In our world of knowledge and science it is perhaps hard to imagine anymore, but the primary origin of religion must have been fear.
Fear for evil, for the unknown, fear for what is beyond control and then there is the question of responsibility: who or what is the cause of evil.
In this sense the devil has a longer history than the god of christianity. Almost all known religions started with some kind of devil worship.
The most remarkable feature of this idea of demons or a devil is, that homo sapiens placed the cause of evil outside himself.
This allowed him to believe, that he was not the evil doer, but that he was possessed by some evil spirit or devil.
The Old Testament devil, who cost us paradise, is actually of Assyrio-Babylonian origin from some 3000 B.C.
He is called in Assyrian Tiamtu , i. e., the deep,
and is represented as the serpent that beats the sea,
the serpent of the night, the serpent of darkness, the wicked serpent, and the mighty and strong serpent.
The Devil, Satan. is only mentioned 5 times in the Old testament. religious ideas had shifted from devil-worship to god-worship.
It was a religion of fear, for all acts of evil, of punishment, revenge, and temptation are performed by Yahveh himself, or by his angel at his direct command.
In the Book of Job, where the most poetical and grandest picture of the Evil One is found,
Satan appears as a malicious servant of God, who enjoys performing the functions of a tempter, torturer, and avenger.
As a child I was taught, that Satan was the bad guy, stimulating you to do evil things, but the greatest danger was in fact god himself.
He was the one who saw everything, knew everything and eventually he would punish you for your sins, even could send you to hell.
The belief in Satan and Hell form an essential part of early Christianity, and Christ was believed
immediately after his death on the cross to have battled with and to have conquered the prince of
Evil got its own kingdom and was personalized in Satan. We all know the face of evil as painted by Jeroen Bosch in the Middle Ages.
The saddest side of the Devil's history appears in the persecution by the Inquisition in those days
of those who were supposed to be adherents of the Devil; namely, sectarians, heretics, and witches. They were said to worship the Devil by most obscene ceremonies.
The Reformation, although in many respects a great advance did not introduce a sudden change in the belief in the Devil.
Nevertheless, the tendency becomes more and more apparent to interpret Satan in psychological terms,
and instead of expecting him in the horrors of nature or in the objective reality of our surroundings,
to find him in our own hearts where he appears as temptation in all forms, as allurement, ambition, vanity, as the vain pursuit of fortune, power, and worldly pleasures.
This was an important change. The question “Why is there evil?” got a new answer. Every one personally should honestly wage a war
with the powers of evil, and that no church, no intercession of saints, no formulas or rituals had any saving power.
In a way the Devil lost his job. Morality became in the spirit of the Reformation a matter of moral earnestness , individualism and subjectivism.
The ideas of Freud about the human mind removed the Devil as source of all evil-doing even further from the stage, except in Hollywood.
As Margret Midgley writes in het book, titled “Wickedness” (1984): “People often do treat each
other abominably. They sometimes treat themselves abominably too.
They constantly cause avoidable suffering. Why does this happen?” Yes……why does it happen? Is the Devil inside of us?
Thank you…if you have any remarks or questions, feel free….the floor is yours…
Max Chatnoir: That's right; that "descended into hell" used to be part of the Nicene creed or something. Maybe it still is.
herman Bergson: Do people still believe in such a thing as hell?
Max Chatnoir: I think fundamentalist christians do.
Max Chatnoir: Maybe even the catholic church.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe hell is very close to us now
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): look at IS
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's hell to me
herman Bergson: The most important thing that happened in the past 200 years is that the idea of evil was eventually seen from a psychological and individual perspective
Max Chatnoir: My idea of hell is las vegas. Or one of those raves.
herman Bergson: The reformation started the proces and the Enlightenment made it a fact...
herman Bergson: And today lots of evil behavior is an issue for psychology and science
herman Bergson: The devil is really outdated :-)
CB Axel: My idea of hell is crashing inn sl.
herman Bergson: So now we are left with the question...WHy do we do evil things....
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is there something in the place of that outdated devil?
Max Chatnoir: cast into outer darkness.
herman Bergson: I dont think so Beertje....
Max Chatnoir: Oh, what a good question, Beertje.
herman Bergson: we do not believe anymore in demons and evil spirits....
CB Axel: A lot of Christians still believe in hell and demonic possession.
