Posted by: the warrioress | January 4, 2013

God versus Satan

Satan before the Lord

Satan before the Lord (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“If you still insist that God is more powerful than Satan, then you’re in the same boat as all the rest of the apologists: you have to come up with a reason why God doesn’t just squash Satan underfoot right now, instead of allowing human suffering to persist for literally hundreds of thousands of years. And, as my post argues, there is no apologetic answer to this question, at least none that makes any sense.”

A naturalist/atheist blogger I read states the above.

Obviously, I have become intrigued with this question he generates here and thus have decided to begin seeking out the answer to this question within the bible. The claim that there is no apologetic answer to this question intrigues me even more. What is the answer to this question? What does the bible tell us?

Why doesn’t God just squash Satan now and be done with it? Why does God have to allow Satan to persecute and cause human suffering and why has God allowed it all of these years that Satan’s been given dominion over earth?

“Sometimes God allows him to afflict His people for purposes of correction (1 Timothy 1:20). Not to worry, Satan is destined to fail in his continuing rebellion against God. His final defeat is predicted in the New Testament (Luke 10:18John 12:31Revelation 12:920:10).” (Source)

“Some people have trouble admitting the existence of such an enemy as Satan. But his presence and activity do explain the problems of evil and suffering. The Bible makes it plain that Satan exists and that his main work is to oppose the rule of God in the affairs of man. Many wonder why God would allow Satan, this great embodiment of evil, to exist in His creation. No completely satisfying answer to this question has been found. Perhaps He allows it to show that evil and wrongdoing do not provide the key to the ultimate meaning of life which man so desperately desires. Or perhaps He allows it to spiritually build a Christian’s wisdom and knowledge drawing him or her closer to God and away from Satan.” (Source)

As I seek answers, I read that we are told that God will handle Satan in HIS perfect timing, not ours. We have to believe and trust that this is the case. Questioning God may be something we are allowed to do, but what is the point? Our minds are not even comparable to God’s mind. Perhaps we cannot understand God’s plan in its entirety, and in fact, I would say this is probable.

God has already told us that He’s going to destroy Satan. He has promised to torment him within the lake of fire, forever. Revelation 20:10 tells us:

“and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:10

This is fact and we can rest assured that it will be done, but why is God waiting?

God appears to be able to make use of Satan for His own purposes. In other words, God assures us that He can turn everything that happens for our own good and that He will:

“we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

It would seem that God has given Satan enough rope to hang himself, while killing two birds with one stone in the process.  Satan is doing what must be done in order for God’s perfect plan to come to fruition, with God’s permission. Through enduring evil and choosing God over Satan, we overcome at the end of all of this.  (Source).

It is very clear that God created everything, including Satan. God is in charge. Nothing occurs without God’s permission or outside of God’s plan. We are told within the bible, in Isaiah 45: 5-7:

I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. “

Despite the trouble we have with God’s plan that Satan sift us, tempt us, and even attempt to destroy us, God’s original purposes are pure, holy, and make sense. God’s reasoning will mete out our good, eventually.

God planned to let us decide for ourselves whom we will choose to serve, God or Satan. We have free will. For those of us who choose God, we know and are promised that all things will work for the good of him who loves God, who are called according to God’s purpose.

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Responses

  1. Excellent observation and one that reminds us of what God’s Will is for us and those who follow Him. I Thank you and Happy New Year!

  2. For you..this is beautiful, powerful and moving! It’ll bless you! Beautiful praise and worship with the sax by an awesome preacher, Jentezen Franklin.
    http://lynleahz.com/2013/01/04/just-a-quick-moment-for-you-and-i-dear-reader-to-worship-together/ God bless u!

  3. “Despite the trouble we have with God’s plan that Satan sift us, tempt us, and even attempt to destroy us, God’s original purposes are pure, holy, and make sense. God’s reasoning will mete out our good, eventually.” AMEN Adreinne. It’s faith in the Word of God, His revelation of Himself in the incarnate Christ. I rest in that!
    Thank you for this post… it is powerful!
    Blessings
    Stephanie

  4. Without evil and Satan, how would we be able to choose? There will come a time when all our choices are made, and evil will not be allowed – but that’s called heaven and we ain’t there yet!

  5. Warrioress:

    It seems your main response to the question of why God allows Satan to cause suffering is “I don’t know, but I’m sure God has a good reason”.

    I hope you can see that this response is not actually an answer to my question, it’s simply a deferment.

