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Kava and witchcraft

FidjiLover

Kava Curious
I was doing some research on the ritualistic use of kava by indigenous peoples, and came across several hints of the use of kava for fortune telling, gaining magical powers, cannibalism, and witchcraft. Here are some excerpts from anthropological texts that I found:

The customary chief named Siaka from the village of Henamanu, in the southeast of Tanna Island, recounts the following myth: "Long ago the inhabitants of the island consumed only wild kava, when one day a woman from Futuna was found alone peeling her yams. She was squatting in the water when the devil took advantage the opportunity to slip a magical pebble into her vagina. As soon as she noticed it, she pulled it out and examined it. Very intrigued by the elongated shape of it and the presence of knots and buds. She immediately decided to bring it back to the village. The customary chief took possession of it and that same evening brought it to the nakamal where all the men of the village were. While they surrounded the chief to observe the stone, a devil appeared. He showed them a kava the size of a banyan tree and explained to them that it was real kava. He also said that this stone was sacred and that they should now respect it. As soon as said, they put the stone in a canoe. carved in a magical wood and sprinkled it with water. Atin, the canoe was full to the brim with thousands of identical pebbles. People flocked from all corners of the island to bring back to their villages these stones which allow them today to grow kava thanks to their sacred and magical powers.

(version collected by V. Lebot in May 1982, cited in Lebot and Cabalion 1986)

According to the explanation of the world given by the oral tradition of the island of Tanna, the first inhabitants arrived with yams, taro, breadfruit, bananas, cabbages and poultry. It was not until much later that a new canoe sent by the god Karapanemum would have arrived from the east and via the island of Futuna. She brought three new powers to Tanna in the form of magic stones: pigs, the new black magic of poisoning and kava (Bonne-maison, 1985).

In the southwest of the western province of Papua New Guinea, among the Marind-Anim, kava is said to have come from the hairs of a demon (Nevermann, 1938 after Sterly, 1967)."

Source: https://www.persee.fr/doc/jso_0300-953x_1989_num_88_1_2855#jso_0300-953X_1989_num_88_1_T1_0093_0000

"The belief in higher beings or spirits is manifested through magic or witchcraft rites. These rites are practiced by people empowered to manipulate the supernatural: mediums or clairvoyants, called" clever "in Vanuatu. magicians or wizards everywhere in the Pacific; they often use the drink in association, as a medium to get in contact with the afterlife or as an ally. Those who have these gifts, officiate for the better but also for the worse and the literature is full of allusions to witchcraft. Jealousy is frequently the primary motivatino of beggars acting through the sorcerer and among the curses noted, female sterility, miscarriages, disease and death figure prominently. place. In Vanuatu the islands of Erromango, Ambae and the north of Mallicolo are known for these occult practices ... "

"Through these white or black magical practices, the rite of kava most often appears as a sacrifice to a god in the form of libations."

"Kava would also intervene in certain ritual executions or human sacrifices. In 1929, Deacon says that in Santo, one gave kava to the widows of high-ranking men before strangling them. But the most famous case is that ... (see page 8) " On page 64, there is also the story "the appearance of the magic pebble: the real kava" which speaks "of a devil (spirit or devil)".

Source : https://www.persee.fr/doc/ilarc_0758-864x_2001_mon_29_1#ilarc_0758-864X_2001_mon_29_1_T1_0003_0000

On divination: "In the traditional culture of the archipelago, kava was used for divinatory purposes and, undoubtedly, because of its properties, for medicinal purposes by people empowered to manipulate the supernatural, priest-diviners or high dignitaries . "

"On the other hand, the conflicting relationships had rekindled certain black magic practices associated with kava-based preparations contributing to heightened suspicion and leading to a decrease in its consumption." "Communicating with the afterlife is an ancient practice reserved for diviners possessing stones and magical techniques. With" John Frumism ", more than a return of these divinatory practices, we are witnessing the development of direct dialogue between man and the hereafter. Through the brew, the kava-drinker speaks to the missing or to John's spirit and applies the messages received to the letter. "

"Another invariant concerns the relationship between women and kava, which remains strictly confined to the food space. Thus in Tanna, in the evening, they place the root at the edge of the wood which surrounds the dance place where the men brew and drink the beverage. As women attract spirits, if they crossed this line, they could compromise men's contact with the afterlife. It is said that at the end of the 19th century, a man surprising a woman at watching him prepare his drink, allegedly hit her to death with a branch of kava (Brunton, 1989). "

Source: https://journals.openedition.org/jso/6483

I would update if I find more references. Do not hesitate to add other references !
 
