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nephili

Is "The Devil" necessary?

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It seems that most religions and especially certain fundamental branches of the large religions believe in this evil being and his influence. The serpent in the garden, "The Fallen one", Lucifer, Loki, Beelzebub, Shaitan, Mara, Iblis... There is almost as many names for this being than for "God".

I think it is one thing to believe in an all knowing architect or creator, but to believe an all knowing creator creating his own opponent just seems irrational and impossible at best. And to believe it so that it is in almost all religions. Do you believe that evil must exist to highlight the good? Why does the evil being fit in so well in our myths and legends?

Why has religion been so dependent on this evil being? Was it a safe guard so it could always be said "the devil made me do it"? Was it so we could blame death on something other than "God"? I'm open to any opinions.

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Think about this: darkness is the absence of.light. So the two poles is light and darkness. Dusk is like purgatory.  So even in life we have two poles. Is it such a far stretch to assume for goodness there shall be an opposite called evil?

Some believe it's human constructs ( good and evil) 

 For.me, there is a God and an opposite _ the devil, although they both go by many names

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3 minutes ago, DebDandelion said:

 

Some believe it's human constructs ( good and evil) 

I'm personally comfortable with the idea of a God. I'm a little scared of a creator who creates demons and devils and eternal suffering. I just don't see the need in the belief of a "God". But it is an idea that fascinates me.

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I, too am disturbed by the concept of eternal agony as punishment for what is a brief lifetime of choices.  I don't understand how to have such extremes exist in the same Creator.  I have chosen to trust that it will be made clear in time.  I think it's entirely possible that we have misunderstood the meaning of the texts in some fundamental way.  As to the Devil, his story is clear.  He was created as an angel and fell into pride.  He chose pride and rebellion and then managed to convince humans to do likewise.  All the rest of the story is about the love the Creator showed for us in taking it upon himself to heal the breach that WE caused.

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Are gods necessary?

Anyway who could possibly think their favourite deity could be capable of evil? Blame someone else.

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The Devil is just the personification of evil (the dark side) while God portrayed as a bearded older gentleman is just the personification of good (the light side). Humans have this need to 'put a face on it', that's all.

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Is " The Devil "   necessary?     no not at all

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An "other" is necessary because it lies at the core of the human psyche. We are a tribal species with an evolutionary drive to band together and drive out all who differ from us. It stands to reason that the stories we invent to justify our own behaviour would include "others" as a target for our ire. Nothing causes humans to band together more reliably than fear and a common enemy.

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I have mixed feelings about this, on one hand does God do anything good or anything at all?  is there anything in real world which one can say god did this? I feel god is a silent observer who wants to act good so he created evil to punish people in hell. It's like god has secretly employed Satan to do the dirty work for him. 

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Is evil God's alter ego? maybe God as split personality or God just gets bored of being good guy all the time? I feel if you are god or evil the existence must be really taxing, common what is that they achieve 

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14 hours ago, nephili said:

It seems that most religions and especially certain fundamental branches of the large religions believe in this evil being and his influence.

Ahhhh ....   the 'other' question now.    First, if we are talking about most large mainstream religions, they all have a common root  stemming from 'proto- Aryan ' reigions , the first division seems to be between the proto 'Vedic' and Zoroastrian and Judaism seems to have from out of Zoroastrianism, Christianity from Judaism, Islam from the ones before it and then finally Baha'i . The Vedic developed many types, later agglomerated as Hinduism and previously Buddhism came out of that mix.    

The original division in early Aryan history is two fold ; one based on  political rivalries and war and the other, ob the observable nature of man with his propensity for both 'good and bad' .  Often this takes a form of the 'mythological bad guy or bad brother story. 

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The serpent in the garden, "The Fallen one", Lucifer, Loki, Beelzebub, Shaitan, Mara, Iblis... There is almost as many names for this being than for "God".

I think it is one thing to believe in an all knowing architect or creator, but to believe an all knowing creator creating his own opponent just seems irrational and impossible at best. And to believe it so that it is in almost all religions.

Yes, it doesnt make much sense and all the ways of trying to explain this and other  difficult (  or  illogical )  concepts gives birth to that strange beast  -  theology , a system of thought that does not seem to require logic and reason .

Still , we cannot deny our dual natures , in ourselves and in the manifestation of others .     The issue, I feel, is about 'what causes one to do 'bad' ?   It, at times, is as simple as this ;   if I believe in God and attribute good things to 'space father'  then bad things gotta come from somewhere . 

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Do you believe that evil must exist to highlight the good?

No .   But I believe some other difficult things like suffering , trials, difficulties might have  such, and other similar, 'hidden benefits' 

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 Why does the evil being fit in so well in our myths and legends?

W all like to boo  the villan   ;)  

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Why has religion been so dependent on this evil being?

