In defense of the Devil


The devil get’s a bad rap in the bible. A number of people have in the past tried to repair his CV and present it in a way that so resembles the truth as is humanly possible especially given the spurious nature of the writings.

I will just mention a few incidences where the devil/ Satan should really have been praised instead of demonized.

In Genesis, the serpent/ Stan tells the first family a truth, that they will not die for eating the fruit. The curious thing about the admonition they would die is that the couple had no idea what to die meant.

Several instances in the new testament, the devil/ Satan declares that Jesus is the messiah when he, Jesus, doesn’t want this known.

Am tired and will stop here.

There should be a day for the devil 😛

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

115 thoughts on “In defense of the Devil

  1. john zande says:

    One spirit encourages learning and knowledge, the other actively works against its acquisition. Which is the tyrant?

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    • makagutu says:

      In religious speak, the spirit that makes you doubt or question the legitimacy of god’s command is the personification of tyranny

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    • themodernidiot says:

      If you look at them from another angle, one story encourages trust and obedience in righteousness rather than hustlers, and the other discourages idolization and celebrity.

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      • john zande says:

        I don’t see that. I see the character who craves his playthings remain ignorant, while, mind you, they know there is “knowledge” being denied to them, which is a horrible thing to do, while the other character encourages the acquisition of that knowledge. Why give a toy a brain if its not allowed to program it?

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        • themodernidiot says:

          I know that’s what you see, and that’s just fine. I’m asking if you can see another way.

          I’ll just throw this down, and anyone can pick it up if hued like.

          If we could set aside our microscopes if accuracy, and try to just see how the writers were trying to explain the benefits of not trying to know everything, to warn us against hubris, much like writers have throughout time, perhaps we could dispel some popular confusion.

          The serpent was cautious, but it was not evil. It was a symbol for temptation, a warning against defiance simply for the sake of that hubris.

          The story if Eden is also an explanation of mortality and the harshness of life ( albeit a fantastical one, as most tales are). When God “said” we’d die, it wasn’t instantaneous death; it means we will use our knowledge to forever secure our mortality, for ourselves and against each other.

          Sometimes the best way to live is to just let things be. Our insistence on manipulating everything to appease our desires is our downfall. If we can resist that, and just be a part of life, we will live longer and be happier.

          And then there’s our tendency to deny culpability. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake, not each his own self; which is another lesson we teach to this day, to take responsibility for our own mistakes.

          Humans were given superior brains, but we’re still total dumbasses , mostly because of our self-absorption. We center ourselves in our universe, but can never reconcile that fantasy. So we act out, badly.

          It’s not as much a story about God as much as it is a lesson about man’s need to not to be arrogant little bastards.

          The first ones in many creation stories were created with plenty of knowledge. They weren’t toys without brains. They were beasts like the other beasts, self-aware to function, but not so self-concerned as to destroy themselves. Then they defy their better judgment (god), and turn their focus selfward, and proceed to completely blow it for everyone else.

          The Adam/Eve story is followed with another great tale about Cain and Abel, which continues in that same vein. Beware of Jealousy, which is also a result of focusing on one’s self and giving in to desire.

          Genesis is kind of an intro for the instruction manual/rule book the writers intended to compile. The great irony is that they ultimately failed to heed those lessons, produced a book for political purposes, and blew it for everyone else. Art imitates life.

          The caveat for the Bible is that putting it against a yardstick of literalism is ineffective at best. You have to read it with the mind of a scientist, the heart of a poet, and the wonder of a child.

          The flaw with theism and atheism that I keep finding is that neither camp does that. They pick and choose weapons from it rather than just mediate over its accomplishment together. I’m not accusing you of doing this, of course, just illustrating what I see most often from my vantage point here in No Man’s Land.

          If we read the Bible for its inconsistencies, that’s all we’ll ever find. When we read it for its gifts (history, lessons, insight, politics, poetry, etcetera), we’ll find those wonderful gems, plus wisdom for ourselves.

          And I agree that the interpreters have given Satan a bad wrap, Noel. He was misunderstood and Jesus didn’t try hard enough. 🙂

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          • makagutu says:

            Oh dear, I agree with you to a point that bible exegesis can be useful, but this is true of many books written by men for men or do I say written by women for the race. The problem as I see it is that the bible is put in a hallowed place and all of us are expected to treat it as such and for this reason believers keep trying to use it to influence law and public conduct where it is intended for private belief.

            If the story of Eden is to be about our immortality, one must agree that it is one of the poorly told stories ever. The god is heard to say let us send him away before he eats of the tree of life. Unless one intends to make a case of special pleading, there is no denying that man was always mortal and the bible author either didn’t know it or wanted an excuse to explain why man suffers.