    Your first quote, however, did have some concrete claims in it, so let me address those.

    1. “Sometimes God allows him to afflict His people for purposes of correction”.

    This may be the case, but it does not explain something like the Sandy Hook shooting, which was the focus of my original post. Who exactly is God punishing by allowing 20 children to be shot dead in their school?

    2. “Perhaps He allows it to show that evil and wrongdoing do not provide the key to the ultimate meaning of life which man so desperately desires”

    What an odd claim. Is anyone *really* under the impression that evil and wrongdoing are the key to the ultimate meaning of life? Are we so confused by such an obvious truth that we need yearly school shootings to remind us?

    3. “Or perhaps He allows it to spiritually build a Christian’s wisdom and knowledge drawing him or her closer to God and away from Satan.”

    Once again, this applies to a very small subset of suffering, and not to things like the Sandy Hook shooting (unless you’re arguing that the parents of the children needed a little extra wisdom and knowledge, so God thought it would be a good idea to allow their children to be slaughtered).

    It also doesn’t apply to suffering that non-Christians – i.e., most people in the world – experience.

    4. Finally, you write “God appears to be able to make use of Satan for His own purposes.”

    If you think about it, this isn’t a very comforting idea. It seems to imply that wickedly evil things are not really Satan’s fault at all, but God working through Satan.

  6. Minimalist Christian:

    “Without evil and Satan, how would we be able to choose?”

    Choose what?

  7. My little girl will be home shortly so I can’t linger tonight, but just wanted to thank all of you for commenting and add the following:

    Keith, I think I’ve mentioned many times before that God does not have human beings on automatic. We aren’t robots that He’s programmed to do His will. We are feeling, passionate beings and some of us are just plain crazy for a host of reasons, Satan being just one of them.

    God does not appear to involve Himself in what is occurring in our world right now. He has a plan. That plan is moving toward fulfillment. According to God’s plan, Satan is running this earth. God is choosing not to intervene. All will be fixed and restored in God’s time, not ours.

    Everyone has the right and the free will to choose, (as Minimalist Christian said) whom he or she will serve, God or Satan. No choice is still a choice…for Satan (apparently).

    God is not going to involve Himself in what men are doing on this planet right now. Satan has the run of earth; this is now his domain. When we have all made our final choice, Jesus Christ will return as God said He would. Evil will be finally vanquished, at least for a season; eventually evil will be done away with altogether but that time is not now.

  8. One more thing:

    Keith you say; “What an odd claim. Is anyone *really* under the impression that evil and wrongdoing are the key to the ultimate meaning of life? Are we so confused by such an obvious truth that we need yearly school shootings to remind us?”

    Have you not noticed that the days are becoming more and more evil? Are you still claiming that people are good with all that is occurring in our world? The nature of mankind is not good, Keith. The choice of sin, of evil over good has created a nature that is hardly godly/good.

    As Satan continues to run this planet, we will see this earth plummet into a degeneracy that we cannot even imagine. You will not be able to deny this is happening as it continues, though you may claim it has happening for different reasons than I do. God is not intervening, Keith. God is not going to intervene from the looks of things.

    Many have chosen to reject God and embrace Satan. All is proceeding as it must, according to the free will of each human being. The days will grow more evil and the hearts colder. There will be an end to it eventually. This is not God’s doing to “punish us.” God is allowing each one of us to choose freely whom we will serve.

  9. Warrioress:

    “Everyone has the right and the free will to choose, (as Minimalist Christian said) whom he or she will serve, God or Satan.”

    Did the Sandy Hook shooter need the free will to choose to slaughter 20 children in order to choose God or Satan? Couldn’t he have made the choice of who to serve WITHOUT bringing the lives of 20 kids into his decision?

    Do you see how this doesn’t make sense?

    The free will theodicy fails because it presents a false dichotomy: either we need free will to do anything or nothing. Meanwhile, the stated purpose of free will, according to Christians themselves, is much narrower: we need free will to choose whom to “serve”, as you put it. Why, then, would we also need free will to choose whether to rape, murder, and steal?

    “God is not going to involve Himself in what men are doing on this planet right now.”

    So what good is prayer?

    “Satan has the run of earth; this is now his domain.”

    I think we’ve covered this as fully as we can: you don’t know why Satan has the run of earth, you simply have faith that it’s part of some sort of divine plan whose details remain entirely opaque.

    “Have you not noticed that the days are becoming more and more evil?”

