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Is "Satan" really evil?





Bondings
"Satan" has received such a negative image due to christian propaganda. I don't think the poor guy/girl deserves it. Now I challenge all christians (or everyone who has ever read the bible) here, to prove me that the father of all lies is really that evil.

So (according to the bible) which evil acts did (s)he commit? And what exactly makes him/her more evil than that other biblical creature, "God"?

I think we can all agree that obvious evidence of true evilness™ include (mass) murder, genocide and (suicide) terrorism against innocent civilians (children, ...).

Obvious evidence that does not proof true evilness™ includes potential weapons of mass distruction, the 9-11 connection and the fake moon landing.
WhisperedWords
ummm...i gues the theory behind satan is that he doesnt do the crimes himself but leads other people to do them, therefore making him evil. According to the bible he did tempt eve to eat the apple from the tree of life and death...meaning that man could now sin. but i say...why did god have to plant that stupid tree in the first place? was it really needed? and doesnt that mean he tempted us aswell! Confused
The Czar
The Tree Of Life And Death? Isn't it supposed to be the Tree Of All Knowledge? I read the Bible ONCE.
WhisperedWords
yeah tree of knowledge of good and evil or something...sorry about that...
loyal
According to Islam, satan is not such a bad guy.

Infact the story of his existence is completely different to Christianity. It's the same as Jewish myth.

7:11
We created you, then we shaped you, then we said to the angels, "Fall prostrate before Adam." They fell prostrate, except Iblees (Satan); he was not with the prostrators.

7:12
He said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I ordered you?" He said, "I am better than he; You created me from fire, and created him from mud."

7:13
He said, "Therefore, you must go down, for you are not to be arrogant here. Get out; you are debased."

7:14
He said, "Grant me a respite, until the Day of Resurrection."

7:15
He said, "You are granted a respite."

7:16
He said, "Since You have willed that I go astray, I will skulk for them on Your straight path.

7:17
"I will come to them from before them, and from behind them, and from their right, and from their left, and You will find that most of them are unappreciative."

7:18
He said, "Get out therefrom, despised and defeated. Those among them who follow you, I will fill Hell with you all.

7:19
"As for you, Adam, dwell with your wife in Paradise, and eat therefrom as you please, but do not approach this one tree, lest you fall in sin."

7:20
The devil whispered to them, in order to reveal their bodies, which were invisible to them. He said, "Your Lord did not forbid you from this tree, except to prevent you from becoming angels, and from attaining eternal existence."

7:21
He swore to them, "I am giving you good advice."

7:22
He thus duped them with lies. As soon as they tasted the tree, their bodies became visible to them, and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. Their Lord called upon them: "Did I not enjoin you from that tree, and warn you that the devil is your most ardent enemy?"

7:23
They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged our souls, and unless You forgive us and have mercy on us, we will be losers."

And God forgave them (unlike in the Bible).

So really the devil is just arrogant trying to prove he is better than us, he's not that evil.
Sappho
I can't help my self i just must quote these from a classy movie Devil's advocate:

Quote:
John Milton: Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha. And while you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughin' His sick, ******' ass off! He's a tight-ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!


Quote:
Kevin Lomax: "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven", is that it?
John Milton: Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist.


I think its wonderfully said. Wink
Bondings
About the forbidden tree, wasn't that rather a very good deed of him? It gained us knowledge of good and evil. Without this ability of "moral judgement" I would hardly call us humans.
FunFunkyFritz
Bondings wrote:
About the forbidden tree, wasn't that rather a very good deed of him? It gained us knowledge of good and evil. Without this ability of "moral judgement" I would hardly call us humans.

How could we have "free will™" without eating the truits of the forbidden tree? I smell a conspiracy Twisted Evil

EDIT: added "eating the truits of the" .....
Mannix
John 10:10 says "The thief (Satan referred to in earlier verses) comes not but to kill, steal and destroy...".
S3nd K3ys
Bondings wrote:
"Now I challenge all christians (or everyone who has ever read the bible) here, to proof me that the father of all lies is really that evil.


It's prove, and I don't think there's any religion can prove either way what you're asking. Wink

All those books were written by Man. He will make of it what he wants.
redwulfe
it is funny that I saw this post, I was reading a few days ago that there is a Satan christian church. They beleive that if God is Absolutely good and Satan was once good and then fell from grace, then he could not be Absolutly evil. If he is not absolutly evil than god over the course of thousands of years should be able to triumph and cause Satans repentance. This is proven to them by the fact that the last comming and armogedon that should have already happend has not. So if Satan truely fell from the graces of god and then was redemed then only through him, a true sinner could you find forgivness and enter heaven. So they worship Satan to be redeemed through him.

Isn't religion fun.
c'tair
Well, since i dont believe in the catholic religion, and i also doubt the authenticity of the bible we read now (mayhaps it got changed over these 2000 years eh?) I cant really tell you if satan is evil. He is considered evil. Believed evil. But i never met the dude so i cant say.
Bondings
c'tair wrote:
Well, since i dont believe in the catholic religion, and i also doubt the authenticity of the bible we read now (mayhaps it got changed over these 2000 years eh?) I cant really tell you if satan is evil. He is considered evil. Believed evil. But i never met the dude so i cant say.

Well this question was only meant to be about what is literally written in the bible, just like you can discuss any other book. Whether or not you believe in the bible is a different case.

A lot of people consider "Satan" to be evil, however there is no clearly documented evil act (s)he committed (that I know of).

