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Thread: Can There Be A Devil Without God?

  1. #1 Can There Be A Devil Without God? 
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    (IMO) the devil is a human construct to help reinforce a belief in God. After all what is good without bad or cold without heat...etc. Also if you want your God to be perceived as good you have to have a devil to be responsible for the evil and the bad.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember reading something about there being a time when there was a God without a devil. However the reverse of that has never been true.


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    The devil figures prominently in all three of the Abrahamic religions alongside all the rest of the mythology including god, speaking serpents, angles, holy spirits, dragons, fiery serpents, giants, satyrs, unicorns and even a half-god!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The devil figures prominently in all three of the Abrahamic religions alongside all the rest of the mythology including god, speaking serpents, angles, holy spirits, dragons, fiery serpents, giants, satyrs, unicorns and even a half-god!
    Wasn't the original God a vengeful God who didn't need a devil to cause death and mayhem. Also, those societies which practiced human sacrifice had a God they were trying to appease. I don't remember anything about a devil in Aztec or Mayan cultures.
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    Christian mythology holds that the devil, Satan (a.k.a. Lucifer), is a fallen angel who was once among the ranks of Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, and others.

    The whole jealous of God sub-myth is fascinating and it's ironic that Christian lore has evolved to elevate Satan to a god, complete with omniscience and omnipotence. Though most believing Christians would readily deny that Satan/Lucifer is a god, they nevertheless speak of him/her as being everywhere, hearing all thoughts, knowing all weaknesses, etc. These and others are characteristics of deities, making Satan/Lucifer one of many gods in the supposed "monotheistic" religion of Christianity. In some of the Christian cults, Mary is worshiped in as a god (Catholics, for instance) and prayed to, in others, it's Jesus -some claim a triune god-head, including a holy "spirit" (whatever that is) and still maintain they're "monotheistic" and that these are separate yet same... the doctrine of the trinity, however, isn't supported in canonized Christian and Jewish documents (or apocrypha as far as I know).

    The Christian cults are, by far, among the most fascinating to study in modernity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Christian mythology holds that the devil, Satan (a.k.a. Lucifer), is a fallen angel who was once among the ranks of Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, and others.

    The whole jealous of God sub-myth is fascinating and it's ironic that Christian lore has evolved to elevate Satan to a god, complete with omniscience and omnipotence. Though most believing Christians would readily deny that Satan/Lucifer is a god, they nevertheless speak of him/her as being everywhere, hearing all thoughts, knowing all weaknesses, etc. These and others are characteristics of deities, making Satan/Lucifer one of many gods in the supposed "monotheistic" religion of Christianity. In some of the Christian cults, Mary is worshiped in as a god (Catholics, for instance) and prayed to, in others, it's Jesus -some claim a triune god-head, including a holy "spirit" (whatever that is) and still maintain they're "monotheistic" and that these are separate yet same... the doctrine of the trinity, however, isn't supported in canonized Christian and Jewish documents (or apocrypha as far as I know).

    The Christian cults are, by far, among the most fascinating to study in modernity.
    Now that you mention it, I think you are right. It would be very hard to give the devil credit for all the bad evil crap that happens if he didn't have God like powers, and you can't have God like powers with out being a God now can you?

    That would be an interesting topic all by itself. But if there wasn't a devil then God himself would have to take credit for everything, and for most Christians that is just unacceptable. I expect for the other major religions which sport a devil it's the same issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    The whole jealous of God sub-myth is fascinating and it's ironic that Christian lore has evolved to elevate Satan to a god, complete with omniscience and omnipotence.
    Maybe this alludes to Christianity's roots in Zoroastrianism.
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    You might like to define what a/the devil is. some (christians) may hold that only lucifer is the devil. but others may hold that other fallen angels are equal in evil and power to lucifer. still yet others may hold that humanity itself is the devil.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    You might like to define what a/the devil is. some (christians) may hold that only lucifer is the devil. but others may hold that other fallen angels are equal in evil and power to lucifer. still yet others may hold that humanity itself is the devil.
    A devil is a powerful entity that represents all things evil and bad, things or qualities the believer doesn't want his God to have.

    Example: You are on vacation with your family and are involved in a freak accident that leaves you the only survivor. There wasn't anything you could do to prevent the tragedy. Only a higher power could have prevented it. If you have a choice of where to place blame (1) God or (2) Devil. I know what I would pick if I was a believer.

    I guess you could also see the devil as the opposite of however you view your God.

