I just finished my umpteenth re-read of the Harry Potter series which many people, including the author J.K. Rowling, compare to the Jesus story due to – spoiler alert! – both sacrificing themselves for others, being resurrected, and conquering the ultimate baddies, Voldemort and Satan, respectively.
It got me thinking.
A common argument against the existence of God is the lack of miracles or answered prayers. It seems pretty obvious to me that, for all theists’ protests that God is working in their lives daily, there are no miracles on the scale of what we see in the Bible – such as the parting of the Red Sea, even Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. A good apologist will have plenty of explanations for this seeming lack of wondrous happenings… Though they are extremely unconvincing to most of us atheists. Almost any “miracle” can be explained naturally, and if it can’t, that doesn’t automatically mean YOUR personal god did it.
In many religious people’s minds, however, unexplained phenomena and everyday “little miracles” (getting a job promotion, surviving a car accident, having exactly the 1/4 cup of milk that the recipe calls for left in the carton) are indicative of the constant spiritual battle raging between good and evil.
Most of the more theologically-minded realize that God allows Satan to roam the earth, not because he can’t easily defeat Satan, but because the battle is actually fought by winning the allegiance of human souls. (Ignoring that, especially in Christian culture, getting to heaven is exceedingly difficult and it’s more likely that most people go to hell, which would mean Satan actually “wins”. They don’t think this shit through, do they?)
Right, so, spiritual battle for people’s souls. In this battle, prayer is a weapon. Miracles are special little gifts that God tosses your way once in a while to keep you on his side, sort of like the sponsor gifts in The Hunger Games.
There are some big names in this battle who get special powers – the power to heal, prophesize, and in some sects, even harm. I am referring to people in history AND in modernity like Moses, Aaron, Jesus, Jesus’ disciples, prophets of all different sects (Mohammed, Joseph Smith), saints in Catholicism, snake-handling pastors, and some laypeople who consider themselves having certain “powers” or “gifts” of the Holy Spirit. In Nigeria, many people are considered to have powers but especially the pastors. Many laypeople consider themselves to be “prayer warriors”.
Some of the more “moderate” sects who don’t believe in these types of powers or modern miracles explain the lack due to it being a different time, miracles aren’t needed to convince people because Jesus, etc. Or that giving people too much power would be bad so God wouldn’t do that.
So we have all these people, especially notable religious figures in history, with these “powers” bestowed on them by God.
Maybe you can see where I’m going with this post. Where are the notable names in history with evil powers?
Wouldn’t “Obama the Anti-Christ” benefit greatly from evil powers bestowed on him by Satan?
If Satan and God are locked in a battle for the souls of the world, and most people are inherently evil, I’d think that a very easy way to get them on your side would be to give them evil powers! Especially since the “good” powers seem to be lacking since the time of Jesus.
Healing powers? How about harming powers? Killing powers? Mind control? The possibilities are endless!
Some might say God wouldn’t allow it, but these are the same people that say God allows children to starve or people to be raped because [free will / our responsibility / insert other asinine excuse here]. If Satan were able to offer us evil powers and God wouldn’t allow it, he’d be stopping our free will. That excuse doesn’t cut it here.
Satan obviously has the capability (or religious people think he does, anyway). He fucked with Job just for the hell of it.
In the Bible, we’re warned about false prophets, who will do signs and wonders but not truly in Jesus’ name. People think ouija boards actually contact the dead (Christians usually think it’s Satan tricking you). I wasn’t allowed to read Harry Potter because witchcraft was from Satan. Many Americans don’t even celebrate Halloween due to its occultish themes! I would say that most Christians seem to believe these types of evil powers exist.
Yet there is not one evil historical equivalent to Jesus. Or even Moses. Why don’t devil worshippers take over huge parts of the world?
When Voldemort came to power, both times, he had an inner ring of followers to whom he taught much of the Dark Arts that he had learned. They, in turn, convinced, blackmailed, and/or terrorized the common folk into supporting the Dark Lord. Or, they placed them under sinister, mind-controlling spells. And Voldemort was only the Dark wizard in Britain… In another part of the world, a wizard named Grindelwald also mastered the dark arts and became a sort of evil leader. So that’s two Dark Lords in the span of a few hundred years in the Harry Potter universe. In Star Wars, you have the Light and Dark sides of the Force. In Lord of the Rings, you have good wizards like Gandalf or evil wizards like Sauron.
Yes, we’re discussing fantasy literature but art imitates life. No matter what the nature of the power is – whether it be money, fame, technology – whenever people have power, some will use it for good and some will use it for evil.
Yet in all of history, there are no stories of dark-powered humans. No evil equivalent to Jesus’ miracles.
You’d think, as an evil Satan-worshipping atheist, I’d get some kind of perks out of it. Why else would we want to push the atheist agenda on poor unsuspecting Christians?
Arguing from a lack of miracles has been done to death. I haven’t heard of anyone arguing from a lack of evil powers, though. And in my opinion, it’s simply more evidence that Satan does not exist and by extension, neither does Jesus or God.
Let me know what you think of this analysis in the comments below!