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FidjiLover

Kava Curious
As far as I know, Vincent Lebot is far from being a Christian missionary...on the contrary, he helped a lot to popularize the kava. It seems to me that he himself interviewed natives in the 1980s.

Another study is university I believe, and most of the authors cited for references are recent researchers (second half of the 20th century).

It seems to me that cannibalism in Vanuatu and Fiji is not questioned. It even seems to me that in Vanuatu, this practice existed until quite recently (1960s?).

After that, I can understand that this information can seem disturbing, especially for a Christian for example. But I think it is always interesting to know in detail by whom and in which contexts a plant has been traditionally used.
 

Jacob Bula

Nobody
I had a course in Shamanism and Witchcraft when I was studying Anthropology in college and have been interested in it ever since, so these accounts are interesting for me to read.

It's important to note that these practices aren't really a reflection on kava as much as they are about how human societies understood the world around them before science. All religions were/are an attempt to understand the philosophy and mechanics of our world. For example: "Who am I" , "How did we get here", "Why am I sick", "Why does my family have bad luck?", "Why can't we catch any fish this week?", "What happens when we die?" etc...

Before science, statistics and germ theory, witchcraft and magical thinking provided answers to why people got sick. If you didn't know about microbes and viruses, it gave you that security blanket of knowledge and made you feel that you understood what was happening, and if you understood it than you could go to a healer that could do something about it. Often the placebo effect of thinking that you are healed is enough medicine to feel better, and that would reinforce the beliefs. The opposing side of that hold true as well: if you believe your neighbor put a hex on you, then you will be primed to pay more attention to negative things in your life and be primed to attribute them to witchcraft which will then in turn cause you so much distress that it can produce real, devastating physical symptoms. The reason they used kava in Vanuatu for witchcraft and magic is most likely because that's the primary intoxicant they had access to.

Although more functional questions have been addressed by science, some of those philosophical questions will never be able to be answered by science, which is where I feel that a more modern take on shamanism can still be beneficial for us today when we are struggling with those bigger questions that you can't make a verifiable, repeatable experiment for.
 

Palmetto

Thank God!
There was a Polynesian account for how kava got to some of the islands. I forget the details, but it involved a woman hiding kava in her vagina. Not sure why these people chose such a strange idea to tell a fable.

If you believe in witchcraft, then you believe in evil. If you believe in evil, you must also believe that good exists. If given the choice, I would rather learn more about good things than bad things. Having been associated with people involved with satanism when I was younger, I learned by experience that was can start out as a curiosity can get incredibly ugly really fast. I totally rejected any concepts of holiness involved with Christianity, until I got my arm burnt by holy water stolen from a church, and I watched a satanist violently choking on a sip of it. That was my first insight into the power of good versus evil. Yeah, I know most people will doubt it, but when you experience it firsthand, no doubt can remain.
 

Kojo Douglas

The Kavasseur
Not all of these accounts describe witchcraft. Witchcraft is usually petitionary in nature - either asking for healing power or fertility (white magic) or power and revenge (black magic). It is also typically connected to ancestral beliefs. Some of these are just origin myths or fables. Very interesting though!

I have observed rites and rituals all over Africa, and some in the Solomon Islands as well. I love this stuff.