Max Chatnoir: What do we sell our souls to these days/
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): who is we?
Max Chatnoir: ?
herman Bergson: Well some people stil like to do so, of course
CB Axel: Max, Wall Street?
Max Chatnoir: That seems to be the new satanic figure -- big corporations.
herman Bergson: this we is the educated part of Europe to begin with, I would say...
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ㋡
herman Bergson: All secular people too...
herman Bergson: And I don't think we have scientists who believe in evil spirits...
herman Bergson: as the cause of evil
CB Axel: Scientists believe in chemical imbalances in the brain as the cause of evil.
herman Bergson: Next lecture I'll confront you with a situation in which you may tell where the evil is....:-)
herman Bergson: Yes CB....an interesting point...
herman Bergson: But this would mean the end of evil.....
herman Bergson: it is just a biochemical problem.....so you do not have the question of morality here
Max Chatnoir: my new personification of evil is Chinese millionaires who pay $200,000 for a big dog and then get bored with it and send it off to the pet food factory.
Max Chatnoir: I can't believe that is chemical imbalance in the brain. It's absolute power corrupting absolutely.
herman Bergson: Yes MAx...
herman Bergson: But yet the question stands....even when you have the power....why do you act like this and not otherwise
Max Chatnoir: Well, that is a good question. I guess if all rich people don't do likewise, then maybe they DO have a wacko brain.
Max Chatnoir: The ones who buy the dogs, I mean.
herman Bergson: then you talk like CB :-)
herman Bergson: Brain malfunction....
CB Axel: They seem to have a sense that because they are rich and powerful then anything they do is fine.
CB Axel: Sociopathic
Max Chatnoir: Maybe the inability for empathy is a brain malfunction.
Max Chatnoir: Do you think that is the root of evil?
herman Bergson: I read about research on empathy in correlation with wealth...
Max Chatnoir: Oooh, tell!
herman Bergson: The richer you are the lesser empathy you seem to show...
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes true
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): poor people have more empathy than rich ones
Max Chatnoir: Like George Bush senior and the checkout computers.
CB Axel: But are they born without empathy or do they acquire it with their wealth?
herman Bergson: It sounds reasonable when you think that you can settle everything with money
Max Chatnoir: He hadn't been in a grocery store for so long, he didn't know about them.
CB Axel: That's not evil. It's just out of touch.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they know what it's like to be poor and help others who have nothing
herman Bergson: Does this mean that money can affect our sense of morality...?
Max Chatnoir: I agree, it's not evil in itself, just an indication of how money can insulate you.
herman Bergson: Well there is that song..."Money is the root of all evil"
CB Axel: But does money cause lack of empathy, or does lack of empathy make it easier to trample other people to make money?
CB Axel: "Love of money is the root of all evil."
herman Bergson: Interesting observation, CB....:-)
Max Chatnoir: I don't object to people who make something that a lot of people find useful making money on it.
herman Bergson: If you want to hear a defense of money, read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand...
Max Chatnoir: I think the problem may arise when the money starts making money.
CB Axel: I agree, Max.
Max Chatnoir: I don't have a problem with money, either. It's just a medium of exchange.
herman Bergson: Franscesco d'Ascone (if I spell the name right) has a flamboyant plea against the theiss that money is the root of all evil
Max Chatnoir: d"anconia, I think. :-)
herman Bergson: I should look it up....:-)
Max Chatnoir: I read those books when I was a kid. They were great stories.
Max Chatnoir: But everybody doesn't start from a level playing field.
CB Axel: That's because the original quote was not "money is the root..." It was "love of money is the root...."
CB Axel: It's not the money. It's the greed.
CB Axel: Having money isn't evil in itself.
herman Bergson: No, I agree...
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Francisco d'Anconia
herman Bergson: yes that is the name , Beertje...thnx :-)
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yw:)
herman Bergson: Well, I guess we can say goodbye to the Devil then :-)
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): if you see money just as a medium to exchange there is notning wrong with it, but you can do a lot of evil with too much money
herman Bergson: ANd I to you and thank you for your attention again :-)
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): some people find status and power if they have money
CB Axel: "Money is like manure. It's only useful when spread around encouraging things to grow." Or something like that.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol..i was not fast enough to write:)
herman Bergson: I almost did evil with only a coin of 10 French franks.....from before the euro....
herman Bergson: that coin is exactly the same as a oen euro piece....
