The Instigator
feverish
Pro (for)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
heart_of_the_matter
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

The Bible does not support the traditional Christian concept of The Devil/Satan.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+5
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/17/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,145 times Debate No: 8329
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (8)

 

feverish

Pro

Much thanks to my opponent for agreeing to accept this debate which I hope will be an interesting and insightful one for both of us.

Affirmed: The Bible does not support the traditional Christian concept of The Devil/Satan.

By the Bible I mean the books included in the biblical canon of Protestants and Catholics including the New and Old Testaments but not the apocrypha or any additional texts not authorised by most churches.
Different English translations from the Hebrew Old Testament, the Greek Septuagint, The King James or any other more modern translations should be allowed but debaters should of course be allowed to post counter-translations and question different interpretations and their sources.

By "The traditional Christian concept of The Devil/Satan" I mean how this figure or entity is standardly perceived by most Church authorities and individual Christians, including but not limited to the beliefs or theories described below.

Here is a brief list of some of the the 'facts' that most Christians believe about Satan/The Devil that are not supported by or described in the Bible.

1. Satan was the Serpent who tempted Eve and caused the 'fall of man'.

2. Satan was an angel called Lucifer.

3. He sinned against God and was cast out of heaven.

4. He is completely evil, as bad as God is good.

5. He lives in Hell where he tortures sinners.

There are many other examples including trivial ones like he had a beard or horns.
My point is that the Bible doesn't prove or even logically suggest any of these conclusions even assuming you accept it as the infallible word of God.

My opponent should attempt to prove if and where the Bible does provide evidence for this conjecture.

---
If you look at certain passages carefully some interesting facts ARE presented and suggested by the Bible,which contrast sharply with traditional conceptions:

1. He is a loyal servant of God.

Job 1:12
"The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD."

2. God encourages and facilitates his tempting and testing of people.

Job again is the best example of this but there are others.

3. God appointed him ruler of the world.

Luke 4:6-7 (New International Version)
6And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7So if you worship me, it will all be yours."

Who but God could have given him this power?

4. He is, like Jesus, a son of God.

Job again.

Job 1:6-12 (King James Version). 6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. ...
"The first sentence of this episode can be paraphrased to say, "One of the Sons of God who served as a satan came before Yahweh,"

http://books.google.co.uk...

5. Lucifer (light bringer or morning star)is never identified with Satan or the Devil but with the king of Babylonia and also with Jesus.

Revelation 22:16 (New International Version)
16"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you[a] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."

That is all for now, I hope this topic sparks some interesting debate.

Thankyou.
heart_of_the_matter

Con

I thank my opponent for this interesting debate.

As CON I will be attempting to show that the Bible does in fact support the traditional concept of the Devil/ Satan.
----
I accept my opponent's definition of the Bible.
----
As far as "'facts' that most Christians believe about Satan/The Devil" I would like to make a couple of distinctions regarding point 1. and point 5.

1. Satan was the Serpent who tempted Eve and caused the 'fall of man'.

If my opponent agrees I would say that it could ALSO be said that Satan "spoke through" the serpent, and not that He "was" the Serpent. I believe that a "traditional Christian concept" would include this view also.

5. He lives in Hell where he tortures sinners.

If my opponent agrees I would like to add in another "traditional Christian concept" of where the Devil lives. I would propose that it is also commonly held by Christians that the Devil is not living in "hell" per se, but rather is going to and fro on the Earth seeking those whom he can destroy by tempting them. He is known as a spirit who is invisible, but is actually on the Earth. The commonly heard phrase "The devil made me do it" alludes to his being around this Earth influencing and tempting people to sin.

Job 1:7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
http://scriptures.lds.org...
----
I will now address the points made by my opponent:

1. He is a loyal servant of God.

Just because someone is doing what you want them to does not automatically make them a "loyal servant"...they could in fact still be an enemy. I would use the example of a POW (prisoner of war) - many captured enemy POW's may be forced to grudgingly dig trenches for you if they are at gunpoint, and also do other forced labor, this does not make them a "loyal servant" per se but rather they are still an enemy. BUT they are accomplishing work for you that you want them to do, because they are being manipulated.

This idea can be likened to the relationship between God and the devil...even though the devil is an enemy to God, he is still led into doing God's work and fulfilling God's purposes. This does not make an enemy of God into a "loyal servant of God" however.

2. God encourages and facilitates his tempting and testing of people.

God does not tempt people but He knows what is going to happen, and He makes provisions for that.

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
http://scriptures.lds.org...
----
3. God appointed him ruler of the world.

God may have granted the devil temporary control of this dominion but it will be short lived. He is not the permanent ruler here.

John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
http://scriptures.lds.org...

(refers to the devil being cast out = because his ruling is TEMPORARY)

VS.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace THERE SHALL BE NO END, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice FROM HENCEFORTH EVEN FOR EVER. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
http://scriptures.lds.org...

(refers to Jesus Christ ruling FOREVER)

But the main point is that it doesn't matter what POSITION OF POWER A PERSON IS IN - AS THIS DOES NOT DETERMINE THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS! (POSITION ALONE DOES NOT DETERMINE IF THEY ARE A LOYAL FOLLOWER OF GOD OR NOT!)

The Lord explains this concept to His apostles in these scriptures:
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
http://scriptures.lds.org...

What Jesus is talking about is that the princes of the Gentiles get power and then oppress people, and Jesus is explaining how that is not how it is supposed to be...but rather that those in power have a responsibility and obligation to use their power to HELP others. Where much is given much is required!

Since God allows freedom of choice, there must be an opportunity to show what their true colors are by their actions. Sometimes people are put into positions of power by God but it can still be to the condemnation of the person who was put in power, if they choose to sin.

The Parable of the wicked servant teaches this principle beautifully:
Matthew 18:
23 � Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
http://scriptures.lds.org...

I use this parable to illustrate a certain points: The wicked servant was placed in a position of power over another person, not because they were a loyal servant but because the king was kind and allowed the wicked servant another chance. Then the wicked servant abused his position of power over others and this also was not seen as being a 'loyal servant' by the king, but rather he was taken and punished severely. So again the moral is that just because a person is in POWER, does not necessarily mean they are in FAVOR!
----
4. He is, like Jesus, a son of God.

