The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
11 Points

Demon Possession: Science or Supernatural?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/13/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,658 times Debate No: 29151
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)




In this debate, the argument is all about, whether demon possession has scientific reasons or it is inside the boundaries of supernatural. As Pro, I will stand up for Supernatural, which means, if I am able to bring sufficient proofs about them, it would mean that Supernaturals, that includes God, exist.

Con, will take on Science part, therefore, he/she must show proofs that such phenomenon has scientific evidences, or at least, demon possessions has possibilities that can be explained by Science.

We have 3 rounds to argue. 1 round (this round) is for acceptance. The remaining 3 rounds is for the argument.

Rules for Debating Round (Round 2 to 4)
Round 2 - Presentation of Arguments
Round 3 - Rebuttals, new argument
Round 4 - Rebuttals for Arguments from Round 3

Round 5, is the Conclusion round. No arguments shall be added. Round 4 is for rebuttal ONLY.

Rules are to be followed. No trolls.

God bless everyone.


To avoid semantic games:
Science: systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. [1]
Supernatural: a manifestation beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal. [2]

A note on BoP:
In the absense of conclusiveness (as in, the supernatural has not sufficiently explained X, nor has science sufficiently explained X) it seems fair the default is Con, since using science is the status quo course of action for explaining/interpreting anything in the physical world. (p.s Since I accepted this debate and didn't give any forewarning to Pro about this, I think it's fair for Pro to give a rational reason to object to this addition in the next round).

In General:
Logical fallacies should be rejected if they're called out and shown why an argument cannot function without it. Also, any empirical examples should be cited, as well as statistics. This is only fair to the opponent.

With that, I accept this debate as Con.

First word goes to Pro-

Debate Round No. 1


Demon Possession is one of the phenomenon cannot be explained, or no direct explanation from Sciences, and if ever, it is not a strong explanation, though, therefore remains a mystery.

In this debate, the very question is: If Demon Possessions were truly supernatural or there are possibilities for Science to explain such.

As Pro, I will show proofs that such phenomenon is Supernatural.

Philippine setting:
In some reports, demon possessions of students (normally, 20, there is no constant number of students possessed during the phenomenon) have been reported in public schools. Public schools in the Philippines are normally local government schools where low tuition fees are guaranteed for students who cannot afford for private schools. Usually, public schools are surrounded by nature (trees, rocks, etc.) and sometimes, in mountains.

These are RANDOM sources of public schools reports. Names of schools are NOT chosen, so, no intention to use them for any purpose:

Normally, some cases would talk about ghost or superstitions that when you do this, the ghost will be mad.

Since such reports is not convincing, I have talked to my cousin (who also studied in a public school where a demon possession occur).

The whole story is this: The principal wants to cut down the trees, and according to beliefs, ghost and any type of unknown creature resides there. When the cutting is about to be implemented, the students were possessed, shouting at the principal not to cut the trees and wants the principal to be kick out.

My cousin is not possessed, but she feels something different: She feels there's a hole in her back and something strange is coming in to her. She prayed, and the feeling stopped.

My points are:
1) Intercept/"Countermeasure" - Skeptics would tell that such phenomenon can be based on epilepsy and disorder. But to intercept the point, my question is: "How come 20 students or more is been possessed? It does not matter how many, but it is impossible for 20 students to be epileptic AT THE SAME TIME"

2) Cousin's personal experience.


Pro accepts the additions I made to the debate during round one, so these should be considered when judging an argument.

Contention One: Epilepsy

Pro mishandles epilepsy and disregards its explanation of instances of "demonic possession." Epilepsy is defined as "a disorder of the CNS characterized by periodic loss of consciousness with or without convulsions." [1] This isn't to explain mass hysteria and delusion, rather individual cases where a patient suffers an attack, resulting in convulsions. Pro's attempt to lump this in with the Philippines example is a generalization and only serves to ignore individual scientific explanations. Other explanations for "possession" include schizophrenic delusions and symptoms of illness. Does this mean all of these symptoms occur at once? Of course not. Each report is unique in some sort, and should be treated as such. This is why Con has the BoP to refute Pro's arguments on an individual basis and without substantial proof supporting the supernatural the vote goes to Con.

