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Devil

Devil

Overview
The Devil is believed in many religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

s and culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

s to be a powerful, supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 entity that is the personification of evil
Evil
Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

 and the enemy of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 and humankind. The nature of the role varies greatly. It ranges from being an effective opposite force to the creator god at one extreme, where both are locked in an eons long holy war for human souls on what may seem even terms (to the point of dualistic
Dualism
Dualism denotes a state of two parts. The term 'dualism' was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse but has been diluted in general or common usages. Dualism can refer to moral dualism, Dualism (from...

 ditheism/bitheism), to being just a comical figure of fun or even an abstract aspect of the individual human condition at the other.

Whilst mainstream Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 contains no overt concept of a devil, Christianity and Islam
Devil (Islam)
In Islam, the Devil is known as or . According to the Qurʾān, God created Iblis out of "smokeless fire or from the pure flame of fire" and created man out of clay...

 have variously regarded the Devil as a rebellious fallen angel
Fallen angel
Fallen angel is a concept developed in Jewish mythology from interpretation of the Book of Enoch. The actual term fallen angel is not found in either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament. Christians adopted the concept of fallen angels mainly based on their interpretations of the Book of...

 or demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

 that tempts humans to sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

, if not commit evil
Evil
Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

 deeds himself.
Discussion
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Quotations

The Devil wants your soul! ...fuck, when is that contest going to be over? When do they calculate the souls in heaven and hell and go "we got a winner!"

David Cross, from the "Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!" CD

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

Charles Baudelaire, "The Generous Gambler" (Feb. 1864)

A Warning: Please look for signs of possession before performing this rite. Signs include speaking in tongues, Hulk-like strength, and unusual knowledge.

De Exorcisms (Exorcism Rite), approved by John Paul II, the pope, January 26, 1999

We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents.

Mark Twain, "Concerning the Jews", Harper's Magazine (Sept. 1899)
Encyclopedia
The Devil is believed in many religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

s and culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

s to be a powerful, supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 entity that is the personification of evil
Evil
Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

 and the enemy of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 and humankind. The nature of the role varies greatly. It ranges from being an effective opposite force to the creator god at one extreme, where both are locked in an eons long holy war for human souls on what may seem even terms (to the point of dualistic
Dualism
Dualism denotes a state of two parts. The term 'dualism' was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse but has been diluted in general or common usages. Dualism can refer to moral dualism, Dualism (from...

 ditheism/bitheism), to being just a comical figure of fun or even an abstract aspect of the individual human condition at the other.

Whilst mainstream Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 contains no overt concept of a devil, Christianity and Islam
Devil (Islam)
In Islam, the Devil is known as or . According to the Qurʾān, God created Iblis out of "smokeless fire or from the pure flame of fire" and created man out of clay...

 have variously regarded the Devil as a rebellious fallen angel
Fallen angel
Fallen angel is a concept developed in Jewish mythology from interpretation of the Book of Enoch. The actual term fallen angel is not found in either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament. Christians adopted the concept of fallen angels mainly based on their interpretations of the Book of...

 or demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

 that tempts humans to sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

, if not commit evil
Evil
Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

 deeds himself. In these religions - particularly during periods of division or external threat - the Devil has assumed more of a dualistic status commonly associated with heretics
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

, infidel
Infidel
An infidel is one who has no religious beliefs, or who doubts or rejects the central tenets of a particular religion – especially in reference to Christianity or Islam....

s, and other unbelievers. As such, the Devil is seen as an allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 that represents a crisis of faith
Crisis of faith
Crisis of faith is a term commonly applied to periods of intense doubt and internal conflict about one's preconceived beliefs or life decisions...

, individualism
Individualism
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that stresses "the moral worth of the individual". Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance while opposing most external interference upon one's own...

, free will
Free will
"To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

, wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

 and enlightenment.

In mainstream Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, God and the Devil are usually portrayed as fighting over the souls of humans, with the Devil seeking to lure people away from God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 and into Hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

. The Devil commands a force of evil spirits, commonly known as demons. The Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 (or Old Testament) describes the Adversary (Ha-satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

) as an angel who instigates tests upon humankind. Many other religions have a trickster or tempter figure that is similar to the Devil. Modern conceptions of the Devil include the concept that it symbolizes humans' own lower nature or sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

fulness.

People put the concept of the Devil to use in social and political conflicts, claiming that their opponents are influenced by the Devil or even willingly supporting the Devil. The Devil has also been used to explain why others hold beliefs that are considered to be false and ungodly.

Etymology


Devil is a synonym for Satan / Ha-Satan, which descends from the Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, that in turn represents an early Germanic borrowing of Latin diabolus (also the source of "diabolical"). This in turn was borrowed from Ancient Greek diábolos (διάβολος), "slanderer", from diaballein "to slander": dia- "across, through" + ballein "to hurl". In the New Testament, "Satan" occurs more than 30 times in passages alongside diábolos (Ancient Greek for "the devil"), referring to the same person or thing as Satan.

