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Author Topic: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?  (Read 1238 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« on: July 27, 2014, 04:37:56 PM »
I've always been interested in this dilemma but it's very hard to find someone who will actually discuss it and not just explode and eject themselves from the conversation. As interested as I am in Religion, my biblical knowledge is actually quite lacking, so I'm interested in hearing from those with more insight of the Christian Bible. I'm not sure I have much to contribute myself, beyond asking for clarification and such, so consider me an observer for the most part. I will share what I have come to understand about Christianity, and if it differs from what you base your answer on, please make that clear.

So to clarify, the question is this. When the Bible is either written by, inspired by or generally in favor of God, and all we know about Satan comes from that very book, how do we know that God is the 'good' one and Satan is the 'bad' one?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 06:37:31 PM by Sabby »

Offline Question Mark

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 10:32:04 PM »
I love this topic, but I usually have a hard time finding people receptive to it.  Generally, the "god is good" catechism is so deeply ingrained in our culture that Satanists are almost universally vilified.

Practically speaking, god is good because god is an omnipotent entity (or claims to be) and has the keys to heaven (or claims to).  Satan tried to usurp him, failed, and so was cast into the corner of the universe farthest from heaven and god's presence, what we call hell.  Satan is not essentially evil, nor is god good, but their positions make the latter inherently more appealing to us humans.  After all, heaven is bless while hell is torment.  It's the same logic behind why everyone loves bartenders and there's a stigma for hanging out with funeral parlor staff.

Morally speaking, it's arbitrary, at least so far as I can tell.  God is a complete asshole in the Bible: he murders, rapes, and burns, tricks people, forces people to kill each other, incinerates entire nations on a whim, and then murdered every single person on the entire planet.  And that's only what he's done in this cycle; who knows what happened to his last creations (since god is infinite, there must logically be a "previous attempt").  On the other hand, Satan uplifted humans from ignorance and servitude, granted us knowledge, and, most importantly, gave us the power to choose our own fate.  The fact that he doesn't condemn us to hell for not believing in him is a nice bonus as well.

Just looking at their actions, Satan is obviously the good guy and god the evil guy.  But god has the keys to heaven, so we're indoctrinated to love him and revile Satan.

Fascinating stuff, really.  Working through this stuff really gives you a deep look into the primal human mind.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 11:50:39 PM by Question Mark »

Offline Oniya

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Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2014, 11:44:28 PM »
Fun fact:  (You knew I had one, right?)

Satanus in Hebrew actually just means 'the Adversary'.  Not as in 'the Ultimate Evil', but more like 'opposing counsel.'

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2014, 12:47:03 AM »
Well, in the Bible, I suppose Satan is clearly connected with wanton lust (Sodom and Gomorrah, etc) that doesn't lead anywhere and only sees to itself, but since few people here on E would buy into the view that sexuality is really only good when it aims for procreation...  ;)
 And he cheats men: his promise that Adam and Eve would become masters of the world and know everything clearly falls by the wayside.

Are there any other documents or sources than the Bible which we could accept as more fair-minded descriptions of Satan and his...methods?

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2014, 12:51:04 AM »
And he cheats men: his promise that Adam and Eve would become masters of the world and know everything clearly falls by the wayside.

How so? By the looks of it, I'd say that promise is very close to being fulfilled.

Offline Oniya

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Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 01:01:14 AM »
Well, in the Bible, I suppose Satan is clearly connected with wanton lust (Sodom and Gomorrah, etc) that doesn't lead anywhere and only sees to itself, but since few people here on E would buy into the view that sexuality is really only good when it aims for procreation...  ;)

Actually, there is some reason to believe that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was actually being inhospitable.

http://www.str.org/articles/what-was-the-sin-of-sodom-and-gomorrah#.U9Xl8rGZiDA

Hospitality is a big thing in the Mediterranean region, and is also very important to nomadic people - which the people of the Old Testament were still not very far removed from being.  There are instructions on treating foreigners living in your land 'as you do your brethren.'  And even in the New Testament there's the bit about
Quote
And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate."
(Luke 9:5)

Offline Tsenta

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2014, 02:52:25 AM »
Satanism, despite what many other "Godly" religions may portray it to be, teaches not to blindly follow command. But to think and question, thinking for oneself.   

