Firstly, I can’t take any credit for the writing you see below. I received a link on Facebook to this piece, which was originally a ‘Facebook note’ written by an American. (so excuse the references to American situations) I got in contact with the author and received his consent to share it on MyNews24.
I share this article mainly because I found it to be a very enjoyable and thought provoking read, I also agree with the author’s views completely and feel this is an interesting angle on the usual ‘theist vs atheist’ debate.
How does anybody know God is more moral than Satan? If it’s because the bible says so, then that is arbitrary and followers of the bible are basically just listening to God saying “I’m the good one, follow me.” If it’s due to observing actions and judging god’s actions to be better, then can’t we just use those standards to judge our actions, making god unnecessary? Besides, Satan hasn't even bothered authoring a book and telling his side of the story.
What if God was actually the evil one and Satan was in fact good? After all, God is responsible for 250 million deaths, while Satan is responsible for only 10, all of which God commanded of him. If something bad happens like an earthquake or a Tsunami, we tend to call it 'an act of god' not an 'act of the devil'. Why?
It beggars my belief that millions of 'believers' claim that god is good, when the 'evidence' from his alleged behaviours and teachings is so comprehensively the opposite. Throughout the bible there are numerous accounts of god dishing out divine punishment by way of genocide, plagues, ethnic cleansing, and the like. If the bible were the word of god, then god supports infanticide, slavery, torture genocide and all manner of death destruction and suffering. I do not know of any mention of the devil being blamed for such things.
Just take the Crucifixion as an example - the foundation of the Christian religion. This is nothing less than a human sacrifice, and purportedly to allow sinners to go free of punishment for their sins. What father would have his own son, a 'good man' by all accounts, brutally tortured and murdered so that 'bad' people could be let of their crimes? If the answer is that god loves us all and wants us to be forgiven why did he not just do that? Why insist on a bloodthirsty Crucifixion first?
God is clearly a tyrant. He has committed many acts of evil, and somehow managed to amass an incredible following. That means God must be the ultimate deceiver. He has painted Satan as the deceiver to disguise his own faults and gain worshipers in a classic manner.
If the tyrannical dictator can condemn the good guy and convince enough people, he can get away with much evil. This is a ploy commonly used by skillful politicians and anyone who seeks personal gain at the expense of others.
Furthermore, Satan purportedly rebelled against this evil tyrant, even though he was greatly outnumbered and faced an omnipotent being. That, according to our common beliefs, (as we praise military heroes who sacrifice themselves for the good of their nation) is not only admirable, but makes Satan a martyr.
The only thing that Satan is accused of doing 'wrong' was encouraging the naive Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge. Is knowledge a bad thing? Surely not. Knowledge has enabled mankind to cure infectious diseases, perform life saving surgery, feed the hungry, rescue victims of natural disasters in helicopters, lifeboats and the like.
God, who would deny us this knowledge, has, according to believers, punished the whole of mankind in perpetuity for this 'original sin', as well as punishing all species of snake for ever more by removing their legs! God, who supposedly can cure all these things by invoking miracles chooses not to, except for a few demonstrations of his alleged power by curing one leper victim - rather than eliminating leprosy, he will feed 5,000 with a loaf and a fish but will not eliminate starvation and hunger, make a blind man see but leave countless others still blind etc etc .
God is no more than a terrorist, that is why his followers are said to be 'god fearing'. His followers must surely be evil at heart because they believe that we all (including themselves) would be incapable of being good, moral people unless we learn to 'fear' this tyrant and do his bidding, like Abraham who was terrorized to the brink of killing his own innocent son for fear of god's wrath. How cruel and sadistic was that? OK so god let him off at the last minute, but if a human being did what god was supposed to have done in the Abraham story he or she would end up in prison, or maybe a psychiatric hospital.
What is it in the human psyche that facilitates such a mass delusion and failure of objectivity? Maybe the desire to a happy afterlife is so overwhelming that we (well the religious 'believers' at any rate') turn a blind eye to god's overwhelming propensity for evil. And isn't that selfish and evil in it's own way? Just as many ordinary Germans did not speak out against Hitler and the Nazis' in the years leading up to and during the second World War for fear of risking their own necks. It's clear that all religious people suffer from Stockholm syndrome since a common theme I have noticed in the Western religions is the idea that our earthly existence is one of suffering and only in death can we find release from this suffering, through salvation. But we can’t intentionally escape this suffering early (i.e. commit suicide), because that’s a sin. So we’re stuck in this world, one where we are doomed to suffer, until we are given the sweet release of death. Seems like a captive situation to me.
