Satanism

So, several times now I have come across this idea of ‘satanism’.  Usually it is approached as a bit of a throw away shock value term.

As many of you may by now know, I am very much a non-believer.  An atheist.  As a philosophy of life I take up the mantle of Humanism.  Though it can be hard to maintain faith in humankind when one sees what they are capable of in groups, and perhaps more disturbingly as individuals.

I am interested in how people ‘tick’ what goes on behind the fascade…  So this religion of satanism, began to pique my interest.  I started to listen out for it, to ask a few questions when I heard it, to do a little poking around.  Then I struck gold.

First, some of the things I heard.  The most obvious first thing I heard was pretty much in line with my initial thought was, after all I have had interactions with people who have suffered torture at the hands of ritual devil worship.  The idea that the church of satan was pretty much the same as christianity just worshiping a different mythological character.  Now since I have read the bible, this seemed entirely ironic to me, as god is by far the most prolific perveyor of death and torture in the entire bible.  Satan, really was just the dude that stood up for his individuality and shrugged off the yoke of oppression that god insisted on, and got smote for his cheek and insubordination.

However the idea being that satanists would be doing occult rituals, sacrificing virgins  (not animals mind, animal sacrifice is very godly, read your bible, koran, tora, talmud etc)  generally all about being what is thought of as evil.  You know, really nasty characters.

The whole while I have christians of every stripe and other believers insisting that I am a satanist and devil worshiper because I don’t believe in their religion.  That had to be the most inanely mindlessly stupid thing I have ever, in my life, heard.  At the time anyway (something you will learn as you go through life, is that while Genius has limits.  Stupidity is entirely limitless.  And since that time I have herd things that are so entirely filled with stupidity that they make this sound like the dinner bell for rationality.).  I mean seriously.  I don’t believe god exists, why should this mean that I do believe that the angel god cast out of heaven and tasked to run his torture pits DOES exist?  I don’t believe there is a heaven because I find the idea purile, infantile and without the slightest jot of merit when looking at reality, why would I believe in hell which is no better supported by evidence?  When I reject the story as fantasy, I reject all of it.

Now in a strange way, it kind of makes sense, most moderates – no scratch that – ALL moderates of religion pick and choose bits of the bible and disregard other bits.  So that they would think I would be doing the same, just picking different bits, does have some logical basis I suppose.  Most believers are terrified by and cannot concieve of the thought that the entire thing be thrown out as a poorly written turd.

However, back to the point.  I recently came across some information on ‘The Church of Satan’ and what it’s all about.  Because it is a real thing apparently – or at least was.

Started by Anton Levay, the idea was that the church be basically atheistic.  Have your eyes crossed yet?  ok, good.  What I, and apparently Levay mean is that the church of satan does not require or teach belief in a supernatural being.

Wait a minute!  Doesn’t that mean that it has nothing to do with the whole christian thing of god, satan being cast out of heaven and all that shit?

That is, indeed, exactly what it means.

So here are the ideals of Levayan Satanism…

Indulgance over abstinance

~ My thought – neither are good or effective.

Satan represents vital existance instead of spiritual pipe dreams

~ best as I can understand it, the idea of satanism is about the real not the fantasy.  I can go with that.

Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self deciet.

~ Fair enough as far as it goes.  Over all the mainstream churches are remarkably good at hypocracy and self deciet.  It really is just about all they have to offer.

Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates.

~ I’m down with the first part, but the second part is kind of poorly defined to be useful.

Satan represents vengence instead of turning the other cheek.

~ Vengence?  The idea of turning the other cheek is a means of controlling masses and disarming them.  But vengence is too far the opposite.  Just reward, even just retribution maybe.

Satan represents responsibility to the responsable, instead of concern for psychic vampires.

~ huh?  Now if it was about the individual being responsable for their own actions I could be down with that – but this is basically meaningless.  Very much in tune with vague crap in the bible or other holy books, worded nice and vague and ambiguious so that any leader can twist it any way they want.  The idea of concern for psychic vampires, I suspect means that those who manipulate or prey on the feelings of others should be put in their place.  THAT I support.  But why not just say that?
Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on 4 legs.

~ Ohhh yeah, that one I could get behind.

Satan represents all of the so called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental and or emotional graitification.

~ Another one taken too far.  I agree that the so called ‘sins’ are just aspects of human nature that are used as an axe to bludgen people into submission through guilt.  But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had as he has kept it in business all these years.

~ Hold on, I thought the claim was that it was not related to christiantiy et.al?  Ooopsie.

 

http://www.churchofsatan.com/Pages/Eleven.html

These are the eleven rules by which they expect their members to live.  Most seem to be worded dramatically as if for a fantasy stage play.  And indeed if asked most members will proudly admit that this is what that is all about.  Drama, performance, staging.  fair enough.

But I find the content of some of these rules to be excessively dstructive.  The idea of disempowering a populace as christianity has done, disguests me.  But the idea of licensing members to harm others specifically is too much in my book.

I find it interesting however, that the church of satan has a specific rule against harming children.  The irony being that christianity, it’s main opposition, does not, and in fact engages in constant protection and defense of child molesters in it’s ranks.

I am, however, impressed by the emphasis on personal responsability and those rules emphasising respect for the rights of others.
I learned also that there is a high emphasis on personal strength/power being justification for having, and what might be percieved weakness being dismissed as unworthyness.  A might makes right attitude.  This I am afraid I cannot hold with.  A person is not more worthy because they ar richer, stronger, weild more influence.  Neither are they less worthy because they lack strength, or money, or influence, or may be less capable.

Along with the pressure placed on personal responsability I did notice encouragement to live an active lifestyle.  This I support, even if I am a poor practitioner myself.

It looks to me like the idea of satanism is a heavily right wing libertarian version of humanism, with any hint of socialism beaten out of it, magic added in and all dressed in theatrical drama.

I would characterise it ias overall about having some dramatic fun promoting personal responsibility in a very selfish and self indulgent way.

 

For any who are interested in it, this is the article that got me started
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thethinkingatheist/2012/10/16/the-church-of-satan

Intriguing – but I think I will stick with my socialistic humanism and get my theatrical drama from gaming.

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~ by scawalrus on November 2, 2012.

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