Are you a Satanist?

I do not believe in the existence of Satan. I regard Christianity as a false religion, and Jehovah’s arch-enemy has no more actual existence than Jehovah himself. There is no devil, there are no demons, demonic possession is superstitious nonsense, and satanic ritual abuse has no more substance than tales of alien abduction.

However …

Here is what I fundamentally believe about life. Man is a mammal; he is not special, not made in the image of God. He possesses a brain, heart, lungs, flesh and bones, like any other mammal. Nothing in the animal kingdom possesses any inherent right to life, as observed by the constant struggle to survive, predator against prey. Mankind is a part of this arrangement, different only in the level of advancement bestowed upon him by his brain. For aeons, man has sought to account for his predicament by inventing myths about a fall from grace – stories that provide a tangible reason for the pain and suffering of fleshly existence, as well as offering the hope of something better. But today, man is in a position to understand life more clearly. Every fractal level of the universe is engaged in this same battle. Under the microscope, tiny organisms engage in warfare. The same principle exists in an asteroid colliding with a planet, or a star going supernova. The universe is inescapably hostile. Why would man be exempt from a principle that permeates every observable level of existence, from sub-atomic particles to the forces spanning the girth of entire galaxies? Now we can understand that the old myths were wrong. Nothing went metaphysically wrong with the human race in the distant past. Everything is as it should be. The great challenge is to be self-realised enough to understand this and embrace it, rather than to seek solace in wishful thinking.

Believe it or not, what I have just described underpins a philosophy called Satanism. The Hebrew word Satan means “adversary.” Satanism is the understanding that a fundamental property of the universe is that it is adversarial – satanic, if you will. Satanism is not the belief in a being called Satan.

The obvious question is: “Why call it Satanism, if you don’t believe in Satan?” Well, if I accused someone of being mercurial, what does that mean? It means he’s unpredictable, volatile, prone to being calm one minute and angry the next. Does it mean that he’s are a worshipper of the Roman god Mercury? Of course not. “But Mercury is a planet,” you point out. Yes, and the planet was named after a god. So were the days of the week. You see, we name things after ancient gods because of their symbolic relevance. Mercury was a god of trade, swiftly running from place to place. This to-and-fro motion is the essence of what it means to be mercurial.

What, then, does it mean to be satanic? It means that you embrace the adversary within yourself. Conflict, as well as cooperation, is a fact of existence that can never be extinguished. It does not mean that you are unethical – unless you see pacifism as the ultimate standard of moral excellence.

There are several drawbacks that come with the label Satanist.

1. Saying “I’m a Satanist” will provoke widespread misunderstanding of what you believe, because the masses, fed on a diet of pop culture and Christian propaganda, think that Satanism is literal devil-worship. Unlike Thor, Satan is still far too alive in the minds of the population, making it especially difficult for them to understand the use of that name as a mere symbol. The term Satanism could really only function effectively as a socially acceptable label in a post-Christian world.

2. Satanism (like Christianity) is defined in different ways by different people. The most popular faction seems to be the atheistic symbolic version, but there are also theistic Satanists. Among the latter, you will find a fairly intelligent theism that recognises all gods as different expressions of one God. The name of this God is abrbitrary; it might as well be Satan as any other name. Then there are those who worship the literal Satan of the Bible, which makes no sense whatsoever; if you believe the Christian worldview, choose Christ. Another absurd expression of Satanism is an organisation called the Joy of Satan, which incorporates the ancient astronaut theories of Zecharia Sitchin into their ideology. Expressions of Satanism are manifold, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

3. Sadly, not all professing Satanists are ethical (just as not all professing Christians are ethical). I’m not talking about ridiculous tales of child sacrifice, just that the label can unfortunately act as a homing beacon for immoral persons who wish to use it to justify destructive behaviour (having probably never read Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible).