By contrary I can give you numerous examples of "God" committing/supporting mass murder, genocide and suicide terrorism, at least from the old testament.

So after reading the bible, why do people consider "Satan" as evil/bad and "God" as good, while the contrary seems to be the case?
snjripp
I think it could be that so named 'satan' is how people came to deal with the concept of evil. I don't exactly think there has to be one entity called satan that is the embodiment or source of evil but could be that our world is full of brokenness and people have always tried to make sense of that brokenness and one way it got dealt with is through the belief in a satan.
FunFunkyFritz
It was a very long time ago i read the bible, so i spent some minutes trying to find some true evilness™ conducted by satan in the revelations. I selected a chapter at random and there i found this:

Quote:
Revelation 12:4 Now the dragon’s tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth.
12:9 So that huge dragon – the ancient serpent, the one called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world – was thrown down to the earth, and his angels along with him

But hurling a few stars (meteorites?) to the earth is small potatoes compared to what god did to it earlier in the text.

Side note: Man, reading the revelations is like reading the manuscript of a really, really crappy B-movie. I really can't understand how some people take the Bible literally.
Mannix
Being christian and hearing my grandmother talk alot about how anyone can come to redemption(she usually starts talking about Jeffery Dommer). I actually thought about this, what if satan accepted jesus as his savior? Interesting idea, though I decided not to bring it up around her because she probably would have yelled at me like "That kind of thought will get you nowhere but hell!". Kinda interesting family I have, on one hand I have the drunken gamblers, on the other born again christians.

How satan was evil and god good was explained to me like this, if you follow in the ways on the jesus, you have the protection of god(good stuff happens). On the other hand, by straying from them, you lose said protection and open yourself to the devil(bad stuff happens). Why bad stuff happens to good people was explained as people "slipping up" and giving into temptation, and then the enemy strikes. The thief(satan) comes not but to steal kill and destroy, and if you let him in, he will. That's how they tought me as a kid.

Wow, I just abandoned logic Smile.
CrimsonStrange
To all who read this reply;
I am NOT a religious person and don't know much about it and will not pretend to know much about it. If I give names for reference, I had to look them up, ok? I'm just voicing my opinion, guys.

I think Marilyn Manson said something to this effect years ago, and I'm sure many other people besides him have said the same thing...

"Good is what you like, evil is what you don't like."

And you could substitute the word "like" with "understand, believe, fear", etc.

I agree with that, wholeheartedly.
I've always thought that there was a very fine, blurry line between what we humans choose to call God & Satan and the ideas, characteristics & moral standing (or lack of) associated with the two.

I also think that popular media (like movies, TV shows & novels) have given us a more "average person" view of good & evil that's easier to comprehend than anything a religious leader has ever shown us or told us.

(Not to imply that a movie is right as opposed to someone like, say, Gene Scott or The Pope or Louis Farrakhan. (and of course, that list could go on forever.) But movies are more... relevant, because they present versions of good & evil that we can actually relate to and logically understand. We know that they're fictional, but they make us take a deeper look at concepts that we might've only glanced at in the past.

Human beings have this need to understand why things happen, and using God & Satan as ultimate reasons and answers for why seemed like & still seems like a logical choice to explain the incomprehensible.

It's really a brilliant concept, if you stop and think about it: -

Two ideas which are cryptic and all-encompassing, that human beings can accept based on pure spiritual belief;
those ideas can be used to manipulate events, justify actions, and initiate change;
these ideas of pure good and pure evil are too big to be completely dissected, proven or disproven, simply because not enough is known about those 2 ideas by the people who believe in them or promote them...
Therefore, they become explanations for just about anything and everything.

Sounds like a great plot for a movie, huh? Wink
the_mariska
To be honest, this is quite an interesting question. I have no doubts about it for a long time, as I believed that Satan was the personification of everything evil [however, what do we consider as evil is also dependable on our point of view Wink].

One day I came upon some passages from LaVey satanistic books, called by some the Bible of Satan. I have read some, and they said something like this:
"Do unto the others, as you wish they did to you, but if someone hurts you, take a few times worse revenge".
"You are the Lord of yourself, and Satan is only a symbol of the power inside you."
"Your life is the most valuable and wonderful thing in the world, so take out of it as much as you can."
"Never kill any animal, unless defending yourself or for food. "
"You are the most important one in the world."

[-This are not quotes, but have the same meaning as what I read there.-]

I thought, well, maybe the "satan" is not as bad as we think. It's only the philosophy of hedonism, nothing more. No ritual murders, no fanatic hate, no church devastation, it's simply the attitude of many normal people around. But when I thought about it a bit deeper, I realised that this kind of satanism is probably even more dangerous. Because it leads to pure egoism. And egoism makes us unable to love, unable to find any deeper sense in our lifes, unable to be truly happy, as you can't be truly happy if you don't share your happiness. Isn't that evil? Rolling Eyes
AG007
Clearly I see that because of Adam and Eve eating that apple, is affecting you people. lol

----------------------------------------

-=My theory=-

Ok... Satan was created by God. He was perfect on the beggining but later he wanted to be like God. He had some powers an yet he though if he had some angels he could overthrow God. Big mistake! He was thrown out of heave to the earth. He tooks some angels as well.
Take a look at this http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/lucifer.html

Yes, Satan is better than Us. He has manage to have many people on his side, and by people I mean humans. Why is he so powerful? because he studies! (besides his powers) He knows the Bible inside out. He knows how to confuse, etc. He knows history, etc. So he has lots of experience, we are just a bunch of N00bs for him.

