LuisDantas, on 19 January 2012 - 10:39 AM, said:
That is not a problem. Not too many religions have such a concept in the first place. Originally neither did Judaism or Christianism.
Well Judaism apparently still lacks a devil:
mentions the Satan in many places. In all of these places, the Satan is an agent of God, and has no independent existence. Sometimes the Satan is conflated with various demons
, such as Asmodai
. At times there is even some sympathy for him. Commenting on the Book of Job, the rabbis
express sympathy that his job was to "break the barrel but not spill any wine."
literature and its derivative, Hasidic
literature, the Satan is seen as an agent of God whose job is to tempt one into sin
, and then turn around and accuse the sinner on high. An additional understanding of Satan is from a parable to a prostitute who is hired by the King (God) to tempt his son (a Jew
). The prostitute has to do the best she can to tempt the son; but deep down she hopes the son will pass the test. Similarly, Kabbalistic/Hasidic thought sees the Satan in the same situation. His job is to tempt us as best he can, and then turn around and accuse us; deep down, however, he hopes we will resist his blandishments.
The problem or downside of having this attitude towards Satan, is that when something epically evil happens it can be very hard to explain. Hence the massive attention played to the Holocaust
Where as it might be possible, where such an event to happen to Gnostics, or Zoroastrians, Muslims (atleast many Muslims seem ready to blame the devil for everything), a certain kind of Christian* and pagans that they would be able to say the physical world is evil/Angra Mainyu was especially powerful/Shaitan was especially triumphant/Satan was lucky then/Mars the God of War was successful...
Where as if you believe God is omnipotent and all powerful then massively evil events give you a far greater delimma, because it has certainly gone beyond mere "we are being punished for our sins" when most of the victims were children...
*Christianity, which is heavily influenced by Zoroastrianism, does give the devil more power, but more importantly gives Satan agency separate from God.
Yet still the devil isn't that powerful in Christianity either.