Judaism


In mainstream Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 there is no concept of a devil like in mainstream Christianity or Islam. Texts make no direct link between the serpent
Serpent
Serpent may refer to:* Serpent, a synonym for snake* Serpent , the name given to a snake in a religious or mythological context* Serpent , said to have tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden* Serpent in astronomy...

 that tempts Eve
Eve
Eve is the first woman created by God in the Book of Genesis.Eve may also refer to:-People:*Eve , a common given name and surname*Eve , American recording artist and actress-Places:...

 in the Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is the second posthumously released novel of Ernest Hemingway, published in 1986. Begun in 1946, Hemingway worked on the manuscript for the next 15 years, during which time he also wrote The Old Man and the Sea, The Dangerous Summer, A Moveable Feast, and Islands in the...

 from Genesis and references to a Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

 in the first book of Chronicles and in Job
Book of Job
The Book of Job , commonly referred to simply as Job, is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. It relates the story of Job, his trials at the hands of Satan, his discussions with friends on the origins and nature of his suffering, his challenge to God, and finally a response from God. The book is a...

. In Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, the biblical word ha-satan (השָׂטָן) means "the adversary" or the obstacle, or even "the prosecutor
Prosecutor
The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system...

" (recognizing that God is viewed as the ultimate Judge
Judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

). As much as the Devil exists in any form of Judaism, his role is as an adversary and an accuser which is assigned rather than assumed.

Hebrew Apocrypha


The Apocrypha are religious writings which are not generally accepted as scripture by Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and many modern-day Protestant sects of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. In the Book of Wisdom
Book of Wisdom
The Book of Wisdom, often referred to simply as Wisdom or the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon, is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible. It is one of the seven Sapiential or wisdom books of the Septuagint Old Testament, which includes Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon ,...

, the devil is represented as the one who brought death into the world.

The 2nd Book of Enoch, also called the Slavonic Book of Enoch, contains references to a Watcher Grigori
Grigori
The Watchers is a term found in the Old Testament Book of Daniel, and later sources, which is connected to angels...

 called Satanael. It is a pseudepigraphic text of an uncertain date and unknown authorship. The text describes Satanael as being the prince of the Grigori who was cast out of heaven and an evil spirit who knew the difference between what was "righteous" and "sinful". A similar story is found in the book of 1 Enoch; however, in that book, the leader of the Grigori is called Semjâzâ
Samyaza
Samyaza also Semihazah, Shemyazaz, Sêmîazâz, Semjâzâ, Samjâzâ, Shemyaza, and Shemhazai. is a fallen angel of apocryphal Jewish and Christian tradition that ranked in the heavenly hierarchy as one of the Grigori...

.

In the apocryphal literature, Satan rules over a host of angels. Mastema
Mastema
Mastema an angel who persecutes evil in Hebrew folklore. He carries out punishments for God. He tempts humans and tests their faith. He asked God to permit him to have demons as his subordinates. In the Zadokite Fragments and the Dead Sea Scrolls, he is the angel of disaster, the father of all...

, who induced God to test Abraham through the sacrifice of Isaac, is identical with Satan in both name and nature.

For the Chasidic Jews
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

 of the eighteenth century, Ha-satan was Baal Davar. The Book of Enoch
Book of Enoch
The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious work, traditionally ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. It is not part of the biblical canon as used by Jews, apart from Beta Israel...

 contains references to Satariel
Satariel
Satariel was the 17th Watcher of the 20 leaders of the 200 fallen angels that are mentioned in an ancient work called the Book of Enoch. The name is believed to be of Babylonian origin a combination of shetar and el with the name meaning "side of God"...

, thought also to be Sataniel and Satan'el (etymology dating back to Babylonian origins). The similar spellings mirror that of his angelic brethren Michael
Michael (archangel)
Michael , Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; , Mikhaḗl; or Míchaël; , Mīkhā'īl) is an archangel in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael...

, Raphael, Uriel
Uriel
Uriel is one of the archangels of post-Exilic Rabbinic tradition, and also of certain Christian traditions...

 and Gabriel
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

, previous to his expulsion from Heaven.

Christianity



In mainstream Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 the Devil is known as Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

 and sometimes as Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

, although it has been noted that the reference in Isaiah 14:12 to Lucifer, or the Son of the Morning, is a reference to the Babylonian king. Some modern Christians consider the Devil to be an angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

 who, along with one-third of the angelic host (the demons) rebelled against God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 and has consequently been condemned to the Lake of Fire
Lake of Fire
A lake of fire appears, in both ancient Egyptian and Christian religion, as a place of after-death punishment of the wicked. The phrase is used in four verses of the Book of Revelation. The image was also used by the Early Christian Hippolytus of Rome in about the year 200 and has continued to be...

. He is described as hating all humanity, or more accurately creation, opposing God, spreading lies and wreaking havoc on the souls of mankind. Other Christians consider the devil in the Bible to refer figuratively to human sin and temptation and to any human system in opposition to God.

Satan is often identified as the serpent
Serpent (Bible)
Serpent is the term used to translate a variety of words in the Hebrew bible, the most common being , , the generic word for "snake"....

 who convinced Eve
Eve (Bible)
Eve was, according to the creation of Abrahamic religions, the first woman created by God...

 to eat the forbidden fruit; thus, Satan has often been depicted as a serpent. Though this identification is not present in the Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

 narrative, this interpretation goes back at least as far as the time of the writing of the book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

, which specifically identifies Satan as being the serpent (Rev. 20:2).

In the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, the devil is identified with "The dragon" and "the old serpent" in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

 12:9, 20:2 have also been identified with Satan, as have "the prince of this world" in the Book of John 12:31, 14:30; "the prince of the power of the air" also called Meririm, and "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" in the Book of Ephesians 2:2; and "the god of this world" in 2 Corinthians 4:4. He is also identified as the dragon in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

 (e.g.), and the tempter of the Gospels (e.g.).

