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.

Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#1  Postby Lark_Truth » January 27th, 2017, 10:50 am

I think that most any religion has some form of bad guy who resists the good God/gods of that religion and their plans, someone who tries to tear down everyone just for spite. Someone who wants to watch the world burn just for kicks. Apophis, Loki, Gaea, Satan/Lucifer/The Devil, etc. Most faiths acknowledge the existence of the anti-thesis of the one that they worship.

Now there are several religions on the earth who are persecuted for their beliefs, ridiculed, or who are shunned because there are a faction of religious radicals from their sect who cause havoc. You probably know what these religions are: Judaism, Islam, Mormons, and while those are the three that come to my mind, there are others in the world who are also persecuted for their beliefs.

Now the question I am asking is this: 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?
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Evil's War against Religions



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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#2  Postby Fooloso4 » January 28th, 2017, 7:37 pm

Lark_Truth:

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?


The advantage of such a fantasy is that you can answer the question in whatever way you want.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#3  Postby Nick_A » January 28th, 2017, 9:30 pm

Lark_Truth wrote:I think that most any religion has some form of bad guy who resists the good God/gods of that religion and their plans, someone who tries to tear down everyone just for spite. Someone who wants to watch the world burn just for kicks. Apophis, Loki, Gaea, Satan/Lucifer/The Devil, etc. Most faiths acknowledge the existence of the anti-thesis of the one that they worship.

Now there are several religions on the earth who are persecuted for their beliefs, ridiculed, or who are shunned because there are a faction of religious radicals from their sect who cause havoc. You probably know what these religions are: Judaism, Islam, Mormons, and while those are the three that come to my mind, there are others in the world who are also persecuted for their beliefs.

Now the question I am asking is this: 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?


Why limit it to one being? As you know we are nourished by physical forms of food, water, and air. Is it such a stretch to assume that forms of life including some would consider demonic are nourished by wasted human energy including sex energy released through negative expression. If true we are a good food source. Efforts towards awakening minimize useless negative expression. Naturally this would decrease the food source so if taken too seriously whatever means possible to maintain the status quo will be adopted.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#4  Postby LuckyR » January 28th, 2017, 11:18 pm

Lark_Truth wrote:I think that most any religion has some form of bad guy who resists the good God/gods of that religion and their plans, someone who tries to tear down everyone just for spite. Someone who wants to watch the world burn just for kicks. Apophis, Loki, Gaea, Satan/Lucifer/The Devil, etc. Most faiths acknowledge the existence of the anti-thesis of the one that they worship.

Now there are several religions on the earth who are persecuted for their beliefs, ridiculed, or who are shunned because there are a faction of religious radicals from their sect who cause havoc. You probably know what these religions are: Judaism, Islam, Mormons, and while those are the three that come to my mind, there are others in the world who are also persecuted for their beliefs.

Now the question I am asking is this: 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?


Well a being can do anything that it's author chooses, identical to a character in a novel. So the originators of religion A with Bad Guy X, can make X do anything under the sun and by definition, that is the way that it is within religion A. It is, in fact dogma.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#5  Postby Atreyu » February 2nd, 2017, 4:20 pm

Lark_Truth wrote:I think that most any religion has some form of bad guy who resists the good God/gods of that religion and their plans, someone who tries to tear down everyone just for spite. Someone who wants to watch the world burn just for kicks. Apophis, Loki, Gaea, Satan/Lucifer/The Devil, etc. Most faiths acknowledge the existence of the anti-thesis of the one that they worship.

Now there are several religions on the earth who are persecuted for their beliefs, ridiculed, or who are shunned because there are a faction of religious radicals from their sect who cause havoc. You probably know what these religions are: Judaism, Islam, Mormons, and while those are the three that come to my mind, there are others in the world who are also persecuted for their beliefs.

Now the question I am asking is this: 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?


Of course...
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#6  Postby Dolphin42 » February 10th, 2017, 6:59 am

Now the question I am asking is this: 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?