Zoroastrianism picked up a type of dualism and the religions that came after it adopted that central idea . There are several main Zoroastrian precepts that have passed into later religions.  The Vedic religions seem to have less of a concept regarding it . 

However, if one passes beyond the metaphors of God and Devil and instead looks at human behaviour , what causes good or bad behavior ...  and how to cultivate a good 'spirit'  in yourself ,  the Zoroastrians offer a lot to learn .   

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Was it a safe guard so it could always be said "the devil made me do it"? Was it so we could blame death on something other than "God"? I'm open to any opinions.

Hmmmm ... just thinking .... peeps never say   God  MADE  me do it,  .....   do they ?   I never heard that ... the do it 'for God' or for love of God or love of fellow man .  Apparently God does not create 'compulsion'  like the devil does. 

 

Actually, I can feel the devil now , urging me to write something naughty here   .......     but I shall try to resist  !       B)

 

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14 hours ago, nephili said:

I'm personally comfortable with the idea of a God. I'm a little scared of a creator who creates demons and devils and eternal suffering. I just don't see the need in the belief of a "God". But it is an idea that fascinates me.

yes well , I forgot to mention ... the idea became VERY handy in later times  and the politicising of religions  and using them as a way to control scare and manipulate  people .     The selling of indulgences has caused many a revolt ! 

Make sure you are good nephili .....    you know what happens to bad citizens  !  

 

 

Image result for hell

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4 minutes ago, back to earth said:

yes well , I forgot to mention ... the idea became VERY handy in later times  and the politicising of religions  and using them as a way to control scare and manipulate  people .     The selling of indulgences has caused many a revolt ! 

Make sure you are good nephili .....    you know what happens to bad citizens  !  

 

 

Image result for hell

They get a job with the Administration?

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Posted (edited)

They get ostracised  .......   one way or the other  ;  

 

 

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Edited by back to earth
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Posted (edited)

On 05/06/2017 at 7:49 AM, nephili said:

I'm personally comfortable with the idea of a God. I'm a little scared of a creator who creates demons and devils and eternal suffering. I just don't see the need in the belief of a "God". But it is an idea that fascinates me.

Well it is a matter of perception and how we define those entities.

God is the creator of the universe in that it is an artificial construction. To do so, the materials used are by definition not eternal. So all his constructs built with matter are not eternal.

That includes all life as well including the higher plane species like the lesser gods better known as angels to most people.

Being eternal is not the same as being immortal though. God is unique in that he is eternal, everything else is not. Species may have immortality which is merely the capacity to avoid physical death but they will never be eternal. At some point they will expire even if it is billions of years later.

So why is this important?

Because the very nature of the material is corruption. The very atoms will one day decay (nucleon decay).

This is due to entropy which is a fundamental and unavoidable consequence of having a material universe.

Thus it is with no surprise that there is an immortal group of beings that rebelled against their creator. They weren't created that way but over time their convictions and certainties became corrupted and they chose to fight the Creators laws and plans. In a way they allowed entropy to corrupt them.

God didn't create demons, they created themselves by becoming corrupt.

Satan as we call him is merely a rebel not an equal in any way with God. 

All human beings are subject to entropy as well, we are short lived, we cannot avoid death, we aren't immortal yet our natures can also become corrupt even if it is without malice. Can any man who has lived a full life and is now 80 years old be the same man he was when was 20?

I think not. Over the course of our lives we allow corruption to become a part of us, we compromise our ideals we lose our idealism, we become realistic, we mature. That is our excuse. We lose our convictions and certainties in favour of circumstances and how they impact our lives. Yet it has always been and still is a choice we actively make.

So have the angels who became known as demons.

At the beginning God had a choice. Either create non sentient constructs, robots if you prefer or create sentient beings which also imply self determination and choice.

God chose the latter not the former. There was a price to pay though. If one chooses sentience one cannot suddenly disrespect choices made but that sentience just because you can. Not if you want to maintain your moral nature and your self respect, which are defining characteristcs of a moral God.

So, no the devil is not neccessary but he did come to exist anyway.

 

Edited by Jor-el
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On 6/5/2017 at 2:31 AM, nephili said:

It seems that most religions and especially certain fundamental branches of the large religions believe in this evil being and his influence. The serpent in the garden, "The Fallen one", Lucifer, Loki, Beelzebub, Shaitan, Mara, Iblis... There is almost as many names for this being than for "God".

I think it is one thing to believe in an all knowing architect or creator, but to believe an all knowing creator creating his own opponent just seems irrational and impossible at best. And to believe it so that it is in almost all religions. Do you believe that evil must exist to highlight the good? Why does the evil being fit in so well in our myths and legends?

