God is an Atheist, Satan is a Theist?


#1

I was recently in a “Debate Faith” chat room and an Atheist presented this problem to theists in the room. He said that God is an Atheist, because God does not believe in any other god/gods, he does not pray, he does not hope, he does not subscribe to any religious beliefs, thus God is an Atheist.

Further, the atheist said that Satan is a Theist, not only is he a theist but also a Christian. His reasoning is that Satan knows there is God, he talks to God, makes references about God thus he is a Theist, furthermore Satan speaks to Jesus Christ, is aware of the salvation plan that Jesus is trying to fulfill and is trying to debunk it by tempting Jesus thus he is a Christian because he knows about the sacrifice that Jesus is going to make and how that sacrifice will redeem mankind.

And he finished by saying “See Atheists are right/good, because God is an Atheist, since God does not believe in god. See Christians are wrong/bad because Satan is a theist, he believes in God, Satan is a Christian because he knows what Christ is doing and believes in the potency of Christ’s sacrifice”.

Now this is a very unusual proposition, especially when posed by an Atheist. This guy was in fact laughing and rather happy with himself because this kind of problem gave us theists/christians a bit of a headache.

Now, I reject his claims, but unfortunately I could not come up with a concise and point by point argument against these claims. I am only on the journey of discovering God and becoming a Christian so I am hoping that some of you here might be able to offer a much better rebuttal than the one I did and I would certainly like to hear it.

Please Respond…


#2

First - If God believes in himself, therefore he is not an athiest. It is that simple.

Further, the atheist said that Satan is a Theist, not only is he a theist but also a Christian. His reasoning is that Satan knows there is God, he talks to God, makes references about God thus he is a Theist, furthermore Satan speaks to Jesus Christ, is aware of the salvation plan that Jesus is trying to fulfill and is trying to debunk it by tempting Jesus thus he is a Christian because he knows about the sacrifice that Jesus is going to make and how that sacrifice will redeem mankind.

Of course Satan is a theist. He knows God exists.
Satan cannot be a Christian because he does not FOLLOW Christ. A Christian, by definition, not only believes in Christ but accepts Him as Lord Savior. Satan does neither of these things.
Accepting Jesus existance and accepting Him as Savior are two very different things.

And he finished by saying “See Atheists are right/good, because God is an Atheist, since God does not believe in god. See Christians are wrong/bad because Satan is a theist, he believes in God, Satan is a Christian because he knows what Christ is doing and believes in the potency of Christ’s sacrifice”.

See your friend is wrong because his logic is flawed at the most basic level.
Tell him next time he should work on his theology BEFORE the second 6 pack:D .

Now this is a very unusual proposition, especially when posed by an Atheist. This guy was in fact laughing and rather happy with himself because this kind of problem gave us theists/christians a bit of a headache.

Now, I reject his claims, but unfortunately I could not come up with a concise and point by point argument against these claims. I am only on the journey of discovering God and becoming a Christian so I am hoping that some of you here might be able to offer a much better rebuttal than the one I did and I would certainly like to hear it.

Please Respond…

Hope the above helps

Peace
James


#3

That’s just silly. It’s the sort of juvenile nonsense atheists engage in because they can’t be bothered actually to study something they have so much contempt for as religion (Christians fall into the same trap when dealing with uncongenial ideologies–it’s a human problem, alas).

Being a “theist” does not mean that you believe in “a god other than yourself.” It means that you believe in God. If you are God of course that means you believe in yourself.

God does not have faith, true. Neither will we when we enjoy the Beatific Vision. Faith is what we have now because we do not yet have knowledge.

That Satan is a theist (of a thoroughly orthodox Christian variety) is something Christians have always known. He might have bothered reading the Epistle of James, which would tell him that the devils believe and tremble. But of course it’s more fun to shoot off fifth-grade-level witticisms.

Edwin


#4

I don’t want to derail the thread here, but I don’t understand what you say here. Are you saying that Satan IS a Christian?

Peace
James


#5

St Paul would concur, but it doesn’t matter. Satan hates God.

There’s your rebuttal.


#6

Obviously he holds all the right beliefs. That is why I said “A theist of an orthodox Christian variety.” But of course he’s never been baptized (which would presumably make him vanish!:p) and utterly lacks the Christian virtues (or any other virtues!).