It's impossible to know what an evil being would do. The way we generally try to work out what an other being is going to do is to (a) look for patterns in their behaviour and (b) put ourselves in their position - empathise. Since the concept of an absolutely evil being is fictional with no real-life examples to look at, it's impossible to make these predictions with any confidence that they are accurate. Or, to put it another way, as Fooloso4 said in post #2, as with any story, as the author, we can end it as we choose.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#7  Postby Papus79 » February 20th, 2017, 7:47 am

In terms of sociology and interpretation of meaning with respect to evil both in religion and history I've increasingly liked Jordan Peterson's take on this sort of thing that he delivers in his Youtube lectures and in his Maps of Meaning courses. Essentially the idea is that in the social hierarchy there are net winners and losers, and those who get particularly abused by the system will often have to fight the temptation of giving in to bitterness and working to see it all burn down. The underworld, for example, is a very real place and it's a place where a person has no certainty, no comfort, and they're constantly getting jostled and bounced by inclement circumstances and people. Hell is equally a real place and it can be either the individual space ruled by bitterness or, in the case of his favorite example Stalinist Russia, you have a country run by such people and that country becomes a hell on earth.

It seems like what all of the Joker type characters in the religious books have in common is they're triers of souls. On this side those who seek to do good are firmed and refined by their encounters with them, classic examples being Jesus by Satan or Buddha by Mara. Other people can be consumed by them if they're not careful and about the best example I can think of is when people do get possessed by rogue utopian ideologies - sometimes purely secular forms, other times by religious fascism, both of which tend to live off of the same fervor and fall back on the same excuses when the perfect worlds they intended to create turn into absolutely terrible systems to live in.

That said I think you can really tie most of this back to the challenges of the human condition. I don't think there's a lot of evidence that we're dealing with a monolithic and organized evil. I can't rule out that you could have egregores in the direction of evil but those are just clusters of like finding like.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#8  Postby LuckyR » March 5th, 2017, 1:07 pm

Papus79 wrote:In terms of sociology and interpretation of meaning with respect to evil both in religion and history I've increasingly liked Jordan Peterson's take on this sort of thing that he delivers in his Youtube lectures and in his Maps of Meaning courses. Essentially the idea is that in the social hierarchy there are net winners and losers, and those who get particularly abused by the system will often have to fight the temptation of giving in to bitterness and working to see it all burn down. The underworld, for example, is a very real place and it's a place where a person has no certainty, no comfort, and they're constantly getting jostled and bounced by inclement circumstances and people. Hell is equally a real place and it can be either the individual space ruled by bitterness or, in the case of his favorite example Stalinist Russia, you have a country run by such people and that country becomes a hell on earth.

It seems like what all of the Joker type characters in the religious books have in common is they're triers of souls. On this side those who seek to do good are firmed and refined by their encounters with them, classic examples being Jesus by Satan or Buddha by Mara. Other people can be consumed by them if they're not careful and about the best example I can think of is when people do get possessed by rogue utopian ideologies - sometimes purely secular forms, other times by religious fascism, both of which tend to live off of the same fervor and fall back on the same excuses when the perfect worlds they intended to create turn into absolutely terrible systems to live in.

That said I think you can really tie most of this back to the challenges of the human condition. I don't think there's a lot of evidence that we're dealing with a monolithic and organized evil. I can't rule out that you could have egregores in the direction of evil but those are just clusters of like finding like.


I agree that there is NOT any evidence of an overarching leader of evil just as there is not one that runs the concept of "good".
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#9  Postby Lark_Truth » March 6th, 2017, 10:41 am

Perhaps there isn't any physical evidence as of yet of the existence of a supreme being of evil, but then again there is not any evidence that says that there isn't.

Consider this quote: "Evil is not born, it is taught." So who is the teacher of evil? Who places before us temptation that will lead us down a doomed path?
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#10  Postby Papus79 » March 6th, 2017, 5:56 pm

Lark_Truth wrote:Perhaps there isn't any physical evidence as of yet of the existence of a supreme being of evil, but then again there is not any evidence that says that there isn't.

