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Why do people think Satan is bad ?


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Showing 26-50 of 236 posts in this discussion
Posted on 20 Jun 2013 21:57:28 BDT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 22:01:54 BDT
##### says:
So like a religion then, that you're taught, and have to live by.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 22:10:52 BDT
Spin says:
O; Feel free to live and think as you feel "free", but do not assume to dictate to others how to think.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 22:22:10 BDT
##### says:
You mean as you constantly do on these threads?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 22:24:32 BDT
Snowyflake says:
Hi Jen Wren :) I agree with this. People are not completely 'evil' or completely 'good'. In your own life, really, how many truly evil people do you know personally? Soap operas and movies have created this idea that people can be 'evil'. Some people do evil things but most people are pretty good, decent, honest and nice. For religion and belief to work, believers have to believe they are 'at risk' of evil. That unseen forces are tempting them all the time. This leads to the paranoia we see of the believers even on this forum. The whole concept is just so psychologically damaging and ultimately stupid.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 23:37:59 BDT
I'm sure it has been discussed at length, but given that I have tried to communicate the idea that omniscience need not negate free will depending upon how you define it, I don't think raising that argument again is going to go anywhere.

God created a universe of good. He also created a universe of beings who have the capacity to do good. If they have the capacity to do good, by not doing good, they are doing evil and thus evil comes into being as the absence of good.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 23:38:54 BDT
Are you sure that is what it will be like in Heaven?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 23:43:15 BDT
Why can't auschwitz be down to a lack of good - if we define that as evil, then there is no difference from saying that it occurred because of evil men or men who lacked any good intentions.

Famine can be allieviated. cancer and TB - are they evil, or good? Perhaps they are just neutral being neither good nor evil. These diseases do not hurt people because they are evil, or because they are good, they just do.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 23:46:21 BDT
Granted, your argument, but then most cannot define 'evil' anyway. How does atheism determine the cause of evil? Is evil just the losers in an argument being told they evil (the evil hun!, the evil Nazis, the evil Russians... or if you are from Scotland, Wales or Ireland... the evil English).

With no God, there is no explanation for the evil that men do (and women, so you are not exempt).

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 23:50:48 BDT
Mrs Shaw, I agree with the sentiment that people are not completely 'evil'. Even Eva Braun thought old Adolf was a nice man!

More to the point, while I cannot speak on behalf of other religions, Christianity talks about sin, rather than evil (and the two are not the same thing). Believers do have to understand that they are at risk of sin, but not evil per se. Many people examine their lives and see the sin and turn away from it. This isn't psychologically damaging and given that their lives are better for it, certainly not 'ultimately stupid'.

Do you really see paranoia in believers in on the forum?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2013 23:56:19 BDT
AJ Murray says:
Who knows... certainly the Bible is rather coy on the subject, Jesus himself spends more time dwelling on the other place. But the impression i've been given from Christians is that it is a place without evil, which tends to have the knock-on effect of having no free-will (since you define one as being the necessity of the other), but if instead you decide that it is not, it seems rather pointless to strive to reach it. All that is left is the stick.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 05:55:39 BDT
Snowyflake says:
Hi WD, as an atheist, I don't believe in the concept of 'good' and 'evil'. Humans are capable of committing good or evil actions. The religious idea that there are good and evil 'forces' in the world implies an on-going battle in the ether between demons and angels and I just find that ludicrous and cartoonish.

With or without God some people do terrible things. Throwing God up as the explanation for evil doesn't actually explain anything.

Paranoia is the fear of something that really isn't there. Believers fit into that description.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 07:19:45 BDT
Drew Jones says:
I think your argument that evil is the absence of good is undone. There can be an absence of good in an action that produces no evil (i.e. having a sit down). You should acknowledge this more before shifting the focus onto what you can or can't attribute the *cause* of evil to.