Before Jesus Christ came. The only way to get to God was throw follow his commandes (Laws set by God, to the Israelites). Blood was always necessary for the forgiveness of ones soul, that's why they had lamb sacrifices. But that only was saving Israel and some other that wanted to be like the Jews. Satan always worked with Israel to commit sin. We can see that throw out Old Testament.

Population grew therefore there needed to be a way to reach the other nations. Therefore Jesus, the son of God, came to the earth with one purpose, to show the new way and only way that for his time on was going to be imposed. His sacrifised in the cross was in representation like in the Old Testament of the blood of a lamb. Because he was the Son of God the value of the sacrifice was waaaaaayy greater than that of a animal. Therefore all humanity is paid for (literary speaking). Your part now is to accept what He did in that Cross, and you would have his forgiveness, and you would enter his Kingdom for eternity.
Take a look at John 3:16.

Therefore now Satan is fightting more than ever, to gain sould to his sides, because he sees that Christianity is growing. Besides I think the end is coming soon, but not sure, it could be 100 years for now, or just 1 day. jeje

God is going to punish Satan along with all the humans that will follow him. He is going to punish because God said so and God does not lie.
Take a look at this http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2561
Take a look at Revelations 20:1.

Satan did not did us a favor, when he convice Eve to eat the apple. Yes it made us realize what is good and evil. But because of that we are set apart from God. Now is harder to find out the true path to heave (some people even question, if it even exist). So Satan acomplished a big goal in his battle, because by default we are all sinners.

By the Way there is no middle ground, b/w God and Satan. You are either going to heaven or otherwise...

Greetings!!! I hope you find your way....

--------------------------------------------

Written by: ME
Please question me! Or correct me!
The Conspirator
the_mariska wrote:
To be honest, this is quite an interesting question. I have no doubts about it for a long time, as I believed that Satan was the personification of everything evil [however, what do we consider as evil is also dependable on our point of view Wink].

One day I came upon some passages from LaVey satanistic books, called by some the Bible of Satan. I have read some, and they said something like this:
"Do unto the others, as you wish they did to you, but if someone hurts you, take a few times worse revenge".
"You are the Lord of yourself, and Satan is only a symbol of the power inside you."
"Your life is the most valuable and wonderful thing in the world, so take out of it as much as you can."
"Never kill any animal, unless defending yourself or for food. "
"You are the most important one in the world."

[-This are not quotes, but have the same meaning as what I read there.-]

I thought, well, maybe the "satan" is not as bad as we think. It's only the philosophy of hedonism, nothing more. No ritual murders, no fanatic hate, no church devastation, it's simply the attitude of many normal people around. But when I thought about it a bit deeper, I realised that this kind of satanism is probably even more dangerous. Because it leads to pure egoism. And egoism makes us unable to love, unable to find any deeper sense in our lifes, unable to be truly happy, as you can't be truly happy if you don't share your happiness. Isn't that evil? Rolling Eyes


The Church of Satan and the followers of the philosephy and teachings og Levay don't beleve in God or the Devel. They use Satan as a symble.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaVeyan_Satanism
thim
Nah, he's pretty cool. I blame Christians for giving him a bad name. I mean, where would we be without Satan? No Satan means no hell right? Imagine how much life would suck here on earth if there was no hell. Everybody could just do as they please without so much as a thought that there might be some divine retribution waiting for them in the afterlife. And think about it from God's perspective. Part of the fun for God is choosing who gets into heaven and who doesnt. He's like the Dean of Admissions at a very prestiguous university. Now what if Harvard opened their doors to every bum who applied. There'd be no difference between Harvard and San Diego State. It would be pointless. So I think we should take a time out and thank Satan for all that he's done for us.
Nikkori
Satan is not just evil, but the devil. Confused
curnow
well i dont believe in satan god or any of the crap. but if satan was real he would be very good, as god with his apparently unlimited power could unleash very lets say "undesired" things and would need a rival like satan to keep him in check, and all those who believe in satan dont neccesarily believe in the same satan that christians do. just use the same word. but since neither are real it doesnt matter unless you use them symbolically to describe something that other words cant.
mariska describes what i totally think. like for example read the bible now who is the true evil? set in writting to seem good, god gives original sin which i dont find holy and he had people sacrifice animals for him, kill animals for ritual.um read between the lines in the bible >>
god is racist
sexist
homophobic
opinionated
disrespectfull of other peoples views and beliefs<< and many more. if god was real.

[quote=the_mariska]
"Never kill any animal, unless defending yourself or for food. "
[/quote] see isnt that more humane? as well as that the word satan has been constructed stereotyped and influenced by christians be it by christian origin but in western society christianity is the dominating religion which is luckily on its way out.
Whong
Satan was tempting Jesus, and that is an evil deed, he was testing Jesus also in the garden of Getsemane. He sined against God, by wanting to be even greater than God, which is impossible! Idea
Jaiye
Whong wrote:
Satan was tempting Jesus, and that is an evil deed, he was testing Jesus also in the garden of Getsemane. He sined against God, by wanting to be even greater than God, which is impossible! Idea


tempting is evil? if i wave a peice of candy in front of a child, he is tempted by it, and that makes me evil?

so desiring to attain the impossible is evil also? isn't that the 'american dream'?
ergo ([dreams, hopefulness, etc.] == evil)

i think i see a few flaws in your argument there.
Juparis
I don't think of good vs evil as most others do, but I'm not sure I could quote passages to back up this way of thinking.
It's like dark vs light, or cold vs hot. Evil is the absence of good, just as darkness the absence of light, and cold the absence of heat.

