The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
15 Points

Demons and possessions are genuine

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/1/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,509 times Debate No: 25399
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)




I would like to thank Rational-Thinker for accepting this debate. This should prove to be very educational for us both, as well as all readers of this debate.

I think it would be wise to actually define the term (Being possessed),(demonology), Genuine and (Demons), before we start.

Possessed is defined in this debate as: To be spurred or moved by a strong feeling or madness caused by a supernatural being.

Demonology is defined in this debate as: The study of demons or of belief about demons.

Demons are defined as: An evil supernatural being; a devil.

I hope that these definitions will be satisfactory for my opponent in this debate. If they are not then He should make claim why they are not in his round 1.

I think round structure should be formed as follows:

Round 1 - Agreement & Definitions.

Round 2 - Opening arguments & Rebuttals by Con.

Round 3 - Rebuttals for both Pro & Con. Additional arguments are allowed for both.

Round 4 - No new arguments are allowed. Closing Rebuttals & Statements.

I do not think a rule structure is needed. I will just remind my opponent that if definitions are no brought up in Round 1, then no issues about them are premitted in following rounds.

I again thank my opponent for this debate. I look forward to the chAllenge.



I accept. Present your case.
Debate Round No. 1


I appreciate the opportunity to be able to discuss this topic. Thanks to Con for accepting. In this debate we will learn alot about physiological disorders and actual demonic possession. My opponent took the position that demonic possessions are not genuine and I will attempt to show they are. I have broke my argument into multiple sections as to not jumble everything together. I hope it will be better understood this way.

I have defined what the terms of demons, demonology, possession and genuine are in my first round. In this round I will go on to explain what pshycological disorders are and the difference between them and possessions.


The thought of demonic possession has been believed by many cultures throughout history. This belief stems from believing that demi-gods or actual spirits inhabit a human being or animal(in some cases). Belief that spirits can inhabit the physical body is were the person's soul or spirit loses its control of the body and are instead controlled by another spirit. I'm sure my opponent will suggest that possession is just merely a physiological disorder which is studied in depth in anthropology. So lets look at what physiological disorders are.

I. Psychological Disorder

A psychological disorder can also be known as mental disorders. They are patterns of behavior and symptoms that impacts a persons life mostly in negative ways.

We should note that there is no single classification for any single case but merely a diagnostic criteria for symptoms. There are over 250 different disorders and most fall under similar categories with similar symptoms. There are many cases that can be possession but on the same coin there are many that are not. The cases that are not possession are sometimes misinterpreted as possessions.

II. Miss-Interpreted Possession

To be honest, there is far to many times (today & in the past) that demonic possession is used to explain alot of psychological conditions that have nothing really to do with possession. These cases include personality disorders, dyslexia, bipolar disorders, depression, anxiety, epilepsy, tourette syndrome and also schizophrenia. The suggestion that these disorders are all cases of possession is very dishonest and possibly ignorance from the claimer. Though this doesn't mean that possession is false. There are many things to test genuine possession.

III. Genuine possessions

A possession can be one of the most dangerous and frightening things in all of phenomena. There are certain characteristics that genuine possession show.

One would be the possessed speaking in languages that they have never learned or have ever been familiar with. Second would be that they would speak in anger or with intense hatred. Third would be the levitation of objects and in some cases the possessed themselves. Fourth would be the possessed having enormous strength beyond their normal capabilities. Fifth would be the rage towards any religious symbol considered holy(EX. Holy water). Lastly would be amazing knowledge about the past, present and future that the possessed could not know.

There are numerous characteristics that also are common in disorders; Irrational loneliness, No self control, conflict with any authority, aimlessness, depression, violent behavior, rejection of Jesus, Selfishness(self-centeredness and passion for control), being irrational, anxiety and irrational fear.

Why are people possessed and what is the meaning of it?

IV. Meaning of possession

I will give three examples of the meaning of possession from highly touted authors.

