• Satan as God’s Management Executive

    God is supposed to be omnipotent. You know, all powerful, almighty. The great-making characteristics of such a god are the paragon of abilities. He could achieve anything at the metaphorical click of his fingers.

    So what the hell is Satan still doing hanging around? Well, of course, he doesn’t exist either. But supposing you believe that both God and Satan are real entities. Well, then, you’d be making no sense at all. Recently on The Big Questions on the BBC they were discussing whether the Devil was real, symbolic or non-existent. A good proportion of the audience advanced different theories on Satan’s ontological reality and this kind of annoyed me. It seems to me that such people couldn’t argue their way out of a paper bag. 

    God could make Satan disappear, non-existent, at the click of his fingers. Any ontological argument for God, or claim that he is perfect, such as under Perfect Being Theology, argues for God’s supreme omni-abilities. To be the greatest being in conception, there can be no rival being as God could dispense with them on a whim.

    This means that if the Devil exists, he does so on the behest of God. Either God actively wants him to exist, or his disappearance would cause more grief than good, like some embodiment of the Problem of Evil.

    Thus it appears that Satan, if he exists, is doing a job for God; providing a service, if you will. God, then, must accept corporate responsibility for him. In other words, anything that is laid at the feet of Satan, in terms of blame and moral responsibility, should actually be laid at the invisible feet of God. God allows (either by design, direct causation or act of omission) everything that Satan does.

    Which renders the whole thing rather silly and nonsensical.

    Category: AtheismFeaturedHell

    Tags:

    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce

    • kraut2

      The claim that god is perfect means that god cannot create something imperfect.
      Conclusion: either humanity is perfect and so is satan…or it is just a claim pulled out of some theologians (theologicians) arse.
      Looking at the evidence for any claim relating to gods – the prior probability of the latter is overwhelming.

    • PaulSJenkins

      “Which renders the whole thing rather silly and nonsensical.”

      As if it wasn’t already. (Which I take as your general point about most religious stuff.)

    • D Rizdek

      Satan fills the role of the seductive charmer all husbands want hanging around their wives. I mean…how else could a husband know wifey really loves him if she wasn’t swatting away filthy flirty advances every ten seconds? Just stands to reason, right? If we didn’t have Satan to tempt us away, this omniscient god couldn’t tell if we really loved him or were just “settling” for the only game in town.

      Satan boosts god’s ego. It makes him feel good that he can bat poor Satan around at will…the “divine punching bag.” AND since he made Satan the craftiest creature in the garden, when folks resist him and do god’s will, god has the thrill of knowing that shows just how influential and charming than Satan he really is.

      But the real benefit to Christians: Satan can also be “blamed” for almost anything bad that happens. Satan and inbred/original sin pretty much explains everyone’s bad behavior and evil in general. As Paul whines, “18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.…” (Romans 7). See, it’s really not MY fault, it’s this dastardly sin that “dwells” in me.

      Man didn’t fall, he was team pushed by GodSatan team.

    • epicurus

      And since the devil is going to be sent to hell anyway – that is a given – why let him continue to screw up the world? Why not just send him there at the beginning, and if we humans really do have an inherited sin nature, we can be bad enough on our own, we don’t need no stinkin’ devil to help us be bad!

      • Was it the comedian Jim Jeffries who said that given what goes on in hell, isn’t the sort of place where sinners would LOVE to go!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-9yyv-_ZiY

      • Watch that vid at about 2:30 and that’s his point!

        • epicurus

          I can appreciate the humour, but he did take the popular approach that always makes me cringe and renders his point moot – that the devil is in charge in hell. To the best of my knowledge, the references to hell in the Bible all suggest that Satan will be suffering equally in there with everybody else. Hell was created as a place of torment specifically for him and his minions to suffer. I don’t know when the idea of the devil in charge of hell started, maybe all the medieval art depicting demons tormenting people in hell?

          • epicurus

            I don’t think I used the word “moot” properly, just in case anyone takes exception. Ineffective might have been a better word choice.

            • Well I think any mention of hell and Satan will be wildly inaccurate as we have virtually nothing to go on.. Hence many thinking it is all symbolic.

            • epicurus

              True enough, I’m just thinking that his point is how stupid Christians are for believing a certain idea that they probably don’t believe. In most comedy routines they of course have to bend the truth to make the joke work, and we don’t mind. In this case, however, he is being quite insulting to Christians regarding something they probably don’t believe and isn’t in their theology.