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(Scientific American)   The Power of Satan. Here comes the science   (scientificamerican.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Satans, war of aggression, social psychologist, Stanley Milgram  
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8521 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Oct 2013 at 12:17 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-30 12:20:28 PM  
I prefer the power of satin.

www.palzoo.net
 
2013-10-30 12:21:55 PM  
Does it explain walnut ranching?
 
2013-10-30 12:22:21 PM  
That article didn't mention yoga at all.
 
rpl
2013-10-30 12:23:23 PM  
d233eq3e3p3cv0.cloudfront.net
 
2013-10-30 12:24:28 PM  
I'm not reading Scientific American. They used to be good, until they turned to the dark side and got all political and emotional. They were better when telling us how to build metal-melting lasers instead of telling us how bad we are for parking on the leaves which the trees so carefully tended all summer.
 
2013-10-30 12:25:36 PM  
rpl:

Lulz. I saw these asshats recently at a concert I took my son too. I wanted to beat them up. The only words I understood were "Luciferrrrrrr.... Weeee kneeeeellllll..."

Satanism is dumb.
 
2013-10-30 12:26:00 PM  
There is a group in Iraq that 'worships' Satan.  They believe that God is good, so that pray to the devil to leave them alone.  Northern Iraq, I think.
 
2013-10-30 12:26:31 PM  
So... the most evil things people can do to each other are generally supported by people who believe in pure evil?  We would be so much better off without them.
 
2013-10-30 12:29:01 PM  

Modified Wooden Paper Towel Holder: rpl:

Lulz. I saw these asshats recently at a concert I took my son too. I wanted to beat them up. The only words I understood were "Luciferrrrrrr.... Weeee kneeeeellllll..."

Satanism is dumb.


catmacros.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-10-30 12:29:02 PM  
summary in one line from TFA.

The longer we cling to strong beliefs about the existence of pure evil, the more aggressive and antisocial we become.
 
2013-10-30 12:29:03 PM  
C.S. Lewis once wrote that that Satan's main goal was to prevent people from becoming Christians, but the culture he was working in determined the strategy he took. In "primitive" cultures, he would use his power to make people believe that the indigenous religions system was real and be therefore people would ignore Christianity. In modern societies, he would hide allowing people to think that he didn't exist, tempting people to think that the spiritual world did not exist in therefore Christianity couldn't possibly be true.

Given that 70 percent of people believe in the Devil despite him not doing anything flashy, it would seem that Satan is between a rock and a hard place if he can only choose between these two strategies.

(Yes, I know, Clive's response would be something along the lines of "he's fostering lukewarm Christianity now.")
 
2013-10-30 12:29:44 PM  
Evil people are born evil - they cannot change. Two judgments follow from this perspective: 1) evil people cannot be rehabilitated, and 2) the eradication of evil requires only the eradication of all the evil people.

Then why are there still people in Congress?
 
2013-10-30 12:30:44 PM  
So looking at it.. with the increased belief in death penalty, torture, preemptively attacking other countries, harsher punishments coming with an increased belief in BPE.. that tells me that the true pure evil is being executed by those who believe in it and thus prove that BPE exists.
 
2013-10-30 12:30:48 PM  
Some 70 percent of Americans, according to a 2007 Gallup Poll, believe in his existence.

I've often asked myself "what percentage of Americans are irredeemably stupid?"

"Not less than 70%" is the best answer so far.
 
2013-10-30 12:34:22 PM  
Felix_T_Cat

There is a group in Iraq that 'worships' Satan. They believe that God is good, so that pray to the devil to leave them alone. Northern Iraq, I think.

Kurdish Yazidis. They don't worship Satan so much as glorify the archangel that refused to bow to man.

On topic for TFA, they also don't believe there are any real supernatural forces causing evil; that's all just human behaving badly.
 
2013-10-30 12:34:39 PM  

Sofa King Smart: summary in one line from TFA.

The longer we cling to strong beliefs about the existence of pure evil, the more aggressive and antisocial we become.


Easier to place blame on some supernatural being than to take responsibility for our actions.
 
2013-10-30 12:35:24 PM  

Felix_T_Cat: There is a group in Iraq that 'worships' Satan.  They believe that God is good, so that pray to the devil to leave them alone.  Northern Iraq, I think.