Christianity is full of rituals that predate Christ, including the idea of eating and drinking the body of God. Petitionary prayer in some forms of Christianity can be described as witchcraft (see Santeria, or even donating money to pastors and priests in exchange for healing, etc.)
 

kastom_lif

Kava Lover
It's important to note that these practices aren't really a reflection on kava as much as they are about how human societies understood the world around them before science. All religions were/are an attempt to understand the philosophy and mechanics of our world. For example: "Who am I" , "How did we get here", "Why am I sick", "Why does my family have bad luck?", "Why can't we catch any fish this week?", "What happens when we die?" etc...
The Combs family lived on Malekula in the early 1990s and had some fantastic journals online (still available through archive.org). They were CUSO volunteers from Canada.

Anyway, one entry describes their experience with traditional culture in a sort of humorus way:

I made an error a while back when I told you that half the people here believe in custom sharks. Everybody does. I had a chat on the subject with Kalosak, my new counterpart, the other day, and with a guy in Lamap on my recent cruise around Malekula. The ability to assume the form of an animal and work other spiritual magic is nakaemas (pronounced na-kie'-mas). I think it is inherited. It isn't all fun and games, because if you don't use it, it will kill you. Also, while your spirit is inhabiting another body, your own body looks like you are asleep. If anyone tries to wake you, you die. The same if someone kills the animal whose form you have taken. Kalosak tells me that there used to be lots of men with nakaemas on Malekula, but not so many anymore. Ambrym, on the other hand is "fulap". Everyone in Vanuatu is afraid to go to Ambrym. Government workers who are assigned there often refuse to go, or leave shortly after moving there. Kalosak said that if a man Ambrym wants to kill you, he does the deed. Then he guts you and fills the cavity with kastom lif (custom leaves) and his spirit enters your body. He then returns to your home and lives with your family, sleeping with your wife (this always enters into the issue), for some predetermined time until abandoning your body and returning to his own. You can tell such a possessed dead man because he passes green stools (from the leaves). Kalosak told me that everyone here has to learn science in school, but think it is all gyaman (lies). In response to his inquiry, I told him that because I was a whiteman, I have trouble believing in nakaemas, but his attitude seemed to be that, well what can you expect - that was my problem.
 

kastom_lif

Kava Lover
Not all of these accounts describe witchcraft. Witchcraft is usually petitionary in nature - either asking for healing power or fertility (white magic) or power and revenge (black magic). It is also typically connected to ancestral beliefs. Some of these are just origin myths or fables. Very interesting though!
I agree. Witchcraft, (aka sorcery or nakaemas in Vanuatu) refers specifically to work done by human beings - that is, by sorcerors, kleva, or magic practitioners.

If something happens in traditional Melanesia, it's always attributed to something. That is, everything happens for a reason. But just because something bad happened does not mean that a poison man is out to get you. It could be from natural spirits or something non-human. Witchcraft is specifically activity done by living humans.

A while ago I had compiled a list of short anecdotes collected from ni-Vans and people who've spent time in Vanuatu:
  • If you are worried about weak or broken bones, you can have double bones installed in your body (according to a PCV who related the time someone generously offered double bones to her.)
  • Don't swim under any canoe that has a woman in it.
  • Never leave your clothes drying outside overnight or you will become very ill.
  • Never throw peanut shells in your yard. Dispose of them carefully.
  • If you fall ill and don't know why, you may have been posen. Seek the help of a kleva, who may divine the location of small nakaemas stones buried around the outside of your home. Nakaemas is a type of harmful sorcery--nakaemas stones are only one specific kind.
  • and one more recent incident.... @kasa_balavu had a coffee mug full of "fiji wota" break while drinking it in a zoom session where everyone else was drinking Vanuatu Kava :ROFLMAO:

These sorts of things are quite variable between one group to another, yet everyone accepts that some sort of supernatural powers exist. Sometimes, people will say that foreigners are immune to curses because they simply don't belong to the local spiritual culture. Yet also, there are stories of foreigners who've had very direct supernatural experiences.

Remember, every tok ples (local language / culture group) is different. Vanuatu has over 100 active local languages spread over 87 islands. When people get together for regional festivals in town, kastom dances tend to generate lots of interest. Lots of people are curious to see how other cultures do things differently. The ability to posen or place curses across culture group boundaries is universally accepted. Just because that village over there, on that distant island does things differently, doesn't mean their magic is fake. This has led to some friction in town when one group accuses another group of causing bad things to happen.

