Thursday, July 17, 2008

Deism and the Devil

I was recently reading an article regarding how United Methodists view the Biblical devil. Many do not believe in a supernatural being but then again many do. So, I thought I would put forth what Deists believe about the devil.

I often get asked what Deists believe regarding the existence of the Devil and the answer is also quite simple, we don’t. Deists do not believe in an evil being that brings evil into the world and opposes God at every turn. There are many reasons for this but here are a few:

Reason One:

Believing in God and the devil is polytheistic as this means that there are essentially two Gods at work. One is good and the other evil. Now, some will state that the devil is not a God but is rather a fallen angel. Another is that the devil is less powerful than God and that God is omnipotent. However, these make little sense. If the devil is a fallen angel then God could easily deal with the devil unless God is indeed not omnipotent. On the other hand, if the devil is not as powerful as God and God is omnipotent then God allows the devil to exist and bring evil and suffering on mankind. Not a very nice or caring God (at least in my book).

Reason Two:

There is no evidence for a supernatural evil being doing horrible things to mankind. There are those that will bring up C.S. Lewis and state that the greatest act of the devil was to convince us that he does not exist. If this is true then God has even more to answer for and some explaining to do.

Reason Three:

If the devil is orchestrating things from behind the scenes then mankind is not responsible for their actions that bring about destruction and suffering. When we ignore those that need our help it is not our fault as the devil made me do it. When we purposely go out of our way to harm others it is not our fault as the devil made me do it. I could go on and on with this line of thought but the truth is that humans are responsible for evil in the world and we need to accept that and own up to it.

Those are the main reasons for now but they get my point across. Deism does not posit a devil and demons or any other type of supernatural evil beings.

Nuff said.


Johannes Frederick said...

Excellent instruction, PD.

I always thought Isaiah 45:7 was a mind blower with regards to good versus evil and God versus the Devil.

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things".

Joel said...

Good post! Let me throw out another option into the mix.

What about the possibility of created beings of a material nature different than our own? I think there is the reasonable possibility that there are beings that have a different corporeal form than ourselves that thus far have managed to elude us. Call them angels, jinni, gods, aliens, whatever. They'd be finite bums just like us with their own moral struggles and competing factions, who would have to discover God the same way we do - through reason and nature. So they'd be just as trustworthy to listen to about spiritual matters as your average televangelist, that is, if it were possible to do more than simply speculate. :)

Krexyl said...

I've always agreed, that God and the Devil are two sides of the same coin, per se. It's like the ying to the yang, everything has to balance out. Without bad, there would be no good, and vice versa. It's easier for christians to name the bad and separate it. Instead of actually believing that good and bad lives in all of us.