Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

Why do people believe in the Devil

Posted by   + Show Post

In a recent interview in New York magazine, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia acknowledged his belief in Satan.

Scalia said that “I even believe in the Devil…..Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that…. In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore…. What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.”

Dualistic theology — the idea that the world is divided into two parts, good and evil, and that humans are affected by a constant struggle between the two for domination — is common to many religions, and especially prominent in Roman Catholicism.

Though the Catholic Church has gradually moved away from more traditional and literal interpretations of Hell and Satan, Scalia is not alone; according to a 2007 Baylor Religion Survey, over half of Americans (54 percent) “absolutely believe in Satan.”

In their book “Paranormal America,” sociologists Christopher Bader, F. Carson Mencken, and Joseph Baker note:

“Americans are deeply divided on the nature of evil. Researchers have found that a person’s views about the nature of evil and the role of evil impact other behaviors and beliefs. For instance, beliefs about Satan were a strong predictor of participation in social movements, rallies, petitions, pickets, and membership associated with the Moral Majority. More recently, strong views of religious evil have been found to be associated with intolerance of homosexuality.”

During the 2008 run-up to the presidential elections, then-Senator Barack Obama was asked by pastor Rick Warren if he believed in evil.Obama replied, “Evil does exist. I mean, I think we see evil all the time. We see evil in Darfur. We see evil, sadly, on the streets of our cities. We see evil in parents who viciously abuse their children.”

While much in religion and theology is considered metaphorical and allegorical, as Scalia notedbelief in Satan as a literal incarnation of evil is common among many Roman Catholics. Fundamentalist Christian literature contains countless books describing Satan, demons, and devils as real, literal, incarnate entities that cause a wide variety of ills ranging from marital strife and “unclean thoughts” to depression, disease and death.

Belief in a literal Satan also plays an important role in Christian eschatology, the study of end-of-days prophecies. Those who believe that the end times are upon us have been especially popular.

Perpetual doomsayer Hal Lindsey wrote a best-selling and influential 1972 book titled “Satan Is Alive And Well on Planet Earth” in which he discussed — and cited evidence of — a literal Satan walking among us. A quarter-century later Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins hit on similar themes in their “Left Behind” books that sold over 65 million copies and remain one of the best-selling fiction series in print.

Many Christians also believe that occult divination tools such as Tarot cards, pendulums, and Ouija boards can connect with, and even summon, evil spirits including Satan. Some even promote conspiracy theories involving Satan, claiming for example that credit cards and bar codes are not only “marks of the Beast” (i.e., Satan), but signs of an impending and demonic New World Order.

This is part of a broader trend of biblical literalism. Many believe that Earth was created by God in only seven days,  in the case of so-called “intelligent design” creationism, less than 10,000 years ago. Another common belief is that Noah’s Ark really existed (and that it’s periodically re-discovered on a Turkish mountain), and so on.

In Roman Catholicism bread and wine are believed to literally — not just figuratively—become the flesh and blood of Jesus as soon as the faithful put it in their mouths, in a process called transubstantiation. (Of course it is possible to scientifically determine that this does not in fact happen — an x-ray or a stomach pump could easily show that the sacrament of the Eucharist does not literally change from bread to human flesh when consumed.)

People still believe in the Devil because there’s still a need for him to exist. He still plays an important role in many people’s belief systems and even daily lives. Writer and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis, in his 1942 book “The Screwtape Letters,” wrote:

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors.”  

by on Oct. 10, 2013 at 3:27 PM
Replies (21-30):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Oct. 10, 2013 at 3:50 PM
Quoting autodidact:

what? 

Quoting Anonymous:

first response always has #followers




First response set the tone
IhartU
by Gold Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 3:50 PM
1 mom liked this


Historians have traced the foundations for the concept of Satan to the Indo-European invasion circa 2000 BCE. This migration of what are now called the Kurgan people, emigrated from what is now southern Russia into the Near East, Middle East and Europe. They were polytheists, and worshiped at least one Mother Goddess and one male God. Their religious beliefs were based on the Hindu sacred writings of the Vedas. Those who settled in western Europe became the Celtic people with their religion of Druidism and perhaps what is now called Wicca. Those Kurgans who settled in the Middle East developed religious belief along different lines. They developed the twin concepts of salvation and damnation after death. Upon dying, they believed that soul of the deceased must pass over a narrow bridge on horseback. It was called the "Bridge of the Petitioner." Rashu, a god, judged each soul and decides who is sufficiently righteous to cross the bridge and who will fall into a type of Hell with "flames and terrible smells. Once salvation and Heaven, (and damnation and Hell) were created, then the stage was set for the next logical concept: that of a Devil.