Yes, there is. They're an off-shoot of Zoroastrianism. Mostly Kurdish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yazidi
 
2013-10-30 12:36:08 PM  
www.loopz.co.ukS
 
2013-10-30 12:37:01 PM  
iwanttokilleveryonesatanisgoodsatanisourpal
iwanttokilleveryonesatanisgoodsatanisourpal
iwanttokilleveryonesatanisgoodsatanisourpal
iwanttokilleveryonesatanisgoodsatanisourpal
iwanttokilleveryonesatanisgoodsatanisourpal
iwanttokilleveryonesatanisgoodsatanisourpal
 
2013-10-30 12:37:11 PM  

Lionel Mandrake: Some 70 percent of Americans, according to a 2007 Gallup Poll, believe in his existence.

I've often asked myself "what percentage of Americans are irredeemably stupid?"

"Not less than 70%" is the best answer so far.


So does that mean that you would agree that: 1) stupid people cannot be rehabilitated, and 2) the eradication of stupidity requires only the eradication of all the stupid people?
 
2013-10-30 12:37:58 PM  
The 70% figure is a bit...disconcerting.
 
2013-10-30 12:38:13 PM  

Martian_Astronomer: C.S. Lewis once wrote that that Satan's main goal was to prevent people from becoming Christians, but the culture he was working in determined the strategy he took. In "primitive" cultures, he would use his power to make people believe that the indigenous religions system was real and be therefore people would ignore Christianity. In modern societies, he would hide allowing people to think that he didn't exist, tempting people to think that the spiritual world did not exist in therefore Christianity couldn't possibly be true.

Given that 70 percent of people believe in the Devil despite him not doing anything flashy, it would seem that Satan is between a rock and a hard place if he can only choose between these two strategies.

(Yes, I know, Clive's response would be something along the lines of "he's fostering lukewarm Christianity now.")


The concept of Satan is just giving a different name to The Problem of Evil. If, as in Christian mythology, God cast Satan out of Heaven then either God *wanted* Satan to have influence over humanity, or God wasn't powerful enough to either change Satan's mind or destroy him outright. In other words, God is either not omnibenevolent or not omnipotent.
 
2013-10-30 12:39:56 PM  
Go check out the politics tab, plenty of people still believe in Evil with a capital E, they just don't think it's supernatural.
 
2013-10-30 12:41:31 PM  

Lord Dimwit: Martian_Astronomer: C.S. Lewis once wrote that that Satan's main goal was to prevent people from becoming Christians, but the culture he was working in determined the strategy he took. In "primitive" cultures, he would use his power to make people believe that the indigenous religions system was real and be therefore people would ignore Christianity. In modern societies, he would hide allowing people to think that he didn't exist, tempting people to think that the spiritual world did not exist in therefore Christianity couldn't possibly be true.

Given that 70 percent of people believe in the Devil despite him not doing anything flashy, it would seem that Satan is between a rock and a hard place if he can only choose between these two strategies.

(Yes, I know, Clive's response would be something along the lines of "he's fostering lukewarm Christianity now.")

The concept of Satan is just giving a different name to The Problem of Evil. If, as in Christian mythology, God cast Satan out of Heaven then either God *wanted* Satan to have influence over humanity, or God wasn't powerful enough to either change Satan's mind or destroy him outright. In other words, God is either not omnibenevolent or not omnipotent.


Remember, god works in mysterious ways!

/God is just Satan when he's drunk
 
2013-10-30 12:41:56 PM  

Facetious_Speciest: The 70% figure is a bit...disconcerting.


THIS.!!!!  and one of them is on our nation's Supreme Court!
 
2013-10-30 12:44:18 PM  
Your Hind Brain

God is just Satan when he's drunk

Maybe, like, Satan is Yahweh when he's high and chill.
 
2013-10-30 12:44:31 PM  
No way 70% of people seriously believe in a literal devil.  I doubt 70% of people believe in a literal god.
 
2013-10-30 12:44:36 PM  
What is "Satan is a scapegoat?"
 
2013-10-30 12:44:42 PM  

Ed Grubermann: Sofa King Smart: summary in one line from TFA.

The longer we cling to strong beliefs about the existence of pure evil, the more aggressive and antisocial we become.

Easier to place blame on some supernatural being than to take responsibility for our actions.


Science journalism sucks.  TFA blathers on about THE DEVIL, but the study itself is entirely about the belief in human evil; the idea that some people are just born pure bad to the core and can't ever be redeemed.  So they're still placing blame on others, but it's other humans, not any kind of supernatural being.
 
