Throughout its history and teachings, religion has preached the merits of good and condemned the temptations of evil. Good and evil are principles conceived by humankind and exist independently of religions and theology. The idea of evil is deeply embedded in human existence. It feeds on bad morals and harmful, injurious behavior. To think that animals have evil intentions is extremely debatable. Animals kill for survival and weed out the weak among them through natural selection.  There are no moral issues within the animal kingdom. In the vast expanse of interstellar space and time there is no evil; only energy as it relates to the Universe. There is nothing evil about planets and stars. It seems, rather, that a mind capable of conscious thought, must introduce the possibility of intended evil.  Humans are conditioned to learn the difference between good and bad according to how it relates to society’s survival. Here, the boundaries between our instinctual and societal selves become blurry. There is no doubt that life can be cold and unfair. People die from diseases and accidents every day, but there is no evil in these unplanned occurrences. Remember, life and death constitutes one large, universal revolving door. The evolution of human existence is the factor that birthed evil. Individuals must decide what paths they choose in life according to their own personal thoughts, decisions and pressures from society. Every day, people confront situations that, once acted on, could create either a positive or negative effect on their lives and the lives of others. Religion and the treats of Heaven and threats of Hell factor into an individual’s daily decisions as they battle peer pressure, low self-esteem, addiction, greed, thirst for dominance, and the other temptations life throws our way.

It is no wonder, then, that religion was invented. Most children in western civilization are taught at a young age to believe in Heaven and Hell. We are introduced to one God and his Son. We are told that we will go to Hell if we do not believe that all we have been taught is true and God exists. If we sin and do not repent, the Devil will take our souls, and we will burn for eternity. Yet, if we embrace God, we will go to Heaven, that paradise in the sky where everyone lives in total peace and harmony. These concepts work reasonably enough when we are children, yet, as we grow older, our thoughts race and we begin to question everything we know. It is easy to become confused, lost, and angry when our questions are not answered and when we witness famine, disease, war, and oppression throughout the world. This is when the threads of religious belief begin to fray.

I believe there is no fiery damnation, nor a Satan. To believe in Satan would be contradicting your faith in God. Believing in God means you believe in one uncreated being – the Universe. If God is the only uncreated being, it cannot have an opposite like Satan. Philosophically speaking, if God represents all things good and pure, then there cannot be another being that is the opposite—all things evil and wicked. If you strip away all elements of good from a being, such as intelligence, energy, memory and matter you are left with nothing. You are not left with evil; you are left with an interstellar vacuum. Thus, evil lives on a human level and not a divine one. I believe the devil is symbolic and mortal; its true identity is our false perception of life and love: Its basis is fear and anger governed by our maligned egos. In terms of the Cosmos, there is no opposite to the Universe which is the definition of God. Clearly the contrived premise of a Devil is manmade and born here on Earth. The evil concept of a Devil has no relativity to the infinite mechanics of the Universe. At a Cosmic level that encompasses all that exists, the concept of a Devil or Hell does not even make sense – hence, it is almost a foolish notion when you look at the bigger picture.

John C. Bader

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