Deal with the Devil

The story of Faust is an old one, and not that original. Man makes deal with the Devil, man is duped by the Adversary, man is dragged down to hell to suffer torment unending. It’s a fairly standard “happy” Christian tale. The moral being don’t ever consort or bargain with evil. Goethe added some subtlety to the tale. Not surprising as the man spent 60 odd years working on it. His tale while having a happy ending still re-enforces the belief that any encounter with “evil” or the devil will only leave one suffering. Salvation and happiness only come from God, specifically the Christian one.

My question is where did this idea come from? What makes this a classic tale? I imagine the opposite tale goes much the same way. Who ever got out of life better because he mad a deal with God? If you are a Christian or a Muslim or whatever, don’t delude yourself into thinking your bargain with the deity of your choice is sacred or special. Stripped of its poetic language it boils down to you giving up your independence and free choice, (allegedly given to you by the very being who wants you to give it all away) your soul in exchange for happiness everlasting. A bargain that you must take wholly on faith. No one has ever come back to tell us that God (or whoever) keeps his side of the bargain. Don’t bother mentioning Job or any other lucky fellow you might happen to know. Their happiness is far outweighed by the misery of the countless millions who have made the same deal and gotten only soul crushing poverty and misery as their reward. This in sharp contrast to the Devil, who in every story I’ve ever read at least keeps his end of the bargain. The Devil unlike the Man upstairs delivers on his promises.

So if you get a chance to make a deal with Mephistopheles (a slim possibility) I’d go for it. You’ll at least get something out of it. And when and if you burn in Hell (an impossibility) rest assured you’ll be burning with all the other poor saps who made a deal with the other guy, only to compound their pain and misery!

Author: Jonathon

Would rather be out swimming, running, or camping. Works in state government. Spent a youth reading genre-fiction; today, he is making up for it by reading large quantities of non-fiction literature. The fact that truth, in every way, is more fascinating than fiction still tickles him.

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