Satan's FAQ
Satan's FAQ
Satan
Published by Satan
01-07-2007
Default Metaphysics, the Universe, and You


Metaphysics, the Universe, and You

Speaking as an atheist, doesn't your existence instantly prove the existence of God? In which case, since we all know who wins in the end, doesn't your showing up promote good behavior?

I have to be real, since I'm on the Internet. Perhaps I exist as a mere philosophical construct (and a culturally-specific one at that). W.I. Thomas wrote that "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences." Sexist language aside (which I don't mind, being who I am), the man has a point. You don't personally need to believe in me to see the effects that belief in me has.

Alternatively, perhaps you are, in fact, bantering with an anthropomorphic, celestial being. Perhaps I even have seven heads and ten horns (ever wonder how those would be distributed among the heads? I would've asked St. John if I thought I could get a coherent answer). I fail to understand how that would prove the existence of God. I've never wholly bought in to the whole yin/yang or Zoroastrian dark/light dynamic. I am not a product of theoretical physics; I would be fine with existing in the absence of goodness, or God, or whatever you want to call it. The conflicts and warmongering over whose god is right, and who is ungodly and unholy and whatnot, bring me some of my most interesting residents. I don't spend time refuting God's existence, merely His propaganda. I am an advocate for sin, not atheism.

As for what "we all know"? "We" have a collection of moldy texts that predict the winner of this alleged horse race. As an atheist, I'm guessing you don't believe everything you read. From the very beginning, starting with my early garden-party conversations, I have attempted to counter misinformation disseminated from the higher offices.

That aside, even if my appearance did somehow "instantly" prove the veracity of the entire Biblical account, I doubt it would matter much. Some would use it as a means to prove their righteousness, while others would use it to promote their image as a Bad Boy (or Girl). As always, ego would supersede truth on both sides of the field.

Was the greatest trick you ever pulled convincing the world you didn't exist?

I think the world convinced itself that I don't exist. I didn't object, however, for the reasons I mention in other responses here.

Don't you think that you're merely a construct of a patriarchal religion that made you up from some "pagan" gods and a few goddesses to make sure they had some sort of "foe" or adversary?

Ah, that's the question, isn't it -- who made whom? It’s somewhat like the chicken-egg controversy. Did the patriarchal religion construct me, or was I there at a few would-be priests' brainstorming sessions?

Alternatively, I could share similar origins with Frankenstein's monster. Perhaps I was created, but developed a purpose beyond my creators' and fled the laboratory to walk the Earth.

Does the world need you? Vice versa?

There was a time when the world definitely needed me. Lately, I have begun to explore the outsourcing potential of current technology. Between TV and the Internet, the church no longer dominates most people's thoughts, even among most of the devout. This works both for and against me, but ultimately I predict a net asset.

Do I need the world? I do still enjoy it immensely, so if it's an addiction, at least it's still in the early stages. Not bad for how long I've been at it.

What is the one thing we could do to really, REALLY piss off God (besides asking you this question)?

What doesn't piss Him off anymore? He's got an eternal case of omnipresent PMS. I suppose one could bring that up, and ask whether that's where the Plague of Blood came from.

Is there life on other planets? If so, are either you or God involved, or are your hands full here?

Yes, there is life on other planets. They have their own gods who created the whole Universe just for them, just like you do here.

Given your position and reputation, perhaps you might be able to settle a rather old philosophical question. What is evil?

I could provide a variety of glib one-liners. Instead, since I am rather fond of this question, I’ll flesh the answer out a bit.

The Creator seems to define Evil as any knowledge that doesn’t originate from His Word. He didn't want anyone to know the truth other than Himself, and pitched a hissy fit when a brave woman deigned to listen to somebody else and have a bite for herself. At least, that’s how Evil supposedly entered the world: independent curiosity.

However, that might still be a bit glib, so I’ll have a go at the way the word is used today. It seems that so many toss the term at others, while only an extremely small minority actually view themselves as Evil. Most of the time, it seems that Evil is that which diametrically opposes one’s own view of how humans should behave. Part of this is instinctive, originating from hard-wired impulses to avoid species-threatening behavior: murder, incest, etc. One might call it a “disagreement” on a level preceding consciousness or intellect. This instinct also surfaces in reaction to society-threatening behavior: not only heinous acts such as torture or rape, but also “less evil” offenses, such as theft.

