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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Question Is the devil real? - December 18th 2014, 04:27 PM

Ok, so darkness is just the absence of light, it's not a real thing that can be measured, just like evil is the absence of God. I've heard that the devil may be just a metaphor used to describe evil, that there is no actual being and there is no hell. These are just ways to kind of put the absence of God into a physical representation to make it easy for people to understand.
What are your thoughts on this?
   
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Re: Is the devil real? - December 18th 2014, 04:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Treble View Post
Ok, so darkness is just the absence of light, it's not a real thing that can be measured, just like evil is the absence of God. I've heard that the devil may be just a metaphor used to describe evil, that there is no actual being and there is no hell. These are just ways to kind of put the absence of God into a physical representation to make it easy for people to understand.
What are your thoughts on this?

Depends on what your personal belief system is.


   
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Re: Is the devil real? - December 18th 2014, 06:00 PM

Are you looking for an opinion from Christians, religious people in general or anyone?

I'm puzzled on this personally, going back and forward so I can't tell what I believe in now. You cannot prove it for sure, even to yourself, I know, yet I don't want to think nothing exists.
Personally also, I've had various experiences so maybe that is why I am having a hard time giving it up. Since lately I blocked out the paths to these experiences, I've become skeptical.

Definitely I agree that in ways the devil is portrayed is completely metaphorical, for every religion. Either they're metaphors, concepts or they're put there to represent an idea. When I used to really believe in anything like this, my opinion on them was they're not what they seem or how we expressed their existence in however a story is told, because there is no 'absolute evil' or 'absolute good'. If they were real they'd be something different, not anything as it's portrayed.
If this thread is specific on that sort of demons, or THE Devil, I'd say I don't think he or they are real, not in that sense. I've never believed in this idea.
It's just interesting, the idea a lot of people have, or personal visions of demons or how they imagine the demon to look like. Even beliefs vary on this, whether it's the sect, religion, encountering or imagination behind it. Everyone has his or her inner image of evil which alters the appearance of how they imagine the demon too. Belief is full of flaws of psychological nature.


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Re: Is the devil real? - December 18th 2014, 06:22 PM

Depends entirely on who you ask and what their personal beliefs are. For an atheist or agnostic, you're going to get a pretty swift negative. For a religious person it may be more complicated - some will argue it's purely a metaphor for evil, others that it is a very real entity with the aim of separating people from God. Any one of those positions could be right. Personally I don't know where I stand on the subject, other than to recall a very interesting statement someone once made to me which is that it may well be that the Devil's greatest achievement is convincing people that it doesn't exist. It was as much a reflection on the nature of evil and its causes as anything, but it's a statement which I've been pondering for a while generally.


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However bleak things seem, however insurmountable the darkness appears, remember that you have worth and nothing can take that away.

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If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .
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Re: Is the devil real? - December 18th 2014, 07:54 PM

Christianity takes credit for the creation of "The Devil". So if you talk to a Christian they will say yes and everyone else out there will most likely say no.

To me the idea doesn't make any sense. God created Lucifer, but God is a purely good being.... how can something that is purely good create something purely evil? And for those who say that Lucifer didn't start out purely evil, God is omnipotent, he is all knowing. So he would have known that Lucifer would eventually become purely evil. The only way God could have created Lucifer is if God isn't 100% good or Lucifer isn't 100% evil. But that is not what Christianity states.




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Re: Is the devil real? - December 19th 2014, 01:39 PM

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Christianity takes credit for the creation of "The Devil". So if you talk to a Christian they will say yes and everyone else out there will most likely say no.
Actually Satan predates Christianity - he appears in the Old Testament in books like Job, among others, so his origins are in Judaism. We don't really claim any credit for his existence. Can't blame us for everything.

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To me the idea doesn't make any sense. God created Lucifer, but God is a purely good being.... how can something that is purely good create something purely evil? And for those who say that Lucifer didn't start out purely evil, God is omnipotent, he is all knowing. So he would have known that Lucifer would eventually become purely evil. The only way God could have created Lucifer is if God isn't 100% good or Lucifer isn't 100% evil. But that is not what Christianity states.
It's a fair question, and it's probably not helped by the fact that Christianity has a number of different views on the subject. I guess the starting point is, does Satan have to be purely evil? There's nothing to suggest he is such, merely that he has separated himself from God. Everything else kind of follows from that point, so that to me would be the key bit to sort out.


