Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

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John Human
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Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

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When I lived in Bali, I couldn't help observing the pervasive evidence of belief in demons. And of course demons put in an appearance in the Bible, not to mention in the gargoyles of old cathedrals.

On the other hand, modern science would seem to categorically reject the existence of demons, without a clear reason why, unless it has to do with the axiomatic presuppositions of science's governing ideology of reductionist materialism.

Question: Do demons exist? What evidence is there, for or against?

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Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

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Post by AgnosticBoy »

mgb wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 11:50 am It doesn't matter. I was asked for an example of evil not evidence that some particular individual is evil. Our estimation of music is subjective but that does not mean music does not exist. Likewise with out estimation of art, literature, poetry...just because there is subjectivity does not mean they are not real things. Likewise with cruelty/evil.
I like your argument and I think that some who dismiss objective morality would be wise to amend their view to factor in your points.

However, where I disagree with you is when it comes to the knowability of evil. We can judge art and say that it is art, but it's a step further to decide whether it is "good" or "bad" art. We can look at morality in the same way. I can agree that morals exist, and presumably it is bad to violate some of them. But how do we know which ones? How can we objectively determine which is "good" and "bad" morals?

To argue any valid set of morals requires that you show an objective ontology and an objective epistemology. Even if we say that evolution or just biology determines morality, but I question that given recent findings that psychology and environment can also change biology. Neuroplasticity comes to mind.
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Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

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Post by mgb »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:12 pm
mgb wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 1:45 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:43 pm I'm not saying cruelty doesn't exist. I'm saying that determining what's cruel (especially as relates to evil) is a matter of subjective opinion.
The world is filled with it from domestic violence, bullying in the workplace, in schools, in Guantanamo - I could go on and on. Subjective opinion about any particular case changes none of this.
The courts disagree.
The courts may disagree on particular cases but they do not say violence does not exist.
AgnosticBoy wrote: Sat Dec 18, 2021 2:05 pm However, where I disagree with you is when it comes to the knowability of evil. We can judge art and say that it is art, but it's a step further to decide whether it is "good" or "bad" art.
How can we objectively determine which is "good" and "bad" morals?
I think willful cruelty is always evil. It is not merely a criminal artefact that arises out of society, it is in the mind and heart. Generally speaking the good promotes life and being and creativity and evil is destructive of these things but each instance needs to be judges in its particulars.

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Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

Post #373

Post by mgb »

William wrote: Thu Dec 16, 2021 5:17 pm
Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?
Do you mean can they be demonstrated?

Maybe 'demons' are those who don't really like existing, but while they do, they will demonstrate in their own ways, just how much they don't like existence?
Why would they not like existing?

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Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

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Post by JoeyKnothead »

mgb wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:06 am
JoeyKnothead wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:12 pm
mgb wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 1:45 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:43 pm I'm not saying cruelty doesn't exist. I'm saying that determining what's cruel (especially as relates to evil) is a matter of subjective opinion.
The world is filled with it from domestic violence, bullying in the workplace, in schools, in Guantanamo - I could go on and on. Subjective opinion about any particular case changes none of this.
The courts disagree.
The courts may disagree on particular cases but they do not say violence does not exist.
Which is sound indication that subjective values are applied to objective definitions. You will absolutely never present one moral value that's true across all times and cultures, down to the individual humans fretting em.

It's getting a bit goofy having to keep explaining to you the difference between subjective opinion and objective truth.
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Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

Post #375

Post by Tcg »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:08 am
mgb wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:06 am
JoeyKnothead wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:12 pm
mgb wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 1:45 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:43 pm I'm not saying cruelty doesn't exist. I'm saying that determining what's cruel (especially as relates to evil) is a matter of subjective opinion.
The world is filled with it from domestic violence, bullying in the workplace, in schools, in Guantanamo - I could go on and on. Subjective opinion about any particular case changes none of this.
The courts disagree.
The courts may disagree on particular cases but they do not say violence does not exist.
Which is sound indication that subjective values are applied to objective definitions. You will absolutely never present one moral value that's true across all times and cultures, down to the individual humans fretting em.

