Church of Azazel > Beliefs & principles > Duotheism
A brief critique of Christian-based duotheism
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2004, 2011 by the Church of Azazel. All rights reserved.
- What is Christian-Based Duotheism?
- To Christian-Based Duotheists
- What is Christian-Based Duotheism?
"Christian-based duotheism" is my term for those forms of theistic Satanism which basically accept the metaphysics of traditional Christian theology, except that (1) Satan is considered powerful enough to have at least a chance of winning His war against the Christian god, and that (2) a victory of Satan is considered desirable -- usually on the grounds that Satan wants humans to have freedom, power, and knowledge, whereas the Christian God wants humans to be slaves. Christian-based duotheists believe that the Christian god is one of the two most powerful beings in the universe and is the creator of the universe, including Satan, who rebelled.
Only a small minority of theistic Satanists are Christian-based duotheists. The majority accept other, less Christian-based theologies. (See The varieties of theistic (traditional) Satanism on Diane Vera's Theistic Satanism page. See also Who and what is Satan? Various Satanist reinterpretations here on the Church of Azazel site.)
Note: By "Christian-based duotheism," I don't mean just any theology which accepts the idea that Satan and the Christian god are both, in some sense, real entities. If you believe that Satan and the Christian god are just two of the many gods, that's polytheism, not duotheism. If you believe that Satan and the Christian god are both facets of "the All in All," that's pantheism, not duotheism. If you believe in an impersonal cosmic God, distinct from and vastly more powerful than either Satan or the Christian god, that's a combination of polytheism and deism. Christian-based duotheism is, specifically, the belief that the Christian god is one of the two most powerful beings in the universe and is the creator of the universe, including Satan, who rebelled against the Christian god.
Another important clarification: Note that I've defined the term "Christian-based duotheism" in terms of its metaphysics, not in terms of morality, ethics, or even meta-ethics. I do not use the term "christian-based duotheist" to refer to those who celebrate/revere a Satan whom they themselves regard, without irony, as "absolute Evil." I'll refer to the latter as evilists. Some Christian-based duotheists are evilists, but many are not. Conversely, some evilists are Christian-based duotheists, but many are not. For more about this distinction, please see my blog post Christian-based duotheism vs. evilism vs. 'Devil worship'.
- To Christian-Based Duotheists
Christian-based duotheistic Satanism is, to say the least, an incredibly scary belief system. To embrace it, you must accept a significant probability that the Christian god might win the final battle and then make good on his threat to torture you forever.
If you are a Christian-based duotheistic Satanist, then you are certainly to be commended for your courage and for your willingness to stand on principle, even at the most extreme cost to yourself. However, I'm aware of at least several Christian-based duotheistic Satanists who converted back to Christianity, at least temporarily. And I would strongly suspect that, in general, Christian-based duotheistic Satanists would be far more likely than any other kind of Satanist to convert to Christianity. Because they believe most of the Christain worldview, it seems to me that they would be very likely to convert to Christianity in the event that they either (1) happen to run into a form of Christianity which is sufficiently unrepulsive to them or (2) encounter sufficiently discouraging difficulties with their fellow Satanists or with their own practices. If you truly believe that you face a significant risk of eternal torment, then chances are that you'll continue to take that risk only for as long as you still perceive that you have very good reasons for taking that risk.
Christian-based duotheists tend to be, in most cases, recent ex-Christians who haven't yet explored other religions and who, in most cases, aren't yet very familiar with occultism either. For at least some theistic Satanists, Christian-based duotheism is a phase that they go through before eventually embracing other forms of Satanism with less Christian baggage.
If you are a Christian-based duotheistic Satanist, you owe it to yourself to consider the evidence against Christian theology and against such ideas as the literal truth of most of the Bible. Wouldn't it be a huge relief if you were to discover, for example, that it's extremely unlikely that the Christian "God" is as powerful as is commonly claimed?
Furthermore -- and here is the big paradox of Christian-based duotheism -- Christians traditionally believe that Satan wants people not to believe in Christian theology. Therefore, if you believe in the Satan of Christianity, don't you believe that Satan Himself would want you to question the truth of Christian theology and to explore various other possible metaphysical belief systems?
Of course, Christians traditionally believe that, by leading people away from belief in Christian theology, Satan is lying. If you are a Christian-based duotheistic Satanist, you should consider the possibility that Satan is not lying but, instead, wants you to be honest with yourself and to make the effort to search out the truth for yourself, rather than just "having faith" in any alleged "truth" that is handed to you on a silver platter.
Of course, to be honest with yourself, you should consider the arguments for Christian theology as well as the arguments against it. But you should not be attached to Christian theology, or to the Christian Bible, on the mere grounds that if Satan is real, then everything else that Christians traditionally believe in must be real too. Satan can still be a real entity even if the traditional Christian understanding of the spirit world is totally off-base. Also, you should not assume that certain ideas are true merely because those ideas are taken for granted by a lot of people in our still Christian-dominated society.
There are plenty of good reasons to believe that the Christian god is NOT what Christians claim he is. There are plenty of good reasons to believe that the Christian god is not the true cosmic God, not the true Creator, and not one of the two most powerful beings in the universe. More likely, the Christian god is a much, much smaller-than-cosmic spirit who started out as a local tribal god of the Hebrews and got greedy for more and more human attention.
First, the workings of Nature do not suggest a cosmic God who has much interest in humans as individuals. For more about this, see Post-Copernican natural theology.
Second, the Christian god clearly is greedy for human attention, and, if such an attention-hungry entity truly were one of the most powerful beings in the universe, then surely he would have been known in nearly every culture all over the world, all the way back into prehistory. His cult wouldn't have started in just one place -- the Middle East -- and spread out from there.
Third, there are plenty of reasons not to believe that the Bible is anywhere close to completely true. For one thing, the Bible contains many contradictions, absurdities, and failed prophecies. (See Biblical contradictions and absurdities on the Counter-evangelism resource page.)
This doesn't mean that the Bible is totally useless. However, we should regard it only as a source of clues, nothing more. See The here and now principle in theology for some important principles to keep in mind when considering ideas from the Bible or from other mythologies.
To put the Bible into historical perspective, I would strongly recommended that you read up on ancient Middle Eastern history and mythology. Also I recommend reading the more scholarly articles on some of the better atheist websites, such as Secular Web (Internet Infidels), critiquing claims of Biblical historicity.
To explore the arguments both for and against Christian beliefs, I recommend that you join some religious debate forums and read some of the sources recommended by people on all sides. (See also Arguments against traditional Christian beliefs on the Counter-evangelism resource page.)
I would also recommend that you learn about a variety of other religions besides Christianity and Satanism. Besides the so-called "great religions," I would also recommend learning about (1) the Western occult tradition and (2) polytheistic religions such as the African Diaspora religions and modern Pagan reconstructionisms, e.g. Asatru and Hellenismos. By studying a variety of religions, you will gain in theological sophistication and will thereby be in a much better position to make educated guesses as to the true nature of the spirit world.
None of us can know the true nature of the spirit world for sure. However, Christian theology is, by far, one of the less likely scenarios. You owe it to yourself, and to Satan, to make an honest and independent search for the truth as far as it is possible for you to do so.