The above drawbacks are deal-breakers for me. I view Satanism as something that I passed through, rather than something that can usefully define who I am. In studying Satanism, I gained valuable insights about life that I may not have learned elsewhere. In anything I research, whatever truth I glean from it becomes a part of me, and then I move on to other avenues of learning. “Satanist” may be a useful label for those who like to be provocative, who find it fun to be misunderstood. But that’s like allowing yourself to be caught up in trivial games when there’s more important work to be done.

As for my ethics, I don’t smoke; I don’t get drunk; I’m not sexually promiscuous; I don’t do recreational drugs; I cherish my close friends; I live and let live with those who live and let live; I deal honestly with everyone who deserves honesty. I’m no saint, but I do try to live a peaceable, productive and happy life. My ethics are based on the only thing worth basing ethics on: the awareness of the consequences of my actions.

I am guilty of the great crime of thinking different from the masses. To some, that makes me the rebel, the outcast, the villain, if for no other reason than “You can’t please everybody.” So, you understand the symbolic relevance of identification with the villain. When someone asks me what I am, I say that I am an individualist. It’s accurate, but it’s not nearly as potent and rich in meaning as Satanist. When you really think about it, is there any other word that would suffice?

3 thoughts on “Are you a Satanist?

  1. ericmoore516 says:

    This is why I personally favor the term left-hand path over any specific religious identification. It’s not something that people immediately recognize as evil and if they’re curious my words have the chance to leave a favorable impression. I’m not all that concerned with being deemed evil as I openly question things which might paint me in that light, like whether or not selfishness is really a crime and altruism is the end-all-be-all of morality, but if I’m going to be hated I’d rather be hated for what I am and what I believe as opposed to the misunderstandings people project onto me.

    I gained a lot from putting myself out there as a Satanist and associating with other stereotypically “evil” things because it helped me individuate. I knew what I was studying and what I was practicing and I knew that people had it all wrong. In many cases I was able to alter their perceptions through the strength of my code of honor as well as the depth of my arguments. That was invaluable, and although it generated far more conflict than I’d have faced otherwise I can’t say that would have been a good thing. As a species, we are either too ready for conflict or we go too far to avoid it. There’s no way to step into a healthy and balanced paradigm without acknowledging its role.

    I’m probably always going to adopt some kind of label that’s antagonistic because the only way to destroy willing ignorance is to openly engage it. That, and there’s little that can raise someone’s profile like controversy. There’s no changing the minds of those at the forefront, or the minds of their most devoted followers, but the outliers? The observers? Those who didn’t even know this stuff exists, that people hold these views? If you can persuade them then who knows what will be accomplished.

  2. timishardcore says:

    First let me say this, You Darryl are one of the few persons (Christian,Satanist,Atheist ect) that I have a great amount of respect for even though I can honestly disagree with your outlook about 50%(+ or -) of the time and would not hesitate to call you arrogant at times(as I would myself as well) but you will engage in conversation with anyone willing to do so on a respectable level. There are not many people out there that can do that and for that reason I say kudos to you my friend.

    To me the argument is the same as saying “I am a Christian but do not believe in Christ” and there in lies my problem with the use of a Theistic concept( Satan) for an Atheistic viewpoint. I could see calling myself a Adversarial(ist) if that is the absolute meaning in being a satan but the use of the name is just about provoking such wild symbolism not about a worldview IMO. Due to my(not unlike your)outlook on life I have been called the “heretic”,”false believer,” reprobate” ect and I have considered myself a non-Christian(atleast in the dogmatic idea of who a Christian is) and would say I am just a “man of God” however you wish to see that as.

    I deleted my YT,FB,CoC and had my SIN account suspended so I could continue my studying of other ideas. I have a saying that a lot of my Christian friends find disturbing- “I have left Christianity in the pursuit of the Kingdom of God”, If my view that God is ALL then that will be a lot of studying :)

    Peace to you and yours Darryl

    Tim

  3. Billy Henchon says:

    More people need to read about satanism and learn about it before they judge us based on what Christians think they know.

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