Contention two: Mass Hysteria (Counterexamples)

Mass hysteria is a medically diagnosable group disorder. This is believed, in part, to explain several confusing hysterias, even religiously affiliated ones. [2]

a) The Salem Witch Trials (religiously tied)
In the US, the Salem witch trials caused over one hundred arrests on suspicion of having used witchcraft across a few villages in Massachussettes. Of the twenty-six people who actually went to trial in the Court of Oyer and Terminer, all twenty-six were convicted and killed. Over the course of a couple years, over 2,500 people were convicted for supposed witchcraft.

b) Y2K Bug (modern)
Mass hysteria happens more often than people realize. Thousands of Americans were convinced the world was going to end due to massive technological malfunctions. The US government spent over $300 billion trying to fix a problem that was never really there.

c) McCarthy Hearings (political)
The infmaous McCarthy hearings in the US resulted in dozens of illegal hearings and convictions of US citizens who were suspected of being Communist. It began as a trial over the suspicion of being a Soviet spy, but developed into a country-wide fiasco over hysteric accusations of national identity.

d) The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic (bizarre)
In 1962, a bizarre outbreak of uncontrollable laughter occurred in a Tanzanian village. One joke released a wildfire of hysteric laughter that was reportedly paralyzing to the people who caught it. The contagious laughter lasted for over a year, popping in and out of classrooms and disappearing as if it never happened in the first place.

e) The War of the Worlds (probably the best example)
Orson Welles unleashed an unexpected amount of hysteria when he performed his "War of the Worlds" broadcast in 1938. Many Americans believed the world was coming to an end because giant alien life-forms were descending from space and vaporizing entire cities. The idea is ludicrous, but people reported smelling poisonous gas and seeing flashes of lightning near the horizon. Over a million people believed the world was under attack, and the description of Welles' broadcast became reality when public riots on the streets ensued.

Were those villagers of Massachussettes actually possessed by the devil to perform witch-like acts (note: none of which were ever confirmed)? Was there a supernatural phenomenon to explain a sudden outbreak of laughter for eighteen months? Are any of the above proof "possession" starts mass hysteria? The simple answer is no, but the scientific answer opens many doors to the human unconsious. Notice how every instance of "demonic possession" or hysteria comes from a psychologically strenuous scene. "Demonic possession" is no more real than Welles' alien apocalypse of 1938, or the Y2K apocalypse of 2000. The only difference between hysteria and "demonic possession" is religious notions are thrown into the mix. Why should they be treated any differently?

Contention Three: Religion

The scientific community writes "possession" off as disorder X and the religious think it's proof the devil exists. First, the fact that a person/people went temporarily psychotic does not mean "the devil did it," let alone the devil exists. This is argumentum ad ignorantiam at play. "We don't know, therefore it's X." Pro hasn't given any reason to suggest otherwise, except for the unsupported assumption that a god and some devil exist. Pro hasn't met the BoP. To reference Pro's example in the Philippines, the Philippines is a country of high religious affiliation (with varying religions based on geography). It makes sense the media would sensationalize hysteria and claim (without support) "demonic possessions" have occurred. Notice how symptoms often border cultural lines and are accepted as fact without any scientific research. Why is that? Well, take an ounce of stress (say, cutting down trees that have significant ties to spiritual belief), mix a pint of religion, a spark of delusion, a pound of denial, and, violà: mass hysteria explained by "demons." [3] There is a circular reasoning behind "demonic possessions" that should be addressed. Pro attempts to justify "demonic" outbreaks as true because, supposedly, demons exist and, therefore, it must be demons. This notion is ludicrous and proves nothing when it comes to the supernatural.

