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Thread: Why did Jehovah create Satan?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I assume you mean by "the book" the Hebrew and Christian Bibles? The name means "the adversary" or "the accuser"; such implies that his purpose in the court of YHWH is like that of a prosecuting attourney, one whose desire is to convict humanity of our misdeeds and weaknesses and lead us away to punishment. The New Testament built on this mythos by positing a "redeemer" as well, who defends us against his accusations.
    So this one says that the god created him to be a judge and didn’t know in advance that Satan would become a tempter instead? So this interpretation claims that the Creator has no idea what his creations will do, the Creator makes mistakes, and is then unable to correct them?



    If you mean "in the history of Christianity", Satan has worn a lot of different hats over the centuries, more than can easily be summarized. I think more modern Christians get their impression of the character more so from Milton's Paradise Lost and subsequent media portrayals than from any sort of traditional theology, in any case, so that would really be "the book" to study. In Milton, he is initially presented in a surprisingly sympathetic light but ultimately revealed to be more malicious than he admits; it does not speculate on his origins, only his fall from grace.
    This one does not address the OP question which is “WHY was Satan CREATED by the Creator”


    He became something of a stereotyped villain/fool in Western culture, likely the product of the street performance morality plays that were a major form of entertainment through out Europe's pre-Reformation years. An archetype in goat's horns immediately recognized and somewhat fearfully mocked.
    This one does not address the OP question which is “WHY was Satan CREATED by the Creator


    The Gnostic versions of Christianity see Satan as something of a lesser threat than our most serious foe, the divine demiurge who deceives humanity with the distractions of the material... though some seem to have identified Satan as the demiurge. Either way, like all evil, Satan was not so much intentionally as accidentally created by the fracturing of the mind of God into many Emanations (much like in Plato's cosmology)
    So this one says the Creator is broken and one of the broken off pieces is straight-up evil?


    Satanists, of course, have their own many and various perspectives on the principal object of their pedagogy. I liked a version told to me by a theistic Satanist a few years back, a story in which God intended to create Satan as the greatest of his creations, and more or less became jealous of his own work when it turned out he succeeded in creating an offspring more wise and beautiful than himself. Despising his own work, he deceived humanity into rejecting him.
    This one claims the Creator was hapless, and also petty and destructive.


    Of course, for atheistic Satanists, Satan is only a key metaphor, standing forbidden wisdom itself, the gateway to true Gnosis and transformation of humanity above and beyond any mythology.
    This one says Satan (as well as God) were created by humans as metaphorical tools of communication


    I always liked Tolkien's metaphorical version in Melkor, whose "voice" was always meant to rejoin the "song of creation" in the end, despite the grimness of its role as counterpoint.
    This one says that you can’t like chocolate ice cream unless you HATE strawberry ice cream, because everything needs a counterpoint. So the plot device here is a clunky bimodal black-and-white trope.


    In the Muslim version, Iblis/Satan isn't so much an evil god as he was a fellow-creature like us, who became jealous of God's favor and treated us ill as a result; he isn't necessarily all-bad or unforgiveable, just an ancient enemy of our species who used his gift of free will to oppose God as do we all. Iblis is sometimes called "the ploughman" because he drives us toward the fates and decisions our heart has already chosen, either for or away from God. God actually gives him permission to tempt us just as the Jewish version does in the Job narrative, as He does not desire blind faith to begin with but rather a free choice to serve. Having Iblis around doesn't really change anything; both he and God are testing human hearts, albeit for different reasons. Iblis is only another challenge, another crucible to overcome.
    This one says the god created Satan to act as an, “I’ll give you somethign to cry about” boogeyman. This one is kind of weird, because the God seems to be saying, “I’m not really very appealing, but if I set evil amongst you, then I won’t look so bad, eh? And you’ll like me.



    Interesting. Thank you for your perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Ingersoll wrote somewhere that, if Satan had inspired the entire Biblical text, would you expect the events to be much different?
    And so Satan doesn’t care about the Plot Hole, because it’s working. Still leaves, but (in the plot - ) who was the creator of Satan? Maybe this points to a random creation, and Satan’s method was simply the “fittest”?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I assume you mean by "the book" the Hebrew and Christian Bibles? The name means "the adversary" or "the accuser"; such implies that his purpose in the court of YHWH is like that of a prosecuting attourney, one whose desire is to convict humanity of our misdeeds and weaknesses and lead us away to punishment. The New Testament built on this mythos by positing a "redeemer" as well, who defends us against his accusations.

    If you mean "in the history of Christianity", Satan has worn a lot of different hats over the centuries.....
    I wonder at what point the perfect all-good/all-present/all-powerful God was dreamed up? It seems atheists are always looking for an omni God in Christianity and are puzzled how he's not there in the mythology.

    But then how could a philosophical omni-type character be in any mythology? The point of myth, I think, is to make a story of the world. Stories have only flawed characters, no perfect ones. But such is the expectation and keeps people scratching their heads over "plot holes".

