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Is Believing In Satan What Yahweh Warned Against?


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This has been bothering me. I am struggling right now in whether Satan exists or not and whether the Bible authors intended Satan to be a literal being or just a role/our own minds/etc. I apologize as this is really draining me.

 

As many of you know, Yahweh says that there is no god beside him. Notice how he didn't say EQUAL. From the Christian's viewpoint, Satan is not God's equal. But, he is powerful. St least, that's what I've heard. So, how does that compare with that verse which suggests Yahweh is saying that there is no other god beside him; lesser or equal. Yahweh doesn't say "There is no other God beside me but there's a fallen supernatural angel who's powerful". Yahweh is pretty clear that there is no other God. It should also be noted that Job never attributed his suffering to Satan but to God.

 

You guys might be interested in this link: http://imaginenosatan.com/Articles/If%20Satan%20is%20real.html

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I don't think there's a verse in the bible that elevates Satan to the status of a god like God.

No, there isn't. Satan seems to be absent from most of the Bible anyway.

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I don't think there's a verse in the bible that elevates Satan to the status of a god like God.

No, there isn't. Satan seems to be absent from most of the Bible anyway.

 

Yeah.  Here this might help with some things... http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions

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This thread is basically the problem I have with a belief in Satan. The Bible doesn't say anything like that but for an enemy, I just feel some Christians give him way too much credit. I was scared in posting this thread but I'm also wondering.

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In Judaism - and especially clear in the book of Job, Satan is generally considered an obedient angel of God (or, in say maimonidean versions of judaism, a metaphor for all the natural phenomena that have similar effects), who does what we could maybe term God's "dirty work".

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Humans are quite capable of altruism as well as atrocities on their own, no "other-worldly" influence necessary.

 

Isn't the use of the terms "altruism" and "atrocities" redundant?

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I actually should have worded the title better. I mean, I know it's not referring to Satan but could it also apply to the BELIEF in a literal Satan?

 

Also, I find it strange how in Revelations, one verse says "Devil and Satan".

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I actually should have worded the title better. I mean, I know it's not referring to Satan but could it also apply to the BELIEF in a literal Satan?

 

Also, I find it strange how in Revelations, one verse says "Devil and Satan".

Is this the verse you mean?

"So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Revelation 12:9 New King James)

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2012:9&version=NKJV

 

IMO that is simply saying the serpent from Genesis is sometimes called the Devil and sometimes called Satan.

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As many of you know, Yahweh says that there is no god beside him. Notice how he didn't say EQUAL. From the Christian's viewpoint, Satan is not God's equal. But, he is powerful. St least, that's what I've heard. So, how does that compare with that verse which suggests Yahweh is saying that there is no other god beside him; lesser or equal. Yahweh doesn't say "There is no other God beside me but there's a fallen supernatural angel who's powerful". Yahweh is pretty clear that there is no other God. It should also be noted that Job never attributed his suffering to Satan but to God.

Jesus (especially the Trinity version of Jesus) and Christianity qualify as what Yahweh warned his people against believing in.

They are not to be seduced by these things (Deut 13, Deut 18).

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I actually should have worded the title better. I mean, I know it's not referring to Satan but could it also apply to the BELIEF in a literal Satan?

 

Also, I find it strange how in Revelations, one verse says "Devil and Satan".

     When you speak of YHWH you are just speaking of *BELIEVERS* of YHWH as well.  These are some of the same people that believe in Satan as well.  But there's a difference.  Satan is just "the adversary."  That's it.  Jews tend to see him as a type of prosecutor that works for YHWH.  He goes about essentially testing, or accusing, people on behalf of YHWH much like what happens in some courts when the prosecutor charges someone before the court and it is up to that person to make a defense.

 

     So Satan has nothing to do with the 10 commandments.  Those would relate to other actual gods.  Likely local gods.  So, just for an example (not likely a real situation but for obvious illustration), lets say you had YHWH and also Isis and Ea as gods in your local group.  You should, as a good YHWH-ist, put YHWH before these other gods.  It's not an exclusive situation but he should be first and foremost *the* god and his rules then, after him, you can do whatever things these other gods might want (as long as it doesn't conflict with YHWH which is rule number one).  YHWH comes first not the other way around.

 

     As for the Revelation the words "devil" and "satan" are just "evil one" and "adversary" but they sound spooky nowadays.