Contention Four: Conversion Disorder

Conversion disorder is a known psychiatric illness associated with delusion. The onset of symptoms usually occurs after a psychological conflict (like, say, the Philippine example) and often result in numbness, blindness, inability to speak, and paralysis. [4] These symptoms catch on so fast there isn't enough time to gauge the scenario before treating the patient. As a result, no on-scene testing is done, and people claim whatever suits their beliefs. Exorcisms do not speed up the cure, and treatment is usually done through stress management and direct therapy of affected physical areas (i.e. massaging a numb limb) and vocal therapy for mental symptoms (i.e. talking to a patient "speaking in tongues").

Contention Five: He Said, She Said

Many outbreaks or at-home "demonic possessions" are spread like any other rumor. People twist them in a way where they're believable or unique, which varies from person to person. Soon, we hear rumors of a "possession" where a person shot five feet into the air while "speaking in tongues" when the actual circumstance was an ordinary seizure with convulsions. Appealing to a story told by somebody else is fallacious for these reasons, and is considered an anecdotal fallacy. These claims are usually formatted in the style of, "I heard from A that X happened," or "I know a person, A, who experienced X." These claims should hold no more weight than someone claiming they knew a person who knew a person who was abducted by aliens. Without substantial evidence/proof, it's not an actual argument.


Pro makes a good statement before giving his arguments. If there are possibilities for science to explain "possessions" they should be preferred over unfalsifiable statements, like "god did it" or "the supernatural caused it." This is a hefty amount of BoP Pro has to maintain to win this debate. Pro has to show there is no way for science to interpret "demonic possessions" as a part of the natural world. The BoP Con has is merely show, with evidence if necessary, that research can unlock answers to what are perceived as supernatural phenomena and refute Pro's claims. Beyond Pro's initial clarification, there is very little, if any, strong argument for the existence of demonic possession. Without assuming demons, the devil, or any god, exists, none of Pro's arguments hold any water.

Debate Round No. 2


As to abide the rules, I am now going to rebut in response of Con's.

For introduction,
Epilepsy is one seen reason behind demonic possessions, and individually, I do concede that point.

But in terms of group, the one I have presented, epilepsy and Mass Hysteria cannot just be applied. Though some seem to be scientific like the ones presented by Con, there are also some which seem not to be explained by Science.

My cousin felt something different: Something seems to open at her back, and seems that the temperature seemed to either drop or rise. She just prayed and the feeling stop. That is during the demonic possession attacked her school.

Witchcraft is one associated with demon possession as it involves the Supernatural.
Some cases are:
1) Cockroaches occur in the body, or when the victim speaks, cockroaches will go outside his/her mouth. Many cockroaches will occur.
2) Our neighbor had been cursed by witchcraft which results her tongue to be longer.

Ghost and Poltergeist were also associated with it.
1) After a group of men had drunk in a believed haunted house, holes in their body occur. How it looks? Imagine a hole in the wall, just like that. You can see the other side, the same way, you look at the hole in the wall.

Arguments would be the same as the rebuttals.
One question will remain: How come such event happened like the group of men being cursed by the believed poltergeist that has now holes in them? Or when you speak, cockroaches and insects will come out? Demon possession cannot just be explained by Science. When Pastors heal these victims, they just go calm. Epileptic people normally won't be calm by just being touched by the pastor or praying (My cousin's case)


Contention One:

This debate has filed down to the question of mass hysteria, since Pro concedes individual "possessions" are predominantly caused by epilepsy, delusion, or simply faking it.

Contention Two:

Pro has yet to give any substantive explanation to why supernatural claims should be preferred over scientific reasoning. Just because neuroscience hasn't thoroughly explained mass hysteria, doesn't mean "demons did it." By saying, "there are also some which seem not to be explained by Science" Pro is appealing to ignorance here. This argument can be demonstrated by:

1. Mass hysteria occurred.
2. Science hasn't found the answer, yet.
3. Therefore, demons did it.

The flaw in this statement is two-fold: 1. the assumption that since science can't understand something yet means it can't be understood by science at all, and 2. the false connection between point two and point three. Even if science doens't have an answer, there isn't a shred of evidence supporting the existence, let alone the influence, of demons in the natural world.

