Chapter 24 – Are Demons Doing Good by Acting Bad?

In Chapter 24, Team Cockroach goes to The Bad Place.  While there, we see the demons behaving badly.  It seems more of a Bizarro World rather than other views of hell.  Bad Janet insults people, trains do not run on time, they eat foods that no one likes (egg salad from a hospital vending machine), there are mirrors in bathroom stalls, and leave a conversation by saying “have a terrible evening.”   In such a world, Chidi is mistaken as a legendary torturer and is asked for his advice on torturing someone.  Chidi does not want to lie and he also does not want to contribute to the torturing or someone.  Presumably, contributing to another person’s torture is a bad thing.  However, given the metaphysical nature of the afterlife, Chidi would not be doing any wrong by helping to torture someone.  In fact, he, along with all the other demons, are doing good by torturing.

The afterlife is setup where a person’s soul deserves either eternal reward or punishment.  The role of eternal rewards goes to The Good Place and the role of eternal punishment goes to The Bad Place.  Both parts contribute to the justice of the universe.  Demons are not collecting the souls of good people and taking them to The Bad Place to be tortured.  Rather, the souls of bad people are being sent to The Bad Place.  If the demons were not torturing people, then these souls would not be getting what they deserved.

One may maintain that at least some of the souls in The Bad Place do not deserve to be there.  However, if we assume a just universe, then when the demons are torturing people, they are not acting bad, but acting good.  The demons are upholding justice.

Now, should you feel bad about torturing people?  Given the fact that the demons enjoy their work, doesn’t that demonstrate that the demons are bad?  It does not seem to be.  If you want people to do the morally correct thing, you want them to enjoy what they are doing.  Given that justice demands these souls be tortured, then you will want a class of beings who enjoy torturing those who deserve it.

Since the demons and dishing out justice, if Chidi contributes to the torturing of a soul, then Chidi is supporting justice.