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The Lighter Side of Lucifer

 
 
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 06:12 am
I've seen a view threads that touched on "why evil is allowed to exist" or "how can Satan continues to live", etc. So here's an entire thread dedicated to everybody's favorite topic, "evil".

It seems to me that an all-powerful God should be able to dispatch a non-all-powerful fallen angel with a simple snap of his fingers. So why hasn't he after all this time? Simple, he needs him. That's right, God needs Satan, or rather Lucifer.

Sure, Lucifer challenged him for his throne, and turned half of Heaven against him. But he had a valid reason for doing so. He didn't do it out of hatred or jealousy, he simply wanted equal rights. And God realized that, eventually. He is a loving, forgiving God after all.

On top of that, God loves to test mankind. He himself is incapable of deceipt or temptation, but Lucifer isn't. So God sits back and let's Lucifer do his thing, weeding out the spiritually weak. Not to do them harm however, fallen though he may be, he is still an angel and servant of God.

Those who repent are forgiven, and those who are not are taken to Hell. There Lucifer watches as they spend their spiritual "time-out" until Judgement Day. At which time they are given one last chance to repent.

Now, that leads us to the grand finale. The "Judgement Day", "Armageddon", "End of Days", "The Second Coming", whatever you wish to call it. Regardless, I personally doubt it will end the way it does in The Book of Revelation.

Lucifer may be many things, but dumb isn't one of them. He tried to conquer Heaven with an army of angels and failed. Why on Earth (literally and figuratively) would he try again with mear mortals? Besides, the entire time leading up to this he has had only one thing on his mind: reconcile with God. They had a falling out, tempers were lost, words were exchanged, but in the end they're two of a kind. They have the best interests of Heaven and Earth at heart. More collegues with competing theories than Biblical foes.

And in the end it comes down to yin and yang. Without evil, good cannot be truly appreciated. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, but conversely every silver lining has a dark cloud. And besides you can't have a decent story with some conflict.

If it weren't for the the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, there wouldn't have been a Mother Teresa.
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Aristoddler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 07:06 am
@Pongobongo,
If you were to take script from the bible, you would find that the real test isn't about mankind being faithful, but about the struggle between god and satan.
Satan was given a certain period of time to try to prove his point to god, and when that time is over; god will toss him into a pit for a thousand years while he brings back all his loyal followers, but leave the bad guys dead.
These followers would not age, and they would lead perfect lives, according to proverb.
At the end of this 1,000 year reign, the devil would be freed to wreak havoc on earth for a period of time, where whoever decided to fall into his temptation would perish forever with satan at the end of it all.

Lucifer wanted equal rights?
He was created by god, and he knew it...how could any being that has spoken face to face with him know any different?
He wanted power equal to god, which was what ticked him off so much. God put mankind on the earth so they could live forever in a paradise, running around nekkid and playing their harmonicas. The only condition was that they worship him solely and not eat the fruit from one specific tree.


It must've been really good fruit to screw up that deal.
Live forever or....eat this fruit that probably tastes like a crabapple. Hmm. Tough one.
boagie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 07:54 am
@Aristoddler,
Pongobong,Smile

Please define the term evil, is it simply a christian word inferring the violation of a gods will? If we have a definition it would avoid a great deal of confusion. Personally, the term as it is taken as a christian term, does not exist.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 09:56 am
@Pongobongo,
Where to begin?

Quote:
Sure, Lucifer challenged him for his throne, and turned half of Heaven against him. But he had a valid reason for doing so. He didn't do it out of hatred or jealousy, he simply wanted equal rights.


Any reason to suggest Satan wanted equal rights? Any suggestion of such a thing in scripture?

In the event that an argument is presented to support a 'yes' response to the above questions: how can God violate rights? If Satan defies God in pursuit of equal rights, God must be limiting someone's rights. However, if we take it for granted that God created the universe, anything with rights is the creation of God, and those rights are the gifts of God.

Quote:
And God realized that, eventually. He is a loving, forgiving God after all.


Omnipotent beings do not tend to know things after non-omnipotent beings knows something; as a matter of fact, omnipotent beings tend to be the first to realize something.

But here you mention something worth noting - that God is loving and forgiving. Perhaps this is why God does not destroy the character Satan? Because he is loving? Just a thought to consider.

Quote:
On top of that, God loves to test mankind. He himself is incapable of deceipt or temptation, but Lucifer isn't.


