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Μάρκος Αυρήλιος

Σάββατο, 20 Οκτωβρίου 2012

On Demons and the Subjectivity of Evil

As has been alluded to in other articles, demons are the cause celebre.  They are better than ghosts.  They are more dangerous than ghosts.  They are more exciting and fascinating than ghosts.  Most importantly, they are better for ratings than ghosts.  However, much like ghosts, there is a fundamental problem.  There is no proof that they exist.  If you would like to read further, there may even be proof that the demon as you know cannot possibly exist.
The concept of the demon is as old as time.  Demons, unlike ghosts, by definition are evil.  It is their core, it is their entire being. This seems to be a universally accepted notion among so-called ghosts hunters (i.e. paranormal hobbyists) and self-proclaimed demonologists.  Herein lies the problem.  Evil, whatever you believe in it or not, is subjective.  One person’s definition of evil may be very different from someone else’s definition.  This further leads to yet another philosophical conundrum (perhaps to explore at another time): What motivation would a paranormal being have to, in fact, be evil?
The close-minded will claim that evil is a clear cut issue.  Evil, they will claim, is some type of malicious intent to violate the norms or mores of a particular culture.  However, since mores differ across cultures, then the definition of evil must change across cultures as well. If evil changes, then the basis for the existence of a creature or energy that is pure evil changes.
For example, is cannibalism evil?  Not everywhere.  So not all cultures would classify a cannibalistic entity as evil.  How can one thing be a demon if the basis for its evil is different from another demon in another culture that is not considered evil?  In other words, one person’s demon could be another person’s angel.
A demon should be a demon should be a demon.  Just as evil should be evil, should be evil.  However, that simply is not the case.  Now the apologist will tell you that there are different classifications of demons.  Much like someone claiming there are different classifications of Sasquatch.  It is on the claimant to prove the existence of one creature before they can mythically create additional creatures based on their unproved hypothesis.
I have been told, “Lace up your boots and come with me.  I will show you pure evil.”  My answer is, “No, you won’t.”  Like it or not, that person has no idea what I consider evil.  What I perceive as evil may not be what someone else perceives as evil.  Consider child abuse.  What one person believes is appropriate discipline, someone else perceives as abusive.  The difference is culture and mores.  Mankind may be able to create laws to define actions, but not laws to define concepts.  Mankind certainly cannot create or dictate the rules to an unknown realm that has never been proven to exist.  Without a universal constant of evil, demons, as evil, cannot exist.

Before proceeding let us stop and examine the position of this claim.  Am I claiming that demons do not exist?  No, and if you think I am, then you have already become lost in this discussion, likely biased by your own beliefs (or norms/mores).  See how that works?  The concept of demons can exist, but as an entity or spiritual form, they are not evil per se.  There is simply no proof that they are evil.  These entities may do things that are repulsive in certain cultures, but that does not make them evil.  That makes them a particular person’s concept of evil.  Evil depends on what you value.  Again, there is no constant.
Is murdering the innocent evil?  Is that a demonic act?  How about those who burned witches? How about those who kept, tortured and murdered slaves?   Were they demonic or were they reacting to the unknown within the context the time in which they existed?  These things may be bad as defined by our societal norms, but are they evil?  At what point does an act rise to a level of being considered evil?  At what point does that same act perpetrated by a spiritual force rise to the level of being demonic?
Demons, if they exist, must exist outside of the continuity of norms, mores, and ethics.  They could exist as negative energy, but not negative as defined by good or bad, but rather as an absence of positive energy.  In the realm of science, light does not equal good and dark does not equal bad.  These notions are created by the mind of mankind.  In science, one is simply something, while the other is the opposite or complete lack of that same something.
Until someone can define an item without the insertion of values in the definition, they cannot accurately define said item.  Once a value judgement is placed on an item, specifically an unproved or paranormal item, the definition is subject to argument and at its essence becomes void.  Calling a demon an evil entity is false.  Therefore, so called demonologists, who propagate such erroneous information, are frauds.  Yes, demons can exist.  However, they are just demons.  Their nature is their nature.  They are neither good nor evil.  It seems that whatever they are, they just are.  Assuming they even exist at all.

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