur Fellowship awarded, highly regarded academic and author of recent you-are-your-brain book Touching a Nerve – simply ill-prepared for her long-standing beliefs, rooted in scientific materialism, to be contested?
Tag Archives | Spirituality
A couple says holy dirt from the northern New Mexico town has left a holy and healing mark. Just last weekend, Paula Osuna says she fell down the stairs at her home causing painful bruises all over her foot. Eventually she asked her fiancé to rub some of the holy Chimayo dirt he had saved from a pilgrimage there a couple years back. After putting the holy dirt on her foot and then bandaging it, she says the next day the bruise formed in the shape of Jesus on her second toe. Osuna says her family members first noticed the bruise. The bruise has since changed shape, but Osuna says she’s convinced of the holy sighting.
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“They just can’t be done that way,” says Reverend Isaac Kramer, director of the International Catholic Association of Exorcists. “If a person is fully possessed, the demon will not let them sit in front of the computer screen to be exorcised. They’re going to throw the computer screen across the room.”
Larson isn’t the first to champion the Skype exorcism. In 2010, famous Israeli Kabaalist Rabbi HaRav David Batzri attempted to exorcise a Brazilian man possessed by a “dybbuk,” a demon, over Skype.
The Internet-ization of exorcisms has made the ritual one that scam artists and “self-identified” exorcists have used to make fast cash. Websites such as ExorcismTraining.net offer online exorcisms to demon-ridden customers. Want to self-treat? They have a beginners’ training pack for $29.95 so you can teach yourself to exorcise in just four weeks.
“The capacious term ‘spirituality’ lacks clarity because it is not so much a unitary concept as a signpost for a range of touchstones; our search for meaning, our sense of the sacred, the value of compassion, the experience of transcendence, the hunger for transformation.
There is little doubt that spirituality can be interesting, but what needs to be made clearer by those who take that for granted is why it is also important. To be a fertile idea for those with terrestrial power or for those who seek it, we need a way of speaking of the spiritual that is intellectually robust and politically relevant.” - Jonathan Rowson
Between explaining it away as an artifact of the brain and militant rejection of it as leftover cultural/scientific ignorance, spirituality has long been anathema to academic circles (and many corners of the YAY SCIENCE! internet community). If it’s discussed at all, it’s from the proposition of wishful fairy stories, peppered with a healthy amount of contempt and ridicule.… Read the rest
Time to request emergency assistance from the Vatican? Via the BBC:
A US police captain says he believed a story about a woman who claimed her children were possessed by demons. Latoya Ammons, from Indiana, said her three children walked up walls, levitated and spoke in voices.
Official reports filed in 2012 backed up her claims, with psychologists stating that they saw the nine-year-old child speak in “different deep voices” and walk “up the wall backwards”.
Gary Police Captain Charles Austin described himself as a “believer” after visiting the house and interviewing Ms Ammons and her family. Official Indiana state documents detail more events, apparently witnessed by medical experts and those outside the family.
The report also detailed the time when the seven-year-old “walked up the wall” in front of a number of medical professionals: “He flipped over and landed on his feet in front of the grandmother and sat down in the chair.”
ScienceDaily on a study suggesting that the conviction that our souls will survive beyond death is a feeling that emerges intuitively:
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Most people believe they are immortal. That is, that part of themselves-some indelible core, soul or essence-will transcend the body’s death and live forever. But why? And why is this belief so unshakable?
A new Boston University study published in Child Development suggests that our bias toward immortality is a part of human intuition that naturally emerges early in life. And the part of us that is eternal, we believe, is our hopes, desires and emotions.
Researchers have long suspected that people develop ideas about the afterlife through cultural exposure, like television or movies, or through religious instruction. But perhaps, thought Emmons, these ideas of immortality actually emerge from our intuition. Just as children learn to talk without formal instruction, maybe they also intuit that part of their mind could exist apart from their body.
Alaskan GOP candidate for the US Senate Kathleen Tonn recently published a video showing her delivering a message in "the Holy Ghost and tongues" to an unsaved woman in a local steam room in an effort to confuse Satan, and some critics are attacking her for it. In the video published on YouTube Saturday, Tonn is shown singing and witnessing to the woman she identified as Suzie in the steam room at the Alaska Club West. "Suzie doesn't know Jesus Christ as her savior…so she has allowed me to deliver a message in the Holy Ghost and tongues," said Tonn in the video. She then explained why she chose to deliver the message in tongues: "Speaking in tongues or singing in tongues is very valuable because the message cannot be understood by Satan."
If demons can be removed over the internet, can they be transmitted and enter the body that way as well? ABC15 in Phoenix reports:
Thanks to the age of technology a Scottsdale reverend says he is getting a chance to help people possessed by demons, all over the world. In the age of electronics, exorcisms are done over Skype.
“In simple terms, an exorcism is the process of expelling an evil spirit from an individual who has become somehow invaded and demonized by that being, and sending it back to hell and freeing the person,” Rev. Bob Larson said.
So what does Larson say to those people who see these dramatic exchanges as nothing more than a disturbing night club act? Larson says he’s done more than 20,000 exorcisms. “It’s real,” he says. “There would be no reason to theatrically stage this for any reason.”
A mixture of exorcism and insanity leads to a bone-chilling crime, the Washington Post reports:
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The Montgomery County mother accused of stabbing her four young children during a bloody exorcism — killing two of them — believed that demonic spirits were jumping from one child to the next and that she had to keep attacking them, a Montgomery County prosecutor said in court Tuesday.
Avery and 21-year-old Monifa Sanford claimed to be part of a four-person group called the “Demon Assassins,” with Avery having the title of “commander” and Sanford “sergeant.”
During the stabbings, the women would later tell detectives, they saw the children’s eyes turn black and a black cloud over one of the children. At one point, they said, the spirits jumped inside of Sanford.
The hearings for each woman underscored how the case appears to be a jumble of belief in demonic possession laced with some level of mental illness.
Should we be concerned about charismatic religious leaders hoarding doomsday arsenals of deadly reptiles? Via WBIR-TV:
All of the snakes that were confiscated from a serpent-handling pastor in Campbell County have now been euthanized.
TWRA seized 55 poisonous snakes from Andrew Hamlin in November. He handled the snakes as part of worship services at the Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette. Hamlin was cited for having animal dangerous to humans, but a grand jury did not indict him on criminal charges.
The confiscated snakes were taken to the Knoxville Zoo, but were in such poor condition, they could not be saved. According to Michael Ogle, Curator of Herpetology at the Knoxville Zoo, “The 14 remaining snakes are highly suspected of being infected with the same pathogens that have proven fatal for the other snakes brought to us.”