Why has religion been so dependent on this evil being? Was it a safe guard so it could always be said "the devil made me do it"? Was it so we could blame death on something other than "God"? I'm open to any opinions.

I find this a fascinating thought. First I want to say about my outlook on it in a spiritual sense. My mother has told me, she believes that the devil does not exist. I agree to that. And to that my belief feels there is a higher power that may have had some input ( ;) ) in creation maybe, I can't how an opposite to that would exist. I think I see a combination of good and bad in all things, so dividing them seems how to comprehend for me. 

I often see that the devil or such negative/opposite things are there or created so to speak to spark some form of 'education' or insistence of getting others to think the same thing over and over again. In other words, invented for a particular psychological goal. *shrugs* 

On 6/5/2017 at 5:22 PM, back to earth said:

Make sure you are good nephili .....    you know what happens to bad citizens  !  

 

 

Image result for hell

Oh no, Elmoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

(Sorry, couldn't help myself. :devil: ) 

On 6/5/2017 at 5:29 PM, Hammerclaw said:

They get a job with the Administration?

:P Cute ;) 

On 6/5/2017 at 5:41 PM, back to earth said:

They get ostracised  .......   one way or the other  ;  

 

 

Related image

 

Related image

 

 

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Or sung the "The Brady Bunch" theme to, over and over and over again. :o  :devil: 

1 hour ago, Jor-el said:

Well it is a matter of perception and how we define those entities.

God is the creator of the universe in that it is an artificial construction. To do so, the materials used are by definition not eternal. So all his constructs built with matter are not eternal.

That includes all life as well including the higher plane species like the lesser gods better known as angels to most people.

Being eternal is not the same as being immortal though. God is unique in that he is eternal, everything else is not. Species may have immortality which is merely the capacity to avoid physical death but they will never be eternal. At some point they will expire even if it is billions of years later.

So why is this important?

Because the very nature of the material is corruption. The very atoms will one day decay (nucleon decay).

This is due to entropy which is a fundamental and unavoidable consequence of having a material universe.

Thus it is with no surprise that there is an immortal group of beings that rebelled against their creator. They weren't created that way but over time their convictions and certainties became corrupted and they chose to fight the Creators laws and plans. In a way they allowed entropy to corrupt them.

God didn't create demons, they created themselves by becoming corrupt.

Satan as we call him is merely a rebel not an equal in any way with God. 

All human beings are subject to entropy as well, we are short lived, we cannot avoid death, we aren't immortal yet our natures can also become corrupt even if it is without malice. Can any man who has lived a full life and is now 80 years old be the same man he was when was 20?

I think not. Over the course of our lives we allow corruption to become a part of us, we compromise our ideals we lose our idealism, we become realistic, we mature. That is our excuse. We lose our convictions and certainties in favour of circumstances and how they impact our lives. Yet it has always been and still is a choice we actively make.

So have the angels who became known as demons.

At the beginning God had a choice. Either create non sentient constructs, robots if you prefer or create sentient beings which also imply self determination and choice.

God chose the latter not the former. There was a price to pay though. If one chooses sentience one cannot suddenly disrespect choices made but that sentience just because you can. Not if you want to maintain your moral nature and your self respect, which are defining characteristcs of a moral God.

So, no the devil is not neccessary but he did come to exist anyway.

 

You know, I can see this point of view. And I think it's interesting of the outlook of the material being created and then there is the eternal. Which it's limitations makes sense to me. My question would be, why would the creator want to create something that's limited? 

 

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2 hours ago, Stubbly_Dooright said:

You know, I can see this point of view. And I think it's interesting of the outlook of the material being created and then there is the eternal. Which it's limitations makes sense to me. My question would be, why would the creator want to create something that's limited? 

I don't know.

My suspicion is that God is limited in some way by the nature of the material, not the atoms themselves but something more fundamental, like the size of the canvas will limit the nature of the painting.

In other words there is nothing he can make that is eternal like himself. He can only make lesser than himself not equal to himself.... This has unavoidable consequences. God did not purposefully set out to create us less then himself, he simply doesn't have a choice because he can't create someone equal to himself.

I hope you understood this. It is hard to put into words.

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34 minutes ago, Jor-el said:

God did not purposefully set out to create us less then himself, he simply doesn't have a choice because he can't create someone equal to himself.

Where did this inability/restriction come from if God didn't create it? Is there another more supreme god who put this rule in place for 'God?'

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1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Where did this inability/restriction come from if God didn't create it? Is there another more supreme god who put this rule in place for 'God?'

As far as I know he is unique but there are three qualities that are known regarding his nature.

Omnipotence, Omnipresence and Omniscience.... the interesting thing though is that those qualities are anthropocentric.

Putting it another way, to us he is omnipotent, omnipresent and a omniscient. Does that mean that there are things he cannot do?

