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or, Satan, The Ultimate Scapegoat;
or better yet, God the Definitive Sadist
The basic Christian view of Milton's Paradise Lost is that a purely evil being, the anti-god if you will, Satan, is the cause of all of human downfall. Briefly the story goes like this, first God creates everything, but a rogue angel named Lucifer wants more out of existence so he attempt a coup d'etat of heaven. He fails, as he had no chance to begin with, as the Christian god is omnipotent. He is thrown into hell and is royally pissed off. Like a teenager with too much time, he finds a way to truly anger god by tempting and eventually corrupting God's precious, new, perfect world by introducing "sin", which is an action of some sort that angers this God. The humans are banned from perfection, grounded for the rest of eternity, and told to sit in a corner until their omnipotent God can find out some way to dispose of this "evil" being, which, thousands, if not millions, of years later, apparently still hasn't happened. The only problem with this interpretation is that it is made by humans with years upon years of religious brainwashing, and uses absolutely no logic at all. They know for a fact (blind faith) that God is good Satan is evil. But Is Satan really the most evil thing in existence? Is God perfect and loving? Was eating the apple really a bad thing?
Satan. The ultimate definition of evil. But is he really evil, or is he just an extension of the will of God? If God were omnipotent, know-all, see-all, be-all, then, in theory, God would know all that has happened and all that will happen. This is logically impossible, however, as this would imply predetermined destiny, which, of course, would not allow any room for free will. It's very contradictory, and makes no sense. But then again, neither does much of the bible. This leads me to my next idea. Why would a loving and caring God create such a horrible being? The answer, plain and simple, is entertainment. If you were god of a perfect no thrills world, what would be better than introducing the chaos theory into the mix? God, however, on one of his many ego trips, decides the human can't blame him for the future misery about to be unleashed on their future generations, so God invents the opposite of himself to push all of the blame onto.
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Because the Christian world consists of a strange free-will-with-destiny-intertwined paradox, God would have known the being created as Lucifer would oppose him for all eternity. Satan is the poor loser in the story. A scapegoat. He is carrying out all of God's sadistic, chaos inducing wishes while taking the blame all the while, happily at that. It's like God gave Satan some sort crazed of reverse psychology. God laid down commandments (as the old adage says, rules are made to be broken) the entire purpose of these rules were for Satan to think that by participating in this behavior he is actually displeasing God, yet being evil and causing chaos is exactly what God wanted Satan to do. The answer to displeasing God is simple, from Satan's view at least. Stop being evil. There would be no need for love, no need to worship God, and God will have lost his entertainment for the evening.
The apple. Red. Delicious...sinful? God for some crazy reason decides that the only forbidden thing on Eden is eating an apple from a sacred tree. But why, in a perfect world made by a caring and loving god, is there even a remote chance of some event that would make this perfection go awry? Christians would say that it is a "test" of some sort, which we miserably failed. In reality, this apple released us from slavery. While it is true that the only point to our ignorance-filled lives is to entertain God, this apple did one important thing, it gave us the freedom so do as we please. I feel wrong likening Abraham Lincoln and other civil rights leaders to Satan, but in reality that's what Satan did, he freed us from an oppressing master. The thing is, this just thrusted out of the frying pan and into the fire. The cost of knowledge is suffering in a horrible world. The two choices God gives us are rather disconcerting: We can be perfect and not have a care in the world, yet unable to enjoy this perfection as we are stuck with poverty of intellect; or, We can possess knowledge, truly living in all senses of the word, yet at the price of damnation. It's lose-lose.
We are just pawns in the game of life, created for the sole purpose of entertaining a conniving and manipulating god that is out for the sole purpose of receiving recognition and fear-induced love from a race of complete idiots, humans. To make matter worse, the enlightened ones, who value their knowledge, are forced into punishment by a nescient ignoramus known as Satan who is unwittingly fulfilling God's will.