RELATIONSHIPS DO NOT DETERMINE RIGHTEOUSNESS! Someone can be a son of God and be evil OR righteous! The parable of the prodigal son teaches us that lesson. 2 sons both had a good father and a good upbringing but one son chose to rebel and one son chose to be obedient...the relationship of being a "son" did not matter at all. The devil though related to The Father, is still very wicked.

Luke 15:11-32 http://scriptures.lds.org...
----
5. Lucifer (light bringer or morning star)is never identified with Satan or the Devil but with the king of Babylonia and also with Jesus.

Lucifer is actually identified as a "son of the morning".

Isaiah 14: 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O LUCIFER, SON OF THE MORNING! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
http://scriptures.lds.org...

I thank the readers and my opponent and wish him good luck in the next Rd.
Debate Round No. 1
feverish

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate and posting his first round.

I fully accept Con's clarification of "facts" 1 and 5, regarding the idea that 'Satan' some how possessed or "spoke through" the serpent as well as the notion of him travelling about the Earth freely from his abode in Hell.

However I reiterate that none of these 'facts' or the 'facts' I posted in round 1 are clarified or implied in the Bible.
Job shows 'Satan' travelling back and forth to Earth but from a base in Heaven rather than Hell.

My opponent has accepted these 'facts' as being the popular Christian idea of Satan.
Therefore in order to negate the resolution he must endeavor to find actual Biblical evidence that supports all of the 'facts' 1 - 5.

Instead my opponent has limited his arguments to an attempted debunking of my examples of what the Bible Does say about 'Satan'. It is to these I shall respond to while awaiting my opponent's Biblical proof of common Christian opinion.

---
1. Loyal servant of God.

The example of prisoners of war is an interesting one but is hardly comparable to how Satan's relationship with God is portrayed in the Old Testament.
Would a captive be given free reign to come and go as he pleased?
Also, while POWs may be put to work on menial tasks such as digging ditches they would be very unlikely to be used for the kind of torture (verb used with object: to subject to torture, to afflict with severe pain of body or mind http://dictionary.reference.com... ) missions described in Job or the assassination assignments of the Angel of Death.
It is Satan's own idea to torment and test Job, if anyone is manipulating the situation it's him.

---

I said:
" 2. God encourages and facilitates his tempting and testing of people."

My opponent said:
"God does not tempt people but He knows what is going to happen, and He makes provisions for that."

This seems to be avoiding the issue. Saying God does not tempt people himself has little to do with whether he encourages Satan to do so.
Some might also argue that the real tempter in the Eden story is God who set up the whole situation.

---

I said:
" 3. God appointed him ruler of the world."
My opponent said:
"God may have granted the devil temporary control of this dominion but it will be short lived."

My opponent concedes that the Devil's dominion over Earth and his status as Prince of the World was bestowed on him by God, albeit on a temporary basis.

This is not the sort of honour God would bestow on just anybody and certainly only a loyal servant who was not completely evil.

The quote from Isaiah 9, assumed to relate to Jesus does not actually include the words Messiah (Christ), Jesus, Son of Man, Son of David or any other of Jesus' titles, but that is a subject for a different debate.

---
4. He is, like Jesus, a son of God.

My opponent apparently concedes this point: "Someone can be a son of God and be evil OR righteous!"

---

5.

Ok, this one is really interesting, the Isaiah 14 passage is always quoted completely out of context, with the contrived assumption that it refers to Lucifer rather than the king of Babylonia.
This assumption requires us to suppose that the writer shifts seamlessly back and forth through metaphors while talking about both the earthly king and the satanic one.
Let's look at a range of interpretations of this passage.

Merely as a starting point, Wiki has this:

"Lucifer is a name frequently given to Satan in Christian belief. This usage as a reference to a fallen angel stems from a particular interpretation of Isaiah 14:3-20, a passage that speaks of someone who is given the name of "Day Star" or "Morning Star" (in Latin, Lucifer) as fallen from heaven.[2] 2 Peter 1:19 and elsewhere, the same Latin word lucifer is used of the morning star with no relation to Satan...

...In Latin, the word "Lucifer", meaning "Light-Bringer" (from lux, lucis, "light", and ferre, "to bear, bring"), is a name for the "Morning Star" (the planet Venus in its dawn appearances).[3] The Latin Vulgate version of the Bible used this word twice to refer to the Morning Star: once in 2 Peter 1:19 to translate the Greek word Φωσφόρος (Phosphoros),[4] and once in Isaiah 14:12 to translate the Hebrew word הילל (H�lēl).[5] In the latter passage the title of "Morning Star" is given to the tyrannous Babylonian king, who the prophet says is destined to fall. This passage was later applied to the prince of the demons, and so the name "Lucifer" came to be used for Satan, and was popularized in works such as Dante Alighieri's Inferno and John Milton's Paradise Lost, but for English speakers the greatest influence has been its use in the King James Version of Isa 14:12 to translate the Hebrew word הילל, which more modern English versions render as "Morning Star" or "Day Star".
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The following biblical study site has this footnote on Isaiah 14: 12 ;
"This whole section (vv. 4b-21) is directed to the king of Babylon, who is clearly depicted as a human ruler. Other kings of the earth address him in vv. 9ff., he is called "the man" in v. 16, and, according to vv. 19-20, he possesses a physical body"..... "Some Christians have seen an allusion to the fall of Satan here, but this seems contextually unwarranted (see J. Martin, "Isaiah," BKCOT, 1061)." http://www.bible.org...

Here is a Christian website that explains the mistranslation in the King James version:
http://www.crivoice.org...

And another that I will quote at length:

"It may come as a surprise to many Christians that to the Jews and New Testament Christians there was no such person as Lucifer. To many Christians Lucifer is equivalent to Satan, the devil. How could it be that the Jews knew nothing of Lucifer, we find it clearly printed in our King James Bible in Isaiah 14. But then again it is not found in most contemporary language versions. With the curiously notable exception of the New King James Version.

As way of introduction here is what The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia has to say about Lucifer:

Lucifer, the rendering of the Vulgate for the Hebrew phrase helal ("day-star") in Isa. 14:12; the verse is rendered in the Authorized Version as: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!" The passage in question is a song of derision over the downfall of a Babylonian king; the figure used may trace back to a Hebrew or Babylonian astral myth like the Greek story of Phaethon, in which the day-star is cast out of heaven because of presumption. The term Lucifer is never used in Jewish legend; but Christian writers identified Lucifer with Satan who, according to the gospels (Luke 10:18), fell from heaven like lighting; accordingly, Lucifer became one of the terms for the devil in Christian theology. (Page 229)"
http://newprotestants.com...

