Poll

What is your view of this subject

I'm a Bible-believing Christian, so I believe that Satan is exactly as the Bible describes him
8 (10.7%)
I agree with the Bible, but I think there are other sources of information, such as the Book of Enoch, that elaborate on information about this topic in ways that the Bible only touches on.
3 (4%)
I believe in God, but think that the devil is just a "boogey-man" used to scare people into being good
3 (4%)
I'm an agnostic, so I question the existance of both God and Satan, but I don't rule out the possibility of one, or the other, or both.
18 (24%)
I'm an atheist, so I don't believe in God, Satan, or anything supernatural
42 (56%)
I'm a satanist/luciferian. I see the forces of darkness as being the source of all existance, or see them as alien beings, and I don't know or care if God exists.
0 (0%)
I believe that the devil is either negative energy from bad people, or the ghosts of evil people such as Hitler or Ted Bundy.
0 (0%)
I belong to a religion that doesn't teach the existance of God or Lucifer as absolutes, but more in the abstract.
1 (1.3%)

Total Members Voted: 74

Author Topic: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?  (Read 15640 times)

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Offline The Dark Master

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #350 on: May 26, 2015, 12:45:16 PM »
Incidentally, I guess Elric would technically be a devil-worshiper, right DC?  I mean, it's been a LONG time since I read that stuff, but I think I remember that.

Yeah, his patron deity Arioch is one of the Chaos Gods, and his whole race in fact is pledged to the worship of Chaos.  The Melniboneans themselves as a species are actually somewhere in between humans and demons.

I'm going to push back on that a little bit (I mentioned before I have spoken on numerous occasions with Michael Moorcock about such topics, though everything here is my thought only and I am not speaking for him).     I think it is a mistake to view Elric, and the Multiverse, in a strict Judeo-Christian (i.e. God is Good, and therefore Law, Satan is Bad, and therefore Chaos) way.   Religion is certainly a topic of the Eternal Champion stories; many of the iterations of the Eternal Champion have, coincidentially, the initials "J.C".  That is not a coincidence.   But to say Elric is a "devil-worshiper" because he aligns with a (A, not THE) God of Chaos is, I believe, a gross simplification of the matter.  The Cosmic Balance - the balance between Law and Order (chung chung!!!) is paramount; it is not analogous to God in heaven, Satan as a fallen angel.   

Further, Elric's adherence to Arioch is not worship. Elric, unlike many (most?) Melniboneans, has a conscience, and that conscience weighs on him tremendously.  It is a central theme in the Elric stories (compare him with his cousin Yyrkoon, who considers Elric weak and ineffective as a leader because of this).  While he summons Arioch willingly, he does so without anticipation, and without reverence (beyond the reverence for Arioch's power).

As for Stormbringer, throughout the series, it is an albatross.  Elric doesn't wield the sword willingly, and he doesn't accept the power from the sword without trepidation.  He needs it to survive, but it is a fated survival, and in the end the sword even claims Elric's soul.   I always thought the sword was Moorcock's metaphor for drugs, and that is a better analogy, in my opinion, than anything religious or quasi-religious.  The sword is a "stealer of souls" (that is the name of one story, if I recall) but not in the way that Satan is a stealer of souls.

Believe me, I am the last person who would view Moorcock's works through a Judeo-Christian lens.  For one thing, I am not Judeo-Christian in my spiritual outlook.  For another, as a huge fan of Elric, I'm familiar with his adventures enough to know that they were not written from that point of view.

That being said, no, Elric himself is not a devil worshiper.  I suppose what Hef and myself were getting at, though, is that throughout the entirety of his adventures, he does frequently use dark magic and demonic powers to further his own ends.  He may not worship Chaos per se, but he does indeed actively court their favour when it suits him.  It's not until after the events of The Sleeping Sorceress (aka, The Vanishing Tower) that even his nominal loyalty to Chaos begins to wane, though he still continues to use Stormbringer (an incarnation of Chaos) for the remainder of the series.  Stormbringer is very much a metaphor for drug use, but I've read in various articles and other things that Moorcock has written that he saw Stormbringer as Elric's Id, as much of his writings were heavily influenced by his interest in Freud and Jung.  I believe that extends to the whole Chaos/Balance/Law (Id/Ego/Superego) cosmology of the Multiverse as a whole, with each seen as a necessary component for existence.

