Evil's War against Religions

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.

Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#31  Postby Lark_Truth » March 11th, 2017, 11:57 am

Okay, Iapetus, I will attempt to answer you question as best as I am able to.
An evil being dedicated to the downfall of mankind would have to be supernatural, though whether his origin is human ... perhaps not a mortal human origin, but a spiritual one.
From what I can tell, the universal Christian dogma on the origins of the Devil are that he and a host of allies rebelled against God and were cast out of Heaven. Also from what I can tell, the "why" as to Lucifer and his legions rebelled against God does not seem to be universal dogma, so I will bring up what my church believes on Lucifer's "why." The LDS church teaches that before mortal life was pre-mortal life where we dwelled as spirits. God our Heavenly Father had a body while we did not. So in order for us to gain bodies and be like God, He came up with a plan for us to go to mortality and to gain bodies and knowledge. He knew that we would make mistakes so he asked for someone to volunteer to be a Savior to atone for us so that as many of us as possible might dwell after mortality with God with clear consciousness, though some would still be lost. Lucifer stepped forward and volunteered, but he wanted to revise God's plan so that it would all be him and not God that we would have Salvation. Nobody would have the ability to choose, and so no one would make mistakes, no one would learn, and all the glory would go to Lucifer. Jesus Christ stepped forward and volunteered to carry out God's plan as His Father had intended so that all of the glory would be God's as the architect of the plan. God chose Jesus Christ as our Savior, and there proceeded to be a "war" among the spirit children of God. Not a violent war, but one of philosophy and debate, were Lucifer and his allies (one-third of the hosts of heaven) were eventually banished and Lucifer was called Satan, who would forever more dedicate himself to pulling as many of his spiritual brothers and sisters down to outer darkness with him as he could. Going off of this, the motives of such and "evil being" would be spite, which sounds petty, but I don't see any other form of motivation from the above story. If the story is not what you believe, sorry, but I don't really have any other way to answer your questions.

Is my concept of an evil being any more significant than any other imaginary ideas? I have no definite proof, Iapetus, of the existence of an evil being or a flying spaghetti monster. I do believe in the existence of an evil being though, perhaps that is why I have a more significant concept of a Devil than Santa Claus.

I am not sure how to respond to Fooloso4's question on post #19, Iapetus, perhaps it is God, perhaps it is our own sense of reason, maybe I'm just clutching at straws again. I don't have all of the answers to this thread, Iapetus, that is why I posted it to gain from other people's opinions and reasoning.

Profound immorality and wickedness associated with the forces of the devil? Double yes.
The Devil would have to be a supernatural force, else how could he tempt so many people.

I have not revealed any significant detail relating to this thread, Iapetus, because I don't have all of the answers, which is why I am asking people like you. I don't have any more important information about the devil or any evil being than I have already posted. I am hunting for answers. Perhaps not the best idea to do so on a philosophical site, but learning from others is a well-tested and proven strategy that I enjoy working with.
I am looking for answers, and that is why I created this thread.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions



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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#32  Postby Iapetus » March 11th, 2017, 5:56 pm

Reply to Lark_Truth:

You have provided a fairly lengthy paragraph which provides me with more detail about what you believe in relation to ‘evil beings’, involving ‘spirit children of God’. You have confirmed that you are refering to ‘supernatural’ beings, associated with Lucifer/Satan. That helps, because it means that we don’t have spend time discussing the relation of humans with ‘evil’.

It is a description, however, and not an explanation; as you yourself have written, “If the story is not what you believe, sorry, but I don't really have any other way to answer your questions”.

That is rather my point. What you believe is not what what I believe. Nor, from what I can gather, is it what many of the other correspondents believe. You have no logic or reason to offer. What you appear to be saying is that you believe what you have been taught.

Is my concept of an evil being any more significant than any other imaginary ideas? I have no definite proof, Iapetus, of the existence of an evil being or a flying spaghetti monster. I do believe in the existence of an evil being though, perhaps that is why I have a more significant concept of a Devil than Santa Claus.


You have no proof whatsoever. You have offered no justification, beyond “what my church believes”. That is fine if you are asking the question regarding ‘evil beings’ to members of your church. But why would you do that on a philosophy forum when you could talk to your neighbours? If you were seeking different points of view, then you cannot assume that their concept of evil coincides with yours. That is why definitions are so important. Yet when I tried, in post #15, to clarify your position, you completely ignored the whole post.

If all we are going to do is to relate what we, individually, believe, then we are not likely to get anywhere. We need to find a way of examining why we believe what we do and why that reason might be applicable to somebody else. This is where evidence, explanation, justification, logic and reason come in. They provide a basis for discussion. There are plenty of other reasons for what we believe but they are not always amenable to discussion; upbringing, socio-cultural experiences, psychological factors, gender, indoctrination and so on. But if you have no other way to answer my questions, then I can’t see any point to the conversation.