God does not use deceit to test mankind. No one was tricked into bringing their child to the sacrificial altar.

Though you are right in that Satan does tempt. From what I recall, that's about all he does; he tempts Adam and Eve to eat the fruit, he tempts Jesus with all the power of the world.

Quote:

If it weren't for the the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, there wouldn't have been a Mother Teresa.


Even without starving Indians, Mother Teresa would have been born (we can presume). More accurately, without the poor, sick, et al, Mother Teresa would have had a different role in life.
0 Replies
 
saiboimushi
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 10:30 am
@Pongobongo,
Pongobongo wrote:


On top of that, God loves to test mankind. He himself is incapable of deceipt or temptation, but Lucifer isn't. So God sits back and let's Lucifer do his thing, weeding out the spiritually weak. Not to do them harm however, fallen though he may be, he is still an angel and servant of God.


If God is The Omnipotent Creator, and evil exists, then it would seem that God both creates evil and allows evil to exist, therefore making Him the Sole Cause and Prime Advocate of evil. On the other hand, if God is not the cause of evil, and evil exists, then God must not be the cause of everything, i.e., He must not be God. So it appears that God is either a dude or the devil--at least according to these formulations.

However, if God is the cause of all that is real, but is not the cause of all that is unreal, is He still God? I would say yes, even though there are serious questions surrounding the whole real/unreal distinction.

BTW, WORK SUCKS. The word "school" comes from the Greek word for leisure--an etymological irony of the highest order. Plus I forgot to brush my teeth this morning, and to clean my glasses. Hypnogogic states are deleterious to Hygene.
0 Replies
 
de budding
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 12:26 pm
@Pongobongo,
"The Lighter Side of Lucifer"
Thanks for the post! I have only been a member here for a few days now, but everything I read seems to echo my life and current thoughts. The current thought (or thought-style is more accurate) you have managed to read is that, evil is just an indication that good is still there, the lighter side of Lucifer indeed.

Let me elaborate... Please; while reading through some existentialism stuff I came across a quote to do with social responsibility. The quote was, "We can only lie because every one else endeavours to tell the truth" and that "immorality is to force others to observe a rule you wish to break". When it comes to morals (of which I make my own); to see them broken is a reminder they are still there and working. In the same sense that when one is sorely sad it is merely a reminder they were happy. 'Yin and yang' does seem to be everything and everywhere.

So when things get tough, from now on I surely will look for the lighter side of Lucifer. Thanks again,
Dan.
0 Replies
 
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 12:26 pm
@Pongobongo,
For some reason I've always had the problem of Satan being a being like you and I. I don't know why, and have absolutely no scripture to back it up. But I see the idea of Satan in the Bible and Church doctrine as more of a representation of the potential evil that resides in mans heart. The fall and Eve's temptation was the temptation of curiosity and free will, seemingly natural human (and animal for that matter) attributes.

From what I understand, Satan operates by coaxing man to perform acts that are in violation of God's will for man. How this is accomplished has puzzled me, and even one of the most intelligent pastors I know could not give me a answer that satisfied my hunger for understanding.

I just cannot see how Satan can be limited in power and still tempt me. In order for him to tempt me he would have to have God like powers. Manipulating physical circumstances, instilling thoughts, omnipresence, and most of all, it seems that he would be outside the realm of space-time like God.
saiboimushi
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 12:52 pm
@de Silentio,
Quote:
From what I understand, Satan operates by coaxing man to perform acts that are in violation of God's will for man. How this is accomplished has puzzled me, and even one of the most intelligent pastors I know could not give me a answer that satisfied my hunger for understanding.


The fact is that virtually no mortal on earth knows the answer you seek, yet there are millions who feel they deserve a place in the temple of God despite their ignorance. Marlowe's Machevil was the true Christian when he uttered the famous phrase, "there is no sin but ignorance." If we do not understand God, then who are we to say that we are holy? Does merely believing in God make us Christians? No! One must understand God, and demonstrate God, by doing good works which prove their faith. Everything else is vanity and hypocrisy--and I know I am guilty of plenty of that.

Many people are turned off by religious dogma because ... well ... it doesn't make any sense. Are they wrong to demand that the Truth be consistent, that it be accessible to everyone? No! In fact, they are the last that shall be first: they are the "the poor in spirit," those "who hunger and thirst after" understanding. The true philosophers.

