Author Topic: God and the Devil - how would you know?  (Read 3136 times)

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Online Desert Fox

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God and the Devil - how would you know?
« on: May 18, 2018, 03:28:24 AM »
When I was a Christian, I don't think the devil and temptation were major thoughts in my mind. To many Christians though, they seem to be very important issues. At least they seem to talk as if they are.

I don't get how one can think that they are actually following the good being and not the evil being? If the devil is suppose to be master manipulator and one is also being tempted, how would one know that they not following the devil actually when they think they are following god?
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

Offline 2397

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2018, 05:35:31 AM »
Maybe Lucifer's rebellion was actually successful, and when "the devil tempted Jesus" that was God trying to reach out to Jesus.

Then Lucifer had Jesus executed. When Jesus cried out "why have you forsaken me?", he wasn't talking to God in heaven, but God thrown out of heaven who promised he'd help him, but couldn't.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 05:39:54 AM by 2397 »

Online Desert Fox

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2018, 05:37:13 AM »
That is the thing. . .Something like what you wrote is just as plausible as what Christians believe.
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

Offline Physicity

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2018, 08:07:35 AM »
I think they assume the one they follow is good by definition, because they know they are good people and wouldn't be followers of evil.  Also, there is circular reasoning.  Many years ago I asked a Christian how she knew the Bible was true (as she claimed it to be).  Her answer was that it was the word of god so couldn't be false.  And she knew it was the word of God because the Bible said so.  I can imagine a similar argument about knowing that the deity they follow is the 'good' one.

Funny thing is, Lucifer, in my limited knowledge of the Bible, doesn't seem to be evil.  He just rejected god.  It's odd to equate the two, although this might explain why atheists are so despised by American Christians.

Offline seamas

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2018, 11:07:15 AM »
I did a small investigation into this, even asked a Rabbi (who didn't really know, but said jews spend about zero time thinking about devils and such), but it would seem that  Lucifer, Satan and all the others names we have for "the devil" all are distinct and different characters from  diverse origins. There isn't any text (that I have encountered) that make the claim that they are the same being until considerably after the death of Jesus.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 11:30:20 AM »
A few thoughts.

Earlier portions of the old testament depict Satan more as working for god, mostly by testing humans. He also may or may not be the same entity as the serpent in Eden.  Its only later that is transformed into an oppositional or evil figure.  I like the Yazidi's take on Satan's rebellion.  Renamed the peacock angel and revered by them.  His rebellion was because he would bow down to man on God's orders because he would only bow to God rather than any of his creations.  Also, it seems they think the Peacock angel created the universe.  Interesting to see the various different takes on what amounts to the same story.

Christianity seems to have run wild with that second version of Satan and renamed him Lucifer, probably to slander various other gods known as light bringers.

I've mentioned it a few times but there was an old Christian heresy to the effect that the old testament god was evil and created the world to trap souls away from the real god represented by Jesus. The notion that satan is actually the good guy fits pretty well with that theology.



How do you know you are following the devil into temptation rather than Christ?  Is it fun, then it must be the devil.

Offline st3class

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 01:27:10 PM »
To slip into the Christian mindset...

Satan may be a master trickster and manipulator, but he doesn't actually have any power beyond that. When confronted with the True Power of the Lord, he will always turn tail and run. When you accept Jesus into your heart, you will know His True Power in the change that he will in you and your life. In your heart, you can tell the difference between good and evil, and any doubts is just the Enemy trying to trick you again.

As for how we know all this, and can distinguish the devil and god, that's a matter of faith, and you don't want to start pulling on that thread too much. If we have no test to tell between good and evil, how can we test that any of this is true? Best not to dwell on it.

...And coming back out now. I'm not saying any of this is good reasoning, but it is the reasoning at least the branch of Christianity I've had the most exposure to.
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Offline Shibboleth

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 01:36:39 PM »
God has a beard.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 03:12:21 PM »
God has a beard.

A late friend of mine liked to poke by asking people whether they think God had nipples, and if so, did they function?
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2018, 01:36:08 AM »
You just know. A good Christian can always recognise the devil. Or so I was told by my church, which was very concerned about the devil and demons.
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Online Desert Fox

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2018, 02:47:32 AM »
You just know. A good Christian can always recognise the devil. Or so I was told by my church, which was very concerned about the devil and demons.

Yet they often cannot tell when something non supernatural takes advantage of them?
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

Offline Shibboleth

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2018, 03:56:12 PM »
If I were a God I would want to be like Fizban.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2018, 04:13:54 PM »
You just know. A good Christian can always recognise the devil. Or so I was told by my church, which was very concerned about the devil and demons.

Yet they often cannot tell when something non supernatural takes advantage of them?
I was told - honestly and with sincerity - that if a Christian looked at a Satanist, they would see a sort of glow or aura around them. I was told this by someone who actually claimed to see it. He looked at a person and said "yup, that guy's a Satanist".
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2018, 06:35:31 PM »
You just know. A good Christian can always recognise the devil. Or so I was told by my church, which was very concerned about the devil and demons.

Yet they often cannot tell when something non supernatural takes advantage of them?
I was told - honestly and with sincerity - that if a Christian looked at a Satanist, they would see a sort of glow or aura around them. I was told this by someone who actually claimed to see it. He looked at a person and said "yup, that guy's a Satanist".
I  hope he was just taking the piss, mostly because I don't want to live in the world where a guy honestly believes he can spot a satanist.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: God and the Devil - how would you know?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2018, 01:28:44 AM »
You just know. A good Christian can always recognise the devil. Or so I was told by my church, which was very concerned about the devil and demons.

Yet they often cannot tell when something non supernatural takes advantage of them?
I was told - honestly and with sincerity - that if a Christian looked at a Satanist, they would see a sort of glow or aura around them. I was told this by someone who actually claimed to see it. He looked at a person and said "yup, that guy's a Satanist".
I  hope he was just taking the piss, mostly because I don't want to live in the world where a guy honestly believes he can spot a satanist.
Nope, he was 100% sincere.
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