19 Dec
2019

Can Science Study Demonology?

first_imgOne cannot make predictions about what a mind will do. Secular scientists mock belief in angels and demons, but they have their own occult beliefs.Science cannot study what it doesn’t believe is real. Secular cosmologists believe dark matter and dark energy are real, but cannot see them. They believe angels and demons are unreal, but then have to account for things that defy natural explanations. Let’s see how they do.The Demon of School ShootingsNikolas Cruz, the suspect accused of killing 17 in the Parkland school shooting last year, says that a demon told him to “burn, kill, and destroy” before he went on his killing rampage. He said he heard voices in his head encouraging violence, and also accusing him that he was “nobody” that deserved to die. In a video interview just released, he repeatedly slaps himself and appears to be talking to the voice in his head. Time Magazine reports some of the conversation between Cruz and investigator John Curcio who tried to understand the ‘voice’ the suspect claims he was hearing. Cruz never changed his story.Curcio asked what the voice told him.“Burn. Kill. Destroy,” Cruz responded.“Burn, kill, destroy what?” the detective asked.“Anything,” Cruz responded.He told Curcio that he had to fight the voice from taking over, that it was always bad. Curcio questioned that, asking how it could always be bad if Cruz had held down a job at a discount store for two years.“The voice is in here,” he said, apparently pointing to his head. “And then it’s me. It’s just regular me trying to be a good person.” Curcio said everyone has a good and bad side.“Do they really?” Cruz said.He said the voice tried to get him to shoot people at a park a week earlier. Or maybe it was three. Cruz couldn’t remember exactly, but he didn’t want to do it. Curcio asked why he didn’t.“I … I don’t know,” he said.Videotapes of Cruz in his cell alone show him repeatedly slapping himself, and apparently arguing with the voice.  ABC News obtained release of the interview and reports what Cruz said about the voice.Cruz’s statements about the shooting are blacked out, but the transcript is otherwise wide-ranging, dealing with the death of Cruz’s parents, his penchant for killing animals, his former girlfriend, his brother, guns, suicide attempts and, especially, the voice. He told Curcio the voice appeared after his father died about 15 years ago but got worse after his mother died of pneumonia in November.Cruz described the voice as a male, about his age, and said the only person he ever told about it was his brother.The investigator told Cruz he didn’t believe the voice exists, “but Cruz insisted it was there and said he wanted to see a psychiatrist.”So what is “really” going on? Secularists, who deny the existence of demons from the outset, call it “mental illness” or give it a psychiatric label. But does that really ‘explain’ a case like this? Maybe the ‘voice’ is a phantom that Nikolas conjured up in his mind through years of fantasizing. Whatever it was, either his own mind or that of another, though, it was a mind bent on evil. It wanted to burn, kill, and destroy.The Science of DivinationChristian apologists have long warned against giving Satan an opening. Calling on spirits for knowledge or wisdom invites demonic forces to oppress or possess a person. They have long warned of using divination tools like the Ouija Board; divination of any kind is also strongly forbidden in the Bible. There have been many testimonies of users of the Ouija Board who felt very spooked when they asked the board a question, then the board spelled out messages that they felt were not under their control, even as their hands held the planchette (a tool with a lens that shows letters being displayed).What does ‘science’ say about this phenomenon? Denying spiritual activity from the outset, researchers look for other, less ‘occult’ explanations. Thomas Hoffman of Science Nordic, for instance, purports to explain ‘How Ouija Boards Really Work’ (see article in Medical Xpress). With one example, he defiantly declares that it’s a group mental phenomenon by the users who ask a deceased person, “How did you die?”One or more participants sit across from each other with their fingers on a glass. Around the glass are numbers and letters. A spirit is summoned, you ask questions, and the glass begins to move from one letter to the next to spell out the response:“K-N-I-F-E”Perhaps you were absolutely certain that it was not you who moved the glass, and everyone else had the same feeling. So who did? A ghost?Alright, so here comes the breaking news: No, it was not a spirit. It was you! Or rather, it was you and your friends that unconsciously collaborated to select the letters.All that Hoffman has done is transfer the mental causation from one mind to another. He cannot explain their minds, let alone his own, but he can see the users’ bodies. Something in their minds, he infers, explains the response of the board better than proposing disembodied spirits. Whatever his reasoning, it was non-physical: it was conscious or unconscious mental activity.And yet how can he be so certain? That’s the trouble with demons. As C.S. Lewis proposed in his classic, The Screwtape Letters, one of the demons’ most important jobs is to get people to disbelieve in them. Somebody else, or something else, causes the phenomenon under study. Secular science has bought into this with gusto. Skeptics societies carry on a vigorous practice debunking psychic phenomena: table turners, levitators, faith healers and the like. They usually succeed very well showing how the tricks are done. It would be a logical fallacy, however, to extrapolate from “these phenomena are fake” to “all spirits are fake.”The demons would love science to