Q: I don’t see how anyone could think that the devil isn’t real — not with all the evil that goes on in the world today. But will the devil ever be defeated? I’d like to think so, but the world doesn’t seem to be getting any better, does it? — G.F.
A: There are many, many people, including me, who do not believe in any devils (or gods, for that matter). There are common elements that are shared by many of the religions that have been fabricated by humans such as a creation myth, a great flood, the fall of man, the Hero’s Journey, a virgin birth, a messiah, and even a malevolent supernatural being (e.g., your devil). It is obvious to most Christians that the elements of older religions (e.g. Mithraism, Paganism, Egyptian and Greek mythologies, Zoroastrianism, etc.) are pure mythology. However, the Christian bible and tradition borrow heavily from these older mythologies. For someone who looks at this information rationally, it is easy to see that Christianity and the Jewish tradition from which it arose are also nothing more than human fabricated mythology. Therefore, the “devil” of which you speak is just an element of this myth.
I think Christian churches propagate the devil myth for two main reasons. First, they use the threat of eternal torment (at the hands of Satan) as a way to exert power and influence over their adherents. Second, they revert to blaming unfortunate events and malevolent actions on the devil either because they can’t explain it any other way or because they choose not to deal with the real reasons for these unfortunate circumstances.
As to your last point, I think the world is indeed “getting better”. See this post for more.
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