Consider this quote: "Evil is not born, it is taught." So who is the teacher of evil? Who places before us temptation that will lead us down a doomed path?


I think the problem is that people can't really evolve forward from good to evil but they can from evil to good. Good, to really look at it closely, is to act altruistically on behalf of others, society, or when with yourself in mind it's taking a pro-growth path. Evil seems to be almost directly related to a sort of myopia, either directly or indirectly by way of apathy or overcharged drives.

For it to make sense that there's anything to even be taught in evil there'd have to be some evolutionary path forward where evil has increasing benefits. It seems more like a culdesac where people of otherwise sound judgment might have gone in their youth and confusion but once they can acquire a broader worldview they tend to go toward the good. The only exception I can think of is places that are war torn or backward where if a person has anything and is peaceable it ends up being taken from them. Anywhere with rule of law it doesn't make much sense.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#11  Postby Iapetus » March 7th, 2017, 8:14 am

Reply to Lark_Truth:

Perhaps there isn't any physical evidence as of yet of the existence of a supreme being of evil, but then again there is not any evidence that says that there isn't.


You could just as validly replace, ‘supreme being of evil’, with ‘flying spaghetti monster’, ‘Santa Claus’, ‘unicorns’ or any one of a million other concepts. It has no value as an argument.

Consider this quote: "Evil is not born, it is taught." So who is the teacher of evil? Who places before us temptation that will lead us down a doomed path?


You have asserted that evil is taught – a quote without any attribution – and then ask who is the teacher. Yet you have made no attempt to justify your assertion. I could equally assert that evil is an infection, or an attack by demons, or a perception in the eye of the beholder, then ask numerous questions based on an assertion which has not been explained or justified. Moreover, your use of the terms, ‘temptation’ and ‘doomed path’ suggest that you have a fairly specific concept which you have not detailed.

It would help if you could offer a definition of what you mean by ‘evil’ and, specifically, your concept of an ‘evil being’.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#12  Postby Lark_Truth » March 7th, 2017, 11:31 am

Well yes I do have a specific concept of what I haven't detailed, but I haven't told you guys any of that because I don't want to try and force any of my own beliefs on you. What I mean by an "evil being" is a person or entity who has power that they use selfishly for their own gains and to bring mankind down into the depths of misery and despair (to put it poetically). Such an evil being would try to pervert the truth and replace some of it with falsehoods and half-truths that seem like the truth, but it isn't. It would nudge a person down a path where they would eventually almost entirely loose their freedom of choice as they become only able to choose that which is ultimately bad.
Does this help?
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#13  Postby Steve3007 » March 7th, 2017, 11:41 am

This evil being: What is her or motivation? In any story with a bad guy in it I find that I quickly get bored if the bad guy seems cartoon-like and 2 dimensional. It's much more convincing if one can see why the bad guy is as he is; even empathise with him to some extent. In your opening post you asked us to speculate as to what the bad guy in your story might do. We can't do that for 2 dimensional cartoon character. All we can say is "Boo! He's behind you!" and such like.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#14  Postby Lark_Truth » March 7th, 2017, 11:52 am

You're right Steve, an evil being who wanted to lead mankind to destruction would not be cartoon-character-like. They would be subtle, so that we wouldn't notice their influence. They would be cunning, so that they could speak to us the correct words needed to persuade us to follow them (if not intentionally) and they would be patient so that they could wait us out on our indecision.
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Re: Evil's War against Religions

Post Number:#15  Postby Steve3007 » March 7th, 2017, 1:00 pm

Yes, a good bad guy (as it were) could indeed be the Machiavellian character that you describe. But why would he want to "lead mankind to destruction"? I wouldn't find the character believable if there was no reason - nothing that I could relate to as a human being. Real-life "bad guys", no matter how destructive they aspire to be, have reasons for their actions. We can, in principle, understand them. That is not, of course, the same as saying that we can excuse them.

So in order to answer the question at the end of your OP I would still need to know what motivates this person.
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