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Old 04-12-2001, 07:16 PM   #1
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Post There is no supernatural evil

Hinduism do not have any equivalent of Satan. There is no supernatural entity who wants you to do evil and so damn yourself. I think other polytheistic religions also lack anything like Satan.

so how did the big three, (I suppose they are really one seeing all rely on the bible) come up with this concept?
 
Old 04-13-2001, 12:04 PM   #2
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The secular and historical tradition is that this was a borrowing from the Persian Zoroastrian tradition, interspersed with revisions of Egyptian and Babylonian mythology. Historians also talk about the "neo-Platonic" influences on early Christianity -- in this case referring in part to the Platonic disdain for material things, and in part to the Platonic idea that "ideals" of concepts (including good and evil) pre-exist us and are discovered rather than created by people (Christianity borrowed other Platonic ideas I won't mention).
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Old 04-13-2001, 06:58 PM   #3
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The religion of Zoroaster is essentially a bitheism, consisting of Ahura Mazda the god of good, and Angra Mainyu the god of evil. The Jews incorporated that bitheistic concept (along with the Messiah, Heaven and Hell) during the reign of the Achemenid Persian Empire.

"Satan" in Hebrew means just "obstacle", and as such it is used to refer to the three enemies of Solomon (Razon ben Elyada, and I don't remember the rest...). It is only in books of later authorship, like Job, that Satan becomes an independent entity.
 
Old 04-15-2001, 10:07 AM   #4
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AFAIK:

Zoroasterianism has two sects--- one which believes that the good will overpower the evil and the end of the world will occur, with all on evil's side destroyed (very Christian in its concept), while the other sect believes that the removal of either one is bad, as it would unbalance the earth and destroy both good and evil--- or constuctive and destructive.

In the pagan religions, the only concept close to good and evil is the concept of constuctive and destructive, with the belief that most things take turns being one and the other. The tricksters merely add confusion adn 'fun' to our existance, not 'evil'.
 
Old 04-15-2001, 11:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hinduwoman:
Hinduism do not have any equivalent of Satan. There is no supernatural entity who wants you to do evil and so damn yourself. I think other polytheistic religions also lack anything like Satan.

so how did the big three, (I suppose they are really one seeing all rely on the bible) come up with this concept?
</font>
I'm lost. What about demons in Hindu tradition?

Michael
 
Old 04-15-2001, 07:52 PM   #6
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I would think that before a religion could have a character "like Satan" they would first need to have an afterlife "like Hell." But, so far as I know, only Christianity and Islam have the sort of Hell that a Sunday school preacher would recognize.

There are prank-playing Gods in Norse mythology. Loki is one. The description of Loki bears a strong resemblance to the Judeo-Christian concept of Satan:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Loki was one of the Aesir (the principal gods), but the cause of dissension among the gods, and the slayer of Balder. He became a member of the Aesir when Odin made Loki his blood brother. His children are the Midgard serpent Jormungander, which girdles the Earth; the wolf Fenrir; and Hel, goddess of death. </font>
Note that Loki is associated with two important Satanic concepts: the serpent and "Hel," the goddess of death.

Frankly, I would assert a strong resemblance between Satan and Loki; and some sort of "cross-pollination" of characteristics.

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Old 04-17-2001, 10:48 AM   #7
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Loki is a trickster god--- His similarities to Satan end with his fathering Hel and the serpent.

The oddness of those children is far more likely due to their being giants than any aspect of Loki's character (other than his blood).

Hel is not the hell of Christian mythology: she watches over those who die of old age and illness, and feeds and cares for them.

Loki was a valued member of the gods (although always an outsider) and the myths recount numerous times when the gods implored for his help and he granted it, often losing something in the process. In addition, Loki is rarely repaid for his efforts.

One major difference I have found between the J-C-I religions and others is that the other religions have much more of a concept of gray. Everything, it seems, is black and white, right and wrong, evil and good in the J-C-I thought. In the other philosophies, it is far more common to see shades of gray, unforseen consequences, self sacrifice with no return, reward with no action to warrant it, and good also being hurtful.

I think the tales of Loki and Odin relect this well in Asatru.
 
Old 04-17-2001, 04:47 PM   #8
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Hindu demons are not exactly the same as Christian devils.

Brahma created the demons along with the gods. they are brother races. But the demons are more violent and greedy and vicious generally while the gods are a kinder bunch. That is what causes the conflict between the two because the demons want to possess all the things that the gods have as well. Since their ambition was to rule over the world they naturally harass mankind as well.

However this does not mean that all demons are automatically evil. There are many who were virtuous and many pleased the higher gods by their austerities and so gained special powers.

They do not live in Hell. But they go to hell for their evil deeds.
 
Old 04-17-2001, 08:13 PM   #9
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Originally posted by Bill:
I would think that before a religion could have a character "like Satan" they would first need to have an afterlife "like Hell." But, so far as I know, only Christianity and Islam have the sort of Hell that a Sunday school preacher would recognize.

Chinese folk religions, which blended Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, generated the essentially the whole Xtian belief system -- millenialism, messiah-ism, and a Hell with extremely rich tortures. In this view the world would go through a time of tribulations, and the celestial savior would come down, and lead his people through the tribulations into a period of peace, etc.

This is laid out in the intro of that Spence book I recommended in the other thread:

God's Chinese Son

Michael
 
Old 04-23-2001, 01:39 PM   #10
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Satan, or the "adversary", as known in the OT is not the fallen angel that Christianity has us believe in. In the book of Job, Satan was not an independent and autonomous entity, but rather he was (IS) gods right hand man. Judaism, as I understand it, believed (s) that Satan is sent by god to sanctify the souls of men/women. Call Satan, the Attorney General of sorts - now I bet John Ashcroft would not like that correlation!

Before the myths and legends of the Babylonians and Persians played upon the Jewish psyche, he was pretty high up there on the big shot list. Satan, in Christian terms can not be the serpent in the garden of Eden in Genesis and the Satan mentioned in Job, if indeed the Adversary had been cast out. Christianity believes in the dualism - ultimate Good (God) and ultimate Evil (Satan). Which, they have a hard time admitting was influenced directly by pagan (zoroasterianism) ideologies or religions. Their belief that the two exist independently of one another, fighting for the souls of man has always seemed a bit out of whack for me.

If Satan is the god of hell, independent, defiant and the direct competitor of the Christian god - then why if man does Satans bidding is he punished eternally in Satans domain? Wouldn't it be more fitting for Satan to reward these people doing his bidding? What kind of deterant is hell then? Unless of course it is the Christian god who really has control and Satan is only doing as a good employee should and punishing those souls who fell to temptation and disobeyed his Master?

Ohh ... I can feel the flames nipping at my toes as I speak. Just something that has been running through my mind for a while and needed airing!

Brigid
 
 

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