Is Satan real?


#1

According to author M. Scott Peck:
“80 percent of Catholic priests polled confidentially in 1960…[do] not believe in the devil.”

  • ***Glimpses of the Devil, ***pg.2

I don’t know about anyone else out there, but this number absolutely frightens me. And think: if it was 80 percent in 1960, imagine what it must be today. I had always thought that belief in Satan was Catholic dogma.

Another issue concerning Satan I wanted to discuss is his nature. It seems that on every thread on these forums Catholics accept the idea that Satan was a fallen angel. I have a hard time believing this (or anything else stated in Revelations, for that matter) and have dismissed it as myth. But I do believe that Satan exists. My idea about Satan is that he is an entity created by MAN, not by God. He draws his existence from the sins of man, and, in turn, tempts man to sin. This, to me, seems much more believable, but bear in mind that it is just a theory of mine.

I thought it would be interesting to know the thoughts and beliefs of other forum members on Satan. If you have anything to discuss about Satan’s existence, intent, or nature, please post it here.


#2

Man has the ability to create a spirit??? I don’t think so. Man can have concepts, thoughts, but these are not entities with a life of their own. What other entities/spirits/persons has man created…God? If one, then why not the other? That seems the logical conclusion to the train of thought that man can collectively create living spirits.

Do you believe in Angels as spirits created by God? If so, then it is quite conceivable that they too were tested and that some fell. Satan’s “motto” is “non serviam” (I will not serve)

Also, evil is likened to darkness very appropriately in that darkness is not an entity in itself. Darkness isn’t something, it is the lack of something, the lack of light. Evil is not in itself an entity, it is the lack of goodness. Just as one cannot extract darkness from light ( one can only exclude the light)…one cannot extract evil from something…one can only exclude goodness.


#3

[quote=Spyder1jcd]According to author M. Scott Peck:
“80 percent of Catholic priests polled confidentially in 1960…[do] not believe in the devil.” - ***Glimpses of the Devil, ***pg.2
[/quote]

Even admitting that the Church has lots of problems… still, that doesn’t sound right. Did he cite that poll?


#4

[quote=Spyder1jcd] But I do believe that Satan exists. My idea about Satan is that he is an entity created by MAN, not by God. He draws his existence from the sins of man, and, in turn, tempts man to sin. This, to me, seems much more believable, but bear in mind that it is just a theory of mine.

[/quote]

Jesus claims he is real.

Luke 10:17-18
17 The seventy (-two) returned rejoicing, and said, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name."
18 Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.

That is from his own mouth.

Beebs


#5

[quote=Beebs]Jesus claims he is real.

Luke 10:17-18
17 The seventy (-two) returned rejoicing, and said, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name."
18 Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.

That is from his own mouth.

Beebs
[/quote]

You must realize that Jesus often spoke in metaphors and analogies, and sometimes he would speak of things in terms of how the people of that time saw them. And while I do acknowledge the existence of Satan, I find it difficult to believe that God would create angels that, in His infinite knowledge, He knew would revolt before He had even created them. It just doesn’t make sense to me that God would create an enemy for Himself.

And in response to the arguments that man did not create Satan, let me clarify: I meant that the very first evil done by the very first man manifested itself into the entity that we know as Satan. So, man did not directly create Satan, but his sinfulness did. And no, this theory doesn’t support the idea that God could’ve been created by man. Satan is the lesser of the two spirits, and therefore could’ve been created by a lesser power. And when you think about it, how can something be pure evil if it began good? It just seems more logical to me that the Prince of Darkness was created by darkness. Even the worst tyrants of our history showed mercy at one time or another. And if this myth were to believed, they began the same way Satan did. Satan is unmerciful and unforgiving, so it only makes sense that he was born of pure evil.

Contrary to popular belief, Satan isn’t the cause of the evils of this world. It is man’s choices that cause the evils of this world. It is Satan who coaxes man to sin because that is what he draws his power from: sin. Because he is pure evil, he thrives on evil.

At least, that’s what I believe.


#6

Evil is a lack of goodness…it has no existance of itself. Darkness likewise. We cannot create darkness, we can’t transport it, because “it” isn’t anything at all. Light is something, we can see light, we can create light, we can extiguish it, it has being. One cannot siphon darkness off and overcome light with it. I don’t know how to make this understandable to you. Evil/darkness is a void, a vacuum. How do you feed off of a vacuum…you can’t, because it’s empty.

An action is not an entity. An entity/spirit has a will and has thought and makes decisions. All the actions or lack of actions cannot create a spiritual entity…only God can create something out of nothing…not possible for creatures to do so. So either Satan is not real, but rather is just a concept of man, or he is real and God created him (or at least the angel who became Satan.)


