Satanic Power.

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Cactus Jack, May 1, 2002.

  1. Cactus Jack Death Knight of Northrend Registered Senior Member

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    Allright Christians, a question for you: I know Satan is a fallen angel, but he seems to be more powerful then angels. Where did he get these powers?
     
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  3. Xev Registered Senior Member

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    The Home Shopping Network!

    "And now, for only 39.95 plus Shipping, you can defy the Allmighty God! Order now, and we will send you this canvas tote bag, free of charge!"

    Sorry.
     
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  5. Voodoo Child Registered Senior Member

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    I reckon he made a pact with the devil.
     
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  7. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    Haha, good one Xev.

    Actually, in truth there's a good story behind this. See, when Satan was banished to Hell he looked around and said 'How can I run a kingdom without any power?' Now, Satan always surrounded himself with 3 fallen angels. So, needing advise he looked to the first and said; 'How can I get more powerful?' The first angel says; 'Well master, why not ask God for more powers?' Satan was disgusted in this answer and rejected the fallen angel, stating; 'God is my enemy, why would he give me powers?' So he turns to the second angel and says; 'How can I get more powerful?' The second angel ponders and says; 'Master, why not ask all the fallen angels to give you their powers?' Satan thinks over this and replies; 'Useless! Then I will be king over a group of powerless beings!' Then Satan looks to the third angel and says; 'Have you any ideas?' The third angel ponders and ponders and finally says; 'Why not ask Tyler to donate some of his powers?' Satan cheers a cheery smile and says; 'What a BRILLIANT idea!!!'

    Long story short, I felt kind of bad for the guy and figured life would be more interesting, so I donated some powers.
     
  8. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Probably worshiped Lord Shiva or goddess Kali and then obtained a boon.

    Exactly what do you mean he seems to be more powerful than angels??

    Love

    Jan Ardena.
     
  9. Tinker683 Registered Senior Member

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    Leave it to Jan to refer to a Christian concept with Hindu dogma

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  10. Cactus Jack Death Knight of Northrend Registered Senior Member

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    Oh well......

    Forget it I guess.
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    From people

    I must insist here that the Christian devil, Satan, Lucifer, ad nauseam, is a ridiculous figment who gets the entirety of his power from the people who believe in him.

    From the idea of "a satan" in the Old Testament to the institution of Satan attacked by Christ, Satan is merely a figment without philosophical justification within the Christian scheme. Especially under the old Catholic hegemony, the Devil seems a propaganda tool. Nobody could quite figure out how Satan fit into the plan.

    The best recommendations I can offer:

    • Russell, Jeffrey Burton. Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages.
    • Pagels, Elaine. The Origin of Satan.
    • Armstrong, Karen. History of God.
    • Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels.
    • Brust, Steven. To Reign in Hell.
    • Barker, Clive. History of the Devil: Scenes From a Pretended Life.
    • The Trial of Anne Hutchinson.

    The reading and viewing list gets huge, including Ray Bradbury, the films Rapture and Legend, Nathaniel Hawthorne, HP Lovecraft, Jack Cady ... notions of the devil are so myriad and so affecting that they form a fairly large portion of Western philosophy.

    Russell actually wrote several books on the nature of the Devil, and has, apparently, come to regret the notoriety he has gained as a result. It is my impression that he dislikes fame for books which hamper faithful acceptance of Christianity, but they really are that good of surveys of subjects. Pagels' book is a powerful examination of the politics surrounding the development of the canonical gospels. It's a ten-year influence on me, as I read one of the chapters as an article in some periodical while at University, before the book was finished. But it's absolutely brilliant, and will be held close in coming years as a primer by which religious scholars will finally be able to leave the Christian superstition of the devil behind. Armstrong's "God" books are excellent overviews of the larger relationships of the Abramic religions. Between those three volumes it is fair to say that nobody with a perspective that regards the Devil at all will look at the subject the same way again. The consumer-level academic punches are serious, serious blows these days. The Russell book might be lesser known than the Armstrong book, but nobody I know looks at Christian superstition the same way again.