So evidence from independent scholars as well as some Christian organisations themselves that this passage has nothing to do with Satan and is expressly directed towards the king of Babylonia (thought by some to be Nebuchadnezzar).

Sorry for pasting such bulky excerpts here to back up my points but I am tired and don't have much time to get this round in.

I eagerly await my opponent's next round and hope he can provide some stronger evidence to back up his position and attempt to disprove mine.

Thankyou.
heart_of_the_matter

Con

I thank my opponent - even with a lack of time he has still presented a well thought out rebuttal.

For the source of all my scriptures quotes unless otherwise specified I will use: http://scriptures.lds.org...
This will reduce the amount of links and increase readability.
----
My opponent states "none of these 'facts' or the 'facts' I posted in round 1 are clarified or implied in the Bible."

I disagree with this statement by my opponent as many of these things ARE implied in the Bible:

1. Satan was the Serpent who tempted Eve and caused the 'fall of man'. = TRUE

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

It can be reasonably implied that because of the actions that the serpent was taking (seeking to destroy the work of God by causing Adam and Eve to Fall) that it was the devil (or the devil spoke through the serpent).

Also the connection between Serpent being the Devil is also shown by:

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old SERPENT, CALLED THE DEVIL, AND SATAN, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old SERPENT, WHICH IS THE DEVIL, AND SATAN, and bound him a thousand years,

2. Satan was an angel called Lucifer. = TRUE

It can also be reasonably implied that Lucifer/ Satan/ Devil are all the same being. By comparing several scriptures a more clear picture materializes of a being who was cast out of heaven for rebellion and who became an enemy to God.

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old SERPENT, CALLED THE DEVIL, AND SATAN, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (spoken by Jesus)

It can reasonably be implied by these scriptures that the Serpent/ Devil/ Satan are the same being (see Rev. 12:9). And then by knowing that this being was cast out of heaven for rebellion (see Rev. 12:7,8) the connection between Lucifer and Satan is then cemented by the other two scriptures which describe the being who was cast out of heaven for rebellion (see Isa. 14:12 & Luke 10:18).

3. He sinned against God and was cast out of heaven. = TRUE

This is clearly shown above in point 2 by the exact same scriptures.

4. He is completely evil, as bad as God is good. = TRUE

He is described as the "adversary" (which means enemy) and as one who is seeking to devour (destroy).

1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Also, if the devil was not evil or bad why would God feel the need to "bind him" for a thousand years?

Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

5. He lives in Hell where he tortures sinners. =DISTINCTION MADE

The distinction was already made that the devil does live on earth. My opponent however wants to argue that he has a base in heaven rather than hell - quote by PRO:

"Job shows 'Satan' travelling back and forth to Earth but from a base in Heaven rather than Hell."

I believe the following scriptures clearly show that Satan was cast out of heaven and he no longer has any ties to heaven.

Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. (spoken by Jesus)

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and SATAN, which deceiveth the whole world: he WAS CAST OUT INTO THE EARTH, and his angels were cast out with him.

The scriptures show that he was "cast out into the EARTH" no ties to anywhere else are mentioned.
----
I will now continue to address my opponent's rebuttal:

1. Loyal servant of God.

My using the example of the POWs was simply a loose analogy to be used simply to show that a being can be taking particular actions which help a being that they are still an enemy to. Breakdowns in any analogy are to be expected, but the concept still remains valid. I would also like to further examine a quote by PRO:

"It is Satan's own idea to torment and test Job, if anyone is manipulating the situation it's him."

That does not seem to be the case as it is the LORD who steers the conversation to what He wants to talk about! He plays Satan like a fiddle by directing his focus where He wants it to be (on Job)

Job 1:8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

This definitely does NOT sound like Satan is manipulating the situation.
----
2. God encourages and facilitates his tempting and testing of people.

The scripture I quoted was to make an important distinction "that God being perfect does not directly tempt people".

God understands that temptation will be present on the Earth, BUT God ALWAYS encourages people to choose righteousness. It is plain to see that God was not pleased by Satan/ Serpent tempting Adam and Eve. Tempting them was seen as evil and so the serpent was CURSED not encouraged!

Genesis 3:14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
----
3.God appointed him ruler of the world.

My opponent addressed the easy part of my rebuttal but did not adequately address the concept of: "...the moral is that just because a person is in POWER, does not necessarily mean they are in FAVOR!"

But to address a quote by PRO: "This is not the sort of honour God would bestow on just anybody and certainly only a loyal servant who was not completely evil."

I would point out that there have been other wicked people who have been put into positions of trust and authority by God, an example of such a person would be Judas Iscariot, who was appointed to be a holy apostle, but who was the man who betrayed Jesus Christ. People are allowed to make choices but God controls outcomes.
----
4. He is, like Jesus, a son of God.

I do partially concede this point. I concede that the devil is also a son of God. What I don't concede however, is that this relationship somehow would make the devil righteous, because it does not. My point "RELATIONSHIPS DO NOT DETERMINE RIGHTEOUSNESS" was to show that just because Lucifer is a son of God does not mean he is in any way, shape or form, righteous or like Jesus Christ! (WHICH MY OPPONENT HINTED AT WITH HIS WORDING) the devil is still evil, even though God is the father of both of them. So Lucifer is a son of God, but "unlike" Jesus, because he is evil and Jesus is righteous.
----
5. Limited words left, but this link explains Isa. 14
http://www.fairlds.org...
----
I thank my opponent and the readers.
Debate Round No. 2
feverish

Pro

A wonderfully researched and superbly presented argument by my opponent in the last round but the resolution stands.

To my suggestion that the 'facts' about Satan were not "clarified or implied in the Bible" my opponent responds by saying that "many of these things ARE implied in the Bible."

If I was to take this response at face value I would assume that my opponent is conceding that some are not implied and NONE are clarified but perhaps this is not the case.

'FACTS' (believed by most Christians.)

1. Satan = Serpent:

a)Genesis:
In most modern translations the first line of 3:1 is correctly interpreted as: "Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made". http://www.usccb.org...
This confirms the implication in the King James quote offered by my opponent that the serpent was one of the "beast(s) of the field which the Lord God had made" not an Angel or Son of God.