Christianity is full of rituals that predate Christ, including the idea of eating and drinking the body of God. Petitionary prayer in some forms of Christianity can be described as witchcraft (see Santeria, or even donating money to pastors and priests in exchange for healing, etc.)
As Jim Morrison once sang in Soft Parade...
Taem bifo we mi skul yet
Ikat wan man i talemaot se
Yumi save askem gud long Papa God
Wetem prea


::KavaChug::
 
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Palmetto

Thank God!
Not all of these accounts describe witchcraft. Witchcraft is usually petitionary in nature - either asking for healing power or fertility (white magic) or power and revenge (black magic). It is also typically connected to ancestral beliefs. Some of these are just origin myths or fables. Very interesting though!

I have observed rites and rituals all over Africa, and some in the Solomon Islands as well. I love this stuff.

Christianity is full of rituals that predate Christ, including the idea of eating and drinking the body of God. Petitionary prayer in some forms of Christianity can be described as witchcraft (see Santeria, or even donating money to pastors and priests in exchange for healing, etc.)
Santeria isn't a form of Christianity at all. It is an amalgam of shamanism and occultism disguised to pretend to be Christian to elude local authorities back when the occult was illegal in many countries.

The practice of giving money for healing is forbidden in the Christian Bible. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people do solicit such things, but it in mainstream Christianity, such things are wisely discouraged.
 

kastom_lif

Kava Lover
It's turtles syncretism all the way down, man. Christianity is based on Greek/Roman religion, Western European religion, and Judaism. And of course Judaism is evolved from of older Phonecian, Egyptian, Mesopotamian beliefs. "Mainstream" is in the eye of the beholder, 'cause it's all a big family tree.

But even so, that's no excuse to be evil to someone because of their beliefs. It's ok to disagree. But if we get _too_ tribal, that's when things go poorly.

There is some value, in my opinion, to avoiding the "bufet approach" to spirituality. That is, if someone wants to be spiritual / have faith, then develop the discipline to stick with something. Don't just, like, pick and choose stuff that appeals to you. But what do I know, 'cause I don't really practice anything. Just a regular guy who wants to understand people and be respectful.
 

Bubba Bula

krunkadelic relic
I agree. Witchcraft, (aka sorcery or nakaemas in Vanuatu) refers specifically to work done by human beings - that is, by sorcerors, kleva, or magic practitioners.

If something happens in traditional Melanesia, it's always attributed to something. That is, everything happens for a reason. But just because something bad happened does not mean that a poison man is out to get you. It could be from natural spirits or something non-human. Witchcraft is specifically activity done by living humans.

A while ago I had compiled a list of short anecdotes collected from ni-Vans and people who've spent time in Vanuatu:
  • If you are worried about weak or broken bones, you can have double bones installed in your body (according to a PCV who related the time someone generously offered double bones to her.)
  • Don't swim under any canoe that has a woman in it.
  • Never leave your clothes drying outside overnight or you will become very ill.
  • Never throw peanut shells in your yard. Dispose of them carefully.
  • If you fall ill and don't know why, you may have been posen. Seek the help of a kleva, who may divine the location of small nakaemas stones buried around the outside of your home. Nakaemas is a type of harmful sorcery--nakaemas stones are only one specific kind.
  • and one more recent incident.... @kasa_balavu had a coffee mug full of "fiji wota" break while drinking it in a zoom session where everyone else was drinking Vanuatu Kava :ROFLMAO:

These sorts of things are quite variable between one group to another, yet everyone accepts that some sort of supernatural powers exist. Sometimes, people will say that foreigners are immune to curses because they simply don't belong to the local spiritual culture. Yet also, there are stories of foreigners who've had very direct supernatural experiences.