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a frènkse?
CB Axel: You can buy evil for only 10 francs?
CB Axel: What a bargain.
Max Chatnoir: I want to hear this story.
herman Bergson: And I wanted to try it in a parking meter.....which is in fact immoral behavior with little money :-))
Max Chatnoir: because it screws up the parking meter?
herman Bergson: But it also fits in shopping carts that are locked together :-)
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes:)
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
Max Chatnoir: locked shopping carts?
herman Bergson: ahh...Max....interesting consideration :-)
herman Bergson: yes....
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): here they all are locked
CB Axel: Did you want to try it in the parking meter out of greed or merely scientific curiosity?
herman Bergson: here the carts are chained together....
herman Bergson: you can get a cart by inserting a coin into a slot
Max Chatnoir: Well, who knew!
Max Chatnoir: Here we have free shopping carts and expensive education!
herman Bergson: when you return the cart you can get your coin back by chaining it again to the others
Max Chatnoir: Ah! this is to get you to put your cart back. Very interesting.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): people stole too many carts
herman Bergson: Yes indeed....that is the deep thought behind this :-)
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they took them home
CB Axel: I've seen those at airports.
herman Bergson: They really do..:-)
Max Chatnoir: Yes, I see stray shopping carts around the neighborhood sometimes.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): made a bbq from those carts:)
Max Chatnoir: But I don't think that is evil, Herman. Putting your cat in the microwave -- THAT is evil.
CB Axel: The homeless use them to keep their belongings.
herman Bergson: Bu tthe idea is wrecked because even supermarkets themselves issue special fake coins for the carts
CB Axel: Carts, that is. Not microwaved cats.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it dries very quick though
CB Axel: Microwaved cats aren't good for much.
Max Chatnoir: Yes, and that is a good point, CB. A lot of evil deeds are just USELESS!
Max Chatnoir: There isn't even any excuse for doing them.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i live in a town were people eat cats..we call them "roof rabbits"
herman Bergson: eat cats, Beertje????
Max Chatnoir: Well, anybody who has to eat cats must be truly desperate.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): roof rabbit
Max Chatnoir: They are way too high on the food chain.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i live in Cats town
Max Chatnoir: Eating rats would make more sense.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i loóóóve the legs..very juicy
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): noo cáts
CB Axel: On the cats or rats?
herman Bergson looks with some worry at ravenmuse
CB Axel: I'm losing track of the conversation. LOL
Max Chatnoir: no cats. Carnivores shouldn't eat carnivores. It's ecologically irresponsible. :-)
herman Bergson: Me too :-)
herman Bergson: SO CLass dismissed ! :-)
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we dó eat cats
CB Axel: °͜°
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i lóve it
CB Axel: Good. I'm getting hungry.
CB Axel: For a pork chop, though.
Max Chatnoir: Wow, a happiness blizzard!
CB Axel: No cat or rat on the menu.
herman Bergson: In Asia they eat dogs
CB Axel nods
Max Chatnoir: Yes, sometimes very expensive dogs.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): looks at Ravenmuse.....(must be a week food)
herman Bergson: Chinese have become real consumers :-)
Max Chatnoir: Yes, the face washing is good.
Max Chatnoir: Excellent animations on that cat, Raven.
herman Bergson: A fitted mesh body, I suppose
ravenmuse Rexen: its from twi yu can see it inworld was like 3k
CB Axel: I used to have a lynx point Siamese cat who I called my white tiger.
Max Chatnoir: Pretty!
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you eat it CB?
CB Axel: No. He was my best buddy.
CB Axel: I miss him.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ow he fainted...
CB Axel: LOL, ravenmus
herman Bergson: Sad story CB...
CB Axel shrugs.
Max Chatnoir: Yes, that is a good cat. The body shaping is excellent.
CB Axel: What are you gonna do. Everyone dies.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ok..I have to go...bed time....have a goodnight all and till next time:)
Max Chatnoir: Thanks, Herman, and everybody for a good discussion.
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): (dreaming of nice bbq cat....)
CB Axel: Good night, Bertje.
CB Axel: Bye, everyone. Good discussion. °͜°
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): night CB:)
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): night Herman
Max Chatnoir: Bye, you all. See you thursday!