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  #1  
Old 12-25-2002, 06:16 PM
IThinkNot IThinkNot is offline
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STIGMATA: What do you believe?

What is your take on Stigmata? Does it exist? Is it an Act of God? Who should get Stigmata?

I, personally, believe the same thing a lot of other people do: Stigmata does exist. I think it is an Act of God. I think that only people who are the closest to God/Jesus get Stigmata (i.e., St. Francis of Assissi) because that is the way they are risen to a new level.

I also believe that Jesus was crucified through the *wrists* and not the palms (scientific evidence has proven that the palms alone could not support a body) and through the ankles (for the same reason.)

But then again, some people believe Stigmata doesn't exist, and it's merely a psychosomatic thing (or a depression thing, whichever term you like). Additionally, some people believe Stigmaga, if it does exist, is heretic and thus mortal sin.

What do you believe?
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  #2  
Old 12-25-2002, 06:19 PM
IThinkNot IThinkNot is offline
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I forgot to add this:

I think the movie ("Stigmata", starring Patricia Arquette and Gabriel Byrne) is going to work it's way in here. That's all right, I guess, but if I wanted this to be a discussion of the movie I would put it in Cafe Society.

It would be nice if people responded every now and then.......


please?
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  #3  
Old 12-25-2002, 06:31 PM
Apos Apos is offline
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There are a wide range of different Stigmata experiences. Some are clearly frauds. Some are clearly instances of a particular bleeding disease that happens, in some instances, to manifest on the palms of the hands. And there is, of course, the problem that stigmatas appear on the palms in places and times when people believed that Christ was nailed through the hands, and then appeared on the wrists in places where it was believed that Christ was nailed through the wrists (which he most probably was)

But no one can say for sure that there aren't instances that are signs from God, even if they DO have alternate explanations. The real question is: what's the point? What would a God be trying to express via symbolic recapitulations of the crucifixtion?
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  #4  
Old 12-25-2002, 06:40 PM
IThinkNot IThinkNot is offline
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Ah! That is an EXCELLENT question! I never thought of that! (Thanks for replying, by the way.)

An idea I heard is this:

People overestimate Jesus. He is one with God, yes, but he still felt emotion (love and peace) and dislike (Jesus did not like the hypocrites) and he experienced life as a human with human aspects (he ate food and slept and argued and may have even loved a woman).

With that in mind, Stigmata is meant to illustrate to certain people (saints, especially) that Jesus Christ was still a man. It means to show that it is possible to live your own life, with your own loves and hates and personality. God is trying to let stigmatics know that you should still live life, instead of trying to become Jesus.

Now, I honestly have no idea what I believe on that view. I think it has a perfectly valid point, but it seems a bit too degrading to Jesus, in my mind.

I guess I just don't know. What do you think?
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  #5  
Old 12-25-2002, 06:50 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Re: STIGMATA: What do you believe?

Quote:
Originally posted by IThinkNot
I also believe that Jesus was crucified through the *wrists* and not the palms (scientific evidence has proven that the palms alone could not support a body) and through the ankles (for the same reason.)
I don't believe that this matter is fully settled, particularly as the research that led to this conclusion was (as I understand) largely based on experiments with corpses; a living body may react differently, attempting to take more of the weight on their feet to actually avoid tearing the palms, furthermore, there seems to be an assumption that the nails would be the only means of support, which may or may not be the case.
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  #6  
Old 12-25-2002, 07:42 PM
DMC DMC is offline
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Re: STIGMATA: What do you believe?

Quote:
Originally posted by IThinkNot
I also believe that Jesus was crucified through the *wrists* and not the palms (scientific evidence has proven that the palms alone could not support a body) and through the ankles (for the same reason.)

What do you believe?
I believe that if it is ever commonly accepted by all that Jesus was indeed crucified through the wrists, you will find that most future stigmata "victims" will amazingly have the wounds show up on their wrists, as opposed to their hands.

As for whether I believe the stigmata is an act of God?

<insert your username here>
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  #7  
Old 12-25-2002, 07:50 PM
IThinkNot IThinkNot is offline
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You, DMC, appear to be a skeptic. Why *don't* you believe Stigmata is an act of God? I don't want to be pushy or anything, I'm just curious.

Mangetout: Good point.

P.S. Does anyone have ANY thoughts on the idea I posted regarding the actual point of Stigmata? If not this is going to become a pretty boring debate!
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  #8  
Old 12-25-2002, 08:16 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mangetout
I don't believe that this matter is fully settled, particularly as the research that led to this conclusion was (as I understand) largely based on experiments with corpses; a living body may react differently, attempting to take more of the weight on their feet to actually avoid tearing the palms, furthermore, there seems to be an assumption that the nails would be the only means of support, which may or may not be the case.
The one example where the remains of a crucifixion victim have been found show that the nails had been driven through the forearms. Also a single nail had been driven through both heels (which had been turned sideways). This would indicate that the classic stigmata wounds are incorrect not only with regards to the hands, but also the feet. Stigmata is relatively easy to fake, and thus far no genuine case has really been verified.