2013-10-30 12:46:50 PM  

Facetious_Speciest: Your Hind Brain

God is just Satan when he's drunk

Maybe, like, Satan is Yahweh when he's high and chill.


Hmmm. Very Cool idea. Not Satan but Sativa!
 
2013-10-30 12:48:29 PM  
To sum up TFA: religious teachings continue to hold humanity back and help us rationalize away us being worse people even though we think it has the opposite effect.
 
2013-10-30 12:50:28 PM  

mongbiohazard: To sum up TFA: religious teachings continue to hold humanity back and help us rationalize away us being worse people even though we think it has the opposite effect.


Yep, that's what I got too.

To sum up the comments on the article:
NO U!
 
2013-10-30 12:50:34 PM  
mongbiohazard

...religious teachings continue to hold humanity back and help us rationalize away us being worse people even though we think it has the opposite effect.

Bit of a broad brush. If I have a religious belief that the oak tree in my backyard tells me to water it on the full moon and be cool to other monkeys, there's no harm in it to anyone.
 
2013-10-30 12:50:45 PM  

Son of Thunder: Lionel Mandrake: Some 70 percent of Americans, according to a 2007 Gallup Poll, believe in his existence.

I've often asked myself "what percentage of Americans are irredeemably stupid?"

"Not less than 70%" is the best answer so far.

So does that mean that you would agree that: 1) stupid people cannot be rehabilitated, and 2) the eradication of stupidity requires only the eradication of all the stupid people?


Let's not get ahead of ourselves.  First we need to get them all together.  "Concentrate" them, if you will, in some sort of a central facility...a "camp," perhaps.

The solution will flow organically...
 
2013-10-30 12:51:43 PM  
Well, now, isn't that special?
 
2013-10-30 12:54:36 PM  
Meh. Setting "satan" aside for a moment, the whole idea of "evil" and "good" is an artifact of human emotion anyway. Human actions are an effect of the universe, a part of the laws of physics, just like the charge on an electron is. Calling the charge on an electron either "good" or "evil" is scientifically meaningless. The only reason those terms seem to have meaning when applied to humans is purely non-scientific subjective emotion.

Introducing another meaningless term "Satan" into this mix isn't any sillier or arbitrary than it already was with "good" and "evil". But thast won't stop everyone from hating each other for it anyway, and feeling superior about their personal brand of arbitrary emotional baggage and hate.
 
2013-10-30 12:55:23 PM  

noitsnot: No way 70% of people seriously believe in a literal devil.  I doubt 70% of people believe in a literal god.


In the United States? I have no problem believing that whatsoever. Something like 84% of the population professes a religion, and I've known plenty of people who don't go to church regularly who believe in both God and Satan.

(Satan doesn't exist. Something that might be called God might exist but would be so far beyond our understanding at this point in our evolution that the question can't even be properly asked yet.)
 
2013-10-30 12:56:27 PM  

Lionel Mandrake: Son of Thunder: Lionel Mandrake: Some 70 percent of Americans, according to a 2007 Gallup Poll, believe in his existence.

I've often asked myself "what percentage of Americans are irredeemably stupid?"

"Not less than 70%" is the best answer so far.

So does that mean that you would agree that: 1) stupid people cannot be rehabilitated, and 2) the eradication of stupidity requires only the eradication of all the stupid people?

Let's not get ahead of ourselves.  First we need to get them all together.  "Concentrate" them, if you will, in some sort of a central facility...a "camp," perhaps.

The solution will flow organically...


Well at least all that FEMA money didn't go to waste
 
2013-10-30 12:59:17 PM  

Lord Dimwit: The concept of Satan is just giving a different name to The Problem of Evil. If, as in Christian mythology, God cast Satan out of Heaven then either God *wanted* Satan to have influence over humanity, or God wasn't powerful enough to either change Satan's mind or destroy him outright. In other words, God is either not omnibenevolent or not omnipotent.


There is a third option. It could be that the ultimate goal of life is to attain the kingdom of heaven. Only the worthy souls can reap this reward. The only way to sort the worthy souls from the unworthy would be to give them free will and a viable choice between good and evil. The more rigorous your standards, the more free rein you would give the devil to intervene in mortal affairs. This would ensure that those who got through life without turning to the dark side would be truly deserving of their eternal reward. Sure, God could have created us without free will, but that would neither have been a creation "in His image" as a surrogate for reproduction, nor of any real benefit. It's the same as marrying a blow-up doll; it's just not as satisfying. God could also have created us with free will, but create no temptation to evil. This, however, would make the free will meaningless. If you only have one choice, it's no choice at all.