My opponent argues that "It can be reasonably implied that because of the actions that the serpent was taking (seeking to destroy the work of God by causing Adam and Eve to Fall) that it was the devil (or the devil spoke through the serpent)."
The implication is reasonable only if we disregard logic and what the text actually says.
My opponent cannot find any suggestion in Genesis that the serpent is Satan because there is none. He argues that it must be the devil because of the way he behaves, but by this logic many other figures in the Bible would be Satan. From Judas, Pontious Pilate and Herod in the New Testament to all the 'bad' kings of Egypt in the OT.

b)Revelations:
Note that there are a whole lot of books (in fact the rest of the Bible) between Gen and Rev with no mention of Satan in Eden or as a serpent but yes, the dragon in Revelations is identified as Satan.
A dragon is of course a serpent but there is no indication that this is the same serpent from all the way back in Genesis.
The line about "deceiving the whole world" is often taken as a reference to the Eden story, but if we look back at Genesis we see that the serpent does not actually deceive them at all.
God says that they will die if they eat or touch the fruit but the serpent tells them they won't die but will instead have knowledge of good and bad, they eat the fruit and it turns out that the serpent was right.
The word 'cunning' shares etymological roots with 'knowledge' and serpents are traditionally associated with wisdom in many cultures.

2 & 3:

Revelations is a vision of the apocalypse so if it does describe Satan being thrown out of heaven this is an event which is still yet to happen.
It is inconsistant with the idea put forward by my opponent that he has already cut his ties with heaven and roams about the world.
If Satan is to be bound for a thousand years after this battle and it has already happened then how can he be roaming around now?
Was this before or after he became (or possessed) the serpent in Eden?

Isaiah 14 has been and will I'm sure continue to be discussed elsewhere in this debate.

The passage in Luke about Satan falling like lightning from heaven (or from 'the sky' in some translations) also does not fit into any timeline of events that makes sense. He saw (beheld) it when?

4:

Satan is "described as the adversary" because this is what the word means. A 'satan' is anyone who opposes you in any way.
But in the Bible, Satan is always the adversary of man, never of God. (See loyal servant)
The dualistic black-and-white, good-and-evil concept was grafted onto Christianity in post- Biblical times.

CON: "If the devil was not evil or bad why would God feel the need to "bind him" for a thousand years?'
The point here is whether he is completely evil or as bad as God is good and this clearly proves he isn't. If he was that bad God would surely not have allowed him to cause so much mischief in the first place and would have bound him sooner and for an infinite time. God is clearly superior and has power over him so why did he not take firmer action sooner?

5:

My opponent quotes the same lines from Luke and Revelations again which I have already shown suggest that Satan has not yet been cast out of heaven. Both these passages describe visions of things yet to come, reported in the prophetic past tens, not events that have already occured.
They provide evidence of rather than contradiction of Satan in heaven.

'FACTS' (reported in the Bible.)

1 & 2 Loyal servant / encouraged by God:

My opponents arguments here are starting to stray off topic. The questions of whether Satan is God's enemy or of who is manipulating who are not really relevant to this particular point.
The fact is that Satan is depicted following God's instructions obediantly and carrying out his wishes like a loyal servant.
This is in contrast to the actions of the serpent who tells Eve the truth but goes against God's wishes and is duly punished.
Unlike the serpent, Satan is not punished (until Revelations) but rather congratulated and rewarded for his good work tempting humanity.

3 & 4. Ruler of the world/son of God:

I apologise for not addressing my opponents points about Power/Favour and Relationship/Righteousness but again I did not really see their relevance to this debate and never tried to claim that Satan was righteous.
My opponent accepts that Satan is a son of God and the Prince of the world and that he has been rewarded and appointed as such by God.
I'm not sure how many other Christians would accept this without seeing it as contradicting their other beliefs about Satan.

I should point out now that it is not my intention to blaspheme or cause offence in this debate and I apologise if I inadvertently do so. My intention is merely to prove the resolution and I have no ulterior motive of suggesting that Satan is righteous or equating him with Jesus in a bid to shock or offend. As I do not believe in the supernatural qualities of either or in the very existence of Satan, this is absolutely not my aim.

5:
The link posted that allegedly "explains Isa. 14" does little to negate the resolution, it claims that the Hebrew word meaning Venus or morning star that was translated into Lucifer was actually a proper name for a minor deity unconnected with Christianity and goes on to attempt to justify use of the term Lucifer for Satan simply because it has been common usage for so long. The original article that this link is a response to makes much more interesting reading.
http://www.lds-mormon.com...

-------
My opponent has used most of the Biblical references to Satan that are usually sited to back up Christian theories - passages from Isaiah, Luke and Revelations These are some of the most vague, inconsistent, mixed metaphor-ridden passages in the whole Bible and we need huge leaps of imagination and a great deal of 'reading between the lines' to make the inferences that have been made.

Biblical evidence for these traditionally believed satanic myths is severely lacking.
Thankyou.
heart_of_the_matter

Con

I thank my opponent for his well thought out rebuttal. There has been no offense taken by any statements, but I do want to express thanks to my opponent for his consideration in these things.

5. To allow sufficient space I will address Isaiah 14 first:

First, as far as the morning star pertaining to Jesus and the Devil: One must understand what a morning star is: A morning star is simply a star that is so bright that it can be seen shining in the morning, even with the sun out. This refers to those leading spirits in the premortal spirit world who were "brilliant" or "main spiritual leaders". This term can apply to the devil also because before he rebelled and was cast out he had been one of the chief angels in authority there. It is simply a general term that can be applied to many different people.

Now, Isaiah 14

I would like to point out to my opponent that in Rd. 2 his translations did not seem to transfer over very well to his posting. I didn't have space to address that last Rd. but for ex:"once in 2 Peter 1:19 to translate the Greek word ...959;ς (Phosphoros),[4]" that did not make sense to me, and there are several others like that, perhaps I am just not smart enough to figure out how to go about translating these.

As an explanation of my previous link I would point out that IT WAS IMPLIED ENOUGH THAT ORIGEN AND JEROME MADE THE CONNECTION, and others, and it is still in the Bible as Lucifer, so this should be evidence enough that it was AT LEAST IMPLIED there.

