Have you ever wondered what Satan’s motivation would be?
According to standard Christian dogma, God decides to make some eternal servants--known to us humans as “angels”—and the No. 1 Servant (Lucifer) decides he can stage a coup d’etat and take over God’s position. Of course Lucifer fails, God castigates him to the role of villain, and for millennium thereafter the two bicker and argue. It is all very Greek Tragedy.
Lucifer…or Satan as we shall call him…enters the Garden of Eden with God’s permission and mucks things up for every human thereafter. Satan gets into a bet over Job, and tempts Jesus. Ever since faithfully assuming the role and blame of being Enemy No. 1 on God’s list.
But why would Satan mess around tempting humans, getting involved in human affairs, etc? Look…he would know the book of Revelation as well as we do. It is not some secret code; some hidden language only “true Christians” can read and we have cleverly kept secret from Satan and his spies for the past 2000 years. Satan has read “Left Behind.”
In the end, he is going in the Lake of Fire along with the rest of us heathens. Contrary to popular cartoons, Satan (according to Christian dogma) will not rule Hell. He will not be in charge. He will not be enjoying Jack Chick Torture with sadistic fetish. He will be screaming and whining along with the rest of us heathens.
And Satan…who already tried to take on God once, and has been around since the very beginning…would know this. He doesn’t get reduced time for the more souls that join him; he doesn’t get credit for fewer people in heaven. He does not get more people to rule, the larger the census in hell. He gets the chop with us.
[If some Christian wants to argue Satan thinks he can take on God and win…one wonders what good humans will do in this effort. Does he get a nuclear pitchfork every time an unbeliever dies?]
Oh sure, maybe for the first few centuries, he may have tried to convert a few just to piss God off…but what fun in that? Satan played his biggest trump card in the Garden—now every human is doomed by default to hell. Even better, human nature (again, according to Christian dogma) is such we have a propensity to do more evil.
Satan doesn’t have to do a thing. Heck, God even helps out by occasionally whacking off whole lots of evil people—babies and all—by genocide, tsunamis, earthquakes, flood, famine and volcanoes. Not to mention a war or two. It would be hard for Satan to keep up!
So why would Satan care about tempting humans? Even under Christian dogma…
I ask because Dr. Jones argues the Devil is portraying heaven as boring. That cartoon and modern media’s depiction of heaven, with St. Peter at the Gates, and clouds and harps and singing and time stretching out into tedious infinity is some nefarious plot on the Devil’s part to…I don’t know…keep people from relishing death?
Really? After tempting and observing humans for 1000’s of years (according to Christians) this is the best plan Satan can come up with?
Look, we don’t buy things because we find the competitor’s products undesirable; we buy things because we want them. “Don’t buy Fords—they are only meh.” No, no, no, no. “Buy OUR Car! It will make you Sexy! It will make you go fast! It will save you money!” The only time an advertiser demonstrates the shoddiness of a competitor is to immediately compare it to their own—“Look at how much stain is left when you use theirs; our product removed it better! Faster! Safer! Cleaner!”
If Satan is running down heaven, this is only half the job. The Devil would need to replace it with an alternative even better than heaven. Which got me to thinking…assuming arguendo there was a demi-god Satan, in competition with God, what would Satan do to keep as many people out of heaven as possible (assuming Satan had such a goal?)
What would I do?
Well…obviously one would need to develop on alternative religion. One that was close enough to the truth to sound legitimate, but not sufficient to get one into real heaven. One that claimed a greater reward than real heaven…with less work.
So first we would make it simple to get in. Not too simple—then no one would believe it. Further, make it a little uncertain, so humans keep reassessing their position and re-confirming the little thing they must do. Manufacturers long know the real money is in replacement parts; not just the original purchase.
Make the humans feel good about themselves to further solidify the belief. For example, create the concept of really, REALLY big sins, and as long as they are not doing those…why…the human is just fine. Be willing to mold with the times; as long as the person acts within the current societal norms, they qualify.
Never explicitly quantify a promise. Be opaque. Don’t say, “I will be there at noon on Tuesday;” say, “I am coming soon.” Don’t promise to heal them if they perform the correct ritual; explain you will comfort them. And if (Satan Forbid) they expect some response, make it so it is their fault when the response doesn’t arrive. They are too stupid, too insincere, desire the wrong things, too immature, too human.
Put the reward out of verification…only once you die you will have candy and health and love and peace and money and adulation and power and whatever you want.
In short…if I was Satan and I wanted to create an alternative religion to keep people out of heaven…I would create Christianity. The perfect placebo.