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Jonsa

The Nature of Evil

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I am having difficulty in actually understanding the Devil as the source of evil in mankind. I've actually read the bible passages pertaining to Ol Luci and I have concluded that I must have some kind of reading comprehension disorder because I can't get past the circular logic. I even have gone to Christian sites to read about scripture interpretation and I just can't make the leap from the words to the interpretations put on them by biblical "scholars".

If I understand correctly, those of faith believe that Satan/Lucifer/etc was a cherub made perfect in God's image, but because Lucifer was so beautiful it went to is head and corrupted himself to the extent that he wanted to be God. Of course God would have none of that, so he threw out his once perfect creation, along with 30% of the other perfect creations and cast them into hell. And thus Lucifer began a war for the souls of mankind. And from this we have Satan spreading evil. Like evil is something you can catch.

Now apparently because mankind has free will, he can choose to reject evil and if he doesn't voila he is corrupted and assigned to hell upon death. that sounds suspiciously like a threat to tow the line and/or get absolution before you kick the bucket or you're gonna burn in hell for all of eternity. Seems a tad harsh if your major sins consist of life long masturbation,stealing some candy from a baby, some pre-marital sex and saying [email protected]@MN frequently.

I hope I have that right.

Therefore, I beleive that there is no "force of evil" that manifests itself in those of feeble free will. I don't beleive that evil exists as an external supernatural force luring humans to do bad things. I think human psychology in myriad ways is the source of people doing bad things. I'll even call those bad things evil - semantically meaning beyond the pale, but totally within an average humans capability if the right threat or psychological barrier is breached.

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I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Isaiah 45:7

According to the bible god creates evil. Satan just looks for it, and tests humans for it. According to the story of biblical creation, God made a man (Adam) in his own image, and then Macguyvered up a women using a couple of his ribs. Then god told her that no matter what she does she shouldnt eat fruit from a sacred tree. After that he made a talking snake, and sent it to con Eve into eating from the tree, and all human sin is derived from this event.

In reality though its a completely subjective human construct thats probably partially the result of slightly screwy wiring in the brain, and partly learned.

Therefore, I beleive that there is no "force of evil" that manifests itself in those of feeble free will. I don't beleive that evil exists as an external supernatural force luring humans to do bad things. I think human psychology in myriad ways is the source of people doing bad things. I'll even call those bad things evil - semantically meaning beyond the pale, but totally within an average humans capability if the right threat or psychological barrier is breached.

Thats about right I think.

Edited by dre

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Hmmmm... you know, maybe the bible isn't for you.

for many many years I have been on a personal intellectual quest to understand and perhaps even acquire "faith". I am no closer to acquistion but know a lot more about the objects and sources of the abrahamic faiths.

I would agree that the bible isn't for me, but knowledge of it is imperative in attempting to understand the actions, motivations, morals and political beliefs of the religious and their organizations.

Maybe there is some merit to the notion of a God gene in which case, I can categorically state I don't have it.

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for many many years I have been on a personal intellectual quest to understand and perhaps even acquire "faith". I am no closer to acquistion but know a lot more about the objects and sources of the abrahamic faiths.

I would agree that the bible isn't for me, but knowledge of it is imperative in attempting to understand the actions, motivations, morals and political beliefs of the religious and their organizations.

Maybe there is some merit to the notion of a God gene in which case, I can categorically state I don't have it.

I think your big mistake is trying to understand something intellectually that explicitly asks it's receiver to not think. Faith is not an intellectually definable attribute - it's an experience that is more related to emotional life - to love and trust - than to thinking. A person's faith asks that they accept certain givens without analysis or understanding.

This concept can allow intelligent people of faith to hold points of view on science that seem to conflict.

The mistake that some (ostensibly) scientific thinkers and some (ostensibly) religious people continue to make is to apply their beliefs of how the universe works as absolutes that must fit every paradigm of thought that is out there: ie. religious people who aren't satisfied with their faith somehow try to retrofit the bible to deny the existence of science, or scientific type thinkers rejecting others' philosophies of the universe to be invalid because they aren't based in fact.

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There has to be something to threaten the non-believers and those who won't follow church doctrine with.

Otherwise, what's the big deal if you don't follow God's (church's) rules?

Obey and you will have eternal life. Disobey and you will have eternal torment.

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for many many years I have been on a personal intellectual quest to understand and perhaps even acquire "faith". I am no closer to acquistion but know a lot more about the objects and sources of the abrahamic faiths.