Other than this reference to contention two, there hasn't been any rebuttal by Pro. The reason for the counterexamples was not to merely give five random examples of mass hysteria, but to show the relationship between hysteria linked to reliegious beliefs (like the Salem witch trials and Pro's Philippines example) and those not linked to religious beliefs (like Welles' broadcast and the Tanganyikan example). These all follow the same basic formula: stressor, delusion, conformity, and then confirmation in the case of the "supernatural."

Contention Three:

Pro hasn't addressed this point at all. This is a damaging defensive argument against supernatural explanations for mass hysteria. Without any evidence to support the supernatural, even in the absence of a solid scientific one, no weight should be given to explanations involving supernatural entities (gods, the devil, demons, etc.).

The supernatural also can't explain the cultural influence on "demonic possessions." The outbreak in the Philippines happened because the students thought there were ghosts actually residing in those trees. The witching trials occurred in Massachusetts because people were convinced others were witches, even though all empirical evidence showed otherwise. Americans believed the end of the world was upon them when Welles gave his 1938 broadcast based on The War of the Worlds. They even confirmed their notions by claiming to smell poisonous gases and seeing flashes of lightning around the horizon. When Pro says his cousin reported feeling a hole open up in her back and felt the temperature rise during the "demonic possesion" at her school, note that people tend to confirm presuppositions without intending to prove their claims. Pro's anecdotal example (which shouldn't hold any ground because there's no way of verifying this actually happened) follows precisely the same recipe as did The War of the Worlds hysteria. This is why this is such a good example. It shows how easy people are influenced, convinced, and sent into full-blown delusion by superficial claims of the supernatural.

Contention Four:

Conversion disorder is a known psychatiric illness. Pro hasn't responded to this at all. Psychological conflicts can result in physical symptoms, such as numbness, blindness, or feeling a hole open up on your back. The symptoms are so quick to occur bystanders and medical personnel typically treat the patient before taking a survey of the events that led up to the symptoms in the first place. This is conceded, and is a real explanation for hysteria. Freud was the first, along with Breuer, to develop the connection between psychological distress, and its conversion (hence, the name) to neurological symptoms. [1] Psychoanalysis is often the form of treatment pateints recieve for conversion disorder. In a stressful situation, people can succumb to neurological malfunctions (for lack of a better term) and produce situations familiarly described in "demonic possessions."

Contention Five:

Pro's other examples are answered by this contention. There is no reaosn to believe any of these happened, at all. None of this is even remotely convincing because it warrants analysis, recorded observations, and documented proof.

This was covered above in the Salem witch trials counterexample. Also, some searching on Google has shown zero documented cases of bugs (specifically cockroaches) crawling out of someone's mouth. Unless this claim can be supported by an actual, documented case, there's no argument here. As for the neighbour anecdote, why should this be believed? Again, Google has failed to present any recorded case of this around this planet.

Ghost and Poltergeist:
This one is actually pretty easy to explain. They were drinking.

Finally, none of these anecdotes should be granted any weight. It's all "he said, she said." Stories end up coming down to "I heard from A, who told it to B... etc. who explained to me that X happened." It's possible to insert any insane claim for X, since anybody could potentially say anything happened. If X were always true, everybody would believe in alien abductions (and not), there would be only one religion (and multiple), and nobody would ever disagree on anything ever again (yet, disagree on everything). Witnesses on the stand in a court case (at least, in the US that is) are not particularly reliable for a reason: people fill in gaps they don't understand. It's natural. Early humans thought the world was flat because we're not large enough to realize the gradual curvature of the planet. Does that mean the world is flat? Of course not, but it shows the danger in blindly accepting initial thoughts that don't have any merit to them.


Pro posed some questions, so I'll answer them in order, and then pose some questions of my own to Pro afterwards.

"How come such event happened like the group of men being cursed by the believed poltergeist that has now holes in them?"
They were drunk. People aren't reliable when they're sober, why should we believe them more when they've been drinking?

"Or when you speak, cockroaches and insects will come out?"

