Why didn't God...


#1

..."nuke" the Devil, so to speak? Wouldn't that have made it easier for us to avoid sin if he ceased to exist and have power over us?


#2

God is good.
What God creates is good.
Destroying good is evil.
God created the angels that rebelled (devils)
Destroying the devils is destroying something God created and is evil
God cannot do evil.

Therefore God cannot destroy that which He created.

If there were no temptation would you love God?


#3

I suppose it would make things easier.

But humans have inherent evil also. So assuming God could and did destroy Satan, sin would still have the capacity to exist and flourish through our own tendencies and flaws.


#4

[quote="davidv, post:2, topic:276548"]
God is good.
What God creates is good.
Destroying good is evil.
God created the angels that rebelled (devils)
Destroying the devils is destroying something God created and is evil
God cannot do evil.

Therefore God cannot destroy that which He created.

If there were no temptation would you love God?

[/quote]

Ok, here's some other reasoning.
God is good.
What God creates is good.
The Devil is bad, very bad.
Therefore God did not create the Devil.

Both the God and the Devil existed before the emergence of our time- therefore, in a sense, both existed "forever".
God is engaged in a genuine battle against the Devil, the god of this World. God could not just destroy the Devil. On the contrary, as we Christians turn away from the vanities of this world, we free ourselves from the power of the Devil. This is what it means that Jesus fought the devil on the Cross.

The struggle rages on. Although God, in eternity is all-powerful, in this illusory world of matter, it is the Devil who is Ruler. The only weapon we have against him is the Gospel, the example of Jesus, the Blessed Sacrament, and the will power to turn away from the passing vanities, the temptation, the gaudy deceptions of the world, the Devil's Kingdom.


#5

CCC

II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.266 Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil".267 The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."268

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.269 This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God."270 The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".271

393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."272

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.273 "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."275

scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c1p7.htm#414


#6

[quote="Qoeleth, post:4, topic:276548"]
O
Therefore God did not create the Devil.

[/quote]

Such would not be the case. The Devil was created Good....by God. He is a creature.


#7

CCC

II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.266 Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called “Satan” or the “devil”.267 The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."268

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.269 This “fall” consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter’s words to our first parents: "You will be like God."270 The devil “has sinned from the beginning”; he is “a liar and the father of lies”.271

393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."272

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls “a murderer from the beginning”, who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.273 "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.”

scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c1p7.htm#414


#8

Since God and the Devil both existed before the beginning of time, how can the idea of creation (outside of time) even make sense, since an act of creation could only take place in the medium of time? If the devil and evil is a kind of ‘nothingsness’ (which is pretty orthodox) how did God create nothingness? How do you reply to John of Lugio, writing in the 13th Century.

"For I say that just as it is impossible for that which is past not to be in the past, so it is impossible for that which is in the future not to be in the future. This is especially true in God, who from the beginning understood and knew that which would come to pass, so that existence as something still to come was possible for an event before it occurred. It was without doubt necessary that the future should exist wholly in Him, because He would know and understand from eternity all the causes which are required for bringing the future to fruition. And it is the more true since, if there is only one First Principle, God himself is the sole cause of all causes; and above all if it is fact, as the opponents of truth assert, that God does whatever pleases himself and His might is not affected by anyone.

"I say further: If God understood all things from the beginning and knew that His angels would in the future become demons, because of the character which He himself gave them from the beginning (because all the causes which would make those angels become demons in the future arose entirely within His providence and it did not please God to make them otherwise than He did), it of necessity follows that the afore- said angels could never in any way have avoided becoming demons. And this is particularly true because it is impossible that anything which God knows to be future may be in any way changed so that it does not come to pass in the future—above all, in Him who from eternity knows the future completely, as we have just seen explained.

“How, then, can the unlearned say that the aforesaid angels could remain good, holy, and humble with their Lord for all time, since it was from eternity utterly impossible in God? They are therefore by the most valid reasoning forced to confess that, in accordance with their thesis God knowingly and in full awareness created and made His angels of such imperfection from the beginning that they could in no way escape evil. And so God himself, of whom the words good, holy, just, wise, and righteous were used above, who is above all praise, as was previously declared, was the whole cause and origin of all evil—which is obviously to be denied. For this reason we are required to acknowledge two principles. One is good. The other is evil, the source and cause of the imperfection of the angels and also of all evil.”