#7

Personally, I don’t believe in the existence of “satan.” It is probably the single most illogical teaching in all of Christianity.

God is Love. Period. Creating “satan”, knowing full well he would later “tempt” us, even perhaps to the point of us incurring the eternal punishment of our souls, would be like me giving my 4 year-old nephew a loaded gun for Christmas and not only expecting him to not shoot himself or someone else, but punishing him if he happened to do just that.

Thank you for your time.

Mike


#8

[quote=mhansen]Personally, I don’t believe in the existence of “satan.” It is probably the single most illogical teaching in all of Christianity.

God is Love. Period. Creating “satan”, knowing full well he would later “tempt” us, even perhaps to the point of us incurring the eternal punishment of our souls, would be like me giving my 4 year-old nephew a loaded gun for Christmas and not only expecting him to not shoot himself or someone else, but punishing him if he happened to do just that.

Thank you for your time.

Mike
[/quote]

Well, Mike, if your profile says your religion is “hereticism”, does that make you a heretic?

The Catholic Church, regardless of what M.Scott Peck cites as a poll of priests, believes in evil and in Satan.


#9

[quote=Spyder1jcd]You must realize that Jesus often spoke in metaphors and analogies, and sometimes he would speak of things in terms of how the people of that time saw them.
[/quote]

Oh I am sorry I wasn’t aware you were there to hear what he meant.

You don’t know that, but there were eyewitness to what he said and recorded their understanding of it. See the bible and the writings of the early church father. If you think they lied about it, then what did they gain by dying to protect this lie.

I understand your distrust and misunderstanding of the new testament, I was there once. Once I had studied the history of the bible and the writing of the early christians and writings of the roman and jewish writers of that day, I had to let go of these notions.

I suggest you read a book called “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist”


#10

[quote=La Chiara]Well, Mike, if your profile says your religion is “hereticism”, does that make you a heretic?

The Catholic Church, regardless of what M.Scott Peck cites as a poll of priests, believes in evil and in Satan.
[/quote]

According to the Church, yes, I’m a heretic. There are worse things I could be, to be quite honest.

I’m also quite aware of what the Catholic Church’s position is on this topic. I was merely sharing my opinion. This is a DISCUSSION forum, right? After all, it’s not too hard to look up the Church’s postion on this, if that was the OP’s intent, and then we wouldn’t need to burden the internet with all of these unnecessary packets, especially since the OP IS Catholic.

Thanks,
Mike


#11

[quote=mhansen]Personally, I don’t believe in the existence of “satan.” It is probably the single most illogical teaching in all of Christianity.

God is Love. Period. Creating “satan”, knowing full well he would later “tempt” us, even perhaps to the point of us incurring the eternal punishment of our souls, would be like me giving my 4 year-old nephew a loaded gun for Christmas and not only expecting him to not shoot himself or someone else, but punishing him if he happened to do just that.

Thank you for your time.

Mike
[/quote]

Classic,

Do you think it is a good idea to look at the eternal Father using the mind set of a regular old human being? God can not be put in a little human box and talked about as if he is the guy down the street. God does not think as man thinks, act as man acts, or do as man does. Your common sense conclusion about Gods actions misses the mark by light years. Who can fathom the mind of God?

-D


#12

God gives us all free will. would He withhold that from His angels? i think not. Lucifer, one of the origional Archangels, was created to reflect glory back to God Himself. Lucifer, having free will, became jealous of the glory God was receiving, and left Gods presence, or the light if you will, and went down to earth, taking 1/3 of all of Gods angels with him, that we now know as demons. Lucifer used the serpent to tempt Eve to eat the fruit, therefore the ‘entity’ of evil was there before the sin, so the ‘entity’ could not have been created by the first sin. Lucifer is more commonly called Satan, which means adversary, and Satan and his demons prowl the earth for the destruction of souls out of the same free will that was given to man, and allows him to fall from grace.


#13

Im 99.9999999% sure that Satan appeared to a number of saints.

If you think they were lying, thats your choice.

And a pope had a vision of satan, cant believe my brain has given up on remembering which pope, ill find out.


#14

[quote=mhansen]According to the Church, yes, I’m a heretic. There are worse things I could be, to be quite honest.

I’m also quite aware of what the Catholic Church’s position is on this topic. I was merely sharing my opinion. This is a DISCUSSION forum, right? After all, it’s not too hard to look up the Church’s postion on this, if that was the OP’s intent, and then we wouldn’t need to burden the internet with all of these unnecessary packets, especially since the OP IS Catholic.

