Satan Re: [Slate] American Religious fervor, by the numbers

Ernest N. Prabhakar (
Fri, 02 Jul 1999 08:30:00 -0700

Interesting the topics that spark a response...

I think Tom sums it up pretty well.

While we will argue about lots of details, I'm pretty sure there are things
that everyone on this list would agree are just plain evil. And the vast
majority of those things will be ones done people.

So we agree that human beings at least have some capacity for something we
would agree is 'evil', even if we argue about the connotations associated
with that.

Now, there's two ways to go with that. Either you accept a naturalistic
argument that man is entirely a part of nature, and that therefore nature
contains evil, and thus there is something beyond man which is evil.

Or else you admit man has something unique (call it 'spirit') which
distinguishes him from the rest of nature. If the rest of nature is good,
then whatever this thing is must therefore be somehow tainted with evil.
Yet we also acknowledge something called 'good', which at some level seems
to be the 'proper' harmony for the spririt. This implies an external source
for the taint.

Could be.. Satan?

Regarding evil: the best metaphor I've seen compares good and evil to light
and dark, hot and cold, etc. I'll have to find it. One can in fact imagine
a universe of uniform temperature with a high energy density, such that
there is in fact no actual dark though the concept exists.

I would argue that heaven can be considered the analogue of that state - a
place where everything is 'light'. Or love, if you prefer. And hell of
course is the opposite. Christian eschatalogy basically states the
universe diverges, and given enough time you end up in a region which is
entirely one way or the other. Though I suspect most people don't really
understand what distinguishes between the two.

Sorry to write and run, but I'm gone all weekend w/o net access. I'll try
to catch up Monday night.


-- Ernie P.

> On Thu, 1 Jul 1999, Tim Byars wrote:
> --]
> --]Still looking for one good example of the great Satan in nature.
> --]
> --]
> Man is of nature
> closed loop
> [---===tomwhore@ [] [] []]
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Ernest N. Prabhakar, Ph.D.