A skeptical view of stigmata
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  #9  
Old 12-25-2002, 08:21 PM
DMC DMC is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by IThinkNot
You, DMC, appear to be a skeptic. Why *don't* you believe Stigmata is an act of God?
A short list:

Victims almost exclusively Catholic. Does this mean they've got it right, and everyone else is wrong?

Never seemed to happen prior to St. Francis of Assisi, but has happend a lot since then. Copycats, perhaps, or was God just slow to get around to this tactic?

Inconsistency in type of wounds, location of wounds, etc. Was God a bit fuzzy on the details of the crucifixion?

Victims with wounds in the wrist suddenly started appearing once the Shroud of Turin, which showed the supposed Christ, was widely viewed in photograph that showed the wounds in the wrist, as opposed to the hands.

Mismatched entrance and exit wounds. I wouldn't have though God would have spatial perception problems.

That many victims, who were considered just as authentic as others at the time, have later confessed to being hoaxes.

In general, it's quite odd that where the wounds occur often coincides with the current societies depictions of the crucifixion, whether through paintings, the Shroud of Turin, movies, etc. Maybe God's just a revisionist.

I no longer believe in God, but when I did, I still thought the stigmata (and the statues weeping blood, etc.) was a farce.
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  #10  
Old 12-25-2002, 08:26 PM
fauxpas fauxpas is offline
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Apos wonderful view. Perhaps it is a disease that is inhabited by severely depressed people, or either they're skitsophrenic or God is trying to show what some people must go through. He knows all, therefore he would know that some people would receive great publication in the media. Alas the opiate of the masses, they shall reveal the veil that once gloomed against all.
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  #11  
Old 12-25-2002, 08:29 PM
fauxpas fauxpas is offline
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DMC would you please inquire me why you dont believe in God? I have had dreams or visions of such things that are imaginable..such as September 11th...my mother told us about it the day before..then.....it occured...she is greatly in touch with God and in fact He visits us often.
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  #12  
Old 12-25-2002, 08:30 PM
IThinkNot IThinkNot is offline
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DMC: Okay, I can see that. You have good points!

fauxpas: "Alas the opiate of the masses, they shall reveal the veil that once gloomed against all"? It certainly sounds cool, but what does that mean in context?? I just don't know these things....
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  #13  
Old 12-25-2002, 08:36 PM
thompson thompson is offline
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Psych and Stigmata

Almost all stigmatics (is that a word? oh well ) are deeply religous, and as a result have common access to religous cannon and dogma. Almost all of them also come across, either in reading, media, or priests the miracle of stigmata. Not saying that ALL people who recieve stigmata are frauds, however most wounds are recieved prior to the percieved feeling of pain. Whether the person in a freudian sence, subconsciously injures onself, or whether it is a conversion disorder (where a psychological action brings upon an impossible physiological effect), the cause of stigmata is probably psychological. People in hypnotic states are known to be able to withstant extreme amounts of pain, become un-allergic to things, increase or decrease sences etc. , so in cases where spontaneous lesions occur, why can't your mind produce the bruises, cuts, lacerations associated with stigmata? It's far fetched but still possible. Since most religious practices involve some sort of trance or mantra (chanting), a hypnosis like state can be induced. People with stigmata are also seen as especially peous, and as a result can produce a positive effect in the person experiencing the stigmata, seeing themselves as more religious, thus creating a desire to recieve more stigmatas. Also, the proliferation of stigmata cases in the media and the church could add credibility to this explanation, as the vast majority of stigmatics have lived during this century. Anywho, stigmatas are more than likely induced by oneself, either consciously or otherwise, but are not necessarily a product of deliberate fraud.
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  #14  
Old 12-25-2002, 08:41 PM
fauxpas fauxpas is offline
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Well I am merely 14 so, I thought you would understand. What I said in context is depicted throughout various platforms of speech. It means, "already the drug of the people, they will be the ones that reveal all that has been hidden up with fraud and lies." In other words= They will judge what is too and whats not, and in context with stigmatic (sp?) occurences.
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  #15  
Old 12-25-2002, 10:35 PM
Apos Apos is offline
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---Perhaps it is a disease that is inhabited by severely depressed people, or either they're skitsophrenic or God is trying to show what some people must go through.---

No, I don't think it has to do with depression. I'll try to look it up: I remember reading about it in a book claled "Weird Science."

I know about the wrist thing, but for the purpose of my point, it doesn't really matter which was actually true, only what people at the time generally thought was true.

---I have had dreams or visions of such things that are imaginable..such as September 11th...my mother told us about it the day before..then.....it occured...she is greatly in touch with God and in fact He visits us often.---

Explain this in more detail. What did she tell you, and what were your visions?