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    At least for entertainment's sake, there needs to be a unified Christian theology that accounts for the creation not only of Mr. Satan (I mean, I guess he's got a penis, like God), but spina bifida, the bacteria for leprosy and syphilis, the cystic fibrosis gene mutation, and let's throw in the deer tick, the tse-tse fly (although I believe that was created expressly for crossword puzzles), genital warts, and Tea Party Republicans. Is that too much to ask?

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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    It seems atheists are always looking for an omni God in Christianity and are puzzled how he's not there in the mythology.
    What? No puzzle there.
    Not after a few conversations to discover that what's in the books is completely discrete from what most Christain religions teach.
    Not finding it in the bible isn't confusing at all.
    Watching them insist it is, then their antics to justify their belief, thst's amusing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    It seems atheists are always looking for an omni God in Christianity and are puzzled how he's not there in the mythology.
    What? No puzzle there.
    Not after a few conversations to discover that what's in the books is completely discrete from what most Christain religions teach.
    Not finding it in the bible isn't confusing at all.
    Watching them insist it is, then their antics to justify their belief, thst's amusing.
    Exactly, like God "repenting" in Genesis 6 that he'd made such shitty two-legged beasts, with only 8 of them any damn good. "My bad!" sayeth The Lord.

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    Veteran Member Wiploc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Why did Jehovah create Satan?


    This question has always seemed like a massive plot-hole to me. I find it interesting to discuss because it is such a massive plot-hole.

    Did Jehovah not know what was in the heart of this creature?
    Sure. From the beginning, Jehovah knew everything that would ever happen in every possible world. (According to Plantinga, he also knew what would happen in every impossible world, but I don't know how to wrestle with that thought.)

    When Jehovah decided to create this particular world, he did so with complete knowledge of everything that would ever happen in it.




    Does the story support that gap? Does god need this plot device so he adds it but refuses to take responsibility? Is Satan actually an equal god, but the book downplays his origin because that scares the shit out of them?
    Some argue that Satan (or his equivalent or predicessor) was equal in prior religions, but in this religion, Jehovah is supreme. Satan has no power at all except what Jehovah allows him.




    What’s the deal? Who created Satan, Why, and what did they know and when did they know it?
    I like this interpretation: The serpent was more subtle than the beasts of creation, therefore, since the only uncreated thing was Jehovah himself, Jehovah is Satan.

    My interpretation will never be popular.

    I took a Western Civilization class. We read Faust. The way we learned it there, Jehovah planned it all. Yes, Satan rebels, but that very rebellion was planned by Jehovah. Everything that happens does so according to Jehovah's plan.

    If Jehovah hadn't liked every detail of this world, he would have created another one that he liked better. This is, in Jehovah's view, the best of all possible worlds.

    What is so great about this world? It maximizes Jehovah's glory.

    It does this by letting him do something nice for us. He saves us from Hell.

    That would be a little nice if Hell was the-place-with-no-cookies and Heaven was the-place-with-cookies, but that wouldn't win Jehovah a whole lot of glory. So he had to make the contrast greater. By making Hell a place of eternal torment in flame, he made it the worst of all possible worlds (for us). By making Heaven a place where people bask in Jehovah's presence, he made that (from Jehovah's point of view) the best of all possible worlds. So the contrast between the two places is as stark as it can be.
    Therefore, by saving us from this worst of hells, and delivering us to this best of heavens, Jehovah is doing us the biggest favor possible, and therefore winning himself the greatest glory.

    But wait, there's a way for him to make his glory even greater. He can rescue us from Hell even though we are undeserving. He won't just rescue the good; he will rescue the worthless.

    So he needs us to be worthless. Hence the Fall. Jehovah arranges for us to freely choose to sin by tasting the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. (Remember, Jehovah picked the world to create. Had we failed to sin in this world, Jehovah would have chosen to create a different one.) This -- in Jehovah's view -- makes us worthless. It makes us deserving of eternal torment.

    Which maximizes Jehovah's glory for saving us from Hell. Jehovah's benevolence knows no bounds!

    Satan only did what he was desired to do according to Jehovah's divine plan.

    So, according to my Western Civilization class, there is no plot hole. Satan only did what he was supposed to in order to maximize Jehovah's glory, thus making this be -- from Jehovah's point of view -- the best of all possible worlds.

    If you don't agree that this is the best of all possible worlds, then you are not in agreement with Jehovah, which makes you worthless, deserving of Hellfire.

    You might think you should change your mind so that you get into agreement with Jehovah, but that doesn't work. Hell cannot be empty. The contrast between Heaven and Hell is greatest if there are people suffering in Hell.