It's getting a bit goofy having to keep explaining to you the difference between subjective opinion and objective truth.
Yep. Evil is just on the one side of what humans consider bad and good is simply on the side of what humans consider, well good. However, what this has to do with the existence of demons is a mystery. Perhaps the poster who formerly attempted to argue such has given up on that endeavor.


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Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

Post #376

Post by mgb »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:08 am It's getting a bit goofy having to keep explaining to you the difference between subjective opinion and objective truth.
I understood what you meant the first time you said it. And I'm saying it does not have any bearing on the question of whether evil is real or not. None whatsoever. Our estimation of art is subjective but that does not mean art does not exist. Now, replace 'art' with 'evil'.

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Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

Post #377

Post by JoeyKnothead »

Tcg wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:33 am Yep. Evil is just on the one side of what humans consider bad and good is simply on the side of what humans consider, well good. However, what this has to do with the existence of demons is a mystery. Perhaps the poster who formerly attempted to argue such has given up on that endeavor.
I'm assumng the argument is that subjective determinations of evil are gonna somehow support the idea that if someone does what I consider evil, that'd make em a demon.
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Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

Post #378

Post by JoeyKnothead »

mgb wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 5:38 am
JoeyKnothead wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:08 am It's getting a bit goofy having to keep explaining to you the difference between subjective opinion and objective truth.
I understood what you meant the first time you said it.
Parently not, cause you keep presenting subjective arguments about it.
mgb wrote: And I'm saying it does not have any bearing on the question of whether evil is real or not. None whatsoever.
You said if the intent is to be cruel, then that supports the concept of evil. You're still stuck using subjective terms to try to prove an objective moral value.

If I kill a child but my intent is to save that child from the cruelty of this world, I've still killed a child. Does my intent to save em based on my subjective opinion about the cruelty of the world mean it's the world that's cruel, or me that's cruel?
mgb wrote: Our estimation of art is subjective but that does not mean art does not exist. Now, replace 'art' with 'evil'.
Is a picture of a toilet art cause it's been placed in a gallery? Or is it just a picture that happened to've been placed in a gallery?

At some point there, someone made the subjective determination that a picture if a toilet is 'art', so hung it up in a gallery.

You're never going to get past the subjectivity of opinion surrounding what it means to be "evil".
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Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

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Post by mgb »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 6:56 pmyou keep presenting subjective arguments about it.
I said that you are implicitly arguing that the evils of the holocaust are merely a matter of opinion. If even a single act of cruelty was committed in the holocaust or elsewhere my case is proven. You seem to be saying that no cruelty has ever happened because some cases are interpreted subjectively. If this is your argument we must agree to disagree. I have given you one case out of thousands and you refuse to accept it (Ilse Koch). It is not simply my opinion that cruelty exists it is well documented that it exists - in psychology, history, journalism etc. Constantly saying 'that's your subjective opinion' won't make this evidence go away.
You said if the intent is to be cruel, then that supports the concept of evil. You're still stuck using subjective terms to try to prove an objective moral value.
But it is not subjective. There are thousands of examples of people who were deliberately cruel. Some criminals have even written journals in which they admit their evil and hatred. You are trying to dismiss all this with merely academic arguments. Here is an interesting piece of reading for you http://acolumbinesite.com/eric/writing/ ... ournal.php
If I kill a child but my intent is to save that child from the cruelty of this world, I've still killed a child. Does my intent to save em based on my subjective opinion about the cruelty of the world mean it's the world that's cruel, or me that's cruel?
You are manufacturing a false case that does not fit my definition.

mgb wrote: Our estimation of art is subjective but that does not mean art does not exist. Now, replace 'art' with 'evil'.
Is a picture of a toilet art cause it's been placed in a gallery? Or is it just a picture that happened to've been placed in a gallery?
Therein you have the subjectivity of art criticism. But its subjectivity does not mean art does not exist.