Remember, every tok ples (local language / culture group) is different. Vanuatu has over 100 active local languages spread over 87 islands. When people get together for regional festivals in town, kastom dances tend to generate lots of interest. Lots of people are curious to see how other cultures do things differently. The ability to posen or place curses across culture group boundaries is universally accepted. Just because that village over there, on that distant island does things differently, doesn't mean their magic is fake. This has led to some friction in town when one group accuses another group of causing bad things to happen.



As Jim Morrison once sang in Soft Parade...
Taem bifo we mi skul yet
Ikat wan man i talemaot se
Yumi save askem gud long Papa God
Wetem prea


::KavaChug::
All well and good, but remember no one can disprove the existence of God either. Therefore, just as the belief in God is a leap of faith, so is the belief there is no God an equal leap of faith. Because a God, if there is one (and I believe there is), doesn't play by the rules you believe he should play by does not prove anything. A captive God would not be much of a God.
 

Palmetto

Thank God!
All well and good, but remember no one can disprove the existence of God either. Therefore, just as the belief in God is a leap of faith, so is the belief there is no God an equal leap of faith. Because a God, if there is one (and I believe there is), doesn't play by the rules you believe he should play by does not prove anything. A captive God would not be much of a God.
I always shake my head when people think that science disproves the existence of God. I'm a scientist. I believe in God.

By pure logic, no one should be convinced of atheism. Assurance of atheism could never be logically supported, because if there is the possibility of an omniscient, omnipotent being, then it certainly would have the intelligence and ability to make certain people unable to perceive its existence, if it chose to. Thus, people who chose to be in opposition to the available evidence or who chose to oppose what the god stood for would certainly have the ability to hide itself from such people. Thus no amount of scientific or philosophical experimentation could ever bring those opposed to God into the understanding of that god.

Additionally, many people try to disprove God in ways that are completely irrelevant to determining the existence of a god. It's like using a thermometer to measure the distance to the moon. While the distance to the moon can be measured, a thermometer is an inappropriate ay of determining it. Likewise, science is an inappropriate way of determining the existence of God.
 

Jack3

Kava Curious
There was a Polynesian account for how kava got to some of the islands. I forget the details, but it involved a woman hiding kava in her vagina. Not sure why these people chose such a strange idea to tell a fable.

If you believe in witchcraft, then you believe in evil. If you believe in evil, you must also believe that good exists. If given the choice, I would rather learn more about good things than bad things. Having been associated with people involved with satanism when I was younger, I learned by experience that was can start out as a curiosity can get incredibly ugly really fast. I totally rejected any concepts of holiness involved with Christianity, until I got my arm burnt by holy water stolen from a church, and I watched a satanist violently choking on a sip of it. That was my first insight into the power of good versus evil. Yeah, I know most people will doubt it, but when you experience it firsthand, no doubt can remain.
Witches are just European healers. Shaman is a Siberian word. After Constantine, the Vatican regularly and literally demonized all other beliefs and practices. All this while burning people at the stake, kidnapping people, and committing heinous acts of torture.

Be that as it may, human sacrifice and cannibalism have been fairly common throughout the world based on anthropological evidence. However, as in the cases of the Maya and the Celts, this was seen in much the same way we view an organ donor or someone who leaves their body for scientific research. We commit massive amounts of animal sacrifices for science today, but also for cosmetics and other purposes that seem utterly horrifying and impossible to justify to some.

As was stated in the article, kava was used for both wellness and sickness, as is the internet, steel, and language as well as virtually everything else. Wellness and sickness is a spectrum with fewer culture bound biases than good and evil, so this is what I choose.

Any evidence based appraisal of belief systems cannot avoid the conclusion that Christianity is not more likely to be good than Witchcraft and Witchcraft is no more likely to be evil than Christianity. The idea of absolute good vs absolute evil appears to originate in Zoroastrianism which predates Christianity by 600 to 1200 years. I’m fact, Christianity looks much like it was either plagiarized from Zoroastrianism or is another rendition of a common archetype.