    So if reprobates (the Hellbound) decide to try for Heaven by getting their minds right, Jehovah will "darken their counsels and strengthen their wills" so they have to go out raping and murdering and such. For the glory of god.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    It's often said that the best way that satan succeeds is to have people think he doen't exist etc., mainly staying out of the focus in conversations while people discuss, critique and condemn God. Now we have this thread - who's up for critiquing satan?
    That doesn't answer the question.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I assume you mean by "the book" the Hebrew and Christian Bibles? The name means "the adversary" or "the accuser"; such implies that his purpose in the court of YHWH is like that of a prosecuting attourney, one whose desire is to convict humanity of our misdeeds and weaknesses and lead us away to punishment. The New Testament built on this mythos by positing a "redeemer" as well, who defends us against his accusations.

    If you mean "in the history of Christianity", Satan has worn a lot of different hats over the centuries.....
    I wonder at what point the perfect all-good/all-present/all-powerful God was dreamed up? It seems atheists are always looking for an omni God in Christianity and are puzzled how he's not there in the mythology.

    But then how could a philosophical omni-type character be in any mythology? The point of myth, I think, is to make a story of the world. Stories have only flawed characters, no perfect ones. But such is the expectation and keeps people scratching their heads over "plot holes".
    Just so. Perfect principles make for dull characters.

    The idea didn't occur all at once; you find yourself getting into the whole history of both Greece and Judea if you really want to understand the rise of monotheism, and in Christianity the story doesn't truly solidify until the era of the Scholastics in the Middle Ages. If indeed it has. Most Christians still worship a Trinity hidding inside their unififed Godhead, and I think leaving space for mythology is part of the reason why. A lot of the things the Bible says don't really make sense unless God, Jesus, and the divine Spirit are somehow different things despite the church preaching their unity. It's why they favored Neo-Platonism above all the other ancient philosophical schools; it was the only one that suggested a means for both to be true at once.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post

    Sure. From the beginning, Jehovah knew everything that would ever happen in every possible world. (According to Plantinga, he also knew what would happen in every impossible world, but I don't know how to wrestle with that thought.)

    When Jehovah decided to create this particular world, he did so with complete knowledge of everything that would ever happen in it.






    Some argue that Satan (or his equivalent or predicessor) was equal in prior religions, but in this religion, Jehovah is supreme. Satan has no power at all except what Jehovah allows him.




    What’s the deal? Who created Satan, Why, and what did they know and when did they know it?
    I like this interpretation: The serpent was more subtle than the beasts of creation, therefore, since the only uncreated thing was Jehovah himself, Jehovah is Satan.

    My interpretation will never be popular.

    I took a Western Civilization class. We read Faust. The way we learned it there, Jehovah planned it all. Yes, Satan rebels, but that very rebellion was planned by Jehovah. Everything that happens does so according to Jehovah's plan.

    If Jehovah hadn't liked every detail of this world, he would have created another one that he liked better. This is, in Jehovah's view, the best of all possible worlds.

    What is so great about this world? It maximizes Jehovah's glory.

    It does this by letting him do something nice for us. He saves us from Hell.

    That would be a little nice if Hell was the-place-with-no-cookies and Heaven was the-place-with-cookies, but that wouldn't win Jehovah a whole lot of glory. So he had to make the contrast greater. By making Hell a place of eternal torment in flame, he made it the worst of all possible worlds (for us). By making Heaven a place where people bask in Jehovah's presence, he made that (from Jehovah's point of view) the best of all possible worlds. So the contrast between the two places is as stark as it can be.
    Therefore, by saving us from this worst of hells, and delivering us to this best of heavens, Jehovah is doing us the biggest favor possible, and therefore winning himself the greatest glory.

    But wait, there's a way for him to make his glory even greater. He can rescue us from Hell even though we are undeserving. He won't just rescue the good; he will rescue the worthless.

    So he needs us to be worthless. Hence the Fall. Jehovah arranges for us to freely choose to sin by tasting the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. (Remember, Jehovah picked the world to create. Had we failed to sin in this world, Jehovah would have chosen to create a different one.) This -- in Jehovah's view -- makes us worthless. It makes us deserving of eternal torment.

    Which maximizes Jehovah's glory for saving us from Hell. Jehovah's benevolence knows no bounds!

    Satan only did what he was desired to do according to Jehovah's divine plan.

    So, according to my Western Civilization class, there is no plot hole. Satan only did what he was supposed to in order to maximize Jehovah's glory, thus making this be -- from Jehovah's point of view -- the best of all possible worlds.

    If you don't agree that this is the best of all possible worlds, then you are not in agreement with Jehovah, which makes you worthless, deserving of Hellfire.

    You might think you should change your mind so that you get into agreement with Jehovah, but that doesn't work. Hell cannot be empty. The contrast between Heaven and Hell is greatest if there are people suffering in Hell.

    So if reprobates (the Hellbound) decide to try for Heaven by getting their minds right, Jehovah will "darken their counsels and strengthen their wills" so they have to go out raping and murdering and such. For the glory of god.
    Your Western Civ prof had a misanthropic streak! Little wonder he/she was a Goethe fan
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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