This character in Christian mythology has a bad rap. It so foolish that grown men and women believe and fear the devil. Facepalm. Despite the fiction, I’ve been thinking recently…..
Is/was the devil such a bad guy? I mean by our (atheist) standards. I know we have plenty of biblical experts among us – so I ask you - Besides tempting Jesus to turn away from god (we would’ve done the same thing), did the devil actually perform any unsavory acts that we (atheist) would deem bad/ unethical/ immoral/ objectionable?
Did he ever kill anyone? Cheat anyone? Did he ever plague a community? Or -Did he ever influence humans to perform bad acts (kill, steal, cheat etc.)? Beside his opposition to god, what’s he done that so bad? If anything, we know the God of Abraham is guilty of countless human atrocities. What about the devil?
I mean, maybe he has done some bad stuff – I don’t know – I haven’t gone through the bible with a fine tooth comb. Would you mine drinking a beer with this guy?
(note – biased devil worshipers need not respond :)
Archaeopteryx, no rational reading of my post can support the crazy interpretation you seemed to have pulled out of it. I gave factual information about an ancient piece of literature to compliment what Artor said about the role of Satan in ancient Israelite religion.
Where are you getting this defending God nonsense? Honestly I am scratching my head in bewilderment wondering how you even came to the interpretation you got. Why would someone defending God point out why the whole story was pointless?
The point is, that the ancient concept of Satan is actually not the one that got passed down in the Christian tradition. In the actual religion of Judah, Satan was actually just a servant of YHWH whom YHWH had no emnity with whatsoever. I am simply telling you what the book is about. If that truth bothers you, then you might be more suited to being religious.
The "truth," John, is subjective, and as for religion, I gave that up for Lent.
Maybe I read your post wrong, as I thoroughly understand your explanation above, but upon re-reading your original, to me at least, it's not clear you had a different meaning than the one I derived. Call me obtuse, but it seemed to me you were defending god's behavior, and it was that, to which I was taking exception.
If I'm not mistaken - and please correct me if I am - isn't the Book of Job the only mention of Satan in the OT? Except for the literary ploy of having someone with whom to dialogue, there's little reason for Satan at all in the story, as he doesn't actually DO anything.
He's also not needed for the purpose of evil either, for Isiah gives it to us in the big guy's own words:
"I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil. I am the Lord, that does all these things." (Is. 45:6-7).
Forgive my projection of the general annoyance I have with people misreading my posts. Having ADHD, it takes me a long time to write posts most of the time, and I have to formulate them carefully. I fear I may have vented too much in my frustration.
Anway, there is another place. The Satan makes an appearance in Zechariah 3 as well, and in that case, again Satan is at the right hand of YHWH, which is a postion of favor and prominence.
Composite beings are featured around sacred places in the ANE for the same reasons. They are the divine guardians. Satan was a sanctioned divine guardian of the sacred. As one of my professors once put it "Satan is quality control for YHWH".
Later Jewish writings started to portray him as evil, because it is easy to paint him like that because he opposes those that seek favor from YHWH.
As for Isaiah 45:6-7 that word means a lot of things, and it is a poor translation. "RA" has about 13 or so different meanings so this isn't definitively evil and evil doesn't appear the best rendering. The ESV is a pretty honest scholarly translation and it renders it as calamity.
But in dealing with Christians, it is easy to point out that if God is all knowing, than before creation, the only place evil existed was eternally in the mind of God.
I have several ADHD'ers in my own family - had I known that, I would have immediately understood.
Basically, you're saying that Satan is god's receptionist, and decides who gets the boss' ear and who doesn't - I've met a number of those whom I SWORE were evil, so I can certainly understand the concept.
Like I said, I've managed to P.O. several people today, but if it'll make you feel any better, you were my first --
He also showed no compassion Marianne, for the anguish Abraham surely endured, having been ordered to sacrifice his son.
But I'd have to say that Abraham is the one who bothers me the most. Most of us believe that if one of our children were in danger, we would sacrifice ourselves, if need be, to save our child. Abe was well past 95 - why didn't he just say, "No!"?
I guess I expect better behavior from Humans than I do from gods.
his a good guy looking in genesis he aids eve in the liberation as i call it cuase the serpent didnt order mass killing an the mistreatment of women but between adam an eve he went to eve the women and said thinkabout it whywould knowledge be so bad he is not such a bad guy he is the guy that poeple and god insted of taking responsablity for the action shake it off on him atleast in the context of the bible an just in general so thats me take
I'm pretty sure that the OT never actually identifies the serpent as being Satan. In any case, I think the serpent, who advocates for knowledge, and Lilith, the pre-Eve woman who said "I'm not having any of this misogynistic bullshit!" & walked out, are the heroes of Genesis.
true but even the theist dont do much in differentiating to lot atleast from what i heard an read but it been awhail sense iv read up but thanks for the clearification an its been awail sense i heard of lilith im gona brush up on her :P but thanks for in the input but ya they are heros ell in the case of lilth shed be a heroine XD
Too bad Lilith isn't mentioned in the Christian Bible.. I know many Christians who ignore that outright because "It's not in the Bible, so it didn't happen."
My question, is what kind of low-tech god hides all the knowledge of good and evil in the fruit of a tree in the first place?!
I'm sure, Michael, that if you thought about it, you could rephrase that more clearly --
if your taking to me then ya it looks lil incoherent .when wrote it it looked alright in the text box as i typed it i was spaceing unnecessarily but the just of it was that assuming the bible is right i would view it as the serpent being the good guy for aiding eve in giving them knowlege in which was denied by the big guy an set up to fail and you point out a funny thing ya why fruit forgive the lack of grammar or pouncuation but ya job was weak minded an god was a dick just my thoughts on it