Thanks,
Mike
[/quote]

Oh.:hmmm:


#15

[quote=Darrel]Classic,

Do you think it is a good idea to look at the eternal Father using the mind set of a regular old human being? God can not be put in a little human box and talked about as if he is the guy down the street. God does not think as man thinks, act as man acts, or do as man does. Your common sense conclusion about Gods actions misses the mark by light years. Who can fathom the mind of God?

-D
[/quote]

We agree in principle. Only our application is different. You say I’m putting God in a human box, yet I have no doctrine or dogma concerning God, no way to PUT Him in a box. The mere existence of your Catechism shows the attempt made to “put God in a little human box.”

How is it that you see your attempt to explain the “ways of God” as a way of NOT “fathoming the mind of God?” Isn’t this EXACTLY what you’re doing?

Anytime you put into print the “ways of God”, you are “putting God in a little human box” due to the limiting nature of words themselves. The way you describe God is “using the mind set of a regular old human being.” That is, you see a God of conditional love, whether you realize it or not. You see a God that “needs” something, whether it’s for us to do something, or to NOT do something, or heck, even to call Him by the right name. You see a God that favors one group over another. You, my friend, are the one that sees God “as the guy down the street.”, as these are all very HUMAN behaviors. You just happen to be conditioned to believe that this is all “just the way it is.”

If you really look at it, I mean REALLY look at it, you’ll see that it is you who limit God, not me.

Mike


#16

[quote=Magicsilence]Im 99.9999999% sure that Satan appeared to a number of saints.

If you think they were lying, thats your choice.

And a pope had a vision of satan, cant believe my brain has given up on remembering which pope, ill find out.
[/quote]

I never said they were lying, thank you very much! How do you know it was “satan” they saw? Did he leave his business card?

Maybe, just maybe, they saw exactly what they CHOSE to see.

Mike


#17

[quote=Spyder1jcd]According to author M. Scott Peck:
“80 percent of Catholic priests polled confidentially in 1960…[do] not believe in the devil.”

  • ***Glimpses of the Devil, ***pg.2
    .
    [/quote]

THEY DONT BELIVE IN THE DEVIL???..THEY SHOULD, HE BELIVES IN THEM.


#18

[quote=jax8686] Lucifer used the serpent to tempt Eve to eat the fruit, therefore the ‘entity’ of evil was there before the sin, so the ‘entity’ could not have been created by the first sin. .
[/quote]

Good point! I hadn’t look at it from that point of view, that the Adversary was present before the first human sin. I just had gone from Satan sinned and here it was, and then man participated in sin and away we went.


#19

[quote=Spyder1jcd]I had always thought that belief in Satan was Catholic dogma.
Another issue concerning Satan I wanted to discuss is his nature. It seems that on every thread on these forums Catholics accept the idea that Satan was a fallen angel. I have a hard time believing this and have dismissed it as myth. But I do believe that Satan exists. My idea about Satan is that he is an entity created by MAN, not by God.
[/quote]

Only one reference (it is always good to drink directly from the source):

Council of Braga II, 561 AD

The devil was created good and became evil

Canon 7 If anyone says that the devil was not first a good angel made by God, and that his nature was not a work of God, but says that he came forth from darkness, and does not have any author of himself, but is himself the origin and substance of evil, as Manichaeus and Priscillian have said, let him be anathema.


#20

[quote=mhansen]We agree in principle. Only our application is different. You say I’m putting God in a human box, yet I have no doctrine or dogma concerning God, no way to PUT Him in a box. The mere existence of your Catechism shows the attempt made to “put God in a little human box.”

How is it that you see your attempt to explain the “ways of God” as a way of NOT “fathoming the mind of God?” Isn’t this EXACTLY what you’re doing?

Anytime you put into print the “ways of God”, you are “putting God in a little human box” due to the limiting nature of words themselves. The way you describe God is “using the mind set of a regular old human being.” That is, you see a God of conditional love, whether you realize it or not. You see a God that “needs” something, whether it’s for us to do something, or to NOT do something, or heck, even to call Him by the right name. You see a God that favors one group over another. You, my friend, are the one that sees God “as the guy down the street.”, as these are all very HUMAN behaviors. You just happen to be conditioned to believe that this is all “just the way it is.”

If you really look at it, I mean REALLY look at it, you’ll see that it is you who limit God, not me.

Mike
[/quote]

ok,

Let me ask you this. Is your idea based on anything concrete? Or is it just what feels right to you? Jesus said the devil is real how can you refute it with anything but opinion? Is there any basis for your opinion at all like scripture etc? Does free will factor into your opinions? The devil chose his course of his own free will just like we will. It is never wise to just make it up as you go. If you believe this is truth I would hope its based on something solid.

-D


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