    If you have to believe in a God. What would he be like without a Devil and would that be acceptable to you?
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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    How did Satan acquire his evil? Is it possible that Satan got his evil knowledge the same way we did and if so who lured him? Did God download evil into all the angels when they were created or did Lucifer(plus a few others) pick it up somewhere somehow?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    How did Satan acquire his evil? Is it possible that Satan got his evil knowledge the same way we did and if so who lured him? Did God download evil into all the angels when they were created or did Lucifer(plus a few others) pick it up somewhere somehow?
    Satan was the product of an experiment on another planet. In that garden of Eden God put a tree of Good and Evil. A snake-like alien told the female to eat the fruit, which she did and offered some to Lucifer. Now Lucifer is our Satan and the unknown female is some other world's Satan. The snake-like alien/ Satan of that world got promoted after that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    How did Satan acquire his evil? Is it possible that Satan got his evil knowledge the same way we did and if so who lured him? Did God download evil into all the angels when they were created or did Lucifer(plus a few others) pick it up somewhere somehow?
    Satan was the product of an experiment on another planet. In that garden of Eden God put a tree of Good and Evil. A snake-like alien told the female to eat the fruit, which she did and offered some to Lucifer. Now Lucifer is our Satan and the unknown female is some other world's Satan. The snake-like alien/ Satan of that world got promoted after that.
    That's all the snakes of the world need, more guilt by association. Must be hell to be a snake here, wait a minute.....hmmm Meantime, get out your whacking sticks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    That's all the snakes of the world need, more guilt by association. Must be hell to be a snake here, wait a minute.....hmmm Meantime, get out your whacking sticks.
    Damn!, and I still like snakes. Not only do people need a Satan, they also put a real heavy burden on snakes for some unknown reason. I say give the snakes a break, they worked as hard as we did evolving to where we are right now, maybe harder as they've been around longer than we have as a species.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    How did Satan acquire his evil? Is it possible that Satan got his evil knowledge the same way we did and if so who lured him? Did God download evil into all the angels when they were created or did Lucifer(plus a few others) pick it up somewhere somehow?
    I don't believe in evil. Evil is just an emotional term for bad things or things perceived as bad. But if God and Satan and all religious BS are a man made fantasy, well Satan didn't have a chance, he had to be what we made him to be.
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    from your definition there need not be a devil. an all powerful god could certainly have as many bad traits as good ones. the greek gods were thought to bring bountiful harvests to farmers who made proper sacrifices, but if you missed a few they were thought to cause huge storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and other harmful natural disasters.

    now you raise the question of whether or not a potentially cruel god could be accepted by people. to answer that i point you to judaism. their god destroyed people who did not do what he said. he blew up entire cities because their citizens were sinners. such a god was the god of one of the most popular religions for millenia, and the religion is still fairly popular today.

    some religions believed in equally powerful gods of good and evil. such gods would do battle for power. this view seems to avoid the issue of "who made satan evil? god probably wouldn't have done it."

    the question of how the judeo-christian devil recieved his evil is interesting. said mythology (that i've seen) does not contain any refference to god giving the angels a taste for evil. i'm plenty familiar with the bible but besides that i just don't have the background in christian mythology to guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    from your definition there need not be a devil. an all powerful god could certainly have as many bad traits as good ones. the greek gods were thought to bring bountiful harvests to farmers who made proper sacrifices, but if you missed a few they were thought to cause huge storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and other harmful natural disasters.

    now you raise the question of whether or not a potentially cruel god could be accepted by people. to answer that i point you to judaism. their god destroyed people who did not do what he said. he blew up entire cities because their citizens were sinners. such a god was the god of one of the most popular religions for millenia, and the religion is still fairly popular today.

    some religions believed in equally powerful gods of good and evil. such gods would do battle for power. this view seems to avoid the issue of "who made satan evil? god probably wouldn't have done it."

    the question of how the judeo-christian devil recieved his evil is interesting. said mythology (that i've seen) does not contain any refference to god giving the angels a taste for evil. i'm plenty familiar with the bible but besides that i just don't have the background in christian mythology to guess.
    The title of this topic is,
    Can There Be A Devil Without God?

    I don't have any problem with the idea that one God can be both good and evil. My premise is God can exist without a Devil, But a devil cannot exist without a God or at least to my knowledge none ever has.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    I don't have any problem with the idea that one God can be both good and evil. My premise is God can exist without a Devil, But a devil cannot exist without a God or at least to my knowledge none ever has.
    How would we know the difference?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    I don't have any problem with the idea that one God can be both good and evil. My premise is God can exist without a Devil, But a devil cannot exist without a God or at least to my knowledge none ever has.
    How would we know the difference?
    Do you mean the difference between God and the Devil?

    I suppose that could have more than one answer. But I'm going to go with this one. Which ever one has the most believers is God.

