Halloween Quote of the Day: If There Are Devils, There Must Also Be Gods

 

It’s not a good idea to confront druid ghosts who’ve taken over your 747 in midflight, freezing the place and demanding a human sacrifice.  But sometimes there’s no alternative — particularly if you’re a character played by William Shatner and the other passengers are actually about to give the ghosts what they want.

The Horror at 37,000 Feet is just that ridiculous of a movie–and just that awesome.  The philosophical talk between Shatner’s defrocked priest character and the pagan woman who’s on the side of the druids is great.  And then . . . and then there’s the last lines of the movie, delivered by the doctor in this gif. This is a character who knows what he does not know and who also recognizes the insight that may have motivated the former priest’s actions: If there are devils, there must also be gods.

You’ll also find this idea in the climactic moment of The Rite, where the doubting priest recognizes the evil in the room, concludes that G-d also exists, and starts quoting from the Nicene Creed.  I’ve been hearing this idea a lot lately, mostly but not exclusively from @jamesdelingpole: If evil is real, so is good; if supernatural evil is real, so is supernatural good; if demonic powers exist, so do heavenly; if Satan exists, so does G-d; if there are devils, there must also be gods!

Halloween has largely moved on from classic ghost movies, the Great Pumpkin, silly costumes, and kids eating candy–things I support.  It’s increasingly nightmarish, darker and darker, and sexually degenerate.  It’s . . . downright demonic.

Well, newsflash: The devils are real.  Evil powers exist. The most accurate and thorough conspiracy theory of them all is: Satan exists, and the big jerk does stuff.

But here’s some more news: Tuesday is also Reformation Day; then Wednesday is 1 November, and–besides being the day to which Halloween was once merely the eve–that is also Thanksgiving season, followed closely by Advent, twelve days of Christmas, and the real J6–Epiphany, when the Magi met little Jesus.

If there are devils, there must also be gods. Feed the kids some candy, shun the devils, and rejoice with where the year is going next.  There are also powers in Heaven!

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  1. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    I reckon the second thing is to ponder why non-physical malevolent forces would indicate the existence of benevolent non-physical forces, particularly G-d. Maybe in the next comment.

    I’ve stated this principle, but not defended it.

    There are different ways we could try to defend it. Some might be simple deductive arguments, other nuanced probabilistic arguments.  I prefer a probabilistic one, at least to start.

    One part of the argument would no doubt be the observation simply that if devils exist then the physical world is not all there is. Another would be the philosophical principle that evil is parasitic on good, and certainly not vice versa. Another would be the testimony of a great many philosophers, theologians, and religious texts to the claims that Satan and other demons are real, and also the powers of Heaven; if they’re right about half of it, maybe they’re right about the rest.

    There may be more, but I tend to think those three principles working together provide some support for the conclusion that IF there are devils, there must also be powers in Heaven.

    • #31
  2. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    W Bob (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    W Bob (View Comment):

    The devil is supposed to be a created being. A part of the created world. Like people. Therefore not part of the supernatural world. The supernatural world is uncreated.

    I would define the natural world as the physical world. But using your definition–Satan is totally not supernatural.

    Unless we are going to be Manichaeans and believe that the devil is equal and opposite to God.

    No heresy for me, thanks.

    That’s the sentiment behind “If there’s a devil there must be a god” etc.

    Certainly not. Why would you think that?

    Look, you can make that inference because Manicheanism is wrong. You just can’t do it in reverse. If Satan and demons are real, so is G-d. But you can’t conclude that they exist on the basic of G-d exist.

    Not sure I follow here…If Satan and demons are real, so is God. Isn’t that like saying that if [REDACTED] are real, then so are nice people?

    Satan depends on G-d, and not vice versa.

    Evil depends on good, but not vice versa.

    It’s a little like saying that, but not just any inference of that pattern works. The first thing is to get a rough understanding of the theory that evil is parasitic on good. It’s basic Augustine/Aquinas. Would you be interested in a few paragraphs of readable scholarship explaining it if I gave you a link?

    I reckon the second thing is to ponder why non-physical malevolent forces would indicate the existence of benevolent non-physical forces, particularly G-d. Maybe in the next comment.

    Yes, please send that.

    • #32
  3. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    I reckon the second thing is to ponder why non-physical malevolent forces would indicate the existence of benevolent non-physical forces, particularly G-d. Maybe in the next comment.

    I’ve stated this principle, but not defended it.

    There are different ways we could try to defend it. Some might be simple deductive arguments, other nuanced probabilistic arguments. I prefer a probabilistic one, at least to start.

    One part of the argument would no doubt be the observation simply that if devils exist then the physical world is not all there is. Another would be the philosophical principle that evil is parasitic on good, and certainly not vice versa. Another would be the testimony of a great many philosophers, theologians, and religious texts to the claims that Satan and other demons are real, and also the powers of Heaven; if they’re right about half of it, maybe they’re right about the rest.

