Theistic Satanism: Home > Philosophy > Independent thought

Satanism and independent thought

by Diane Vera

Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.

In my article Why do Satanists need philosophy?, I wrote:

Nearly all forms of theistic Satanism do give at least lip service to the idea that Satan wants us to think for ourselves.

For some examples, see the following articles, representing what are otherwise very different kinds of Satanism:

Other examples will be linked here as I run across them again on the web.

Alas, some people and groups in the Satanist scene give little more than lip service to the idea that Satan wants us to think for ourselves. Too many groups just indoctrinate their members, rather than really teaching them to think.

Others confuse being "open-minded" with being gullible. For some thoughts of mine on the difference between open-mindedness and gullibility, see my article Can you refute this nonsense? Try it!

Some theistic Satanists place a one-sided emphasis on "spiritual development," at the expense of intellectual development. Spiritual development is a worthy goal. But spiritual development on the fast track, without a corresponding intellectual development, is a good way to end up in the rubber room -- or to become a brainwashed cultist.

Anyhow, as I then wrote in my article Why do Satanists need philosophy?:

In order to think for ourselves, we first need to learn how to think, period. Philosophy is all about learning how to think.

As a means of learning how to think clearly, another vital tool is debate. Some groups encourage their members to avoid debate, on grounds that debate is a "waste of time." Of course, one can't spend one's entire life debating. One needs to limit the amount of time one spends on it. But the experience can be invaluable.

Other, nastier groups encourage their members to engage in mudslinging and insults rather than rational debate. This is another way of short-circuiting real thought and promoting indoctrination instead.

Still others may say, "Spirituality is all subjective anyway. What's the point of debating about it?" Indeed, many (though not necessarily all) aspects of spirituality are purely subjective. Part of the point of debating about it is to help people think more carefully about the difference between subjective perceptions and objective realities. Too many people are way too "sure" of the absolute, cosmic truth of their spiritual beliefs.

Debate is not always appropriate. Nor is thinking, for that matter. There is also great value in shutting down -- temporarily -- the thinking part of one's mind and tuning in to deeper levels of consciousness.

The key is balance.

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