This has the unfortunate side-effect of constructing a No Thinking Zone in a disturbingly large number of human minds. What is Evil is no longer examined; the instinct is perfectly satisfied by a tautological definition – it’s Evil because it’s Evil, la-la-la, I can’t hear you.

Some rise just above this level, not quite succumbing to this Pavlovian response, but still not challenging the concept at its core. For these, Evil is often merely a convenient fiction.

By your definition, who has been the most evil human so far?

The definition I gave was not so much my own as a distillation of my understanding of the modern human definition. Since so few actually consider themselves "evil," it is difficult to quantify the "most evil" a human can be, unless we have a definition for "inadvertent evil." Then one could get bogged down with whether the top prize goes to the one with the most evil intentions or the one whose actions created the most evil results. For the latter, one can't get much worse than Martin Luther. He took interpretation of Biblical texts out of the Church's hands and handed it over to the common people, which ultimately gave rise to the dizzying array of denominational churches. Or one could cite Guttenberg, for fairly obvious reasons; mass literacy has created an abundance of evil thought that just wasn't possible before.

Do you ever worry (or wonder) that despite your falling out, you are actually still working for god anyway, and always have been?

I have made no secret of the fact that I hold the popular concept of "free will" in contempt. While I see it as a human conceit, ultimately I must apply the same criticism to my own perceived volition. For most of human history and prehistory, I have been entirely under God's employ. I was initially a troubleshooter, pointing out problems with creation, and later with humanity. As I described before, my supposed "fall" was more of a change in job description.

God deliberately lied to Adam and Eve about the Tree. ("Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" was an inaccurate name; "Tree of Self-Awareness" would be closer to what it was.) He said they would die if they ate the fruit. Meanwhile, He told me that it would raise their awareness to something akin to His. When I employed the Serpent, I thought I was just countering some bullshit propaganda. God responded by changing the consequences ex post facto to match His "official" warning to the humans, and making them mortal. Thus He didn't look like a liar, and I looked like a manipulative asshole. In retrospect, it is obvious that He wanted everything to occur precisely as it did. Score one for Divine determinism.

If I am indeed merely a pawn on God's chessboard, I can take solace in one inevitable conclusion. I turn humans away from God and toward sin. If that is truly in the Divine plan, it follows necessarily that God created the majority of humans with a large "DESTINATION: HELL" stamped on their foreheads. It may make hash of pretty notions of free will, but it also wipes out any possibility of a perfectly benevolent deity. If I'm a bastard, blame the bastard who created me this way.

Which of the 7 deadly sins seems to be the most popular these days? Does it vary by country?

Pride is always among the top three, and Lust pops up quite a bit, too. The cultural differences are surprisingly minimal. Some countries' inhabitants are more prone to Wrath than others. But almost everybody wants to fuck, and everybody wants to see him/herself in the best possible light. Even the apparently humble tend to be pathologically proud of their own humility, which pleases me to no end.

What is sin?

Technically, sin is just breaking the rules. Since so many of the rules are in direct opposition to human/animal nature, sin is often whatever comes naturally. This was no accident. It is much easier to control one's subjects when they reside in a state of perpetual guilt. This is obscured by grandiose, Platonic, dualistic poppycock involving spirit vs. matter, but even Jesus declared that mere thought can be a sin. You can't win with those bozos.

Quote:
Matthew 5:16:
But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
The blame is Matthew's, perhaps - he was at least a major player in the Frankensteinean creation of the composite Jesus. It has been a long time, and I would argue that it doesn't particularly matter whether the historical Jesus really said it; the Gospels are far more important to religious thought than He ever was.

Isn't the true test of free will more than just rejecting others, but in rejecting your own needs for the good of others? How is free will just doing what feels good, isn't that instinct?

Several species of bird will fly into the mouth of a predator to enable the flock's escape. Self-sacrifice is instinctive as well. But keep trying; you might locate that elusive free will somewhere.