Beelzebub
Beelzebub
Beelzebub -Religious meaning:Ba‘al Zəbûb is variously understood to mean "lord of flies", or "lord of the dwelling". Originally the name of a Philistine god, Beelzebub is also identified in the New Testament as Satan, the "prince of the demons". In Arabic the name is retained as Ba‘al dhubaab /...

 is originally the name of a Philistine god (more specifically a certain type of Baal
Baal
Baʿal is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu...

, from Ba‘al Zebûb, lit. "Lord of Flies") but is also used in the New Testament as a synonym for Satan. A corrupted version, "Belzeboub," appears in The Divine Comedy
The Divine Comedy
The Divine Comedy is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature...

.

In other, non-mainstream, Christian beliefs (e.g. the beliefs of the Christadelphians) the word "satan" in the Bible is not regarded as referring to a supernatural, personal being but to any 'adversary' and figuratively refers to human sin and temptation.

Islam



In Islam the Devil is referred to as Iblis (Arabic: Shaitan, a word referring to evil devil-like beings). According to the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, God created Iblis out of "smokeless fire" (along with all of the other jinn) and created man out of clay. The primary characteristic of the Devil, besides hubris
Hubris
Hubris , also hybris, means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power....

, is that he has no power other than the power to cast evil suggestions into the heart of men and women.

According to Muslim theology, Iblis was expelled from the grace of God when he disobeyed God by choosing not to pay homage to Adam, the father of all mankind. He claimed to be superior to Adam, on the grounds that man was created of earth unlike himself. As for the angels, they prostrated before Adam to show their homage and obedience to God. However, Iblis, adamant in his view that man is inferior, and unlike angels was given the ability to choose, made a choice of not obeying God. This caused him to be expelled by God, a fact that Iblis blamed on humanity. Initially, the Devil was successful in deceiving Adam, but once his intentions became clear, Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

 repented to God and were freed from their misdeeds and forgiven. God gave them a strong warning about Iblis and the fires of Hell and asked them and their children (humankind) to stay away from the deceptions of their senses caused by the Devil.

According to the verses of the Qur’an, the Devil's mission until the Qiyamah
Qiyamah
In Islam, Yawm al-Qiyāmah or Yawm ad-Din is believed to be God's final assessment of humanity as it exists. The sequence of events is the annihilation of all creatures allowable, resurrection of the body, and the judgment of all sentient creatures.The exact time when these events are to occur...

 or Resurrection Day (yaum-ul-qiyama) is to deceive Adam's children (mankind). After that, he will be put into the fires of Hell along with those whom he has deceived. The Devil is also referred to as one of the jinns
Genie
Jinn or genies are supernatural creatures in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings that occupy a parallel world to that of mankind. Together, jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of Allah. Religious sources say barely anything about them; however, the Qur'an mentions that...

, as they are all created from the smokeless fire. The Qur'an does not depict Iblis as the enemy of God, as God is supreme over all his creations and Iblis is just one of his creations. Iblis's single enemy is humanity. He intends to discourage humans from obeying God. Thus, humankind is warned to struggle (jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

) against the mischiefs of the Satan and temptations he puts them in. The ones who succeed in this are rewarded with Paradise (jannath ul firdaus), attainable only by righteous conduct.

Bahá'í Faith


In the Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

, a malevolent, superhuman entity such as a devil or satan is not believed to exist. These terms do, however, appear in the Bahá'í writings, where they are used as metaphors for the base nature of man. Human beings are seen to have free will
Free will
"To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

, and are thus able to turn towards God and develop spiritual qualities or turn away from God and become immersed in their self-centered desires. Individuals who follow the temptations of the self and do not develop spiritual virtues are often described in the Bahá'í writings with the word satanic. The Bahá'í writings also state that the devil is a metaphor for the "insistent self" or "lower self" which is a self-serving inclination within each individual. Those who follow their lower nature are also described as followers of "the Evil One".

Yazidism


An alternate name for the main deity in the tentatively Indo-European pantheon of the Yazidi
Yazidi
The Yazidi are members of a Kurdish religion with ancient Indo-Iranian roots. They are primarily a Kurdish-speaking people living in the Mosul region of northern Iraq, with additional communities in Transcaucasia, Armenia, Turkey, and Syria in decline since the 1990s – their members emigrating to...

, Malek Taus, is Shaitan. Rather than Satanic, however, Yazidism is better understood as a remnant of a pre-Islamic Middle Eastern religion, and/or a ghulat
Ghulat
Ghulāt , is a term used in the theology of Shia Islam to describe some minority Muslim groups who either ascribe divine characteristics to a member of Muhammad's family , or hold beliefs deemed deviant by mainstream Shi'i theology...

 Sufi movement founded by Shaykh Adi. The connection with Satan, originally made by Muslim outsiders, attracted the interest of 19th-century European travelers and esoteric writers.

Neopaganism


Christian tradition has frequently identified pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 religions and witchcraft
Witchcraft
Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...

 with the influence of Satan. In the Early Modern Period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

, the Church accused alleged witches of consorting and conspiring with Satan. Several modern conservative Christian writers, such as Jack Chick
Jack Chick
Jack Thomas Chick is an American publisher, writer, and comic book artist of fundamentalist Christian tracts and comic books...

 and James Dobson
James Dobson
James Clayton "Jim" Dobson, Jr. is an American evangelical Christian author, psychologist, and founder in 1977 of Focus on the Family , which he led until 2003. In the 1980s he was ranked as one of the most influential spokesman for conservative social positions in American public life...