    If believers doesn't do it for you substitute 'worshipers'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Which ever one has the most believers is God.
    Don't all theists believe in the devil? I googled to try and find one theistic religion that only has a God but without success.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Which ever one has the most believers is God.
    Don't all theists believe in the devil? I googled to try and find one theistic religion that only has a God but without success.
    I edited my last posting a bit. I hoped to catch it before you posted. Let me know if that helps any.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    I edited my last posting a bit. I hoped to catch it before you posted. Let me know if that helps any.
    Worshipers are like the electorate God gets the nod.
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    Here's a scenario that maybe could have happened.

    Back in the old days when there was only one God ( no devils or angels) where God was responsible for both good and evil. Just imagine a society where aggressive evil with zero tolerance for mercy of any kind is the law of the land. The people of this society would just hate and despise good and love and caring, the way we now hate evil. But there would be a few who would defy the majority belief and practice being good and loving one another. The majority would not be able to tolerate the idea that their evil God might have some good in him. They would have to create a devil to harbor all the good so that their God could be completely evil and not tainted by even the smallest amount of good.

    That may be a hard scenario to wrap your head around, but it does help to make my point, that without a God of some kind the concept of a devil is a non-issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Here's a scenario that maybe could have happened.

    Back in the old days when there was only one God ( no devils or angels) where God was responsible for both good and evil. Just imagine a society where aggressive evil with zero tolerance for mercy of any kind is the law of the land. The people of this society would just hate and despise good and love and caring, the way we now hate evil. But there would be a few who would defy the majority belief and practice being good and loving one another. The majority would not be able to tolerate the idea that their evil God might have some good in him. They would have to create a devil to harbor all the good so that their God could be completely evil and not tainted by even the smallest amount of good.

    That may be a hard scenario to wrap your head around, but it does help to make my point, that without a God of some kind the concept of a devil is a non-issue.
    I think what you're saying is that devil's are not necessarily defined as evil. In the society you describe above, the devil is good. However good or evil is also relative to a society's perception of the two.

    Regardless, if one thinks of the most despicable act known to mankind then some good will come out of it. There's a trade off that I would hazard to guess is equal. Thus the net quality of the offset is zero. So If you have a God then you need an anti-god just to balance whatever law there might be for this type of stuff. If there isn't a law then perhaps somebody could postulate one for us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I think what you're saying is that devil's are not necessarily defined as evil. In the society you describe above, the devil is good. However good or evil is also relative to a society's perception of the two.

    Regardless, if one thinks of the most despicable act known to mankind then some good will come out of it. There's a trade off that I would hazard to guess is equal. Thus the net quality of the offset is zero. So If you have a God then you need an anti-god just to balance whatever law there might be for this type of stuff. If there isn't a law then perhaps somebody could postulate one for us.
    Regardless of overall good or evil or any flavor in between whichever god like entity within a religion that has the most worshipers is the primary God. Then the entity which is the most opposite of God becomes the devil.
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    God status then, is directly proportional to the preponderance of worshipers. 8)

    I guess believers wouldn't fit because Satanists believe in God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    God status then, is directly proportional to the preponderance of worshipers. 8)

    I guess believers wouldn't fit because Satanists believe in God.
    Satanists believe in God but choose to worship Satan. So if Satan ever got more worshipers than God, then would we call Satan God and God Satan?

    Yes we would and war would surely follow, with each side trying to kill as many worshipers of the false God as possible. Each side would claim the other side has the false God.

    That's surely no way for an advanced society to act, so maybe we still be primitive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Satanists believe in God but choose to worship Satan. So if Satan ever got more worshipers than God, then would we call Satan God and God Satan?
    I started thinking about how fast the 'old man in the hole' gathered worshipers in the "Life of Brian".....funny stuff, shit....he had a chance to be God.

    Makes me wonder how some humans attain God or near God status. Egyptian Pharaohs, messiahs, prophets, popes, shamans, and the list goes on. But I think your hypothesis would still hold true in those cases as well.

    That said, how many humans have actually attained Satan status and how would that happen?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Satanists believe in God but choose to worship Satan. So if Satan ever got more worshipers than God, then would we call Satan God and God Satan?
    I started thinking about how fast the 'old man in the hole' gathered worshipers in the "Life of Brian".....funny stuff, shit....he had a chance to be God.

    Makes me wonder how some humans attain God or near God status. Egyptian Pharaohs, messiahs, prophets, popes, shamans, and the list goes on. But I think your hypothesis would still hold true in those cases as well.