This never happened. I'd be hard pressed to ever see this happen in a fully functioning, living human being and be able to tell the story. The counterquestion is where would all those cockroaches come out from, the stomach (they'd be dead), the endoderm tissue (the person would have been torn to shreds)? Also, if cockroahces were actually crawling out of a human being, their throat would most likely close off and they'd choke to death before actually letting more than one or two of them out alive.

"[Why], when Pastors heal these victims, they just go calm?"
a. They were faking.
b. They were delusional (and, therefore, the patient convinced themselves they were healed).
c. Their seizure ended during the exorcism, since most seizures end within minutes of beginning.
d. They passed out.
e. Any/all of the above.
Take your pick, although option "c" is the most likely.

Here are my counter-questions:
1. Why should we prefer the supernatural (in other terms, where's the proof)?
2. Are there any documented cases where something was done that directly contradicts the laws of nature, and if so, what case/s? (Sources should be required to make this proof)
3. Pro says "demonic possessions" can't just be explained by science. Ignoring the pending infinite regress that statement implies, why not? It's been doing a pretty good job so far.

[1] Studies in Hysteria, by Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud, 1895
Debate Round No. 3


Con seem to ignore or at least, deny, the cases presented.

As to rebut, I always use personal experiences, one reason why I put my cousin on the point.
Before we proceed to my cousin, let's go back to the ghost, witchcraft, and pastors.

1) Pastors and Possession
No pastor and people would waste time to make a show of being possessed, then, a pastor would heal. Well, if someone would do, probably, they just want fame. But of course, not all cases are that.

2) Witchcraft
Cockroaches coming out is a documentation, I mean, its not a myth to explain something. We cannot just claim that, "this and that person is cursed by a witch". Such cases cannot just be ignored, and as we all know, creatures like witches won't just show up due to fear that people in their community would kill them.

Moreover, we can't just ignore such claims, and obviously, it cannot be hallucination.

3) Poltergeist

Not only the drunk saw their bodies that have holes, in fact, the residents themselves, the neighbors and friends who are not drunk, too. Like in point two, we cannot deny such claim, as even those who are not drunk raised such claim.

Questions to be answered:
1) Supernatural is beyond our understanding, what we know is that, Science cannot explain it.
2) In possession, my cousin's experience.
3) Science cannot explain it by natural laws.


Pro began by saying I haven't responded to his cases. This is, simply, a lie, and I'm going to call him out on it. My third round embedded answers to each and every one of his anecdotes (I even labeled them for organization). I will not call them arguments, because they don't meet the threshold to be considered one.

Pro's alternate claim is that, even if I responded, it was just a denial. To an extent, that's true. But, it's not just a denial. I am denying those claims because they aren't supported and because they don't make sense (particularly the cockroach and drinking examples).
Christopher Hitchens once put it nicely by saying, "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." I am openly challenging Pro. Which case did I not answer? Pro provided these cases:

1. School hysteria
2. Cousin anecdote
3. Witchcraft (two claims)
4. "Haunted" house
5. Pastors healing "victims"

Each of these were answered in round three. The school hysteria was refuted in contentions two (hysteria), three (cultural influence), and four (conversion disorder). The cousin anecdote was answered by contentions four (conversion disorder) and five (anecdotal fallacy and BoP). I answered the witchcraft claims with contentions three (Salem trials, specifically) five (anecdotal fallacy and BoP), and the rebuttal. The "haunted" house and Pastor claims were directly responded to in the rebuttal. Without actually debating my contentions, Pro has effectively conceded my entire offense and defense.

Pro continues by saying, "I always use personal experience, one reason why I put my cousin on the point." I'm going to be quick and methodical about this.

1. I established in round one we should try to avoid logical fallacies whenever possible. I even reiterated it by making a fifth contention centered around the anecdotal fallacy.
2. I have shown how Pro's anecdotes can't function without being unfalsifiable and a pinch of appeal to ignorance.
3. Just because Pro uses anecdotes doesn't mean those claims are valid. This is a clear non sequitur.

Contention One:

Pro admitted epilepsy and delusion explains individual circumstances. On that note alone, the Pastor example should be rejected.