, have depicted today's neopagan and witchcraft religions as explicitly Satanic.

Few neopagan reconstructionist traditions recognize Satan or the Devil outright. However, many neopagan groups worship some sort of Horned God
Horned God
The Horned God is one of the two primary deities found in some European pagan religions. He is often given various names and epithets, and represents the male part of the religion's duotheistic theological system, the other part being the female Triple Goddess. In common Wiccan belief, he is...

, for example as a consort of the Great Goddess in Wicca
Wicca
Wicca , is a modern Pagan religious movement. Developing in England in the first half of the 20th century, Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft," and its adherents "the Wica."...

. These gods usually reflect mythological
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

 figures such as Cernunnos
Cernunnos
Cernunnos is the conventional name given in Celtic studies to depictions of the horned god of Celtic polytheism. The name itself is only attested once, on the 1st-century Pillar of the Boatmen, but depictions of a horned or antlered figure, often seated in a "lotus position" and often associated...

 or Pan
Pan (mythology)
Pan , in Greek religion and mythology, is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music, as well as the companion of the nymphs. His name originates within the Greek language, from the word paein , meaning "to pasture." He has the hindquarters, legs,...

, and any similarity they may have to the Christian Devil seems to date back only to the 19th century, when a Christian reaction to Pan's growing importance in literature and art resulted in his image being translated to that of the Devil.

New Age movement


Participants in the New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 movement have widely varied views about Satan, the Devil, and so forth. In some forms of Esoteric Christianity
Esoteric Christianity
Esoteric Christianity is a term which refers to an ensemble of spiritual currents which regard Christianity as a mystery religion, and profess the existence and possession of certain esoteric doctrines or practices, hidden from the public but accessible only to a narrow circle of "enlightened",...

 Satan remains as a being of evil, or at least a metaphor for sin and materialism, but the most widespread tendency is to deny his existence altogether. Lucifer
Lucifer
Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

, on the other hand, in the original Roman
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

 sense of "light-bringer", occasionally appears in the literature of certain groups as a metaphorical figure quite distinct from Satan, and without any implications of evil. For example, Theosophy
Theosophy
Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

 founder Madame Blavatsky
Madame Blavatsky
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky , was a theosophist, writer and traveler. Between 1848 and 1875 Blavatsky had gone around the world three times. In 1875, Blavatsky together with Colonel H. S. Olcott established the Theosophical Society...

 named her journal Lucifer since she intended it to be a "bringer of light". Many New Age schools of thought follow a nondualistic
Nondualism
Nondualism is a term used to denote affinity, or unity, rather than duality or separateness or multiplicity. In reference to the universe it may be used to denote the idea that things appear distinct while not being separate. The term "nondual" can refer to a belief, condition, theory, practice,...

 philosophy that does not recognize a primal force for evil.
Even when a dualistic model is followed, this is more often akin to the Chinese
Chinese philosophy
Chinese philosophy is philosophy written in the Chinese tradition of thought. The majority of traditional Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States era, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was characterized by significant intellectual and...

 system of yin and yang
Yin and yang
In Asian philosophy, the concept of yin yang , which is often referred to in the West as "yin and yang", is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only...

, in which good and evil are explicitly not a complementary duality. Schools of thought that do stress a spiritual war between good and evil or light and darkness include the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher...

, Agni Yoga
Agni Yoga
Living Ethics has also another equivalent but less widespread meaning Agni Yoga  — a philosophical and ethical teaching which embraces all sides of being — from cosmological problems, down to daily human life...

, and the Church Universal and Triumphant
Church Universal and Triumphant
Church Universal and Triumphant is an international New Age religious organization founded in 1975 by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. It is an outgrowth of The Summit Lighthouse, founded in 1958 by Prophet's husband, Mark L. Prophet...

.

Satanism



Some religions worship the Devil. This can be in a polytheistic sense where "God", Satan, and others are all deities with Satan as the preferred patron; or it can be from a more monotheistic viewpoint, where God is regarded as a true god, but is nevertheless defied.

Some variants deny the existence of God and the Devil altogether, but still call themselves Satanists
Satanism
Satanism is a group of religions that is composed of a diverse number of ideological and philosophical beliefs and social phenomena. Their shared feature include symbolic association with, admiration for the character of, and even veneration of Satan or similar rebellious, promethean, and...

, such as Anton LaVey's
Anton LaVey
Anton Szandor LaVey , born Howard Stanton Levey, was the founder of the Church of Satan as well as a writer, occultist, and musician...

 Church Of Satan
Church of Satan
The Church of Satan is an organization dedicated to the acceptance of the carnal self, as articulated in The Satanic Bible, written in 1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey.- History :...

 which sees Satan as a representation of the primal and natural state of mankind.

Much "Satanic" lore does not originate from actual Satanists, but from Christians. Best-known would be the medieval folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 and theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 surrounding demons and witches. A more recent example is the Satanic ritual abuse
Satanic ritual abuse
Satanic ritual abuse refers to the abuse of a person or animal in a ritual setting or manner...

 scare of the 1980s – beginning with the memoir Michelle Remembers
Michelle Remembers
Michelle Remembers is a book published in 1980 co-written by Canadian psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder and his psychiatric patient Michelle Smith. A best-seller, Michelle Remembers was the first book written on the subject of satanic ritual abuse and is an important part of the controversies beginning...

