Satanism

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Thus has nature always acted to cleanse and strengthen her children. This is harsh, but that is the way of the world. We embrace reality and do not try to transform it into some utopia that is contrary to the very fabric of existence. Practical application of this doctrine would see the complete cessation of the welfare system, an end to no-strings attached foreign aid and new programs to award and encourage gifted individuals in all fields to pursue personal excellence. A meritocracy will replace the practice of such injustices as affirmative action and other programs designed to punish the able and reward the undeserving.

It was as much the cause of a schism within Modern Satanism as it was the result of one. Anti-authoritarian and democratic in principle, The Satanic Temple disregards Social Darwinism and engages directly in politically charged campaigns to fight back against theocratic impositions into politics. Making clear that we would never seek exclusive placement of our displays of religious expression on public grounds, we do however act as upholders of pluralism where religious displays have been allowed, reminding officials in the United States of their First Amendment responsibility to viewpoint neutrality by offering Satanic displays of our own.

Similarly, where evangelicals have entered public schools to proselytize to children with Bible-based after school clubs, The Satanic Temple has offered science-based, critical thinking-developing After School Satan Clubs as an alternative. Behind the spectacle of all these public facing campaigns, we also have a growing number of chapters internationally who congregate regularly, hold private and public events, and often engage directly with their communities in decidedly un-LaVeyan charitable works.

With such glaring differences, why is it that we often find former Church of Satan members joining The Satanic Temple, and sometimes find current Church of Satan members openly applauding our actions? To them, the overriding principle is skeptical inquiry and scientific scrutiny; seeing the world for what it is so as to better understand their place in it.

Social Darwinism made no appeals to supernatural explanations, but it does appeal to a misguided reductionism, and as a social theory it is considered discredited. Happily enough, competition is not the rule either in the animal world or in mankind. It is limited among animals to exceptional periods, and natural selection finds better fields for its activity.

Better conditions are created by the elimination of competition by means of mutual aid and mutual support…. As relieving as refutations against Social Darwinism may be to some, there is a certain brand of left hand path adherent who will hear in this a renunciation of individualism, favoring communitarianism and collectivism.

To them, I would say that this is not necessarily a vision for how the world ought to be, but rather a clear-eyed confrontation with the world as it is; a sober cold, hard look at the plain facts through which one can understand the cooperative power dynamics at play around them, for better or for worse.

The overriding principle is skeptical inquiry and scientific scrutiny; seeing the world for what it is so as to better understand our place in it. If we wish to maintain our right to make lifestyle choices as individuals, preserve our autonomy as individuals, and preserve any of our individual rights as they come under assault, we will need to collaborate to do so.

This is no more contrary to the left hand path than is organizing a Church or Temple around the individualist philosophy to begin with. There are caveats to the human capacity for cooperation. Our moral brains evolved for cooperation within groups , and perhaps only in the context of personal relationships. Our moral brains did not evolve for cooperation between groups at least not all groups. Modern psychological research does not support the idea that altruism is a defective and counterproductive cultural construct, as declared by LaVeyan philosophy.

Rather, it appears that empathetic and sympathetic rapport are essential to the healthy, developed mind, without which an ability to make rational decisions is seriously compromised. Dismissing the authenticity of altruism because it feels good to the individual performing the altruistic act is by no means unique to LaVeyan philosophy, much to the annoyance of Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University Jamil Zaki, who notes that in presenting his research on altruism to colleagues:.

What is the difference between The Satanic Temple and the Church of Satan?

Oftentimes, this contention devolves into long, animated, and to my mind useless attempts to find space for true altruism amid an avalanche of ulterior motives. This is for two reasons, which both connect with the broader idea of self-negation. First, the altruism hierarchy is logically self-negating.


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Attempts to identify true altruism often boil down to redacting motivation from behavior altogether. The story goes that in order to be pure, helping others must dissociate from personal desire to kiss up, look good, feel rewarded, and so forth. But it is logically fallacious to think of any human behavior as amotivated.

There are seven fundamental tenets.

De facto, when people engage in actions, it is because they want to. And what of our burgeoning population excess that demands, sooner or later, a need for a stratification upon which population reduction plans — perhaps by reproductive licensing — might be premised? The population continues to grow dramatically while violence and warfare continue to decline worldwide.

Reduction in disease and advances in medical science mean that more people are living much longer lives. Malthusian Theory has found itself a consideration in public policy debates of the past, and the results were regrettable.

In fact, Malthus was wrong in his own time, and he is still wrong today. Population growth has not been a geometric increase.

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Advances in agriculture have increased food production to the point that famine is generally a matter of resources not reaching population, rather than a paucity of resources to share. The rational concern now is not for policies that seek to impose population reduction methods, but for encouraging a respect for natural resources and the environment. They are the ignorant and inept, the conformists who do as they are told and believe the flagrant lies that they have been spoon-fed.

