In Christianity, the title Satan (Hebrew: הַשָּׂטָן ha-Satan), “the opposer”, is a title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Jewish Bible. “Satan” later became the name of the personification of evil. Christian tradition and theology changed “Satan” from an accuser appointed by God to test men’s faith to God’s godlike fallen opponent: “the Devil”, “Shaitan” in Arabic (the term used by Arab Christians and Muslims)
Iblis was proud and considered himself superior to Adam, since Adam was made from clay and Iblis from smokeless fire. For this act of disobedience, God cursed him to Jahannam (Hell/Purgatory) for eternity…
It is shocking how many devout Muslims and Christians believe in the idea of a Satan or a Devil.
This idea of a ‘Satan whispering into ears of people deviating them from God’s path’ is also intricately tied to inducing fear of God or fear of falling off from God’s path. This leads to pathologies which show up in people, eventually in our society, and results in ‘religious exclusivist attitudes’, arrogance and eventually violent attitudes and wars. Equally pathetic in my opinion is that this theology kills people’s ability to ‘question’ thus preventing the human mind from flourishing and growing.
Engineers, doctors, educationists, politicians and leaders in our parliaments and political discourse (and ofcourse religious leaders) believe this nonsense, perpetuate it, keeping children as well as adults from developing a questioning rational mind, which is a necessity for taking responsibility(associated with mental health) and developing scientific fervor.
Hence this post — out of sheer disgust seeing the abysmal levels to which human minds have been reduced by such theology.
Let’s explore all of these ideas —
- that God would want to “test” human beings
- of an equal and opposing force to the Creator himself
- the “path” of God
- free will
- burning in hell eternally
Let’s explore some of these ideas and the territory it brings human beings to.
A word of clarification here. I have used God and Allah interchangeably — assuming it is a reference to the same Creator (ofcourse Malaysian courts have denied use of the term to non-Muslims creating ever more exclusivist attitudes and divides). And a disclaimer as well. If you are a conservative catholic or an orthodox muslim, this article will offend if you. However, none of these ideas or thoughts are original to me — they have troubled your theologians and co-religionists for ages but you all have chosen to gloss over these declared people, who have openly raised doubts about your theology, as heretics and killed liberally and regularly in the name of your preserving original commandments from Allah. There can be no greater act of rendering the creator powerless and incapable of sending more messengers.
“Appointed by God to test men’s faith”
This idea of “testing ones faith” and the the possibility of people falling from “God’s path” is designed to keep human beings to attitudes of servitude and unquestioned blind faith. If you question such theology, as i am doing, the Devil is supposed to have spoken into my ear, and one falls from God’s path. Such discourse is designed to instill fear in the hearts of people, making them powerless and fearful in this life certainly, and even threatening them with eternal damnation of burning in hell in the after-life.
What a powerful way of controlling human beings into obedience!
God, the creator of this Universe and surely an all-powerful being without who’s will not a leaf could move is surprisingly unable to control a mere human being’s mind and thoughts and thus his destiny? What a shame! And strangely God is supposed to be the all-knowing — including the past and future. That being so, this creates a contradiction in His will and ours. Does he already know how we’re going to make our life choices? If yes, then Satan has no purpose — because whatever he fills our ears with is meaningless — as our action has already been predestined. So, if you choose what is called Satan’s opinion then that choice should have already been known to God. And if He already knew our choices then clearly there is no question of human beings having free-will, in making such choices and suggests that our choices have been predestined. Then why burn us in hell, for heaven’s sake?
Allah’s path or Satan’s path?
There is God’s path and there is not-God’s path (or Satan’s path). Why are all paths not His? If they are not his paths, then why were they created?
What kind of an all powerful Allah is He who cannot prevent Satan from murmuring his nonsense into our ears creating an opening for deviation from His path?
Do we have “free will”?
Free-will is about freedom. Freedom to make our choices from among more than one option or direction to choose from.
What kind of a sadistic God it is who first allows creation of a multiple path (since he allowed a Satan’s path), allows a Shaitan to speak into our ear, thus giving us multiple choices to choose from, and then punishes us in hell is we listen to Shaitan and walking on that ‘other path’.
Which one is God’s path, really?
The argument given my muslims is that Allah’s path is dictated to human beings via Muhammad in the Quran. How must you live, eat, pray, have sex, with whom are you permitted to have sex and who not, what food is God’s and what is haram — everything has been laid out. Whatever is not laid out clearly he has left a chain of priests and imams to interpret the life of the prophets and determine social and moral behaviour.
So, i was given birth in a Hindu family, raised with values such as “all religions lead to the same Divine”, of One Brahman (Creator) who does not judge, one without laws and conditions laid upon humanity, and to make it worse — that there is no difference between Him and i; and that i can raise myself to God-hood; and infact that this is the sole purpose of the existence of the Universe.
And having given such a powerful and responsible upbringing i am now to learn that i have deviated from Allah’s path and i shall burn in hell — the duration of which will be determined by how much i repent, etc. Ofcourse i must return to Allah’s path by becoming an obedient and subservient human being who must carry an instruction manual for conducting my life.
How powerless and sadistic is this God who first allows me to be born in a family which teaches everything that is not his path, and then burns me in hell for not knowing it any other way.
Please stop making a mockery of the Creator!