Author Topic: Does the Devil have rights?  (Read 1186 times)

Offline Geremia

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2020, 06:23:02 PM »
Just as in [rightfully constituted] civil societies, men can designate their ruler, so that once he is designated, power is given to him from above; so the same in the case of the devil; if men so choose to put themselves under his power, he then has a real legal right to exercise power over them.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2020, 07:57:13 AM »
Is simulated authority real authority, though?
Does a pretend cop have the authority to arrest me, even if I think he does?

This raises the question though: do any cops these days have real authority to arrest you? Because unlike the societies of the ancient past, modern governments do not appear to have authority. Authority doesn't just magically come out of nowhere. To have authority, you need to receive it from somebody who already has it. Modern governments don't do that... they do the exact opposite. They reject the established order and then declare themselves sovereign, and then they dupe the people into going along with it. And after having set themselves up as "the law of the land", they hold elections in order to create the illusion that the authority of the administration comes "from the people", even though it is metaphysically absurd that authority should be passed on from a non-authority-wielding populus. The chain needs to be traced back through true authority-wielders until we arrive at God. Otherwise there's no authority.

As for the devil, I have no idea whether his authority is real or illusory. But I think a case can be made that it's real (or, that it was real, at least prior to the crucifixion). Because see the book of Job; at least in that one particular instance, there was a real delegation of authority going on (God gives the devil all of Job's possessions and household). And maybe it's not limited to just that one instance. Maybe other devils, generally speaking, receive authority in this way as well. Maybe God appointed the devils to rule over the nations as a sort of chastisement, and in order to better prepare the nations for the coming of their saviour. But the devils' rule seems to have been abolished when Christ was crucified, so it's doubtful whether the devils have real authority in our day and age. More likely, their current rule is like any other sort of evil that God permits. God permits them to rule and even to oppress the people, but He doesn't give them authority to do so, nor does it please Him that they do so.


It's not simulated authority: Just as in civil societies, men can designate their ruler, so that once he is designated, power is given to him from above; so the same in the case of the devil; if men so choose to put themselves under his power, he then has a real legal right to exercise power over them. 

Who says that God automatically gives authority to every such ruler?

And what about the men who do not choose to put themselves under his power? (One example: what about unbaptized infants who become possessed through no choice of their own? Or better yet: what about infants who become possessed after having been baptised? How is it that the devil has authority over them, seeing as they never chose to put themselves under him? Or, to use the civil society analogy, what about Americans who refrain from voting? Or Americans who have always explicitly voted against the current administration? Why does the current administration have authority over them, when they never chose to put themselves under him?)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 10:20:55 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2020, 11:04:03 AM »
Just as in [rightfully constituted] civil societies, men can designate their ruler, so that once he is designated, power is given to him from above; so the same in the case of the devil; if men so choose to put themselves under his power, he then has a real legal right to exercise power over them.
Not only in "rightfully constituted societies" (I used those as an example); but in any organized group, there are leaders that are either chosen by the group, imposed by forces outside the group or members of the group that take charge. All three produce legitimate leaders with authority over the group.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2020, 11:13:10 AM »
Yes, even cops today have authority.
It doesn't matter that most modern societies operate under false principles of authority; their authority doesn't come from "the people", but from God, once the people have designated them as their leaders through elections. I have to remark, that the election of a leader by the populace, is not an illegal or illegitimate manner of designating rulers; it only the theory that the ruler (s) receive their power from the populace that is condemned.
re. The Devil's power and authority: The devil cannot tempt man or harm man more than God permits him to. But He does have God's permission and therefore His authority. For those who cooperate with God's grace, and resist the devil and his temptations, these work for their sanctification and salvation. For those who give into the devil and obey his suggestions to sin; they will have him as the unhappy lord and ruler in Hell for all eternity. However, God's mercy even extends to the reprobate in Hell; the demons cannot torment the damned more than what God permits; and God doesn't even punish the damned as much as they deserve.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2020, 12:39:19 PM »
.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 12:54:28 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2020, 01:49:55 PM »
Geremia:
Quote
And what about the men who do not choose to put themselves under his power? (One example: what about unbaptized infants who become possessed through no choice of their own? Or better yet: what about infants who become possessed after having been baptised? How is it that the devil has authority over them, seeing as they never chose to put themselves under him? Or, to use the civil society analogy, what about Americans who refrain from voting? Or Americans who have always explicitly voted against the current administration? Why does the current administration have authority over them, when they never chose to put themselves under him?)
A possessed person is under the dominion of the Devil, but the devil cannot force this person to sin, for he cannot move the will of a man directly, only through enticement. As to infants and people possessed against their will, there is no sin on their part; so the devil does not exercise full power over such persons.
Americans who refrain from voting, de facto leave the choice of who governs them to others who do vote. If they want to withdraw from the authority of the U.S. Government, they can move to another country, apply for citizenship there and renounce their U.S. Citizenship.
The reason that the current President has authority over a resident of the U.S. Even one who voted against him, is that they implicitly accept to be governed by him and the government that he represents, by remaining in the U.S. An accepting to live under U.S. Laws.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2020, 06:27:55 PM »
That was me, not Geremia.