    That said, how many humans have actually attained Satan status and how would that happen?
    Without real God like powers, it's a hard sell, but I guess if you can get away with killing anybody you want, you do have what it takes to put the fear of God or Satan into people. They may not scoff at you to your face and you probably don't care a wit about what they think, but sooner or later you will die, so faking it has it's limitations. But you did fix it so you will have a glorified after life and that is a plus the average guy can't match. :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban

    Without real God like powers, it's a hard sell, but I guess if you can get away with killing anybody you want, you do have what it takes to put the fear of God or Satan into people. They may not scoff at you to your face and you probably don't care a wit about what they think, but sooner or later you will die, so faking it has it's limitations. But you did fix it so you will have a glorified after life and that is a plus the average guy can't match. :wink:
    A human doesn't need to kill to attain Satan status, Salmon Rushdie & a Danish cartoonist will attest to that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    A human doesn't need to kill to attain Satan status, Salmon Rushdie & a Danish cartoonist will attest to that.
    I'm sure that's true. I believe torture is more evil than simple death. Death is only useful in how it will affect the living. But torture affects the tortured and any that hear about it and are able to see the results of the torture. If I had to pick someone from history who I believe qualifies for Satan status my first pick would be Caligula. Being anywhere close to that guy would be a major hazard to your well being. When you hear the phrase with a friend like that you don't need any enemy’s and you know it's an understatement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    I guess believers wouldn't fit because Satanists believe in God. Satanists believe in God but choose to worship Satan. So if Satan ever got more worshipers than God, then would we call Satan God and God Satan?
    Not all Satanists believe in God (Yahweh). There are some who worship Satan just to be 'evil' little buggers but there are some serious Pagan practitioners who worship Satan as a god of light (Lucifer meaning Light-bearer, they are sometimes referred to as Luciferians). This is a god unto himself, though Pagans, being polytheistic, may recognise other gods. Luciferians teach man is his own master and should bow to no god(s). Good people.


    It might be fruitful to ask if can there be a God without a Devil. Fear is a useful tool in religion and if you can't convince people to worship your deity an appeal to the amygdala and then the (false) logic of opposites might do the trick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    It might be fruitful to ask if can there be a God without a Devil. Fear is a useful tool in religion and if you can't convince people to worship your deity an appeal to the amygdala and then the (false) logic of opposites might do the trick.
    I believe it has happened in the past, but not being expert in religions, I would not swear to it. Humans make a big deal about people taking responsibility for the evil they do. I think it's only fair that a God should have to take responsibility for the evil that happens in our world. Why should God get off by blaming a devil for the evil that happens in our world?

    The only reason I can come up with is most people that need a God to worship, don't want that God to have any evil at all. If the religion can't accommodate them they will lose worshipers, and most religions won't stay in business if they lose worshipers, so they create a devil to be responsible for all the evil, leaving God free to be the good God.
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    The only way there can be a devil without a god is if God is dead. His death however came well after the devil was already well ensconced plus no one is actually aware of God's demise. Although you might think the devil would at least let everybody know but it might work to his advantage not to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    The only way there can be a devil without a god is if God is dead. His death however came well after the devil was already well ensconced plus no one is actually aware of God's demise. Although you might think the devil would at least let everybody know but it might work to his advantage not to.
    That's a good point, after all he's supposed to be a very good liar. Not much point letting the peons know is there?
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  35. #34 Re: Can There Be A Devil Without God? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    (IMO) the devil is a human construct to help reinforce a belief in God. After all what is good without bad or cold without heat...etc. Also if you want your God to be perceived as good you have to have a devil to be responsible for the evil and the bad.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember reading something about there being a time when there was a God without a devil. However the reverse of that has never been true.
    The devil is just another created creature, like you or anyone else. The only difference is that he is a spiritual creature and consequently has a different level of intelligence to us.
    So no, there could not be a devil without God. God being the creator of all things.
    And yes, you are correct, there was a time when there was God but no devil.
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  37. #36 Re: Can There Be A Devil Without God? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    The devil is just another created creature, like you or anyone else. The only difference is that he is a spiritual creature and consequently has a different level of intelligence to us.
    So no, there could not be a devil without God. God being the creator of all things.
    And yes, you are correct, there was a time when there was God but no devil.

    If that's so, how does that affect Gods omniscience? I mean why would a God create a devil if he already knew what kind of trouble that was going to cause?

    The answer to this question might be more appropriate in the following Thread or maybe a new topic altogether.

    http://www.thescienceforum.com/Omnis...God-28344t.php
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  38. #37  
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    Some of my research on the “Devil”…

    Myth: The eyes love to rest on the sky of blue while Eve upon the greensward smiles at you—a new life colors the world in between Devils and Angels: Earth’s human pristine.