I would agree that the bible isn't for me, but knowledge of it is imperative in attempting to understand the actions, motivations, morals and political beliefs of the religious and their organizations.

Maybe there is some merit to the notion of a God gene in which case, I can categorically state I don't have it.

I was born and raised a Catholic but never really took religion seriously. I strayed away actually.

At a later stage in life, I felt this void deep inside. Something was terribly missing and I knew I had trouble with my faith. I stumbled on to Pastor Charles Price (Living Truth Ministry) while he was talking about Abraham: The Rocky Road to Faith.

The way he read and explained passages from the Bible seemed so easy and simple that I began reading the Bible. If I want to fear, love and obey my Lord, I have to know what He wants.

I don't want to be misled. By that I mean by preachers or religion who inject their own rules and man-made laws and rituals to the doctrine. I find Pastor Price to be credible, and stays true to the Word of God.

Maybe because I was born and raised a Christian that's why somehow faith is already in me...the spark already there, and it just needed some working on.

I don't know about atheists, especially if you've been an atheist all your life.

If you are in a quest to understand, it will be best to talk to someone who'll be able to explain and answer your questions.

Edited by betsy

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I was born and raised a Catholic but never really took religion seriously. I strayed away actually.

At a later stage in life, I felt this void deep inside. Something was terribly missing and I knew I had trouble with my faith. I stumbled on to Pastor Charles Price (Living Truth Ministry) while he was talking about Abraham: The Rocky Road to Faith.

The way he read and explained passages from the Bible seemed so easy and simple that I began reading the Bible. If I want to fear, love and obey my Lord, I have to know what He wants.

I don't want to be misled. By that I mean by preachers or religion who inject their own rules and man-made laws and rituals to the doctrine. I find Pastor Price to be credible, and stays true to the Word of God.

Maybe because I was born and raised a Christian that's why somehow faith is already in me...the spark already there, and it just needed some working on.

I don't know about atheists, especially if you've been an atheist all your life.

If you are in a quest to understand, it will be best to talk to someone who'll be able to explain and answer your questions.

I don't want to be misled. By that I mean by preachers or religion who inject their own rules and man-made laws and rituals to the doctrine.

The problem is that the bible itself presents the same problem. Its a very political document written by a handfull of those same kind of people. Its not the word of god, its a handfull of personal accounts that was cherry-picked by the Roman Government. Many of the gospels were not allowed, and when Rome was FORCED to convert to Christianity documents consisting of about 1/2 of the body of knowledge of Christ was burned.

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There has to be something to threaten the non-believers and those who won't follow church doctrine with

Otherwise, what's the big deal if you don't follow God's (church's) rules?

When I started reading the Bible (on my second read now with Bible Study footnotes), I found out that my church was doing a lot of things that were actually contrary to the teachings of Christ.

Obey and you will have eternal life. Disobey and you will have eternal torment.

The Bible (New King James) does not say anything about eternal torment (as in staying in hell forever).

It just says that those who are saved will have life after death.

Those who aren't will just die.

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The problem is that the bible itself presents the same problem. Its a very political document written by a handfull of those same kind of people. Its not the word of god, its a handfull of personal accounts that was cherry-picked by the Roman Government. Many of the gospels were not allowed, and when Rome was FORCED to convert to Christianity documents consisting of about 1/2 of the body of knowledge of Christ was burned.

I'm not going to debate about the authenticity of the Bible. It will lead us nowhere. I don't want to think. I'm also tired. :D

I understand that to you, it is nothing more but an ancient text or bestselling fiction of ancient time. But for me, it is so much more than that. I feel.

I know this is not good enough for you guys....but speaking as a believer, I'm just trying to explain.

Jonsa expressed his quest for knowledge about religion and faith...and it's best that he talk to someone who can really answer his questions.

Edited by betsy

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I am having difficulty in actually understanding the Devil as the source of evil in mankind. I've actually read the bible passages pertaining to Ol Luci and I have concluded that I must have some kind of reading comprehension disorder because I can't get past the circular logic.

Try the Urantia Book. It's a christian interpretation of the universe with a healthy dose of science.

And the fact it was allegedly not written by earthlings makes it that much more cool. :)

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Therefore, I beleive that there is no "force of evil" that manifests itself in those of feeble free will. I don't beleive that evil exists as an external supernatural force luring humans to do bad things. I think human psychology in myriad ways is the source of people doing bad things. I'll even call those bad things evil - semantically meaning beyond the pale, but totally within an average humans capability if the right threat or psychological barrier is breached.

