Why belief in Satan is comforting

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Hagoth
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Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by Hagoth » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:57 am

The Devil us universally the most feared entity in the human imagination, but I believe that giving credence to ultimate evil is necessary to religion and is actually useful and comforting to believers. Here are some reasons:

1) The notion that you are the rope in a tug-of-war between forces of good and evil means you don't have to really take responsibility for your actions.

2) Belief in Satan also strengthens your faith in God, and in some ways Satan is easier to believe in because you can equate him to every bad thing that happens.

3) ...and in your human leaders. They tell you an invisible boogeymen is causing such and such to happen. You see that it happening. You can conclude that your leaders have special knowledge.

4) Nothing in gives your life purpose and meaning like a righteous struggle against a terrible foe. If you share a common foe with others who believe like you, then you are part of a righteous army.

I believe Mormons, and especially Mormon leaders love Satan. Not in a "hail Satan" kind of way but in the love/hate kind of relationship we have with Darth Vadar and The Joker.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Corsair
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by Corsair » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:24 am

Satan is philosophical scapegoat when explaining the Problem of Evil and Suffering. We live in a Fallen World and it's Satan's fault as the God of This World. This is a position held by many Christians.

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jfro18
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by jfro18 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:30 am

You are 100% correct Hagoth, and you can see that role played out in history over and over.

In books it's the battle of good vs evil.

When countries go to war, they turn the 'enemy' into the boogeyman to rally the country.

In politics one side makes the other side seem dishonest/evil/corrupt to rally their base to vote for them to win.

We even do this with sports rivalries in a more lighthearted way - making the other side the enemy to rally against.

And Joseph Smith knew how to do it well (as did all religion), and he was able to weave that along with the persecution complex which persists today. Some members love NOTHING more than feeling victimized or persecuted, and they use that as proof the church is true.

It's amazing what an invisible boogeyman can do to keep people in line.

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wtfluff
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by wtfluff » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:43 am

Funny how incredibly powerful Satan is... And incredibly stupid at the same time.

MORmONism, and in fact the entire premise of Christianity completely falls apart if Satan just stops "doing his job" of tempting people and promoting "evil." Yet Satan is too stupid to realize this, so he just keeps playing along. :roll:
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Red Ryder
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:23 am

wtfluff wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:43 am
Funny how incredibly powerful Satan is... And incredibly stupid at the same time.

MORmONism, and in fact the entire premise of Christianity completely falls apart if Satan just stops "doing his job" of tempting people and promoting "evil." Yet Satan is too stupid to realize this, so he just keeps playing along. :roll:
Reminds me of the Infants on Thrones episode “Satan Files for Bankruptcy” where Satan quits and takes his ball home.

http://infantsonthrones.com/satan-files-for-bankruptcy/
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Jeffret
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by Jeffret » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:13 pm

Why do they blame me for all their little failings? As if I'd spent my days sitting on their shoulder, forcing them to commit acts they'd otherwise find repulsive. "Oh, the Devil made me do it ." I have never made any one of them do anything. Never.
(Lucifer Morningstar)

The devil made you do it?
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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crossmyheart
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by crossmyheart » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:18 pm

here comes my law enforcement story...

I have actually been in uniform and had parents point me out to their young child and say "If you don't behave, that officer is going to arrest you and take you to jail!" I have yet to come up with a good response that wont get me written up with a citizen's complaint...

But the point is- parents LOVE having someone else be the bad guy for once.

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1smartdodog
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by 1smartdodog » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:38 pm

Its an inept god that allows some dude to run around causing so much havoc. You could get the whole good and evil gig done with alot less pain.


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“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
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RubinHighlander
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by RubinHighlander » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:11 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:30 am
It's amazing what an invisible boogeyman can do to keep people in line.
Not just keep them in line, but keep them feeling super special, like they are some of the few chosen ones to battle evil in the last days for team jebus/TSCC corporate army. Solders in army, putting on the armor of God, all that rhetorical BS that make mormons feel more special than all the other religions. That's why their shift in narrative from the church/gospel filling the whole Earth to the few chosen ones fighting evil in the last days narrative will play just fine with TBMs. Who would want to give up their super specialness and militaristic style leadership positions for some silly historical facts nonsense? Folks who's need for validation and feeling part of the tribe will gladly continue to pay their 10% to get that mental reward back, rather than be true to their own integrity to always seek real truth.

I can testify with every fiber of my being and shadow of doubt that when I decided to ignore the ideas of Satan and mormon God, magically, they both just disappeared and I was left with a beautiful feeling of liberation/freedom and reduced stress in my life. Turns out, "there is none who dares to molest or make afraid". I never really understand that phrase anyway.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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2bizE
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by 2bizE » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:23 pm

If you have read the book Sapiens, you would have read a chapter called the Law of Religion. In this chapter, it explains how polytheistic, monotheistic, dualistic religions developed and evolved. Parts of dualism (good vs evil) developed in Christianity. This is where Satan came from. The concept of Satan wasn’t developed during the Old Testament time, as mostly monotheism was the fad of that time. This book really helped to open my mind. As Mormons, we believe in a single god, that is all powerful, omnipotent, all everything, and yet there is a guy named Satan who doesn’t give heed to god, fights against him, can create chaos without Gods permission, who God just can’t seem to control, have all power over, even though he is the all everything. Doesn’t really make sense does it? There is no trace of heaven and hell in the Old Testament. The reason we believe this is because Homo sapiens have a wonderful ability to believe in contradictions. Only humans can think like this. In the book it describes a dilemma only humans can manage: suppose a monkey has a banana. Do you think the monkey would trade his single banana for a truckload of bananas you guarantee he will receive in the afterlife? Nope. But maybe Satan would.
~2bizE

Arcturus
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by Arcturus » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:32 am

When I was a TBM, I always wondered whether temptation/evil desire originated from the natural man within or externally from SATAN! or one of his minions. Did as much research I could on it back in the day and could not come to a conclusion whether evil originates inside you or without...

Seems problematic given the "challenge to become" celestial material in Mormonism. If you don't know where evil is originating how do you manage/get rid of it?
“How valuable is a faith that is dependent on the maintenance of ignorance? If faith can only thrive in the absence of the knowledge of its origins, history, and competing theological concepts, then what is it we really have to hold on to?”
D Brisbin

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moksha
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Re: Why belief in Satan is comforting

Post by moksha » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:34 pm

According to a Barna study from 2009, the majority of Christian Americans do not believe in Satan. Only 26% strongly believed in Satan and an even smaller percent thought Satan was Jesus's evil younger brother (only seeing each other at the annual family reunion on Planet Enish-go-on-Dosh).
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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