Study asks if Schizophrenics are possessed
A New Oxford study asks the startling question; what if schizophrenics are really possessed by demons after all?
Okay so this idea is bizarre to moderns but although it’s hard to believe there was a time in the not too distant past when this was the default mode of thought.
Compare this to when generational character flaws as in the ‘Sins of the Fathers’ were seen as spiritual problems for which there was only a spiritual solution.
The research study titled; Schizophrenia or Possession was published in the journal Religion and Health.
Researcher M. Kemal Irmak notes that; schizophrenia is a devastating chronic mental condition characterized by auditory hallucinations.
While it’s difficult to make sense of these hallucinations he invites us to consider the possibility in the light, make that dark, of a; demonic world.
He says; demons are intelligent and unseen creatures that occupy a parallel world to that of mankind and have the ability to take over the minds and bodies of humans and cause bizarre behaviors.
Reading between the lines then; schizophrenia can be likened to demon possession.
In his own words; there are similarities between the clinical symptoms of schizophrenia and demonic possession.
Delusions of schizophrenia such as “My feelings and movements are controlled by others in a certain way” and “They put thoughts in my head that are not mine” may be thoughts that stem from the effects of demons.
Hallucinations might be an illusion; a false interpretation of a real sensory image formed by demons.
On the other hand, auditory hallucinations where voices argue with one another and talk to the patient in the third person may be a result of the presence of more than one demon controlling an individual.
Irmak concludes; it’s time for medical professionals to consider the possibility of demonic possession in the etiology of schizophrenia.
He suggests health professionals work together with faith healers to define better treatment pathways for a more holistic approach.
Skeptics respond…….all together now
This is where the critics jump in and boy did they ever.
One huffy individual who got his feathers in a right ruffle said; this is a dumbfounding argument, and it is shocking to find it in a post-medieval peer-reviewed journal.
He waffled on; lest anyone accuse me of being prejudiced against the possibility of demons- mm an interesting choice of words-let me say even those who subscribe to a demonic metaphysics shouldn’t be persuaded by Irmak’s argument.
He compares the findings of similarities between Schizophrenia and demon possession to financial compensation for childhood tooth loss and visits by the tooth fairy, because in each case; the latter is a hypothesis motivated by a desire to explain the former.
He ignores the striking similarities the study found in the two conditions preferring to use weasel arguments which he thinks makes his point.
He then waves about a cliché that says absolutely nothing but is meant to mean everything:
Science does not know how and why Schizophrenics experience auditory hallucinations……..but just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairytale appeals to you.
That’s funny you’d think by his own admission; science doesn’t know everything; would be a cue to shut up and consider the possibilities outside its domain.
But nevertheless ……