So I have pondered good and evil, God and the Devil quite often. I guess that happens when you grow up in church and are the child of pastors. But I wonder more now that I am not a "Christian" than I did when I was a christian. Every culture I know of has recognized a deity (Christianity, Islam, Judiasm, etc) or a pantheon of deities (namely pagan religions and Hinduism. At least those are the commonly known ones). Western nations are unique in their openness to religion and variety of religions. In the US we even observe the Freedom of Religion as a clause to our First Amendment right. But this post is more philosophical thought than any real fact.
Humans typically attempt to blame someone or something for bad happenings. People normally try to avoid being to blame for something bad happening to them or another person. Just look at traffic accidents. People claim the other person is at fault during an accident. Look at the economy. Democrats often blame Republicans (Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind) for the state of the economy. Republicans blame Democrats for the state of the economy (Obama and the stimulus package). Very rarely will you find people willing to accept the blame for something happening. But what about natural disasters and things nobody can control?
When good things happen, people (when I say people I am referring to Christians and they are who I am most familiar with) thank God. When someone recovers from sickness they thank God for answering their prayers and healing the person. When people win a sports event they thank God. You used to even see people thank God when they won Oscars or other notable award. I think the reason we don't see as many people thank God anymore is because we are becoming a more secular nation. I will likely have a post discussing religion in the (hopefully) near future.
Similarly, when bad things happen people often blame them on the Devil. Many people have heard or said the phrase "the Devil has been busy!". During a natural disaster people blame the Devil or the Devil tempting Eve in the Garden of Eden to allow sin on the Earth. Again, we look for something to blame for good and bad things happening.
What if the whole concept of God and the Devil is a result of humans placing the blame for the bad on some imaginary being? But since everything in life requires balance (even though I hate saying as much just because I like to aggravate my Girlfriend. Still love you though <3 ) we have to have something good to thank for positive things. Divine good and divine bad. If we are able to blame the bad things on the Devil we can escape the blame for ourselves. This only allows us to feel better about the situation. Especially situations we cannot control. In trying to understand why bad things happen we blame the Devil. Especially when we do not understand what happened.
As I said previously we tend to thank God for good things happening. People who recover from sickness, win sporting events, etc. We like to feel we were aided by a divine being when something good happens. We even use the phrase "God bless you". As if it were impossible for good to exist without God. When someone narrowly escapes a calamity (narrowly miss being hit by a vehicle for example) we have a tendency to thank God for his intervention. As someone who served in the Military I saw people praying to God for protection before doing something hazardous. I often wondered about the effects or prayer on the human psyche. If two opposing sports teams (lets take the Patriots and Falcons for example) pray before the game, who does God help? I'm sure Tom Brady thanked God for winning but was God to blame for the Falcons losing?
No matter how much we thank God for good things happening or blame the Devil for bad things happening we are never able to know for certain of their intervention. Some things are unavoidable. We cannot prevent tornadoes. Yet. But we still blame the Devil. I think we may have created the idea for God and the Devil to have an answer for good and bad things we do not understand. But the idea of God and the Devil are so ingrained in our psyche and culture it has become a natural reaction. I don't know that we will ever stop thanking or blaming things on a divine being. By thanking and blaming a divine being we escape responsibility for the good and bad that happens to us all.
I hope this has given everyone something to think about. As I said at the beginning, this is more philosophical than anything. Until we understand and have an explanation for everything that happens we will probably continue to thank God and blame the Devil. Even if we do have an explanation for everything people will still likely thank God and blame the Devil.
One thing I am certain of however, thank you God for creating a certain wonderful plant!