    No, I haven’t. As I’ve said before, I think your apocalyptic beliefs give you a negative bias to your view of the world. Also, I think what you see as “more and more evil” is simply an increasing secularization of the U.S., not an increase in “evil”. The religiously unaffiliated are the largest growing portion of the population. Religious institutions like marriage are beginning to change. I can understand how all this might seem threatening to a devout Christian, but I don’t think there is anything sinister behind it.

  10. Keith,

    The Sandy Hook shooter was/is extremely mentally ill. Satan has taken advantage of this fact. I see this occurring more and more often. Look at the Co. movie shooter. Same thing. These individuals have opened themselves up to Satan somehow and he is only too willing to take over and abide within them.

    You ask, what good is prayer? That is another post entirely. And involves more study for me. Thanks again for encouraging me to have an answer for these various questionings of yours. We are required as Christians to have an answer for anyone who asks. You may not care for mine, but I promise you, it will be a biblical answer and agreed upon by those far more studied in theology than myself.

    Satan has the run of the earth because of man’s human nature. This essentially amounts to the desire and ability to sin. Due to this fallen nature, we have sin, and where sin thrives, Satan flourishes.

    You say that what I see as more and more evil is actually an increase in the “secularization of the US.” Well, I wonder if this secularization is part of the cause of the school shootings.We both agree that traditional values are essentially being done away with. I believe you are right to a degree in that when you remove God and encourage the lack of spirituality where God and Jesus Christ and prayer are concerned, what remains (the secular) obviously does not prevent school shootings; in fact, it would appear to encourage them. Secularism appears to be moral-free, evidently, or may be better phrased as “anything goes.”

    Yes, the religiously unaffiliated are growing, as are those who reject God completely, and the days are most definitely becoming more evil, chaotic, violent, and sociopathic. We have men and boys looking at women as just objects for one’s use due to being bombarded by extreme pornography, violent video games, etc., hence the most recent gang rape in Ohio. I agree with you that there is a definite link here.

  11. Warrioress:

    “The Sandy Hook shooter was/is extremely mentally ill. Satan has taken advantage of this fact.”

    That is certainly an interesting outlook, namely that mental illness somehow exposes people to Satan’s influence. It doesn’t jibe with the science, of course, but it’s an interesting theology.

    “These individuals have opened themselves up to Satan somehow…”

    You do understand, though, that mental illness isn’t deliberately chosen, right? So it’s not as if these people – if they were truly mentally ill – actually went out of their way to expose themselves to Satan. Mental illness is like any other illness. No one takes it on voluntarily.

    “”Satan has the run of the earth because of man’s human nature. This essentially amounts to the desire and ability to sin. Due to this fallen nature, we have sin, and where sin thrives, Satan flourishes.”

    I’m not sure I understand this. It seems like a new line of reasoning that you haven’t embarked on before. Are you saying that the sinful nature of human beings actually led God to release Satan on the world? (If so, why?) Or are you saying that Satan being released on the world *results* in human’s sinful nature? Or are you actually seeing Satan as a metaphor for sin, and not a real being at all?

    “Well, I wonder if this secularization is part of the cause of the school shootings.”

    I’m not sure how you could arrive at this point. As you’ve already admitted, most school shooters are mentally ill. Mental illness isn’t caused by secularization.

    “We both agree that traditional values are essentially being done away with.”

    Hang on a second. We agree that *some* traditional values, such as the idea that marriage is only for one man and one woman, are being done away with, yes. We do *not* agree that *all* traditional values are being done away with.

    “Secularism appears to be moral-free, evidently, or may be better phrased as “anything goes.”

    Once again, I’m not sure how you arrive at this conclusion – what observations are you making here? Are you conflating gay marriage with a permissive attitude to school shootings?

    There are no data suggesting that secular people are less moral than religious people.

    “We have men and boys looking at women as just objects for one’s use due to being bombarded by extreme pornography, violent video games, etc., hence the most recent gang rape in Ohio. I agree with you that there is a definite link here.”

    I’m not sure why you are putting words in my mouth. I never agreed to this idea.

    You seem intent on drawing extremely simplistic conclusions about these things – conclusions that bolster your religious preconceptions – without looking at the data and the research that have been conducted. You should be more thorough.

    Perhaps we can both promise not to draw conclusions about the role of religion or secularization in society unless we have proper data to back them up?

