Can you beleive in both God and the Devil?

  • Thread starter Andy
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  • #1
Andy
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Can you beleive in God and not beleive in the Devil and vice versa?

I personnaly don't beleive in either but my old religous education teacher told me that she believed in God but she doesn't beleive in the Devil because nothing can be pure evil. so to all of the people that beleive in God do you beleive in the Devil and if you beleive in the Devil do you beleive in God?
 

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  • #2
megashawn
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Thats an interesting question. Alot of christians such as your teacher you refer to simply choose to ignore the devil's claimed existance as to make there beliefs a little bit prettier.

But really, seems for everything in existance, there is an exact opposite. Just as you have day, you have night in contrast. God, being depicted as the "All Good" and devil being described as "All Evil" are the same thing.

Now lots of people also believe that the devil is not an actual being, but a state of mind so to speak. That when you live in sin, you are working with/for the devil.

Really though, I do not understand why a person who believe in christianity would deny the existance of the devil. There is just as much reason provided to believe he exists as either an actual being, or as I desribed above, as there is provided for god and jesus's claim to fame.
 
  • #3
Only fundamentalists see things as either/or, black/white, total good/total evil these days. It seems to me, standing on the outside of christianity looking in, that people can make of it what they want. I know christians who believe in a literal heaven and no hell; I know those who believe in a literal both; I know those who see heaven as being a state of knowing god and hell being the absence of a relationship with god. There are christians who see it all as metaphor and myth and there are others who take it literally.

People are neither all good or all bad (whatever that might mean), so why should they end up in one of two places, one of which is totally good and perfect and the other is eternal damnation?

If you take the fundamentalist view that only those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior can get into heaven, then the rest of us are damned. It's a load of nonsense really and I wouldn't take it too seriously or literally.
 
  • #4
chosenone
183
1
If god created everything,does'nt stand to reason that if there is a devil,that lucifer the 1st angle tried to take over heaven by turning the other angles on his side against god,that when god cast him down with the other angles that,god only lets satan believe he has power over man,making men do his bidding,by doing evil in his name,that its god doing all the evil to man,only to punish satan by deluding him with the illusion of power,but god does really give it to him.so when jesus comes back!hehehe,god free man of gods punishment on them when the battle between good and evil takes place on earth between satan and jesus,that satan becomes aware that god fooled him,them destroys evil forever on earth as the bible promises!
 
  • #5
Andy
57
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All interesting posts but i was hoping to get a reply from someone who only beleives in one and not the other. Noticed something quite amusing recently, some people walk around with upside down crosses on their shirts and and necklaces thinking that its an anti-religous sign even though the upside down cross is a sign of Saint Peter. lol
 
  • #6
Originally posted by Andy
Can you beleive in God and not beleive in the Devil and vice versa?

I personnaly don't beleive in either but my old religous education teacher told me that she believed in God but she doesn't beleive in the Devil because nothing can be pure evil. so to all of the people that beleive in God do you beleive in the Devil and if you beleive in the Devil do you beleive in God?
Of course, one may believe anything at all that one wishes. The only Devil I know of is thought to actually be God by many people. Your teacher believed that nothing could be pure evil but did she have any problems believing something could be pure good? Hmmm...
 
  • #7
Andy
57
10
Nah she insisted that God was pure good but she couldnt beleive in the devil because nothing can be pure evil. when we (we being my and my mates) tried starting a class discussion about this we where just told to shut up and thats as far as it went, she was one of those teachers that couldnt stand anyone argueing a point against her point.
 
  • #8
I suspected she might have had that view. Do you see how her mind was able to function logically with respect to the Devil but not with respect to God? Many people suffer from this 'condition'. She wants to believe what she wants to believe and that is all there is to it. I wonder how a god so pure and good could create something even slightly tarnished.
 
  • #9
Andy
57
10
The way that i think of God is that he is a superior being but with the same thought procceses as us humans but he has alot more intellect and one day he got so bored that he decided to create us(humans) and he is having bets with his mates (other superior beings) about how long it will take for us humans to destroy ourselves.

And for megashawns point if the devil is just a state of mind maybe god is also just a state of mind?
 