Interestingly, there are other pairings that express a more ambiguous view of polarity such as Enki and Enlil of the Sumerians (which somewhat resembles Prometheus and Zeus of the Greeks), and Heru and Set of the ancient Egyptians. These stories seem to revolve around the dynamic tension between the macrocosm and the microcosm, the transpersonal and the personal, higher and lower selves, etheric and telluric, etc.

I’m the stories of Heru—the one we call Horus and whose name is the origin of the word “hero”—Set is often his adversary yet there are tales when he saves the day. The idea seems to be that all polarities exist on a continuum and error or sickness—if we choose such judgments, which maybe factual indeed but I use this phrase for the sake of argument and to be inclusive of conflicting views—is not about good or bad but more so a matter of balance versus imbalance—a polarity which is not necessarily intended to favor one over the other although people seem to lean one way or the other.

Castor and Pollux are another example. Have you ever heard clarity and wisdom from young children, people with dementia, schizophrenics, or people with developmental disabilities such as down syndrome or autism? Has a pet ever responded in a way to an important need that humans—especially fully functioning adults—could not even see?

Some view eating meat as on par with cannibalism, morally speaking. Some say that all is consciousness and plants and mushrooms are as alive and aware as people. It seems to me perhaps somewhat similar to incest in the sense that it is not so much a moral problems so much as it is the increased risk of birth defects and perhaps emotional toxicity, although that may be biased and is likely to be at least relative. Personally, insofar as I do have a feeling that people we refer to as disabled offer something that is well worth the effort, it seems to me that there must be enough fully functioning adults to provide what those with special needs cannot do for themselves. It could be argued that those with special needs provide us with something equally necessary, such as a reason to slow down and appreciate the simple things we take for granted and to remember that we all really need each other. Of course that in itself may very well be biased or at least inaccurate.

Perhaps relativity is only relatively relative, but is the absolute absolutely absolute? Perhaps a rose is a rose is a rose. Then how on earth could a door be ajar?
 

Jack3

Kava Curious
Witches are just European healers. Shaman is a Siberian word. After Constantine, the Vatican regularly and literally demonized all other beliefs and practices. All this while burning people at the stake, kidnapping people, and committing heinous acts of torture.

Be that as it may, human sacrifice and cannibalism have been fairly common throughout the world based on anthropological evidence. However, as in the cases of the Maya and the Celts, this was seen in much the same way we view an organ donor or someone who leaves their body for scientific research. We commit massive amounts of animal sacrifices for science today, but also for cosmetics and other purposes that seem utterly horrifying and impossible to justify to some.

As was stated in the article, kava was used for both wellness and sickness, as is the internet, steel, and language as well as virtually everything else. Wellness and sickness is a spectrum with fewer culture bound biases than good and evil, so this is what I choose.

Any evidence based appraisal of belief systems cannot avoid the conclusion that Christianity is not more likely to be good than Witchcraft and Witchcraft is no more likely to be evil than Christianity. The idea of absolute good vs absolute evil appears to originate in Zoroastrianism which predates Christianity by 600 to 1200 years. I’m fact, Christianity looks much like it was either plagiarized from Zoroastrianism or is another rendition of a common archetype.

Interestingly, there are other pairings that express a more ambiguous view of polarity such as Enki and Enlil of the Sumerians (which somewhat resembles Prometheus and Zeus of the Greeks), and Heru and Set of the ancient Egyptians. These stories seem to revolve around the dynamic tension between the macrocosm and the microcosm, the transpersonal and the personal, higher and lower selves, etheric and telluric, etc.

I’m the stories of Heru—the one we call Horus and whose name is the origin of the word “hero”—Set is often his adversary yet there are tales when he saves the day. The idea seems to be that all polarities exist on a continuum and error or sickness—if we choose such judgments, which maybe factual indeed but I use this phrase for the sake of argument and to be inclusive of conflicting views—is not about good or bad but more so a matter of balance versus imbalance—a polarity which is not necessarily intended to favor one over the other although people seem to lean one way or the other.

Castor and Pollux are another example. Have you ever heard clarity and wisdom from young children, people with dementia, schizophrenics, or people with developmental disabilities such as down syndrome or autism? Has a pet ever responded in a way to an important need that humans—especially fully functioning adults—could not even see?

