Re: Satan Re: [Slate] American Religious fervor, by the numbers

Karl Anderson (
04 Jul 1999 20:03:25 -0700

"Ernest N. Prabhakar" <> writes:

> Or else you admit man has something unique (call it 'spirit') which
> distinguishes him from the rest of nature. If the rest of nature is good,
> then whatever this thing is must therefore be somehow tainted with evil.
> Yet we also acknowledge something called 'good', which at some level seems
> to be the 'proper' harmony for the spririt. This implies an external source
> for the taint.
> Could be.. Satan?

I think that Satan's bad rap has degraded a lot of the religious
dialogue. One of Satan's jobs is to be the adversary - that used to
be his only job, when he was just one of the demons. According to the
Bible, without the challenges of Satan, we'd still be stupid animals
in the garden of Eden, not knowing right from wrong. Even without
the apple incident, I still think of Satan as being in charge of
evolution. Without challenges, there'd be no reason for one mutant to
do better than another.

"Tim Byars" <> writes:

>Evil is to me the unnecessary expenditure of energy, mental, physical,
>or psychological.

I was impressed by the part in Dawkins's _The Blind Watchmaker_ where
he says that the reason that there are big beautiful trees is that
they're all constantly fighting each other to get more of the light.
Isn't that an unnecessary expenditure of energy? If the trees could
communicate and write treaties, they wouldn't have to grow so tall.
They could agree to limit themselves to a few feet.

Karl Anderson      <URL:>