Most people are aware of the literary technique of symbolism that is used frequently in the scriptures but in Isa. 14
Isaiah is ALSO using a literary technique called "dualism". He is writing one thing that represents two different things.

(14-14) Isaiah 14:12–15. Who Was "Lucifer, Son of the Morning"?
Isaiah again used dualism. Chapters 13 and 14 describe the downfall of Babylon, both of Babylon as an empire and of Babylon as the symbol of the world (see D&C 133:14). Thus, most scholars think "Lucifer, son of the morning" is the king of Babylon, probably Nebuchadnezzar. In the symbolic use of Babylon, (Babylon as spiritual wickedness and the kingdom of Satan), Lucifer is Satan. This interpretation is confirmed in latter-day revelation (see D&C 76:26–8). Satan and Babylon's prince (both represented by Lucifer in this passage) aspire to take kingly glory to themselves, but in fact will be thrust into hell where there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Compare Isaiah 13:13–14 with Moses 4:1–4, where Lucifer's conditions for saving all men are given. What adds to the power of the imagery is the fact that the word congregation (v. 13) is translated by Keil and Delitzsch as the "assembly of gods" (Commentary,
7:1:312). In still another example of Isaiah's beautiful dualism, even the kings of the world lie in their tombs (house)
in respect (see vv. 18–19), but Babylon's king was to be cast aside and trodden under foot. This reward was
literally visited upon the city of the Chaldees, and though Nebuchadnezzar was certainly buried in great
splendor, there is no grave found for him today in the ruins of Babylon. Think for a moment of Satan's
"grave." Never having received a body, he shall never have a tomb or monument of any kind, though he was
king and ruler of the great world-wide and history-wide empire of spiritual Babylon. No wonder the kings of
the earth, who, though wicked in mortality, could still inherit the telestial kingdom, would marvel at his
demise.
http://www.ldsces.org...

So in summary, both things happened. The prophecy was fulfilled in the king of Babylon and also in Lucifer.
====
OK back to the beginning:

1. Satan = Serpent
I will address some statements by my opponent:

"This confirms the implication in the King James quote offered by my opponent that the serpent was one of the "beast(s) of the field which the Lord God had made" not an Angel or Son of God."

-That is why CON made the distinction in Rd. 1 - either the serpent is the devil OR the devil used the serpent to speak. If my opponent requires I am prepared to discuss the concept of "possession", but since the distinction was made earlier and agreed upon, I suppose my opponent accepts this concept.

"A dragon is of course a serpent but there is no indication that this is the same serpent from all the way back in Genesis."

-CON has provided several scripture references from the Bible that make the strong connection of the serpent being Satan. All my opponent has said is that it might not be the case. I believe CON's case to be stronger.

"The line about "deceiving the whole world" is often taken as a reference to the Eden story, but if we look back at Genesis we see that the serpent does not actually deceive them at all."

-Eve WAS "beguiled" 1. to influence by trickery, flattery, etc.; mislead; delude. [dictionary.com]
Genesis 3:13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

"God says that they will die if they eat or touch the fruit but the serpent tells them they won't die but will instead have knowledge of good and bad, they eat the fruit and it turns out that the serpent was right."

-the serpent was right that they didn't die IMMEDIATELY, but with the Fall of Adam and Eve death was introduced into the world and Adam DID end up dying. If he had not partaken he would not have died. There also was another type of death that came into the world known as "spiritual death" which is a separation from God. He was no longer allowed to be in God's presence. The serpent definitely deceived them!
----
2/3/5. Revelation

The Revelation timeline is all over the place! The seals themselves each represent a 1,000 year period for each seal. For example: the 4th seal represents those things that happened during the 4th thousand years. The war in heaven has already taken place. Jesus saw Lucifer fall from heaven after he rebelled during the war in heaven. Revelation also speaks of the Millennium (the thousand year period on Earth after the Savior comes). Satan will be bound during the
Millennium (future). Con's position is perfectly consistent.

4.& [1,2 in facts] Satan is evil

I will use a short story here to illustrate the concept (the idea is also relevant to many of the other arguments that PRO has presented ex: Job, loyal servant, etc.).

There was a bully who saw a girl riding her bike across the street from him. He didn't like her and wanted to push her down and cause her harm, so he ran across the street and pushed her down and hurt her, and he was pleased with himself. Little did he know however, that at the same time a car had swerved out of control and had been about to hit her, so by his actions he actually saved her.

God allows people (or the devil) to do what they want but controls the outcomes so that His works are accomplished. God sees with an ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE. We can't have that, but in hindsight we can see some of the amazing things God has accomplished in spite of OR ACTUALLY THROUGH people who want to stop His work.

Some examples of God using evil intentions for good would include the Garden of Eden: the devil sought to destroy mankind, but in fact it made it possible for mankind to receive mortal bodies and experience life on Earth and to experience good and evil - which is needed for all of us to progress.
Another example would be the crucifixion of Jesus Christ: The devil thought perhaps that by possessing Judas and betraying the Savior and having Him crucified that it would stop the work of God. But in fact what this accomplished was that it made it possible for mankind to be redeemed from the Fall (through the Atonement of Jesus Christ).
----
[3,4] PRO has referred to Satan as a "loyal" servant to God. God is righteous. Therefore a loyal servant of God would be righteous.

out of words
Debate Round No. 3
feverish

Pro

I thank my opponent for taking part in this interesting and challenging debate and applaud him for his use of logic to back up his faith.

---
I have a lot of respect for the positive aspects of Christianity and of other religions, however I always have more admiration for a religious person who does not claim to know all the answers than one who does.

Literal interpretation of scripture and corrupt interpretations for political reasons worry me greatly.

People who say that the Bible is the 'inerrant word of God' and show unquestioning faith to a prescribed interpretation can be dangerous and they need to take the time to investigate what the Bible actually says as well as accept that it was written and heavily edited through many translations by men, not by God.
---

I don't expect to change anybody's mind with this debate but if I can open it a little, I will be happy.

I do hope that voters will see that there is very little Biblical evidence for the 'facts' I have suggested most Christians believe and that if one takes the time to look then a very different picture of Satan emerges.
My opponent has done a great job but we are pretty much now arguing in circles around the few Bible quotes that can be (with a huge stretch of the imagination) interpreted to back up the conventional depiction of Satan.

I will briefly address my opponent's latest round but think I have already proved most of these points, although that of course will be up to voters to decide.