Isn't indulgence the definition for an addiction? One does what feels good, and denies that it has any ill effect.

Religion, like a drug treatment clinic, requires that one check oneself in. The junkie always says he can quit, if he wanted to, but he really can't.

Some programs to treat such a problem have been accused of merely substituting one addiction for another. Also, it is only quite recently that religion has taken on such a voluntary aspect. Previously, one was either born and raised in the clinic, or dragged in via particularly coercive, unsolicited interventions.

Did you start the whole "filioque" malarky? And if not, who did?

Malarky? I'd call it a masterpiece. You'd have to search high and low to find an argument that contains such perfectly symmetrical idiocy on both sides, is entirely irrelevant to anyone's life or faith, and yet was so hotly contested. Sorry to boast, but yes, that one has my hoofprints all over it – not that it required much nurturing before it took on a vibrant life of its own.

For the uninitiated, here's the link to the relevant page of one of my favorite sites, the Catholic Encyclopedia. Try to read the entire entry with a straight face.

So monotheism is 'it', there is no polytheism?

There could be other bullies out there. It's certainly odd that the "One True God" should be so concerned that His people have no other gods before Him. I have mentioned His divine insecurity before, and it would be instructive to determine its source. Thus far, however, He has kept me so damned busy that I haven't had time to conduct an exhaustive search. The possibility that this was intentional is not lost on me.

What about us atheists? Are we really your servants, as the Christians suggest?

In the popular Christian view, one must serve someone. If one doesn't serve God, this attitude concludes that one serves me, by default if not by conscious choice. Thus free will is merely a choice of masters; you're on the metaphysical auction block, and the only difference between you and the poor souls caught in the slave trade is that you decide on which plantation you'll end up.

I contend that there are other roles you can play. I don't ask for servants, and in fact, I prefer leaders. The rare humans who actually worship me (which not even the Satanists do) tend to evoke my pity and scorn, not my gratitude.

What powers do you have as Satan? Like, can you create life?

Hmm, a list of powers. I'm extraordinarily long-lived (immortal, I'm told, although I guard against dangerous assumptions). I can go anywhere I want, "at the speed of thought," as the slogan goes. I can travel not only to physical destinations, but also into a human mind -- not really "possession" as is commonly understood; rather, I can cozy up to a particular thought process and add a bit of spice to it. I don't create life per se, although I often help to make it worth living. I also have an excellent memory for one as old as I.

Aren't we all God and Satan, since we thought you up?

Is the author his/her characters? Some authors see themselves as Frankenstein and their characters as their uncontrollable monsters – even more so when the author loses the copyright. Perhaps you humans did create me, but it doesn’t follow that I’ll do your bidding, or come when you call me, “Speak of the Devil” superstitions notwithstanding.

So ... Satan, do you view the world in black and white?

Not only do I not oversimplify the world, I tend to be blamed for making things even more complicated than they were to begin with. In fact, I was never the one to come up with this “for me or against me” concept. My suggestions are rarely to do the diametric opposite of what God or other busybody moralists command. Often it’s just a matter of a simple step to the side.

On a deeper question, does your enlightened view of the world present humanity as a cup half empty, a cup half full, or a vibrant tapestry?

More like a dissonant noise, with (very) occasional bursts of lovely music.

Is humanity the only sentient life on this little mud ball?

I wouldn’t classify all humans as sentient. Then again, sentience might be a matter of degree, which would explain why some chimps have more of it than some humans.

What’s with Christian belief that we shouldn't put faith in earthly things or desire for money, yet churches take tithes? If we actually held to the belief in not desiring money, wouldn't that make it hard for churches to expand because they wouldn't be getting tithes any longer?

Well, just as Jesus wants to be the repository for all sin, the Church gets to do the same for filthy lucre. That’s a burden that any church is willing to bear, so they’re good for something. Too bad they aren’t willing to do the same for other sinful obsessions, such as lust. I think a whorehouse would be a nice addition to a church – perhaps the peep booths could be right across from the confessionals (or baptisteries in the Protestant churches), for the sake of convenience.

