Satanism: A Frequently Misunderstood Philosophy
An Introduction to Satanism
Satanism is a philosophy of the world that is so frequently misinterpreted, sometimes out of neglect of understanding and other times blatantly out of hate. Many individuals feel that Satanism equals to the worship of Satan as a deity. For most people, this is not the case. While there are theological Satanists, frequently those who consider themselves "Satanists" follow the LaVeyan Satanism belief system. I feel that the most misconceptions of Satanism and likewise Satanist come from the religious and political realms. To be quite honest, Satanism in its purest form is fairly peaceful (at least, more so than religions such as Christianity and Islam) and I would compare it most to Asian philosophical religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Throughout this lense I would like to inform my readers about the history of Satanism, Satanic symbols, and the general belief system of Satanists.
Satanism: A taboo belief system
Throughout the course of my writings in this lense, I hope I will be able to inform my readers and also attempt to keep them comfortable. I know from my own past experiences in regards to my previous opinions of Satanism, as well as seeing first-hand other individual's perspective of Satanism; that it takes a lot of courage in a way to dare to study a "taboo" belief system such as this. Before we embark on the journey of understanding the philosophy of Satanism, I would like to make it clear that any comments or concerns about my lense can be directed towards me (and specifically this lense) via the comments box.
I hope you enjoy and learn something from this lense!
Satanism Begins with Atheism
While some Satanist's may very well believe in an actual Satan (theologically); it is undeniable that modern Satanists do not typically hold this world-view. In fact, there is very little statistical evidence that "real" Satanists even exist (and if they do, it is primarily underground; where I suppose it is meant to be). On several occasions I have met "true" Satanists, yet have asked them what their purpose is, then, if anything. One would rationally assume that if one is living for a higher deity (whether it be god to Christians, Muslims, Jews or Satan for these Satanists) then one would have to do the "work of their master." The honest truth is that many of these individuals are empty, and they do not actually "live" for their supposed master. Their "belief in Satan" is a charade, and at best a comical ploy for social settings so others find interest in them. While that is a negative quality for theological Satanists (again, assuming they exist at all!); it is undeniably a positive quality when we are considering LaVayen Satanism.
For modern Satanists, atheism is where the belief begins. There is no god. When we die, everything ends. LaVayen Satanism falls into two categories for me:
1). A structured form of atheism which essentially allows individuals to come together with similar beliefs (or non-beliefs). This inadvertently makes Satanism function in a similar way as a church (hence, the existence of the Church of Satan organization).
2). A modern day, monetary cult.
The truth of the matter is that both seemingly occur simultaneously. I have never been at such a loss for words, because the fact of a matter is that this is not a simple logic problem as many of us would like it to be. How can an organization be so negative (last I checked the Church of Satan charges 200 dollars USD for membership, and the member receives a membership card and access to an online forum), yet bring people together in such a way that is positive. Satanists do not utilize an actual "church" in the same sense as a Catholic cathedral, yet the idea of a "church" (being a concept of organized individuals with similar beliefs or non-beliefs) is seemingly a beautiful and healthy thing; as it allows for individuals who the goal of nothingness at death to at least enable themselves to find some pleasure (like living hedonistically) by interaction with others.
The primary question asked of atheists (and by extension, these atheistic Satanists) is why would any one desire this if these social interactions will in due time become non-existence and worthless. Unlike the religious stance that we come together to commune with one another so as to prepare ourselves for death and the judgment before the throne of God, Satanists may meet on the grounds that they can all acknowledge together that this existence is futile, yet find pleasure in the moment with one another. This is the ultimate reality as it relates to Satanists (and atheists as well!). They are realistic and live for the moment. Idealistic, religious concepts set the mind on the afterlife as opposed to enjoyment of the moment we have here. The "religion" of Satanism blurs the lines between the traditional religious concept and the ultimate nothingness that we acquire from our lives. As I frequently state when I discuss Satanism, it is a theatrical variation of atheism. There is a spiritual quality to it, though this spirituality is firmly rooted on reality and not on metaphysical properties.
As an atheist myself I can not deny that existence is fleeting. With that said, I can not imagine why anyone would desire to leave this world alone. I figure, while all is nothing and my existence as well as those I will meet is equivalent to nothing; can we all not hold hands as we edge closer to the cliff where we go from existence to non-existence? This point is the one that cultivates in our humanity. No one desires to die alone, even if an individual believes they will live even after their body ceases to exist. This is very much the essence of human nature, and human nature is the component Satanism so firmly builds it's church upon.
"Inside The Church Of Satan" Part 1 of 2
The best way in this modern age to learn about Satanism is to watch documentaries and other related videos of informed Satanists speaking about Satanism. For some of us, books are basically meaningless because our busy lives keep us from being able to truly grasp and understand what is being said. In the next few modules I will be posting several videos directed towards informing you (my reader) about Satanism in a more general sense.
Another reason I wish to post videos of Satanists is to show you that we are just like everyone else in so many ways! We have senses of humor, we laugh, we think. So frequently I see people stereotyping Satanists as being a ridiculous, hate-filled individual. While there are surely many of those people claiming to be Satanists, there is a variety to be found like in any belief system!
Interested in some Satanic Media? - Check out these great titles on Satanism!
While I will be updating this lens more in the near future, I have compiled a great list of resources on Satanism to help you paint a larger picture of their beliefs.
Do YOU believe Satanism is bad?
I would like to be able to better understand the views of those of you who stumble upon this lens on Satanism. I would imagine that many of you are not Satanists yourself, but perhaps interested in the topic as it is rather obscure. The primary question here is, "Do you believe Satanism is bad?" Whichever side you fall upon, please elaborate a little bit. No one learns anything if you just answer "yes" or "no" without much content. Feel free to ask your own questions as well related to this topic!
Do you believe Satanism is bad?
Introduction to Theological Satanism
A brief overview of the sect of Satanism that actually follows Satan!
As states in my lense introduction, I believe Satanism, fundamentally is a "belief system" and not a religion (as many people tend to believe). The fact is, I was mildly false and overgeneralized.
Theistic Satanism is a religion. The follower of this sect of Satanism follow Satan as if he is a deity worthy of worship.
Why do I find this pointless, and likewise many Satanists? Logically speaking by following and worshipping Satan as more than a symbol, individuals are blatantly acknowledging the existence of a God (typically, the God of Christianity); refuting him, and following his opponent. It is rather pointless, and appears to more similar to a political statement than anything serious.
In almost every other way, besides the outright belief in a real Satan; theist Satanists and atheist Satanist are very similar. However, the very fundamental belief of who Satan really is separates this group of people.