 

          mwc

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I actually should have worded the title better. I mean, I know it's not referring to Satan but could it also apply to the BELIEF in a literal Satan?

 

Also, I find it strange how in Revelations, one verse says "Devil and Satan".

     When you speak of YHWH you are just speaking of *BELIEVERS* of YHWH as well.  These are some of the same people that believe in Satan as well.  But there's a difference.  Satan is just "the adversary."  That's it.  Jews tend to see him as a type of prosecutor that works for YHWH.  He goes about essentially testing, or accusing, people on behalf of YHWH much like what happens in some courts when the prosecutor charges someone before the court and it is up to that person to make a defense.

 

     So Satan has nothing to do with the 10 commandments.  Those would relate to other actual gods.  Likely local gods.  So, just for an example (not likely a real situation but for obvious illustration), lets say you had YHWH and also Isis and Ea as gods in your local group.  You should, as a good YHWH-ist, put YHWH before these other gods.  It's not an exclusive situation but he should be first and foremost *the* god and his rules then, after him, you can do whatever things these other gods might want (as long as it doesn't conflict with YHWH which is rule number one).  YHWH comes first not the other way around.

 

     As for the Revelation the words "devil" and "satan" are just "evil one" and "adversary" but they sound spooky nowadays.

 

          mwc

 

Alas, this is what awkward translations of the Hebrew would have you believe. The relevant Hebrew passage - and later, the way other Hebrew-speaking Biblical writers understood that passage - seems to indicate that they indeed understood it as 'no other gods _at all_'.

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Alas, this is what awkward translations of the Hebrew would have you believe. The relevant Hebrew passage - and later, the way other Hebrew-speaking Biblical writers understood that passage - seems to indicate that they indeed understood it as 'no other gods _at all_'.

 

     I think it can be read both ways and I tend toward the henotheistic interpretation but I understand the validity of the monotheistic view.

 

          mwc

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Alas, this is what awkward translations of the Hebrew would have you believe. The relevant Hebrew passage - and later, the way other Hebrew-speaking Biblical writers understood that passage - seems to indicate that they indeed understood it as 'no other gods _at all_'.

 

     I think it can be read both ways and I tend toward the henotheistic interpretation but I understand the validity of the monotheistic view.

 

          mwc

 

My thoughts on this are that henotheism probably was one stage of the historical evolution of early Israelite religion, but I think the redactions of the Bible that we do have did explicitly favour monotheism - they're probably rather late, after all. 

 

There are a number of things throughout these texts that do suggest that the idea that only one God existed was prevalent in the intellectual circles in which the biblical authors moved and got their influences from - c.f. how at Elijah's showoff against the prophets of other gods, only YHWH acts; c.f. how repeatedly throughout these texts, other gods are described as dead pieces of wood, etc, and I think a lot of the evidence used in favor of henotheism really can just as well be rhetorical exhortations to monotheism - oftentimes, the arguments are based on translations that lend themselves to interpreting them a bit too strongly in favor of this or that understanding of it.

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My thoughts on this are that henotheism probably was one stage of the historical evolution of early Israelite religion, but I think the redactions of the Bible that we do have did explicitly favour monotheism - they're probably rather late, after all. 

 

There are a number of things throughout these texts that do suggest that the idea that only one God existed was prevalent in the intellectual circles in which the biblical authors moved and got their influences from - c.f. how at Elijah's showoff against the prophets of other gods, only YHWH acts; c.f. how repeatedly throughout these texts, other gods are described as dead pieces of wood, etc, and I think a lot of the evidence used in favor of henotheism really can just as well be rhetorical exhortations to monotheism - oftentimes, the arguments are based on translations that lend themselves to interpreting them a bit too strongly in favor of this or that understanding of it.

 

     It looks like we're not too far apart on this.  I was not trying to say that the Jews were henotheists across their entire time line.  I was just trying to keep my earlier explanation simple.  I think it's understood that Jews moved on to become monotheists and their texts and beliefs ultimately reflect that.

 

          mwc

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According to legend, that god created the angels, too  (Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 148:2,5). The one now called Satan is one of the created angels gone bad. I guess that creator can't make anything that works right.

 

Reality check: It's mythology, allegory, fiction; a story written a long time ago by men who had questions but none of the answers we now have.