    There may be more, but I tend to think those three principles working together provide some support for the conclusion that IF there are devils, there must also be powers in Heaven.

    If you were to just run into a demon, like in a horror movie, the question is why your consent to the existence of God would follow from that irresistibly. It seems that maybe you’re importing the inference of God’s existence into your definition of what a demon is. 

    • #33
  4. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    W Bob (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    I reckon the second thing is to ponder why non-physical malevolent forces would indicate the existence of benevolent non-physical forces, particularly G-d. Maybe in the next comment.

    I’ve stated this principle, but not defended it.

    There are different ways we could try to defend it. Some might be simple deductive arguments, other nuanced probabilistic arguments. I prefer a probabilistic one, at least to start.

    One part of the argument would no doubt be the observation simply that if devils exist then the physical world is not all there is. Another would be the philosophical principle that evil is parasitic on good, and certainly not vice versa. Another would be the testimony of a great many philosophers, theologians, and religious texts to the claims that Satan and other demons are real, and also the powers of Heaven; if they’re right about half of it, maybe they’re right about the rest.

    There may be more, but I tend to think those three principles working together provide some support for the conclusion that IF there are devils, there must also be powers in Heaven.

    If you were to just run into a demon, like in a horror movie, the question is why your consent to the existence of God would follow from that irresistibly. It seems that maybe you’re importing the inference of God’s existence into your definition of what a demon is.

    I prefer a probabilistic argument. It’s not irresistible.

    But on the one hand I hear materialists saying there’s no supernatural, and on the other hand Christianity saying there are G-d, angels, and bad angels.  When I encounter malevolent beings that are not physically there, it confirms that Christianity is right about at least one thing, and the materialists are wrong about everything.

    But sure–maybe I’m just hallucinating, and maybe it’s just aliens who evolved on another planet, or maybe it’s Hinduism or Islam or Kabbalist Judaism or whatever else that has the right account.  Not irresistible.

    • #34
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    W Bob (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    W Bob (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    W Bob (View Comment):

    The devil is supposed to be a created being. A part of the created world. Like people. Therefore not part of the supernatural world. The supernatural world is uncreated.

    I would define the natural world as the physical world. But using your definition–Satan is totally not supernatural.

    Unless we are going to be Manichaeans and believe that the devil is equal and opposite to God.

    No heresy for me, thanks.

    That’s the sentiment behind “If there’s a devil there must be a god” etc.

    Certainly not. Why would you think that?

    Look, you can make that inference because Manicheanism is wrong. You just can’t do it in reverse. If Satan and demons are real, so is G-d. But you can’t conclude that they exist on the basic of G-d exist.

    Not sure I follow here…If Satan and demons are real, so is God. Isn’t that like saying that if [REDACTED] are real, then so are nice people?

    Satan depends on G-d, and not vice versa.

    Evil depends on good, but not vice versa.

    It’s a little like saying that, but not just any inference of that pattern works. The first thing is to get a rough understanding of the theory that evil is parasitic on good. It’s basic Augustine/Aquinas. Would you be interested in a few paragraphs of readable scholarship explaining it if I gave you a link?

    I reckon the second thing is to ponder why non-physical malevolent forces would indicate the existence of benevolent non-physical forces, particularly G-d. Maybe in the next comment.

    Yes, please send that.

    https://rowman.com/WebDocs/9781793612984_RA_MarkBoone.pdf

    Ctr-F for paragraphs beginning with one or more of these:

    Whence, then, if every nature is good, comes evil?–read 2 paragraphs.

    Lib. Arb. 3.13 explicitly states the familiar idea of the unity of being and goodness–read maybe 3 paragraphs.

    Metaphysics, the Problem of Evil, and Desire–read as much as you feel like.

    • #35
  6. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    QuietPI (View Comment):

    Years ago when I was a reserve deputy, our training sergeant told about how he became a Christian. Early in his career in a southern California county, some officers got together at a local establishment after their shift. Having been dealing with every kind of evil for the previous eight or more hours, they came to the realization that there had to be a supernatural force for evil in the world. And if that were true, then there also had to be a supernatural force for good.

    Oct 7 had got me thinking along these lines. 

    • #36
  7. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    W Bob (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    I reckon the second thing is to ponder why non-physical malevolent forces would indicate the existence of benevolent non-physical forces, particularly G-d. Maybe in the next comment.

    I’ve stated this principle, but not defended it.

    There are different ways we could try to defend it. Some might be simple deductive arguments, other nuanced probabilistic arguments. I prefer a probabilistic one, at least to start.

    One part of the argument would no doubt be the observation simply that if devils exist then the physical world is not all there is. Another would be the philosophical principle that evil is parasitic on good, and certainly not vice versa. Another would be the testimony of a great many philosophers, theologians, and religious texts to the claims that Satan and other demons are real, and also the powers of Heaven; if they’re right about half of it, maybe they’re right about the rest.

