posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 07:13 PM
To address the question of why evil and its proposed personification in the devil are tollerated, we need to get into its nature a bit.
The free-will based decision to eat from the Tree of Knowledge pretty much kills the idea that the Tree of Knowledge itself imparted free will. In
fact Adam was presented with decisions to make from the very moment of his creation according to Genesis: specifically the choice of a companion from
among the options presented by God. So it would appear that free will is in the very nature of man; an essential component of the life that God is
said to have breathed into man. One might go so far as to say that free will defines life, especially if one delves into the question of whether
mechanics alone can count as life, as is a sticking point in debate over whether a one celled organism or Artificial Intelligence could be considered
This also offers us an idea of the nature of whatever other beings are proposed to exist as a compliment to God.
We are also told early in Genesis that God said that if man were also to eat from the Tree of Life that they would become "like us". So the
chracteristics of "us"- so the essential characteristics of "us" would seem to be three things, two of which man has obtained:
1. The ability to willfully exercise influence.
2. Knowledge of the rammifications of exercising that will (not specific knowledge, which opens the question of omniscience, but merely the
understanding that unknown and uncontrollable consequences may ensue).
The final item, permanence, being obtainable by humans, combined with the fact that nothing that would grant omnipotence or omniscience is mentioned,
would seem to indicate that "us" refers not only to God but to other beings which are not omnipotent or omniscient as well, which for lack of any
other known entities, would seem to mean angels, and by extention, Satan. For the moment I will set aside the fact that permanence raises the "rock
so big he can't move it" paradox with respect to even God's omnipotence.
So, Satan might be expected to have the 3 traits I have listed. Many Christian theologians will tell you that the closest thing to a definition of sin
offered in the Bible is "Sin was found in Satan", and sin took root in man as well when man ate from the Tree of Knowledge.
So we can induce that having the ability to willfully assert influence and to know the rammifications is a major component of having sin.
But God is said not to have sin. Why? Well, he is claimed to have omniscience as well. Interesting since the Greek word used for Sin throughout most
of the New Testament is hamartano, meaning to miss the mark, in the sense of a stray projectile.
So we might conclude that the nature of evil and sin is error- unintended and uncontrolled consequence- chaos- and with it the risk of material harm.
The argument would essentially go that only God is perfect and so only God can do things without unintended and possibly negative consequences. Thus
the historically more traditional model of a God who owns his people by virtue of having created them or who commands devotion by his might (while
certainly not absent from certain Christian sects) is fundamentally replaced, particularly in the New Testament, by the wise and protective divine
So the struggle between good and evil for me is not one moral struggle between God and an adversary, but many separate struggles between the will of
the individual and the good of the whole (with the interests of the whole being represented by the one being supposedly responsible for it and able to
protect it from consequence by his omniscience- God, whose very nature requires him to meet this responsibility). So morality would boil down to a
universal accounting of material consequence, and utilitarianism can be considered correct yet moot, since supposedly only God can guide the proper
That brings us back to the fact that permanence can be obtained by beings other than God however. God can apparently create something that he can't
destroy. This leaves God's perfection dependent upon omniscience, not omnipotence, since some things can't be taken back (and even if he can take it
all back, that would seem to indicate that he'd made a mistake at some point if he had to). But as long as God still knows everything, and is never
confronted by anything more powerful than him, the proverbial djinni won't get out of the bottle and he can still control all of the consequences. In
other words, there is no such thing as evil. No evil is taking place. There is only the will to do evil, manifested in the attempt to choose one's
own will over the will of God- the very thing that caused both Satan and Man to fall- but god always prevents it ultimately. Though this would seem to
run contrary to what we can see in the world around us, it is reinforced in a much clearer way in the Bible. Romans 8:28 does say "All things work
together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose." (and who gives a dang about those who aren't called
according to his purpose because they are part of the problem and good thing for God to do with them is to get rid of them).
Unfortunately that's little better than a homonculus fallacy that shrinks but does not eliminate the mystery of inequity, because we are left with a
God who is not all powerful, could do nothing about the fact that he could not create the world without having to separate out a few bad seeds and
protect the rest of the world from them. They are an unintended consequence and in order to control their harmful effects, they themselves must be
harmed. So God has missed the mark. An effect beyond what was desired occurred and people got hurt. God is sinful. The Matrix can be viewed as an
allegory for this, wherein the creator himself is just a creation and in fact a symbiote to his creators/creations, who has been able to do no better
than to consolidate the inevitability of chaos into a single conflict.
But then again I'm not a Christian and I don't necessarily believe or disbelieve in the entities involved in the Christian faith. Personally I
prefer to think of the entirety of all existence as a single entity. The universe consists of matter exchanging energy within certain parameters, with
multiple localized parts which have distinct agendas suited to their function within the whole- not unlike our brains.
So the universe is schizophenic, and any Gods, devils, and mortals might be viewed as divergent personalities within a single brain. We just do what
we do, and what else could possibly be expected of us?