Zoroaster (a.k.a. Zarathrustra, Zarthosht) is believed by some to have lived circa 628 to 551 BCE. (Other estimates run from 600 to 6,000 BCE) He was a Persian prophet in what is now Iran. He was recorded as having been tempted by Satan; he performed many miracles and healings and was considered a supernatural being by his followers. He introduced a major spiritual reform and created what is generally regarded as the first established monotheistic religion in the world. He rejected the worship of the established trinity of Varuna, Mithra and Indra. The new religion, to be called Zoroastrianism, involved the worship of a single male god, Ahura Mazda, the "sovereign, lawmaker, supreme judge, master of day and night, the center of nature and inventor of moral law." He created the heavens and the earth. In short, he had all of the attributes attributed to Jehovah by the ancient Israelites, but with a different name. Zoroaster also recognized Ahura Mazda's twin brother: Angra Manyu, (a.k.a. Ahriman) the God of Evil. The only things that he created were snakes, demons, and all of the world's evil.  The old gods of the previous polytheistic religion became the demons of the new faith. Thus, Ahriman became the first Devil that the world has seen, and his assistants became the first cohort of demons under the control of a all-evil deity

Zoroaster taught that Ahura Mazda and Ahriman would continually battle each other until the God of Evil is finally defeated. At this time, the dead will be resurrected, a Last Judgement will divide all the people that have ever lived into two groups; the bad go to Hell for all eternity; the good go to Paradise. As author Gerald. Messandé so eloquently wrote: "The framework of the three monotheisms [Judaism, Christianity, Islam] had been erected. The Devil's birth certificate was filled out by an Iranian prophet."

autodidact
by Snarknado on Oct. 10, 2013 at 3:51 PM

your interpretation is a lot broader than mine. 

trail? what do you mean by trail? 

Quoting Kazoo22:

Whether it's an actual being or a thought/feeling/trails etc yes they all do. That's why devils was in quotations. It wasn't literal. Some religions do have metaphorical demons or emotions.

Quoting autodidact:

every one? you're familiar enough with them all to make that claim? 


Quoting Kazoo22:

It's not just Christian. Every religions has their own "devils".

Quoting autodidact:

because they were raised christian? 





Kazoo22
by Platinum Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Ha oops meant trials. 

Quoting autodidact:

your interpretation is a lot broader than mine. 

trail? what do you mean by trail? 

Quoting Kazoo22:

Whether it's an actual being or a thought/feeling/trails etc yes they all do. That's why devils was in quotations. It wasn't literal. Some religions do have metaphorical demons or emotions.

Quoting autodidact:

every one? you're familiar enough with them all to make that claim? 


Quoting Kazoo22:

It's not just Christian. Every religions has their own "devils".

Quoting autodidact:

because they were raised christian? 






mommie2madison
by Silver Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 3:54 PM
1 mom liked this

The same reason kids believe in the boogie-man.  Stupid influences.

FoxFire363
by Ruby Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 3:58 PM
No, they do not. My religion has no devil figure at all.


Quoting Kazoo22:

It's not just Christian. Every religions has their own "devils".

Quoting autodidact:

because they were raised christian? 



strontium
by on Oct. 10, 2013 at 3:58 PM

not really. Im stating that I dont believe in a "devil" because I have educated myself and I follow science and physical evidence. 


;)

Quoting Anonymous:

Quoting autodidact:

what? 

Quoting Anonymous:

first response always has #followers




First response set the tone


Kazoo22
by Platinum Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM

You believe in the Christian based God, but not in satan/lucifer?

Quoting momto2boys973:

I believe in G-d, but not Satan


Kazoo22
by Platinum Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Keep reading

Quoting FoxFire363:

No, they do not. My religion has no devil figure at all.


Quoting Kazoo22:

It's not just Christian. Every religions has their own "devils".

Quoting autodidact:

because they were raised christian? 




slashteddy
by Platinum Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 4:06 PM
My Dad's cousin literally believes the Devil makes him and his family do bad things. When he screams at his daughter for dropping his beer, for example, he comes back with, "Well, Satan got ahold of me," rather than actually fucking apologize. It's like he thinks people don't make mistakes or sin, just that Satan literally makes people do bad things, so it's not their fault.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)