– which depicts Satanism as a vast (and unsubstantiated) conspiracy of elites with a predilection for child abuse
Child abuse
Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional mistreatment, or neglect of a child. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Children And Families define child maltreatment as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or...

 and human sacrifice
Human sacrifice
Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more human beings as part of a religious ritual . Its typology closely parallels the various practices of ritual slaughter of animals and of religious sacrifice in general. Human sacrifice has been practised in various cultures throughout history...

. This genre regularly describes Satan as actually appearing in person in order to receive worship.

Zoroastrianism


In the Gathas
Gathas
The Gathas are 17 hymns believed to have been composed by Zarathusthra himself. They are the most sacred texts of the Zoroastrian faith.-Structure and organization:...

, the oldest texts of the Zoroastrian Avesta
Avesta
The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language.-Early transmission:The texts of the Avesta — which are all in the Avestan language — were composed over the course of several hundred years. The most important portion, the Gathas,...

, believed to have been composed by Zoroaster
Zoroaster
Zoroaster , also known as Zarathustra , was a prophet and the founder of Zoroastrianism who was either born in North Western or Eastern Iran. He is credited with the authorship of the Yasna Haptanghaiti as well as the Gathas, hymns which are at the liturgical core of Zoroastrianism...

 himself, the poet does not mention a manifest adversary. Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazdā is the Avestan name for a divinity of the Old Iranian religion who was proclaimed the uncreated God by Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism...

's Creation is "truth", asha
Asha
Asha is the Avestan language term for a concept of cardinal importance to Zoroastrian theology and doctrine. In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called "the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism." ...

. The "lie" (druj) is manifest only as decay or chaos, not an entity.

Later, in Zurvanism
Zurvanism
Zurvanism is a now-extinct branch of Zoroastrianism that had the divinity Zurvan as its First Principle . Zurvanism is also known as Zurvanite Zoroastrianism....

 (Zurvanite Zoroastrianism), Ahura Mazda and the principle of evil, Angra Mainyu
Angra Mainyu
Angra Mainyu is the Avestan-language name of Zoroastrianism's hypostasis of the "destructive spirit". The Middle Persian equivalent is Ahriman.-In Zoroaster's revelation:...

, are the "twin" offspring of Zurvan, 'Time'. No trace of Zurvanism exists after the 10th century.

Today, the Parsis of India largely accept the 19th century interpretation that Angra Mainyu is the 'Destructive Emanation' of Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazdā is the Avestan name for a divinity of the Old Iranian religion who was proclaimed the uncreated God by Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism...

. Instead of struggling against Mazda himself, Angra Mainyu battles Spenta Mainyu, Mazda's 'Creative Emanation.'

Hinduism


In contrast to Christianity and Islam, Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 does not recognize any central evil force or entity such as the Devil opposing God and man. Hinduism does recognize that different beings (e.g., asuras) and entities can perform evil acts, under the temporary dominance of the guna
Guna
' means 'string' or 'a single thread or strand of a cord or twine'. In more abstract uses, it may mean 'a subdivision, species, kind, quality', or an operational principle or tendency....

 of tamas
Tamas (philosophy)
In the Samkhya school of philosophy, tamas is one of the three gunas , the other two being rajas and sattva or purity). Tamas is the template for inertia or resistance to action...

, and cause worldly sufferings. The Rajasic and Tamasic Gunas of Maya are considered especially close to the Abrahamic concept, the hellish parts of the Ultimate Delusion called "Prakriti". An embodiment of this is the concept of Advaita (non-dualism) where there is no good or evil but simply different levels of realization.

On the other hand in Hinduism, which provides plenty of room for counterpoint, there is also the notion of dvaita (dualism) where there is interplay between good and evil tendencies. A prominent asura is Rahu
Rahu
In Hindu mythology, Rahu is a cut-off head of an asura, that swallows the sun or the moon causing eclipses. He is depicted in art as a serpent with no body riding a chariot drawn by eight black horses. Rahu is one of the navagrahas in Vedic astrology...

 whose characteristics are similar to those of the Devil. However, Hindus, and Vaishnavites
Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism is a tradition of Hinduism, distinguished from other schools by its worship of Vishnu, or his associated Avatars such as Rama and Krishna, as the original and supreme God....

 in particular, believe that an avatar of Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 incarnates to defeat evil when evil reaches its greatest strength. The concept of Guna
Guna
' means 'string' or 'a single thread or strand of a cord or twine'. In more abstract uses, it may mean 'a subdivision, species, kind, quality', or an operational principle or tendency....

 and Karma
Karma in Hinduism
Karma is a concept in Hinduism which explains causality through a system where beneficial effects are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful effects from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions throughout a soul's reincarnated lives forming a cycle of rebirth...

 also explain evil to a degree, rather than the influence of a devil.

To be more specific, Hindu philosophy defines that the only existing thing (Truth) is the Almighty God. So, all the asuric
Asura
-In Hinduism:In Hinduism, the Asuras constitute a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. The Daityas and Danavas were combinedly known as Asuras. The Asura were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa...

 tendencies are inferior and mostly exist as illusions in the mind. Asuras are also different people in whom bad motivations and intentions (tamas
Tamas (philosophy)
In the Samkhya school of philosophy, tamas is one of the three gunas , the other two being rajas and sattva or purity). Tamas is the template for inertia or resistance to action...

) have temporarily outweighed the good ones (Sattva
Sattva
In Hindu philosophy, sattva is the most rarefied of the three gunas in Samkhya, sāttvika "pure", rājasika "dim", and tāmasika "dark". Importantly, no value judgement is entailed as all guna are indivisible and mutually qualifying...

