Monday, February 20, 2012


For those with discarded religious backgrounds, the knowledge of evil in the world becomes more painful than otherwise with the prospect that the Devil or God does not exist extra mentem.  Now we must face the absolute meaningless of evil.  There is no special providence in the fall of a sparrow.  The evil acts of Hitler, Pol Pot and Jack the Ripper have no import in any cosmological sense.  Speaking of the devil, Satan has continued to raise his ugly horned head throughout history and, yes, I’m speaking metaphorically.  Even those who believe in a literal devil, a spiritual entity with intelligence, often disingenuously slip in and out of metaphor when discussing him—and, sorry ladies, but the devil is almost always a him.  Interestingly enough, the metaphor of Satan seems to have transmogrified into reality millennia ago, only to return once again to metaphor in the modern world.  We know who the devil is and what he wants.  Scholars also know how he emerged in Western civilization and why he appears with horns and hooves.  Still, why did he ever emerge in the first place?  I mean, we can write off the supernatural and life after death as a byproduct of evolution.  The belief in a life after this one emboldens warriors to fight the good fight or it allows one group to control another.  Still, why did this whole concept of a life after death emerge from our benighted, earthly species?  That's a tough question.  How the devil should I know?