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elbanditoroso's avatar

In literature, "deals with the devil" always turn about bad. Why is that?

Asked by elbanditoroso (33133points) 1 month ago

Couldn’t a devil (in literature) make a deal beneficial to both sides? After all, in contract law, a deal (a contract) must have two sides – a benefit to one side and ‘due consideration’ (meaning money usually) to the other.

So why couldn’t a ‘deal with the devil’ be mutually beneficial?

It seems like the devil is being unduly blamed.

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12 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

It is christian propaganda.

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^^^^ says Beelzebub’s agent.

Because when you make a deal with the devil, you fail to reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness and all his evil works.

ragingloli's avatar

@zenvelo
More slander by the celestial tyrant regime against history’s first freedom fighter.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Yeah. Such tales, are meant to have a message.
So. Literature cannot allow any characters to benefit from such dealings.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@zenvelo you say that (“fail to reject satan”) as if it were a fact.

But this “father of sin” stuff ignores that fact that in Judaism, Satan was seen as an agent of god that represented evil inclination, and was considered a fallen angel. In Job, Satan was just one of a group ‘the sons of God’. Judaism doesn’t see Satan as an irrational concept, and not as humanoid entity.

The whole bad reputation of Satan appears to have been invented by Christianity, ostensibly as red herring, straw man, or MacGuffin to use as a fictional adversary for Jesus.

The old “for me to be good, something else must be bad” way of brainwashing people.

As a Jew, the whole idea of satan is pretty ridiculous to me.

flutherother's avatar

It’s like voting for Trump. His promises are all moonshine but his potential for evil is real and palpable. Those weren’t heel spurs just his cloven hoofs showing.

Zaku's avatar

If you’ve got devils making deals, it’s very likely you’re deep in a religious story context that makes many assumptions about the inevitability and ultimate validity of that religion’s moral messages. That’s maybe one of the most fundamental reasons why.

But you’re also probably in a very derivative story. Another cause.

There are some exceptions in not-really-very-religious satirical stories.

Smashley's avatar

It’s a metaphor. You’re supposed to understand that metaphorical deals with metaphorical devils will always turn out bad for you in the end. The term today means to collude with those you normally wouldn’t to gain some short term advantage, which will always turn out bad for you in the end because you can’t trust devils. It’s about putting aside your principles and ignoring the larger poisonous truth in front of your face to gain something you value, and how this is a doomed endeavor.

The devil (though not real) is not interested in making mutually beneficial deals. The point is that the devil is interested in enslaving humanity. He only make unfair, exploitative and extractive contracts. You might think you’re gaining through his deal making, but it’s the devil, and that’s the point.

cookieman's avatar

Because…it’s THE DEVIL.

Does anyone think it would turn out well??

ragingloli's avatar

@cookieman
any contract lawyer worth their salt hourly rate.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s always the little things that get you.

The devil is in the details.

seawulf575's avatar

The Devil = Father of Lies. Any deal you get with the Devil will be rife with loopholes that will trip you up. If he is giving you a deal, he is benefiting far more than you will. Your side will work to his benefit. It is possible you get some benefit but it will either be short lived or your gain will hurt even more people.

Example: You have terminal cancer and you make the deal with the devil to cure you of the cancer. Let’s stay traditional and say you offer your soul when you die if he gets rid of the cancer. He takes you up on that. Cures your cancer. It’s amazing! The doctors are stunned! You are released from the hospital and are killed by a drunk driver on the way home…a drunk driver he aimed at you.

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