    Of the fiction, well ... Brust's book basically covers the fall of the Devil in mildly comedic fiction. In the end, it's all a misunderstanding exacerbated by the silly principle of God not being wrong, Satan is expelled after doing everything in his power to be on God's side, and Mephistopheles (who, by some literature is allowed into the heavenly court, cf. Goethe's Faust) ends up consciously choosing sides and leaping from the edge of Heaven to stand with the honest ones. Absolutely great reflection on the state of what the modern myth of the Satan/Devil brings. Barker's Scenes is just hilarious, and insightful. I think it should be read by everyone purely for the sense of commentary that comes with it.

    The Trial of Anne Hutchinson? I find myself recommending it a lot lately because it truly sums up something absurd about the American experience, which forms the bulk of my own experience. It demonstrates something about the Puritan standard and presumption of nature. As late as the 1980s, for instance: Why does it matter if a rock album has to do with sex or the devil? Something, perhaps, about the presumption of the Christian experience in matters of morals and law?

    Watch how much devil-fighting goes on in the United States. It's ... educational. Or something.

    Here is also a point where I'll stand proudly behind artistic expression. From art, whether Michelangelo, Joyce, Huxley, even Stephen King or Joan Collins, Wagner or Dore or you-name-it, the symbols employed reflect some sum of the greater human experience. Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter is a classic not only for its narrative voice and forward symbolism, but also because it helped change perspectives toward what really was a common way of behaving. I've been listening a lot to the Temple of the Dog album lately, this time for Layne. But even these intensely personal songs rely on the sum of right and wrong, good and bad ... the point is that within the broad spectrum of Western artistic expression is all that people attribute to everything, and one need only look carefully. Bradbury contains much insight into the nature of people and their devils. It depends on how broadly one is willing to consider the work in front of them.

    And from all of that we can pull a good number of threads that hold together the patchwork theology of the Devil in the Christian and post-Christian experience.

    And that, I submit, is why the Devil seems so powerful. The theology of the Devil is intensely powerful and affecting, but also ad hoc and ill-considered. Insofar as I can tell from academic considerations on the subject, the Devil has no real purpose in the Universe, and bears only what power we, as human beings, lend it.

    I find it interesting that the most profound failure to reconcile the Devil to theology comes within the Catholic philosophy, but this is a result of perfect knowledge and immutable will. The Protestant experience, however, hasn't helped much. It seems what Protestantism accomplished was a slicing away of the Bible, of ritual, and of demonstrative faith and just went on with life. Questions of the Devil don't seem to strike within the Protestant experience, and unlike the hard-wrought Catholic effort, when questions of the Devil are put to the Protestant experience, it doesn't really try that hard. It's observably part of what makes people accuse Protestantism of being polytheistic. The Devil is believed in on faith, or else discounted in a broader salvation scheme. In fact, statistics show that a majority of American Christians disbelieve a living, actual being of the Devil. An interesting commentary on another survey bears the original headline, Poll Shows Protestant Collapse. (I think it's another survey by the same group; some of the numbers are the same, but the sample size is different.)

    Nonetheless, we see that matters of the Devil are left largely to the barbaric televangelist and stump crowds, though I doubt they form the whole 42% of of those who believe in the Devil. And it seems that from the more reactive elements of Christianity we find the Devil is apparently everywhere; books, interracial marriages, punk rock, Catholicism (per SDA literature), Bill Clinton (as I recall once seeing a picket-sign reading; ever see those guys at the baseball game?) .... Wild superstition and an absence of any ... um ... daresay rational consideration of the Devil only contribute to its power.

    The necessity of the Devil is simply explained: The Devil arises as a result of an earlier philosophical conundrum. God, who had perfect knowledge and immutable will, was also Goodness. How does one account for the appearance of evil in the world? The Devil and such superstitions are only iconographic representations of the human refusal to admit that good and evil transcend our ability to comprehend. To endure the conundrum, one must first resign themselves to the faith that they understand God's plan well enough to have insight into His considerations of Good and Evil. So a tree falls in the forest. Or a comet hits your kitty. What, in terms of the whole of the Universe, does it matter? Who, aside from you and the cat, really gives a damn? Humans are irrational and selfish. In terms of whether it is good or evil that a little girl is taken from her family and killed by the neighbor, what does it matter in the scheme of the Universe? It matters to us, for reasons we have chosen to make important. But trying to reconcile the idea of God's goodness and mercy against evil in the world (for nothing happens without the will of God), people apparently figured out that scapegoat theory worked better than admitting humans aren't as bright as we would like to be.

