Problems with evil


#1

Some philosophical problems on evil:

Satan and his demons exist. Satan and his demons are highly intelligent. Satan and his demons loose in the end.

If Satan is intelligent and knows he looses in the end, why does he keep trying? Isn’t he too smart for this? What is the purpose of pure evil for evil’s sake? Can’t we argue that most "evil"on earth is evil with a cause? By this I mean, even Hitler had a plan. A sick warped plan but a plan where a certain elect group of people would prosper.

Adultry, although is sinful and causes great pain, is most always justified in the eyes of the adultrous. He/She treats me
poorly. He/She doesn’t understand me. I have my needs…etc etc. Evil yes, but it is believed there is some good that comes from the adultry from the evil doer’s perspective. Companionship, warmth, understanding…things we call good. I am not endorsing adultry by any means, I am attempting to make a point. Point being that evil seems to come from ignorance and stupidity, not awareness and intelligence (which are attributes we attribute to the devil)

What is the devils purpose? If he has a purpose. Of what sense does evil for the sake of evil make from an intellectual point of view?


#2

[quote=Mijoy2]**
What is the devils purpose? If he has a purpose. Of what sense does evil for the sake of evil make from an intellectual point of view?**
You are correct in saying there are several motivations for evil, but I think the devil’s primary motivation is pure hate-- hate for God and hate for those who belong to God. Even humans do spiteful things when they can get nothing from it but satisfaction that someone they hate or feel contempt for is suffering.

He knows his time is short and he knows his destiny. He wants to take as many of us with him as he can.
[/quote]


#3

I don’t think that most of us can understand pure evil. Yes, we occasionally come up against it’s effects: for example, the holocause and serial killers. But I don’t think that we could actually comprehend evil.

Lucifer hate us, because we are made in God’s image. I imagine that it must gall him that we, as puny and insignificant as we appear, hold such a high place in God’s love. Yes, Satan knows that he will loose but I think that it is an act of defiance on his part to take as many of us with him as possible.


#4

The purpose of the devil? Luke 22:31 And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.
Satan works for God to refine us. We either turn to God, or completely away. It’s our free will. I think people who turn to satan like the power they get here and now, and simply do not think of the next world.
Evil comes from our stupidity, not satans’, as he is always prowling looking for us to slip up, so he can take us down.
I like the saying “there are more demons on monastery walls than on barstools.” What a coupe for satan to cause one of the righteous to fall.
Lukelion


#5

Inside us evil is at work suggesting unworthy inclinations. However, it is not in us in the same way as, to take as an example, water mixes with wine. Evil is in us without being mixed with good. We are a field in which wheat and weeds are growing separately. We are a house in which there is a thief, but also the owner. We are a spring which rises from the middle of the mud, but pours out pure water. All the same, it is enough to stir up the mud and the spring is fouled. It is the same with the soul. If the evil is spread, it forms a unity with the soul and makes it dirty. With our consent, evil is united with the soul; they become accomplices. Yet there comes a moment when the soul can free itself and remain separate again: in repentance, contrition, prayer, recourse to God. The soul could not benefit from these habits if it were always sunk in evil. It is like a marriage. A woman is united with a man and they become one flesh. But when one of them dies, the other is left alone. But union with the Holy Spirit is complete. So, let us become a single spirit with Him. Let us be wholly absorbed by grace.

**St. Macarius the Great **


#6

[quote=Mijoy2]Satan and his demons exist. Satan and his demons are highly intelligent. Satan and his demons loose in the end.
[/quote]

Ahhh, but… how could an intellegent being with awareness of God’s true nature (ie, the Beatific Vision) reject God? It is not possible!

** And therein lies your answer.** Angels are created beings with intelligence and free will. But if an intelligent, created being were exposed to the fullness of the Glory of God, it could not possibly turn away. There is really no “free will” in such a situation - the being would be overwhelmed. Free will would be inoperative.

So angels could not have possibly been exposed to the full Glory of God from the instant of their creation, or none could have fallen away. There must have been some portion of their existence when they were confronted with an objective, free-will decision to follow God or follow their own desires. Some chose God and some chose themselves.

Now, as humans, we are of limited intelligence, and we can “change our minds” often. There is no reason to believe this trait extends to angels. Maybe angels were given ONE free-will choice, and once that choice is made, they are committed to it. And that seems logical within human experience - highly intelligent people are often more difficult to convince of the error of their ways (because they are “know it all’s”).

Even though the Devil and his cohorts are intelligent, it doesn’t mean they have accepted the fact that they will loose in the end. WE know that, but we’re just a bunch of dumb humans, right?


#7

*Misery loves company.

*But, as others have said, it is our own inclinations and desire to sin that causes us to fall, not Satan’s direct influence.


#8

[quote=Lukelion]The purpose of the devil? Luke 22:31 And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.
Satan works for God to refine us. We either turn to God, or completely away. It’s our free will. I think people who turn to satan like the power they get here and now, and simply do not think of the next world.
Evil comes from our stupidity, not satans’, as he is always prowling looking for us to slip up, so he can take us down.
I like the saying “there are more demons on monastery walls than on barstools.” What a coupe for satan to cause one of the righteous to fall.
Lukelion
[/quote]

I really don’t think Satan works for God in any way. Satan hates God and wants no part of “refining” us.

But that’s one poor sinner’s opinion…


#9

[quote=Fidelis] He knows his time is short and he knows his destiny. He wants to take as many of us with him as he can.
[/quote]

I think that pretty much answered it right there…jealousy/envy. One look around at the world is enough for me to see that that emotion is probably about the most prevelant form of evil in the world…I mean…isn’t that what he used [apart from the lie of course] to decieve Eve? She became envious of God herself…and ate…Greed begins with envy/jealousy and the lies that go with it…so…


#10

For me, the problem of good is far more profound than the problem of evil. That is, non-believers love to trot out the evils of the world and demand an explanation. But they are absolutely stymied when asked to explain the existence of good. I think C.S. Lewis has some writings on this.

Scott


#11

I really don’t think Satan works for God in any way. Satan hates God and wants no part of “refining” us.

I’m sure satan doesn’t think of it as refining, more like fun, but that would be one reason God would allow trials. Check out the book of Job.
I am also sure that demons really hate the fact that “every knee shall bend at the name of Jesus” but they have no choice as they are Gods’ creation, and He has total power and dominion over them.

Lukelion


#12

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