In Gerald Brittle's book, The demonologist, He states, "...The demoniacal strategy is to create fear in order to begin breaking the human will....the entrenched spirit tends to either launch a bombardment of incredible phenomena or embark on a surreptitious psychological attack, dedicated to the complete domination of the victim."(p. 115)

Allan Kardec also writes, "Imperfect spirits are used by Providence as instruments for trying men's faith and constancy in well-doing. You, being a spirit, must advance toward the infinite."(#466; p.227)

And last comes from the Bible itself, "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."(Rom. 8:20-12)

V. Possessions are genuine

Possessions are very much real and are in fact around us everyday. You can notice them if you have the eyes to look. You go out and see people acting irrational in very disturbing ways. You see our youth today (more so than any generation in rememberence) who have no repsect towards adults and in fact thier own parents who brought them into this world. They act as if they have pure hatred for even being born. We see that most average people try to do the right thing and love others but we also see people who do the exzact opposite and were does this come from? We see our own governments and powers hurting thier own and other peoples for thier own gain. Today we see greed and selfishness without cease.

We all have vibes from others as we pass them or when we interact with them. We feel good vibes when we are around people who are more like us and have bad vibes towards people who are different from us, why? You can't go out and say these people are possessed and possibly they may not be but the horrible actions we see in the world does reflect a presence of evil in the simple sense of the word.

Possession can be given anaolgy and proved one here.

VI. Analogy of possession

In a book by Felicitas Goodman, she gives us a great analogy of possession. She writes, "A possession can be compared to a car and the driver. The car represents the body and the driver the soul. The driver can actually loan his car to someone willingly and can also be car-jacked. Here the borrowing friend or car-jacker are the spirit possessing. The owner of the car is then put in the back seat while the borrower or taker is in control."

In this analogy we see the perfect construct of possession. Which takes us to the conclusion.


Hopefully here we have concluded that demon possession and disorders are not the same but also can be given the same symptoms at times. It is more than enough for it be reasonable to argue that possession can be a factor of supposed disorders. Quite simply there is no way to show they are not genuine. This problem ultimately is a spiritual problem and can be a multifactorial position, in which involves spiritual, social, psychological and physical symptoms which can all play as factors.

In this round I tried to show the many symptoms from both possessed and the non-possessed. In the next round I will provide with actual documented cases on record that affirm genuine possession along with videos.

I await my opponent and Thank Him.



John Milton, Paradise Lost

Norman Cohn, Europe's Inner demons

Bill Ellis, Raising the Devil: Satanism, New Religious, and the Media

Armando Maggi, In the company of demons: Unnatural beings, love, and Identity in the Italian Renaissance

Catholic Encyclopedia "; "; ";



1. Psychological Disorders

Pro makes no argument here, and simply states the nature of these types of disorders and how people mistake them for genuine demonic possession.

2. Miss-Interpreted Possessions

Basically, this section was just a more intricate rehash of the last.

3. Genuine Possessions

My opponent lists six things which he believes only occur with regards to genuine possession. First off, he mentions how there are cases where a subject speaks a language they have never been exposed to. Of course, there is no support for this argument involving how knowledge of the languages the subject has been exposed to, has been obtained. Some of these words could have been stored in the subconscious after being exposed to them without conscious awareness accessing this knowledge previously. Also, there is no way to know that any stories of demonic possession haven't been exaggerated to include a scenario where someone speaks a language they have never heard of. Basically, this "different language" claim is not very convincing. Secondly, Pro claims that the subject speaking with anger or hatred would support genuine possession more so than the alternative. Of course, this is false. Anger and intense hatred are shown in patients who suffer from the disorders mentioned by my opponent. Thirdly, my opponent brings up levitation. I would just respond to this by saying that Pro hasn't established a particular case worth looking at with regards to levitation. Even if a moden this was established, why were no pictures taken? In one possession case, a girl supposedly levitated for 30 minutes, and not one person thought to take a picture, or record a video somehow [1]. If someone gets shot in the street and laid there bloody for half an hour, cameras would be out in no time. However, a girl levitates for 30 minutes supernaturally, breaking the laws of physics, and nobody properly documents this? This is rather suspicious. Cases like these should be taken with a grain of salt. Fourthly, Pro makes an assertion that these people sometimes obtain strength beyond their normal capabilities. This is called Hysterical Strength and it happens in times of crisis, without demonic possession being involved at all:

"In proper terminology, such a temporary boost of physical power would be called hysterical strength. The stories are almost always in the form of one person lifting a car off of another. In one case in Colorado in 1995, a police officer arrived at a single-car accident where a Chevy Chevette ended up on top of a baby girl and sank into the mud. The officer lifted the car and the mother pulled the girl out. In 2009, a man in Kansas lifted a Mercury sedan off of a six-year-old girl who had been trapped underneath when it backed out on top of her. In 1960, a Florida mom lifted a Chevy Impala so that a neighbor could pull out her son, who had become trapped when he was working on the car and his jack collapsed. There's even the case where the MD 500D helicopter from Magnum, P.I.crashed in 1988, pinning the pilot under shallow water; and his burly friend (nicknamed Tiny) ran over and lifted the one-ton helicopter enough for the pilot to be pulled out. And, of course, the list goes on, and on, and on." [2]

Fifthly, the claim of the subjects being angry at religious symbols is brought up does not support genuine posession. The problem is, most of the subjects who demonic possessions supposedly happen to, live/ lived a life soaked in religion (which further supports the assumption that these claims of demonic possession, have psychological roots and not spiritual ones). So, if there was a split personality that was completely different than the subject at hand, then it is not surprising why it would not like religious symbols like the subject normally would. Anneliese Michel (the woman the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose was based on), was an extremely religious woman for example. She supposedly did not like the cross while "posessed". The sixth claim brought up by my opponent, was that there are cases where someone has knowledge about the past, present, and future that they could not know. However, he never mentions how vague these particular claims are. Even cold readers can get some predictions right. These baseless claims by Pro, in reality, really demonstrate nothing.

4. Meaning of Possession

The argument given here, is that the meaning of possession includes the will of the demons to break the human spirit down, and to have complete control over over the victim at hand. However, without actually demonstrating how demon possessions are genuine, this is about as meaningful as stating that the reason the giant abominable snow man in the icy moon of Europa sneezes so loud, is to attract a mate. Without actually demonstrating the existence of the scenario at hand, the reason for the situation is irrelevant. Since my opponent, so far, has failed to show that demonic possessions are genuine, as it stands, this section here does not really mean much. Maybe the next part of his opening argument, will be more fruitful.

5. Possessions Are Genuine

Unfortunately, this section should be nothing less than embarrassing for my opponent. It seems he is trying associate all behavioural changes and "evil" doings with demonic possession, which of course is not founded in the slightest. There are tons of reasons for behavioural changes [4], and many reasons for why people do "bad" things [5], that have absolutely nothing to do with the idea of demonic posession. I am positive that nobody with a lick of sense is convinced by my opponent's argument here. Therefore, I do not think I need to delve into this any further. It simply has no basis.

6. Analogy of Possession

This analogy has no bearing on the resolution.

7. Conclusion

My opponent claims that because demonic possession and certain medical disorders share common symptoms, then it is reasonable to believe that there is a link between the two of them. Of course, this only works if you presuppose the notion that demonic possession cases are genuine in the first place. Pro also claims that there is no way to claim that demon possessions do not happen for sure, I would agree. However, this is precisely why my opponent has the burden of proof in this debate. I cannot demonstrate that there is no angels assisting gravity in keeping things connected to Earth, but it is the person who says there is that has the burden of proof. Sadly, Pro clearly did not meet his burden of proof, and I demonstrated that it is not rational to accept the claims of my opponent.

In his last statement, pro asserts that in the next round he will provide actual cases and videos. This, obviously, would have helped him in this round. Either way, I look forward to it, and hope he comes more eqquipped than he did in this round.


Debate Round No. 2


ScottyDouglas forfeited this round.


What a shame...
Debate Round No. 3


ScottyDouglas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ScottyDouglas 5 years ago
I havent fully finished my presentation yet. So it may be a couple of days. GL.
Posted by ScottyDouglas 5 years ago
Ok, Agreed!
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
I never claimed demon possessions were logically fallacious, I claimed there is no basis to think they are real. Change the resolution to "Demons and possessions are genuine", and I accept.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Lolfail.
Vote Placed by Microsuck 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con demolished pro's case and pro forfeited thus losing all 7 points.
Vote Placed by alex1094 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is an obvious one. Pro's FFs and the ease of Con's rebuttals. A clear win for Con.