----
Morning Star.

My opponent gives an interesting interpretation of what this term means: "a star that is so bright that it can be seen shining in the morning, even with the sun out" but unfortunately he provides no source for this definition.
As my previously posted source mentioned 'morning star' almost always refers to Venus in it's role as light-bringer being clearly visible just before dawn.
This explains the significance of both Jesus and John the Baptist being called morning star, the light that heralds the dawn.

----
Isaiah 14.

Sorry about the numbers in the quotes which I explained in comments section, basically this was just showing that the different words Phosphoros (Greek) and Helel (Hebrew) were both translated as Lucifer in the Vulgate.

The reason "THAT ORIGEN AND JEROME MADE THE CONNECTION" when there was no connection to make is that there was pressure to define Satan according to the Church's needs and the Isaiah passage was vague enough and bizarre enough to fit.

Best link yet, this is a Christian site which confirms the fallacy of Lucifer translation : http://en.allexperts.com...

We do indeed need to suspend a great deal of disbelief to interpret Isaiah 14 as describing the fall of Lucifer from heaven, we need not only see it as metaphoric symbolism but also, through it's dualism; as literal history as well (because there's no disputing the fact it talks about a human king). This is the kind of extreme imaginative leap I have been referring to and only someone who was looking to create a connection would find one.

---
Serpent.

Yes, I accept the distinction that it may be believed that the Devil possessed the serpent, but which one is it? are we to pick and choose one minute to the next whether it is Satan or the serpent. There's certainly no mention of possession in the text and it seems that the serpent himself is punished.

If Revelations is saying Satan IS the serpent then how can Genesis be saying he possessed it.

Con claims to have "provided several scripture references from the Bible that make the strong connection of the serpent being Satan."
This is not true, he has suggested that it is from his actions that we can interpret that it is Satan. His other arguments contradict each other, (see above) as he must either be the serpent or the possessor.

----
Revelation.

Revelation makes so little sense that I guess you could allocate any set of dates you wanted to it, here are some conflicting examples with similar credibility to the one mentioned by my opponent:

http://www.timelinescroll.com...
http://www.geocities.com...
http://www.allaboutpopularissues.org...
http://www.rapturechrist.com...

-----
Evil.

I didn't say the devil was righteous or deny that he did bad things and I think my opponent's own earlier arguments (POWs etc.) explain how one can be loyal for reasons of fear etc. rather than righteousness.

The fact is he is a servant of God, encouraged and rewarded with great power and responsibility by God.

He always does what God tells him, unless you want to make up stuff that's not in the Bible about a fall from heaven and possessing a snake.

----
Thanks again to Heart_of_the_matter (spelling?) for an excellent debate, apologies if some of my rounds have seemed rushed or abrupt.

Thanks to all readers, please vote rationally.
Pro.
heart_of_the_matter

Con

I thank my opponent for the respect of religion which he has shown, and also for his great analysis and insights. Also, no need for apologies due to rushing are needed, as I believe my opponent has represented his side of this debate very well. I also will endeavor to finish strong and do justice to the CON side of this debate.
----
Isaiah

Quote by PRO:
"...arguing in circles around the few Bible quotes that can be (with a huge stretch of the imagination) interpreted to back up the conventional depiction of Satan."

-Firstly, there are many more scriptures in the Bible which accurately support the traditional Christian concept of The Devil/Satan. There are, however, just a handful which we have chosen to discuss during this debate.These scriptures are clear in many cases, or AT LEAST IMPLY the standard traditional view of Satan as held by Christian churches, and as that (BEING IMPLIED IN THE BIBLE) is to be the minimum burden required by my opponent (See Rd. 2 - PRO said "However I reiterate that none of these 'facts' or the 'facts' I posted in round 1 are clarified or IMPLIED in the Bible."), I think that the scriptures in the Bible DO meet and exceed that burden! Additionally, here are examples of other scriptures in the Bible that talk about the traditional concept of Satan/ Devil:

34 references to "Satan" - http://scriptures.lds.org...
34 references to "devil" - http://scriptures.lds.org...

-Secondly, a huge imagination is not really needed to interpret these things (as PRO suggests)...An in depth knowledge and familiarity with the scriptures would be needed however! A careful reading of the scriptures would clearly illustrate that there was a being cast out of heaven! And then after that is discovered in the scriptures, it is not too much of a stretch to simply look for other references in the Bible for a "being that was cast out of heaven" and make connections when other references are found...ie: Revelation to Genesis to Job to Isaiah etc...research is needed, not imagination per se (even in looking for symbolism in the scriptures which would fit...it seems more to be research than imagination).

Though I am not Catholic (anymore) I still respect the religion and would like to quote a Catholic website with regards to St. Jerome:

"The Latin Vulgate was translated By St Jerome " a most learned father, and the best linguist without controversy, of his age, or of any that went before him,"

AND

(regarding his other work) The following are some fine examples of where the translators of the King James Version chose to follow the Catholic Latin Vulgate rather than the Greek texts: (27 examples listed there) including: Matthew 27:35, John 8:9-10, Acts 9:5-6, Acts 10:6, Acts 10:21, etc.

ALSO

One thing to remember in doing translation work is that the entire CONTEXT must be considered, not simply individual words(like "Helel"). St. Jerome had a reputation as the best linguist of his time to figure things out.

http://www.catholicapologetics.net...
----
My opponent desired a source for my definition of a "Morning star" as a "generic" term. It is not ONLY Venus! "Morning star. (a) Any one of the planets (Venus, Jupiter, Mars, or Saturn) when it precedes the sun in rising, esp. Venus. Cf" http://dictionary.die.net...
----
Quote by PRO "If Revelations is saying Satan IS the serpent then how can Genesis be saying he possessed it. Con claims to have "provided several scripture references from the Bible that make the strong connection of the serpent being Satan." This is not true, he has suggested that it is from his actions that we can interpret that it is Satan. His other arguments contradict each other, (see above) as he must either be the serpent or the possessor."

-This apparent contradiction can be resolved quite easily. Let us examine another situation in which Satan possessed Judas and betrayed the Savior.
John 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

Now which of these statements would be accurate to say?: 1. Judas betrayed the Savior. 2. Satan betrayed the Savior. 3. Either 1 or 2 ...The answer is (3.) When Judas was possessed by Satan it is perfectly fine to refer to that situation as EITHER Satan betrayed the Savior (because he was inside Judas) OR Judas betrayed the Savior (because it was his body which did it). The same thing could be said of Satan possessing the serpent.