And everyone who thinks they know what God is, but does not really know--they are the last Wink
Pongobongo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 02:59 pm
@saiboimushi,
Ok, I noticed a couple of points in your responses. None of which I believe to be incorrect, but more misinterpretation of my own original statements.

First, I knew upon writing this that not all of it was out of scripture. I did take some liberties with the details in order to make my point. Looking back that strategy, is better kept to daily life and not to this type of forum. For that I apologize.

However, I'm of the view that the Bible (scripture) is simply the beginning to an understanding of the Jewish/Christian God. Just like any other "textbook" you need to be able to extrapolate and expand upon it to better fit it to your surroundings, and in this case your personal spirituality. Religion is a very personal thing. Luckily that's where theology and philosophy can step in. If God is truly great than how dare we limit him to the words of a single book. But, I digress, and no I'm not preaching, just expressing.

That being said, I seem to recall a story in which Satan was jealous of not God, but man. That "in the beginning" there were only God and his angels. Then he created man and placed man above the angels. That's where I got the equal rights bit from. Lucifer was jealous of God's affection towards man. He simply wanted the angels, the original creation as it were, to be equal to man in God's eyes.

I do like your notion that Satan is more of a concept of evil than an actual being. It makes more sense to say that each of us knows right and wrong, and simply makes the decision one way or the other. No need for supernatural or spiritual influence there, just good old free will. This kind of evokes the notion of religion being more educational than actual. Keeps you getting up each morning, on the moral high road, and gives a "purpose" or "meaning" to your life so that you can sleep at night without fear of death keeping you awake. It fills the void, so to speak. But I will leave it at that to avoid crossing the line and offending anyone (which is very much NOT my intention).
0 Replies
 
Pongobongo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 03:20 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
Pongobong,Smile

Please define the term evil, is it simply a christian word inferring the violation of a gods will? If we have a definition it would avoid a great deal of confusion. Personally, the term as it is taken as a christian term, does not exist.


I shall gladly do so, kind of. I prefer to not apply my definition of the word, but to allow it to mean what the read thinks it means. I know this can be a bit treacherous, but it does allow for an understanding in the "in your own words" sense.

But having read many a posting on this forum I see that many of you are literalists and need specifics. So specifics you shall have. In this case, by "evil" I mean all that is deemed inhumanely wrong. Acts which are beyond what we consider ourselves capable of, thus potential requiring some higher (lower?) influence.

For example anyone can snap and kill their neighbor :mad:, but for someone to calously wipe out an entire people that is "beyond" :eek:. For someone to punch the guy next to him at the bar, versus someone punching their child. Even then abuse to another human can generally be justified (if only by incorrect reasoning), but abuse to a "lower" lifeform such as a pet generally cannot.

Does this make sense to you sir? Or shall I elaborate further? Smile
0 Replies
 
Pongobongo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 03:25 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
For some reason I've always had the problem of Satan being a being like you and I. I don't know why, and have absolutely no scripture to back it up. But I see the idea of Satan in the Bible and Church doctrine as more of a representation of the potential evil that resides in mans heart. The fall and Eve's temptation was the temptation of curiosity and free will, seemingly natural human (and animal for that matter) attributes.

From what I understand, Satan operates by coaxing man to perform acts that are in violation of God's will for man. How this is accomplished has puzzled me, and even one of the most intelligent pastors I know could not give me a answer that satisfied my hunger for understanding.

I just cannot see how Satan can be limited in power and still tempt me. In order for him to tempt me he would have to have God like powers. Manipulating physical circumstances, instilling thoughts, omnipresence, and most of all, it seems that he would be outside the realm of space-time like God.


A ha! I'm not the only one who has issues with Satan being like us. "How could one of us exert so much influence?" Something to that extent I believe. He would in fact need god-like powers, but luckily he is an angel, which is the next best thing. Just as the angels spoke to and influenced the prophets and even Mary (the mother, immaculateness aside), they can speak to us. And they can exist in both the realms of Heaven and Earth, so they would potentially be outside space-time. Smile
0 Replies
 
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 10:39 pm
@Pongobongo,
The angels don't exert a will of their own, they share in God's will (dare I say completely, it seems to be that their will is driven by a duty to God). They share in the omniscient knowledge of God through exercising his will. And in a way they even share in having the God-like powers I listed above

Satan, on the other hand, is exerting his own will and because of this he doesn't share in the infinite knowledge and unlimited ability of God like the angles do. He must obtain his knowledge and ability by other means, or not have them at all.