#9

Didn’t know Manichaeism was making a comeback.


#10

On the other hand, see Isaiah 45:7: “7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am the LORD, that doeth all these things.”


#11

The Devil was created by God and cannot have lived forever.

Although God, in eternity is all-powerful, in this illusory world of matter, it is the Devil who is Ruler.

Matter is not illusory. Nor is the Devil the Ruler because there are countless good people in the world.


#12

[quote="Trevor_Stamm, post:9, topic:276548"]
Didn't know Manichaeism was making a comeback.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: I had the same impression.


#13

Where did you find that quotation? It seems heretical…


#14

[quote="tonyrey, post:12, topic:276548"]
:thumbsup: I had the same impression.

[/quote]

I find the avoidance of our observation... disturbing.


#15

[quote="Trevor_Stamm, post:14, topic:276548"]
I find the avoidance of our observation... disturbing.

[/quote]

Sorry, I was not wishing to avoid your observation. Manichaeism of course was one of the formative influences on Augustine- and is a natural response to the 'existence' of evil as well as good. His final response to the problem was the explanation the evil was in reality 'nothingness'. Therefore, according to Augustine, evil was not 'created'.

Now, let us assume that the devil is a/the personification/paradigm/exemplar origin of evil.

If we take Augustine's explanation the evil is a 'nothingness', and Satan is therefore "Mr. Nothingness", it is obvious that he is not created by God (since nothingness, evil, is according to this model, the absence of creation).

But if we take a model in which the Devil has positive existence (i.e. he is a positively existing 'evil being')- then it is also obvious the God did not create him, since what God creates is good.

I suggest that the difference between Manicheaism, which attributes positive existence to 'evil', and Augustine's final meontic solution, which attributes only non-existence to evil, is primarily one of language.

I suppose my point it that when people ask a question like "Why didn't God nuke the Devil?", which uses language in a way that implies ontological positivity to the Devil, it is necessary to formulate an answer accordingly. And hence the answer must posit a continuing battle between Good and Evil- not as if Good could defeat Evil, but just chooses not to do so.

And, indeed, given the human experience of both good and evil, I think the dualistic metaphor of God engaged in genuine battle with the Devil (i.e. a Manichean model, but one which appears frequently in Christian orthodoxy) is a quite apt and resonant.


#16

[quote="Bezant, post:1, topic:276548"]
..."nuke" the Devil, so to speak? Wouldn't that have made it easier for us to avoid sin if he ceased to exist and have power over us?

[/quote]

I'm going to say no since the devil has no real power over us.


#17

As has been pointed out numerous times by guys like Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Leo XIII (etc. etc.), true free-will consists in choosing the good tout court. It does not consist in choosing one option from among others. Therefore, temptation is not required for someone to have free-will, the possibility of choosing evil is not required for someone to have free-will.

It follows that God’s desire to respect free-will cannot be the reason why he permits satan’s existence.


#18

[quote="Trevor_Stamm, post:9, topic:276548"]
Didn't know Manichaeism was making a comeback.

[/quote]

Manichaeism never left. It morphed.

Nonetheless, if I am reading this thread correctly, it seems it is returning to the original (?) of two, equally powerful god-type creators of the universe who are at war with each other.


#19

[quote="tonyrey, post:11, topic:276548"]
The Devil was created by God and cannot have lived forever.
Matter is not illusory. Nor is the Devil the Ruler because there are countless good people in the world.

[/quote]

Clarification. God created angels. Some angels rebelled against their Creator; therefore, their status as angels was changed into their current status as devils.


#20

[quote="Qoeleth, post:4, topic:276548"]
Ok, here's some other reasoning.
God is good.
What God creates is good.
The Devil is bad, very bad.
Therefore God did not create the Devil.

[/quote]

Is the Devil "bad, very bad"? Nothing can be bad by nature -- that's a non sequitur. What makes the Devil bad is the fact that he rebels against his own goodness (he is an angel, after all). That's the nature of all evil: it's a privation or warping of that which is good.

We should be alarmed if, in fact, the Devil were claimed to be a being ontologically equivalent to God, just nasty and mean-spirited. Such a being is an ontological impossibility.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.