October 29, 2009

Talk Of The Devil, And He Is Bound To Appear

Satan before the Lord When it comes to horror movies, the ones I like best are the ones centered around religious beliefs.  But why do movies dealing with the Devil and demons scare us more than ghosts, serial killers, or pale Japanese girls?

Ok, it is something like 84% of the population of the world believes in some type of religion, billions of people.  And as far back as human record keeping, there has been the existence of religion.  Spiritual belief goes hand in hand with human existence.  Have you notice that even children not old enough to comprehend seem to play/speak with imaginary things and friends? And babies stare at things we can’t comprehend?  But either way… Out of the 84% the spiritual believers, 66% of them all have the same God and share the same back-story (children of Abraham from the book of Genesis).  Say, if 84% of the world thinks the world’s climate is changing for the worst, and if 66% of them say it’s because of global warming it would be hard to argue that all those people are wrong.  To be able to argue the world is not changing, you would need to be smarter than the experts of those billions of people and the odds of that are like winning the lottery.  Which is why people shouldn’t argue religion.

Ok, now in the Islam, Judaism, and Christianity there is this one character that appears.  First in the exact same location, the Garden of Eden.  This character with many names, Shaytan in the Qur’an, simply the Adversary (Ha-satan) in the Hebrew Bible, and too many to list in the Christian Bible.  He tempts the first people and sets up the stage for their purpose in later accounts.  Now this character also has different purposes depending on who’s telling the story.  But exists never the less.  So he is not exactly our modern concept of the “devil”.  These books and histories are not the only places where this character or concept of spiritual supernatural personification of evil is located.  Hinduism also has gods that counter balance for example, Rahu and the satan-like god Kroni.  Even Buddhism have Mara, who tempted Buddha. Ancient Egypt had Osiris.

No matter what you believe, nobody is attracted to negativity and are careful of things that hinder success and prosperity.  Could it be movies and stories with supernatural evil is scarier than the zombie, ghost, and serial killer is because the odds of that type of encounter seem higher?  To me, the fear of a supernatural being that are god-like in influencing our well-being is scary because it’s like having a stalker that you or the police can not do anything about.  You know the stalker watching, following, and waiting and there is nothing you can do about it, you can’t run or kill it.  It’s the nervousness of being weaker and knowing something bad can happen.  In your personal life what do you find scariest and how does that influence what you find scary in movies?  I know so many people that don’t do evil things at all in their movie watching.


Side note: on the topic of religions, if you like researching you will notice many common concepts and similar stories found in many of the world religions, even religions that are worlds apart.  Noah and the world flooding is a big one that is shared by non related religions and science.

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