Where does the concept of demons being evil come from?

Hello there, I live among indigenous men with their own spiritual traditions, with Buddhists who have very little regard for outside spirit forms, and was raised a Catholic, although now I follow the traditions of an Brazilian/African religion called Umbanda (its roots are in Candomble and Voodoo as far as I can tell, with a hint of Christ in it), and in all of these traditions, different as they are, believe that demons are evil, even the Buddhists choose to name their few evil deities as demons, such as Mara, demon of Illusion in the sutras.

However, what I have seem more and more often is that demons seem to be willing to help those who reach for them, and for whatever reason, they seem to be much more effective than what all of the aforementioned traditions, minus Buddhism, would call God, I do believe that angels are also at work in here, but this really begs the question: why?

Why is it that they’re overall deemed as evil, but still work with humans in a more gray area, instead of purely evil? Also, what’s the deal with demonic possession? Why does it happen?


These are great questions. In short, I think it can be summed up to religio/political agendas as pagan deities were slowly absorbed and demonized by consolidated religions; the gods of the fallen become the demons of the victors, that sort of thing. But that is a vastly simplified version of it, to be sure.
As to the popularly prescribed ‘evil’ nature of demons, I think it is a side-effect, or symptom of the above historical context. In my opinion, good and evil are constructs of the human mind that do not actually exist. They are philosophical paradigms at best.
Regarding exorcisms, without reading too much into zealotry or mental health issues, I do find it noteworthy that only religious people become ‘possessed’. If the rules of the game as described by orthodox religion were true, then atheists should be getting possessed constantly as they make easier targets, but for some crazy reason, it’s only the devout (who you’d think would by default be harder targets/more protected) who seem to get it.


Most faiths how demons as both guardians, benevolent or malevolent. Except for maybe Christianity and a small few others.


This is, by far, one of the most interesting answers I could have read :grinning:, so, let’s say, Lucifer, many people around here seem to be rather fond of Lucifer (just making it clear, I’m not condemning it in no way, I find it super interesting to be honest), and, although with the Christian background that I have, I could be led to believe he’s evil, everytime I see the ways he helps people in here, he just seems to be a nice fallen angel willing to perform some miracles in exchange for the right things, in no way it seems to be the incarnation of pure evil I’ve read about.
Also, about demon possession, there’s the case of Anneliese Michel, from German, who was indeed a Christian, and was eventually killed by the demons possessing her, we have most of her exorcism sessions recorded in audio, I’ve heard some, and I honestly find them too chilling to doubt something spiritual is at work over there, I’d like to learn more about it.
And finally, I want to talk about Umbanda, Candomblé and Voodoo, African religions where mediums usually receive deities/entities on their bodies, and somehow it doesn’t resemble a possession at all, just a different person with a different set of skills and knowledge


Thanks, man. I really like it that you mention the chevalier of Voudoun. That kind of dedication to invocation has always fascinated me. It seems that demons, angels, and all of the myriads of spirits are just other entities out there in the universe, albeit with a different experience/perception than what we have. I’ve noticed that most of the sentient, advanced life forms on this planet seem to experience compassion to one degree or another, and it’s reasonable to assume that this is possible, if not probable, with other forms of sentient beings as well. As you pointed out, Lucifer, as well as many other ‘demons’ seem to be interested in helping us. Maybe that is their form of compassion. Idk. These are great ideas you’re bringing up.


There are beings who are hostile to human life due to their intrinsic nature, just as there are animals and microorganisms that are harmful, but that doesn’t make them evil - as in, intentionally doing harm even when not doing so, would not cause them difficulty. Shamanic traditions recognise this, and shamans learn to control and exorcise these types of beings.

Belial commanded entities like this at our first meeting: Rosier goetic ritual - #9 by Lady_Eva

If beings like that possess someone the results will not be good, and obviously a lot of major demons have the ability to harm humans. To go back to animals, horses have driven human evolution, and provided a base for civilisation, but an angry horse can kill a human stone dead with a few kicks, and they bite as well, they’re potentially very vicious.


What a pleasure to read a comment of yours in a thread of mine! So, I’ll be reading the Rosier goetic ritual in a minute, but this raised yet another question for me, which is: following the horse analogy that you’ve just come up with, is it correct to affirm that these entities we’re calling demons are, actually, neutral, and will help when asked and do harm when taunted?


it comes from opposition.

Originally, the concept of evil,
was describing someone else,
being also there, and having different goals / motives then one self.

