Because I’m always up for prodding bumbling religious banalities, I offer up the following scenario.
Suppose that both God and Satan exist. Further, suppose that the Jewish messianic prophecies of the Old Testament are true. Now suppose that you are Satan, the Lord of Lies, a deceitful, powerful, sweet-talking, and maniacal interloper. Suppose that your primary objective is to direct human beings away from worshiping God and to thwart the messianic prophecy if you can. How would you do it?
If it were me, I’d get the mortals to worship some false god with such a passion, with such a blind and unheeding faith, that even if the true messiah were to arrive, he’d be quashed and mocked and forgotten.
Human beings, being corrupt and sinful, naturally fall prey to my deviant and circumspect whisperings. They start to believe that a particular man is blessed by god. He turns their water into wine. He heals their superficial wounds. He raises their dead. He raises himself from the dead. Oh, how easy it was to convince them of his deity! All you must do is appeal to their fear of death, get them to think that if they worship this man who calls himself a god, as a god, that he will cure their fatality, allow them to live forever and ever. Silly, selfish fools, all of them. And now they think that a man, a man who was born out of a woman’s vagina, a man who is composed of cells and hair and sweat, a man who eats and defecates and slobbers, a man who gets tired and aroused and angry, a man who stumbles over cracks in the street.. they think this man is a God.
So what’s the point of all this? Ah, it’s pretty simple. Just look how ridiculously easy it was to construct a mythology which completely contradicts a popular religious account of the world. I even used some of their own premises and assumptions. So I pose this question to Christians, to whom this scenario was obviously aimed: How do you know that my account isn’t the truth? How do you know that the god you worship isn’t a malevolent one, that he didn’t manipulate your ancestors into believing in him, that he didn’t manipulate those fables which make up the core of your world view into existence? Is it not feasible?
I look forward to your responses.