So then, while no one can physically prove that Satan is committing what we would consider evil deeds, he is causing the domino effect that leads to them--he is actively avoiding the good deeds that would be pursued if he were indeed "good."

Jaiye, I would have to say that the position of temptation depends on the situation. In your mentioned example, I would consider you evil. Otherwise, I would be saying that the numerous child molestors driving vans that say "free candy" are good! Are they good? I, at least, don't think so.

Additionally, I believe that God is good because of everything good that he actively performs for us each day. Sure, he may allow a terrorist to kill (it's free will, isn't it?), but he's not actively persuading that terrorist to commit the act, whereas Satan will use any means necessary to do so. In my eyes, Satan is indeed evil--it's not that he's incapable of becoming good, but his overall plan is to get as many souls into hell with him, and that's no good deed by my books.
Jaiye
Juparis wrote:

Jaiye, I would have to say that the position of temptation depends on the situation. In your mentioned example, I would consider you evil. Otherwise, I would be saying that the numerous child molestors driving vans that say "free candy" are good! Are they good? I, at least, don't think so.


you're mixing things up way to far. now you bring in molestation. so is the act of giving away free candy evil or is molesting the child evil? it was stated that satan tempted jesus, not that he molested jesus.

Some one is giving away free candy. there are thousands of ways the story could go from there, from a nice old lady to a guy who will rape and kill the child. any one of the end result may be evil, but you're saying the first neutral step is inherantly evil?
HoboPelican
I've always wondered about how Satan was mentioned in the old testament.
The Serpent in Genesis always sounded more like tribal creation myths where animals talked and behaved just like humans. I don't think this serpent was even tied to Satan until the New Testament.

Also, in Zechariah and Job, he (Satan) is standing around talking with God just like one of the other angels. It never made sense to me that if God cast him down, why did he allow him back? Just to chat? I get the feeling that his role was to test mankind, thus the use of the word "Satan", meaning adversary, was meant as an advesary to man, not God.

I think there is a real difference in the devil that is portrayed in the Old vs the New Testemant.

I'm not an expert, so if you have input, I'd like to hear it.
palavra
loyal wrote:
7:12
He said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I ordered you?" He said, "I am better than he; You created me from fire, and created him from mud."



he is the first demagogue. And in here clearly he makes demagogy.

he claims he is better than adam because god created him from fire and adam from mud.
fire is better than mud. he is better than adam.

but actually it is not true everytime.

gold is more expensive than paper.

but sometimes a famous painting on paper can be more expensive than a big amount of gold.

i mean humankind is masterpiece of god. Even he created us from mud ,we are better than satan.
mike1reynolds
I think Satan is God's D.A. and Beelzebub is the master of spies and double agents in the spirit world.
HereticMonkey
1)
curnow wrote:
read between the lines in the bible >>
god is racist
sexist
homophobic
opinionated
disrespectfull of other peoples views and beliefs<< and many more. if god was real.

"Reading between the lines" Is usually not the most accurate way of getting information....just an observation...

Quote:

Christianity is the dominating religion which is luckily on its way out.
Last time I checked, Buddhism was the most dominant religion on Earth...but, I doubt that Christianity is hardly on the way out...

2) Satan's original crime was Pride; he refused to serve Man, and so he and those that were under him were thrown out of Heaven (not necessarily Hell). His current crime is that of tempting others to do evil things, not necessarily doing them himself.

3) "Satan" is usually translated as "adversary", meaning that he's not by definition evil but, more accurately, is God's opponent. If it helps...

HM
mike1reynolds
Most dominant religions on Earth:

#1 Christianity
#2 Islam
#3 Shintoism
HereticMonkey
Major Religions By Adherents

Well, you got the first two right, any way...Atheists/Agnostics are third? Weird...

Sorry; kept getting told by some Buddhists that they were number one...Rassenfrassen Buddhists...

HM
mike1reynolds
That was basically their other category, anything that wasn't previously listed. They don't actually have statistics on the number of atheists in the world, and their numbers are vastly smaller than 1/6th of the world's population. That is simply everything that was left over, all of the categories subtracted from the total world population.

As to Shintoism, since virtually all Japanese and Taiwanese have a temple association simply by virtue of birth, and most Japanese take part in Shinto cultural events, some statistics simple count them all as Shinto. Shinto is a confusing rather secular religion, as is all of Chinese religious history. These studies that apply a western notion of what it is to be a "practicing" adherent of a religion can give a distorted picture of Eastern religious adherence.
adredwood
I think the idea of anything (or anyone) being inherently evil is slightly strange. Evil is an absolute, and like perfection, goodness, purity - it can never truly be achieved. Whenever evil is described by people, it is in highly subjective terms - 'I looked into his eyes and saw evil'... 'Pol Pot and Hitler were evil'... 'George Bush is evil'... I may have said the last one a few times in my life but I've never truly believed it. Pol Pot, Hitler, Pinochet - these people died in their beds believing they had only ever done the best for their people, helping the population along in their own special way. Surely evil men would have evil intentions as well?