Sure, there's always the "human and animal sacrifice" stigma but it's not actually what Satanism is actually about.

I personally avoid religions like the plague...because while yes..many great things have been done in the name of religions, many terrible things have been done as well.

Offline Dice

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Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 03:36:55 AM »
This question came up in the game Demon: The Fallen by white wolf gaming. The concept being that two things remain constant:

First, the fallen helped mankind. The idea being that at first the angels tried to please God's greatest creation, sent birds to sing wonderful music, flowers to grow with beauty and for the flowers to offer the greatest fruit. But we had no understanding as people to know what we going on. No intelligence or sense of self. Adam ate the singing birds, Eve trampled on the flowers and the fruit was left to rot. To Satin this was just foolish so he had the pair eat of the fruit so they would gain understanding of the world. The trade, we would no longer be prefect beings, but we would be intelligent beings. Thinking beings. Corgito Ego Sum. Now we where more than just creatures in the garden, we became masters of ourselves.

Second. That the idea of multiple universes is in fact true. So to make up for the paradox that God can can not in fact male a boulder he himself can not lift, he made many universes where each paradox can be nullified. So in one he can lift everything no matter it's mass, and in another he is unable to lift a marble.

Personally, I don't subscribe to the idea of a God, but both those ideas seam reasonable to me. That the idea to give the fruit to man was not to trick us, but to give us a greater understanding of what we are. To have intellectual understandings far beyond that of any other beast. If Satin gave to us the ability to be more that a cow or a horse or a mouse, I fail to see where he did anything wrong.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2014, 03:48:56 AM »
I think the point was that their crime was disobedience. According to the story, they were told not to eat from the tree of knowledge ( which seemed like a good idea ), and did it anyway. As beneficial as it may have been, it was wrong because they were told not to do it.

You see this idea repeated later on with the ten commandments. When moses comes down from the mountain with the stone tablets, he sees that despite all the miracles that  his followers had witnessed, they had all fallen in to a state of disgrace.

I think the story says something about human nature - about people in general.




Offline Dice

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Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2014, 04:10:20 AM »
Half about human nature, half about humans themselves. See if you have a child, say he is 5 and you tell him "Don't touch the stove" it will not mean a while lot. We learn by doing. One day, he will touch the stove and he will not do that again.

Now you create a man, give him no life experience and tell him "Don't touch the stove" and I would bet your outcome will be the same. In effect, if that is human nature, then the only logical conclusion is to say that God made us knowing dam well we would eat that fruit. Since it is such an ingrained part of who we are to learn though personal experience.
So then comes the logical question:

If God knew from the onset that this would all happen, but built that very need into our base nature, then who are we made for? Because if we are just doing our predestined parts in some cosmic play, who is watching on and learning from us?

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2014, 04:33:20 AM »
I've never understood the 'he created us, so we should obey him' argument. It doesn't work because what has been created, in this case humanity, is an intelligent, sentient creation, capable of introspection and desire and action. This is not an unfortunate side effect, this is by design. Even before Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they still made the conscious choice to believe The Serpent and defy God. When Adam asked God for a companion, was he not being introspective, deducing what he longed for and making a conclusion as to how to better himself and thus correct a perceived shortcoming in his existence? It's clear to me that even before they had knowledge of good and evil they still had the faculties of thinking beings.

You don't create something capable of creating it's own path in life and then demand it not do so. Doing so would demonstrate you to be cruel, incompetent, or both.

"Oh, but your parents created you, and you obey them". Correct, I obey my parents, up until the point I am mentally prepared to live as an adult myself. I do not owe my parents unwavering obedience for the entirety of my existence simply because I am their creation. If they thought so, they would be considered oppressive and immoral monsters, so why is God allowed to do just this?

Could the argument be made that Adam and Eve before they ate of the Fruit could be considered children, and thus needed Gods guidance in the same way I required parents? If you could, then wouldn't they eventually need to eat the fruit, or experience some similar event at some point in time in order to grow up? Or was God intending to keep his thinking, self driven creations at an unfinished state, never 'growing up' and thus always requiring God?

