Tuesday 22 October 2019

What do you think about The Devil?

What do you think about The Devil?

It strikes me that this is a good discriminatory question to ask self-identified Christians; to see whether they are real Christians or something else.

This can work both ways. It can reveal that a self-styled Christian is instead a spiritual New Ager/ perennial philosopher/ Western-Eastern-religioner; or perhaps a 'liberal' (or fake) Christian (actually a Leftist fifth columnist).

It may reveal that somebody who sounds like 'one of the above' is actually a real Christian - when pushed (and this question does push us, at least nowadays). There is sometimes more to such people than first meets the eye - and this can be seen in their expressed attitude to the devil, and to the demonic agenda and activity.

Or it may reveal that strangest of modern types: one who believes in the devil - perhaps practices a demonic religion - but does not believe in God. I think such people are pretending to themselves that their 'Satanic' belief is ironic, playful, political, artistic, magical...

But it is actually the real thing, whether they acknowledge it or not; and it has demonstrable spiritual (and indeed behavioural) consequences.


TheDoctorofOdoIsland said...

The common attitude towards the Devil is perplexing. It should be much easier to accept the presence of an agent of evil acting throughout world history than an agent of good.

- Carter Craft

seriouslypleasedropit said...

I try, as much as I can, not to.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Carter - It all seems to hinge on basic (metaphysical) assumptions. When assumptions exclude real evil, it can never be seen.

Indeed, in my experience most people equate evil with being unkind/ sadistic - except when this is motivated by left-wing ideals... then it's okay/ good.

Plus, very few people reason for more than one or (max) two steps (if x, then y) so they are blind to their own incoherence.

@spdi - Evil needs to be recognised when it is operative, so we can behave appropriately (e.g. don't negotiate, don't trust) - but we need not/ should not 'dwell on it'.

Avro G said...

“But it is actually the real thing, whether they acknowledge it or not; and it has demonstrable spiritual (and indeed behavioural) consequences.”

Even those who merely “toy” with the demonic are manifesting its power. I know a man who, every year at Halloween, paints his face red and dons devil horns when children come to his house trick- or- treating. All for “fun.” For the kids. What the children make of this is anyone’s guess. Clearly he does it for himself, an affectation of scorn for the very idea of the demonic even as he enacts it.

The female as she- devil/ temptress is another popular “grownup” “cosplay” at Halloween themed events. Another example of how modern “rational” people seem to be drawn to breathe life into satanic characters and behavior.