If he doesn't have the abilities at all, how can he influence me in such a way that is consistent with standard church doctrine (Or what I understand of standard church doctrine).

Or, I am wrong, and he does have the necessary abilities to influence me. Which begs the question: how did he obtain these abilities.

It would also be interesting (or pointless?) to investigate the extent of said abilities.
Pongobongo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 03:46 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
Or, I am wrong, and he does have the necessary abilities to influence me. Which begs the question: how did he obtain these abilities.

It would also be interesting (or pointless?) to investigate the extent of said abilities.


Investigation, for the right reasons, is never pointless.

As for how he may have attained those abilities, I've always entertained the idea, from I believe Asimov or Clark, that "any being that is sufficiently advanced would to us appear as a god". That classic idea from either paganism or science fiction that there may be an entire race of gods.

If that were the case than perhaps Satan is a "god" afterall. That would explain his ability to disagree with God and still influence man. Also it may be why God could not just eliminate him at the time of the fall.

Perhaps Satan/Lucifer simply signed on to the Creation Project with God at first, then tried to take control of the direction of the Project thus earning his pink slip and ticket to Hell.

Just thinking outside to book... Wink
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 12:30 am
@Pongobongo,
Quote:
That being said, I seem to recall a story in which Satan was jealous of not God, but man. That "in the beginning" there were only God and his angels. Then he created man and placed man above the angels. That's where I got the equal rights bit from. Lucifer was jealous of God's affection towards man. He simply wanted the angels, the original creation as it were, to be equal to man in God's eyes.


So we have a character Lucifer who is unhappy with his life of service to God, who envies man because man can pursue any sort of life. Lucifer envies man because he wants to lead a life other than a life serving God. As a result, Lucifer is cast into Hell. For not serving God, even Lucifer, an angel who we can assume has committed a great deal of time to serving God in the past, is condemned to Hell.

I think the moral of the story is pretty clear.

Discussion about the power of angels and Satan, and how they got those powers - it's all pointless, I think. Doesn't matter. This stuff is, essentially, Hebrew mythology which just so happens to influence the thinking of billions of people. Myself included. But the stories are not about what powers and how those powers were obtained, the stories convey a message. They have substance.

There is no being Satan influencing you. Satan represents something. What he represents is part of the normal human experience. The stories about Satan are there to help inform us about how to deal with that normal human experience.
0 Replies
 
Doobah47
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Apr, 2008 05:31 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:

Please define the term evil, is it simply a christian word inferring the violation of a gods will? If we have a definition it would avoid a great deal of confusion. Personally, the term as it is taken as a christian term, does not exist.


I have a problem with the Judeo-Christian definitions of 'evil'. I've said before that it would make more sense to define evil in comparison with fire - the innate desire to grow and consume...

I doubt that the manifestations of religion (for example dichotomies such as 'good' and 'evil') are particularly innocent of the will to subjugate, so I think that words such as 'evil' or 'good' should be discarded or at least recognized for the subjugating coercion inherent in them.
0 Replies
 
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Apr, 2008 10:55 pm
@Pongobongo,
This notion that Satan does not exist, but rather represents evil, reminds me of a quote from a favorite movie of mine; "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn't exist."

Pongo touched on the right path when he suggested that God took advantage of the role that Satan plays. Except he didn't quite take it to the full extent, that God caused Lucifer to betray him and to become our paragon of evil. The scripture tells us that Lucifer was "made subject to vanity". His rebellion was not through his own design, but rather through God's intention. Someone else also pointed out that the angels have no will of their own. Lucifer was an angel, so then why would he have will to disobey?

The obvious question then is why did God cause/force Lucifer to betray him and to take on the role of Satan? I could provide an answer, but I think if you give it a little thought you won't need me to.

As for the question of "What is evil?" the scriptures provide a very revealling explanation. When people came to Christ and called him, "Good master," he said to them, "Why do you call me good? There is none good but God." If we're going to argue anything about good and evil with any sort of a biblical context, I think it's entirely important to keep Christ's explantion in mind. From a biblical standpoint, evil is simply whatever falls outside of Christ's definition of good.
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Apr, 2008 12:03 pm
@Pongobongo,
Quote:
I have a problem with the Judeo-Christian definitions of 'evil'. I've said before that it would make more sense to define evil in comparison with fire - the innate desire to grow and consume...


