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Why do people think Satan is bad ?


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Showing 51-75 of 236 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:50:08 BDT
"There can be an absence of good in an action that produces no evil (i.e. having a sit down)."

Why? Is it not possible that just sitting down is good? Certainly when I sit down, I don't feel evil.

Or to put it another way, darkness vanishes even with the smallest amount of light - i.e. darkness requires the total absence of light. Why then can't good (in this analogy) work in a similar way. Evil requires the total absence of good, not just its dormancy.

"I think it far, far easier to explain human evil actions in a world without god."

So does Christianity :)

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:51:24 BDT
AJ Murray says:
-"Perhaps there will be no evil because all the people who go there are the ones who showed that they could live lives without evil."

Perhaps God craps ice cream, perhaps.

-"Heaven (and I'm not a believer in Heaven as the ultimate resting place, though I often use the terms for want of something better) will be full of people who have free will and who choose to live a good life."

Eternity is a long time to abstain from all evil, especially problematic as it is common to ascribe evil to man, and have it as a persistent taint to our nature.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:52:34 BDT
Hi Mrs Shaw,

I agree that there is no such thing as a 'good' or 'evil' person. Even people who carry out unspeakably evil acts are not 'evil' - they are damaged humans.

However, I do think that 'good' and 'evil' as concepts are useful for labelling the consequences of our actions, and helping us to consider whether or not to carry out those actions. If we didn't have these concepts, we wouldn't be nearly so self aware as a species (or perhaps it's the other way around - our self awareness as a species has allowed us to see and create concepts of good and evil).

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:55:55 BDT
Kleist says:
Ecchi

'Eh ?? Who gets to heaven through torture and pain ?'

Those millions who died in Auschwitz, to start with. All those people who die of cancer, or TB, or starvation or are the victims of countless wars or barbaric regimes. Unless, of course, they're not welcome. In short everyone who dies in pain or torture. Have a look round the world and see if you can spot any.

'Good people haven't all lived horrific lives.'

No they haven't. Nor necessarily horrific deaths (of course). They are lucky. But many have. Many know nothing but want and hunger, and die in poverty and loneliness. If the fact that good people suffer greatly is not evil then I don't know what it is supposed to mean.

You have of course implied that there must be an intention behind evil. I don't see why this must be, but even if that were the case, then God has dominion over everything, unless he leaves it to rot on its own. Thus there is an intention behind it.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 11:06:36 BDT
"The fact that many children die in famines, that many children die of TB and people die in pain prematurely from various cancers, doesn't strike you as evil?"

As I said, I think starvation in famine could be considered evil, given that in the Western world we have plenty (to the extent of having an obesity problem). In essence the reasons for this are many and varied, but aid is almost always prevented by evil men (corrupt officials; guerillas etc.).

As for TB and cancer (and to a certain extent famine) why do you define them as evil. For that to be true, as Mrs Shaw pointed out, there has to be something behind that evil - driving it on. That makes you a theist, not an atheist. An atheist is forced just to accept that such things happen and there is no reason for them.

"What kind of love is it that allows God to stand by and watch these things when he could prevent them easily?"

Perhaps a love that sees the bigger picture - that mankind is corrupt and that much suffering occurs because of that corruption. Honestly there are no easy answers as a theist, but the there are NO answers as an atheist!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 11:07:43 BDT
Perhaps even then. Those who can maintain good in the face of evil will maintain good even when there is no evil around.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 11:10:53 BDT
##### says:
The whole premise presupposes the existence of god, also that it's your god,that it's your version of your God, and then that it's your version of what that God did and said. That many assumptions lined up to believe in a theism constructed by bronze age Palestinians doesn't really hold much water without the trump card of blind faith. Especially when there's a much simpler explanation that fits all the evidence perfectly, and requires nothing metaphysical to validate it.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 11:14:22 BDT
"Those millions who died in Auschwitz, to start with. All those people who die of cancer, or TB, or starvation or are the victims of countless wars or barbaric regimes. Unless, of course, they're not welcome. In short everyone who dies in pain or torture"

Why do you think they get an automatic place in Heaven ?

"If the fact that good people suffer greatly is not evil"

I'm sure there are plenty of 'evil' people who have suffered greatly as well - is that evil too ?