Anyways, if we are going to talk Elric, we should probably start a totally different thread, before this one becomes hopelessly derailed.   :P
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 12:57:36 PM by The Dark Master »

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #351 on: May 26, 2015, 02:17:47 PM »
lol, I was just making an attempt to tie Elric back into the thread topic.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #352 on: May 27, 2015, 06:31:31 AM »
Believe me, I am the last person who would view Moorcock's works through a Judeo-Christian lens.  For one thing, I am not Judeo-Christian in my spiritual outlook.  For another, as a huge fan of Elric, I'm familiar with his adventures enough to know that they were not written from that point of view.

That being said, no, Elric himself is not a devil worshiper.  I suppose what Hef and myself were getting at, though, is that throughout the entirety of his adventures, he does frequently use dark magic and demonic powers to further his own ends.  He may not worship Chaos per se, but he does indeed actively court their favour when it suits him.  It's not until after the events of The Sleeping Sorceress (aka, The Vanishing Tower) that even his nominal loyalty to Chaos begins to wane, though he still continues to use Stormbringer (an incarnation of Chaos) for the remainder of the series.  Stormbringer is very much a metaphor for drug use, but I've read in various articles and other things that Moorcock has written that he saw Stormbringer as Elric's Id, as much of his writings were heavily influenced by his interest in Freud and Jung.  I believe that extends to the whole Chaos/Balance/Law (Id/Ego/Superego) cosmology of the Multiverse as a whole, with each seen as a necessary component for existence.

Anyways, if we are going to talk Elric, we should probably start a totally different thread, before this one becomes hopelessly derailed.   :P

By the way, NOT arguing with you, just thrilled that I can talk about one of my favorite fictional characters with someone who knows what the **** they are talking about.  You have no idea (or maybe you do).   I'd be all in favor of a alternative thread.

Small point:  I think it's a little misleading to say he "actively court(s) their favor when it suits him".   He doesn't really have a choice.  The gods of Law have no obligation or allegiance to Elric, but probably wouldn't answer his calls anyway.   The relationship with Arioch isn't quite so free and without strings.  Arioch is a) insane and b) his patron saint so to speak, so Elric either goes there or goes without, because it is not likely Arioch would passively allow him to curry favor from another God.  I think that happened once, in one of the later stories ("Elric At The End of Time", maybe?).    As with Stormbringer; I know of the Freud connection, I'm just not up enough on my Freud to make any use of it, but the whole concept of "balance" to me - both in terms of Law and Chaos, and in terms of the various aspects of "person" is to me a conscious move away from "choice", at least in terms of absolutes.  You can favor one aspect, but not abandon one, if that makes sense.

EDIT:  For the record, putting an 's' in brackets serves to strike out everything after.  :)
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 06:33:55 PM by Stadler »

Offline The Dark Master

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #353 on: May 27, 2015, 06:30:09 PM »
Ok, that's it, I made a new thread for this: https://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=43835.0.  DTF now has a Michael Moorcock thread!    ;D

Stadler, my response to your above post is in the new thread.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 06:46:21 PM by The Dark Master »

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #354 on: June 03, 2015, 08:15:35 AM »
Well, I guess that Elric drew Stormbringer against this thread, because the soul of it has certainly been sucked out.  :lol

Too bad.
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Offline The Dark Master

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #355 on: June 04, 2015, 09:59:50 AM »
I guess so   :lol

It's kind of a shame, though, as I found the subject matter interesting.  I would be more then happy to continue discussing demons and stuff if anyone else has anything to contribute.