  • #10
chosenone
183
1
If evil exist in its pure state,it is only because god is perfect in design.imagine a universe where we live just like we do now,but you never thought about want would happen if you hit someone in the head with a baseball bat.and you did'nt understand what would happen,and two you wouldnt understand why you'd what to,because all things in the universe are there to be done at any given time and it would be pretty weird if you never did,so well someone had to try,and someone had to die because of it.so we learned how to kill.them some liked it and some hated it.this does'nt mean evil is something that just is,its something people chose to do,like predetermination.some are born gay,some never thought of it until they were 35,and where divorced,and hated women,the tried it and never came back.you just never know what will make you like something until your exposed to it.because im sure you've never thought of something,then when you hear it or someone told you or you saw it,it just hits you all of a sudden that you like it,this is how you find you likes and dislikes in the world.so some people are prone to it and try not to do it because they know its wrong,but cant help themself,or some just do it because lifes f-cked up and they hate everything and want to get back at the world,so they hurt people because they think it will make them feel better watching someone else suffer.some things push people over when they were stable there whole life.are they evil,or is it pychologically sound in saying that it was they only way of dealling with it and they made a bad choice.i dont this thats evil,people who like killing because they like to kill is evil,people who want to get back at the world for just being alive hate life so much it gives them a reason to become evil,can you say these people were born evil or did life make them become evil,its hard to say!
 
  • #11
i don't belive anything but god exists actually, with evil or "devils" simply being a product of extreeme confusion and misunderstanding of the true nature of god.
 
  • #12
(Q)
147
0
Gods and devils have never been shown to exist - why believe in either one?
 
  • #13
Andy
57
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Just because something hasnt been proven doesnt mean it doesnt exist. This is why religion is only a beleive or faith, because it cant be proven but many people beleive in it. As i have said before in this topic i dont beleive in the Christian God but i would be foolish to rule out the possiblity of a superior being, being the person that created us.
 
  • #14
Njorl
Science Advisor
265
17
The devil wasn't always thought of as evil. At one point, he was just the tempter. He was actually considered an angel whose job was to test people. At some point, beliefs changed, and the whole idea of hell and the evil god-like being developed.

Njorl
 
  • #15
megashawn
Science Advisor
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Well, I remember that one of the premise of Wicca was that to think it it made it real. In other words, if you really believe the Christian god and devil exists, then they do. And honestly, who am I or anyone to tell you different. Also, the more people who believe X being exist, the more powerfull that being becomes.

Now, the only way I know of that a thing can exist just because I think it does is in the imaginary world. If me, and say 100,000 other people all think that X being exists, then obviously that beings influence will be greater on earth then of a group of only 10,000. Simpy because men turn imagination into reality in these matters.
 
  • #16
God = all things = "God is devil, too".
When you contemplate 'God', sooner-or-later you have to ask yourself why 'God' would be good, instead of bad. The answer is obvious: God chooses to be good to all things that are 'himself' (everything). After-all, given the power of God which being wouldn't choose to be good to itself? To give itself its heart's desires?
But a God cannot be a God unless it embraces all things. For what-price a God without the power to effect a specific idea or object?
Therefore, the 'idea' of bad must be known to God. God must be aware of what 'evil' is, or what ~power~ can he have over it?
Hence, any 'evil' which exists is merely an out-pouring of God itself.
 
  • #17
Iacchus32
2,312
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Not to detract from what you're saying here ...

Evil is the misappropriation of God's power which, can only be brought about by one thing, "ignorance." And yet since God is all knowing, then evil cannot be not perceived as such. On the other hand when God created man, who in and of himself is nothing but ignorant, then that generates a void, which necessitates the need for an antithesis, "the Devil."
 
  • #18
Interesting thoughts LG and Iacchus32,
I do not believe that anything evil, bad, etc. could come from a being perfectly pure. It makes sense to me that, accepting the existence of god, from god all things must emanate, and this would have to include the so called 'evil', 'bad', ‘Devil’, etc.
But like Iacchus32 recognized, we may be diverting the topic.

N_Quire,
Here’s a thought; only the Devil exists, not a benevolent and loving God. An attempt to deceive mankind into believing he may ‘go to heaven’ or live ‘happily ever after’ is the work of this sadistic fiend. In the end the Devil laughs loudly into the faces of the believers as he explains they have been victims of his cruel joke and orders everyone ‘into the pit’ Haha.

Could that explain some of the workings of this world?
 
