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Demons


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Netherworld
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« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2009, 01:20:56 pm »

Pre-Islamic Arab culture
Pre-Islamic mythology does not discriminate between gods and demons. The jinn are considered as divinities of inferior rank, having many human attributes: they eat, drink, and procreate their kind, sometimes in conjunction with human beings. The jinn smell and lick things, and have a liking for remnants of food. In eating they use the left hand. Usually they haunt waste and deserted places, especially the thickets where wild beasts gather. Cemeteries and dirty places are also favorite abodes. When appearing to man, jinn sometimes assume the forms of beasts and sometimes those of men.

Generally, jinn are peaceable and well disposed toward men. Many a pre-Islamic poet was believed to have been inspired by good jinn, but there are also evil jinn, who contrive to injure men.

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« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2009, 01:21:17 pm »

Islam

Islam recognizes the existence of the jinn. Jinns are not the "genies" of modern lore, and they are not all evil, as demons are described in Christianity, but as creatures that co-exist with humans. In Islam the evil jinns are referred to as the shayātīn, or devils, and Iblis (Satan) is their chief. Iblis was the first Jinn who disobeyed Allah. According to Islam, the jinn are made from the light of flame of fire (ناَر [nɛ:r] deviation of نور [nu:r] "light") (and mankind is made of clay).

According to the Qur'an, Iblis was once a pious servant of Allah, but when Allah created Adam from clay, Iblis became very jealous, and arrogant and disobeyed Allah.

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« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2009, 01:21:26 pm »

Adam was the first man, and man was the greatest creation of Allah. Iblis could not stand this, and refused to acknowledge a creature made of "dirt" (man). Allah condemned Iblis to be punished after death eternally in the hellfire. Allah had created hell.

Iblis asked Allah if he may live to the last day and have the ability to mislead mankind and jinns, Allah said that Iblis may only mislead those whom have forsaken Allah. Allah then turned Iblis's countenance into horridness and condemned him to only have powers of trickery.

Adam and Eve (Hawwa in Arabic) were both together misled by Iblis into eating the forbidden fruit, and consequently fell from the garden of Eden to Earth.

The word "genie" comes from the Arabic jinn. This is not surprising considering the story of `Alā' ad-Dīn, (anglicized as Aladdin), passed through Arabian merchants en route to Europe.

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« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2009, 01:21:37 pm »

New Age / Shamanism
Carlos Castaneda referred to demonic predators called "flyers" which have the appearance of frightening dark shadows and which vampirize human energy. According to this view ancient humans were complete, with much greater energetic resources than effete, decadent, modern humans possess. At the time when agriculture was invented the flyers gave human beings their mind (constant internal dialogue of beliefs, ideas, social mores, expectations, and dreams of success or failure). By playing on this self-reflection, sucking the angry and worried energy it generates, the flyers began to farm human beings for energy, just as humans began farming animals. Modern humans are the hypnotized slaves of these flyers; and the pseudoconcerns of modern society are a flyer mechanism of mind control.

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« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2009, 01:21:58 pm »

Science
In thought experiments scientists occasionally imagine entities with special abilities in order to pose tough intellectual challenges or to highlight apparent paradoxes. Examples include:

Descartes’ malicious demon - Cartesian skepticism (also called methodological skepticism) advocates the doubting of all things which cannot be justified through logic. Descartes uses three arguments to cast doubt on our ability to objectively know: The dream argument, the deceiving God argument, and the malicious demon argument. [23] Since our senses cannot put us in contact with external objects themselves, but only with our mental images of such objects, we can have no absolute certainty that anything exists in the external world. In the evil demon argument Descartes proposes an entity who is capable of deceiving us to such a degree that we have reason to doubt the totality of what our senses tell us.
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« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2009, 01:22:20 pm »

Laplace's demon - A hypothetical all-knowing entity (later called "Laplace's Demon") who knows the precise location and momentum of every atom in the universe, and therefore could use Newton's laws to reveal the entire course of cosmic events, past and future. Based upon the philosophical proposition of causal determinism. (See also causality).
Maxwell's demon - A demon able to distinguish between fast and slow moving molecules. If this demon only let fast moving molecules through a trapdoor to a container, the temperature inside the container would increase without any work being applied. Such a scenario would violate the second law of thermodynamics.
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« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2009, 01:22:36 pm »

Morton's demon - A demon who stands at the gateway of a person's senses and lets in facts that agree with that person's beliefs while deflecting those which do not. Used to explain the phenomenon of confirmation bias.
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« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2009, 01:22:52 pm »

Psychiatry
M. Scott Peck, an American psychiatrist, wrote two books on the subject. [24] [25].

Peck describes in some detail several cases involving his patients. In People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil he gives some identifying characteristics for evil persons whom he classifies as having a character disorder. In Glimpses of the Devil, A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption Peck goes into significant detail describing how he became interested in exorcism in order to debunk the "myth" of possession by evil spirits – only to be convinced otherwise after encountering two cases which did not fit into any category known to psychology or psychiatry. Peck came to the conclusion that possession was a rare phenomenon related to evil. Possessed people are not actually evil; they are doing battle with the forces of evil. [26] His observations on these cases are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (IV) of the American Psychiatric Association.[27]

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« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2009, 01:23:04 pm »

Although Peck's earlier work was met with widespread popular acceptance, his work on the topics of evil and possession has generated significant debate and derision. Much was made of his association with (and admiration for) the controversial Malachi Martin, a Roman Catholic priest and a former Jesuit, despite the fact that Peck consistently called Martin a liar and manipulator. [27] [28] Other criticisms leveled against Peck include misdiagnoses based upon a lack of knowledge regarding dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder), and a claim that he had transgressed the boundaries of professional ethics by attempting to persuade his patients into accepting Christianity. [27]

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« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2009, 01:23:15 pm »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demons
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