    There may be more, but I tend to think those three principles working together provide some support for the conclusion that IF there are devils, there must also be powers in Heaven.

    If you were to just run into a demon, like in a horror movie, the question is why your consent to the existence of God would follow from that irresistibly. It seems that maybe you’re importing the inference of God’s existence into your definition of what a demon is.

    I prefer a probabilistic argument. It’s not irresistible.

    But on the one hand I hear materialists saying there’s no supernatural, and on the other hand Christianity saying there are G-d, angels, and bad angels. When I encounter malevolent beings that are not physically there, it confirms that Christianity is right about at least one thing, and the materialists are wrong about everything.

    But sure–maybe I’m just hallucinating, and maybe it’s just aliens who evolved on another planet, or maybe it’s Hinduism or Islam or Kabbalist Judaism or whatever else that has the right account. Not irresistible.

    My guess is that they are fairies or Tuatha de Danann.

    • #37
  8. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine: I’ve been hearing this idea a lot lately, mostly but not exclusively from @jamesdelingpole: If evil is real, so is good; if supernatural evil is real, so is supernatural good; if demonic powers exist, so do heavenly; if Satan exists, so does G-d; if there are devils, there must also be gods!

    Michael Knowles episode 1,372 reports that the father of the child just killed by the British government was by this argument persuaded to baptize her first.

    • #38
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I’ve been hearing this idea a lot lately, mostly but not exclusively from @ jamesdelingpole: If evil is real, so is good; if supernatural evil is real, so is supernatural good; if demonic powers exist, so do heavenly; if Satan exists, so does G-d; if there are devils, there must also be gods!

    Michael Knowles episode 1,372 reports that the father of the child just killed by the British government was by this argument to baptize her first.

    I’m thinking that sentence needs at least a couple more words to be understood.

    • #39
  10. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I’ve been hearing this idea a lot lately, mostly but not exclusively from @ jamesdelingpole: If evil is real, so is good; if supernatural evil is real, so is supernatural good; if demonic powers exist, so do heavenly; if Satan exists, so does G-d; if there are devils, there must also be gods!

    Michael Knowles episode 1,372 reports that the father of the child just killed by the British government was by this argument to baptize her first.

    I’m thinking that sentence needs at least a couple more words to be understood.

    Listen to Knowles.

    It’s a by-now fully expected situation. Government healthcare + difficult medical case + friendliness to euthanasia = government decides a kid needs to die.  The Italians gave this little girl citizenship and were all for flying her there for some last attempt to save her life, but the British government insisted on keeping her and, if I understand correctly, euthanizing her themselves.

    • #40
  11. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I’ve been hearing this idea a lot lately, mostly but not exclusively from @ jamesdelingpole: If evil is real, so is good; if supernatural evil is real, so is supernatural good; if demonic powers exist, so do heavenly; if Satan exists, so does G-d; if there are devils, there must also be gods!

    Michael Knowles episode 1,372 reports that the father of the child just killed by the British government was persuaded by this argument to baptize her first.

    I’m thinking that sentence needs at least a couple more words to be understood.

    But golly–I left out the whole main verb!  You were right even without the backstory.

    • #41
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I’ve been hearing this idea a lot lately, mostly but not exclusively from @ jamesdelingpole: If evil is real, so is good; if supernatural evil is real, so is supernatural good; if demonic powers exist, so do heavenly; if Satan exists, so does G-d; if there are devils, there must also be gods!

    Michael Knowles episode 1,372 reports that the father of the child just killed by the British government was persuaded by this argument to baptize her first.

    I’m thinking that sentence needs at least a couple more words to be understood.

    But golly–I left out the whole main verb! You were right even without the backstory.

    Yes, but the backstory was still valuable.

    I don’t know how many times this has happened with Britain’s “universal death health care,” but I’ve heard similar stories before.

    The one I remember most recently I think involved a boy who the UK wouldn’t allow to come to the US for lifesaving treatment.

    • #42
  13. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I’ve been hearing this idea a lot lately, mostly but not exclusively from @ jamesdelingpole: If evil is real, so is good; if supernatural evil is real, so is supernatural good; if demonic powers exist, so do heavenly; if Satan exists, so does G-d; if there are devils, there must also be gods!

    Michael Knowles episode 1,372 reports that the father of the child just killed by the British government was persuaded by this argument to baptize her first.

    I’m thinking that sentence needs at least a couple more words to be understood.

    But golly–I left out the whole main verb! You were right even without the backstory.

    Yes, but the backstory was still valuable.

    I don’t know how many times this has happened with Britain’s “universal death health care,” but I’ve heard similar stories before.

    I think there’ve been at least three by now.  Maybe many more I never heard about and a few I forgot.

    • #43
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