Yes, I think evil can only really be ascribed to something which chooses to BE 'evil'. Cancer doesn't decide one day that it's going to multiply in your daughter - it just does. I don't see how something can be described as evil when it hasn't made a conscious effort to be that way. Natural disasters aren't evil, they're just natural, they just 'do'. A rapist is evil as they have chosen to inflict suffering on others.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 11:56:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2013 11:59:52 BDT
I realise that this post was not directed to me, but did want to add a comment to this:

"As for TB and cancer (and to a certain extent famine) why do you define them as evil"

Personally, I wouldn't. TB and cancer are diseases. Diseases, viruses etc are not evil. They just are. Their effects on our bodies are horrible and painful, but it's not (in my opinion) evil. It just (unfortunately) is.

In an evolved universe, diseases are not a problem. Where diseases DO become a problem, however, is in a universe created and overseen by a loving God. Why would he let these horrible things happen to his chosen, specially created, race?

ETA: I don't want people to misread this, that I am unconcerned by the suffering caused by disease. I sodding hate disease, and cancer is a horrible, horrible thing and I bless the scientists working on its cure. It's just not evil, that's all - I think evil has to have intent, and disease doesn't.

Posted on 21 Jun 2013 11:59:45 BDT
Kleist says:
'Why do you think they get an automatic place in Heaven ?'

You mean none of them deserve to get in? Or all of them don't? I only need one to make my point.

'I'm sure there are plenty of 'evil' people who have suffered greatly as well - is that evil too ?'

Yes. I was trying to make the evil appear more obvious because it seems to be difficult for you.

'Natural disasters aren't evil, they're just natural, they just 'do'. A rapist is evil as they have chosen to inflict suffering on others.'

Ok, so you want to redefine the word. Fine. How can there be natural disasters if God is the reason for everything? Surely he causes them, or at the very least can prevent them. And why does he create rapists, or allow their victims to suffer?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 12:05:25 BDT
evil is not a solid concept is probably close to what I am trying to convey with my 'evil is the absence of good' definition.

The Bible was written about 4000 years agod but follows an oral tradition. In essence evil and good were known about long before the writing down.

The example you give shows more that the concept of evil and good does fluctuate and I would say that it fluctuates because people define good and evil differently, often by cultural values rather than religious ones. For example most of the UK burnings relate to the power of either Catholicism or Protestantism - each was burned to deny them the power they had gained or might. Heresy was just an excuse (I've just bee reading The Bleeding Land by Gile Kristian - a fiction about the English Civil War, which starts with a hanging of a priest for Catholicism where proof was either planted or not even found (it's a fiction btw)).

I'm not sure that defining evil as harm is actually all that helpful.

Albert kills Bill. Is Albert evil?

Albert kills Bill to prevent Bill from hurting his livestock. Is Albert evil?

Albert kills Bill to prevent Bill from hurting his livestock, but Bill is starving and desperate? Is Albert evil?

Albert kills Bill to prevent Bill from hurting his children. Is Albert evil?

Albert kills Bill to prevent Bill from hurting his children who hurt Bill's children. Is Albert evil?

And so on. In essence my point about losers in the argument relate to how we understand the reasons for Albert's actions or even Bills and whether we have the full picture and even then, is it evil or necessity?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 12:06:44 BDT
Kleist says:
'"What kind of love is it that allows God to stand by and watch these things when he could prevent them easily?"

Perhaps a love that sees the bigger picture - that mankind is corrupt and that much suffering occurs because of that corruption. Honestly there are no easy answers as a theist, but the there are NO answers as an atheist! '

So Auschwitz was there to serve God's bigger picture! What kind of teleological plan must God have cooked up? This is a morally bankrupt theodicy.

There is a perfectly reasonable answer for an atheist. Men do evil things, evil things just happen and the world contains many evil things, because there is no all-good deity out there to stop them. If there were than He would have no excuse.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 12:13:57 BDT
Hi Mr Burchell -

On your questions about Bill and Albert. I don't think people are evil. I don't think even the worst psychopath is evil. I think they are damaged goods, who cannot be allowed to live within the rest of society for the common good, but they are not evil. Their actions can be called evil but, as I said, I don't think 'evil' is a thing - it's just a description we use to label hurt with intent.

My intent in regard to bringing up burning of heretics, is that (as far as I can see) concepts of good and evil aren't from God. Even people who believe in God (and I'm sure that at least some of those Catholics and Protestants carrying out the burnings were fanatical in their belief - I'm sure that it was very politically motivated, in the main, but these things are never JUST political) do terrible things, whilst believing that what they are actually doing is good.

The idea of evil doesn't make any sense if there is a loving God. It makes perfect sense if we're just people, living in an evolved Universe.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 12:29:04 BDT
No, I didn't say none of them deserve to get in - I'm asking why you think that enduring suffering means you get an automatic place in Heaven.