    The Devil is an excuse, at best. On the other hand, it seems that the Devil is the true redeemer, suffering daily for a sadistic justice so that Christians might have something better to hope for. What a waste.

    But by and large, the power of the Devil is only the power that people give him. And if my suspicion that people create gods is correct, then the polytheistic Christian savages will have nobody to blame but themselves. It is perhaps to the benefit of mankind that American Christians seem to be putting their Devil to death. And the Devil will thank them to do so, for then he can get some effing rest!

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  12. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    Tiassa is there a book you haven't read?
     
  13. Lesion42 Deranged Hermit Registered Senior Member

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    I'm guessing no.

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    Good points, too.
     
  14. Tinker683 Registered Senior Member

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    tiassa,

    Just thought I'd comment on this while I'm on my break,

    I've read this book. Have it on my shelf right now. VERY good book, does a wonderful job of explaining how Satan was used by the early Christians ( and some would argue the modern ones too ) to dehumanize other people ( mainly those who didn't believe as they did )

    I'd highly recommend it to any nontheist interested.

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  15. Cactus Jack Death Knight of Northrend Registered Senior Member

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    Muchos Gracias, tiassa.

    That is a lot of help, essentialy what I was looking for.

    However, I don't think that the devil is just the answer for the evil in the world once theists believed in God as being absolute good. Everything like good needs a contrast. Without evil there is no good, without cold there is no hot. You need a comparison or the words are meaningless.

    "How can you understand God if you can't believe in his supreme adversary?" - Misquoted End of Days

    P.S. I have read Faust, very good play.
     
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    But ...

    Observably, this is correct. But why must it be that way?

    Goodness can be if it is the only thing in the Universe; the dualism of Good/Evil is not necessary. Especially when we look in terms of the religious. That evil is necessary only serves toward defining the good and, necessarily, reserving it to those boundaries. Within the Judeo-Christian framework, if God is timeless as per alpha/omega, and also sundry trivial theology, how could God have not intended things to go as badly as they did at Eden? The presence of evil helps us none toward the end of living well, but rather serves to make us appreciate goodness in comparison to its lack. I think the icy comets would still orbit fiery stars with or without the human moral structure. Is evil truly a natural condition in the Universe, or does its presence depend on one's ability to distinguish good from evil?

    Is this really the only way that God could do it? Why? What principle restricts God's possibility? We can safely conclude that the applied theology is one chosen by God, that the cosmology is a matter of God's will. Thus, in the Christian scheme, It is by God's will that humankind should have fallen and God's will that a Redeemer is necessary. It seems that the presence of good and evil only serve to encourage alignment with God, a praising of His name, and an appreciation of His mercy.

    The Devil is a scapegoat for an unnecessary condition. Or so says me

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    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  17. Cactus Jack Death Knight of Northrend Registered Senior Member

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    Good thoughts on the subject.
     
  18. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    God and Satan are like yin and yang, metaphores for the bipolar energies that make up this physical reality. The creative and the destructive. Light and darkness. Love and fear.

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    Then sometimes , like now, one of the energies has gained in on the other, an imbalance has occured, which will result in a chaotic period of time until there´s balance again and then it will probably shift over to the other side for a while. Like a rocking chair, you must tip it back and forth, to make it rock, which is its purpose, to give us a pleasant ride.

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  19. Cactus Jack Death Knight of Northrend Registered Senior Member

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    Are you then saying that God and the devil both have small bits of each other in them? Like the Yin Yang. That would dissolve their "absolute" good or evil ideas.
     
  20. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    They are the same, but different.
     
  21. Neutrino_Albatross Legion of Dynamic Discord Registered Senior Member

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    hang on,

    The bible syas that god is more powerful than satan if they are yin and yang they should be equal right?
     
  22. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

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    I had no idea you were a Bible believer Neutrino...

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    Yes, they are equal.
     
  23. Neutrino_Albatross Legion of Dynamic Discord Registered Senior Member

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    Im not i just find it a good sourse of anti-religion evidence

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