Demonic Perspectives

Demonic Perspectives - Demonic Perspectives The...

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Demonic Perspectives The phrase "demonic perspective" conjures up images of Wes Craven-type movies. Teens possessed by Satan run amuck in your hometown! If I had to chose a title, I’d chose a more neutral one such as religious explanations of deviant behavior. I. Theodicy It is not surprising that any discussion of the existence of evil behavior in the world would begin with religious explanations. One of the major functions of religion has been to explain the existence of evil, suffering, and death. This particular aspect of religion is known as theodicy . The sociologist Max Weber identified three major forms of theodicy within the major world religions: (1) karma (2) divine providence and (3) dualism. Taken together these explanations appear better suited to explain victimization than criminal motivation, but both are encapsulated within each model. 1. Karma : This idea comes from Eastern religions, particularly Hinduism and Bhuddism. Karma is closely tied to belief in reincarnation. One’s present condition and behavior is explained by the stored up negative or positive karma accumulated from past incarnations of the soul in previous bodies. If you are victimized or suffering in this life, bad karma is to blame. Similarly, evil persons may have inherited the negative traits of past carriers of the soul. ( In the movie Fallen police officer Denzell Washington tries to track down an evil presence that jumps from one individual to another at the moment of death. )
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However, it would be misleading to state that the doctrine of karma is deterministic, invalidates free will, or removes responsibility for actions from individuals. It is possible, for a person with bad karma to struggle against their inherited essence and live a righteous life. Similarly, a person with good karma might squander their noble inheritance by living a life of sin and debauchery. Inevitably, one will have to pay for their misdeeds or be rewarded for their good ones, but not in this lifetime. The next time the soul is reborn the fate of the new inhabited one will be determined by the new karma, now altered by the past incarnation. This process goes on repeatedly, with all rights and wrongs being worked out by the universe. The ultimate escape comes as over time the soul recognizes its higher goal of looking beyond temporal existence and toward oneness with the giant one world soul. 2. Divine providence ( predestination ): We are born good or evil (bad seed). Criminals are part of all communities, as saints and sinners are forced to live together. Ultimately it is all part of God’s plan, established before the first human ever appeared on earth. If this sounds a lot like Calvinism , you’re right. A Calvinistic God is all powerful, all knowing, and ultimately inscrutable. The idea of
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2011 for the course CCJ 5606 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at FSU.

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Demonic Perspectives - Demonic Perspectives The...

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