Some view eating meat as on par with cannibalism, morally speaking. Some say that all is consciousness and plants and mushrooms are as alive and aware as people. It seems to me perhaps somewhat similar to incest in the sense that it is not so much a moral problems so much as it is the increased risk of birth defects and perhaps emotional toxicity, although that may be biased and is likely to be at least relative. Personally, insofar as I do have a feeling that people we refer to as disabled offer something that is well worth the effort, it seems to me that there must be enough fully functioning adults to provide what those with special needs cannot do for themselves. It could be argued that those with special needs provide us with something equally necessary, such as a reason to slow down and appreciate the simple things we take for granted and to remember that we all really need each other. Of course that in itself may very well be biased or at least inaccurate.

Perhaps relativity is only relatively relative, but is the absolute absolutely absolute? Perhaps a rose is a rose is a rose. Then how on earth could a door be ajar?
Castor and Pollux are like the fully functioning adult and the individual with special needs. Forgot to make that connection.
 

IberiKava

Atlantic KavaLover
I always shake my head when people think that science disproves the existence of God. I'm a scientist. I believe in God.

By pure logic, no one should be convinced of atheism. Assurance of atheism could never be logically supported, because if there is the possibility of an omniscient, omnipotent being, then it certainly would have the intelligence and ability to make certain people unable to perceive its existence, if it chose to. Thus, people who chose to be in opposition to the available evidence or who chose to oppose what the god stood for would certainly have the ability to hide itself from such people. Thus no amount of scientific or philosophical experimentation could ever bring those opposed to God into the understanding of that god.

Additionally, many people try to disprove God in ways that are completely irrelevant to determining the existence of a god. It's like using a thermometer to measure the distance to the moon. While the distance to the moon can be measured, a thermometer is an inappropriate ay of determining it. Likewise, science is an inappropriate way of determining the existence of God.
well put,
the idea of the mere possibility of the inexistence of God is based in the absurd concept of "randomness". Like, entire rational systems and chemical, physical, biomolecular architecture, just based in randomness and in the blind idea of "stability". When one says that everything on the universe moves towards stability and duration it must be explained. It also must be explained why it moves (at least on Earth) towards more unstable, but more complex and more self-conscious forms of self-organization. To think that something like that can emerge from randomness (not to speak of the inmense and tremendously beautiful cosmic complexity)... I cannot think of anything more stupid and nearsighted. There is no ramdomness, and if it is would be only for our limited minds.
It all comes from the difficulty than some people have to accept that not all should be permitted and promoted, if you don't like to keep your whims at bay for the better development of humanity, then you hate the idea of God. That's what happen actually, never on Earth has been more self-absorbed and egotistical people than only think about their desires and whims. There's a very obvious spiritual abasement.

Your last paragraph reminds me what L. Wittgenstein said about God in his first book, Tractatus, and my interpretation of it :
"God doesn't reveal himself in the world, it's independent of the facts of the world"

Imagine that there's a miracle. A miracle regarding that is something happening in the world, is not completely supernatural. Something that happens in the world and can be looked at, experienced is a natural thing, even if it's "apparently" unexplainable. That means, imagine that the same miracle (unusual thing that seems to make no sense) happen 3 times a year. Then the scientists go there and measure everything going on, they could even create a new law, that in that particular place made that unusual thing to happen because Science is just description of the natural events, the events that occur on Earth and we can measure, Science doens't explain anything, or at least, it doesn't explain it fully, it just correlates some events and regularities with some theoretic laws. That only speaks about the glory of God doesn't deny nor prove anything. The mystery of existence cannot be explained, nor will be, so that mystery speaks volumes about the sense of a God.
Or like Simone Weil's put it: "The real definition of Science is that it is the study of the beauty of the world" Love and beauty are together, so the aesthetic, impersonal aspects of God creation are what constitutes the "cold" beauty of Laws that Science study. Religion speaks about the personal, "warm", qualities of that Love.
 
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