25668, RE: god cant be evil?|
Posted by moot_point, Tue Mar-22-05 04:19 PM
An interesting interpretation of the God/Devil dualism which underscores western religion, holds that it is the cultural manifestation of a man's own psychomachia. The origin of this word dates to something like 400 AD; it is the title of a poem by Prudentius, which charts man's wrestles with psychomachia; the conflict with his soul. The modern way to understand psychomachia is to consider a small angel encouraging virtue on the right shoulder, with a small devil encouraging vice on the other. (There are echoes here of Freud's id, ego and super-ego). Of course, man is not always able to temper his behaviour in accordance what his fellow man considers as virtuous. Therefore the discourses (such as) the God/Devil dualism developed in the west. The beauty of this dualism is that the strength of organised religion in the west (thanks largely to its utility to secular institutions) allowed this dualism to transcend its metaphorical status and become 'real'; which of course is far more frightening to those upon whom it is imposed..
So then to the point.. to understand the mythical status of God as a useful metaphor in figuring forth one's own set of virtues is to be more powerful than God himself. However, to subsrcibe to the notion of God (and I suppose the Devil) as real - as prescribed by the church - is to bow in humility before him. Its your choice.
By the way, God can't be evil!