). Different beings like siddha, gandharva
Gandharva
Gandharva is a name used for distinct mythological beings in Hinduism and Buddhism; it is also a term for skilled singers in Indian classical music.-In Hinduism:...

, yaksha
Yaksha
Yaksha is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology. The feminine form of the word is ' or Yakshini .In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist mythology,...

etc. are considered beings unlike mankind, and in some ways superior to men.

In Ayyavazhi
Ayyavazhi
Ayyavazhi is a dharmic belief system that originated in South India in the 19th century. It is cited as an independent monistic religion by several newspapers, government reports and academic researchers. In Indian censuses, however, the majority of its followers declare themselves as Hindus...

, officially an offshoot of Hinduism prominent in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

 (a southern state in India with Dravidian heritage), followers, unlike most other branches of Hinduism, believes in a Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

-like figure, Kroni
Kroni
Kroni is a figure in Ayyavazhi mythology. He is the primordial manifestation of evil, and manifests in various forms of evil, such as Ravana and Duryodhana, in different ages or yugas. In order to counteract and destroy the evil of Kroni's manifestations, Mayon incarnates as Avatars such as Rama...

. Kroni, according to Ayyavazhi is the primordial manifestation of evil and manifests in various forms of evil, i.e., Ravana
Ravana
' is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu legend, the Ramayana; who is the great king of Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister...

, Duryodhana
Duryodhana
In the Hindu epic the Mahābhārata, Duryodhana is the eldest son of the blind king Dhritarashtra by Queen Gandhari, the eldest of the one hundred Kaurava brothers, Emperor of the world at that time which means Emperor of India or Bharatvarsha as it was known at that time, cousin and the chief...

, etc., in different ages or yuga
Yuga
Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an 'epoch' or 'era' within a cycle of four ages. These are the Satya Yuga, the Treta Yuga, the Dvapara Yuga, and finally the Kali Yuga. According to Hindu cosmology, life in the universe is created, destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 billion years, which is...

s. In response to such manifestation of evil, believers, in Ayya-Vazhi religion believe that God, as Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 manifests in His Avatar
Avatar
In Hinduism, an avatar is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation," but more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation"....

s such as Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

 and Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

 to defeat evil. Eventually, the Ekam
Ekam
Ekam Tamil: - "the supreme oneness") is the term used in Akilathirattu Ammanai, the holy book of Ayyavazhi, to represent The Ultimate Oneness. In Thiruvasakam-2 it was stated that it was from this Ekam that all objects, including the separate Godheads, Devas and asuras, of the universe formed...

 with the spirit (the spirit taken by Narayana only for incarnating in the world) of Narayana
Narayana
Narayana or Narayan or Naraina is an important Sanskrit name for Vishnu, and in many contemporary vernaculars a common Indian name. Narayana is also identified as the original man, Purusha. The Puranas present divergent views on Narayana...

 incarnates in the world as Ayya Vaikundar
Ayya Vaikundar
Ayya Vaikundar , according to Akilattirattu Ammanai , a scripture of the Ayyavazhi, was a Manu Avatar of Narayana, incarnated as Muthukutty or Mudisoodum Perumal, a Nadar of Swamithoppe, Tamil Nadu Ayya Vaikundar , according to Akilattirattu Ammanai (or Akilam), a scripture of the Ayyavazhi, was...

 to destroy the final manifestaion of Kroni, Kaliyan
Kaliyan
Kali was the sixth fragment of the primordial manifestation of Kroni according to Akilam, the source of Ayyavazhi mythology and the holy book of Ayyavazhi religion. Unlike other previous manifestations, Kali spread in this yugam as maya...

.

Kroni, the spirit of Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures. The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga...

 is said to be omnipresent in this age and that is one reason followers of Ayya Vazhi, like most Hindus, believe that the current yuga, Kali Yuga is so degraded.

Buddhism



A devil-like figure in Buddhism is Mara
Mara (demon)
In Buddhism, Māra is the demon that tempted Gautama Buddha by trying to seduce him with the vision of beautiful women who, in various legends, are often said to be Mara's daughters. In Buddhist cosmology, Mara personifies unwholesome impulses, unskillfulness, the "death" of the spiritual life...

. He is a tempter, who also tempted Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

 by trying to seduce him with the vision of beautiful
Beauty
Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology, and culture...

 women who, in various legends, are often said to be Mara's daughters. Mara personifies unskillfulness, the "death" of the spiritual life. He tries to distract humans from practicing the spiritual life by making the mundane alluring or the negative seem positive. Another interpretation of Mara is that he is the desires that are present in ones own mind preventing the person from seeing the truth. So in a sense Mara is not an independent being but a part of one's own being that has to be defeated.
In daily life of the Buddha the role of devil has been given to Devadatta
Devadatta
Devadatta was by tradition a Buddhist monk, cousin and brother-in-law of Gautama Siddārtha, the Śākyamuni Buddha, and brother of Ānanda, a principal student of the Buddha...

.

Ancient Egypt



In the Ausarian drama we find that Ausar (Greek: Osiris) is chopped into 13 pieces by Set. Auset (Isis) collects all of his pieces save his phallus. Horus, son of Ausar and Auset sets out to avenge the death and dismemberment of his father by confronting Set. Horus is victorious over Set and Ausar, being brought back from the dead becomes lord of the underworld. It is this drama that gives us the cosmic conflict between good and evil, evil being embodied by Set. This is not to say that Set was always seen as an evil character in Ancient Egyptian theology. There are many times in Ancient Egyptian history where conflicts between different "houses" lead to the depreciation of one god relative to another.