Contention Two:

Pro refuses to answer any of my counterexamples. How are the Salem witch trials, explained in part by mass hysteria and part by (supposedly) ergot poisoning, any different than Pro's witching examples. They're unfalsifiable, anecdotal, and unproven. If we believe demons and witches caused the hysteria at the Filipino school, in the home, in the haunted house, etc. we must also believe aliens caused the "War of the Worlds" hysteria.

Contention Three:

Pro has now twice conceded this contention. Since no new arguments are allowed in round five, this is a full concession by Pro. I believe Pro believes demons caused all of his examples. Yet, it is that factor that blinds reason. People try to fill what they don't understand and the supernatural is all too easy to use. The problem is, there is zero evidence to support it.

I challenged Pro last round, "Are there any documented cases wehre something was done that directly contradicts the laws of nature, and if so, what case/s (Sources should be required to make this proof)?" Instead of posting evidence, he gives an article posing no credible argumentation for the existence of demons. It's interesting to see, though, that this article criticizes the idea of witches existing, and considered this belief akin to those who believe in UFO sightings (this is Pro's article in round four, for reference).

1. When it starts off with, "the information in this article was obtained by word of mouth through interviews," there's not much else to say. Of course spiritual natives of the Philippines (depending on their geography) are going to claim demons, witches, ghosts, etc. exist. This doesn't mean they do.
2. The article admits these things are superstition (the introduction), which the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as, "a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation."
3. This is where the author begins talking about demons: "Let's face it, demons do exist and they do manifest themselves from time to time." They do? The author doesn't even try to prove it with documented evidence. The only argument the author gives for the existence of demons is a personal experience (which, I have said numerous times, should be held to an extremely high standard of proof, otherwise it should be rejected in preference of my first four contentions).

The author of this article is summed up by appealing to God and quoting scripture. It's irrelevant; it's not proof. All scripture does is satisfy those who believe in their faith (in this case, Christianity). It cannot prove the supernatural.

Contention Four:

If there's any scientific/psychological answer to individual hysteria, it's conversion disorder. Pro has conceded this, along with contention three, twice. No new answers should be allowed against this contention, since Pro has failed to answer it at all. I cited Freud as well as gave an explanation on the symptoms and therapy for this disorder. To save space, I won't reexplain it, but it is above in the second and third rounds.

Contention Five:

I'll answer Pro's individual claims from round four here, as it seems fitting.

Pastors have done it before, and they will keep doing it as people are still convinced demons exist. [1] [2] Pro continues by saying not all cases are like that. This claim is not substantiated in any way, and should have no weight, particularly considering my first four contentions. Lastly, people have died in exorcisms, and people are tried on manslaughter in the U.S. I gave five possibilities explaining why a person would go calm during an exorcism. The most likely is my third: their seizure ended. Seizures don't last long (usually between a few seconds and, at most, a few minutes). Just because they went calm doesn't mean the Pastor did anything special. Pro didn't even respond to the alternative possibilities, so this argument is refuted.

Pro claims there is documentation of cockroaches crawling out of peoples' mouths. Yet, Pro failed to even give an article saying it happened. Why? Because it has never happened. He then says, "We cannot just claim that, 'this and that person is cursed by a witch.'" To that, I would like to cross-apply the Salem witch trials. Hundreds were accused, and in the Court of Oyer and Terminar, all twenty-six were convicted and killed with no evidence to indict. Giles Corey stood out among the crowd and exposed the arbitrariness of the convictions. His last words were "more weight" as the court crushed him to death by stones for not pleading guilty/innocent (which, a defendant is not mandated to do according to U.S. law, by pleading "no contest"). I rest my case on witchcraft.

Pro is redefining what happened in this scenario (which, has yet to be proven true). But, for the sake of argument, let's assume his claims were true. Holes actually occurred in the body. Why can this not be found online? Holes randomly appearing in a group of men from a haunted house would certainly make headlines. Also, how did others see this? If holes actually appeared in these men, they would have died. They would have bled out so fast they wouldn't have been able to leave the house. My two points still stand: it's an unsupported claim and makes no sense (due to simple physiology of the human body).


