Monday, September 20, 2010

People, Who Believe the Devil Exists, Don’t Believe In God.

Recently during an email exchange with a friend of mine (in which I was trying to explain to him that the bible was not literally true) my friend explained to me that I was being controlled by the Devil. Although I was shocked (and yes, I’ll admit, a little bit flattered) I chose to I ignore the accusation. I was not going to be suckered into a long debate about the existence of Satan. Instead I decided to take the high road and focused on my friend’s assertion that evolution was wrong because of the fact that we humans cannot reach every part of our own body to scratch ourselves. True story.

Now that I have a little more time on my hands I decided I will take the bait and turn my attention to THE DARK ONE. Let me make a clear declarative statement. People, who believe the Devil exists, cannot also believe in God (at least not God as most of us understand him). When I Goggled the idea that people can’t believe in both God and the Devil I was surprised nothing came right up. I’m sure I did not think this up myself. Most of my philosophical and religious positions are either based on dim memories from my college philosophy class or merely reinterpretations of old Twilight Zone plots. So I assumed this idea of mine is not new. But, since it is not present in the popular discussions on the internet, I think I should take the time to explain it by offering a formal logical proof.


First we need to get some definitions out of the way. By most accounts God is the all powerful, all knowing, and all good, creator of the entire universe. That’s what most Americans are talking about when they use the word “God.” Let’s put a few caveats on this, just so we’re all talking about the same thing. Using this definition, God is not an alien who has seeded the planet with life, because that’s not “all powerful.” God is not an impersonal energy force that we merge with after we die. That is not all good. And God is not dog spelled backwards because I own a cat. All of those things might be real or not, but those things are not what most Americans mean when they use the word “God.” Those things are fertile aliens, pervasive energy forces, and dyslexic puppies.

Now, let’s talk about the Satan. The common belief is that the Devil is an angel who decided to rebel against God and as a result was cast down to hell. The Devil is still attempting this coup d’état, by causing untold pain and suffering on this planet, in an attempt to become the Master of the Universe. Despite the fact that this is a bunch of Saturday morning cartoon crap, I will still address it with my usual level of respect and decorum.

We need one more definition, the term Q.E.D. It stands for the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum, which means "that which was to be demonstrated". The phrase is traditionally placed in its abbreviated form at the end of a mathematical proof or philosophical argument when that which was specified in the premise, or in the declarative statement, has been exactly restated as the conclusion. The abbreviation thus signals the completion of the proof. In the world of rhetoric it is the equivalent of bobbing your head from side to side and saying “in your face”).

I will now show that if God exists, the Devil cannot. For those of you who think that because I am starting with the premise that “God exists” that I might be going soft on religion. Do not fear. While at work, my coworkers and I often sit around for hours arguing about who would win in a fight, Dracula or the Robot from Lost in Space. It does not mean I believe in them either.

And now the logical proof:
- People who believe the Devil exists cannot also believe in God.
- God is all powerful, all knowing, and all good.
- God created all things
- God created Satan, who rebelled against God and was cast down to hell
    where he now rules.
- The Devil is the cause of suffering in the world.
- Since God created the Devil then God is responsible for the suffering in the
    world which means God is not all good.
- A believer might say that it’s not Gods fault that Satan chose to rebel
    against God.
- But if God did not know that Satan would rebel before God created him
    then God is not all knowing.
- So God knew, when he created the Devil, that Satan would eventually rebel
    and yet God chose to create Satan anyway.
- Therefore God can still be considered the cause of suffering in the world.
- A believer might counter by saying God had to create evil because without
   evil, we humans would not be capable of perceiving good. There cannot
   be good in the world without evil, they would say.
- But God is all powerful, which means he can do anything
- This means he can create a world where good exists (and is perceived as
   such) without the necessity of evil.
- The believer would say “that’s impossible.”
- But nothing is impossible for God, if he can’t make a world that is all good
   without evil then God is not all powerful.
- If you believe the Devil exists you must believe God is ether not all good,
   not all knowing or not all powerful.
- If you believe in the Devil you do not believe in God. QED

 In your face Pat Robertson. You can’t see it but I’m bobbing my head from side to side right now.

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