Hating Satan and Loving Animals - Contradiction?


According to Fr. Vincent Serpa’s most recent “Ask an Apologist” answer:

One cannot love God and not hate Satan. There is no good in Satan to love. … More precisely: To love anything, it must have more than metaphysical goodness, i.e., it must have more good to it than its’ merely existing. And Satan does not!

I really like his answer. But it introduces a problem: the Catechism says: It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons. (CCC 2418) I don’t think nonrational beings can have good in them other than metaphysical goodness, because they don’t have free will, which is necessary for doing good. So if we can’t love anything just for having metaphysical goodness, then how can we love animals?


What about the companionship of animals? Pets? The animals we use for food? These are goods beyond metaphysical goodness, aren’t they?


There is so much more to animals than their “mere existence” I could hate an animal for eating my crops or I could love an animal for plowing my crops. I could hate a dog for biting my leg or I could love a dog for providing companionship. Animals often teach us what it means to be human as well and we can love them for that.

Satan does not do any good.


I am not seeing the connection between animals and Satan. God gave us animals for many reasons, which may include food or companionship. I can love a book that I’ve read too, or a show, or the weather. None of these equate on the same level as love for God.


Every time my little dog welcomes me home with little kisses, bringing much laughter to me and my wife, I would think that he’s giving me more good beyond his mere existence.


Thanks for your input everybody. Makes me feel a little silly when it’s so obvious that pets do more good than just exist.


What normal person would not take their dog or cat to the vet if ill or injured. Who would tell their children that you let fluffy die, but spent the money wisely on the poor. Get real Sanctimonious do gooders should ask the question posed by Christ on pulling the ox out of the mun on the Sabbath.


I think the Christian concept of Satan is flawed i.e. Satan is totally evil and an eternal spirit. If he is 100% evil then that makes him equal to God ( as Yazidis believe).
Nothing & no one can be 100% anything…except God. Why is it not possible to pray for the repentance of Satan if he is only 99.9999% evil?

Even at the end of Time when this Universe is wrapped up, the Devil will continue to exist? Really? So then nothing is resolved. Redemption failed because Evil continues to exist. That doesn’t make sense . Since there will no one, no place, nothing to tempt or inflict evil on what is the point of Satan’s existence? Does this mean God cannot destroy evil? So evil will continue to exist for all Eternity? Again that doesn’t make sense.

So we end up with Eternal Evil and Eternal Good. Isn’t that what the Manicheans believed?
Christian & Islamic teaching on Satan is very confused and confusing.

PS: We are taught to hate no one - not even Satan; perhaps pity him?


Or babies, or crazy people etc…


so here you have your answer as to why it would be silly to hate satans. We have the chance to do good and grow because both exists.


This premise is flawed, not the Christian teaching. Satan is completely and 100% evil, but he could never be equal to God, because the devil is a creature, so by that alone, he is inherently inferior to God. Also, while he is immortal, he is not eternal, as there was a time before creation when he did not exist.

Further, the only reason Satan is 100% evil is because he is 0% good. God is not 100% good, he is infinitely good, just a light can keep getting brighter and brighter indefinitely, but once all light is extinguished, it cannot get any darker. Darkness is finite, 0% light, while light is potentially infinite.


That doesn’t follow, because Satan is a rational being. He’s a created spirit, and as such he has a mind and free will, which makes him rational.


First of all, when you say “the Christian concept” do you mean Catholic, or do you mean one of the 30,000 + Protestant denominations? God is eternal which means he has no beginning and no end. The angels and us humans were created to live forever. Our physical body dies, but our soul lives on forever. That’s how God created us. However, neither we nor the angels are eternal in the way that God is eternal. We are God’s creatures which means that, unlike God, all the rest of us had a beginning. Here’s what the Catholic Church teaches about the fallen angels:


391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called “Satan” or the “devil”. The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: “The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.”

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This “fall” consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter’s words to our first parents: “You will be like God.” The devil “has sinned from the beginning”; he is “a liar and the father of lies”.

393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. “There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.”

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls “a murderer from the beginning”, who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature - to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.”


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