Ok that's fair, so how about the non-Abrahamic world?

You are saying that there is no 'force of evil' that manifests itself, but you call certain "things" evil from time to time. What are those 'things' - acts without any thought? What is the nature of that 'psychological barrier?'

So how about the 'force of logic' or the 'force of an idea' is it possible for there to be a corresponding 'force of illogic' or 'the force of an anti-idea?'

I am not saying that there is a supernatural force to evil (or good), but sometimes the idea of 'supernatural' could act as a medium used to extended complex moral ideas into a psyche that otherwise might not grasp them.

Myth has been around for a very long time and is often used to illustrate cultural taboos - those things in which a particular culture might consider the equivalent of our 'evil.' But taboos need to be taught, they are not inherent. (or...are they?) Since they are not inherent, that would imply they exist outside of the individual and could constitute an external 'force.'

It is an interesting thread considering BC_chick's "example of universal morality" thread in the Moral and Ethical Issues section.

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for many many years I have been on a personal intellectual quest to understand and perhaps even acquire "faith". I am no closer to acquistion but know a lot more about the objects and sources of the abrahamic faiths.

Jonsa, in your heart, have you tried talking to God? In your own words. Telling him about your quest....even as you say, to acquire faith. With all humility and sincerity, you might be surprised.

Christians are adviced to pray for understanding when reading the Bible.

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Jonsa, in your heart, have you tried talking to God? In your own words. Telling him about your quest....even as you say, to acquire faith. With all humility and sincerity, you might be surprised.

Christians are adviced to pray for understanding when reading the Bible.

\

Over the course of 40 years I've spoken to a number of priests, ministers, imams and rabbis. I've been adivsed to open my heart and talk to god, study HIS word etc. etc.

For all of that, I have acquired a fair degree of knowledge about the objects of religious faith, but still cannot fathom this thing called faith. It seems I can't get over the suspension of reality required to accept the supernatural and most definitely reject mythology as literal truth.

I have come to the conclusion that God exists only between one's ears. God is solely an individual construct.

If God is necessary to an individual to provide "meaning" to their life - great, if not - great.

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"If God is necessary to an individual to provide "meaning" to their life - great, if not - great."

That pretty well sums it up.

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Over the course of 40 years I've spoken to a number of priests, ministers, imams and rabbis. I've been adivsed to open my heart and talk to god, study HIS word etc. etc.

Why limit yourself so drastically???

You have talked to representatives of maybe 10% of religions at best!!

You need to look in to Taoism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Norse religion, Wicca, Hinduism, Greek religion, Native religion/spiritualism, Shinto, and don't forget Scientology!!

There are many many more I am sure... good luck with your search to find the truth!

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Why limit yourself so drastically???

You have talked to representatives of maybe 10% of religions at best!!

You need to look in to Taoism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Norse religion, Wicca, Hinduism, Greek religion, Native religion/spiritualism, Shinto, and don't forget Scientology!!

There are many many more I am sure... good luck with your search to find the truth!

I have studied the path. I'm not looking for any revealed truth, I;m looking to understand faith.

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Religion was suppose to about spreading the message of love.

What did Jesus do? He went around helping the beaten, fallen and the damned.

So what is love.

From what I have come to understand it is seeing everyone and everything as being connected, seeing everything as one. That oneness if you want to call it that, that is god.

But somewhere along the line Religion had been hijacked and now spreads the message of fear. Fear is seeing yourself as being by yourself, alone, scared.

Now we are bombarded with fear from every angle, in the economy, terrorism, political unrest, global warming.

Now I'll try and apply some science to this.

Fear resonates in the left side of the brain along with logic, structure and rules, sounds a lot like western society. Love resonates in the right side of the brain. It seems that we have become a society of left brain thinkers, we need to somehow shift our consciousness in a way that embraces both the left and right sides of our brain.

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I have always felt that, one can study books and listen to the words of other people, and this is a good thing because it at least shows a need to search for spiritual knowledge, to find out about the meaning of things and in this case what motivates us to be "good" or "bad". But it can also lead to distraction because, there must be a knowledge that does not require us to find it within books. Else, only the literate could enter heaven...

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"Religion was suppose to about spreading the message of love."

I am wondering where you got this idea from.

"What did Jesus do? He went around helping the beaten, fallen and the damned."

Even if there was a person by this name who acted in this manner how is this relevant in 2011?

Edited by pinko

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