Yes there are... He can't make a square circle, he can't make a wall so strong he cannot break it and he cannot create someone like himself, which is the corollary or the other side of the coin of uniqueness.

So there are restrictions to God and those restrictions for me indicate that all his works are satisfactory or very good but not perfect.... Actually the bible clearly states that only God is perfect... To me that is an important clue.

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Posted (edited)

34 minutes ago, Jor-el said:

Putting it another way, to us he is omnipotent, omnipresent and a omniscient. Does that mean that there are things he cannot do?

Yes there are... He can't make a square circle, he can't make a wall so strong he cannot break it and he cannot create someone like himself, which is the corollary or the other side of the coin of uniqueness.

I disagree, I would say at best that instead we don't know if there are things he cannot do.  The problem with square circles and omni-beings vs. omnipotence-proof walls is that they are contradictions, and all we can say is that if he can do it, we can't comprehend it.  It doesn't make much sense to ask, 'can an omnipotent being create or do something that demonstrates he's not omnipotent'; something has to give, if he can do this, then it was inaccurate to describe him as an 'omnipotent being' in the first place.  We have no definition or even any adequate way to even describe what a square circle is, and if we can't define it adequately we certainly can't say whether an omni-being can create one.  It's like saying, 'God cannot create phlutiveluvia', and not defining 'phlutiveluvia'; square circles are really no better defined or comprehensible.  

I don't think we're running into limitations of God here, we are running into the limitations of our comprehension and language.

As far as his nature, I had always thought that part of his nature is that he is the ultimate creator, so I'm not sure if just on their own phrases like 'he can't' and 'he had no choice' make sense with that.

Edited by Liquid Gardens
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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

I disagree, I would say at best that instead we don't know if there are things he cannot do.  The problem with square circles and omni-beings vs. omnipotence-proof walls is that they are contradictions, and all we can say is that if he can do it, we can't comprehend it.  It doesn't make much sense to ask, 'can an omnipotent being create or do something that demonstrates he's not omnipotent'; something has to give, if he can do this, then it was inaccurate to describe him as an 'omnipotent being' in the first place.  We have no definition or even any adequate way to even describe what a square circle is, and if we can't define it adequately we certainly can't say whether an omni-being can create one.  It's like saying, 'God cannot create phlutiveluvia', and not defining 'phlutiveluvia'; square circles are really no better defined or comprehensible.  

I don't think we're running into limitations of God here, we are running into the limitations of our comprehension and language.

As far as his nature, I had always thought that part of his nature is that he is the ultimate creator, so I'm not sure if just on their own phrases like 'he can't' and 'he had no choice' make sense with that.

As I said initially, these are suppositions, we really do not know. All I can go on is clues in the Bible. 

I think for me the most important aspect is the comprehension that omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence refer to God's relationship with us, the created.

To us he is all those things. If he is those things in a wider cosmological context is unknown.

Is God for example alone in the wider multiverse or is he unique merely in relation to ours?

Questions we have, the answers we don't.

I do know one thing... If he can create a being equal to himself, he can no longer be unique, yet the bible clearly states his uniqueness as well as the fact that all his creations are not perfect.

Which is to me the ultimate clue... Either the material itself is imperfect on purpose which doesn't ring true for me, or something about the material is inherently flawed and God merely used what was available.

Matter is flawed by its very nature. It has death already written into its very structure.

If God can only use matter as a building block for his creations then the flaw is already present from the start. That is what I meant by God not having a choice.

Edited by Jor-el
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2 hours ago, Jor-el said:

I think for me the most important aspect is the comprehension that omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence refer to God's relationship with us, the created.

To us he is all those things. If he is those things in a wider cosmological context is unknown.

For me, omni-anything is not a range or spectrum, it's a point. It's like the old line about pregnancy, you can't be kinda omnipotent.

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If he can create a being equal to himself, he can no longer be unique, yet the bible clearly states his uniqueness as well as the fact that all his creations are not perfect.

I wasn't aware of that, although I think the Bible may refer to his 'oneness'.  What was imperfect about Jesus, or is he not considered 'a creation'?

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Either the material itself is imperfect on purpose which doesn't ring true for me, or something about the material is inherently flawed and God merely used what was available.

Interesting.  Why doesn't imperfect material ring true for you?  I ask because sometimes when talking about theistic topics I hear comments like that which suggest that you an expectation that things should be different, and I'm always curious as to what that is based on.  If the material was perfect, is that more what you'd expect?  Why?  I guess I could see that maybe we'd expect a perfect being to create perfect material, but when I stop and think about it I don't think I'm able to answer 'why' any better.

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If God can only use matter as a building block for his creations then the flaw is already present from the start. That is what I meant by God not having a choice.

That may be the case, but it then suggests that God is just a local creator, not the ultimate one.

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