Apprently, Pentecostals speak in tongues.  Sarah Palin is Pentecostal.  I guess a lot of people are.

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Babies babble naturally, and it serves the purpose of learning how to mimic language. No great mystery here (imo) that maybe glossolalia is just tapping into a deeply natural part of the brain, and that one feels or yearns for a connection to other speakers and listeners.

I should add... this might also be related to pleasure we feel from poetry and/or music.

I want to concur with Pope Beanie, especially on the last sentence:  "I should add... this might also be related to pleasure we feel from poetry and/or music". I remember very well the feeling I would get after a session of speaking in tongues, ( I am from a Pentecostal/ Charismatic Christianity, we would have a holy ghost all night prayer) It would be a feeling of exhaustion with a sense of fulfilment, something close to being tired after ejaculation.

Simon Mathews. Demons cannot be described merely in human terms. They are esstentially fallen angels, but for someone who does not believe in God, then angels do not excist. Therefore, there is no such thing as demons, and no reason to think there maybe reasons behind the injustices we see in our society. Demons just love to control people. And in their control, they can use the person for which ever hateful task they have in mind. I cannot use the bible to prove my points on this, but is there any other way to explain the evil that Hitler had done, except for the fact that he was crazy. Is there any other way to explain why people would fly planes into buildings with no thought to their own personal safety. Demons will either convince people externally that they need to do evil, or they can indwell a person giving the need for excorisits. They stand approximitly nine foot tall and they have no regard for life or property. They even been known to take a person's good health. They are stronger than you or I, and if you don't believe me, just try to quit some sort of addiction; it is impossible. Demons don't care if we believe in them, they just don't want us to come to know God. You can check out this video to learn more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMUqYaXfSIo

Hi Billy Bob,

It's an interesting answer in terms of creativity but I'm afraid there is nothing in the explanations you have given that actually explain anything. An explanation has to reduce a complicated thing to it's more simple parts, or it has to explain something in terms of something else that is understood. Let me give you some examples from your text:

"Demons just love to control people."

You haven't said how this control takes effect. Is it physical control over the neurons of the brain or is it a psychological control somewhat like brainwashing? Therefore this statement is meaningless and unusable.

"Is there any other way to explain why people would fly planes into buildings with no thought to their own personal safety?"

Yes, you can use the science (or pseudo-science if that is your view) of psychology to understand people's complex motivations that arise from brains with large and complex frontal lobes (the decision-making/planning areas of the brain). The beauty of this is that the ideas that people put forward in this discipline can then be tested and reviewed to see if they stand up.

"They stand approximately nine foot tall"

I don't know if this is a joke or not. Where does this figure come from?

"Demons don't care if we believe in them"

You have now ascribed Demons emotions (i.e. caring) which is presumably anthropomorphism. How can we know whether Demons care about things? What measure do we have of their emotional state?

"They even been known to take a person's good health"

By what measure do we determine that this has happened as a result of a Demon rather than just natural cell degeneration and invasion by foreign bodies such as bacteria. Outwardly, presumably, the two cases appear the same.

You may say that I am being unnecessarily picky about specific things you have said but remember I am starting from a blank slate. I know nothing about Demons (they could literally be anything) so every part of them requires a detailed and thorough explanation. Vague statements just won't cut it.

Yes, you can use the science (or pseudo-science if that is your view) of psychology to understand people's complex motivations that arise from brains with large and complex frontal lobes (the decision-making/planning areas of the brain).

To be fair, it's pretty clear that the science of psychology has really very little idea about this, and the level of repeatability of any of its theories in this regard is rather laughable.  So there's no evidence with which we can dismiss alternative explanations of malevolent consciousness, even if we remain highly skeptical. 

In general, science really doesn't do very well when it comes to anything that is governed by consciousness rather than natural law.

That having been said, I'm trying to imagine how one would measure the height of a possessing demon...