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Re: Do demons exist? Can that be tested?

Post #380

Post by JoeyKnothead »

mgb wrote: Tue Dec 21, 2021 5:14 am
JoeyKnothead wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 6:56 pmyou keep presenting subjective arguments about it.
I said that you are implicitly arguing that the evils of the holocaust are merely a matter of opinion.
You'll never show the events of the holocaust to be "evil" outside of your own opinion. The Nazis obvious didn't think they were "evil". In fact, they thought the Jews were evil.

This is why this OP is so important - cause theists think their subjective opinion reflects a moral imperative from God himself. Then they go on to wreak havoc in the lives of others simply cause they think a god they can't show exists agrees with em.
mgb wrote: If even a single act of cruelty was committed in the holocaust or elsewhere my case is proven.
Who decides if an act was cruel?

If I rend off a rapist's penis, am I being cruel, or acting out what I consider to be the proper moral course?

Who is so proud as to declare themselves the sole arbitor of what's cruel or evil?

The theist?
mgb wrote: You seem to be saying that no cruelty has ever happened because some cases are interpreted subjectively.
ALL such cases are forever bound to the subjective opinion of the one considering em.
mgb wrote: If this is your argument we must agree to disagree.
It doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree, but I'd never use such a copout term when I can't convince others of the merits of my arguments..

My entire point is that not everyone's gonna see "cruelty" or "evil" where others might. You'll never show otherwise.
mgb wrote: I have given you one case out of thousands and you refuse to accept it (Ilse Koch).
It doesn't matter what either one of us accept. The fact is that you'll never show cruelty or evil to be anything other'n subjective opinion.
mgb wrote: It is not simply my opinion that cruelty exists it is well documented that it exists - in psychology, history, journalism etc.
Yes and no. The concept objectively exists. What I'm trying to get you to understand is beyond that, we're left to consider that concept in subjective terms, with subjective opinions.
mgb wrote: Constantly saying 'that's your subjective opinion' won't make this evidence go away.
Nor will repeatedly referencing your subjective opinion to declare this or that act cruel or evil make your assertions objective evidence of "evil".
mgb wrote:
JoeyKnothead wrote: You said if the intent is to be cruel, then that supports the concept of evil. You're still stuck using subjective terms to try to prove an objective moral value.
But it is not subjective. There are thousands of examples of people who were deliberately cruel.
Then I challenge you to present these "thousands" of people, that we may confirm their intent.

My point here is that we're still stuck with their opinion of what it means to be cruel.
mgb wrote: Some criminals have even written journals in which they admit their evil and hatred. You are trying to dismiss all this with merely academic arguments.
And "academially", we're stuck with the opinions of folksto declare what is cruel and evil.
mgb wrote: Here is an interesting piece of reading for you http://acolumbinesite.com/eric/writing/ ... ournal.php
I'm not wading through a site or article in the hope of finding what you consider pertinent to your position.
mgb wrote:
JoeyKnothead wrote: If I kill a child but my intent is to save that child from the cruelty of this world, I've still killed a child. Does my intent to save em based on my subjective opinion about the cruelty of the world mean it's the world that's cruel, or me that's cruel?
You are manufacturing a false case that does not fit my definition.
Then bring your alleged "thousands" of people here so we can have 'real' examples to work with.

Or "define" your "definition".

It's my contention you don't wanna address my scenario because it exposes the failure of your arguments .
mgb wrote:
JoeyKnothead wrote: Is a picture of a toilet art cause it's been placed in a gallery? Or is it just a picture that happened to've been placed in a gallery?
Therein you have the subjectivity of art criticism. But its subjectivity does not mean art does not exist.
And therein we see how a concept -art- can exist, while being bound to subjective opinions about it.

As I said, the concept of cruelty objectively exists. It's in determining what exactly fits the criteria where we get stuck to our subjective opinions.
Discovery is finding things that exist.
Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

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