Evil can only be defined with respect to it's opposite, good. That said, Judeo-Christian literature and art is full of fiery images which represent evil. Hell is generally depicted as a fiery place.

Quote:
I doubt that the manifestations of religion (for example dichotomies such as 'good' and 'evil') are particularly innocent of the will to subjugate, so I think that words such as 'evil' or 'good' should be discarded or at least recognized for the subjugating coercion inherent in them.


Do you recall the tale of Adam and Eve? They were kicked out of paradise for eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. By forgetting what you call "the subjugating coercion inherent" in the terms good and evil, they lost paradise. I think you're right, good and evil are often misunderstood, and this ignorance causes much sorrow. But I also think that we should give credit where credit is due, and that early Hebrew mythology hit the nail on the head.

Quote:
This notion that Satan does not exist, but rather represents evil, reminds me of a quote from a favorite movie of mine; "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn't exist."


What Satan represents is very real. Temptation, as mentioned, is a normal part of the human experience. The notion that some demonic being is running around causing evil is, well, silly. If I'm wrong, send Satan over to my place, I'll shake his hand and talk to him for a while.

Quote:
Pongo touched on the right path when he suggested that God took advantage of the role that Satan plays. Except he didn't quite take it to the full extent, that God caused Lucifer to betray him and to become our paragon of evil. The scripture tells us that Lucifer was "made subject to vanity". His rebellion was not through his own design, but rather through God's intention. Someone else also pointed out that the angels have no will of their own. Lucifer was an angel, so then why would he have will to disobey?

The obvious question then is why did God cause/force Lucifer to betray him and to take on the role of Satan? I could provide an answer, but I think if you give it a little thought you won't need me to.


I think part of the issue is a general misconception about the Satan character. We have this notion of Satan as some inherently evil being because of his rebellion against God. Lucifer was subject to vanity because we are all subject to vanity - even the most reverent servants of God; being an angel, Lucifer was such a creature, a servant of God. When we look at what this character does, he tempts man; be it Adam and Eve, or Jesus Christ, Satan tempts. He does not eat little children.
0 Replies
 
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Apr, 2008 11:13 pm
@Pongobongo,
Quote:

The notion that some demonic being is running around causing evil is, well, silly.


I agree with you entirely. Satan does not cause evil, men manage that quite well on their own. But every good story needs an antagonist, and, well, Satan makes for a pretty good villian.
Pongobongo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Apr, 2008 11:31 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
I agree with you entirely. Satan does not cause evil, men manage that quite well on their own. But every good story needs an antagonist, and, well, Satan makes for a pretty good villian.


Exactly. The Bible is simply a story, "The Greatest Story Ever Told" perhaps, but a story none the less. Good versus evil, just like most Hollywood movies. However, it is a religious text and aims to teach good values. If we look at Christianity as the teachings of Christ, then it is nothing more than a lesson on how to be a good person and live a virtuous life. Much like Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and the list goes on.

Christianity, like most major religions, is simply a dramatized expression of humanity's own inner workings. The various gods and demons are personifications of different aspects of our psychology, our virtues and our faults.

I've often thought of all gods as being the same god, just in different lights. At their core, monotheism and polytheism are really the same. In one instance or another the God of the Israelites exhibits the powers of the Greek Gods. Power over the elements of nature and influence over the affairs of men.

Not really on topic, but hey, it's my topic so sue me. Wink
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Apr, 2008 06:20 pm
@Pongobongo,
Quote:
Exactly. The Bible is simply a story, "The Greatest Story Ever Told" perhaps, but a story none the less. Good versus evil, just like most Hollywood movies.


The Bible is not a story. The Bible is a collection of compositions, a collection of stories. Few of those stories are as simple as good versus evil. The remarkable thing about many of the Biblical stories is that they do not rely on the well used good versus evil duality.

The rest of your ommentary is more or less accurate. Christianity is a catch all phrase for those who claim to find value in the teachings of Jesus. Jesus, like every other spiritual teacher, tried to direct people towards the holy path.

The notion of God, the Gods of the major monotheisms, the Vedic deities, the Greek pantheon; these are all evolved notions of the original Indo-European pantheon. Even the story of the Passion, Jesus as the sacrificial lamb of God, this story is an evolved form of human sacrifice. Ancient peoples sacrificed their peers to appease the gods, and Jesus was similarly sacrificed for the sins of man, or so the story goes.
 

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