Outwit the Devil

So your walking down the street minding your own business, when the devil appears and he has an offer: Your soul for anything you want in return.

Now you know the old stories well enough to know how this ends. No matter what you wish for he’ll find a way to pervert your wish into something that will make you miserable. Wish for wealth, and he’ll make you a miserable old geezer who stabbed all his friends in the back to win. Wish for fame and he’ll make you a burnt-out rock star with failing health and no privacy. And so on.

All theological argument for never dealing with the devil aside, is there any one wish you could make that would withstand the devil’s devious imagination? This short essay proposes such a wish and seeks comments from others on how to improve upon it while making it as succinct as possible. In other words, how can we make the wish as “bullet-proof” as possible, contractually speaking?

The wish: I wish to be happy, heathly, satisfied and immortal.

Let’s address each point as terms of a contract.

Happy: If one is happy, then one need not specify specific material things that make one happy. For example, if wealth makes one happy, there should be plenty of wealth (or no desire for money).

Healthy: Being happy is not enough. Without one’s health one may be happy in some ways (for example, an ill grandparent watching grandchildren play), but health is an important part of cheating the devil at his game.

Satisfied: What is the point of being happy and healthy if the devil simply hides you in a deep dark cave under the earth? This part of the wish prevents one from ending up in circumstances in which one finds unfavorable. If roaming through libraries or museums, or climbing mountains gives one satisfaction, this clause allows one to continue those pursuits.

Immortal: Let’s not beat around the bush here. The devil is after our souls! It becomes more difficult (I say because some spellcasters might argue if I said impossible) for him to collect if one is immortal. The first three clauses should allow one to experience immortality in as great a comfort as possible.

Happiness, Heath, Satisfaction and Immortality provide some strong arguments for outwitting the devil. The question for we mere mortals is to find the contract’s weaknesses: How could he accept this proposal and still get what he wants?

6 responses to “Outwit the Devil

  1. wesley whiddon

    the problem is the idea of forever. while immortality implies you will live for eternity, the wish isnt specific to say that you wish to be happy, healthy, or satisified for all time. the devil would simply let you be “content” for the space of a day or less, then make you miserable and wish for death; resulting in you doing whatever you can to serve him till he grants it. either way, immortal or not, your soul belongs to him.

    i suggest adding the following clause: “for all eternity”

  2. wesley whiddon

    also suggest this clause: “for free”

  3. wesley whiddon

    you know what; why dont you wish for god to kill the devil and everyone who fell with him right then and there. problem solved.

  4. Wesley brings up an interesting point. I would agree the terms of the contract should specify that ALL components of the contract last for the same time (i.e., eternity). I will consider modifying the contract.

    As for asking God to kill the devil, I’d guess that if He wanted to, He would have done so already. Not much help there I’m guessing.

  5. I’m curious. If you are dictating that the terms of the contract include you happy and satisfied, are you giving up free will? If you, because of the contract are being forced to be happy and satisfied, you would not even have a choice in the matter. Also, if those conditions are forced upon you, the devil could indeed hide you away in a hole in the earth and you would be happy and satisfied! I actually get visions of you strapped into a straight jacket in a mental institution for all eternity where you would remain happy, healthy, satisfied….and immortal!

  6. Hmmm. On one hand, with bodam’s argument, there’s nothing one could ever wish for that couldn’t be interpreted as a loss of free will. On the other hand, as long as one is happy and satisfied, does it matter whether one has free will? Do we have free will now? Does free will exist at all? Let’s assume it does for the moment (although the topic bears further discussion), could we modify the contract to state “on my own terms” or “of my own free will.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s