I believe the truth lies in cause and effect, because we can only ever be a product of our environments (in the broad sense). Even if a serial killer has had a happy life with seemingly no external hardship or suffering, there is something in him that has flicked a switch away from normality. And if that switch is genetic (the evil at birth idea), then from a Christian perspective shouldnt we be laying the blame at the Big Man's door and not him Down Below? Or did God (the all-powerful deity he is) grant satan just enough powers to influence mankind to become inherently immoral? In the same vein, does the suicide bomber wake up one day and just decide to blow up his fellow man? No. This kind of act takes years of suffering inflicted upon himself and those around him to twist his soul into something so hateful. The reaction is always a product of an action, itself a reaction to a previous event and so forth in reverse perpetuity.

So the idea of a personification of evil is a scare story, the ultimate boogeyman if you will - a much repeated myth twisted to fit the purposes of whichever church is doing the telling. Repent child, set your mind at ease and save your eternal soul, all for the price of a small tythe for our lord... if you don't, the devil awaits...
QrafTee
Bondings wrote:
"Satan" has received such a negative image due to christian propaganda. I don't think the poor guy/girl deserves it. Now I challenge all christians (or everyone who has ever read the bible) here, to prove me that the father of all lies is really that evil.

So (according to the bible) which evil acts did (s)he commit? And what exactly makes him/her more evil than that other biblical creature, "God"?

I think we can all agree that obvious evidence of true evilness™ include (mass) murder, genocide and (suicide) terrorism against innocent civilians (children, ...).

Obvious evidence that does not proof true evilness™ includes potential weapons of mass distruction, the 9-11 connection and the fake moon landing.

Umm... wasn't Satan just a fallen angel that wanted to be loved by the big man?
bulek
I was learned in church that Satan was opponent of Jesus so yes - it was evil.
ftasyo
Bondings wrote:
"Satan" has received such a negative image due to christian propaganda. I don't think the poor guy/girl deserves it. Now I challenge all christians (or everyone who has ever read the bible) here, to prove me that the father of all lies is really that evil.

...


Well, Christians didn't invent Satan. Satan was already there. He is not found only in the Christian bible, there are also references to him in Jewish mythology. Besides, you write as if the only EVIL that is there are caused by war and disease. Man, evil is far far greater than that.
ftasyo
adredwood wrote:
I think the idea of anything (or anyone) being inherently evil is slightly strange. Evil is an absolute, and like perfection, goodness, purity - it can never truly be achieved. Whenever evil is described by people, it is in highly subjective terms - 'I looked into his eyes and saw evil'... 'Pol Pot and Hitler were evil'... 'George Bush is evil'... I may have said the last one a few times in my life but I've never truly believed it. Pol Pot, Hitler, Pinochet - these people died in their beds believing they had only ever done the best for their people, helping the population along in their own special way. Surely evil men would have evil intentions as well?



Evil is not something positive. It is negative, and therefore one cannot "achieve" it. For how can one achieve an absence, a lack that shouldn't be there in the first place?

Evil is the absence of a good that should be there.

Think about evil this way and you'll find out that the Hollywood movies that have portrayed evil have done nothing but to add to the confusion.
Eyvind
There was a time when it was believed that YHWH was the source of both good and evil. I think if you sort out the earliest Hebrew writings you find that there is no reference to Satan (or any other kind of adversary representing evil) at all. It is YHWH who is seen as the source of evil. A quick example: Exodus 10:1 "... go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart..."

I believe it wasn't until after the Exile at a time when the Hebrews had contact with Zoroastrianism that a more dualistic approach was adopted; YHWH shed his darker side and passed it on to Shaitan, a character modeled on the Zoroastrian Angra Manyu.

I don't know if there's any proof that he exists but as for proving his evilness, from a Judeo-Christian point of view, I think he can't really be anything other than evil. That's his part in the dualism.

Take care,
Eyvind
QrafTee
HereticMonkey wrote:
1)
curnow wrote:
read between the lines in the bible >>
god is racist
sexist
homophobic
opinionated
disrespectfull of other peoples views and beliefs<< and many more. if god was real.

"Reading between the lines" Is usually not the most accurate way of getting information....just an observation...

Quote:

Christianity is the dominating religion which is luckily on its way out.
Last time I checked, Buddhism was the most dominant religion on Earth...but, I doubt that Christianity is hardly on the way out...

2) Satan's original crime was Pride; he refused to serve Man, and so he and those that were under him were thrown out of Heaven (not necessarily Hell). His current crime is that of tempting others to do evil things, not necessarily doing them himself.

3) "Satan" is usually translated as "adversary", meaning that he's not by definition evil but, more accurately, is God's opponent. If it helps...

HM

Well Buddhism used to be pretty dominating, but that was long ago before China became communist. Now a large portion of China is Athiest with the small remainder Buddhist.

It's expected though since Buddhism is a passive religion that is very accepting... almost too accepting. Other religions like Islam and Christianity is really strict and not accepting of others or fake acceptance; those are the religions that usually hold on longer since they get people and keep them with scare tactics.
rshanthakumar
Bible is not a story book. Please do not take literary meaning of what it says. so is the case with other religious books as well. They should be interpreted. How you interpret them might vary.

I look at Satan and God as parts of every (wo)man. There is a good and there is a bad in every human. When the good is done by one, he is under the influence of God and when he is under the influence of satan, he does the bad. The good and the bad takes control depending on the situation. There is no one called Satan existing separately. So is God. They are within every one of us. Who is more dominating decides on what we do. Whether we create or we destroy. Whether we are god or we are Satan.