I am hunting for answers. Perhaps not the best idea to do so on a philosophical site, but learning from others is a well-tested and proven strategy that I enjoy working with.


An absolutely reasonable thing to do. But, if you are hunting for answers, then answering questions is certainly a useful starting point, even if the answer is ‘I don’t know’. What I would say about your question in the original post is that you seem to assume many things of others in order to achieve the answer you seem to be seeking. These include:

- a belief in the ‘supernatural’, when even the possibility of its existence cannot be demonstrated
- a belief that ‘things spiritual’ means something significant
- that God exists and that your particular concept is comprehensible to all others
- that evil can be personified
- that Lucifer/the Devil has some particular relationship to God when this is not even apparent to many Christians.

That may be why you received many questions which you may not have been anticipating.

I have not tried to be awkward with my questions but I have certainly tried to make it clear that I am coming from a very different viewpoint to yours.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#33  Postby Lark_Truth » March 11th, 2017, 6:40 pm

It appears that I seem incapable of answering your questions, Iapetus. Why not, instead of asking so many of them, look for the answers and post them yourself.
As I have before stated, I do not have all of the answers to the questions of this thread and that is why I posted this thread in the first place. The point is to allow people to state their different opinions and then debate over that, not to drag the answers out of the original poster.
Sorry if I sound as if I am snapping at you in irritation, Iapetus, but I really do not have the answers to all of your questions.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#34  Postby Mordecai » March 11th, 2017, 11:12 pm

I think of "evil" and "evil being" as abstractions to describe certain tendencies in humans. Evil describes anti-social traits that increase net human suffering. Evil Being (Satan, Ahriman, Seth, etc., is a personification of these traits. I see no evidence that there is a supernatural entity that consciously roams about the world stirring up evil or plotting against religion. Indeed, all of the persecutions the OP mentions were done in the name of religion. I see no reason to believe in such a being without substantial evidence, and it is incumbent on the person asserting it to provide the evidence, not upon others to disprove it. Antisocial tendencies are found in every culture. E. O.Wilson, Hrvard biologist, thinks that the anti-social tendencies result from evolutionary drives for self-preservtion, and that the altruistic tendencies come from social conditioning using a separate module in the brain that evolved later. If we look at specific cases of evil instead of treating it as some autonomous force or spirit, we might be able to pin down the conditions and circumstances that cause it and do something constructive to stop it.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#35  Postby Iapetus » March 12th, 2017, 6:23 am

Reply to Lark_Truth:

Good response, LT. I could have offered a far more straightforward response to the question in your original post:

Would an evil being do everything in their power to halt the advance of religions that have the capability to stop its plans for the world?


I could have said, ‘No, because it probably doesn’t exist’. That wouldn’t, however, take us very far, so I decided instead to investigate the assumptions inherent in the question. I thought that was reasonable. I know that I started to irritate you when I reminded you that you had completely ignored my response and I pressed you on the point. It has happened many times. When people don’t respond, the questions pile up.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#36  Postby Belindi » March 12th, 2017, 7:20 am

Iapetus wrote:

That is rather my point. What you believe is not what what I believe. Nor, from what I can gather, is it what many of the other correspondents believe. You have no logic or reason to offer. What you appear to be saying is that you believe what you have been taught.


I agree with Iapetus. More, I accuse Lark_Truth of idolatry . Lark_Truth idolises the ideas which she has been taught. God cannot be defined. Lark_Truth claims that her religion defines God. This is idolatry. Lark_Truth does not know God any more than a real sky lark knows God, possibly less.

Lark_Truth, there follows a simple question which you can answer from a dictionary definition . Do you know the meaning of the word 'personification'?
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#37  Postby Lark_Truth » March 13th, 2017, 1:36 pm

Belindi, I am not a she, but a he.
You are right in the regard that God cannot be defined by any religion or mortal man, and I am among that categorization. I apologize if I sounded vain in my own beliefs, it was not my intention to.
Personification is the literary device used to make an un-human object seem sentient. For instance: "The wind spoke" the wind cannot actually speak, but the words make it seem more alive than it actually is in real life.
Now let's get back to the topic at hand for this thread. "Evil's war against religions." Yes or no? Why or why not? How?
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#38  Postby Belindi » March 13th, 2017, 2:49 pm

Lark_Truth wrote:Belindi, I am not a she, but a he.
You are right in the regard that God cannot be defined by any religion or mortal man, and I am among that categorization. I apologize if I sounded vain in my own beliefs, it was not my intention to.
Personification is the literary device used to make an un-human object seem sentient. For instance: "The wind spoke" the wind cannot actually speak, but the words make it seem more alive than it actually is in real life.
Now let's get back to the topic at hand for this thread. "Evil's war against religions." Yes or no? Why or why not? How?


