#458486, By salamando Is there a devil?

  • salamando 3 Oct 2004 18:29:13 215 posts
    Registered 14 years ago
    Short answer: no, I don't believe in the Devil. But I do believe in God and also in the concept of Hell although not in the sense of a fiery cave.

    I think the origins of the Devil figure can be attributed to two factors, the second one being built on top of the first.

    The most obvious factor is organized religion and how it tries to keep followers in line. You see it's just not enough to promise everlasting life and bliss because there's no guarantee that someone else might not come along and promise something even better, no, you need some way to keep followers from jumping ship so you come up with some sort of punishment should they ever stray from the path you laid out for them. Think of this as the original idea on which vendor lock-in was based on. So now if you should ever have any ideas about changing the way you see the universe you not only get locked out of everlasting bliss but you gain everlasting torment. Simple and neat.

    But this of course is tied into something else, the real root of the problem, the first factor that contributed to our coming up with this Devil dude that wants nothing else than to torment us. And that is, quite simply, because the human mind is ruled by fear. We are afraid of _everything_ from the neighbour next door and asteroid impacts, to loonies with their finger on a switch and strangers talking to you on the street. So is it any wonder we believe in a God that judges and punishes, and not only that but also in the existence of an entity of ultimate evil? Hell no (pun intended), we _need_ the idea of the Devil and we cling to it the way a drowning man grasps a piece of flotsam, because to believe that things could be any other way would be to turn away from the fear we came to regard as an integral part of our lives. As if that somehow would be denying life itself.

    Yes, you can't prove any of this any more than you can prove the contrary point of view, but all things being equal then I guess I'll just choose not to believe in the Devil and lead a happy and worry free life.

    Ooops, I guess I just posted a serious answer.
    /bangs head against table
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