Offline yeshaberto

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #356 on: June 04, 2015, 03:06:55 PM »
I have been intrigued especially by the film "The Exorcism of Emily Rose."  Aside from the fact that it was well done, I learned later that all of the courtroom scenes (which is about 1/2 the film) are straight from the original transcripts.  The rest is probably a Hollywood exaggeration of the facts, but just the mere fact that the transcripts were real is compelling for some indication that there is a spiritual side of our physical realm.

Offline portnoy311

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #357 on: June 04, 2015, 06:26:02 PM »
It's been years since I've seen that movie, but why is that compelling evidence? Other than being a record of someone thinking they witnessed events caused by a demonic presence, what is the compelling evidence to you?

Offline yeshaberto

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #358 on: June 05, 2015, 12:56:11 AM »
It's been years since I've seen that movie, but why is that compelling evidence? Other than being a record of someone thinking they witnessed events caused by a demonic presence, what is the compelling evidence to you?

Yeah, been a long time for me too.  I need to watch it again :)
I remember that the event had been recorded and they played the tape.  The prosecutor didn't deny the things on the tape (multiple octaves in her voice, speaking multiple ancient languages, etc) but only tried to come up with rationale explanations for them.  Obviously, one could side with the prosecutor in his explanations of them (though I didn't find them that compelling) but I found it interesting that no one doubted the validity of the recording.

Personally, I don't believe that these types of things happen every day (or even very often at all).  In fact, I would guess that 99% of so-called "exorcisms" are probably not legit.  But if 1% are real, then I at least have to consider that there is a spiritual world.

Offline Lucien

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #359 on: June 05, 2015, 02:07:11 AM »
What the hell is going on in here
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Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #361 on: June 16, 2015, 06:37:05 PM »
-If Jesus didn't really cast DEMONS out of anyone, then what  do you think really DID happen on that particular occasion? What was the PURPOSE of that story? I keep coming back to the fact that there's so much detail to a story that has been told more than once.
""



Re-visited this thread tonight, and I missed this exchange first time around.


For me, the issue of there being pigs at all is by far the least 'problematic' aspect of this story. Mark and Luke place this story of the demons being cast into the cliff-top herd of swine who then tumble off into the 'sea' in the town of Gerasa, which is about 30 miles south-east of the Sea of Galilee, and there is no other body of water around it. Matthew, perhaps in an attempt to overcome this logistical problem in the story, shifts the action to the town of Gadara, which is a mere 6 miles from the sea (though a 6 mile leap for a herd of pigs is just as impossible as a 30-mile leap).

This particular 'miracle' of Jesus (along with all the others) illustrate my answer to the question ChaosSystem has been asking throughout this thread: "what is the POINT of the stories if they didn't actually HAPPEN??". And my answer is this: it's important to think about what the authors of the gospels were doing when they wrote about Jesus. They were not writing what we now think of as a 'biography'. They were seeking to glorify him. And I'm not saying there is necessarily anything wrong with that. Read the first 'biographies' of Michelangelo by Condivi and Vasari, written very shortly after the death of that apparently 'miraculous' man, and it's frankly impossible to believe the stories. They depict his powers as unprecedented, inexplicable, and supernatural. Now, in the cold analytical light of the 21st century, and with a wealth of new documents about Michelangelo, we know how he sculpted the Pieta when he was in his early 20s, how he painted the Sistine Chapel while still a young man, and so on. But back then, his biographers sought only to glorify him, not to exactly narrate the (rather dull, if truth be told) reality of his actual life. The exact same with the very first biographies of Shakespeare from the 17th century, which also had a slightly political motive and needed to 'glorify' that man over his 'rivals' such as Marlowe and Johnson and Middleton. They depict him as a heaven-sent miracle, when in fact we now know he was 'only' a uniquely talented writer from a small town in the English midlands.

The cold and objective narration of documented events is what we now think of as 'biography'. The gospels are not 'biographies' of Jesus' life, and neither were they intended to be. It was recognising this that helped me overcome a massive block in my mind when reading the (often delirious) writings of Mark and especially John. 

