- Not to be confused with Santa.
“”Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
|—Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene 3|
Satan (birth name: Louis "Lou" C. Fer) is a bogeyman for both grown-ups and children. After being kicked out of heaven for telling YHWH to lighten up a little, he became God's prosecuting attorney and the foremost Abrahamic advocate for humanity's right to know and understand what's going on around them. Some people think that makes Satan the first humanist.
Somewhat unfortunately, Satan doesn't really have a big part in the Bible. He only has a handful of walk-on roles, such as cameos selling fruit (debatable), tormenting Job, and tempting Jesus. He has, however, had parts in many other prominent works, such as Milton's Paradise Lost, Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, and the Faust story by (in turn) Christopher Marlowe, Goethe, and Thomas Mann.
In an odd parallel to the book Wicked, Satan (then called Lucifer) was born with bat-like wings, rather than the traditional dove-like ones most angels have. Despite this huge defect (which made him the object of ridicule and discrimination), he persevered; through sheer hard work and born talent, he rose to the highest court in the world, only to come to the shocking realization that God believed that a lifetime of sinning deserved an eternity of punishment. He then rebelled against God, and eventually was exiled. (Little known fact: he is one of the only characters in the Bible to stand up to God and live.)
He is also the Prince of Darkness, has horns, a widow's peak, and a long tail. Entertainingly, "Lucifer" means "light bringer," which means post-Roman Christians are essentially contradicting themselves. (Not to mention, God dwells in darkness in the Bible.) Some Christians believed that he doesn't have an arse—where it should be is instead a second mouth or face, making defecation a torment. His favorite color is red, as he is a commie, and his favorite number is 666, because it looks pretty as a birthmark. He is claimed by some at RationalWiki to be a pretty good hockey player... but what do they know?[citation NOT needed] He is also a metalhead.
You may have some lingering questions. Here, we shall answer them.
 So, what's the deal with this Satan dude?
Satan/Lucifer was second-in-command to the big G in the Kingdom of H. Or, in English: in the Christian mythology, Lucifer was a high-ranking angel in Heaven. "Lucifer" is roughly translated as "the bringer of light"; it comes from "Lucifer son of the morning" in Isaiah 14:12, which has often been interpreted as a reference to Satan, but may in fact mean a Babylonian king who was the Jews' number one bogey man at the time. Or maybe it's ELECTRICITY!
 Like, why did he totally piss God off?
Lucifer decided that he was tired of being a working stiff. He had to run an army of millions of angels, got no overtime, no health benefits, and was really pissed that God hadn't even invented bars to drink in yet. He rebelled against God when he realized that God was a floating logical fallacy. There was a war in Heaven as the choirs of angels split into two factions. God and his army of noble warriors bravely fought off the horde of logic hammering at the gates and kicked them out of Heaven, where Satan and the fallen angels would be free to cause AIDS and reality television. On the plus side, this meant that they would no longer bother God. Y'know, "God"? The dude who controls everything and could have just smote the horned one at any time and place of His choosing? Not to mention, being omniscient, should have known of the rebellion in the first place?
 Like, why did God let the Devil set up shop in Hell?
Because He is an asshole.
 So, like, why doesn't God just click His fingers and make Satan poof into a cloud of dust, thereby stopping Old Nick from torturing or corrupting any more innocents?
Because He is a sadistic asshole to boot. And it's all part of His great, much wider plan. Besides, every good narrative needs a good villain. Where would James Bond be if Her Majesty's Government did the sensible thing and just used highly-trained snipers or well-aimed cruise missiles to assassinate the bad guy rather than let 007 loose with some one-liners? Exactly.
 Wait, I'm confused. Why would the Devil punish people in Hell for doing his work?
Well, technically, it's God who is punishing you by consigning you to a lake of fire for all eternity. The Devil is just following orders. Which means he isn't an arch-rebel hellbent on challenging God at all. Which is where this part of the story gets so tangled up that we rejoice that humanity has had 10,000 more years to really get to grips with this whole "character motivation" thing in narrative fiction.
 Like, how do I avoid going to Hell?
 Okay, so I understand all that. But tell me, why do I sin? Is it Satan or is it God who causes me to sin?
Ah, what came first, the chicken or the Prince of Darkness? The fucking chicken (read: God), you moron. God created Satan and allows him to rule his dark dominion and have far more obvious influence on world affairs than He allows Himself to have. God created you. He did this in weird ways just to make sure you are sinned when you are conceived. To make it worse, He decreed that you have to obey His rules, even though you never asked Him to create you. One of these rules is that you must resist the temptations offered by His old roommate in favor of a life spent abstaining from fun and being a sysop at Conservapedia. Zing, zing, and double zing!