If they want to withdraw from the authority of the U.S. Government, they can move to another country, apply for citizenship there and renounce their U.S. Citizenship.

Easier said than done. For most people, this is a practical impossibility. And even if you were in the position to leave your home country and renounce your citizenship, where could you possibly move to in order to escape the problem? There's not a single place on earth that some government doesn't already claim to have jurisdiction over. So it's clearly not the case that merely living under some government somehow means that you "implicitly accept" that government.

But I think I've found the loophole. If God automatically grants authority to whomsoever happens to be the nation's leader, then what's to stop me from simply declaring myself to live in an autonomous micro-nation populated by exactly one individual, namely, myself? I then declare myself king of my micro-nation. And, by your logic, since I now rule as king, then God necessarily makes me a king, thereby giving me the authority to make up my own laws. And since I'm no longer living in the United States but in my own autonomous micro-nation, I'm not subject to the United States's laws.

But what I'd like to ask is, where does this idea even come from, that God automatically and necessarily grants authority to whomsoever happens to be the nation's leader? Pretty sure that this isn't apostolic or scriptural, and as far as I know God never promised that much. It seems at least conceivable that the nation might be doing one thing and God might be doing something else entirely--that the nation might elect so-and-so as leader, but God simply doesn't bestow authority upon so-and-so despite the fact that so-and-so happens to be their leader.
 

Offline John Lamb

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2020, 01:23:39 AM »
That was me, not Geremia.

If they want to withdraw from the authority of the U.S. Government, they can move to another country, apply for citizenship there and renounce their U.S. Citizenship.

Easier said than done. For most people, this is a practical impossibility. And even if you were in the position to leave your home country and renounce your citizenship, where could you possibly move to in order to escape the problem? There's not a single place on earth that some government doesn't already claim to have jurisdiction over. So it's clearly not the case that merely living under some government somehow means that you "implicitly accept" that government.

The rights of government to rule is predicated on their keeping the peace and order of justice (i.e. it's not at all just an arbitrary right to wield that power that's the definition of tyranny).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tranquillitas_ordinis

Quote
But I think I've found the loophole. If God automatically grants authority to whomsoever happens to be the nation's leader, then what's to stop me from simply declaring myself to live in an autonomous micro-nation populated by exactly one individual, namely, myself? I then declare myself king of my micro-nation. And, by your logic, since I now rule as king, then God necessarily makes me a king, thereby giving me the authority to make up my own laws. And since I'm no longer living in the United States but in my own autonomous micro-nation, I'm not subject to the United States's laws.

That would be fine, but you risk putting yourself in a state of war against the surrounding US, and by isolating yourself cutting yourself off from the community.
There is a sense though in which every man's house is meant to be his own little kingdom, and his family his own little nation but integrated into the wider community.

Quote
But what I'd like to ask is, where does this idea even come from, that God automatically and necessarily grants authority to whomsoever happens to be the nation's leader? Pretty sure that this isn't apostolic or scriptural, and as far as I know God never promised that much. It seems at least conceivable that the nation might be doing one thing and God might be doing something else entirely--that the nation might elect so-and-so as leader, but God simply doesn't bestow authority upon so-and-so despite the fact that so-and-so happens to be their leader.

Again, he empowers individuals to preside over nations in peace and justice. The reason that revolution/rebellions are mostly illicit is that they are disruptions of peace and lead to injustices. However, when the leaders of nations act very contrary to peace or justice there may be grounds for revolution (Aquinas argued there can be).

Quote from: Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo anno
60. Yet while it is true that the status of non owning worker is to be carefully distinguished from pauperism, nevertheless the immense multitude of the non-owning workers on the one hand and the enormous riches of certain very wealthy men on the other establish an unanswerable argument that the riches which are so abundantly produced in our age of "industrialism," as it is called, are not rightly distributed and equitably made available to the various classes of the people.

61. Therefore, with all our strength and effort we must strive that at least in the future the abundant fruits of production will accrue equitably to those who are rich and will be distributed in ample sufficiency among the workers - not that these may become remiss in work, for man is born to labor as the bird to fly - but that they may increase their property by thrift, that they may bear, by wise management of this increase in property, the burdens of family life with greater ease and security, and that, emerging from the insecure lot in life in whose uncertainties non-owning workers are cast, they may be able not only to endure the vicissitudes of earthly existence but have also assurance that when their lives are ended they will provide in some measure for those they leave after them.