believe that, wouldn’t they?Another study of Ouija Board use showed that use of the ‘controversial’ device with autistic patients does not work (see Medical Xpress). Researchers concluded that this, and other methods of ‘facilitated communication’ produce answers directed subconsciously by the facilitator. Trying to recover ‘lost memories’ of sexual abuse with FC (facilitated communication) has led to false accusations that have landed innocent people in jail:“I understand how difficult it may be for some facilitators to change their belief system. There is a lot at stake: people’s careers, reputations, connections with their family member or client. Nonetheless, I urge practicing facilitators to take a long, hard look at their own behavior. Voice doubts. Pursue testing outside the FC [facilitated communication] community,” wrote Janyce in 2012, 20 years after the charges against Betsy’s family were dropped.She adds, “we cannot erase the damage we have caused by our actions, but we can take responsibility for our part in perpetuating the myth of FC. It is time to put a stop to this practice that adversely affects the very people we set out to protect.”Once again, however, the demons could be dancing gleefully over being exposed as unreal. They just got the facilitator to falsely accuse the family member, leading to the outcome they wanted all along: burn, kill, destroy. Science explains it all. Evil isn’t real; it isn’t spiritual. It’s just patterns of behavior that evolved by natural selection. It made the facilitator fool herself into believing a lie, and causing harm to an innocent victim. The scientist got the real demon’s prize: getting secular science to deny the existence of evil and spirit. Atoms move by undirected forces. Stuff happens, because there is no Master Architect of the universe.In the documentary Alien Intrusion, CMI shows that people who see UFOs are people who dabbled in the occult. By one way or another, victims of perverse cases of alleged visitations and abductions remembered giving permission for demons to enter their thinking at some point. The UFOs were never physically real; we know that, because they counter all we know about matter and energy. The visions of them, and the experiences with the aliens, however, were very real to those affected by visitations, many of whom were not even seeking any kind of experience like that. Some of the experiences these people suffered were extremely frightening and debilitating. When they came to Jesus Christ and asked for protection, the visitations stopped. You dare not play around with demonic spirits.Demonology and angelology are difficult subjects in the Bible that require careful study. God wants us to focus on Him, not on lesser spirits. What are Christ followers to make of the fact that some evil spirits caused blindness, deafness, epilepsy and other physical diseases that Christ cured by casting out the demons? It’s important to notice that not all cases of healing involved the demonic. It appears that demon-possessed disabilities constituted a small fraction of the ailments Christ healed. Conversely, some who were freed from demonic possession looked perfectly healthy beforehand. It would be a grave mistake to attribute all cases of epilepsy, for instance, to demonic possession or oppression. Some Christians have done great harm (witch burnings, etc.) by taking actions against alleged demonic forces by their own power. When physical causes for disease are known, physical cures are to be preferred. Demonic power should only be considered in the rare cases that have no physical explanation, as in the case of the Book of Job. Jesus, of course, had the omniscience to know the difference, and went to the true cause in each individual’s case. It’s mainly in the west where demons are ignored or treated skeptically. Missionaries to the far East and to pagan cultures often have firsthand experience with demon-possessed people that are quite alarming. For the intellectual west, demonic activity is most successful in false doctrines, such as in our modern godless scientific theories of origins (everything came about by a bang and warm little pond, with no intelligence involved). Religious cults that deny the lordship of Christ are other examples of Satan’s primary activity in today’s world. The cure for false teachings is God’s Word.If you want to understand demonology, look no further than Jesus Christ. He cast out demons, and gave that power to his disciples. The demons bowed before him, knowing who He was. They could not stand before the power of the Son of God, knowing that He was their judge. Even when it appeared they succeeded in having the crowds turn on Him and crucify Him, they could not keep Him in the tomb; when He arose, he triumphed over them finally and forever. In Christ, Satan is powerless to possess a Christ follower. That doesn’t mean that we should ever give him any opportunity, because Satanic forces can ‘oppress’ believers though not ‘possess’ anyone indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. Christ is the ‘word’ that triumphs over Satan, as Luther wrote in A Mighty Fortress Is Our God —And though this world, with devils filled,Should threaten to undo us,We will not fear, for God hath willedHis truth to triumph through us:The Prince of Darkness grim,We tremble not for him;His rage we can endure,For lo! his doom is sure,One little word shall fell him.That word above all earthly powers,No thanks to them, abideth;The Spirit and the gifts are oursThrough Him who with us sideth:Let goods and kindred go,This mortal life also;The body they may kill:God’s truth abideth still,His Kingdom is forever.(Visited 1,418 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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19 Dec
2019

