Good Guy Lucifer.
Maybe I’m weird, but for as long as I can remember, I always thought that Lucifer was the sympathetic one in all of those biblical stories. I mean, think about it:
- He is widely considered to be the snake in the Garden of Eden story (though the original lore made no mention of this), and his trickery toward Eve simply gave humanity the knowledge of good and evil, thus untethering them from the ignorance that God had shrouded them in. This makes him an analog of Prometheus, and squarely puts God in negative light for various reasons. He punishes humanity for their “sin” and casts them out simply for knowing things.
This puts a huge emphasis on the idea of “faith” being all-important, even above knowledge. With knowledge, humans will eventually abandon all superstitious and religious notions about the universe and instead rely on empirical evidence and reasoning to understand the world. “Faith” is just fear with a different coat of paint. Remain ignorant, and you remain blissful. It’s outlandishly puerile and cruel to intentionally keep your followers weak and stupid just to make them easier to control. So, in this very important instance, Lucifer is an incredibly sympathetic and heroic character, regardless of any hidden intentions he may have had.
- In Christian mythology, Lucifer is the personification of all things evil. However, you will be hard-pressed to find anything he does that would be considered by a modern society to be “evil.” In fact, he appears to often be a source of skeptical thinking, humanity, and a teacher of lessons. He is regularly used to show humanity in terrible acts and to be a metaphor for change and growth. This kind of humanity is looked at with extreme negativity in Christian mythology, for one reason or another. At worst, this paints Lucifer as nothing more than one who teaches hard lessons about human nature without sugar-coating the truth. He even teaches the lesson of not blindly following your leaders when he’s cast out of heaven by saying to God, “I will not serve.” Why this is a bad thing, I’ll never know.
- The only instance I know of where Lucifer actively harms anyone is when he destroys Job’s life and livelihood. The kicker here of course is that it was completely sanctioned by God himself, and Lucifer was only doing what God gave him the green light to do. Regardless of the inherent morality behind this, God is still very much the bad guy in this equation, and it can be seen as an allegory for the corruptibility of absolute power. In this instance, Lucifer is morally wrong, but is only doing so to prove a point about God himself.
- Finally, Lucifer is present during the crucifixion of Jesus. During this time, he pleads with Jesus to abandon his father’s murderous and arrogant rule, and to save himself. I don’t see how Lucifer could be considered evil in any way here, either, as he was only trying to save a life. Christians would argue that this was an attempt by Lucifer to thwart God’s plan for the forgiving of original sin, but there are several problems with that alone. Such as the original “sin” being God’s own totalitarian rule run amok. Or the utterly roundabout way that God is going about forgiveness, when he could just say “I forgive humanity.”
Obviously this is all just fun and games, considering God and Lucifer are obviously fairy tales, and clearly a complete rip off of the Zeus and Prometheus dynamic. Not to mention that Lucifer as an evil entity is not once mentioned in the Bible, and simply means “Morning Star.” All evil is attributed to a nameless, characterless “devil.” Satan isn’t even a thing in the original translations.
So. Yeah. There’s my theological mythology post for the evening.