It's true that psychology has a long, long way to go in terms of reliability but it's a start in terms of establishing a scientific-type methodology for studying something as complex as the brain. Anything is better than just saying "Demons". 

"In general, science really doesn't do very well when it comes to anything that is governed by consciousness rather than natural law."

Consciousness is part of natural law as it arises from brain processes that are themselves perfectly natural. They are just so complex and we don't understand them well enough to be able to explain them properly. But if the history of science has taught us anything it is that we should keep trying.

Yes, and psychology is slow-going because of the pesky ethical considerations when experimenting on actual live human beings.  Can't just drop them off a tower and measure their acceleration like in "real" science.  That being said, psychology is a hell of a lot more concrete and real science than theology is.

Okay Simon Mathews, I was under the impression that you were an Athesist, but since you are so intrigued with the idea that Demons really do excist, then that means you also should believe in a god of some sort. Under that reasoning, I will put this plainly. DEMONS ARE SPIRITUAL. Therefore, one cannot recognize the control they have over people, until they first recognize the fact that we have a spiritual dimension all around us that we cannot see, unless we are dreaming and a spiritual entity shows us. It would be impossible for me to bring this to your understanding unless you understand the spiritual dimension that we cannot see. As for your other concerns I am working on a blog that should be out on my website in the coming weeks. You can follow me on facebook if you wish to find more information. Please forgive my spelling, I have limited time.  

[...] is there any other way to explain the evil that Hitler had done, except for the fact that he was crazy. Is there any other way to explain why people would fly planes into buildings with no thought to their own personal safety.

No "easy" way to explain those things in a way that most people can understand, yet. Same is true for a lot of mysteries, like quantum mechanics or electron orbit uncertainty, or other mysteries of the past like what causes diseases or what causes the tides or the pinpoints of light in the sky at night.

The problem most of us here at TA have is when people so often accept supernatural, mythic explanations before science and reason have built up enough observations and peer-reviewed texts to build an explanation like we might see someday in wikipedia. (I'm not saying that wikipedia is perfect knowledge, but that it serves well as a first draft on most subjects.)

Most importantly, what's the difference between some westerner attributing evil to demons, and Islamic extremists attributing "evil" of the west to Satan? In both cases, I see an earnest attempt to explain things, yet falling far short of a reasonable explanation that can stand the test of time and history.

The original version was St. Peter speaking at the first Pentecost.  In that case, he was speaking normally but many people of different languages heard him in their native tongue.  The real presence of God opens up understanding, it doesn't obscure it.

Somewhere along the way it became ecstatic gibberish done to call attention to yourself, rather than to reach out and communicate with others.  That's a uniquely Pentecostal tradition, but it's even crept into some "charismatic" Catholics who got too involved with outreach to the Pentecostal community. 

The best way to reproduce it is to sway back and forth with your eyes half open and mutter "Jesus on a Honda" over and over again in different rhythm. 

There's other whacky nonsense like being "slain by the spirit" where you fall down and start twitching because the Holy Spirit got to you or some such ridiculousness.   Why the Holy Spirit of God would desire you to fall down and start twitching to show your relationship with God is beyond me; we used to associate such things with demonic possession or just plain bad acting.   

The funniest story I ever heard was from a family who attended one of these Jesus on a Honda services and their oldest son, a middle-schooler Boy Scout, ran out and called 911 when the person started twitching and then came back to administer first aid.  He ended up yelling at the preacher ("No, that is NOT normal, and if you fall down and start twitching you either need medical care or you need to see a shrink in a hurry.").  I don't think his family ever went back there.

I like the story of the Boy Scout. :-)

I will never get used to how one superstitious person with their ridiculous superstitious world view narrative laughs at and calls silly some other persons superstitious behavior and practices. Twitching on the ground and shaking is no less ridiculous than talking to yourself under the pretense that you are communicating with an invisible man in the sky or for the more enlightened "the God that pervades all reality" etc. 

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