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I am not a believer in any such thing as Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, or whatever other name might be assigned to a supercharged evil spirit. But for those who do believe in such a thing as 'Satan' I have some questions. To be sure, I'm a little unclear on the concept.

You see, it has been told to me by Christians that Satan is the author of Islam and the Koran, Hinduism and the Vedas and Puranas and such, and of Atheism and Agnosticism, of Deism and Pandeism and the rest. And it has been told to me by Muslims that Satan is the author of Christianity and Western beliefs generally. Even that Satan is behind the Jews remaining Jewish for these past millennia. By some Christians I am told that Satan is the author of Catholicism and Anglicanism and Episcopalianism, and of Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnessism and Seventh-Day Adventism. By some Christians, indeed, I am told that Satan is the author of the tens of those thousands of 'wayward' denominations of Christianity.

And I am told that Satan is possessed of incredible power. That he is able to be many places (if not everywhere) at once, able to create impenetrable illusions and cloud mens minds, and cause us to act or believe as we would not. And that Satan is able to answer prayers and perform miracles which trick billions of people of the wrong faith into sticking with that faith based on it appearing to work for them. I am told by some that Satan has the power as well to simultaneously place obstacles in the paths of billions of people, to create millions of fossils and geological markers and genetic markers which trick scientists into believing our world to be billions of years old and life in it to have evolved over millions of years by a process of natural selection. I am even told that Satan has the near-infinite power required to change the radioactive potential of atoms, and to alter the force of gravity and the speed of light itself, and create entire distant galaxies many times the size of our Milky Way, and the endless Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, all in the name of tricking man into adhering to the wrong beliefs.

And, through all of this, I am told as well that Satan is God's own special creation, originally the most brilliant and powerful of God's servants; and that God has the power to do away with Satan at any time, and yet allows Satan to exercise a rather ridiculous imbalance of power relative to any human. That there is a God who allows a supercharged evil spirit to have his way with a vast majority, at least, of mankind. And yet I have been told as well that only God can effect miracles, which means that whatever evils are accredited to Satan must in fact be exercising the power of God!! So here we are left with a dilemma, for a Satan powerful enough to lead billions into adhering to false faiths is surely sufficiently powerful that any particular adherant to any faith might be one who has been lead into falsity. And again, as powerful as Satan is claimed to be, well there's really no fairness in pitting man against him in a test of cunning, is there?

So what, then, is the purpose and the power of Satan, exactly? And why would so intelligent a being as the brightest of God's own creations feel compelled to act in a manner which we believe would merit God's disapproval, even having full knowledge of its God's power and intentions?

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