Pro has no arguments against contentions three and four, and barely references contentions one and five. These concessions are reasons alone negate the resolution.


Debate Round No. 4


To conclude, I have to respond to Con's raised issue of telling that he had ignored or at least, deny my cases.

Well, I do apologize, but I need to stand up for myself as well. I haven't presented heavy case, as looking deeper in my wording, I used the word "seem", meaning, no indication of heavy claims.

"Con seem to ignore or at least, deny, the cases presented."

To be more safe, I told that he SEEM to ignore, OR at least, deny.

"Pro's alternate claim is that, even if I responded, it was just a denial. To an extent, that's true. But, it's not just a denial. I am denying those claims because they aren't supported and because they don't make sense (particularly the cockroach and drinking examples)."

The reason for raising and calling it a denial, is in the sense that, he seem not to answer it in such a way that such cases will be false, rather, try to generalize cases. Sorry for not that being fluent in English, but let me just put it straight: If Salem Witch Trials seem to be false, then, since the cases that I present seem to be alike with the Witch Trials, he just generalized it like saying, "if Salem Witch Trials is false, then the rest with such case would be false"

Probably, Con's case presented like the Witch Trials and some exorcisms are false, but it does not mean that all types of cases is false.

For me, there are cases that we should ignore and not to ignore. I will not choose a case that seem to be false.

Anyway, I won't dwell further anymore.

To simply conclude, there are things that is beyond the boundaries of Science. I am all for Science, too, but let us admit the fact that there are things which Science is impossible to explain.

My cousin's experience, the hole that drunkards have, and cockroaches coming out from a cursed person cannot just be denied. Though, some can be myth or misunderstanding, some will still remain as true and demands for concern.

Demon possession on the other hand, some may be fake, but NOT all.

This is my cousin's experience, for those who may forget:
She felt some opening from her back, change in temperature, and seems that something or someone enters her. She prayed, then the feeling stopped. Notice, that happened when students, some students are being possessed. And while that happens, that is pretty noticeable that she is conscious, and there is no sign of mental disorder.

As we all know, demon possessions would sometimes make a person's voice change, and make their complexion change, usually, to either green or yellow. That is something epilepsy CAN'T do.

Thanks and God bless!


First, I'd like to thank Pro for having this debate with me. It's been a pleasure defending science.

I will concede one point: science hasn't answered every natural phenomena over the course of history. Maybe it can't. I didn't defend that because I don't have to. Pro gave the standards in his first round by saying he would win if he was "able to bring sufficient proofs about [demonic possession]." The resolution, as it stands, is which course of understanding can better prove hysteria vs. possession, scientific research vs. the supernatural. This means both Pro and Con had the BoP to defend/negate cases and evidence brought forward.

Pro's last attempt to leverage his case against the counter-examples is to declare them generalizations. I made it clear they, in and of themselves, do not negate Pro's case, but serve to expose the variety of mediums mass hysteria occurs (labeled in round two) and how the lack of understanding leads to filling in the gaps with supernatural explanations. The amount of evidence supporting Pro's case is akin to the "proofs" that aliens caused the War of the Worlds hysteria. The logic of accepting Pro's case is as strong as the counter-examples. These comparisons are simply rejoinders against Pro's case.

Ultimately, the round is centered on whether or not Pro has been able to prove demons caused the acts reported in this debate. When Pro began, he admitted my responses to his cases only seemed to be of non-response and/or denial. In the fourth round, I defended myself against that claim thoroughly, and referenced the contentions I used to do so. By answering this accusation, Pro is left defending an infinite regress of argumentum ad ignorantiam ("argument from ignorance"). Pro's fifth round is a complete concession of science by relying on gaps in scientific understanding. To quote:

1. "Let us admit the fact that there are things which Science is impossible to explain."
2. "Demon possession on the other hand, some may be fake, but NOT all."

These statements only hold water if there is a substantial case against science to back it up. Pro doesn't have that and relies on the lack of understanding to negate Con. By doing this, he gives up the knowledge required to prove demons exist, and the knowledge required to prove his cases in support of the supernatural. This alone negates Pro's standards for affirming demonic possessions established in round one.