  12. Keith you said:

    “That is certainly an interesting outlook, namely that mental illness somehow exposes people to Satan’s influence. It doesn’t jibe with the science, of course, but it’s an interesting theology.

    You do understand, though, that mental illness isn’t deliberately chosen, right? So it’s not as if these people – if they were truly mentally ill – actually went out of their way to expose themselves to Satan. Mental illness is like any other illness. No one takes it on voluntarily.”

    I don’t believe that Satan chooses the mentally ill more than he does anyone else; I believe there is some behavior taking place within these people that encourages these individuals to open the door to Satan. Because of their mental illnesses, they may not realize the presence of evil and its impact upon their minds and behavior as someone who wasn’t mentally ill might. And yes, of course I understand that mental illness is not chosen.

    You and I have been down this debate road before on the same or similar topics; I’m not sure we got anywhere back then, but I’ll re-link you to our former arguments so that we don’t continue to reiterate old ground.

    https://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/the-satan-connection/

    https://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/secularism-school-shootings/#comment-2459

    You said:

    “I’m not sure I understand this. It seems like a new line of reasoning that you haven’t embarked on before. Are you saying that the sinful nature of human beings actually led God to release Satan on the world? (If so, why?) Or are you saying that Satan being released on the world *results* in human’s sinful nature? Or are you actually seeing Satan as a metaphor for sin, and not a real being at all?”

    I’m about to do a post on human nature and sin at length, as soon as I have time to get to it. Basically this has to do with what happened when Adam and Eve fell from grace, perpetrating the first sin. I’m going to attempt to share what the bible says about man’s nature, after Adam and Eve made the choices that they did to eat of the apple and disobey God in the Garden of Eden.

    Satan was never “released” onto the world. Satan fell from grace through his own choices — because he wanted to be like God and became obsessed with the idea, giving into a side that went into rebellion against God. Satan was eaten up with jealousy, rage, ego, a lust for power and worship, and thus succumbed to a part of himself that was hardly “angelic,” despite the fact that he was initially a beautiful angel like the others who worshiped and loved God. God made use of who Satan became for God’s own reasons and purposes, some of which I’ve already clarified via this posting.

    I don’t believe that Satan is just a metaphor. Satan is a real being, imo.

    You said:

    “I’m not sure how you could arrive at this point. As you’ve already admitted, most school shooters are mentally ill. Mental illness isn’t caused by secularization.”

    You also said:

    “Hang on a second. We agree that *some* traditional values, such as the idea that marriage is only for one man and one woman, are being done away with, yes. We do *not* agree that *all* traditional values are being done away with.”

    Traditional morality is being erased and replaced with a return to a secular, seventies-like morality. The difference from that time frame and this one is that this new morality is definitely sinister-looking in terms of the extreme violence and amoral tendencies within those perpetrating unusual criminal acts. The brutality, and sense of objectifying human beings, (especially women), is hardly not sinister. It’s frightening when one pays attention and really sees the downward slide this world is in. You say that the society is becoming more secular and people are not religiously-affiliated. I agree; the difference is though that I see the result of that very thing and so do most people. It’s not a pretty picture. You cannot possibly see what is happening in our schools and to our youth as something positive compared to the way things used to be.

    You said:

    “Once again, I’m not sure how you arrive at this conclusion – what observations are you making here? Are you conflating gay marriage with a permissive attitude to school shootings?

    There are no data suggesting that secular people are less moral than religious people.”

    “I’m not sure why you are putting words in my mouth. I never agreed to this idea.

    You seem intent on drawing extremely simplistic conclusions about these things – conclusions that bolster your religious preconceptions – without looking at the data and the research that have been conducted. You should be more thorough.

    Perhaps we can both promise not to draw conclusions about the role of religion or secularization in society unless we have proper data to back them up?”

    Keith, I think it’s very clear that I don’t look at things from a scientific perspective like you do that is primarily based upon stats and data. I study what is going on in the country day to day, state by state, based upon headline news and world events. I know what the world used to look like when I was a kid and what it looks like now. Yes, my approach may be simplistic. It’s pretty much common sense. You take a more scientific approach. I don’t find your approach particularly anymore valid, accurate, or even useful because it seems to deny what is happening before our very eyes. It smooths over and even excuses what’s occurring. It’s almost like a kind of denial of events as they are playing out. You put an odd spin on them that denies what seems pretty obvious to me.