As in most polytheistic faiths, the characters involved differentiate themselves from the Western tradition of a devil in that all the gods are closely related. In this case, numerous historic texts suggest that Set is the Uncle or Brother of Horus and in the "defeat" of Set, we see another separation from the norm in the devouring/assimilation of Set into Horus with the result of Horus having depictions of both the falcon head and the (unknown animal) head of Set. This (like Buddhism) represents a dissolution of dichotomy.

World folklore




In the Western Christian tradition, the Devil has entered popular folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

, particularly in his role as a trickster
Trickster
In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior. It is suggested by Hansen that the term "Trickster" was probably first used in this...

 figure. As such, he is found as a character in a wide number of traditional folktales and legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

s from Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, where he often attempts to trick or outwit other characters. In some of these tales, the Devil is portrayed as more of a folk villain than as the personification of evil. The Devil also features prominently in a number of hagiographical
Hagiography
Hagiography is the study of saints.From the Greek and , it refers literally to writings on the subject of such holy people, and specifically to the biographies of saints and ecclesiastical leaders. The term hagiology, the study of hagiography, is also current in English, though less common...

 tales, or tales of the saints such as the popular tale of St. Dunstan
Dunstan
Dunstan was an Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, a Bishop of Worcester, a Bishop of London, and an Archbishop of Canterbury, later canonised as a saint. His work restored monastic life in England and reformed the English Church...

, many of which may fall outside the authorized religious canon. The Devil is also a recurring feature in tales explaining the etymology
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

 of geographical names
Toponymy
Toponymy is the scientific study of place names , their origins, meanings, use and typology. The word "toponymy" is derived from the Greek words tópos and ónoma . Toponymy is itself a branch of onomastics, the study of names of all kinds...

, lending his name to natural formations such as The Devil's Chimney
The Devil's Chimney
For the former Sussex coastal rock feature of the same name see Beachy Head.The Devil's Chimney is a limestone rock formation that stands above a disused quarry in Leckhampton, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England....

.

Other names


Further information: Names of the Devil in Christianity

Demons


In some religions and traditions, these titles are separate demons; others identify these names as guises of The Devil. Even when thought of as individual demons, some are often thought of being under the Devil's direct control. This identifies only those thought of as the Devil; List of demons has a more general listing.
  • Azazel
    Azazel
    Azazel or Azazael or Azâzêl is a term used three times in the Hebrew scriptures, and later in Hebrew mythology as the enigmatic name of a character....

    , Asael (Hebrew): King of Devils
  • Baphomet
    Baphomet
    Baphomet is an imagined pagan deity , revived in the 19th century as a figure of occultism and Satanism. It appeared as a term for a pagan idol in trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar in the early 14th century...

    , a demon supposedly worshiped by the Knights Templar
    Knights Templar
    The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

  • Beelzebub
    Beelzebub
    Beelzebub -Religious meaning:Ba‘al Zəbûb is variously understood to mean "lord of flies", or "lord of the dwelling". Originally the name of a Philistine god, Beelzebub is also identified in the New Testament as Satan, the "prince of the demons". In Arabic the name is retained as Ba‘al dhubaab /...

    , ba'al zevuv בעל זבוב (Hebrew): Master of the flies or Lord of the Flies
    Lord of the Flies
    Lord of the Flies is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding about a group of British boys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, with disastrous results...

     
  • Belial
    Belial
    Belial is one of the four crown princes of Hell and a demon in the Bible, Jewish apocrypha and Christian apocrypha...

    , Beliar, Bheliar (Hebrew): without master, despicableness of the earth, Lord of Pride
  • Mastema
    Mastema
    Mastema an angel who persecutes evil in Hebrew folklore. He carries out punishments for God. He tempts humans and tests their faith. He asked God to permit him to have demons as his subordinates. In the Zadokite Fragments and the Dead Sea Scrolls, he is the angel of disaster, the father of all...

    , a devil in the Book of Jubilees
  • Sammael
    Samael
    Samael is an important archangel in Talmudic and post-Talmudic lore, a figure who is accuser, seducer and destroyer, and has been regarded as both good and evil...

    , Samiel, Sammael (Hebrew): "Poison of God"


Titles


These are titles that almost always refer to the Devil.
  • 666 or 616, the Number of the Beast
    Number of the Beast
    The Number of the Beast is a term in the Book of Revelation, of the New Testament, that is associated with the first Beast of Revelation chapter 13, the Beast of the sea. In most manuscripts of the New Testament and in English translations of the Bible, the number of the Beast is...

  • Angra Mainyu
    Angra Mainyu
    Angra Mainyu is the Avestan-language name of Zoroastrianism's hypostasis of the "destructive spirit". The Middle Persian equivalent is Ahriman.-In Zoroaster's revelation:...

    , Ahriman: "malign spirit", "unholy spirit"
  • Antichrist
    Antichrist
    The term or title antichrist, in Christian theology, refers to a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner...

    , the coming of the Devil to the mortal world in Christianity
  • Dark Lord
  • Der Leibhaftige (German): "He Himself"
  • Diabolus, Diabolos (Greek: Διάβολος): "cutting through"
  • Iblis, the devil in Islam
  • Lord of the underworld
    Underworld
    The Underworld is a region which is thought to be under the surface of the earth in some religions and in mythologies. It could be a place where the souls of the recently departed go, and in some traditions it is identified with Hell or the realm of death...