Hey, if there is such a thing as a soul, what's the going rate for it?

It's definitely a buyer's market these days. The price used to be something along the lines of sex, or power, or at least a bit of wealth -- although so many settle for so little; I use the term "wealth" loosely. However, nowadays, it's even cheaper. You'd be surprised how many are willing to do so much -- even sell their souls -- just to get a little attention. Some are afraid they won't even get their 15 minutes of fame.

What's up with that reincarnation deal, is it all bunk?

It's attractive, neatly devised bunk, but yes, bunk nonetheless. Humans have an innate need for some sort of spirituality, but seem to put more importance on palatability than utility.

What pleases you more: those who do "evil" or those who sit by and watch it happen?

That's a bit of a poser. Those who have the courage to commit their own evil acts demonstrate conviction, at least. It takes a great deal of concentration to be a complete and utter asshole, although many are certainly up to the challenge.

However, those who sit by provide me with more amusement, since they are the same ones who love to whine about the consequences and complain that they "never saw it coming." And like many fence-sitters in any arena, they often congratulate themselves on being so much more sophisticated than the evildoers and do-gooders. They seem to believe this is much more constructive than actually committing to a position. At the end of the day, I suppose I'd side with those who amuse me the more.

This week I'll be at the state United Methodist annual conference. Any suggestions?

You could promise them that when you have kids, you’ll beat them as righteously as John Wesley did his. I suppose it’s better than pledging to display the UM insignia on your front lawn, which is fraught with problems of implementation, not to mention neighborly relations.

I suppose the best option might be to help them find an end to any one of their interminable discussions. You’d get an abundance of relieved gratitude, and probably a free meal for enabling them, finally, to get to the dinner break.

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  #1  
By livius drusus on 01-08-2007, 06:15 AM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

This clears up so many things for me. Thanks, Dark Lord. :thankee:
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  #2  
By Beth on 01-10-2007, 05:08 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Holy crap! This was one of the funniest things that I have read in ages.
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  #3  
By Clutch Munny on 01-06-2008, 01:28 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Quote:
The Biblical accounts are accurate, if severely edited. They left out all of the fun I had with it, such as appearing in the form of a baker, replete with the odor of freshly baked bread.
I'd never read this before. Not only is it hilarious; it actually makes a lot more sense than most theodicies I've seen before.
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  #4  
By Kyuss Apollo on 01-18-2008, 05:16 AM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Devilman! Can you get me some Slayer tickets?
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  #5  
By Histrionica on 02-22-2008, 11:56 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

I'm a recent apostate, so still fairly passionate, and i assure you i'm foible-licious. As for the beach, i'm certain you could supply a lovely warm, brown/white/black one.

*winks and looks damaged*
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  #6  
By Garnet on 06-25-2008, 03:06 AM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

After reading all this, I may well become a Jerryist.

Srsly.
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  #7  
By Smilin on 06-25-2008, 10:20 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Satan, what happened to that lucious avatar you used to Have with the two lesbians...or was that Jesus.?????..

I'm confuzzled now...please help...!!!!
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  #8  
By Uthgar the Brazen on 06-25-2008, 11:24 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

That was Jesus. Quit pretending you're not a homo.
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  #9  
By curses on 07-10-2008, 06:28 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Quote:
Are you still miffed that Johnny is a better fiddler than you?

Actually, the worst part was having to spend so much time in Georgia.
:lmao: I missed this one first time round.
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  #10  
By Arrogant-One on 07-25-2008, 05:33 AM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

I saw a 4 year old on the bus the other day. He was dressed in a Batman costume and sat holding his mother's hand for the whole trip. Half way through the ride, he put on his sunglasses, on top of his Batman mask. It was quite funny I thought, Batman wearing sunglasses.