  • #19
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Evil is the misappropriation of God's power which, can only be brought about by one thing, "ignorance."
Agreed.
And yet since God is all knowing, then evil cannot be not perceived as such. On the other hand when God created man, who in and of himself is nothing but ignorant, then that generates a void, which necessitates the need for an antithesis, "the Devil." [/B]
I see man as a finite aspect of God. Thus, any apparent evil which emanates from man can be viewed as an expression of a potential-attribute which exists within God itself. As you said, this potential is exhibited in relation to our ignorance. Yet God "the whole" is ignorant of nothing. God chooses 'good'. Yet, as we see in mankind, God can be bad given specific circumstances which allow for 'ignorance'.
If you believe in 'God' then you have no choice than to believe in 'evil' as an aspect/potential of that God. "The devil" is not a separate entity to God. The devil is God's own ignorant expression of life.
 
  • #20
Andy
57
10
If God and the Devil aren't seperate entities then they must be the same in which case does that mean that God is just as prone to impure thoughts as any human being is? and if yes then is that where the so called devil comes from? I suppose what i am asking more specifically is, is the devil just the impure thoughts of God?
 
  • #21
Originally posted by Andy
If God and the Devil aren't seperate entities then they must be the same in which case does that mean that God is just as prone to impure thoughts as any human being is?
I would say that God is only prone to 'impure thoughts', if God is ignorant to his wholeness.
and if yes then is that where the so called devil comes from?
I would say that the devil is God living in ignorance. It's a different state-of-being, rather than another entity.
I suppose what i am asking more specifically is, is the devil just the impure thoughts of God?
I would say 'ignorant'... not 'impure'.
 
  • #22
Andy
57
10
Thats sort of what i was getting at I got lost in what i was trying to say though.
 
  • #23
Iacchus32
2,312
1
What we deem as evil, God deems necessary for free will. So in this respect evil does not exist. And yet evil is something that we all experience in our lives, and to us it's very real. And to us the Devil is very real as well.

And I attest, that one only need look in the mirror to discover who the Devil really is ... And just as with the fall from the Garden of Eden, where man has separated himself from God, then God and the Devil have become two separate entities.

Whereas when considering the possibility of an after life, then the Devil is man gone to Hell, plain and simple.
 
  • #24
drag
Science Advisor
1,096
1
Greetings !
Originally posted by Andy
...do you beleive in the Devil and if you beleive in
the Devil do you beleive in God?
Sure...
As long as you believe in pink ellephants that
can fly, eternal hamburgers, coke, Pamela A. and
the American way...

Sorry folks, I just couldn't help it... :smile:

I'll let you get back to your religion forum now...:wink:

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #25
megashawn
Science Advisor
438
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And to us the Devil is very real as well.

And you have met him then I take it? Bet you left your polaroid at home didn't ya?

And don't give me that look in the mirror bs. Going by what the bible tells us, man was created in gods image. When we look in the mirror, we see an image of ourselves. What you said also implies that God is the devil.
 
  • #26
Iacchus32
2,312
1
What you say? There's no spirits around here except in bottles? Ha ha ha ha! ...
 
  • #27
Iacchus32
2,312
1
And you have met him then I take it? Bet you left your polaroid at home didn't ya?

And don't give me that look in the mirror bs. Going by what the bible tells us, man was created in gods image. When we look in the mirror, we see an image of ourselves. What you said also implies that God is the devil.
Do you believe that evil exists? Do you believe its inherent with our nature? If this is true then why can't you extend it to say man is the Devil? It sounds plausible to me. While I admit that I can look within myself (in the mirror if you will) and acknowledge the inherent evil that's there? Are you capable of doing this?

And neither did I imply God was the Devil, on the contrary! (as per what I just said). While I suspect you didn't take the time to read my first post, which reads as follows:

Evil is the misappropriation of God's power which, can only be brought about by one thing, "ignorance." And yet since God is all knowing, then evil cannot be perceived as such. On the other hand when God created man, who in and of himself is nothing but ignorant, then that generates a void, which necessitates the need for an antithesis, "the Devil."
Well perhaps I could modify this a little bit, to say the Devil is "generated" through man's perception of his falling away from God.
 
  • #28
Andy
57
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So lets assume that; God created man in his own image, Man =The Devil how ironic that would be!
 
  • #29
Iacchus32
2,312
1
Originally posted by Andy
So lets assume that; God created man in his own image, Man =The Devil how ironic that would be!
This I believe is in reference to man's appearance "before the fall." And, while it may not be so readily apparent in the "physical sense," if a man chooses the life of evil, his soul or spirit will be endowed with these qualities when he passes on.

