A nice bit of writing if anyone is interested. Just slipped it into the book club as it references several books. Pagel’s “Origins of Satan” for example. This is a quick and concise history of the evolution of Satan. Enjoy.
Had a quick look.
A pretty different understanding than I’ve had for some time .
Started with going to a current Jewish source. The I read the claim that Satan is not a fallen angel nor even god’s adversary. Rather he is god’s servant. How could he possibly be other, seeing as god created all things is the reasonable question.
My understanding of the adversarial Satan of Christianity is that the common image of the horned beast with hooves is taken directly from Pan, the relatively benign Greek wood spirit.
My impression is that like the concept of hell, the Christian idea of the devil kind of grew, like topsy, over centuries.
I’ve forgotten where I read about the Jewish Satan, but I’ll have a look around if you want.
The article talks about Satan as god’s servant… It goes through the entire evolution of the origin of Satan. You will find that part in there and how it came to be and why. It’s a well written synopsis.
Yes, I am familiar of the Pan story. "Pan, the god of the Heathen. The people living in the heaths outside the city of Rome. If the children are not good, the Pan will steal them away in the night. "
In the story of Job Satan is not an opponent of God. God and Satan simply make a friendly wager. Satan is not operating behind God’s back and he is engaged in no malice unapproved by God. The article agrees with your perspective… And how do we get from there, to here.
I think it ironic that after conceiving a ‘God’ mankind went on to conceive a ‘Devil’ and each is as big a bastard as the other.
Thanks for the link Cog; after I gods I adamantly disbelieve devils most.
Supposed “Satanism” is one of the things that led me to agnosticism and atheism to begin with.
I was an EMT and a paramedic during the late 80s and all of the 90s, and there was widespread belief in satanic conspiracies involving daycare centers where children were sacrificed during Black Mass.
Geraldo Rivera was a magnifying glass for this nonsense (he had a big platform with his television show), and people (mostly immigrants) had trouble pulling themselves out of poverty because they became terrified of being apart from their children.
This meant that they had to forgo schooling, second jobs, and business ventures because they couldn’t put their kids in daycare out of fear of the Satanists.
This is why I think Rivera added to the poverty problem, so he is–in my mind–a bottom-feeding intestinal parasite . . . an opportunist who took advantage of a stupid conspiracy theory to build his own brand at the expense of poverty-stricken immigrants.
The satanic panic of the early 80’s is eerily familiar to the Q-anon claims.
Working in a community agency with a sliding fee scale for counseling services at that time, we had the local police department come in and do a presentation on Satanism.
Having been a curious lad, and having just graduated University, and having read Anton Levey’s books as well as sociological studies on subliminal messages and the occult, sympathetic and parasympathetic magic and the occult, as well as a lot of other stuff. I watched this guys presentation, knowing full well, he was attacking a straw man, citing information that was not true or even close to being real, and was basically a fraud detective at the local police department. He bought into every nonsense hypothesis he heard. But when he started in on the fact that there was a war going on between good and evil, and that Jesus was the means of salvation. I basically turned him off and began gazing mindlessly at the people around the room. That is until…
The man put on some Metallica so the group could hear the satanic music and lyrics. After pointing to all the subliminal messaging we should all be afraid of on the label.
So there we all were, a room full of fucking idiots, buying into this morons bullshit. Then the music began to play. I put my hands on top of my head and spread my fingers out like a Mohawk of liberty spikes and began bounding my head up and down.
My only reply to the counselors on my left and right… “Good Music!” Then I sat up straight and acted all professional again.
No one said a word to me. Not even the presenter. I was the only person in the room that thought the situation was funny as hell. Not the first time I have been alone in that. I was all prepped to insist that Satan had made me do it. But all I got was silence… and on with the sideshow.
I guess I have been non-religious for a long time. I probably did not have the means to articulate my position as well back then, but I did believe the man was a complete joke. Demons are just old gods that people once worshiped. The Pan and the Satan connection is a great example. Romans told their kids that if they were not good, the Pan (Satan - meaning enemy) god of the forest would come in the night and take them away to the heaths. (Hence the word ‘heathen’) The people worshiping Pan who lived in the hills outside the city of Rome.
Anyway, the posts simply reminded me of happier times… apologies for the wall of text… Satan like all other God ideas… appears to be as man made as any.
I largely agree with all your points, except that I have a slightly different take on it.
The old story is that Satan and God are in a conflict for human souls, so we have:
Satan, an entity without a conscience who knows all the dirty, nasty secrets in mens’ minds, and pushes us to sin.
The human soul, whom represents free will, and chooses between good and evil.
God, whom is all good, pure, and benevolent, and whom punishes us for our transgressions.
Am I the only one who sees Sigmund Freud’s id (the childish part of us that only cares about what we want now), the ego (the rational decision-maker), and the superego (the punishing authority figure)?
Satan does exist . . . but I think Satan is just another name for the id.
And I share your musical tastes. Metallica, Quiet Riot, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden were (and are) some of my favorite bands.
People used to also believe that Kiss (Knights In Satan’s Service), The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Blue Oyster Cult (aka “Soft White Underbelly”) and The Who were all satanic.
If this is true, then all it takes is a quick inventory of my CD collection . . . and I’ll probably burn for eternity.