    I think the horrific events we’ve been seeing speak for themselves. It is evident that nowhere in the history of our nation have twenty kindergarten/elementary children been gunned down by automatic assault weapons until the recent Sandy Hook shooting. I have written about the ongoing slide of our nation into the mud and you denied this even then. It’s only gotten worse since we last chatted about this matter.

    I cannot promise not to draw conclusions about the role of religion or secularization in society, no, but I will endeavor to provide as much of the data you value and insist upon as I can find. I am making observations, speculating, and suggesting causal links as you yourself appear to have already done in your own comments, though you don’t appear to see yourself doing it.

  13. Warrioress:

    “Because of their mental illnesses, they may not realize the presence of evil and its impact upon their minds and behavior as someone who wasn’t mentally ill might.”

    This may certainly be true, although from the naturalist perspective it doesn’t require the existence of supernatural beings to explain. Instead, the person’s mental state is simply affected by illness in such a way that they no longer experience an aversion to causing harm, or they don’t recognize that what they’re doing is harmful. All the more reason to diagnose and treat mental illness better.

    “Satan was eaten up with jealousy, rage, ego, a lust for power and worship, and thus succumbed to a part of himself that was hardly “angelic,” despite the fact that he was initially a beautiful angel like the others who worshiped and loved God.”

    Why did God make an angel who had a part of himself that wasn’t angelic? Surely there was an obvious risk in making an imperfect being like this? What purpose could it have served? Did God perhaps not even know about it? Was he caught unawares by Satan’s fall?

    “God made use of who Satan became for God’s own reasons and purposes, some of which I’ve already clarified via this posting.”

    All of which I’ve refuted, with no counter-rebuttal from you. See points 1 through 4 in my first response in this thread.

    “The difference from that time frame and this one is that this new morality is definitely sinister-looking in terms of the extreme violence and amoral tendencies within those perpetrating unusual criminal acts.”

    The problem here, Warrioress, is that you are indeed conflating two different things, as I was worried you might be. Seventies-style morality is a very, very long way away from extremely violent behavior. Remember how peace was the big theme in the seventies?

    The very people from the seventies whose relaxed attitude to sex and drugs you deplore, would be shouting the loudest against the sorts of violent acts we see today.

    “The brutality, and sense of objectifying human beings, (especially women), is hardly not sinister.”

    I agree. But it’s not secular, either. Where is your evidence that only non-Christians are objectifying women, or engaging in violent behavior? I have to ask you again not to draw such haphazard conclusions.

    You should also look to western countries that are MORE secular than the U.S., and you will find that levels of gun violence in these countries are much lower than they are here (the U.K. and Australia are just two examples). Having a religious population does nothing to reduce gun violence.

    “Keith, I think it’s very clear that I don’t look at things from a scientific perspective like you do that is primarily based upon stats and data. I study what is going on in the country day to day, state by state, based upon headline news and world events.”

    And there is your problem, Warrioress. You shouldn’t be drawing conclusions about the world based simply on your impression of news reports, which are always biased toward negative, sensationalist stories as it is. Do you even use unbiased news sources, or do you watch Fox News?

    The only way to get an unbiased perspective of events is to do a proper survey of what’s actually happening across the country (or world). That is why it is important to consider well-constructed polls and other statistical measures – these are the only ways to remove bias.

    “I know what the world used to look like when I was a kid and what it looks like now.”

    When you were a kid, you weren’t the same person you are now. You had rose-tinted glasses like every kid does, and your views and opinions were not fully developed. You shouldn’t trust the comparison between your memories as a kid and your observations now.

    “You take a more scientific approach. I don’t find your approach particularly anymore valid, accurate, or even useful because it seems to deny what is happening before our very eyes.”

    No, it simply rejects the sensationalist viewpoint that Fox News, or whatever other bias new sources you are watching are feeding you. It rejects the confirmation bias you hold as someone who is committed, regardless of the evidence, to a doomsday view of the world, because that is what your religious beliefs require you to do.

    For example, the decrease in the murder and rape rates in the U.S. since the late 1990s doesn’t gel with your belief that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, so you simply ignore these facts and watch the bad news on TV instead, thinking that this is somehow a more balanced representation.

    “It is evident that nowhere in the history of our nation have twenty kindergarten/elementary children been gunned down by automatic assault weapons until the recent Sandy Hook shooting.”

    I never denied this.

    What were the religious beliefs of the Sandy Hook shooter, by the way? If you don’t know, then you can’t use this as an example of violence due to secularism. It could be that he was a devout Christian. We don’t know yet.