-Also both points of view are allowed in traditional Christianity, so there is not a need to prove that one or the other is the correct interpretation. Also the serpent's actions are congruent with what Satan would do, now if the serpent had done something out of character or opposite of what the devil would have done, then there could have been a possible argument.
----
Revelation

-Revelation 12:7-9 are not addressed by any of my opponent's links (regarding the war in heaven)(it is conspicuously absent from charts) (Rev. 12:14-15 is briefly touched on - but that is an entirely different topic - that is the only reference to Rev. Ch. 12 in his links that I could find).

-Satan being bound during the Millennium is confirmed in his first link (under Millennium Theme).

-Also his third link contains this statement "We know the above events will occur just as the Bible describes them. What we do not know is precisely WHEN the events will occur in relation to each other."

In summary, the time frame CON has used is perfectly sound.
----
Evil

Quotes by PRO "I didn't say the devil was righteous or deny that he did bad things and I think my opponent's own earlier arguments (POWs etc.) explain how one can be loyal for reasons of fear etc. rather than righteousness." & "He always does what God tells him"

I believe I have shown that the devil does not do what God tells him to do, but rather that he is an enemy to God. My opponent says here again that he doesn't deny that the devil does bad things (like tempting people to sin or harming people), so what PRO must be implying by saying that is that he is under orders from God to do those things (which are evil). BUT as early as Rd. 1 CON has quoted scripture which proves that God does not tempt man. So if it isn't God behind the tempting to do evil who is? Obviously it is the devil's own free will that he is using...the thing is that although the devil can choose to tempt and do evil things...the devil CANNOT dictate the RESULTS or outcomes that his tempting has! This is the KEY DISTINCTION on this point that CON has tried to illustrate through various analogies and explanations. CON has attempted to show through analogies how that IN SPITE OF what the devil is doing (which is opposite of what God wants), that God still is able to accomplish what He wants to be accomplished because God has so much wisdom and power. PRO seems to think the devil is loyal, but I have endeavored to point out that instead of loyal...the devil is manipulated and the bad things the devil does (with his bad intentions of harming humanity) are made so that the efforts of the devil to destroy are ineffectual, if viewed from an eternal perspective.
----
CON has established the 5 specified criteria that were required to be proven, and CON also has rebutted the 5 concepts against the traditional point of view offered by PRO.

I have enjoyed this debate and I thank my opponent again and also the readers!

RESOLVED: THE BIBLE SUPPORTS THE TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCEPT OF THE DEVIL/SATAN.
VOTE CON
Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
heart_of_the_matter
the-good-teacher

Hi, thanks for the comments...hmmm...I would say that even though our legal system says that ignorance of the law is no excuse...I don't think God sees it that way.

Here is another definition of sin from the Bible:

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Posted by the-good-teacher 7 years ago
the-good-teacher
It is a sin for not knowing, "if the person should have known" - "Agnoema" = Ignorance when one should have known. (No excuse),, Adan and Eve were guilty of "Parakoee" = Disobey a voice.,, @Heart of the matter,,,the definition of sin is transgression of the law !,,

1 John 3:4 (King James Version)

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law".

"Eat dust" = "taste defeat"
Posted by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
heart_of_the_matter
re: Judas (gradually temptation)

It is likened unto being led by "flaxen cords" in the beginning, until his power is increased....then it becomes like being led by "strong cords" (other scriptures even mention "chains")

2Nephi 26:22 And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.

2Nephi 28:22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.
http://scriptures.lds.org...
------------------
"An interesting thing about the 'tree of knowlege of good and evil" would be that the 'sin' of eating the fruit was commited before they ate, meaning they had no knowlege of what good and evil meant. Like a 2 year old, one cannot, or at least should not, punish a child for the rest of their life, or at all, for something he was not capable of understanding."

I am glad you noticed that! very observant of you! Yes it is NOT a sin if you don't know...(we label it a transgression in the church - because God did tell them not to eat it)...but no it wasn't a sin for the serpent to partake of it...BUT once the serpent partook of it, THEN he tempted Eve with it...at that point (having already partaked of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil) the serpent DID know between good and evil...and chose evil.

Also good point of if the serpent had been commanded to do it - it wouldn't have been wrong...but that is never mentioned...God did not command the serpent to do it....that is made clear by the fact that the serpent had judgment pronounced upon it from God.
Posted by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
heart_of_the_matter
Humanistheart,
You make many interesting points!

"Interesting, but I don't see how that justifies punishing children for the acts of a parent."

What I am getting at is that it would not be punishment for what their parent did...but rather punishment to them for what THEY did (in the premortal spirit world)...(if they were actively seeking/ whispering/ tempting their parents to take a particular course of action) [Spirit World interaction with our world causing real effects]. If that was the case, then it is punishment for what THEY did themselves.
-------
animals have spirits:

In Moses 3:5 it states:

For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.

And in the book 'Sacred Truths of the Doctrine and Covenants' we read:
The spirits of animals are in the likeness of their bodies. The spirit is eternal and does not change. The spirit of an elephant looks like an elephant; the spirit of man looks like a man. This is true of all creatures under Heaven. Therefore, the body of the creature cannot change and evolve into something different and still look like its spirit. This principle is simply stated by the Lord that there might not be misunderstandings.
Sacred Truths of the Doctrine and Covenants Vol. II, p. 38
http://lds.about.com...
-------
With Judas:
God doesn't just let the devil possess people whenever he wants to (remember the power of the man over the power of the serpent) ...Satan's work is usually more like a process I think, getting people to cross line after line, until he is able to hold full sway over them. That may have just been the final straw when God allowed Satan to possess Judas. Judas would be responsible for each sin along the way, for each bad decision which led him into desiring to betray Jesus.
[CONT.]
Posted by humanistheart 7 years ago
humanistheart
"I wanted to clarify what suffering the serpent received...I believe the punishment is twofold 1. the serpent is to eat dust (this is symbolic I believe - consider that water is symbolic of the spirit and the opposite of water = dust = NO spirit) and 2. the serpent will only bruise the man's heel, but his head would be crushed by the man. (making the serpent unable to harm man without hurting himself much more in the process)."