And what is Good and what is Bad? What is Good to you is not good to the other. So is the case with the bad. Killing 'innocent' human beings is bad for us; may not be so for people whom we call terrorists. Highly debatable!
rshanthakumar
No religion is fading. What would happen is religions will slowly but steadly merge to give one single unified thought process over a period. This could take another one thousand years or more.
QrafTee
rshanthakumar wrote:
Bible is not a story book. Please do not take literary meaning of what it says. so is the case with other religious books as well. They should be interpreted. How you interpret them might vary.

I look at Satan and God as parts of every (wo)man. There is a good and there is a bad in every human. When the good is done by one, he is under the influence of God and when he is under the influence of satan, he does the bad. The good and the bad takes control depending on the situation. There is no one called Satan existing separately. So is God. They are within every one of us. Who is more dominating decides on what we do. Whether we create or we destroy. Whether we are god or we are Satan.

And what is Good and what is Bad? What is Good to you is not good to the other. So is the case with the bad. Killing 'innocent' human beings is bad for us; may not be so for people whom we call terrorists. Highly debatable!

So what you're saying is to read between the line. But some people already says reading between the line will get you at the wrong meaning. The disputes around religion is so vast that even religious people of relatively the same beliefs have each other to argue with.
rshanthakumar
QrafTee wrote:
rshanthakumar wrote:
Bible is not a story book. Please do not take literary meaning of what it says. so is the case with other religious books as well. They should be interpreted. How you interpret them might vary.

I look at Satan and God as parts of every (wo)man. There is a good and there is a bad in every human. When the good is done by one, he is under the influence of God and when he is under the influence of satan, he does the bad. The good and the bad takes control depending on the situation. There is no one called Satan existing separately. So is God. They are within every one of us. Who is more dominating decides on what we do. Whether we create or we destroy. Whether we are god or we are Satan.

And what is Good and what is Bad? What is Good to you is not good to the other. So is the case with the bad. Killing 'innocent' human beings is bad for us; may not be so for people whom we call terrorists. Highly debatable!

So what you're saying is to read between the line. But some people already says reading between the line will get you at the wrong meaning. The disputes around religion is so vast that even religious people of relatively the same beliefs have each other to argue with.


it is not reading 'between' the lines that I meant. it is reading 'with' the lines. Trying to empathise with the people who said them and trying to relate oneself to what that person really said when he said those words. If bible is a self learning guide then we will not require a preacher at the church. isn't that right?
RisingSunn
Ya know, I have to honestly say, and please forgive me for being so blunt, this is one of THE dumbest subjects to be written in any forum I have ever read.
While asking this question you should also pose the questions:

IS EVIL REALLY SO EVIL?
IS GOOD REALLY AS GOOD AS IT SAYS IT IS?
WHY ARE ALL THE BAD THINGS IN THE WORLD REALLY CONSIDERED BAD?

And since we are walking down the road of calling wrong right and right wrong, why not take it to its next logical step?

IS KILLING YOUR PARENTS REALLY SUCH A HORRIBLE THING TO DO?
WAS HUMAN SACRIFICE GIVEN A BAD RAP?
IS RAPING PILAGING AND MURDER THE NEXT BIG THING?

It is this kind of blatant slap in the face really to all human decently that really will lead to the downfall of man.

Usually I don't like to rant, but it is early in the morning and I am cranky, and stupidity really makes me mad.
And yes, I know I do stupid things to. Just not this dumb.
Eyvind
Hey RisingSunn,

I have to disagree with you here. Remember, we're in the Philosophy and Religion forum. It's precisely these kinds of philosophical questions and openminded discussions that, in my opinion, helped get us to where we are today.

For example, I'm sure loads of people thought Copernicus was stupid for wanting to discuss the heliocentric universe. His outrageous suggestion, that the observed phenomenon of the sun moving around the earth was simply the result of perspective... not very popular. But he turned out to be right. If the discussion had never been allowed to happen then we'd have been the worse for it.

You may disagree with the notion that Satan "gets a bad rap" but I don't think it's fair or accurate to call the discussion stupid.

As for your loudly posited questions... I think many of them are actually pretty good ones and worth a bit of discussion.

Take care,
Eyvind
RisingSunn
Eyvind,
How is it possible to give any good light to a being, really or imaginary, who has been associated with evil since the begining of time? A being that likes to be associated with the most despicable acts that mankind has ever done to itself, such as rape, incest, genocide, etc..etc..etc. CANNOT under any form of logic be considered having any good attributes.
Frankly I know that your idea of taking my other questions seriously is a rouse so I am not going to bite, but if you in your own mind, think that some of my other questions are acceptable discussion then you need to seek professional help, as you may be the next serial rapist that we see getting the death sentence.
Indi
RisingSunn wrote:
How is it possible to give any good light to a being, really or imaginary, who has been associated with evil since the begining of time? A being that likes to be associated with the most despicable acts that mankind has ever done to itself, such as rape, incest, genocide, etc..etc..etc. CANNOT under any form of logic be considered having any good attributes.

Good question. How does one give a "good light" to God?

Picking an example at random: 2 Samuel 12:11-14. (That covers the rape. You want examples of God condoning and/or ordering incest and genocide, too?)

The question of whether Satan is evil or not is of vital importance to anyone who seriously subscribes to any of the religions that describe him. If you're too frightened to discuss that question, fine, but there's no need for you to insult people who aren't.