Edwin


#7

Deaar Ghola5,
Your freind may have been pretty pleased with his work,but his very grounds are mistaken. God knows Himself. As a matter of fact, He is the only one who knows Him as He does.Therefore, He has no need to “believe” in Himself, because He is present to Himself always. You don’t need faith when the reality is present.

The devil and his minions do believe in the divinity of Jesus, but that is not the definition of a Christian. Jesus told us," Love the Lord your God with your whole Heart and mind and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself." Satan will never do this. The diabolical are theists but not Christian.

Peace!


#8

The atheist who posed this view to me in a chat room defended his views in the following ways. ( I am writing this from memory, of course.)

He said that God is an Atheist because he does not recognize god he only refers to himself as I AM, something that’s personal/person. In a sense that to God there is no God, he does not see himself as God but as I AM, which the atheist interprets as something that is like a person.

He defends his position of Satan being a Christian by saying that one becomes a Christian by believing in Christ, his divinity, plan of redemption, etc. I of course said that becoming a Christian and being a Christian is much more than simple knowledge of Jesus or Belief in Jesus and in response the atheist presents FAITH ALONE.

To me and most, if not all, Christians the claims that this atheist made are simply stupid, but there were quiet a few other atheists and agnostics in the chat room and to them the claim that God is an Atheist and Satan is Christian seemed pretty logical and reasonable. I cannot see it, but for some reason to them it made sense, in their own words.


#9

Honestly, I would tend to drop it with him.
He sounds like someone who will argue just to argue.

Peace
James


#10

Only by inventing his own definitions for the words “atheist” and “Christian” can your friend make his claim. And of course, once you start inventing your own definitions for words, you can say anything and make it sound superficially plausible. Politicians do it all the time.

An atheist is a person who affirmatively believes in the non-existence of God. An atheist is not a person who doesn’t pratice a religion, which is the way your friend used the word. That was the first error in his reasoning.

A Christian is a person who has been baptized. Satan has not been baptized (nor could he be, since he is not human). Satan therefore is not and can never become a Christian. Only by redefining the word “Christian” to mean someone who recoginizes the reality of Christ can your friend make his claim. That’s the second error in his reasoning.


#11

As I see it, most our problems coming to agreement on many issues is that certain concepts or verbage has not been defined by agreement.
First of all there may be differing opinions or definitions of the word or idea of Satan.
An Hebrew definifition that I read refers to Satan as “an obstacle”.
Anything or anyone that is an obstacle to us being closer to God.
Therefore, one can say that Satan is the essence imbued in any worldly thing or person that distances us from God.
Satan is everything that God is not.
This atheist seems bent on confining Satan to personification and I believe that is a very limited definition.
Also, let’s not forget Satan’s minions and collaborators.
I hope this helps. This is my personal belief in any case.


#12

Of course, the logic is flawed. Paul tells us the three great virtues are faith, hope and love (charity). Two of those, faith and hope, exist as gifts for us humans only as long as we are alive here on earth. Angels don’t have them and God doesn’t have them because they don’t need them. Once we die, we don’t need faith–we will know what our faith or lack thereof led us to. We don’t need hope because we will enter into eternal reward (maybe the long route for most of us) or eternal punishment. Hope is incompatible with complete happiness and eternal damnation. That’s why love is the greatest virtue, because it is one we share with God. Saying God doesn’t believe in God (and expression of faith) or hope is just saying he isn’t human, which is correct as far as it goes. It doesn’t say anything about what God is, but what he isn’t.

Angels, even the fallen ones, are not Christian. That they know the divinity of Christ there is no doubt–they may not like it, but they can’t “unknow” something. Christ died for human sin, not angelic sin, so in that sense they are outside the boundaries of Christianity.


#13

It is a clear bait strategy and very poor logic that has been applied. First you could use the scientific method of refute which is basically informing the person they are wrong. That is the most common rebuttal. Second the logic is awful as it under estimates what it is to be God.

God is supreme and that means there are no other ‘gods’ or lesser entities to which God is subservient otherwise God would not be God. That is a pure definition statement. Commandment number one actually. In this case the facts support your side.

As an atheist this person sure 'claims to be knowledgeable about God. Does this person have proof or is it a claim to see if someone will fall for the trap of arguing that they know God better because they are religious. Then you are sunk because you will need proof, don’t fall for the bait.