Weblines: SA headlines for webmasters

first_imgIs your website about something South African? Want your visitors to get the SA story, but don’t have time to tell it yourself? Get a free piece of our action with Weblines – updating headlines pulled from SouthAfrica.info onto your website.There’s no cost and no maintenance – just copy and paste a few lines of code onto your site, tweak it a bit (if necessary) to suit your layout, and let us do the rest.HERE’S HOW IT WORKSThree easy steps:Step 1 – See the two boxes below. Choose which version you want to appear on your site.Step 2 – Each box is accompanied by a few lines of html code, starting with . Copy this piece of code.Step 3 – Paste the code into your website’s html. Where you paste it will depend on where you want the box to appear.That’s it. Upload the changes, and the box will appear on your site, calling SAinfo headlines from a file that we update on our side. You can, if you want, adjust how the box appears on your page – see below.  Please drop us an e-mail letting us know that you’re running the box. And thank you for your support! BOX 1 – top 7 stories<br/>Coding for box 1:BOX 2 – top 7 stories plus<br/>Coding for box 2:ADJUSTING HOW THE BOX APPEARS (optional)You can adjust how the box appears on your page by modifying the settings inside your tag, in the following ways:Box alignment:To change how the box aligns on your page, add any of the following into your tag:align=center – centres the boxalign=left – content wraps round the right of the boxalign=right – content wraps round the left of the boxalign=top – box on top of surrounding contentalign=bottom – box below surrounding contentBox width / height:Rewrite width=x to change the width of the box. For example: width=250 will give you a 250 pixel wide box; width=80% will give you a box that takes up 80% of the width available in the place you’ve put it. Ditto for height.Margin width / height:Rewrite marginwidth=x (and/or marginheight=x) to change the space (in pixels) between the sides and the content of the box.Space around the box:Add hspace=x and/or vspace=x if you want to set the amount of space in pixels (hspace for the sides, vspace for above and below) between the box and any content surrounding it.Box border:Add frameborder=0 if you want to suppress the border around the box.Terms and conditions of useBy using our update boxes, you are deemed to have accepted our terms and conditions of use.last_img read more

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18 Dec
2019

Global demand for rooibos increasing

first_imgThe South African Rooibos Council on Wednesday said there was an increased demand for the caffeine-free tea overseas which was bound to boost the industry. “The rooibos crop is consumed mostly locally and the balance of it goes into the export – that’s roughly about 50% – while a chunk of that goes into the Germany market, which accounted for about 40%,” he said. “Farmers have been in an over-supply situation for three years. But the cycle is now changing as a result of lower plantings, and also weather conditions. The prices are on the upward curve at the moment.” Smaller crops were planted and adverse weather conditions had a negative effect on production. De Villiers added that farmers were getting slightly for more for their crops. The council’s Dawie de Villiers said demand was now increasing internationally. Rooibos harvests declined over the past few years along the Cape’s West Coast. Sapa 8 September 2011last_img read more

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27 Nov
2019

Asian Cup organizers investigate shoe-throwing

first_imgQatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup, was booed before Tuesday’s game. The second goal in the 4-0 victory prompted UAE fans to start throwing their shoes at the Qatar players, an act which is considered to be an insult.The Asian Football Confederation says it is “conducting a thorough investigation into events” at the game and “once that investigation has been completed the AFC will decide on the appropriate next steps.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsQatar will play Japan in the final on Friday in Abu Dhabi. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes MOST READ Cushions found likely to have come from Argentine football player’s missing plane PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war View comments Qatar’s defender Salem Al Hajri, right bottom, lies on the pitch after shoes and bottles where thrown in by United Arab Emirates fans during the AFC Asian Cup semifinal soccer match between United Arab Emirates and Qatar at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates— Asian Cup organizers have opened an investigation after soccer fans threw shoes and bottles at Qatar’s players during their semifinal victory over the United Arab Emirates.The stadium in Abu Dhabi was packed with home fans. The UAE has cut economic, diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar, making it difficult for fans of the team to travel to the tournament.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusationslast_img read more