RisingSunn wrote:
Frankly I know that your idea of taking my other questions seriously is a rouse so I am not going to bite, but if you in your own mind, think that some of my other questions are acceptable discussion then you need to seek professional help, as you may be the next serial rapist that we see getting the death sentence.

This is a disgusting response. It does not belong in any serious, adult conversation. Even children should be expected to do better than this when they talk to each other.

Eyvind is completely correct. Philosophy exists to ask the deeper questions about the universe, morality and religion that religion is too afraid to ask itself. Asking whether Satan is really evil is a valid question - albeit a really old one that's been around for millenia.

And Satan has nothing to do with morality. Satan is a religious concept that exists in only a handful of the world's religions. Surely you're not implying that everyone who doesn't believe in Satan is immoral? (And if i were you, i wouldn't put your morailty to the test against mine. i'm not the one who randomly calls people potential serial rapists and starts looking forward to their execution.)
Eyvind
RisingSunn wrote:
Eyvind,
How is it possible to give any good light to a being, really or imaginary, who has been associated with evil since the begining of time?


First of all, I have trouble with your "since the begining of time" comment. As I said before, I think the concept of Satan arose sometime after the Exile. But that's besides the point.

If you look back at my first post you'll find that I agree with you. Personally, I believe Satan came into "being" with the sole purpose of bearing the burden of the Judeo-christian creator god's dark side. I do believe he is evil. But that does not mean there isn't room for discussion.

RisingSunn wrote:
A being that likes to be associated with the most despicable acts that mankind has ever done to itself...


Who says? Where is that written? Where did that concept arise? Maybe you have answers to these questions? Maybe not? This is precisely the reason this kind of thing needs to be discussed. We just can't make up stuff that suits us whenever we feel like... not without some kind of introspection and discussion.

RisingSunn wrote:
... such as rape, incest, genocide, etc..etc..etc. CANNOT under any form of logic be considered having any good attributes.


Well, time does make ancient good uncouth. Very Happy

RisingSunn wrote:
Frankly I know that your idea of taking my other questions seriously is a rouse so I am not going to bite, but if you in your own mind, think that some of my other questions are acceptable discussion then you need to seek professional help, as you may be the next serial rapist that we see getting the death sentence.


Ouch. That was unnecessarily harsh, don't you think? I'm just in favour of open discussion, that's all. For someone who says they're "not going to bite" you sure show some pretty big teeth.

Take care,
Eyvind
The Conspirator
RisingSunn wrote:
Eyvind,
How is it possible to give any good light to a being, really or imaginary, who has been associated with evil since the begining of time? A being that likes to be associated with the most despicable acts that mankind has ever done to itself, such as rape, incest, genocide, etc..etc..etc. CANNOT under any form of logic be considered having any good attributes.
Frankly I know that your idea of taking my other questions seriously is a rouse so I am not going to bite, but if you in your own mind, think that some of my other questions are acceptable discussion then you need to seek professional help, as you may be the next serial rapist that we see getting the death sentence.

Satan has not been associated with evil since the beginning of time.
Satan is Hebrew for adversary accuser, and was originally, essentially Gods doubt (see Job), its later in the Christan movement that Satan becomes evil, and an adversary of God.
Vrythramax
Pure evil is as innocent as pure good... the 2 can be held in the same accord.

one cannot exist without the other.
Eyvind
Vrythramax wrote:
Pure evil is as innocent as pure good... the 2 can be held in the same accord.


I'm not sure exactly what you mean here, Vrythramax. How is evil "as innocent as" good? By most people's definition, innocent means not doing something wrong. Evil is usually defined as doing something wrong. Can you clarify this a bit?

Vrythramax wrote:
one cannot exist without the other.


This, I agree with completely. Just as we need contrast to differentiate the colors and shapes we see with our eyes, we cannot know what it means to be good without having something to help us see what "not good" is.

Take care,
Eyvind
Indi
Eyvind wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:
Pure evil is as innocent as pure good... the 2 can be held in the same accord.


I'm not sure exactly what you mean here, Vrythramax. How is evil "as innocent as" good? By most people's definition, innocent means not doing something wrong. Evil is usually defined as doing something wrong. Can you clarify this a bit?

Would you convict a man with Tourette's for swearing in public? Would you convict a man with a wooden leg for not leaving an area the police ordered cleared fast enough when he was walking as fast as he could?

Guilt is not determined by action alone, it is also determined by choice. The man with Tourette's did not choose to swear in public, he could not help but do it. The man with the wooden leg did not choose to take too long to leave, he could not help but walk so slow.

Similarly, something that is purely evil can do nothing but evil. It's as helpless to not swear in public as the man with Tourette's, and as helpless to disobey the police as the man with the wooden leg. It can't do anything but evil because it is pure evil. To call pure evil guilty for being evil would be like calling water guilty for being wet.
Eyvind
Indi wrote:
[To call pure evil guilty for being evil would be like calling water guilty for being wet.


Well said, Indi. Good analogy. I suppose as far as concepts go that makes a lot of sense. That's just the way evil was "born" so to speak.

This got me thinking though.

You mention choice. But how about intent. I think there's a difference. The man with Tourette's didn't choose to have the illness. He also didn't intend to hurt anyone by calling them nasty names... the resulting hurt is a biproduct of his affliction. Same goes for the man with the wooden leg. He didn't intend to block traffic... it's a biproduct. But an evil man? He may not have chosen to be evil but how can you remove intent to harm from the results of his actions. If he hurts someone, it's a direct result of his intention to hurt them, not simply a biproduct of his "evilness". If it is not a direct result of his intention then it is accidental, or neglegent or something else and the event is not fueled by evil.

