All who have read my little philosophical tangents (found here: know I have a general dislike for most major theistic religions.  Some I simply laugh at while others disgust and repulse me– but there is one I've been thinking of lately that I just do not understand: Satanism.

That is to say the religion, or as some (namely, other religious folk) view it, "cult," of Devil-worshipers.  This congregation literally, from my understanding, worships Satan.  Lucifer.  They make pacts with demons (or so I've heard) and pray to the famous "fallen angel."  So, here is why I don't understand these people.

Assuming these Satanists believe in the typical, wide-spread, Jonathan Edwards interpretation of Hell (which most people accept nowadays), Satan is a monster.  He is depicted in most fictitious works, children's cartoons, horror films, and some self-claiming "non-fiction" works as absolutely terrifying: red all over with horns, fangs for teeth, hooves for feet, a pointy tail, black or yellow eyes– and almost always carrying a pitchfork.  Hell itself is literally composed of fire and brimstone.  Those who reside in it are to suffer eternal– ETERNAL!- torment and misery.  Never-ending pain unlike anything experienced here on Earth.

Hell-bound souls will never feel happiness, love, kindness, forgiveness.  Imagine being dehydrated in the middle of the Sahara on the hottest day of the year.  No one teases you or tempts you with a bottle of water, no– that in itself would be a luxury.  Instead, it is impossible to even imagine water in your mind.  Hell would be that pain, magnified by ten thousand to the millionth power.  Yes- highly unpleasant.  So, if you believe that this exists, why would you deny a "loving" god?  Satan's existence in and of itself would indicate Yahweh's, would it not?  So if you truly believed in the existence of the Devil with all your heart, and believed in Hell, why would you turn your back on your "creator"?

Now, let's say they do not accept the common interpretation of Hell.  Maybe they simply believe the Bible's description that is lacking, from what I've been told, only the fire and brimstone.  Why, for the love of all that is good, would they turn away from god?  I mean, sure, god is a merciless, capriciously misogynistic asshole and all, but at least he wasn't a total control freak.  Yeah, he plans to punish anyone who breaks the stupid rules (and for all of eternity at that), but at least he lets you break the rules!  Satan wanted to control everyone and everything– to a point that every thought was programmed in advance– every feeling, every action, every reflex.  That's why he was kicked out of Heaven in the first place!  Why follow him?  God, despite the hypocrisy and the untruthfulness of it all, at least tried to think he was giving us free will.  Satan wanted to banish that.

I have a friend who would tell me that people follow Satan for the same reasons that celebrities have supposedly "sold their souls" to him: worldly power and possessions.  (I love this kid to death, but he seriously believes that Beyonce sold her soul to the Devil.)  To me, though, that's a bullshit answer.  Even idiots know that those who live a "godly" life are promised eternal riches in Heaven, and that lasts a whole hell-of-a lot longer than eighty years on Earth.  Hell, If you're Mormon, you get your own planet!  If you're Islamic, they give you seventy-two virgins to fuck!  Sounds like a sweet deal to me, let me tell you.

But I'm a heathen.  I'm an "evil little thing."  Despite what they all claim is right, I do whatever I want. I don't believe in god.  The idea of him (and yes, I definitely think he would be a man if he existed) is absolutely ludicrous!  So, I will drink when I reach the legal age.  I plan on enjoying guilt-free sex when and if I ever meet the right person.  I work on Sundays.  I cuss like a sailor and I'm proud of it.  I covet my neighbor's stuff, sometimes even his dog, and I've masturbated more than once.  If by some chance Yahweh is "up there" or Lucifer is "down there"...well, let's just say the party won't be going on downstairs.

Take my word for it, though.  If I, for one second believed the Devil were real, I'd be in church twice a week.  If he showed himself to me and said he'd make me a famous musician, have all my books published, and introduce me to my "soulmate," I'd tell him to fuck off and run as fast as possible to the nearest temple.  If I knew, or even so much as thought I knew that Satan were real– you couldn't get me to stop begging god for "forgiveness."

You can't take chances with eternity.  I wouldn't gamble with my forever.  The earth has been around for millions of years, and the universe for longer than that.  I could not spend that long, ten-fold to the millionth power in Hell– Jonathan Edwards interpretation or not.

As of now, there is absolutely no shred of evidence to suggest the existence of either Lucifer, Jesus, or Yahweh.  As of now, you won't catch me within fifty yards of a church.  But mark my words– if some dude with a pitchfork, hooves, and a tail presented himself to me, I'd be a Christian within a millisecond.

And that is why I don't understand Satanism.

Views: 180

Comment by Kairan Nierde on April 12, 2012 at 12:57pm

More or less have to agree here.  Satanism seems sort of childish and pointless.  Just think they need to expand their perspective a bit.  Why go for the dark side?  Is it suposed to be more powerful?  I can't imagine believing in one deity and not his opponent as well--so why would you throw away that chance at eternal bliiss?  Maybe they don't think it's possible for them to acheive.  I'd like to have a chat with a Satanist.  I think it would be enlightening and amusing.

Comment by Artor on April 12, 2012 at 1:37pm

I think you're being misled by the Xtian version of Satanism. I've known a few Satanists before, and I agree that they're usually immature posers, but I think this is the basic insight; If you read the Bible, it's clear that Yahweh is a monster. He's authoritarian, irrational, violent, vain, and condemns his creations for using the minds that he supposedly endowed them with. Satan, on the other hand, is the adversary. He's the one that advised Eve to seek knowledge and buck the system. Lucifer is the "Bringer of Light," like the classical Prometheus. So Satanists aren't worshiping evil so much as they're worshiping an idealized overmind and fully realized potential. Of course, if they thought more clearly, they'd abandon the trappings of Xtianity all the way, but they are often Randian Libertarians as well, so clear thinking is not as strong in them as they'd like to think.

Comment by Alekth on April 12, 2012 at 3:28pm

I always thought the most popular version of Satanism was Anton LaVey's one.It's been a long time since I read his book, and I haven't looked into this since, but basically the ideology amounted to a cult of the self, mixed in with rituals.

Comment by Dale Headley on April 12, 2012 at 4:27pm

This post, along with all the responses I’ve read so far, seem to suggest that, even among atheists, there is a tendency to assign a hierarchy of  validity among various religious paradigms.  I don’t agree.  To me ALL religions are equally insane.

Comment by Jessica Frame on April 12, 2012 at 4:35pm

@Dale, I agree with you there.  They are all insane.  I guess I just don't understand this one because of the whole, "if you believe in evil, you have to believe in good" thing.  The way I look at it is like this: if you believe in evil, you therefore believe in why would anyone side with evil, when good is so darn, well... good?  Just talking out my confusion.  But you're right in saying that there is no "hierarchy of validity" as you put it.  They're all nuts.

Comment by matt.clerke on April 12, 2012 at 7:29pm

Artor makes a good point. Take a look at the satanism wikipedia page and you will see that SOME satanists are also atheists... here is an excerpt from the wikipedia page to describe these people:

Atheistic or Deistic Satanism is generally the same as Ethical egoism, in that the highest good is acting in one's own interest.

They take the word Satan and believe it originated from a Latin word meaning "the opposer". So calling them selves Satanists is basically just calling themselves opposed to the more common religions. They have no connection to Christianity except that they explicitly oppose the teachings of it.


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