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16 Nov
2019

England’s spin trio leave Sri Lanka reeling as Foakes continues to impress

first_imgSri Lanka cricket team England in Sri Lanka 2018 England cricket team Facebook Share on WhatsApp Twitter Read more Reuse this content Pinterest Share on Twitter Since you’re here… Cricket Share on LinkedIn Read more Support The Guardian ‘I was planning a winter off,’ says Foakes after rescuing England in Sri Lanka Share on Facebook … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The increasingly familiar sight of Foakes dominated the first session. He began it on 87 and no one quarrelled that he deserved his century after his first day efforts but would he get there? He cover drove his first ball for four but then Leach was dismissed, caught at slip against the off-spinner, Dilruwan Perera. As Jimmy Anderson emerged Foakes was in danger of being stranded on 95 yet he coped with this little challenge as smoothly as he has done everything else in this match. First he whipped a delivery from Suranga Lakmal to the leg-side boundary, then he punched an exquisite back-foot drive past the bowler. Forget that this was his debut, he had become the first English wicketkeeper to score a hundred in Asia. His solitary blemish after two days of Test cricket was a merry mis-hit, which saw him caught at cover for 107.Two balls later Foakes was back in the action. A regulation nick from Dimuth Karunaratne against Anderson and he had his first victim. No England keeper has had a shorter wait. Foakes has laid down a highly visible marker very quickly. When lunch came there was Jonny Bairstow on the outfield with the keeping coach, Bruce French, taking some catches with his gloves on. Suddenly one wondered whether this practice now had any relevance.By lunch Sri Lanka had lost four wickets. Sam Curran in his solitary spell in the innings removed Kaushal Silva with the standard, yet often dangerous delivery that swings into the pads. Next Leach, minded to bowl to a conservative field as planned, dismissed Kusal Mendis with a classic delivery that was edged to slip. Then Moeen was the beneficiary of a wayward sweep shot in his first over as Dhananjaya de Silva was bowled around his legs. Topics England’s cricketers have not enjoyed such a satisfying day in Asia since the 2012 tour of India. On the first day in Galle their batting was skittish at the start and doubts prevailed whether they had taken proper advantage of winning the toss, but now on the most sun-kissed afternoon of the tour they conjured a first innings lead of 139 by bowling Sri Lanka out for 203.This should allow them to control the game (despite England’s ascendancy only a greenhorn would opt for the future tense here). By the close their lead had been extended by another 38 runs to 177.Even better, eight of the 10 Sri Lanka wickets fell to the trio of English spin bowlers, who all responded eagerly to their puppeteer, Joe Root. Moeen Ali (four for 66), Adil Rashid (two for 30) and Jack Leach (two for 41) are not yet versions of Bedi, Chandrasekhar and Prasanna, the India dream trio of the 70s but they performed well enough and everything fell into place against a Sri Lanka side off the pace in their favourite back yard in Galle, where England have never won a Test match.Only Angelo Mathews could post a half-century as England whittled away with a purpose. The bowling was steady, the out-cricket truly outstanding. In the field they were sharp and flawless while Ben Foakes behind the stumps was as polished with the gloves as he had been with the bat. Share via Email match reports Moeen Ali took four Sri Lankan wickets on a day when England’s slow bowlers came to the fore. Photograph: Ishara S Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images Ed Smith’s clever picks have given England a Ferguson-style makeover Share on Messenger Eventually it was Rashid, the least employed of the spinning triumvirate, who broke the partnership with a beguiling leg-break. Chandimal had been restricted by a groin injury; even so he advanced down the track to a beautifully flighted delivery, which spun away. With Chandimal stranded Foakes inevitably did the necessary, an early stumping to add to his catch.When Mathews fell to the first ball after tea, caught at forward short-leg off Moeen, the innings was in some disarray. Niroshan Dickwella countered briefly but was deftly caught at cover by Jos Buttler, whose presence in the ring raised the standard of England’s fielding. Immediately Akila Dananjaya fell to the hot combination of Foakes and Moeen and the end was nigh. England gave the last man, Rangana Herath, a guard of honour, and the little old man batted pluckily thereafter. But he was bowling again before the day was out.England had 12 overs to bat and they negotiated them with some assurance. Keaton Jennings was the dominant partner, eager to replicate the positive approach of his first innings. But Rory Burns’ contribution was equally impressive. He had received a painful blow to the top of his back when fielding at bat-pad as tea approached. He fell to the ground and stayed there for a while and did not reappear for some time after the break. This was the solitary blip of the day for England, overcome without any fuss. Share on Pinterest The only resistance came in the afternoon session when the two most experienced Sri Lankans, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, captains past and present, joined forces. England bided their time with deep-set fields for the spinners, preying on the patience of players who knew their side were already in a substantial hole. They took their singles but their boundary count was restricted.last_img read more

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