Further, the atheist said that Satan is a Theist, not only is he a theist but also a Christian.

Well this is looking up. You can compliment the atheist on his knowledge of Satan. Not having met the chap personally this person is welcome to be an expert. Just don’t ask for proof. It is not a good look for your side of the debate.

His reasoning is that Satan knows there is God, he talks to God, makes references about God thus he is a Theist, furthermore Satan speaks to Jesus Christ, is aware of the salvation plan that Jesus is trying to fulfill and is trying to debunk it by tempting Jesus thus he is a Christian because he knows about the sacrifice that Jesus is going to make and how that sacrifice will redeem mankind.

Plus for the God camp. That information came from our side and is plus points for the supremacy of God. Point out that unlike some Jesus Christ was not tempted. Where does he get being a Christian from, the Church founded on the teachings of the Apostles and on Peter the Rock was not yet established. Come on The Son of God comes into the world and are we to assume the devil didn’t have clue what it was all about. The records indicate Satan was a high ranking angel once and so is a fallen Christian … what is this atheist person’s point?

And he finished by saying “See Atheists are right/good, because God is an Atheist, since God does not believe in god. See Christians are wrong/bad because Satan is a theist, he believes in God, Satan is a Christian because he knows what Christ is doing and believes in the potency of Christ’s sacrifice”.

Again this atheist is with the knowledge of divinity. Are they a supporter of Intelligent Design perhaps? Certainly seems to know a lot about divinity and the lack of divinity for any human being. Strenuously question their atheist credentials and confirm they are a card carrying member with no beliefs because in such a short time there have been quite a few expressed.

Listen to the answer and ask again just to make sure they are not a closet Christian just a bit shaky in their faith.

Now this is a very unusual proposition, especially when posed by an Atheist. This guy was in fact laughing and rather happy with himself because this kind of problem gave us theists/christians a bit of a headache.

No problem at all. Many of the happiest people I know are Christians or hold Christian beliefs. Besides we get a few of their number closer to the day in the leap of faith conversions in time of crisis or much closer to the hour of death.

Now, I reject his claims, but unfortunately I could not come up with a concise and point by point argument against these claims. I am only on the journey of discovering God and becoming a Christian so I am hoping that some of you here might be able to offer a much better rebuttal than the one I did and I would certainly like to hear it.

Please Respond…

Don’t worry because in the end that sort of debate at most will last a lifetime for an atheist if they are suitably determined. That is barely a drop in the bucket when it comes to an eternity of heavenly reward … you don’t need to beat them when you already know that you can outlast them.

Prayers and good wishes,
Michael.


#14

Dear Ghola5, Besides this person’s flawed logic, it seems to me that he wants to be able to do what he wants, while not being accountable to his conscience.

When he declares that God is an atheist (God does not acknowledge himself), he is inferring that God is equal to man, instead of being an authority over man.

Believing that he and God are equal beings, he is inclined to make-up his own morals. Further “down the road” his conscience will become reformed and it will be numb to simple guilt and shame.

By the way, this guy is not an atheist, since he acknowledges there is a God. He also points out that God is good and satan is bad. Since he is not really an atheist, then according to his own logic, he is wrong/bad.

P.S. Not all logic is truth. Satan deceived Eve with logic, and it was a lie! Sincerely Mamelta


#15

Thats like saying that if an atheist believes in himself then he is not an atheist.

No. God is an atheist because he does not believe in a being higher than himself.


#16

An atheist isn’t a person who doesn’t believe anything is higher than himself. An atheist is someone who denies the existence of any deity.


#17

And what is a ‘deity’ but a person who is immensely more powerful than another person. like Hercules, Isis, & Jesus. Hypothetically more powerful than a human being. So for humans those 3 are gods.

Your God is an atheist.


#18

So if you know yourself to be the most powerful thing in existence then you can’t believe that there is a most powerful thing in existence.

That’s just silly.

Chuck


#19

“Tell him next time he should work on his theology BEFORE the second 6 pack”

…And the bottle of Gentleman Jack.

Don’t you just love these, "if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound… debates?

Someone has way too much free time on his hands.


#20

It not as if there is merely a hierarchy of power where one being “just happens” to be at the top.

The position of “God” is unique. There is only “uncaused cause” only one that created reality ex nihilo

Either you are the creator, or you are a creature.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.