Case for Science:

The offense I have presented in this debate went unrefuted. These arguments were culturally influenced hysteria (contentions two and three) and contention four (conversion disorder). Without giving any substantial argument against these cases by Pro, the supernatural claims for Pro's anecdotes are answered by scientific research (specifically psychoanalytical and neuroscientific research).

The defense I presented also went uncontested (other than the infinite regress of "it can't explain all instances"). The defensive arguments I presented were both on the theoretical level (contention five and the various fallacies) as well as the functional (the answers to the various presented cases). Each of the cases Pro presented can be refuted by merely gauging the scene and understanding the things that would have to take place for these things to happen. How could those bugs have crawled out of the mouth without significant physical damge to the person? Why are there zero recorded instances of this witchcraft happening? Where is the link between pastors giving an exorcism and the "victim" going calm? In other terms, couldn't the siezure have just ended (they don't last very long)? How can we prove Pro's neighbor actually has a longer tongue than normal? How did those people live with all those holes in their bodies? Why didn't they bleed out? Without being able to answering the practical problems of these examples, they cannot be held highly as causal evidence for the supernatural.

My last statement is this: Pro can't prove his anecodotes. Neither the "haunted house" or cockroach examples show up anywhere on the internet. All Pro needed was one documented case, and failed to follow through on that. This is why Pro's argument from ignorance and infinite regress statements can't be held as evidence to support the supernatural. Even if science cannot currently explain Pro's examples (assuming they're true), it doesn't mean it's outside the realm of the laws of nature. Science explains hysteria and "demonic possessions" far better than the supernatural ever could.

Since Pro functionally conceded the majority of Con's case, full weight of these arguments should be pit against Pro's infinite regress arguments and anecdotes.

Please vote Con. Pro has been negated and sufficient evidence/proof supports science.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by x2MuzioPlayer 3 years ago
@ishallannoyyoo- That's why likespeace suggested an alternate resolution. It's not really possible to prove things that are unfalsifiable (invisible, beyond nature, etc.).
Posted by ishallannoyyo 3 years ago
LOL demon possession. How about proving demons exist first?
Posted by x2MuzioPlayer 3 years ago
I agree with likespeace. With the suggested resolution, defending science carries a greater amount of BoP to fill in the gaps. "Conversion Disorder" could easily be flipped around to show how modern science can't explain these phenomena, since the symptoms can be summed up as neurological problems that manifest without satisfactory medical diagnosis.
Posted by likespeace 3 years ago
Unless, of course, you felt you could actually prove moden science's explanation was wrong. :)
Posted by likespeace 3 years ago
I would also be sure to specify the burden of proof as shared.
Posted by likespeace 3 years ago
Pro, may I suggest a redo with a better-worded resolution: Can modern science provide a satisfactory explanation for what happened?

As it stood, you had an almost insurmountable burden of proof. First, you had to provide evidence of demonic possession. Second, you had to show why the scientific method wasn't particular useful for understanding the phenomena. The ironic thing is, if you were able to find enough evidence to prove the first claim, you'd almost certainly prove the second claim in the process.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by likespeace 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The burden as laid out was for Pro to demonstrate demonic posession occured and then they would argue about whether science or the supernatural provided a better answer. Pro never proved possession occured, so arguments to Con. However, I felt Con's comment that, "Pro began by saying I haven't responded to his cases. This is, simply, a lie" was uncalled for. I did not, at first, see how his generic defense against demonic possession directly met the specific cases Pro had raised either, and Pro was respectful throughout.
Vote Placed by GarretKadeDupre 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was condescending and wrongfully accused Pro of lying; Con had better arguments and used better sources. Pros sources were largely anecdotal.
Vote Placed by Deadlykris 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con rebutted every point brought up by Pro, aside from logical fallacies which should not be considered anyway (or you could argue that pointing out the fallacy is functionally the same as rebutting an argument based on them). Con also had more, and more reliable, sources.