Suffering isn't necessarily evil though.

And I'm not redefining the word evil. He doesn't create rapists. The rapist allows the victim to suffer.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 12:30:47 BDT
And why do you think that answer is any different for theists - men do evil things.

Posted on 21 Jun 2013 12:34:25 BDT
easytiger says:
So that's it then; we are in hell.

Posted on 21 Jun 2013 12:40:24 BDT
some think Iblis is GOOD, but Iblis has authority until the resurrection not beyond.
life is a test from Allah including signs, disasters, pestilences et-cetera. Alhamdulilah

subhan'al'ahh allahuakbar

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 12:46:32 BDT
##### says:
Where you're losing me is the evidence for all those assertions that you've missed from your posts in all your excitement.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 12:48:28 BDT
easytiger says:
Definately.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 13:14:56 BDT
If there is an even vanishingly small possibility of an agent doing evil, then over eternity he will commit infinite evils.

Therefore, in order not to sin in heaven it must either be impossible to sin in heaven OR only people who could never possibly sin go there. In which case, it is those people who were designed right that go there and the rest of us are God's mistakes on god's scrapheap.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 13:55:57 BDT
Kleist says:
'No, I didn't say none of them deserve to get in - I'm asking why you think that enduring suffering means you get an automatic place in Heaven'

I think you will have to point out to me where I said this because I am baffled as to why you would suggest I might think it. I am saying that many good people suffer. And I am supposing that if one is good one goes to heaven. Ergo, some who go to heaven have got there after suffering. Is this clear enough?

'Suffering isn't necessarily evil though.'

Perhaps not, but it certainly isn't good. I would personally say it was evil, and so would many others.

'He (God) doesn't create rapists. The rapist allows the victim to suffer.'

So there are some people who God does not create? Rapists for example? I thought he was supposed to have created everything. Ok, so God is not the creator of everything. I would have thought that contradicted most theological doctrine.

Yes the rapist allows the victim to suffer, and so does any bystander who is able to prevent it. I would therefore suppose that God, being omnipotent, is able to prevent it. Unless, of course, He is not omnipotent.

This would mean that God did not create everything and he is not omnipotent. Any other innovations on the concept you wish to make?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 13:57:51 BDT
Kleist says:
'And why do you think that answer is any different for theists - men do evil things.'

I don't think it is different. I think that it presents a problem if God is Omnipotent and thus able to prevent them from doing it, or, more sensibly, not create men who are going to commit evil (since he is omniscient too).

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 17:18:07 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"Why? Is it not possible that just sitting down is good? Certainly when I sit down, I don't feel evil."
Because there's not a lot to sitting down. It's neither doing evil or good.

"Or to put it another way, darkness vanishes even with the smallest amount of light - i.e. darkness requires the total absence of light."
Even if darkness worked in one way doesn't mean it mirrors the way good and evil works.

"Evil requires the total absence of good, not just its dormancy."
But you can have an absence of good and still not have evil, that was the point put to you.

>>> I think it far, far easier to explain human evil actions in a world without god.
"So does Christianity :)"
Except it doesn't have an easy time of it these days. You're better off giving up on God as an appeal to morality - you can't have a grown up and sophisticated discussion about ethics and leave bronze age theology unscathed. All you can do is the above, select choice quotes and respond superficially or change the direction of your argument.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 17:19:42 BDT
Bellatori says:
Suddenly from being a snake in the garden on his own he now has a bevvy of Angels... hmmm...

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 18:41:11 BDT
"I'm asking why you think that enduring suffering means you get an automatic place in Heaven'

I think you will have to point out to me where I said this because I am baffled as to why you would suggest I might think it"

I guess you have a bad memory then:

"'Eh ?? Who gets to heaven through torture and pain ?'

Those millions who died in Auschwitz, to start with. All those people who die of cancer, or TB, or starvation or are the victims of countless wars or barbaric regimes. Unless, of course, they're not welcome. In short everyone who dies in pain or torture. Have a look round the world and see if you can spot any."

Unless of course you're now going to say that you didn't mean what you initially wrote ?

I disagree, I don't think suffering is good or evil. The cause can be, but then the that isn't always evil either.

God created the first people, from then on people create people.

I'm sure He could prevent it. But, why should He ? And as to the bystanders, in your opinion then are bystanders as evil as the perpetrator for not intervening when they could have ?

I didn't say either of those things, so would appreciate you not lying any more.
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Initial post:  20 Jun 2013
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