So I guess what I'm saying is that while evil cannot be held "guilty" for being evil, as you say, it perhaps could be held guilty for intending to cause hurt.

Take care,
Eyvind
Derioh
Accualy, i dont really think about this, i believe neither of them excists.
leslewis
Nowhere in the bible is Satan described as "Evil". He was an angel, one of gods favorites I might add, that had the sin of pride.

He was never cast into hell. His hell was not being able to be with god.

The church personified satan as evil, because who else would you otherwise scare the masses with?

All he is now, is a sad angel, comparable to a kid kicked out of his parents home.
mike1reynolds
Actually the Book of Revelation refers to Satan as the enemy of man, and also it says that Satan is still in Heaven until the end times, in which he is cast down to Earth. Only after the end times is he chained in Hell.
Indi
Eyvind wrote:
Indi wrote:
[To call pure evil guilty for being evil would be like calling water guilty for being wet.


Well said, Indi. Good analogy. I suppose as far as concepts go that makes a lot of sense. That's just the way evil was "born" so to speak.

This got me thinking though.

You mention choice. But how about intent. I think there's a difference. The man with Tourette's didn't choose to have the illness. He also didn't intend to hurt anyone by calling them nasty names... the resulting hurt is a biproduct of his affliction. Same goes for the man with the wooden leg. He didn't intend to block traffic... it's a biproduct. But an evil man? He may not have chosen to be evil but how can you remove intent to harm from the results of his actions. If he hurts someone, it's a direct result of his intention to hurt them, not simply a biproduct of his "evilness". If it is not a direct result of his intention then it is accidental, or neglegent or something else and the event is not fueled by evil.

So I guess what I'm saying is that while evil cannot be held "guilty" for being evil, as you say, it perhaps could be held guilty for intending to cause hurt.

Choice and intent are the same thing in this problem. Something that is pure evil cannot help but "intend" to cause harm. It would be comparable to a person with a mental malfunction, such as a chemical imbalance, that made them violent. When the wrong chemicals mix in their brain, they can't help but intend to cause harm. But it's not their fault, it's the flaw in their brains chemical makeup that makes them mean.

The same with pure evil. A purely evil being can't do anything but evil - because they're purely evil. They have no choice in the matter - they must do evil. They cannot help but want to harm you, because that's the way they were created. Because they can't possibly not intend to harm you, how you can you blame them for wanting to harm you. It's the only thing they can possibly do by their nature.

Oddly, you seem really concerned with the problem of a pure evil being having no blame, but you forget that a pure good being is just as blameless. If i do something good by my own free will, i deserve to be rewarded for my choice, because it was my choice. But a purely good being is like a machine - it just does good and can't even help that. You don't reward a cow for mooing - that's just what the cow does. Similarly, you don't reward a purely good being for being good. They didn't choose to be good, they just couldn't help it.

A bird shouldn't be rewarded for flying and a fish shouldn't be punished for not walking. Likewise, a purely good being shouldn't be rewarded for being good, and a purely evil being shouldn't be punsihed for not being good. Thus, both pure good and pure evil should not be held responsible for being good or evil. Pure good and pure evil have no meaningful free will - they are like machines.

Thus, Satan can only be held responsible for being evil if he is not pure evil and he is capable of both good and evil. If he can do both good and evil and he chooses evil (freely), then yes, he can be blamed for that choice.

But also, God can only be praised for being good... if he is not pure good. If God can't do evil, then he can't choose to do good. And if he can't choose good, he doesn't deserve any praise for doing it.

Satan needs to be at least partly good, and God needs to be at least partly evil.
Vrythramax
yes people commit acts that are evil...but pure evil is as innocent as as "pure" white light...men and women commit evil acts. Argue this point.
Eyvind
Indi, that was a fantastic post. You've explained it very well and I get it now. Thanks for that.

I still think Satan evolved as a tool to help sponge-off some of the distatsteful qualities of the original Judeo-christian creator god. But now I wonder if perhaps (contrary to what I said above) he's not diametrically opposed to YHWH in a perfect dualistic sense.

We could say that Satan is pure evil (an evil construct, a machine) without necessitating that YHWH be a being of pure good. YHWH could still have his original evil side but allows Satan to do the dirty work. That then allows people to praise YHWH for the good he does. As for Satan, people may not be able to blame him for his (mechanical) pure evilness, but they could still fear and despise him... fear and despise him in the way people might fear and despise a snake or a spider for its poisonous bite.

But at any rate, in my mind your conclusion on pure good and evil goes a long way towards validating (and extending somewhat) the original poster's question.

If Satan does have some good in him, then how much? And, more specifically, how would it manifest? Could he be merciful, for example? Even if only rarely?

Cool discussion. I feel like I've learned a lot from this thread.

Take care,
Eyvind
Derioh
There are acctually a lot more "Satans" like Beelzebub, Abbadon, Ba'al, Flauros, Ifrit etc. there not really...High, Archdevil thingies but it is fun to learn about them too
smeconsult
Satan is Anti-God. He envies God and sees himself as self-sufficient and "superior" to God . He deify himself and he wanted to be God. If there is anything that easily upsets God, its to ascribe His glory to his creatures- Things, people or angels he created.
Satan wants to usurp God he was cast down, Herod was called God and he acknowledge it and became rotten alive...
spinout
No good without evil - so sorry to say I am the maker of good...
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