    The bad old days: Life’s still emotionally primitive—negative feedback mechanisms in the central nervous system, now useless, still send thousands-of-years-old messages.

    The fall of evil: Emotions are but molecular events, some forced upon us all, like jealousy, and some others, like aggression, born from low serotonin, not from the Devil.

    The root of ill and evil: Low serotonin stems from genetics, stress, lack of exercise, or the wrong foods, and can cause anger, anxiety, and depression, even bad behaviors, crimes.

    Chemical imbalances: Since the aggressive urges leading to ‘sins’ are not caused by (D)evil, the ‘sinners’ are not to blame, although we still have to lock up the violent ones to protect ourselves.

    The Devil is dying: Six hundred ago, the church thought that ills of a physical nature were caused by evil spirits; however, now we know they’re from bacteria and viruses.

    The Devil is dead: Now the church thinks that ills, or sins, of a mental nature are caused by the Devil, an evil spirit; however, now we know of brain chemistry gone astray (and poor upbringing, and the sometimes spurious molecular events of very extreme and bad emotions, etc.)
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    The Devil is dying: Six hundred ago, the church thought that ills of a physical nature were caused by evil spirits; however, now we know they’re from bacteria and viruses.

    The Devil is dead: Now the church thinks that ills, or sins, of a mental nature are caused by the Devil, an evil spirit; however, now we know of brain chemistry gone astray (and poor upbringing, and the sometimes spurious molecular events of very extreme and bad emotions, etc.)
    To me the devil is just a bad concept not deserving of any belief whatsoever. However if you have ever known a born again Christian, you know for them the devil is alive and well and the cause of no end of bad things. So saying the devil is dying or dead doesn't make much sense.
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  40. #39  
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    The belief in the Devil is dying, which is how those concepts go away. Each generation dispenses with more baloney. Church attendance is even way down in the once stable and reliable U.S. Northeast.
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  41. #40  
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    The Torch Passes its Light…

    His eyes were so weak “That he could no longer see the sky.”

    A young illuminatus embarked on a long pilgrimage, “a sojourn to Galileo’s delightful villa at Arcetri, just beyond the walls of Florence.

    “There it was that I found and visited the famous Galileo grown old, a prisoner to the inquisition, for thinking in astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licensers. I was his last disciple, as you say I went to him, at seventeen years of age, and offered him my hands and eyes to use.”

    Galileo recalls the momentous occasion (‘‘that day of days’’): When, quietly as a messenger from heaven, moving unseen, through his own purer realm, among the shadows of our mortal world, a young man, with a strange light on his face knocked at the door of my house. His name was John Milton.

    Milton at the gate: friend! let me pass. Dominican: Whither? To whom? Milton: into the prison; to Galileo Galilei. To this, the Dominican guard protests that, where Galileo is being held, there are no prisons, only confinements of sorts for those guilty of “heretical pravity” and “other less atrocious crimes”.

    Not to be taken in by such rhetoric, Milton stands his ground and demands (on divine authority) that the gates that confine the great astronomer be opened at once. Responding to the demand, the Dominican guard can only admire the young man who confronts him.

    To himself the guard exclaims: “What sweetness! What authority! What a form! What an attitude! What a voice!” after which he acknowledges that his “sight staggers; the walls shake; he must be—do angels ever come hither?”

    …Plots had been perhaps laid against Milton as one who had ‘seen’ and ‘heard’ matters that were best left untold. In Galileo, ‘frail and old,’ Milton had ‘seen’ one of those near blind illustrious of whom he had so often dreamt, and of whom he was to be himself another.

    O, dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, irrecoverably dark.

    Some thought that Milton’s Lucifer (Latin for ‘light bringer’), came off much better in ‘Paradise Lost’ than did God himself.

    Lieber in der hölle regieren als im himmel dienen.
    [Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.]



    ‘Twas here, his final resting place, in a church… Galileo was at last enshrined as the Father of Science. Embellished, as the master in stone, he’s ever looking up whence forth came the light from the starry skies.
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  42. #41 Re: Can There Be A Devil Without God? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    The devil is just another created creature, like you or anyone else. The only difference is that he is a spiritual creature and consequently has a different level of intelligence to us.
    So no, there could not be a devil without God. God being the creator of all things.
    And yes, you are correct, there was a time when there was God but no devil.

    If that's so, how does that affect Gods omniscience? I mean why would a God create a devil if he already knew what kind of trouble that was going to cause?

    The answer to this question might be more appropriate in the following Thread or maybe a new topic altogether.

    http://www.thescienceforum.com/Omnis...God-28344t.php
    Make a new topic, so.
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