Satan The Devil part 3

by John Thomas Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

part 3
Modern era

The Genius of Evil (1848) by Guillaume Geefs
Mormonism developed its views on Satan. According to the Book of Moses, the Devil offered to be the redeemer of Mankind for the sake of his glory. Conversely, Jesus offered to be the redeemer of Mankind so that his father's will would be done. After his offer was rejected, Satan became rebellious and was cast out of Heaven. In the Book of Moses, Cain is said to have "loved Satan more than God" and conspired with Satan to kill Abel. It was through this pact that Cain became a Master Mahan. The Book of Moses also says that Satan tempted Moses before calling upon the name of the "Only Begotten," which caused Satan to depart. Douglas Davies asserts that this text "reflects" the temptation of Jesus in the Bible.
Belief in Satan and demonic possession remains strong among Christians in the United States and Latin America. According to a 2013 poll conducted by YouGov, fifty-seven percent of people in the United States believe in a literal Devil, compared to eighteen percent of people in Britain. Fifty-one percent of Americans believe that Satan has the power to possess people. W. Scott Poole, author of Satan in America: The Devil We Know, has opined that "In the United States over the last forty to fifty years, a composite image of Satan has emerged that borrows from both popular culture and theological sources" and that most American Christians do not "separate what they know about Satan from the movies from what they know from various ecclesiastical and theological traditions." The Catholic Church generally played down Satan and exorcism during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries,172 but Pope Francis brought renewed focus on the Devil in the early 2010s, stating, among many other pronouncements, that "The devil is intelligent, he knows more theology than all the theologians together." According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, liberal Christianity tends to view Satan "as a figurative mythological attempt to express the reality and extent of evil in the universe, existing outside and apart from humanity but profoundly influencing the human sphere."
Bernard McGinn describes multiple traditions detailing the relationship between the Antichrist and Satan. In the dualist approach, Satan will become incarnate in the Antichrist, just as God incarnate in Jesus. However, this view is problematic because it is too similar to Christ's incarnation. Instead, the "indwelling" view has become more accepted, stipulating that the Antichrist is a human figure inhabited by Satan since the latter's power is not to be seen as equivalent to God's.
The Arabic equivalent of the word Satan is Shaitan (شيطان, from the triliteral root š-ṭ-n شطن). The word itself is an adjective (meaning "astray" or "distant," sometimes translated as "devil") that can be applied to both man ("al-ins," الإنس) and al-jinn (الجن), but it is also used about Satan in particular. In the Quran, Satan's name is Iblis (Arabic pronunciation: ˈibliːs), probably a derivative of the Greek word diabolos. Muslims do not regard Satan as the cause of evil but as a tempter who takes advantage of humans' inclinations toward self-centeredness.
Islamic tradition

Muhammad Siyah Qalam
In the Quran, Satan is an angel, but, in 18:50, he is described as "from the jinns." This, combined with the fact that he describes himself as having been made from fire, posed a significant problem for Muslim exegetes of the Quran. They disagree on whether Satan is a fallen angel or the leader of a group of evil jinn. According to a hadith from Ibn Abbas, Iblis was an angel God created out of the fire. Ibn Abbas asserts that the word jinn could be applied to earthly jinn and "fiery angels" like Satan.
Hasan of Basra, an eminent Muslim theologian who lived in the seventh century AD, was quoted as saying: "Iblis was not an angel even for the time of an eye wink. He is the origin of Jinn as Adam is of Mankind." The medieval Persian scholar Abu Al-Zamakhshari states that the words angels and jinn are synonyms. Another Persian scholar, Al-Badawi, argues that Satan hoped to be an angel but that his actions made him a jinn. Abu Mansur al-Maturidi, revered as the founder of Maturidiyya Sunni orthodoxy (kalam), argued that, since God can bless angels, they are also put to the test and can be punished; accordingly, Satan became a devil after he declined to obey. Other Islamic scholars argue that Satan was a jinn admitted into Paradise as a reward for his righteousness. Unlike the angels, he was given a choice to obey or disobey God. When he was expelled from Paradise, Satan blamed humanity for his punishment. Concerning the fiery origin of Iblis, Zakariya al-Qazwini and Muhammad ibn Ahmad Ibshihi state that all supernatural creatures originated from fire but the angels from its light and the jinn from its blaze, thus fire denotes a disembodiment origin of all spiritual entities. Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi argued that only the angels of mercy are created from light, but angels of punishment have been created from fire.
The Muslim historian Al-Tabari, who died around 923 AD, writes that, before Adam was created, earthly jinn made of smokeless fire roamed the Earth and spread corruption. He further relates that Iblis was originally an angel named Azazel or Al-Harith, from a group of angels created from the fires of simoom, sent by God to confront the earthly jinn. Azazel defeated the jinn in battle and drove them into the mountains, but he became convinced that he was superior to humans and all the other angels, leading to his downfall. Azazel's angels were called jinn in this account because they guarded Jannah (Paradise). In another tradition recorded by Al-Tabari, Satan was one of the earthly jinns who was taken captive by the angels and brought to Heaven as a prisoner. God appointed him as judge over the other jinn and became known as Al-Hakam. He fulfilled his duty for a thousand years before growing negligent but was rehabilitated again and resumed his position until he refused to bow before Adam.

Eliphas Levi's image of Baphomet is embraced by LaVeyan Satanists as a symbol of duality, fertility, and the "powers of darkness," serving as the namesake of their primary insignia, the Sigil of Baphomet.
Theistic Satanism
Theistic Satanism, commonly called "devil worship," views Satan as a deity that individuals may supplicate. It consists of loosely affiliated or independent groups and cabals, which all agree that Satan is an entity.
Atheistic Satanism
Atheistic Satanism, as practiced by the Satanic Temple and by followers of LaVeyan Satanism, holds that Satan does not exist as a literal anthropomorphic entity but as a symbol of a cosmos that Satanists perceive to be permeated and motivated by a force that humans have given many names with time. In this religion, "Satan" is not viewed or depicted as a hubristic, irrational, and fraudulent creature but rather is revered with Prometheus-like attributes, symbolizing liberty and individual empowerment. To adherents, he also serves as a conceptual framework and an external metaphorical projection of the Satanist's highest personal potential. In his essay "Satanism: The Feared Religion," the current High Priest of the Church of Satan, Peter H. Gilmore, further expounds that "...Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates. The reality behind Satan is simply the dark evolutionary force of entropy that permeates all of nature and provides the drive for survival and propagation inherent in all living things. Satan is not a conscious entity to be worshiped, rather a reservoir of power inside each human to be tapped at will".
LaVeyan Satanists embrace the original etymological meaning of the word "Satan" (Hebrew: שָּׂטָן satan, meaning "adversary"). According to Peter H. Gilmore, "The Church of Satan has chosen Satan as its primary symbol because Hebrew means adversary, opposer, one to accuse or question. We see ourselves as these Satans; the adversaries, opposers, and accusers of all spiritual belief systems that would try to hamper enjoyment of our life as a human being."
Post-LaVeyan Satanists, like the adherents of The Satanic Temple, argue that the human animal has a natural altruistic and communal tendency and frame Satan as a figure of struggle against injustice and activism. They also believe in bodily autonomy, that personal beliefs should conform to science and inspire nobility, and that people should atone for their mistakes.

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