Monday, 16 March 2009

Satan - God's patsy

Having never been a Christian, there are certain aspects to the story of God I find quite confusing. It's a monotheistic religion, so it has one deity that has control over all reality. So what role does Satan ultimately play in the battle for our eternal souls? As far as I can tell Satan is nothing more than God's fall-guy for reasons I'll specify below.

The origin of evil
God made the universe and everything in it. Therefore if there is evil in the world, then God would have to be the creator of evil. Otherwise, evil needs to come from a source external to God, and that would either suggest polytheism or that God is not omnipotent. So to accept that God is the creator of everything is to accept that God is the creator of evil. If God created evil, that would mean that God is evil too. The options seem to be that either God knew evil but is not evil, in which case there needs to be another external source for evil - again destroying monotheism, or that God embodies evil for evil to exist. Thus God is both pure good and pure evil.

The absence of God?
One argument could be that evil is simply the absence of God, but then what we call evil would be acts that God is incapable of committing. So when God kills the first-born of everyone in Egypt or drowns all of humanity, or demands a blood sacrifice - these are normally things that we consider evil acts. The absence of God is very different to what we attribute to be evil. Thus if evil exists in the world God is all evil and all good at the same time.

It goes further in that God is attributed that God is omnipresent, so by the very construction of the concept God cannot be absent by definition. In you, in me, in the singularity of a black hole - God is there. Metaphysically God has to be everywhere, so the best the absence of God could imply is that God is absent from one's heart - as in the case of atheism. Thus evil is simply not believing. This solves the problem above that what we consider evil is perpetrated by God and having a coherent definition. This would also make salvation via faith make sense, along with eternal punishment. But by this we would have to conclude that the Nazi guards were not evil but the ones they gassed were.

The fall of man
It's attributed that evil entering the world is the fault of mankind eating from the tree of knowledge. As before, that God made everything in the universe it follows that God made the tree of knowledge. So God's omniscience should have concluded that if he put the tree of knowledge there, then man would eventually eat from the tree and thus bring evil into the world. And even more so, man had no knowledge of right and wrong - they got that knowledge from eating from the tree. So either man didn't have the knowledge to exercise free will properly and thus have no blame from the event, or that God made mankind to eat from the tree. God is punishing all mankind for an event that man had no ability to exercise appropriate judgement.

The need for redemption
God is all powerful so God could in any way lift the curse of original sin if he so chooses. So instead of just lifting the curse for that random event by which those involved didn't know the consequences, he instead decided to come down to earth in human form in order to martyr himself to take away the sin. An omnipotent being could have just blinked and made original sin go away, but instead had to prove a point through sacrifice. Well it wasn't really a sacrifice, if that was God in human form, all God did was remove himself from an earthly body and the few days of that wild S&M that went a bit too far was nothing compared to all eternity. The sacrifice was a non-sacrifice in the scope of God's existence. Now it could be argued that God came down to earth just to feel mankind's pain, but this would imply that God is not omniscient.

The role of Satan
It must be recognised that Satan is not the equivalent of God. Satan is not omnipotent or omniscient. God in effect could get rid of Satan or diminish Satan's influence with the raising of an eyebrow. Instead he does not, which brings us back to the question of free will. If we have free will to either choose between God or not-God, then God surely would prevent Satan from acting in that decision. Rather having Satan's influence on any individual is a sign that God is neither omnipotent, omniscient, or that we truly have free will. The devil is nothing compared to God, yet it's built up as if they are equal partners in fighting for our souls. And again, as I raised above ultimately it's God who decides the fate of our eternal souls. If our free will has been incapacitated by the influence of Satan, then God could take that into account when determining the fate of our eternal souls. Satan is nothing more than the tool of God, and ultimately useless in the battle for our own salvation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, but i think you are missing some points.
The final judgment, for instance, is the war between heaven and hell, thus Satan and his followers HAVE power when people die. God just controls what happens on earth. Satan gave men intellect through the tree and the ability to escape an eternity of singing psalms, not thinking of fucking, no betting, no telling some random guy to fuck off, no enjoying literature or painting ( to god arts are individual and are not meant to help people), an eternity of being puppets praising god.
I always compare communism to god: both deny each other. Both pretend complete control of humanity and both diminish intellectuals and praise the destruction of art claiming that we are all the same: poor and ignorants; when we are clearly not, and our efforts and just rewards are different depending on our skills or our laziness.

I have a question for you: If hell is full of maniacs, rapists and killers, and heaven is full of poor ignorant puppets: Where does the independent, intellectual beings go??? Does Satan have a castle for the chosen ones??? or does he punish his best men as well?

I liked your article!