 Wow, you've answered my questions with detail, wit, aplomb, and warm generosity. So what say you, is it better to serve in Heaven or reign in Hell?
They're both fictional places, you idiot.
Don't mention it.
 A bum rap
Satan is called the "Father of Lies," but there is no biblical evidence (other than hearsay) that Satan ever did lie. In fact, in the Garden of Eden, when Satan (or Serpent, but who can tell the difference?) tells Eve that she won't die "in the day thereof" when she eats the fruit, Satan is telling the truth, because Eve did not die until much later. Fundamentalists cover this by saying that Eve spiritually died the instant she ate the fruit, despite the fact that she gained the ability to tell good from evil. This is very much like when you sent $30 to a TV preacher for him to pray that you win the lottery. You didn't really win the lottery, but you won the lottery spiritually.
 Other famous Satans
- Satan is the name of an old friend's black cat. He had green eyes, and purred a lot.
- Miroslav Šatan (pronounced SHAH-tan) is a Slovak ice hockey player who currently plays with the Boston Bruins.
- Satan (formerly Brian Salmi) was leader of the political party neorhino.ca (formerly Rhinoceros Party) in Canada.
- The Great Satan, Iran's affectionate name for the USA
- The Great Satan, the US's affectionate name for Iraq
- The Little Satan, Iran's affectionate name for Israel.
- Satan, a famous heavy metal band, who changed names often.
- Santa, Lou's dyslexic cousin.
- Jimbo Wales
- Robot Devil
- Satan is a peak in the Tatra Mountains
- Satan eurystomus, the widemouth blindcat.
- Seitan, the real reason God hates vegetarianism. When you cook vegetarian, you cook with Seitan.
- Mr. Satan, or Hercule, a beloved character from the Dragon Ball Z cartoon.
- Seighton, a minor character in the Shakespearean play, Macbeth.
 In pop culture
Satan has appeared in many, many films, novels, and other works of fiction (like the Qur'an and the Bible). The weird thing is, you usually end up rooting for him to win. Here is Satan's speech justifying his behavior from 1998's The Devil's Advocate. The film itself is pretty good—even Keanu Reeves manages to put in a decent performance. Pacino's calling it in, though.
“”Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift and then what does he do? I swear, for his own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, he sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look, but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. [maniacal laughter] And while you're jumping from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's up there laughing his sick fuckin' ass off. He's a tightass, he's a sadist. He's an absentee landlord. Worship that? Never.
In Atlus and its parent company Index Corporation's Shin Megami Tensei series of video games, Satan and Lucifer appear as two different entities that oppose and detest each other. Lucifer represents chaos, free will, and anarchy, while Satan represents law and conformity. In the "Law" path of Shin Megami Tensei II, where the player follows the will of God, the player joins forces with Satan to slay Lucifer. Upon doing so, they leave the planet along with a few chosen people. Before leaving, Satan uses a powerful laser weapon to destroy all life on Earth, following God's will. The player is then granted an audience with God, who congratulates the player on following his will. Satan then judges God, who ordered him to destroy mankind, causing the player to fight God as the final battle of the game. Throughout the series, Satan is also noteworthy for having six boobies.
In The Salvation War series, Satan is the lord of Hell, a Hell very much like the one shown in Dante's Inferno (not to be confused with video game Dante's Inferno) and most dead humans are in the hell pits, being tortured in order for Satan to leave for "the next plain" when he dies. He makes the mistake of believing humanity has not advanced much, and thus, when he attempts to strike, all his armies get destroyed. According to him, the war between angels and demons was more of a victory to the demons, because Heaven and Hell had once been part of Yahweh's dominions and after the war Hell was taken over by Satan and the demons. In the end, he dies after taking a direct hit by two missiles.
Are not Satanists/devil worshippers: the claim is a misinterpretation.
 See also
- ↑ Not scripture, as most fundies seem to think. (Matthew 4, to be exact.)
- ↑ Of course, the most likely reason that the devil can cite scripture for his purpose is because, unlike your average fundie he's actually read the damn thing.
- ↑ Some bunch of kooks
- ↑ Like power generation, resource extraction, manufacturing of goods, what have you.
- ↑ Despite the notion that "For the wage of sin is death" (Romans 6:23), apparently there are additional penalties on top of death for additional sins.
- ↑ Only the government, the people of America are evil liberals.
- ↑ http://www.conservapedia.com/
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29khjYTOLC8
- ↑ You can't just let your characters announce how they feel. That makes me feel angry!
- ↑ http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/112/607636-satansmt2_super.jpg