Satan - Fact or Myth?

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Brown
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Satan - Fact or Myth?

Post by Brown » 01 Mar 2011, 09:22

I feel a bit uneasy about this topic, but I am curious to hear your thoughts. Do you feel that Satan is real being (possible controlling armies of evil) out to ruin the lives and salvation of everyone on earth, or is it a myth/symbol of the natural human tendencies. We are told both about the "natural man" and Satan in the scriptures, so which is it that I need to overcome. If I have an army of demons AND myself to overcome, then it seems like a bit of a stacked deck.

doug
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Re: Satan - Fact or Myth?

Post by doug » 01 Mar 2011, 09:27

I vote myth. Allegory. Perhaps a useful one in some respects. I don't know.

http://www.staylds.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1881
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. -- Mark Twain

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cwald
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Re: Satan - Fact or Myth?

Post by cwald » 01 Mar 2011, 09:33

Myth. I think Satan is a metaphor for the subconscious mind - the demon within us all.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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observant
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Re: Satan - Fact or Myth?

Post by observant » 01 Mar 2011, 09:36

I'm on the fence. If he is real I don't think he has near the power over us that some would suppose. I feel more that he may be influential but I'm not sure why we'd need Satan if we already are "natural man." But if there is no Satan it means to me there is no Savior. The whole opposition in all things comes into play. So I'm setting this on the shelf. :D
"Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go. "~Sylvia Robinson

Brown
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Re: Satan - Fact or Myth?

Post by Brown » 01 Mar 2011, 09:47

observant wrote: So I'm setting this on the shelf. :D
It seems far too many gospel topics end up like this is my head! Shame we won't have all the answers until we are out of the game. :?

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cwald
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Re: Satan - Fact or Myth?

Post by cwald » 01 Mar 2011, 09:50

observant wrote:I But if there is no Satan it means to me there is no Savior.
Yep, I agree. Which is why I am truly an existential agnostic. Perhaps Satan/Savior are both spiritual "ideas" and "concepts" rather than literal figures?
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Satan - Fact or Myth?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 01 Mar 2011, 09:52

Thanks, doug, for providing the link to the previous thread. Saves me the time in trying to find it. :lol:

I don't know, so I take the good from all interpretations - and I really do think there is good and bad in every possibility.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Tom Haws
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Re: Satan - Fact or Myth?

Post by Tom Haws » 01 Mar 2011, 09:56

Mmm. Why do I feel increasingly tongue-tied as the years go by? Oh, well, I commented on that linked thread. What I said there. :oops:
Tom (aka Justin Martyr/Justin Morning/Jacob Marley/Kupord Maizzed)
Higley and Guadalupe
Gilbert, Arizona
----
Sure, any religion would do. But I'm LDS.
"There are no academic issues. Everything is emotional to somebody." Ray Degraw at www.StayLDS.com

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: Satan - Fact or Myth?

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 01 Mar 2011, 10:28

Brown wrote:I feel a bit uneasy about this topic, but I am curious to hear your thoughts. Do you feel that Satan is real being (possible controlling armies of evil) out to ruin the lives and salvation of everyone on earth, or is it a myth/symbol of the natural human tendencies. We are told both about the "natural man" and Satan in the scriptures, so which is it that I need to overcome. If I have an army of demons AND myself to overcome, then it seems like a bit of a stacked deck.
Personally, I don't believe that people should be expected to overcome the "natural man" or Satan to nearly the extent the Church says because many things they insist are terrible sins are either not really sins at all or else they are not nearly as serious as we have been led to believe. I definitely believe in evil spirits regardless of what any skeptics say but I'm not so sure if there is one demon to rule them all. How would most people ever really know for sure either way? I don't really know what to believe about this idea other than I think the mythical Satan character is very much overused by the Church to try to scare members and as an excuse for their own failures. For example, in Thomas S. Monson's talk in the last conference he made it sound like smoking, drinking, and pornography are all tools used by Satan to take over members' souls and lead them down to hell.

The problem is that if members try some of these things against the WoW or don't want to stop looking at porn and then find that their life doesn't go into an irreversible downward spiral as a direct result of these supposedly terrible sins then many of them will understandably lose confidence in the Church for good reason and it doesn't really have anything to do with Satan. But Church leaders don't want to admit that maybe they have been pretending that some of these strict rules are much more important than they really are all along so if they see members that smoke, drink, and/or look at porn typically "fall away" from the Church then it must be a sure sign that they were deceived by Satan and it supposedly confirms that the WoW and their anti-porn crusade are more necessary and absolutely right than ever.
"Truth is what works." - William James

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canadiangirl
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Re: Satan - Fact or Myth?

Post by canadiangirl » 01 Mar 2011, 20:03

I'm with cwald. But that is a new belief for me. Last year at this time I still believed Satan was a very real and tangible entity. Wierd :roll:

CG

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