Then we agree about the ineffability of god.

You probably notice, Lark_Truth, that I wrote god without a capital letter. The reason for this is that if God is written thus the meaning changes to a personal name. If god is ineffable then god cannot be a person with a name, or feelings.

There is no war of evil against the religions. There is probably going to be a terrible war if the human species doesn't stop ruining the oceans, the climates, the soil, and the wildlife. This probable war has little if anything to do with religions .
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#39  Postby Dark Matter » March 13th, 2017, 7:39 pm

Materialism denies God; secularism simply ignores him -- at least that was the earlier attitude. More recently, secularism has assumed a more militant attitude, assuming to take the place of the religion whose totalitarian bondage it onetime resisted. Twenty-first century secularism tends to affirm that man does not need God. But in spite of all its celebrating, this godless philosophy of human society will lead only to unrest, animosity, unhappiness, war, and world-wide disaster.

The world is lost in a fog of ignorance and confusion, but does this mean there is a war against religion? I don't think so.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#40  Postby Lark_Truth » March 20th, 2017, 9:24 am

Okay, Dark Matter, but what if there was?
How would such a war (short of guns and physical violence) be fought?
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#41  Postby Dark Matter » March 20th, 2017, 1:19 pm

Lark_Truth wrote:Okay, Dark Matter, but what if there was?
How would such a war (short of guns and physical violence) be fought?

The days when so-called science and so-called reason can pose a serious threat to religion are over. If there is a war, the enemies of religion are on the defense and their only guardian is an old, toothless hound: annoying, but of no real consequence.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#42  Postby Belindi » March 20th, 2017, 4:28 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
Lark_Truth wrote:Okay, Dark Matter, but what if there was?
How would such a war (short of guns and physical violence) be fought?

The days when so-called science and so-called reason can pose a serious threat to religion are over. If there is a war, the enemies of religion are on the defense and their only guardian is an old, toothless hound: annoying, but of no real consequence.

It would be nice if you two could talk in a more direct way in the simplest possible language. No toothless hounds please and no hidden agenda from Lark_Truth who I suspect of trying valiantly to drum up support for a daft religious cult, as that is what Mormon elders do . Lark_Truth, is philosophy not a very hard nut to crack?
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#43  Postby Dark Matter » March 20th, 2017, 4:58 pm

Belindi wrote:
Dark Matter wrote:(Nested quote removed.)

The days when so-called science and so-called reason can pose a serious threat to religion are over. If there is a war, the enemies of religion are on the defense and their only guardian is an old, toothless hound: annoying, but of no real consequence.

It would be nice if you two could talk in a more direct way in the simplest possible language. No toothless hounds please and no hidden agenda from Lark_Truth who I suspect of trying valiantly to drum up support for a daft religious cult, as that is what Mormon elders do . Lark_Truth, is philosophy not a very hard nut to crack?

I don't know how what I said can be made any simpler. Do you honestly think the likes of the "four horsemen" (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett) pose a threat to religion? Their arguments sound like something written by "Baghdad Bob" (Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, Saddam Hussein's foreign minister).
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#44  Postby Felix » March 20th, 2017, 5:14 pm

Would an evil being do everything in their power to halt the advance of religions that have the capability to stop its plans for the world?


I don't know, that sentence would make about as much sense if I replaced the word "evil" with "good" in it. What are "Evil's plans for the world?" Is causing misery and havoc a "plan"?

Paranoia strikes deep/ Into your life it will creep/ It starts when you're always afraid.


Buffalo Spingfield actually.... everybody look what's going 'round.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#45  Postby Fooloso4 » March 20th, 2017, 6:47 pm

DM:
The days when so-called science and so-called reason can pose a serious threat to religion are over.


It is not a matter of a threat except if one wants to hold on to views that refuse to change with changes to science and philosophy. Western religion has yielded to philosophy and science ever since Judaism could no longer prevent the influence of Hellenism. Theologians have followed along, sometimes willingly and sometime begrudgingly. This is as true today as it was in the past.

So, while Darwin remains a threat to Biblical literalists who refuse to accept the scientific evidence, Heidegger does not pose a threat to someone like Tillich because Tillich along with most 20th century theologians follow in his footsteps. But then again, there are others who see this movement as a threat, a corruption of their religion. An essential part of the story is that religion has always been a threat to religion. Christians against Jews, Christians against Muslims, Christians against Christians, Muslims against Muslims, Muslims against Jews.
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