62. All these things which Our Predecessor has not only suggested but clearly and openly proclaimed, We emphasize with renewed insistence in our present Encyclical; and unless utmost efforts are made without delay to put them into effect, let no one persuade himself that public order, peace, and the tranquillity of human society can be effectively defended against agitators of revolution.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 01:28:20 AM by John Lamb »
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The Question of Catholicism.

An ominous dream.
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2020, 11:00:53 AM »
Daniel,
re. "For most people this (moving to another country) is a practical impossibility"; true, most people are stuck with the government in the country that they are born in. Too bad for most of us.
re. "Living under some government, implicitly means you accept its authority"; Yes it does; but you can defy its laws and attempt to throw off its authority, but you have to be willing to accept the consequences of the state's punitive powers, to enforce its laws.
re. "Declare yourself King"; go ahead, try to do it; but again, you have to be willing to fight and suffer to uphold your claims. If you read enough history, this has happened many times in history.
re. "Where does the idea come from that God grants power automatically to the nations leader?"
John 19.11: All power comes from above i.e. God
Quote

[11] Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin.
1 Cor. 13. 1,2)Be subject to every power for all power comes from God:
Quote

[1] Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. [2] Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation.


"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2020, 11:51:18 AM »
All power comes from above i.e. God

Yes. But this then becomes a matter of modus ponens versus modus tollens.

You assume that the American government has power, and you therefore conclude (by way of modus ponens) that it receives its power from God. I grant that the argument follows.

But it could also be argued thus: If the American government has power, then it receives its power from God. But the American government does not appear to have power from God. Therefore, the American government doesn't have power (modus tollens).

I guess this also becomes a question as to the nature of "power". Michael Wilson and John Lamb are treating it as something purely descriptive. "Person A has power iff everybody acknowledges A as their leader" or "Person A has power iff A does a good job at keeping the peace". But I myself am currently of the opinion that power isn't a description but is some real thing that is handed down or delegated. "Person A has power iff somebody with power transferred some or all of that power to A".
 

Offline Geremia

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2020, 12:06:03 PM »
The rights of government to rule is predicated on their keeping the peace and order of justice (i.e. it's not at all just an arbitrary right to wield that power that's the definition of tyranny).
👍
Yes, Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Diuturnum on the origin of civil power says the "authority" is "null" for those whose will "is opposed to the will and the laws of God":
Quote
15. The one only reason which men have for not obeying is when anything is demanded of them which is openly repugnant to the natural or the divine law, for it is equally unlawful to command to do anything in which the law of nature or the will of God is violated. If, therefore, it should happen to any one to be compelled to prefer one or the other, viz., to disregard either the commands of God or those of rulers, he must obey Jesus Christ, who commands us to "give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's,"(Matt. 22:21) and must reply courageously after the example of the Apostles: "We ought to obey God rather than men."(Acts 5:29) And yet there is no reason why those who so behave themselves should be accused of refusing obedience; for, if the will of rulers is opposed to the will and the laws of God, they themselves exceed the bounds of their own power and pervert justice; nor can their authority then be valid, which, when there is no justice, is null.
Thus, the Devil, who opposes the will of God, has no authority.
Or can it be said the Devil (partially) does God's will?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 12:09:15 PM by Geremia »
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2020, 01:19:24 PM »
Daniel stated:
Quote
But it could also be argued thus: If the American government has power, then it receives its power from God. But the American government does not appear to have power from God. Therefore, the American government doesn't have power (modus tollens).
The American government has power; but who gave it such power? Pope Leo would argue that its power comes from God; even if the American government doesn't recognize that its power comes from God. St. Paul wrote his Epistle when the known world was ruled by Rome; Rome did not recognize that its power came from God, yet St. Paul attributes the power of the Roman government to God; our Lord also, in his discourse with Pontious Pilate.
Quote
I guess this also becomes a question as to the nature of "power". Michael Wilson and John Lamb are treating it as something purely descriptive. "Person A has power iff everybody acknowledges A as their leader" or "Person A has power iff A does a good job at keeping the peace". But I myself am currently of the opinion that power isn't a description but is some real thing that is handed down or delegated. "Person A has power iff somebody with power transferred some or all of that power to A".
Power is real but not a material reality. Just like love or hate or beauty.
The men who rule our country or any other country have the means to enforce their will upon their subjects, through laws and through the forces of law that they control, they therefore have real power.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Does the Devil have rights?
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2020, 01:23:33 PM »
Geremia,
re. "Does the devil do the will of God?" Yes, for God is the one who gives the devil permission to tempt men; in order to try their virtue and the devil received jurisdiction over men because of the sin of Adam. The orders of the devil are illegitimate and must be resisted, but he does have a legitimate mission in God's providence.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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