As to WHY God might want to do it, I'm sure any sort of explanation can be come up with as to the possible motivation. No way to really nail it down unless you believe in god and think you have a line on why he does what he does.
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  #16  
Old 12-26-2002, 12:15 AM
DMC DMC is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by fauxpas
DMC would you please inquire me why you dont believe in God?
I don't want to hijack this thread, so if you have any further questions, there are plenty of "Ask the Atheist" type threads in the forum, but in a nutshell:

I was raised Methodist and believed everything I was told to believe until around the time I was a teenager. At that point, it occurred to me that the only thing we had to go by regarding the existence of God was a book. Having been well read, I had been exposed to plenty of fiction in my life, so I was aware that simple words in a book were hardly convincing evidence of anything. As God had never spoken to me, appeared to me, or otherwise let himself be known, I slowly became agnostic, then an atheist. It's certainly not a terrible thing, and I have no desire to be "saved", as I'm an extremely happy, moral, and virtuous person. If God ever did appear from the sky and say "Hi folks, just checking in", most atheists, including myself, would certainly recognize his existence. Whether to follow him would still remain a personal decision at that point, and would be based largely on what he had to say.

As stated previously, that has nothing to do with why I don't believe the stigmata is some divine symbol, as I never did, even as a believer in God.
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  #17  
Old 12-26-2002, 01:14 AM
Achernar Achernar is offline
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Cecil on stigmata. Short version: It definitely happens. Most of the times, it's fraudulent. It's clearly self-inflicted, as opposed to divine intervention, because of the inconsistencies DMC lists. Of those that aren't clearly fraudulent, it's possible that some are psychosomatic (ie, self-inflicted, but mentally). However, it's tough to get a good answer on this point.

It's clearly not a miraculous Act of God in the Old-World sense. But, I think that people are moving away from the idea that a miracle is the suspension of the laws of physics, if you follow me. So it could be self-inflicted, and still miraculous.
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  #18  
Old 12-26-2002, 01:14 AM
Splanky Splanky is offline
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Stigmata is up there with Exorcisms as the most stupid religious perversions ever (both good movies also). Thing is, people make hilarious documentaries on people who act like they're possessed and then seriously think people will believe them. And you can't forget the professional 'exorcisor' who is a trained professional at killing demons. There really isn't much on actual people with Stigmata.
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  #19  
Old 12-26-2002, 01:19 AM
I am Sparticus I am Sparticus is offline
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And here are the previous threads with Stigmata in the title. No point re-inventing the wheel.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...der=descending
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  #20  
Old 12-26-2002, 06:05 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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My take has always been: So you can bleed from your hands? Big deal! Try doing something miraculous and productive, like curing cancer or inventing nonfattening pizza.

I got no time for useless metaphysical abilities, like reading the minds of squirrels or being able to cancel gravity in distant solar systems or gushing blood from your palms. Even if it's not a hoax (and most are), what good is it?


God, schmod. I want my monkey-man!
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  #21  
Old 12-26-2002, 06:17 AM
Liberal Liberal is offline
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Nothing is more important to Mr. Magoo than his cane.
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  #22  
Old 12-26-2002, 07:01 AM
UncleBill UncleBill is offline
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I am in the camp of extremely devout Christrians trying to emulate Jesus ("Become more Christ-Like") and becoming entranced and their subconscious creates these wounds psychosomatically. I think there may genuinely be some who legitimately feel themselves so holy that this happens to them. Props to them for feeling the way they wanted to feel.
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  #23  
Old 12-26-2002, 02:53 PM
Azael Azael is offline
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Sounds like an attention-getting ploy to me.

"Look at me! I'm so holy!"

And yet even if it were some kind of "miracle" it would have to be one of the most asinine and least useful "miracles" God has come up with so far.
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  #24  
Old 12-26-2002, 03:16 PM
IThinkNot IThinkNot is offline
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originally posted by fauxpas:

"Well I am merely 14 so, I thought you would understand. What I said in context is depicted throughout various platforms of speech...."

Ouch! Maybe it's just me but everybody appears to be diving off into different tangents.

That aside, this topic, as I assume from the rally of replies, is either a touchy subject or I misjudged the belief of Dopers in general. Most of you seem to believe it's a psychological thing. Okay. I now have a grasp on that. And I am considering just letting the whole thing go, because non-believers in Stigmata (and I do hate that term, non-believer, but I can't come up with a better one) appear to despise the very idea and revile it with all their energy.

Or perhaps I'm full of crap and this is what a true SDMB debate is actually like. If this is so, correct me.

Nicely.
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  #25  
Old 12-26-2002, 04:20 PM
fauxpas fauxpas is offline
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Well non-believers would also mean "heathens". Sorry just wanting to inquire.
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  #26  
Old 12-26-2002, 08:18 PM
jb_farley jb_farley is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Apos
As to WHY God might want to do it, I'm sure any sort of explanation can be come up with as to the possible motivation. No way to really nail it down...
snicker snicker.

jb
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