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Hunter notes he is struggling with whether or not Satan/God is real. I think that question needs to be resolved before the Satan issue is addressed. The history of Satan, just like the history of the God of the bible, can be traced back to their beginnings. The very fact they have a traceable history should concern a perceptive reader.

 

 

 

Religion isn’t history it’s theology. Theology is a form of mythology with a religious theme. Mythology is basically an adult fairy tale. The evidence indicates Christianity is a myth. And myths are basically fairy tales and that would make the God of the bible, Jesus, and Satan mythical figures that are just characters in a theological fairy tale.

 

 

 

In other words, Satan isn’t real and neither are any of the other characters that are found in the bible. So relax Hunter, there is zero chance that you will ever go to hell because no such place exist.

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My thoughts on this are that henotheism probably was one stage of the historical evolution of early Israelite religion, but I think the redactions of the Bible that we do have did explicitly favour monotheism - they're probably rather late, after all. 

 

There are a number of things throughout these texts that do suggest that the idea that only one God existed was prevalent in the intellectual circles in which the biblical authors moved and got their influences from - c.f. how at Elijah's showoff against the prophets of other gods, only YHWH acts; c.f. how repeatedly throughout these texts, other gods are described as dead pieces of wood, etc, and I think a lot of the evidence used in favor of henotheism really can just as well be rhetorical exhortations to monotheism - oftentimes, the arguments are based on translations that lend themselves to interpreting them a bit too strongly in favor of this or that understanding of it.

 

     It looks like we're not too far apart on this.  I was not trying to say that the Jews were henotheists across their entire time line.  I was just trying to keep my earlier explanation simple.  I think it's understood that Jews moved on to become monotheists and their texts and beliefs ultimately reflect that.

 

          mwc

 

Yeah, my main difference from everyone else on this topic is that I think the arguments in favor of the view we essentially share are weaker than most of us are willing to admit.

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The problem is, with my condition(OCD) I can't be sure about anything. So, I could do all the research I want and it wouldn't make a difference because I'd still be very uncertain. My fear of Satan comes from the fact I'm very scared I sold my soul.

 

But thanks for all the replies everyone.

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But thanks for all the replies everyone. 
 

 

Logic and facts won't cure mental disorder. Internet forums can't replace professional help. I wish you luck working through this.
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I know. I am in therapy.

 

I'm trying l focus on other things but my mind always seems to return to this fear.

 

And I was just wondering if a belief in Satan can hold up against verses like the one mentioned in the OP.

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And I was just wondering if a belief in Satan can hold up against verses like the one mentioned in the OP. 
 

 

That's impossible for me to address since said verses, and all other verses, are caca poopoo doodie dump. Perhaps it could be a doctrinal argument between Bible believers who each believe it says different things. Picking nits like this keeps them busy with each other and out of our secular hair. Lucky for the rest of the sane world, the Bible can be interpreted to say just about anything you want it to, so believers will always have plenty to argue among themselves.
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I'd rather believe in Satan than God.

 

In all honesty, he's more moral and safer than God.

 

See here to understand what I mean: http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-many-has-god-killed-revised.html

 

Here's an image that basically simplifies what the link above says.

 

no_estimates.jpg

 

That 2m is actually a partial figure because there are many killings that have an unknown number of victims. [such as the deaths of the firstborn in Egypt, The 'great flood', the plagues, etc...] That figure is just the killings where the number of victims is given.

 

And those ten Satan killed were actually shared with God. The only reason he killed those ten is because of a bet with God.

 

Honestly, I'd feel safer if I was in a room with Satan. Ironically he's the lesser evil of the two.

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Let's discuss Hell. If such a place existed and someone was assigned there wouldn't their soul quickly burn up? It can only burn for so long then it turns to ash. Or is it recycled and Satan starts over. Do souls have nerve endings? Would there really be pain? Wouldn't those nerve endings just burn up, ending the pain. Human's have a fantastic resilience. If a human was able to withstand eternal torture, it seems they would build up a tolerance to it. After a while they may yawn in boredom. Certainly, day after day, year after year your fear of Satan would cease. He's already roasting you continuously so why would he be scary anymore? And why would Satan follow God's instructions to torture you? Seems to me that Satan would be more likely to do the opposite of God's will just to irritate him. Who knows, maybe you and Satan would just end up chillin wit some babes in a hot tub. I don't understand what Satan's motivation would be to torture you for eternity. It's a waste of his time when he could be doing other things.

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