Tying this in the theme of the OP - we can see, especially in the gospel of Mark (who shows absolutely no interest in Jesus as a teacher - as opposed to, say, Matthew - and focusses obsessively on his career as an exorcist) that Jesus came across demon after demon after demon. There are entire passages in Mark where everywhere Jesus goes he is 'casting out demons'. To understand why this would be written this way, I think we have to understand how 1st century Jews would have reacted to this kind of story. When the Jews began to move towards a strictly monotheistic theology, it suddenly became very difficult to explain the existence of 'evil' (in Paganism it's easy, all kinds of evil Gods there). Hence, 'the devil' became much more prominent in the 'new theology' of Christianity. In the Hebrew Bible we actually find Satan, the 'adversary', as a kind of counsellor of God, certainly not his enemy. We owe almost everything of the modern cartoonish 'evil' Devil to the imagination of the pre-Renaissance artists, such as Dante and Bosch. Jesus is painted in the gospels in 3 different roles - as a teacher, as a miracle-worker, and as an exorcist. I am not saying he was not those things (I doubt it strongly, but I don't know), but I DO think it folly to imagine that the events of the gospels concerning miracles and demons actually happened. If you, ChaosSystem, continue to wonder "WHY they were written if they DIDN'T happen", then my simplest reply is: for the same reason Leonardo Da Vinci's first biogrpaher (also Vasari) wrote that when he was born a bird flew his soul to heaven for a short while...whereas in the first decade of the last century letters of Leonardo revealed this to be a joke he himself cooked up with Vasari. Writers very, very often make things up when they have an aim to glorify a certain person to a certain audience.

 
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 08:51:56 PM by Dave_Manchester »

Offline bosk1

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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #362 on: June 17, 2015, 10:12:53 AM »
If you, ChaosSystem, continue to wonder "WHY they were written if they DIDN'T happen", then my simplest reply is: for the same reason Leonardo Da Vinci's first biogrpaher (also Vasari) wrote that when he was born a bird flew his soul to heaven for a short while...whereas in the first decade of the last century letters of Leonardo revealed this to be a joke he himself cooked up with Vasari. Writers very, very often make things up when they have an aim to glorify a certain person to a certain audience.

Okay, but that theory has a few gaping holes, such as the following.  First off, unlike the biographies of Leonardo, you do NOT have Mathew, Mark, Luke, or John coming forward and admitting they made any part of the stories up.  Second, it is fine to exaggerate a narrative of someone else when the stakes are low.  It is quite another to continue telling a story you KNOW to be false when your life is threatened and you stand to lose everything you have (including your reputation) if you keep on telling it.  Of course, people DO in fact sometimes do stupid, illogical, inexplicable things, sometimes even under penalty of death.  But it is highly unlikely that multiple people would have not only continued telling the story they knew to be false, let alone having written it down, if it were not true given what they stood to lose by doing so.

And that says nothing of the error you made in challenging the story of the demons to pigs.  Although you are correct that we know the modern locations of the two towns you reference, none of the three accounts in Matthew, Mark, or Luke say that the event occurred in either of those two towns.  We only know that it took place in the "region of the Gadarenes" (or "region of the Gerasenes," depending on which account).  That region at the time did in fact reach the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee according to every source I have seen.

But none of this is really on topic, is it?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 02:09:54 PM by bosk1 »
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Re: Do you believe the devil / Lucifer / Satan is REAL?
« Reply #363 on: June 17, 2015, 11:54:04 AM »
But none of this is really on topic, is it?

I think it would be interesting to read posts by those that do believe in Satan or similar describe what they believe Satan is.  Anything from his origin, his role and even his physical description.  Does he have a real correspondence to Hell and what is the actual role of Hell (or Purgatory)

And it means more coming from a believer than a doubter.  I know we have had some talk on this but it mostly seems a stab at what he is not as opposed to what he is.