Friday, October 12, 2012

can satan be forgiven? (a mind experiment)


(this post was originally a discussion with my eastern philosophy class)

... yes methinks. first, i count on god's omnibenevolence!

1. repentance implies change (regret of past wrongs), which is implicit in the notion of being. being is not what one is and it is what one is not (a sartrean lemma, more of this later). satan hasn't changed, presumably, because he's chosen not to (his "fall" rests on this premise).

2. satan is what it is: satanic. but one cannot invoke satan's "nature" causing satan's being. let's keep in mind that satan has a prehistory: lucifer. & this prehistory of satan would have to be rejected to rule out this possibility (for this prehistory is what causes satan). satan's being cannot be self-ruled. "being" is what one finds as one exists. being is not self-presence to itself (but perplexity to one's being). satan's being is given to the very exclusion of goodness from satan's nature, his avoidance of thinking, of reasoning the good. as a thinking being, even in the heart of evil of satan, there must be a space for guilt (a space which doesn't have to be thought for it to be).

3. this willful avoidance perpetuates satan's "nature" by restricting himself to thinking the good, (feeling the guilt of thinking his fault). so, in a sense, satan is not what he is. being satan means to constantly defer goodness. deferring in time, being time, but time is not ecstatic. that is to say, there is always more or less to being than itself (the unpredictability of the future). satan's "being," as stereotyped and beleaguered as it is, is no exception.

4. satan's possible repentance takes a reversal (of that primeval rebellious act in his prehistory). though he cannot become lucifer (since time & history cannot be undone), one can only speculate that he would take a more subdued role. this repentant angel-who-was-satan wishes no more of his past. he's content with god's forgiveness in oblivion.

will it be time for another proud & inexperienced angel to take his place? only if the bane-&-boon moral state of the universe demands it.

the promise, after the end of history, was a universe of goodness. but is such universe of goodness-without-evil possible after the end-of-the-devil? 


Edwar Leon said...
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roudelet remy said...

The answer to that question can satan can be repent is no satan is only the creature in earth that can be repent after any body can do it exccept for satan because he rebell against God and try to stole God souvereignty.

Roudelet remy

Anonymous said...

What??? Satan? Triff you're nuts.

Malagodi said...

"Better an new demon than an old god." ~John Giorno

"Praise God! The Devil is on Earth, and is doing his work marvelously!" ~as told by John Cage

"Our Western religious thinking today is nothing more than Greco-Roman theater with a Jewish scriptwriter." ~me

Crystal Palmer said...

The idea that satan is pure evil and God is pure good is in my opinion impossible to say. If God is so good why would he have let Satan torment his children the way he did. I understand that Satan is a fallen angel, but why was this fallen angel allowed on earth? And may I ask, how is it possible to have a purely good universe without the knowledge or access to pure evil? The word "good universe" cannot be acknowledged without the word evil. It would just be a universe without negative or positive connotation. My point is that you cannot have good without evil so the devil cannot not end, thus leaving only good. And if it can then it would mean the end of life as we know it. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
hm, went off topic a bit. The question whether Satan can be forgiven? Sure why not? God, as we perceive him, is a being that has conditional forgiveness and love. But at the same time is all knowing. So I believe he can forgive, but not forget. He does not hold any ill feelings towards Satan, but he also can never trust him. Forgiving is not pretending the act that was made didn't happen, it means letting go and understanding that it happened and the only thing we can do is to forgive and move on.

Alfredo Triff said...

thanks, edwar. well, being the devil is a high price to pay (if you ask me).

roudelet: wishing power is a sin, but not an unforgivable one.

yes, satan!!

malagodi: love your quote.

crystal: deep. true, satan cannot be trusted, but the new repentant one (though having satanic memories) is no "satan" no more.

Naima Mompoint said...

God forgive anybody, and it is omniscient if it forgive satan it will be probably a good reason why it is not stopping the devil because it know that one day satan will ask for forgiveness. God forgive people that are really truly sorry about what they did to others. The question is if there is a limit of what you do can affect your forgiveness. Since God is all good, doesn't matter the level of crime it will forgive you only if you truly and really sorry about you did in the past. But, is the devil would regret even one thing about what it did?

atRifF said...

...only if you truly and really sorry about you did in the past. But, is the devil would regret even one thing about what it did?

good point, naima. i think he (the devil) could. all it takes is getting tired of being one and the same, taken to be "satanic" for evermore.

aslan lamarche said...

The answer is absolutely yes. In Islam, Shaitan is a jinn NOT an angel, and jinn are created with free will just like Humans.Iblis, the Christian equivelent of Lucifer or Satan, was a highly ranked Jinn amongst the ranks of the Malaaikah or angels. Angels do not have free will and naturally follow the laws and rules of Allah(swt), along with animals, plants, trees etc...they are naturally Muslim and Allah(swt) is satisfied with them, as they are in constant devotion to Allah(swt) praising him(in their own ways of course).

But let me be clear, not all Jinn are bad or evil, there are good Jinn who are Muslim.In fact, Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) came to deliver the Message to the Jinn as well. Those that choose to rebel and do mischief are known as the shaiteen, which is the plural of Shaitan. Iblis is a particular Jinn, the one who chose not follow the command of Allah(swt). And therefore, has organized a plot to deter mankind from understanding their true nature and meaning in life. Shaitan cannot deter plants, animals or angels, as Allah(swt) is their protector and they are incapable of disobeying the laws set before them. And if any human or Jinn harm any plant or animals, these creatures will testify against mankind and the jinn on Dhul-Qiyamah( day of judgement in Christianity) and the punishment will be severe.

So in short, yes Shaitaan and the rest of the shaiteen can and do have the ability to repent. However, it is only if they choose too.

uriperez said...

I personally havent read enough of the bible to come to a conclusion of whether or not satan has the possibility to be saved. Has his judgement day passed or not? If so , god cannot go against a past judgement , if it hasnt then satan, if coming to god with a GENUINE want to change and a GENUINE REPENT, i believe he would be able to be saved. In class , the idea that satan was only trying to be like god, which makes his punishment wrong and hypocritical, since god tells us humans to be like god. God tells us to be like him because him being ultimate good. Satan though , went for all the wrong reasons, he was jealous and wanted all that god receives for being god. He desired the benefits of being god and once he gave into those desires he was no longer perfect. Funny how you can use some of the hindu-ideas, to understand and explain Biblical things.

-Uriel Perez

uriperez said...
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Malagodi said...

I think a far more interesting question would be something like:

"How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

We could talk about music and dancing and angels, and the function and purpose of dancing, and we would understand that we were talking in allegories.

Alfredo Triff said...

yes Shaitaan and the rest of the shaiteen can and do have the ability to repent. However, it is only if they choose too.

thanks for sharing that aslan. didn't know that was theologically sound in islam.

thanks uri. well, judgment day seems set from way back (methinks), but god's omnipotence -conceivably- could alter all that.

tx, malagodi.

Edwar Ricardo said...

Samael, whom became Lucifer and Satan was an arch-angel from heaven who wanted to become God. Satan means adversary in Hebrew. I believe Lucifer has already been forgiven after all he was just acting on a will god gave to him. Lucifer didn't create evil God did. If people need proof just read Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things." Lucifer never stopped having a friendship with God, just look at the story of Job. Satan was allowed to go hang out with God in heaven so therefore with that said I believe God did forgive him, however God has him living in hell for eternity, he is just what a trustee house-man is in the prison system. Unfortunately for Satan he has to spend eternity living in Hell like a prisoner who receives a life sentence. Did God forgives but does not forget but that has nothing to do with Satan paying for his crime against God.