Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Evil is Finite?

The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. --Genesis 6:5-8

Thinking about Noah, it struck me when I read a post on Run With God were one of Jeff's readers suggested that when we experience "bad luck"/evil/chaos than that means someone else is experiencing good because Satan's powers are finite.

Okay, a thought like this makes me think of an Ethan Hawke/Julie Deply Before Sunrise conversation about old souls/new souls and re-incarnation. Does this concept mean that the larger the world population the more dilute Satan's power is because He and his minions can only concentrate on so many people at a time?

Some people would assume that the population of the world pre-flood could have been as much as 5-17 billion people based off Biblical geneologies and a number of assumptions. And if this is the case, and the bible would read "that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." (Genesis 6:5, emphasis mine).

I would propose that even if Satan's power is finite, than it's about as finite as the one might count the number of oxygen molecules in the universe is finite.

I think it's unhealthy and dangerous to focus on completly knowing and understanding Satan/evil/demonic forces. It'd be like meeting Jack the Ripper, Ed Gein, Charles Manson, or Jeffery Dahmer and wanting to get to know them better. A fascination with evil is unhealthy and dangerous in my opinion. If you know it's bad, run!

I guess that's what makes me a little unsettled about upcoming films that place Satan in the role of protoganist like War in Heaven, Paradise Lost, and I, Lucifer.

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Anna said...

I totally agree about the danger in watching evil films that put a spotlight on Satan or demonic forces. Mainly because different people can react to images in different ways. As far as believers, some people dont realize that their faith is undermined by such images depending on indiviual weaknesses. And as believers aren't we supposed to be wise about what our eyes see and our ears hear? I think it is naive to think that images don't have a powerful impact.

I think Satan's power is only as finite as the worlds population. Where there is humans, there is sin, where there is sin, there is Satan.

Did this make any sense or what? I am not even sure. Great post, very thought provoking.

As a sidenote, here in London, teenages are completely obsessed with gruesome horror movies like SAW. It breaks my heart that all these images are entering into the minds and hearts of teens (and kids) and desensitizing them to such topics and images.

J.D. said...

To be honest, I believe that the universe is a constant battle between God and Lucifer (I like refering to him as his real name.) I may be a lapsed catholic, but I believe more in the theology of it all. One of the major things I do believe is that without Lucifer, there can be no God, and viceversa, that good needs evil to survive, Yin and Yang. I also belive that evil has a power ike God to change the destined course of life. When Lucifer changes somethng, even so minor, it can change everything. He and God are in an immortal battle of the wills, using Earth as a battlefield. That's what I think, at least.

And concerning "Satanic" things, I think it's fair to say tht a lot of things we both can't live without and unnecassarily live without have been defined "Satanic" at one point or another. And wouldn't desensitizing, however big, be a good thing in a few ways? In this truly scary time, we all need to get away from it. And with everyone who was been desensitized, they will eventually become resensitized, having their full conscious opened to the pure evil and destruction and hatred of the world. When you are desensitized to something, you can hold with it better, which is kind of ironic, since the things like horrific violence are common in the world.

And don't get me started on the bastards of the MPAA and the damned double standards. You know, how America can withstand horrific and deplourable violence, but show a boob and get boycotted?

And how the hell is The Last Temptation of Christ evil? And explain this. It was directed by Martin Scorsese! He loves Jesus, very much so! And it never presented itself as truth, it was based on a fictional novel!

And I like yelling. Does anyone here know what the Council of Nycea? [silence] Exactly. It was a series of meetings in Nycea in present-day Turkey put together by Emperor Constantine to set up religious theology, especially to put together the Christian Bible. One thing they decided upon was the divinity of Jesus, which they decided that he was both human and divine, and I don't recall them referring to the son of God as God. That's something I've had serious fault with for a long, long time, especially since everyone seems to forget he was a human that was God incarnite, not God himself. And how can something that is fiction and justs imagines an alternate reality be evil? For what it is, it is excellent, and the people who realize that all agree.

Religion, like many things in the world, is a double-edged sword. It can faith and devotion and good, but also anger and misery and death. God, I miss the Cold War.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, RC, that one can be harmed by giving too much thought to the nature of the evil one. I also agree that while Satan is a limited creature, his limits escape our full comprehension. And yet it is worth our remembering that the degree to which Satan's power and ability exceed our own is eclipsed by how far greater God's power is. Compared to God, Satan is nothing.

Sheila West said...

"when we experience 'bad luck'/evil/chaos than that means someone else is experiencing good because Satan's powers are finite."

This smacks of yin and yang. Or else karma.

Either way, it's not Christian.

Scott Roche said...

Judge, Nycea isn't a big secret.

And while Satan and his minions certainly have power we mustn't forget that the fallen nature of man and in fact all of creation is as much to blame for the evil we see. Anyone that thinks man is basically good isn't paying attention.

"Evil" is both finite and subject to God's authority. One need only read Job to understand that.