The Satanists would be in fair agreement with that assessment. Instead of the biblical response to life, which is a bunch of restrictions on behavior. The Satanist perspective is complete permission. So Satanists are all about pleasing the desires. That makes religion the superego and leaves you to be the ego.
It is an old, Christian invention. In Judaism Satan is seen as God’s servant not his enemy. How could he be otherwise? The Abrahamic god is described as omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. How could he possibly have any enemies ?He would simply smite them as soon as they raised their head.
Think what you like, but you’ve just made a claim which you will need to demonstrate is true.
Perhaps start by demonstrating that the Id exists. None of Freud’s model of human consciousness (Id, Ego Super Ego) is based on empirical data as far as I’m aware. Perhaps I’m mistaken and you can correct my ignorance.
Yeah, I heard that, but you know, I’ve never actually run across anyone who claimed to believe that. I’ve always thought it was bullshit, invented by PR people to sell more records and/or some of the loopier evangelicals.
Having said that , human perceptions are filled with dichotomies. EG up/down night/day right/wrong, male/female on/off (binary code) and good/evil.
Perhaps the devil/demons/ evil gods have had to be invented to explain the reason for the existence of evil and suffering? How could those things be caused by a loving, compassionate god/gods?
He had a real problem with iron chariots by all accounts of the time…
Nooooooooooooooooooo!!! I always believed that they were inspired by the evil one!!! Oh, or Mark from marketing, who always laid claim to their greatest hits,none of us believed her of course…
Binary codes and binary representations were not invented because of dichotomies in human perception, but due to desirable mathematical properties combined with the ease with which it can be implemented in hardware and its relative immunity to noise, as compared to analog and many-valued systems. There are also logic-systems with more than just two values, e.g. three-valued logic where the levels represent “True”, “False”, and “Unknown”. You can have many-valued logic systems in all flavours, even up to infinite-valued logics.
What about the story of Job?
That sorta puts the human as a bet between two players.
So god had a bet over Job with his servant who was only doing as god asked of him or wanted? Talk about cheating.
God is a psycho game-playing cheater!!!
The older story is that “God breathed into a pile of clay and made man a living soul.” " In the creation of man, life was imparted by God as the Creator infused his breath into the clay and the clay form became a living being (nephesh ). This story is a metaphorical portrayal of man animated by the breath of life. Because nephesh in Hebrew is the inner self, this implies that the soul is the individual person. Therefore, he is a living soul as opposed to something that has a soul and there is no indication that this soul is immortal or separable from man himself. The emphasis was on the person as a complete unit in the Old Testament.
The Christian version, invented from whole cloth and some help from the Greeks, perpetuated the myth of an “eternal soul.” Not a part of Old Testament Teachings.
Genesis 2:7: “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [nephesh ]” (King James Version).
In the New Testament, the Greek word for “soul” is transliterated as psuche or psyche . We will use psuche . This word occurs over 100 times in the New Testament. One example is in Matthew 16:26: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul [psuche ]? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (King James Version). In this case, the NIV retains the use of the word “soul.”
” A human being becomes alive (that is, “a living being” or “soul”) only when the “breath of God” is breathed into him (Genesis 2:7). Nephesh can be applied to animals as well as human beings, and thus, either are “souls” (Genesis 1:20, 24, 30; Ezekiel 47:9). This simply means that animals, as well as humans, are living beings or creatures. (Yes White… Puppy dogs have souls.)
The death or disappearance of the “soul” is described as the breath ceasing from an individual (Genesis 35:18 (But there is no heaven or eternity until the Christians arrive on the scene with the “Heaven Hypotheisis.”)
In modern terms, we could say the “soul” or nephesh is the life-principle, or simply, life. Put in an existential context the nephesh is the self or person. In this way, the word can even refer to a “dead self” – a dead body (Leviticus 19:28; Numbers 6:6 Haggai 2:13). Usually, however, the nephesh is said to “depart” at death (Genesis 35:18). But this is a reference to life itself ceasing. Nephesh is not used for anything like the “spirit” of the dead, and this is important to note in any discussion about any supposed transcendental nature of “soul.” Quite simply put, when the Hebrew word for “soul” is used, nothing more than the person as such – as human being – is meant.
The “soul” is integral to life itself. Thus, there is a relationship between blood and the nephesh . Deuteronomy 12:23 states that “the blood is the life [nephesh ].” The “soul,” then, depends on blood for its physical existence.
The Old Testament, however, says nothing about any pre-existence or “immortality” of the nephesh, or soul. Also, we are not informed in any specific sense in the Old Testament about what happens to a person (the “soul”) who dies after his or her death. That’s because the word nephesh simply stands for the living person as human being in this life.
The Story that “Satan and god are in conflict for human souls.” is a Christian fabrication from beginning to end.
Who is the “good” or “evil” entity?
The christian god is a psychopathic monster who has lied and committed atrocities, murdered millions, and also attempts to control all aspects of our lives, even past when we die.
Satan, based on the bible, has killed just ten people, tells the truth, and allows and encourages people to follow their instincts and desires.
Doesn’t give a fuck if you pick up sticks on Sabbath.
And Satan doesn’t seem to be as obsessed with genitalia as god.
Don’t forget about RUSH( ruled under satan’s hand), I’m definitely going to hell.