Interesting, but I don't see how that justifies punishing children for the acts of a parent.

"Say that in the premortal spirit world that there were other serpents there"

I wasn't aware the lds taught that animals had spirits as well. Would you mind telling me where can I find reference to that in lds doctrine so I can look into it?

"As far as Judas - when he decided to betray the Savior (made the deal for silver) it opened him up to being possessed (in my opinion)."

Fair enough, but if judas was already betraying jesus it wouldn't really be necessary for satan to get involved, would it?

An interesting thing about the 'tree of knowlege of good and evil" would be that the 'sin' of eating the fruit was commited before they ate, meaning they had no knowlege of what good and evil meant. Like a 2 year old, one cannot, or at least should not, punish a child for the rest of their life, or at all, for something he was not capable of understanding.

And have you noticed that 'sin' doesn't seem to be the same thing as 'wrong'. For example one of the 10 commandments is though shalt not kill, but yet god kills or instructs his people to kill in numerous stories in the bible.
Posted by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
heart_of_the_matter
humanistheart,
I appreciate your ideas! thanks.

I wanted to clarify what suffering the serpent received...I believe the punishment is twofold 1. the serpent is to eat dust (this is symbolic I believe - consider that water is symbolic of the spirit and the opposite of water = dust = NO spirit) and 2. the serpent will only bruise the man's heel, but his head would be crushed by the man. (making the serpent unable to harm man without hurting himself much more in the process).

Ok here is another way to explain what I meant about the "offspring" receiving a cursing...Say that in the premortal spirit world that there were other serpents there (as spirits) and that they put it into the heart of the serpent with the body to do what it did (to tempt Eve)...therefore when it is time for them (the spirit serpents) to receive their own body.... the "punishment would fit the crime" so to speak. Ie. they caused the problem by their actions in the spirit world...and now they end up as the offspring of the serpent who was cursed (because at least partly of what they did) (?)

As far as Judas - when he decided to betray the Savior (made the deal for silver) it opened him up to being possessed (in my opinion). There are only 2 masters-- and he made his choice which master he wanted to serve at that time...and if you pick up one end of the stick, you also pick up the other end of the stick. (decisions lead to consequences)

Regarding the serpent knowing right and wrong (I really like that idea --thanks)...well, the tree of knowledge of good and evil was there in the Garden (and the fruit from that tree is what bestows knowledge of good and evil)...and since the serpent tempted Eve with it saying what it did...it seems like it is probable that the serpent had partaken of the fruit itself...and if the serpent had partaken of the fruit of that tree, then the serpent would have had knowledge of good and evil (?).
Well anyway, those are just some ideas that I had...
Posted by humanistheart 7 years ago
humanistheart
heart of the matter, thank you for you candor. I see from your references that you are approaching this from an LDS perspective. You had thoughtful answers, but I'd tend to disagree.
For example, you reference the nephites, but I'm not sure that's an entirely comparable situation. The offspring of the serpent were to suffer for their parent's body's action (despite the parent not actually taking such action himself), I would liken this to if, say, your father was brainwashed using some knew drug or technology, went out, robbed a bank, and then the police came and arrested you. It doesn't make sense ethically to me, but what do you think? As for the Judas reference, I was not aware that the lds considered him possessed by Satan for that event, but what part of judas having no control over his own body made him culpable for the betrayal?

As for church doctrine I am not familiar enough with the lds faith to say, although a Bishop of your church once told me, in reference to the serpent and satan, that the serpent, despite being an animal, had god given sense of right and wrong and thus should have rejected satan from it's body. I was not particularly convinced by this argument, but still, that's what he said.
Posted by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
heart_of_the_matter
If satan merely spoke through the serpeant, why did god punish the serpeant and it's entire species for satan's actions?

-->the following are just my opinions (not necessarily church doctrine)(I don't believe there is an official church doctrine answer to your question at this time --- or I would quote that if I knew it)

The punishment of the serpent could be related to a similar situation...of when the devil possessed Judas......the actions done by the devil (using Judas's body to betray the Savior Jesus Christ) fell to Judas....so that punishment was fair...same with the serpent.

But for the entire species...that is an interesting question. I have 2 lines of thinking on it:
the first and easiest to explain would be:
1. The bodies which we are born into is not random....we are all making choices in the premortal spirit world (before we come to earth and receive a body)...and based on our choices there, could determine which body we are worthy to receive here...so perhaps that applies to serpents as well.

2. The actions of our parents could put us in certain unfavorable circumstances...but are not counted as "sin" towards the offspring. For example (from the Book of Mormon) there were 2 brothers and their families who broke off from the more righteous group (Nephites)...the other group was known as the "Lamanites", this group did not have access to the scriptures and they also lost their language to a degree..because the written records went with the Nephites...So what happens in this instance is that the offspring of the Lamanites were given special consideration from the Lord...and though the kids didn't have the gospel--it was because their parents rejected it, not them...so they were "deprived" but not "sinning".
2Nephi 4: 6 Wherefore, if ye are cursed, behold, I leave my blessing upon you, that the cursing may be taken from you and be answered upon the heads of your parents.
same type of thing could apply to serpents perhaps (?)
Posted by humanistheart 7 years ago
humanistheart
If con ever happens to read this, I have a question. Your wrote:
"If my opponent agrees I would say that it could ALSO be said that Satan "spoke through" the serpent, and not that He "was" the Serpent. I believe that a "traditional Christian concept" would include this view also."

If satan merely spoke through the serpeant, why did god punish the serpeant and it's entire species for satan's actions?
Posted by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
heart_of_the_matter
feverish,
yes I do remember you having more votes...I still kept mine at zero (because you can't vote)...that is one reason why I like a "set" voting period...I just want to get the voting over with I guess (and also not have it change!)
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by humanistheart 7 years ago
humanistheart
feverishheart_of_the_matterTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
feverishheart_of_the_matterTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by dvdbwn 7 years ago
dvdbwn
feverishheart_of_the_matterTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by questionmark 7 years ago
questionmark
feverishheart_of_the_matterTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by HalakMushareff 7 years ago
HalakMushareff
feverishheart_of_the_matterTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by thesasster 7 years ago
thesasster
feverishheart_of_the_matterTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Volkov 7 years ago
Volkov
feverishheart_of_the_matterTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
heart_of_the_matter
feverishheart_of_the_matterTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00