  14. Oh dear… the arrogance, Keith!

    This:

    “All of which I’ve refuted, with no counter-rebuttal from you. See points 1 through 4 in my first response in this thread.”

    Just because you enumerate something, Keith, does not mean you’ve “refuted” anything. Shall I go back and number each paragraph of my replies to you? I suppose I can then refer to them as “rebuttal,” and claim I’ve refuted you. (eye roll) Please. Give me a break. We aren’t in school. We’re having a casual discussion.

    Each of my replies is a counter statement and rebuttal in and of itself. You just don’t choose or want to give my replies any credit or validity, and I look at yours and see numerous questionings, NOT REFUTATION. Your statements/comments/questionings on my blog are not proof; they are pure opinion. You’ve refuted nothing here. And you certainly have proven nothing.

    Noun 1. rebuttal – the speech act of refuting by offering a contrary contention or argument
    refutation, defence, defense – the speech act of answering an attack on your assertions; “his refutation of the charges was short and persuasive”; “in defense he said the other man started it”

    ref·u·ta·tion [ref-yoo-tey-shuh n] Show IPA
    noun
    an act of refuting a statement, charge, etc.; disproof.

    I’ll address the rest of your comment later.

  15. Warrioress:

    I’m not interested in arguing over verbiage, I’m interested in the substance of the debate.

    I provided reasons why your answers quoted from gotquestions.org didn’t make sense. (I numbered my responses to make them easier to refer to, but apparently that offends you.)

    You didn’t respond to these reasons directly, but took the discussion in a different direction (the free will debate, secularization, etc). Obviously that’s your prerogative, because it’s your blog, but it does mean that there are issues in this conversation that remain to be addressed.

    Perhaps I ought to take it up with gotquestions.org instead.

  16. Here is a little data on a society that is based upon religious morality versus secular/atheist morality. I agree with the below and submit that a society based upon religious morality is superior to one based upon secularism/atheism.

    Our society is growing more and more secular/atheistic/non-religious and with it comes a lack of morality across the board. The following addresses everything from character, psychological adjustment, charitable giving, and violence:

    1) Plante tells us: “Research has consistently found that religious people are less likely to engage in criminal behavior, marital infidelity, alcoholism, unprotected sexual activity. . .”

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/do-the-right-thing/201103/do-we-need-religion-be-ethical

    2) The religious are better adjusted psychologically.

    http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/are-religious-people-better-adjusted-psychologically.html

    3)”Religious people are more charitable in every measurable nonreligious way — including secular donations, informal giving, and even acts of kindness and honesty — than secularists.”

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700171496/Despite-claims-of-secularists-religion-makes-for-happier-people.html?pg=all

    4) “Atheists who lay claim to the intellectual inheritance of the Enlightenment have traditionally presented religion as intolerant and the cause of much avoidable violence, and atheism as the best strategy for a maximally tolerant and violence-free world. However, the history of atheistic states (especially the ex-Soviet Union) has tended until recently to encourage a more sober assessment by atheists of the relationship between atheism and violence than was hitherto assumed.

    The leading philosophical atheist Michael Martin, for example, speculating in 1989 about the likely consequences of a widespread growth in atheism globally, stated his belief that there would ‘probably’ be fewer wars and less violence than there is now; however, he also acknowledged (evidently with the still existent USSR in mind) ‘the danger that if atheism became widespread, as it has in the Soviet Union and in other countries of the world, it would become the functional equivalent of a state religion with the suppression of theistic minorities’…

    My comment: they failed to note the atheistic French Revolution, a direct product of the Enlightenment, was violent to the extreme. Here we had atheists (Jacobins) beheading people just as they do in Wahhabi Muslim Saudi Arabia does today. So it isn’t just Marxist’ Humanism, but Humanist’ violence from the beginning.

    Against the background of more cautious and historically informed judgments of the relationship between atheism and violence…the more recent pronouncements of the New Atheists generally appear by contrast to recall the optimism of atheistic materialists of the eighteenth century Enlightenment, for whom atheism seemed to offer the promise of bringing about a more violence free world. However, both the history of atheism and the political history of the West suggests that the optimism of eighteenth century atheists…was misplaced…which New Atheists like Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens have generally preferred to underplay.”

    http://www.sullivan-county.com/religion/atheism.htm

    See also “State atheism” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_atheism

  17. […] God versus Satan […]

  18. […] God versus Satan […]


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