Satan

Lucas A. Davidson
3 min readNov 29, 2023

Daily Meditation 641 – 11/29/2023

These Daily Meditations aren’t generally terribly religious in tone. They often drift into “spirituality,” however.

Religion is always spiritual. Spirituality is not always religion.

That said, I personally am a Christian, and many of these Daily Meditations — and, arguably, Stoicism and Eudaimonism — are fundamentally rooted in a Christian ethos.

Today’s DM is a bit more explicitly Christian.

You see, Satan is a relentless operator.

We as humans all have free will. Now, for many, the definition of free will is, sadly, “The ability to do whatever you want when you want.” And, perhaps that definition is true sometimes. But, more generally, free will is a knowing of what is right and what is wrong…and then having the free will to behave accordingly.

You know that murder is morally wrong. It is evil. So, when you grab your baseball bat and brain your husband when he comes home after losing his job, you executed your free will despite knowledge of murder being wrong.

You know that helping someone get the last gallon of milk from the back of the Walmart coolers is morally good. It’s helpful and kind. It takes you 10 seconds, they appreciate it, and you can both chuckle at their shortness (probably). You executed your free will to do good when you knew it was the right thing to do.

But Satan is a relentless operator! He loves to muddy the waters of our moral compass of free will. He enjoys injecting things like moral relativism into us, pouring little questions and scenarios into our hearts and minds. It’s the little “What ifs” which makes us make poor choices with free will.

The husband-baseball-bat-murder becomes rooted in “Well, he probably was cheating” or “he must’ve had it comin’” or “he was abusive or a rapist or something.” Instead of just murder it becomes a tit-for-tat situation.

When we look at evils we’ve done to others — even as “non-believers” — this tit-for-tat mantra makes it rapidly apparent…we all deserve to become recipients of evil.

You used the N-word a few times as a teen? Well, you deserved to be mugged, then…

You beat up a stranger when you were drunk, once? Well, you deserved to be cheated on by your spouse…

You stole a dollar from your brother when you were 7? Well, you deserved to be murdered, then…

Anything becomes justification for any evil.

And Satan loves to inject this into our decision making. He wants us more confused and making the wrong and immoral decisions.

And here’s the thing — in most cases, even for a “non-believer” we already know what is the right or wrong, moral or immoral decision.

But, we believe our order of decision-making goes like this:

  1. We think about and justify our decision
  2. We act it out

But in reality, we do this:

  1. We do the thing
  2. We then justify the decision

It’s easy to see how the second of these two processes is childish. We sleep with someone outside of our marriage — we justify it with drunkenness or our spouse not sleeping with us enough. We beat up our friend— we justify it with their not respecting us or mouthing off.

In short, we need to work harder to ensure our morals are deeply ingrained in us. This way, behaving “right” when faced with a dilemma is more automatic. Additionally, taking more time for consideration sometimes can aid us in preventing the act-first-justify-second manner of living.

Just as Satan is a relentless operator seeking to make us immoral sinners, so too must we be relentless in our mental defenses against his slings and arrows. He wants us tempted and making excuses for our immorality and sins, instead of us being repentant or better yet, immune!

Even if you don’t believe in God or Lucifer, Heaven or Hell, you still can stand to gain from the general mindset of standing firm in good morals and acting according to them, instead of being flexible with them. Bending your morals to fit your current whim or pleasure is a pathway to quick insanity and unhappiness, in my personal experience…

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These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

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Lucas A. Davidson

Daily philosophical meditations on Eudaimonia. These are distillations from the forthcoming book on the topic. Comments or jobs: lucas@multistatewide.com