There is also a fourth option. It could also be that the whole concept of God, the devil, heaven, hell, and the creation are all bullsh*t stories we made up to comfort us in the long night. As an atheist, I personally have no motivation to influence your beliefs one way or the other, so I bid you good day. Just please don't legislate your religion onto me.
 
2013-10-30 12:59:27 PM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: Meh. Setting "satan" aside for a moment, the whole idea of "evil" and "good" is an artifact of human emotion anyway. Human actions are an effect of the universe, a part of the laws of physics, just like the charge on an electron is. Calling the charge on an electron either "good" or "evil" is scientifically meaningless. The only reason those terms seem to have meaning when applied to humans is purely non-scientific subjective emotion.

Introducing another meaningless term "Satan" into this mix isn't any sillier or arbitrary than it already was with "good" and "evil". But thast won't stop everyone from hating each other for it anyway, and feeling superior about their personal brand of arbitrary emotional baggage and hate.


There's where consciousness comes into play. Electrons will never "feel" anything, and neither will most exothermic chemical reactions but some exothermic chemical reactions do result in "feeling sad". That qualia exist, that there is something "like it is to feel" is a very interesting problem to me. Human emotions are a product of brains, which are physical systems, so they have just as much meaning as anything else we can ascribe meaning to.

That's the fun thing - things mean different things at different semantic levels. At one level, my computer monitor is just a collection of rare earth elements, copper, glass, and plastic. At another, it's lots of little dots of different colors. At another, it's a collection of words, which themselves have meaning at a different level. The cool part about humanity is that were are a part of the Universe that figured out how to look at itself and figure itself out. It's awesome.
 
2013-10-30 01:02:59 PM  
Is Satan really the bad guy here? History is written by the victors, etc.

TopoGigo: There is also a fourth option. It could also be that the whole concept of God, the devil, heaven, hell, and the creation are all bullsh*t stories we made up to comfort us in the long night.


QFT
 
2013-10-30 01:05:43 PM  
I've never really understood the whole concept of sacrificing virgins. I mean, why is the blood of virgins more potent than the blood of someone that had sex? I mean, wouldn't the blood of someone that already gave birth more potent than someone that hasn't?.
 
2013-10-30 01:06:29 PM  
This is where the fish lives.
 
2013-10-30 01:07:42 PM  

mongbiohazard: To sum up TFA: religious teachings continue to hold humanity back and help us rationalize away us being worse people even though we think it has the opposite effect.


Then you didn't read TFA.  I'll repeat my earlier comment: "the study itself is entirely about the belief in human evil; the idea that some people are just born pure bad to the core and can't ever be redeemed".  That has jack squat to do with a red guy with horns.
 
2013-10-30 01:09:14 PM  
media.tumblr.com
 
2013-10-30 01:11:02 PM  

CygnusDarius: I've never really understood the whole concept of sacrificing virgins. I mean, why is the blood of virgins more potent than the blood of someone that had sex? I mean, wouldn't the blood of someone that already gave birth more potent than someone that hasn't?.


If that's a serious question, I believe the answer is heredity. Women wore worthless as brides unless they were virgin, because the husband had no proof the that child ostensibly conceived on the honeymoon was, in fact, his child. Since the firstborn inherits, it was of the utmost import for the heredity to be true. And if a woman wasn't good enough for a husband, she damned sure wasn't good enough for a god or demigod.
 
2013-10-30 01:11:43 PM  
Satan can stand up to the Will of God, and remain in existence is a testament to God's weakness and Satan's power.  That which can withstand something, is stronger than that which attempts to destroy it.

Your god...it is weak
 
2013-10-30 01:12:24 PM  
I went to a dinner party in hell once... It was pretty cool actually. I got to talk to Einstein about his youth, update Darwin on the latest biological findings, and here  some pretty hilarious courtroom stories from some of the most famous lawyers of history. It was all around a really fun experience and Satan was a pretty chill host. Oh and the air conditioning there is top notch, since all the engineers are down there as well.
 
2013-10-30 01:15:46 PM  

CygnusDarius: I've never really understood the whole concept of sacrificing virgins. I mean, why is the blood of virgins more potent than the blood of someone that had sex? I mean, wouldn't the blood of someone that already gave birth more potent than someone that hasn't?.


Penises ruin the taste of vagina for the Volcano gods.
 
2013-10-30 01:15:46 PM  
www.reactiongifs.us
 
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