However you reason it, it just doesn't make sense.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2014, 04:44:49 AM »
How so? By the looks of it, I'd say that promise is very close to being fulfilled.

I guess that would depend on what kind of "fruits of knowledge" Satan is promising them. If it's superior or total knowledge of the workings of nature (not just how humans copulate) how the world is constructed and so on, then no, the pair don't get anything of that. But we only know the story from the side of one who was supporting God.

God's speech in answer to Job from out of the storm wind could be read as a way of showing off how far man is from living up to aspirations of knowing everything about the world, mastering the universe - and in that one, God is also settling a score with Satan ("the Accuser") though it seems to be a more friendly wager. 

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2014, 04:49:16 AM »
I think the point was that their crime was disobedience. According to the story, they were told not to eat from the tree of knowledge ( which seemed like a good idea ), and did it anyway. As beneficial as it may have been, it was wrong because they were told not to do it.

You see this idea repeated later on with the ten commandments. When moses comes down from the mountain with the stone tablets, he sees that despite all the miracles that  his followers had witnessed, they had all fallen in to a state of disgrace.

I think the story says something about human nature - about people in general.

A bit like the familiar "banned door in the castle" you find in so many fairy-tales: the princess has been told never to open that enigmatic door deep in a corridor, and one day she just has to give in to her curiosity...

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2014, 04:51:28 AM »
>.>

Does she get tied up, gagged and banged in the ass?   :)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2014, 04:55:23 AM »
>.>

Does she get tied up, gagged and banged in the ass?   :)

 ::)  :-X

Perhaps enslaved by a dark witch (Maleficent?) who then takes over the castle.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2014, 04:59:57 AM »
I guess that would depend on what kind of "fruits of knowledge" Satan is promising them. If it's superior or total knowledge of the workings of nature (not just how humans copulate) how the world is constructed and so on, then no, the pair don't get anything of that. But we only know the story from the side of one who was supporting God.

I'm pretty sure we have that, or at least the beginnings of that. We understand enough about the universe to actually simulate one being formed on a small scale. I'd say that's a pretty damn impressive display of 'superior knowledge of the workings of nature'.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2014, 05:16:00 AM »
I'm pretty sure we have that, or at least the beginnings of that. We understand enough about the universe to actually simulate one being formed on a small scale. I'd say that's a pretty damn impressive display of 'superior knowledge of the workings of nature'.

Yeah, we have some of that knowledge now, but to the old Hebrews (or anyone living before let's say 1850) the answers to the questions God is taunting Job with in his speech about the inadequacy of human knowledge vs the knowledge and power of the Lord, those answers were completely out of reach.

The Lord spoke to Job...

We know some of that now - the description of Leviathan could be transposed to mean, in a later age: Do you know how the whales live? do you know about the dinosaurs? even if no one in those days had an idea of T. Rex and the like - but suppose God had asked: do you know the years in which the Milky way was created, and just how? do you know the DNA of the earliest primate? do you know how to make men live five hundred years? - and it would have been just as much of a flat no.

Offline Cryptic Anomaly

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2014, 05:43:16 AM »
In short the winners write history, or in this case the Bible etc so God is good and Lucifer is bad.

You can compare that to other wars where the losing side has sometimes had more going for it then the winning side but of course the winners will write it to make themselves appear righteous.

Offline Beorning

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2014, 12:16:07 PM »
Fun fact:  (You knew I had one, right?)

Satanus in Hebrew actually just means 'the Adversary'.  Not as in 'the Ultimate Evil', but more like 'opposing counsel.'

Oh, I think it's more than just a fun fact: I may be mistaken, but I think that in Judaism (at least ancient Judaism), Satan was completely different figure than in Christianity.

I once read that, for ancient Jews, Satan wasn't evil... he was just an angel whose job was to test humanity. He was, sort of, a cosmic prosecutor assigned by God. It's only Christians that labeled Satan as evil and linked him to the serpent from Eden. But I may be mistaken...