They are sheep. They exist on either side of the political divide. We loathe the masses for their compliance with fascist regimes, while autocrats justify despotism as necessary to control the masses. The masses can be persuaded that the world is flat, while flat-earthers believe they stand outside the masses and their received wisdom of a spherical Earth. Whereas LaVeyan Satanism can be viewed as a response to the post-Darwin culture wars, early modern Satanism was a construction of a new cultural mythological framework in response to the fall of Christendom, and the rise of Enlightenment Values.

As I once elaborated in an interview:. They hold to a remarkably similar philosophy as you find espoused by radical Tea Party Christians on the theocratic Right: Ayn Rand-inspired Social Darwinist authoritarian-fetishizing libertarianism, but with a bit of occultic ritual magic thrown in.

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The Satanic Temple espouses a non-supernatural anti-authoritarian philosophy that views the metaphorical literary construct of Satan as a liberator from oppression of the mind and body. From its inception, modern Satanism, as it came to be defined in the Revolutionary era of Romantics, was very much a non-theistic movement aligned with Liberty, Equality and Rationalism. I feel that theists are subjugated by their myths, while we are empowered by ours.

The literary Satanists of the Revolutionary Era understood this, and their power to change the world by way of altering the cultural mythological structure was certainly not lost on them. This re-valuation reflected on the myth of Satan as well. For radical sympathizers of the Revolution like Godwin and Shelley, Satan was no longer an evil insurgent against righteous and cosmic order, but the mirror image and mythological embodiment of the revolutionary standing up against arbitrary and despotic power.

Starting with the English Romantics at the end of the eighteenth century, European radicals developed a discourse of symbolic Satanism, which was put to use by major names in socialism like Godwin, Proudhon, and Bakunin.

With this lineage in Satanic thought, the Church of Satan-authoritarian concept of Satanism demands more justification than the Humanistic-Satanic character of The Satanic Temple. But while we do not seek to adjust our values to conform to the norms of a particular political affiliation, it is senseless to claim that our beliefs and our values have no political relevance, or insist that we must refrain from engagement in public affairs, even as our most basic values are clearly under legislative assault. We certainly can not disregard LaVey when we consider Modern Satanism, but what is his legacy to be?

I have met people who were friends with LaVey during his life, and some of them feel confident, despite the philosophical differences between us, that LaVey would appreciate what The Satanic Temple is doing today. How could this be? LaVey, of course, was a product of his time, and his perception of facts was colored by contemporary events. As I once previously explained:.

Hell yeah! How the satanists became the good guys

In the case of LaVey, he actually was living in a time in which violence in the United States was trending upward and was a cause for alarm. During the s, crime steadily and dramatically rose till about when it began to plummet, eventually, to where we happily are now. LaVey seems to have looked at what was unique in the culture around him at the time to determine what may have precipitated the rise in crime, and to determine what might need to change to make things better. He looked critically at the Rights Revolution and he despised the Hippy culture. He imagined a stratified and tribally divided, non-democratic world.

He advocated police state politics.

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Turns out, he was wrong. Secular democratic states are less likely to engage in war against each other and less likely to engage in terrorism or political violence than autocratic states. The rise in democratic states and the concurrent diminution in autocracies correlates to the global trend in reduced violence. And crime has, as stated, drastically plummeted in the United States without any massive reductions in Civil Liberties. In fact, the Rights Revolution has continued to move forward, slowly — but with great resistance, particularly from the Christian Right — and inexorably.

If LaVey truly sought to advocate for a philosophical system based on the best available scientific evidence, then The Satanic Temple can be viewed as an evolution in the non-theistic Satanism he endorsed. If one believes that in order to stay true to LaVeyan Satanism one must embrace the pseudosciences LaVey endorsed in his lifetime, then The Satanic Temple is a clean break from the LaVeyan. To us it matters little which interpretation gains dominance.

Satan Is Having A Moment

Unsurprisingly, their spoken statements bear little to no resemblance to their written words. Here is the transcript :. Come, Satan, come, the one slandered by priests and kings…Your works, oh beloved of my heart, are not always beautiful nor good; but only they bestow meaning upon the universe and prevent it from being absurd. Radicals have also used devilish imagery to attack Christian views of marriage, gender, and reproduction, as in the case of Kansas freethinker magazine Lucifer the Light-Bearer, founded in Four years later, Theosophical Society founder Helena Petrovna Blavatsky began publishing a different journal called Lucifer.

But she did use Lucifer as a symbol of rebellion that went beyond formal politics into territory that might be called spiritual. For others, particularly for revolutionary socialists in Sweden, Satanism was a form of over-the-top violent rhetoric that went along with calls for assassinations and bombings. Is that a joke? A real call for expropriation of the means of production?

As with many modern political memes, the ambiguity may be part of the point. JSTOR is a digital library for scholars, researchers, and students. Satan's fall from heaven, into the logo for Chapo Trap House. By: Livia Gershon. July 29, July 25, Share Tweet Email Print. You may unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the provided link on any marketing message. Have a correction or comment about this article? Please contact us. Join Our Newsletter.