            It is man that says they have a superior brain. It has left much to be desired in its wake and the jury is still out on this.

            The story of Cain and Abel can as well be about the caprice of the gods and not jealousy of man. The god in the story without reason shows preference for one and not the other. Who would expect this of a god however malicious? If anything can be drawn from the Cain/ Abel story is to not trust the gods.

            Genesis is a myth of how the Hebrew people saw themselves in the world. The world would be better if it remained as such, a Hebrew story.

            There is no reason to treat the bible with kid gloves. I agree with you it has some great stories. I especially like Ecclesiastes and Job among others.

            When we reading the bible, let us read it as we would read any literature book and each person makes their own interpretations. Let it not be the standard for law or for science it is neither of the above.

            Jesus couldn’t help it. If he lived, he was born in a culture that demonised god’s alter ego.

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          • themodernidiot says:

            Never mind

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          • john zande says:

            I can understand that, but its too openly fascist to be considered a “good” story. It’s actually quite ghastly, and peppered with all sorts of logical and moral flaws.

            The Judean Yahwehist priests (from 8th and 7th Century BCE Judah), of course, plagiarised the story from the far, far older Zoroastrians who did a much better job. The 3rd Century Christians who knitted together their religion made a terrible blunder keeping that creation myth. They had a great opportunity to pen a new one, and probably should have.

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          • themodernidiot says:

            Yes they did retell old tales, but so do all writers. I’m not saying it doesn’t have a horrible past and that compilers had political motives, but it’s good shit to play with, and worth a different perspective.

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      • makagutu says:

        Blind obedience, ignorance and bigotry is what one side offers. The other side offers light and knowledge

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  2. I must let you know when my friend republishes his short story about the devil. I think he’s going to do it as a freebie, and it is an easy read, should fit right into this theme.

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  3. A day for the devil, eh? OK. How about Anti-Christmas? We can celebrate it on June 25th, and on that day all manner of learning, knowledge seeking, and question asking will be valued, encouraged, and celebrated. In time, hopefully, Anti-Christmas day will become infectious and spread to every day of the year causing the idea of christianity, as a fount of absolute knowledge, to become buried in time forever.

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  4. Maria F. says:

    The Devil seems to be the antithesis to life (or in this case God or “Life” or a “savior”), this is probably why Spinoza was dreaded in his time because he ceases to anthropomorphize God:

    “Spinoza’s God does not have free will (1p32c1), he does not have purposes or intentions (1apendix), and Spinoza insists that “neither intellect nor will pertain to the nature of God” (1p17s1). Moreover, while we may love God, we need to remember that God is really not the kind of being who could ever love us back. “He who loves God cannot strive that God should love him in return,” says Spinoza”-Wiki

    This was probably the greatest insult for most religious people, to think that perhaps God was “independent” from us must have been a calamity. But the Devil, even if feared and dreaded, is highly anthropomorphized also. So Wolves are the devil, crows are the devil, not to mention ravens and serpents, and some highly religious people believe “human anger” is the devil, and finally, “bad weather”. “Bad weather” is the “Apocalypse” and will wipe us all! hehe

    But all along it’s probably death and sickness, but even dying people don’t see it as such. So probably the tyrant is the EGO.

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    • makagutu says:

      Spinoza’s views explain why he was excommunicated or whatever Jews do to those they consider apostates.
      For the believer anything bad can be apportioned to the devil.
      The ego could be the problem and I think that could explain why the Eastern religions speak of self as a delusion

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  5. Well said. BUT, the real true devil just happens to be personified in the person of Governor Rick Perry of Texas. That was scientifically proven via blood test and genetic testing about a week ago. Perry is the devil, and Sarah Palin, believe it or not, is an igneous rock. Odd that a person could be a stone, but science has proven it. Sarah Palin is dumb as rock cause on the molecular level, she truly is one.

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  6. “There should be a day for the devil”

    We sorta, kinda have a day for the devil here in the U.S. October 31 — Halloween. NPR writes:

    “Halloween is now the most popular holiday among people 25 and under. The rise in popularity of Halloween among millennials is a clear indicator that they crave casual fun in a world where they feel pressured by other popular family activities,”

    The Christian devil was clearly the scapegoat of Yahweh’s fuck-up.

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  7. aguywithoutboxers says:

    Excellent thought and responses. One questions, isn’t the devil an apparition created by a mythical deity and his/her followers? Have a great remainder of the weekend, buddy! 🙂

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  8. ladysighs says:

    Enjoyed all the funny comments. (Must have presents!)

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