"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

However bleak things seem, however insurmountable the darkness appears, remember that you have worth and nothing can take that away.

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Originally Posted by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart! View Post
If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .
RIP Nick
   
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Re: Is the devil real? - December 19th 2014, 05:17 PM

Since I'm not a Christian, I don't know as much as I'd like to about the religion, save the little I've read now and again and the movies I've watched However, being of another religion, I may be able to present another perspective.

Again, personal beliefs come int the picture, always, like it's been mentioned.
To me, I believe in energy. Since it is very hard for people to comprehend what energy can do, we give it forms. We know it exists, and like the wind, we can only feel it, not see it. So, to me, God is a higher energy form, balancing and relatively positive. The devil or evil, in that sense would be energy that is not correct for a person or a very heavy energy. The Gods in my religion are originally personifications of energy, to make them more identifiable to people. People will be more trusting of it when it appears or is depicted in human form, is what I feel. Essentially, though - energy.

In terms of the devil, and heaven and hell and such, I feel that people have created the concepts to almost try and influence the way that people live out their lives on earth. Has there really been a record of someone coming back to life and exclaiming that these realms exist? It may have been suggestion and/or imagination. No one can know except the person themselves. Within my religion, the concept of Karma exists. So does rebirth. In a religion where that belief doesn't exist, having something to look forward to (or not) at the end of their life is very important - knowing that there is a destination when they die becomes a great influence in one's life. Humans are very interesting. We can create things in our life that don't exist. We also create fear. The power that fear possesses is massive. Fear is a controller. Creating or constructing something like the devil does just that. At least, that's what I feel. I don't speak for anyone else

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Re: Is the devil real? - December 19th 2014, 11:40 PM

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Originally Posted by Twinge View Post
Are you looking for an opinion from Christians, religious people in general or anyone?
I thought you'd typed at "an opinion from Christmas".

At the OP, Treble: It depends on what you believe. Beliefs are uncanny things - you can believe in the truth, or you can believe in what others believe are lies, but to you, what you believe will always seem true... That's the definition of belief. Beliefs vary from individual to individual.

Some people believe that the Devil exists; others believe that he doesn't. You, as a thinking person, must decide which belief seems more logical to you. If you feel in your heart that the Devil exists, then for you, he does; if you feel in your heart that he doesn't, then he doesn't.

Questions with obvious answers may be answered by other people. Questions with unclear answers - questions of religion, for instance - may be answered well only through introspection. If you always ask others to validate/decide your beliefs for you, you'll never believe what you truly believe - only what others want you to believe. That's a dangerous habit to get into. People can easily manipulate you that way.

Sit down and think about it, without considering anyone else's opinions on the matter. It may take you a while to decide a certain answer, but eventually, your own heart will reveal your individual truth to you.

EDIT: To surmise it all, in a less complicated manner: Choose what you believe the most logical explanation is, and believe it with all your heart, no matter who tries to change your opinion.


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Re: Is the devil real? - December 20th 2014, 07:08 PM

Oh soz, just to be clear I am looking for a Christians opinion, but other religious beliefs are welcome
   
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Re: Is the devil real? - December 20th 2014, 08:54 PM

I am Christian Protestant.

I personally believe that the devil does exist. He is a fallen angel who did injustice against God. I also believe in absolute good and absolute evil. Humanity is the product of both.

Again, my personal beliefs, you should create your own opinions from information gathered from others, it's actually really interesting what you can find out from documentaries, or read from reports.


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Re: Is the devil real? - December 20th 2014, 09:56 PM

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Again, my personal beliefs, you should create your own opinions from information gathered from others, it's actually really interesting what you can find out from documentaries, or read from reports.
She puts it a lot more plainly than I did, I'm afraid.


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Re: Is the devil real? - December 22nd 2014, 05:50 AM

I believe in God. I don't know how I feel about the devil though. Sometimes I think he is just a metaphor for all the evil that exist in the world and other times I actually believe that he exists and is there to tempt people to do the evil things that they do. So, I guess you could say I am on the fence about it. I haven't quite figured out what I believe.


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