The Demonization,
of the Old Gods,
was necessary, in the monotheistic belief systems,
due to the first law,
being formulated as:

“There shall be no god worshipped beside me.”

-Which in turn, kind of obviously, implies other Gods to be existing,
and probably not liking / being fond of, their denouncement through that Law.


I really tried to keep that short and simple,
as i’ve answered that question countless times already.




I think this is often true, but I don’t believe all the beings we call demons, or who are listed in the Goetia, are exactly alike, so some will respond differently to others. This has been my experience so far.

This quote by Aaron Leitch fits with my experiences so far:

At long last, my original Neoplatonic dualism was dissolved, and I could see the spirit realm quite a bit clearer. It’s not a place firmly divided between “above” and “below.” There are no strictly celestial entities. The most powerful of the gods and angels nearly always have the ability to come and go in the underworld at will; in fact, that is exactly what makes them the most powerful deities! The spirit world is much more akin to the animal kingdom—just one big chaotic mass of creatures living in an ecosystem. Some of them are big, some of them are smaller, some of them are friendly, and some of them are jerks. And a lot of them are all of these things at once. An entity can appear as an angel in one grimoire, yet be listed as a demon in the next—not due to some mistake on the part of a scribe who didn’t know what he was copying, but simply because that same entity could operate on both levels.

Source: llewellyn.com

You kindly say “What a pleasure to read a comment of yours” but obviously I piss off a large number of people just in the everyday course of moderating this forum, whose perception would, therefore, be very different, and I’m sure you’ve had roles in your own life, probably since schooldays, where people see you in very different ways and have completely different pictures in their minds of what you’re “about.” :slight_smile:


Well @Yberion beat me to it, but I’m posting anyway. It’s a tricky question because some religions consider any being accessible to humans to be demons, not just infernal entities. And they are evil not just because they can hurt you, but primarily because they actively oppose the work of God.

According to those religions, this is on top of being deceptively cruel and leading anyone following them to their own destruction. So truly, it has little to do with their nature or penchant for violence, which chips away at any amoralistic rhetoric.

  • Oh i agree.

That’s why i tried to keep it simple.

Well, that kind of goes back to what i just said.

The concept, of there being “one” “righteous” God,
and the others to be “false”.

And no,

I have no intention of “beating you”. :wink:

Well, in my defense, I’m new here and I’m quite fond of your posts, they’re incredibly informative, thought provoking, and inspiring in my opinion.
Still, brilliant way to make your point, I fully get it now.
So, if I go specifically to Lucifer, whom I’ve read a lot about in this forum already, regarding his existence, his role in hell, yada yada, nobody seemed to agree on which level he actually works, only that he’s frankly quite easy to evoke, is there any literature about him you’d recommend me? Or post on him you’d be able to refer me to?

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Which takes us neatly to the conclusion that if this “God” can be opposed, and not even by man (who supposedly has unique free will) then it cannot be all-knowing, all-powerful, and absolutely loving. :man_shrugging:


Definitely. That’s what I meant by you “beating me to it”, but I’ve already typed out my response. It was just too late turn back. Now I just look like your parrot. :neutral_face:


I have a question on the One Righteous God: Who is he? Another spirit much like the ones we’ve mentioned earlier? Is Adonai really his name? And wouldn’t that very statement be considered like a bully trying to take over the playground?


Not personally because I don’t have much to do with him, soz. :hamster:

Also, not really into the whole “hell” thing, though there are shitty dimensions, just as there are horrible neighborhoods and natural environments in the world.

Have a look through this: The Kybalion PDF, archived link (we don’t trade PDFs on here as a general rule but this one is okay, the text is out of copyright and the edition was given for download from the site that created it).


I’m just parroting the name I’m used to, if there’s a better one, I’d love to learn it

I’m sorry for that.

Please contemplate more,
about your own,
specific view.

  • In other words,
    how is my interpretation wrong,
    based on your viewpoint?

Naming and labelling isn’t really the issue as I see it; there are horrible dimensions and sometimes, due to the vibrational energy of free will choices, or other things, humans may find themselves in these after death and subsequently find it difficult to escape, because they are affected by the dimension, react in a way that increases the energy that drew them to it, and so become more bound to it.

My repeated experience doing all kinds of magick over long periods of time is that most souls reincarnate on earth in the same species they were previously in, with the next life somewhat influenced by choices and experiences in the previous one, and with varying degreees of memory about past lives.

Some people ascend past this, as do other life-forms, including trees, and beings we cannot perceive.