The underlying premise of Stockholm syndrome is the captor convinces the captives that he is capable of ending their life and is willing to do so, the captives believe it is safer to align with their captor and endure their captivity than to resist and face death. How does this compare to Christianity? Two words: Pascal’s Wager. Being God-fearing is a staple of classical Christian practices, and even outside of those religions, most religions (including all Western religions, to my knowledge) include something in their dogma about how being a believer in that religion is the only way to achieve salvation, and all who deny that religion, regardless of how they lived their lives and whether they were a moral person, will face eternal damnation. As such, it’s better to believe in a potentially non-existing deity for the chance at salvation than to reject that deity and risk damnation. The captives’ motivation to live outweighs their impulse to hate the person who created their dilemma. The idea of personal tragedy as a “test of faith” serves as testament to the legitimacy of this analogy.
Another characteristic of Stockholm Syndrome is the captives view the captor as being benevolent simply by virtue of his lack of malevolent actions, and are willing to overlook malevolence on the captor’s part if some kindness is shown. I don’t think this one is exclusive to the Christian God. How many of you have ever heard the phrase, “Count your blessings”? One of the important teachings of Christianity (and many religions, I would imagine) is to be thankful for what you have, rather than wanting more or wanting to have fewer of the things you don’t want. Now, someone who has had nothing but misery in their life would probably find it hard to believe in a loving God, just as someone who is held captive by a captor who is constantly tormenting them will grow to hate their captor. But just as captives focus on the brief showings of benevolence by their captor, so Christianity teaches its followers to be thankful for the blessings their Lord has given them, rather than resentful of him for the things that he has denied them or taken away. In the world's poorest countries -- those with average per-capita incomes of $2,000 or lower -- the median proportion who say religion is important in their daily lives is 95%. In contrast, the median for the richest countries -- those with average per-capita incomes higher than $25,000 -- is 47%. [http://www.gallup.com/poll/142727/religiosity-highest-world-poorest-nations.aspx]
But even more than that, a big focus on Christian worship is being thankful for the things you still have, the things the Lord hasn’t taken away. Things like your family, your eyesight, your health—the things most people take for granted. This is one of the main points that lead me to consider the analogy between faith and Stockholm syndrome, because in a captive situation, captives begin to mistake a lack of abuse for kindness and develop feelings of appreciation for this mercy, which they perceive as actual benevolence, much like how religious people perceive not losing the things that are important to them as a blessing from their God. This is why believers have to construct miracles out of perfectly explicable natural events. This happens every time there is a tragedy or near tragedy of any kind, anywhere in the world. Take the batman shooting for example. 14 people died, 50 wounded, but somehow this tragic event yielded "miracles." Captain "Sully" Sullenberger pilots a distressed plane to land safely on the Hudson River in New York City with no deaths, and it's a miracle from God. Perhaps, just perhaps, God brought that plane down, and Satan saved it like an invisible Superman, or God sent that gunman into the theatre, but Satan saved all the people he could.
I’m not suggesting that being thankful for the things we haven’t lost is a bad thing; I’m just pointing out that it bears a striking resemblance to what happens in a real-life captive situation (Stockholm syndrome). In real life, we consider Stockholm syndrome to be a paradox, a defence mechanism against an undesirable situation. In other words, it is considered irrational. The lucid opinion to hold is resentment towards your captor, not affection. So why isn’t the same judgement applied to faith? If we accept the dogmatic elements discussed above as true, why isn’t in considered lucid to resent such a God, rather than praise him?
Satan is the only deity who truly stands for free will. God threatens us with punishments for not adhering to his wishes. But Satan tells us that we should enjoy our lives and be happy and free to do what we think is right.
If I believed in any kind of deity, I would most certainly worship Satan, become his devout follower and take up his noble fight against tyranny. Satan stands for justice, according to the biblical story, if you read it objectively. If only the story were true, he would be one of the greatest heroes in history, fighting what he surely knew would be a losing battle, but doing so for the sake of the greater good and to provide an example to the rest of us.
Just as the United States rebelled against British rule and gained their own freedom, Satan fought for freedom for all angels. Unfortunately, he lost the battle, which is a real tragedy.
All hail Satan! The true savior.