Sympathy for the Devil

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Human Thinking and Behavior, Positive psychology | 0 comments

The Rolling Stones had a hit with the song “Sympathy for the Devil.” You can listen here:

The idea was stunning: Having sympathy for the devil. I know that some people worship the devil, but having sympathy for him is something different. Only a person of great character would have sympathy for the devil. 

I don’t interact with Lucifer, but I do encounter various types of human demons: Trolls, swindlers, crooked politicians, and so on. I typically do not have any sympathy for them. 

Call me callous.

But maybe I can do better. 

Every person who harms others, intentionally or willingly, has a story. There are reasons for their foul behavor. The reasons might include unfortunate genes, damage in utero, a harsh upbringing, many major stressors, poor models, and a myriad other influences. 

Do these human demons have free will? Could they do other than harm the people around them? 

I would like to think so, but I am not sure they have much conscious control in the long-term. They may be as bound to act in a harmful way as I am to eat a free chocolate muffin that I fear will go to waste. 

If you believe in Beelzebub, have some sympathy for him. And for the human demons you encounter. 

I will try to move myself in that direction. And I will try to say no to that chocolate muffin. 


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash



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