Would there be satanism if christianity would would have never demonized anything?

This was a thought i had ever since i was 10 (probably more),

 

I'm aware of christian demonology having a great amount of demons and infernal beasts, some (i'm aware) came from many religions, for example the most commonly used depictions from the devil (the goat with the trident and pentagram) has similarities with pan and neptune's trident from the roman/greek mythology, the pentagram i saw on discovery channel that was used as protection charm by christians until it was forbidden and demonized it. Or traditions, like halloween.

 

I understand that the idea of the devil would still be needed to blame the life's down but, IMO, that if christianity hadn't had spend so much time demonizing other cultures and religions, it would be difficult today that thigns would be categorized as "of the devil" so easily.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

 

Views: 66

Comment by Stephen Morris on October 31, 2011 at 1:54pm
I see what your getting at. It's a bizarre duality within Christianity. The only exception I could thing of would be the more 'philosophical' satanists: those that don't worship Satan, but rather embrace carnality and hedonism.

At the end of the day, though, if Christianity didn't demonize opposing beliefs, then I'm sure some other religion would have. The concept would be the same, we'd just have a different name for it.
Comment by Stephen Morris on October 31, 2011 at 2:14pm

@ Kasu, Good point. Thats an importaint distinction to make.

Although, keeping with that, would "Satanists" exist if Christianity didn't go around demonizing everything it didn't like? Probably yes, they just wouldnt be calling themselves Satanists.

wait... or would they? o.O

Comment by anti_supernaturalist on October 31, 2011 at 2:20pm

Religion finds evil beings useful as part of social control

Demons are everywhere. They are personifications of human fear -- as well as human desires. They are particularly present in guilt cultures -- where there are notions like inherited pollution as promulgated by Sophocles, and of course,  inherited sin -- the xian idea pushed by Saul of Tarsus (fl 50-65 CE "saint" Paul) and reinfored by ("saint") Augustine (fl 310 CE).

If convinced of being inherently "sinful", you can be convinced that you have a genuine problem that can be "cured" by a god-proxy -- priest, pastor, rabbi, imam. Fake "cures" for fake "diseases" of the soul, or mind, of the body.

Xianity inherited many demons. It also created new ones. As classical scholar, E. R. Dodds explained -- by the second century CE the entire “air”, the realm between Earth and Heaven was filled with flying demonic creatures -- xians simply turned the gods of Greece and Rome into negatives. See Pagan and xian in an age of doubt.

And, gnostic xians had demon guardians at the gates of every planetary sphere -- part of religious training among gnostics was learning all the magic words and phrases needed to get past each one.

Demons haunt late Etruscan wall paintings. Ghost and demon stories make up a very amusing part of Apuleius’ novella, The golden ass (early 3rd century CE).

In North America, the Aztecs had a chilling host of blood drinking, heart eating divinities. As anthropologist Marvin Harris says in Cannibals and Kings -- Aztec culture was the “Cannibal Kingdom” without equal.

Egyptian culture, Hindu culture, Tibetan buddhist culture have both frightening gods and demons. “Mother” Kali, as the divine sow who eats her own piglings, is old beyond historical records.

Exceptions? In religion? Mainly in the East. Taoism. Confucianism. Jainism. Early Buddhism. Zen Buddhism. Deism and Pantheism in the West, but they are more philosophical than religious.

Happy Eve of All Hallows -- don't let the goblins get you.

the anti_supernaturalist

 

Comment by matt.clerke on October 31, 2011 at 9:30pm

Stephen, with regards to your reply to Kasu: I think if you take a quick look at the origin and meaning of the word satan it means "opposer" or "adversary". By this definition, Satanism is very similar to skepticism.

Comment by Stephen Morris on October 31, 2011 at 10:03pm
@ Matt.clerke - noted. And to further punctuate your point, I found this from the Wikipedia article on the church of Satan: According to Peter H. Gilmore, "Satanism begins with atheism. We begin with the universe and say, 'It’s indifferent. There’s no God, there’s no Devil. No one cares!'"

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