"With no God, there is no explanation for the evil that men do (and women, so you are not exempt)."
I actually think it harder to explain the existence of evil if you have the Christian god in the equation, witness the debacle that is libertarian freewill with him involved and the Eurythro dilemma. I think it far, far easier to explain human evil actions in a world without god.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 08:00:06 BDT
Drew,

i'll have to disagree, there's times when sitting down is just so good my back goes into ecstasy.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 09:51:07 BDT
That's what the war in Heaven was about I think. Memory's a little sketchy, but God wanted everyone to come back to Him but through their own choice. Satan said that if He wanted us all back then we should be forced into belief/not given the ability to choose otherwise and thus guarantee a return.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 09:52:43 BDT
I have wondered that. Angels apparently have no free-will, they just go and do as God commands them. So I never understood how, as you say, the angels could have rebelled.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 09:55:20 BDT
I wouldn't say any of those are evil. 2 are natural. And famine is a mix between nature and man-made. Natural occurrences can't be evil as they don't have a conscience driving them to act in a certain way, they just 'do'.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:34:51 BDT
Kleist says:
'Famine can be allieviated. cancer and TB - are they evil, or good? Perhaps they are just neutral being neither good nor evil. These diseases do not hurt people because they are evil, or because they are good, they just do.'

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs104/en/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2133992/West-Africa-famine-threatening-kill-23million-starvation.html

http://www.cdc.gov/features/worldcancerday/

So God created famine, cancer and TB as neutral phenomena? 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? What kind of love is it that allows God to stand by and watch these things when he could prevent them easily?

If I were to stand by and watch a baby die slowly in agony when I had the power to prevent it with no loss to myself what would you call me?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:35:52 BDT
Kleist says:
'Natural occurrences can't be evil as they don't have a conscience driving them to act in a certain way, they just 'do'.'

They can if they are created by an intelligent being.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:39:06 BDT
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. 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.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:43:44 BDT
Kleist says:
.......and who got there by the most horrific means, through torture and pain.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:44:45 BDT
Mrs Shaw,

I think your view of good and evil are probably closer to Christianity than you think. When good and evil are removed from the people who commit them, people use that to excuse their actions. Even Satan was once a 'good' angel - so nothing is quite so cut and dried as that.

"With or without God some people do terrible things. Throwing God up as the explanation for evil doesn't actually explain anything."

But it is not Christians who are throwing God up as the explanation for evil, but atheists. Witness the likes of 'how could God allow...' which is invariably uttered by atheists.

"Paranoia is the fear of something that really isn't there. Believers fit into that description."

Do they really fit into that description. How many believers do you know that are frightened by their beliefs... I've met one adult in the last 25 years who would fit into that category.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:45:00 BDT
Eh ?? Who gets to heaven through torture and pain ? Good people haven't all lived horrific lives.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:46:45 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2013 10:48:34 BDT
Hi Mr Burchell,

Well, I think 'evil' isn't a thing, but a human concept - evil doesn't generally exist outside of our species (although, having said that, other animals do seem to have a sense of altruism and, on the flip side, will ostracise individuals that behave badly). It's therefore somewhat mutable, and changes as we change as a species. However, I do think it strange that you feel we must have God to have an explanation for evil (you've also turned the 'without God, there would be no good' that I usually hear on its head - are you saying that God is the source of evil?).

I think you are being deliberately nonsensical in suggesting that atheism would suggest that evil are the losers in an argument, so I will ignore that.

Mankind (as homo sapiens) has existed for approximately two hundred thousand years. The Bible was written around four thousand years ago - do you think mankind had no concept of 'good' and 'evil' before this? Even with the Bible as guidance, what is good and what is evil has changed dramatically. You will recall that religious people (both Protestant and Catholic) burnt heretics alive, for the good of their souls. Religious people approved of this. Today, this would be seen as unspeakably evil, by both religious and non-religious people - 'evil' is not a solid concept.

As far as I can see, on a most basic level, humans define evil as harm. I don't see why you must have an 'explanation' for this - what exactly do you mean by 'explanation'?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 10:47:21 BDT
AJ Murray says:
The actual scripture is sketchy too, there is little about what motivated God and since it appears in Revelations, quite a few dismiss it as being in any way literal.

Revelation 12

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Not much about what motivated the dragon either. But plenty have ascribed to the popular myth of proud Satan and it being the cause of his expulsion. Because it gels with the pride and fall of Adam.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  28
Total posts:  236
Initial post:  20 Jun 2013
Latest post:  28 Jun 2013

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