     / Lord of Hell
    Hell
    In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

     / Lord of this World
  • Lucifer
    Lucifer
    Traditionally, Lucifer is a name that in English generally refers to the devil or Satan before being cast from Heaven, although this is not the original meaning of the term. In Latin, from which the English word is derived, Lucifer means "light-bearer"...

     / The Morning Star (Greek and Roman): bringer of light, illuminator; the planet Venus
    Venus
    Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows...

    , often portrayed as Satan's name before he fell
  • Leviathan
    Leviathan
    Leviathan , is a sea monster referred to in the Bible. In Demonology, Leviathan is one of the seven princes of Hell and its gatekeeper . The word has become synonymous with any large sea monster or creature...

  • Mephistopheles
    Mephistopheles
    Mephistopheles is a demon featured in German folklore...

    , he who avoids the light (φῶς)
  • Old Scratch
    Old Scratch
    Old Scratch or Mr. Scratch is a folk name for The Devil in the local legends of New England and pre-Civil War America. It is possible that the local legends containing this name were influenced by Faustian stories brought to North America by German immigrants.Old Scratch is also referred to in The...

    , The Stranger, Old Nick
    Old Nick
    Old Nick can mean:* an English appellation of Christian teaching about the Devil* Old Nick , from Young's Brewery...

    : a colloquialism for the devil, as indicated by the name of the character in the story The Devil and Tom Walker
    The Devil and Tom Walker
    "The Devil and Tom Walker" a short story by Washington Irving that first appeared in his 1824 collection of stories titled Tales of a Traveller. It was part of the "Money-Diggers" portion....

  • Old Hob
  • Prince of Darkness / Air
    Air (classical element)
    Air is often seen as a universal power or pure substance. Its supposed fundamental importance to life can be seen in words such as aspire, inspire, perspire and spirit, all derived from the Latin spirare.-Greek and Roman tradition:...

  • Satan
    Satan
    Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

     / The Adversary, Accuser, Prosecutor
  • (The ancient/old/crooked/coiling) Serpent
    Serpent (Bible)
    Serpent is the term used to translate a variety of words in the Hebrew bible, the most common being , , the generic word for "snake"....

  • Shaitan, an Arabic name for Satan
  • Kölski (Iceland)
  • Voland (medieval France)

A list of liturgical
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 names for the Devil may be found in Jeffrey Burton Russell, Lucifer, the Devil in the Middle Ages (Cornell University Press, 1986), p. 128, note 76 online.

God as the Devil


Several religious authors throughout history have advanced the notion that the god of the Abrahamic Bible and its sequels is consistent in character with the Devil. They make the case that the Biblical God is a divine force that wreaks suffering, death, and destruction and that tempts or commands humanity into committing mayhem and genocide.

These writings refer to the Biblical God variously as "a demiurgus
Demiurge
The demiurge is a concept from the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy for an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. The term was subsequently adopted by the Gnostics...

", "an evil angel", "the devil god", "the Prince of Darkness", "the source of all evil", "a demon", "a cruel, wrathful, warlike tyrant", "Satan", "the devil", and "the first beast of the book of Revelation".

Many of the authors criticize only Jehovah, the God of the Abrahamic scriptures (Tanakh), in contrast with the "true god" of the New Testament. However, other authors apply their condemnation to the entire godhead of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

The authors assert their claims by reference to a number of passages in Biblical scripture describing actions of God that they say are evil or Devil-like. Many of the authors have been severely chastised for their writings, and their followers killed.

See also


  • Devil in popular culture
  • The Devil (Tarot card)
    The Devil (Tarot card)
    The Devil is the fifteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.- Symbolism :...

  • Devil worship
  • Hierarchy of devils
  • Names of the demons
    Names of the demons
    According to some Christian theology, many Pagan deities are demons. So, when names of demons are spoken, one must consider that they were incorporated to Christian demonology, as were Jewish demons, Pagan deities, folkloric supernatural beings, and sometimes imaginary names given by people...

  • Hell
    Hell
    In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

    , Hades
    Hades
    Hades , Hadēs, originally , Haidēs or , Aidēs , meaning "the unseen") was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. The genitive , Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: "[the house/dominion] of Hades". Eventually, the nominative came to designate the abode of the dead.In Greek mythology, Hades...

    , Underworld
    Underworld
    The Underworld is a region which is thought to be under the surface of the earth in some religions and in mythologies. It could be a place where the souls of the recently departed go, and in some traditions it is identified with Hell or the realm of death...

  • Pact with the Devil
    Pact with the Devil
    A deal with the Devil, pact with the Devil, or Faustian bargain is a cultural motif widespread in the West, best exemplified by the legend of Faust and the figure of Mephistopheles, but elemental to many Christian folktales...

  • Number of the Beast
    Number of the Beast
    The Number of the Beast is a term in the Book of Revelation, of the New Testament, that is associated with the first Beast of Revelation chapter 13, the Beast of the sea. In most manuscripts of the New Testament and in English translations of the Bible, the number of the Beast is...

  • Lawsuits against the Devil
    Lawsuits against the Devil
    Lawsuits against the Devil have occurred in reality and in fiction.- Actual suits :United States ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff was a 1971 case filed before the United States district court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in which Gerald Mayo alleged that "Satan has on...



External links