They call him "the great advisory", but if you read the bible, there's no character more powerless than Satan.
Even the animals are capable of direct action once in a while, but not the devil, all he can do is try and talk people into things. That's it. He can't change the weather, he can't make or take life, he can't do anything but whisper in people's ears when nobody is looking.
He can't even use the one power he has to get people to do things for him, all he can do is try and talk them into things they themselves benefit from.
It's that quality that makes me wonder. Is the devil really just a metaphor for our own selfish action? Are we, or some part of us, Satan?
I've never liked the idea of some guy sitting down in hell rubbing his hands together, just waiting for the day that he might take over. Most of those ideas come from Milton and Dante rather than the bible anyway.
There is no evil in nature. Hurricanes hit the coast because that's how they're made, not because of evil. Evil comes from us. It comes from our own greed and lust and fear and selfishness.
When the bible talks about Eve eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it means that, unlike all the rest of God's creation, we are responsible for our own acts--because we do know the difference between good and evil.
Even atheists believe this. But, I have to wonder if they would believe it, if religion hadn't thrashed out these ideas for thousands of years beforehand.
Illustration: Gustav Dore