It's all predicated upon choice though, and the spirit reflects that choice.

Well perhaps I could modify this a little bit, to say the Devil is "generated" through man's perception of his falling away from God.
 
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  • #30
Iacchus32
2,312
1
Originally posted by Andy
So lets assume that; God created man in his own image, Man =The Devil how ironic that would be!
Originally posted by Iacchus32
This I believe is in reference to man's appearance "before the fall." And, while it may not be so readily apparent in the "physical sense," if a man chooses the life of evil, his soul or spirit will be endowed with these qualities when he passes on.

It's all predicated upon choice though, and the spirit reflects that choice.
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Well perhaps I could modify this a little bit, to say the Devil is "generated" through man's perception of his falling away from God.
I might reiterate that God allows for evil (our perception of it) in order to allow us the freedom of choice which, is why He also created Hell, because He respects that choice. It's the only way it works. So basically, and tell me this isn't similar to the way you already perceive it, we have the freedom to mess up our lives, as well as the freedom to learn from our mistakes. Of course it would nice if we could just be held accountable for our own mistakes, but unfornately we have to pay for other people's mistakes as well. Oh well live and learn! ...

"... for the Father maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45)
 
  • #31
Andy
57
10
I dont know what i beleive! i dont beleive in God in the way that christians beleive in God but i wont rule out the possibility of another superior being, living out there somewhere but I dont beleive in any of the Religous faiths, although i do find Buddhism quite interesting. The only reason i started this topic was to see if i could find someone that is as narrow minded as my old Religous education teacher.
 
  • #32
Iacchus32
2,312
1
Originally posted by Andy
The only reason i started this topic was to see if i could find someone that is as narrow minded as my old Religous education teacher.
Why's that? Ususally when somebody brings up the words "narrow-minded," there's usually an arguement in store.
 
  • #33
Andy
57
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I was quite surprised when i didnt get neone argueing with me but also quite glad that i created a thread that had people being serious for once!
 
  • #34
As to the original question:
Can you beleive in both God and the Devil?

Certainly, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition has it that you can, and the matter could certainly be covered in Hinduism and perhaps a lot of animism.

As to myself - not in the slightest. "The Devil" is a human symbol with no external reality. The actual evolution of it as a construct is very visible in the Bible - the word "Satan" (Shaitan) barely appears in the Old Testament, and even then, in Job, Satan is the accuser of men. But in the New Testament the whole concept means "accuser of God" and appears all over the Christian texts as a full formed figure and symbol.

"God" in itself can also be seen as an anthropomorphic metaphor – but while "Devil" is used to embody the ills of the world as the work of a malicious spirit, "God" itself refers to wider process of the universe that still mystifies and baffles. And God the Creator remains something that is wholly unquanitifiable – hence cannot be addressed by science. People such as Dawkins merely represent a form of extremism in science, and an age-old curse of disbelieving others for no better reason than they have different opinions. Which makes Dawkins a remarkable mirror of the very fundamentalists he rails against.
 
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  • #35
Iacchus32
2,312
1
Originally posted by I, Brian
"The Devil" is a human symbol with no external reality. The actual evolution of it as a construct is very visible in the Bible - the word "Satan" (Shaitan) barely appears in the Old Testament, and even then, in Job, Satan is the accuser of men. But in the New Testament the whole concept means "accuser of God" and appears all over the Christian texts as a full formed figure and symbol.
Then there's the Zoroastrian Creed, by which the Judeo-Christian idea of the battle of and good and evil is originally based -- borrowed from the Persians during the "Jewish Captivity."


"God" in itself can also be seen as an anthropomorphic metaphor – but while "Devil" is used to embody the ills of the world as the work of a malicious spirit, "God" itself refers to wider process of the universe that still mystifies and baffles. And God the Creator remains something that is wholly unquanitifiable – hence cannot be addressed by science. People such as Dawkins merely represent a form of extremism in science, and an age-old curse of disbelieving others for no better reason than they have different opinions. Which makes Dawkins a remarkable mirror of the very fundamentalists he rails against.
If in fact as you say, the Devil is the creation of man, then wouldn't it be possible to say the Devil is man? Or, perhaps that aspect of him which is unredeemable? By which we conceive of the notion of "man gone to hell," and so derive the notion of an "evil spirit" or Devil?
 

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