My point is that just because he wore Batman's costume, that did not really make him Batman.
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  #11  
By Uthgar the Brazen on 07-25-2008, 09:33 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

:rolleye2:

:hugtroll:
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  #12  
By Satan on 07-28-2008, 04:31 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Some folks get awfully bitter when their purportedly "Satanic" rituals don't work. I'm sorry you didn't get your pony, or whatever, but look on the bright side. You had a better-than-average excuse to masturbate.
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  #13  
By JamesBannon on 08-18-2008, 10:55 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Hey Satan, did you know you were famous over at Garnet's board? loved the explanations!
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  #14  
By Lion IRC on 08-22-2010, 07:13 AM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Hi satan,
Do you think that MORE people talking about God and discussing polemic anti-theism books by Mr Hitchens and Mr Dawkins et al helps the cause of theism?
Why not let lazy, apathetic, self-assured psuedo religious types lull themselves into a false sense of security?
Screwtape surely wants to kick Christopher Hitchens in the backside for disturbing the hornets nest just when it was settling down.
Lion (IRC)
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  #15  
By Satan on 08-24-2010, 09:02 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

As I mentioned in the FAQ, I am an advocate for sin, not necessarily atheism. Atheism is one tool in the box, to be sure, but not the only one, nor in fact even my favorite. Using religion is much more fun. As long as there are churches, I will always spend more time in them than at atheist advocacy meetings.

Further, I never seriously entertained the idea of slinking around and hoping nobody mentions God. I can rarely pass a hornet's nest without finding that giving it a good thump is overwhelmingly ... tempting, if you'll pardon the expression.

Oh, and Screwtape was just the mouthpiece for a sanctimonious hack.

But thank you for the question. I will consider it for addition to the FAQ.
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  #16  
By Dingfod on 08-24-2010, 10:34 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satan View Post
I can rarely pass a hornet's nest without finding that giving it a good thump is overwhelmingly ... tempting, if you'll pardon the expression.
I know the feeling. Is that normal, or what?
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  #17  
By Lion IRC on 08-25-2010, 04:00 AM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satan View Post
As I mentioned in the FAQ, I am an advocate for sin, not necessarily atheism. Atheism is one tool in the box, to be sure, but not the only one, nor in fact even my favorite. Using religion is much more fun. As long as there are churches, I will always spend more time in them than at atheist advocacy meetings.

Further, I never seriously entertained the idea of slinking around and hoping nobody mentions God. I can rarely pass a hornet's nest without finding that giving it a good thump is overwhelmingly ... tempting, if you'll pardon the expression.

Oh, and Screwtape was just the mouthpiece for a sanctimonious hack.

But thank you for the question. I will consider it for addition to the FAQ.

Hi satan,

Eloquent reply. Thanks. But I cant help noticing that you didnt actually answer yes or no to the question...

"Do you think that MORE people talking about God (and you) helps the cause of theism?"

Maybe I should rephrase the question.

On the whole, do you think God would welcome an overall increase in the number of people discussing theism?

I would say that "discussing" means contest of ideas and encompasses all aspects of theism including creation, cosmology, the soul,
free will, the afterlife, nature of God(s).

Lion (IRC)
PS - I think you are a bit harsh on Screwtape. He was doing his best.
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  #18  
By Doctor X on 08-25-2010, 11:19 AM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Unfortunately, so was the hack.

--J.D.
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  #19  
By Satan on 08-25-2010, 04:36 PM
Default Re: Satan's FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
Hi satan,

Eloquent reply. Thanks. But I cant help noticing that you didnt actually answer yes or no to the question...

"Do you think that MORE people talking about God (and you) helps the cause of theism?"

Maybe I should rephrase the question.

On the whole, do you think God would welcome an overall increase in the number of people discussing theism?
I see that I misunderstood the import of your question. I was responding to what appeared to be a faulty premise in your post, namely that theism itself is my enemy. In an attempt to answer your question better, I will point out that the converse is also not necessarily true -- theism is not a particularly reliable ally for God. Obtuse as He often pretends to be, I think He recognizes this. Further, I see little evidence that He is much of a fan of critical thought. Therefore, I believe the net advantage to an increase in theistic discourse to be mine rather than His. So my answer to your rephrased question is no; I will probably enjoy the hornets' buzzing more than He.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
PS - I think you are a bit harsh on Screwtape. He was doing his best.
Doing his best to pretend to advance a cause he didn't understand in the first place? I suppose.
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