BTW. I wouldn't say that, in Christianity, God isn't considered good. He is, in fact, the ultimate expression of Good. So, Satan rebelling against him did commit an evil fact.

BTW 2. I really don't think that Demon: the Fallen should be considered as a valid philosophical source. It's a game :)

Offline Question Mark

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2014, 01:32:00 PM »
BTW 2. I really don't think that Demon: the Fallen should be considered as a valid philosophical source. It's a game :)

The beauty of philosophy is that the origin or source of a philosophical assertion is irrelevant.  It's the words that matter, and the concept they represent.

I've never played Demon: The Fallen, nor does it sound like the type of game I'd enjoy, but I wouldn't dismiss it so readily.

Offline Oniya

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Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2014, 01:37:16 PM »
I wouldn't use White Wolf as a citation in a college paper, (and I'm guessing it's one of the World of Darkness expansions from the 'Noun: the Descriptor' format) but to quote a certain little green bard, 'Somebody thought of it, and someone believed it' - which is about the best description of a philosophy as I've seen.

(N.B. - I wouldn't use 'The Muppet Movie' as a citation in a college paper either.  Unless the teacher had a great sense of humor.)  ;)

Offline Question Mark

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2014, 01:47:15 PM »
I wouldn't use White Wolf as a citation in a college paper, (and I'm guessing it's one of the World of Darkness expansions from the 'Noun: the Descriptor' format) but to quote a certain little green bard, 'Somebody thought of it, and someone believed it' - which is about the best description of a philosophy as I've seen.

(N.B. - I wouldn't use 'The Muppet Movie' as a citation in a college paper either.  Unless the teacher had a great sense of humor.)  ;)

Well, a citation is a whole 'nother story.

Offline Chaosfox

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2014, 01:51:36 PM »
I wouldn't use White Wolf as a citation in a college paper, (and I'm guessing it's one of the World of Darkness expansions from the 'Noun: the Descriptor' format) but to quote a certain little green bard, 'Somebody thought of it, and someone believed it' - which is about the best description of a philosophy as I've seen.

(N.B. - I wouldn't use 'The Muppet Movie' as a citation in a college paper either.  Unless the teacher had a great sense of humor.)  ;)

But everyone loves the Muppets so surely it would fly :D

On topic now how do I know Satan is evil I cant say that I do know but I do know that anyone that try's to get me to do something I shouldn't cant have my best interest in mind though giving us access to knowledge like he did is not bad but waht we gave up for it? Though that i it self is almost another debate.

And just to touch on something else:
How so? By the looks of it, I'd say that promise is very close to being fulfilled.

Humans Masters of the world for the most part we are  but there are still things that pretty much kick are ass at times and there are a lot of things we still don't understand completely and somethings that we can not really explain and cant fully  explain so no the promise is not close to being fulfilled. Closer then back then yes but still not there.

Offline Question Mark

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2014, 02:33:14 PM »
But everyone loves the Muppets so surely it would fly :D

On topic now how do I know Satan is evil I cant say that I do know but I do know that anyone that try's to get me to do something I shouldn't cant have my best interest in mind though giving us access to knowledge like he did is not bad but waht we gave up for it? Though that i it self is almost another debate.


Self determination, intelligence, rationality, and freedom...

...or...

...endless servitude to a sadistic creator in a paradise devoid of fulfillment?

Offline Chaosfox

Re: How do you know that Satan is the evil one?
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2014, 02:41:03 PM »
Self determination, intelligence, rationality, and freedom...

...or...

...endless servitude to a sadistic creator in a paradise devoid of fulfillment?

Ah But you are forgetting a key fact had they not eaten from the tree How would we have known the difference?  So really you can not say whether or not we would have been better off or not. Yes We can say we are better off now but that is because we have that knowledge. And also how can you say he would have been sadistic had they not eaten from the tree? the endless servitude I will give you cant think of anything for that one. But  Still how do we know what it would have been like? It is something that we can only speculate on and not say whether it would have been good or bad. Again that can be considered a whole different debate to what the topic of the thread is.