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Why it's important for Satanists to think about our beliefs

by Diane Vera

Copyright © 2006 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.

Some people have asked me why my websites and forums feature so much intellectual discussion. Why not try to launch a dumbed-down, more popularizable form of Satanism?

There have already been plenty of attempts at pop Satanism. None have worked well, and it is my belief that pop Satanism inherently cannot work well because Satan Himself doesn't want huge numbers of humans worshipping Him. The dumbed-down would-be pop Satanisms out there have all tended to implode in bitter infighting, and they've all been extremely dogmatic - as bad as fundamentalist Christianity in that regard, if not worse. And they all tend to attract emotionally unstable people and to make them even more emotionally unstable.

In my opinion, Satanism  -  especially in groups  -  just doesn't work very well if you don't want to think about it. If you're a theistic Satanist, this includes  -  but is not limited to  -  thinking about theology.

One problem, regarding thiestic Satanism in particular, is that if you believe in Satan, there's a natural tendency either to believe or to fear that other aspects of the Christian worldview may be true too, e.g. the existence of a god who is going to punish you eternally. If a theistic Satanist does not want to go to the trouble of studying the theological arguments against Christianity and also studying a variety of other religions, then the person's only other options are to (1) go back to Christianity, (2) persist in one's worship of Satan despite belief in possible very unpleasant eternal consequences (an option requiring great courage and commendable loyalty but also great stubbornness, to a degree likely to impede one's ability to get along with other people at all), or (3) seize upon the nearest available non-Christian-based Satanist dogma and cling to it for dear life. Options 2 and 3 both tend to involve a very unpleasant emotional and intellectual brittleness.

The above would certainly seem to be true based on observation of today's theistic Satanist scene. It might not be entirely true in the long run, though. I also believe that the Satanist scene could be greatly improved, at least in some ways, simply by growing bigger and more diverse, even if not all the newcomers are thinkers. (See The underground sleaze phase - a historical perpsective in Don't give up! Some reasons to hope that the Satanist scene will improve on the Black Goat Cabal site.) If we all had a variety of good role models around in the Satanist scene, it wouldn't be quite as necessary as it is now, for the sake of our own sanity, for us all to be deep thinkers.

Nevertheless, the Satanist scene would obviously benefit a lot more from an influx of thinkers than from an influx of non-thinkers. Hence the thinkers are the ones I aim to attract  -  or at least people who are motivated to become thinkers, if they weren't thinkers already. (And I do believe that being a thinker, or not, is largely a personal choice. There are a lot of otherwise very bright people who choose not to think more than they absolutely have to.)

Although I would like the Satanist scene to grow bigger than it is now, I don't feel that Satanism needs to become a mass movement. We do need a popular mass movement to counter the growth of would-be theocratic forms of Christianity and Islam. And it would make sense if Satanists were to work on building said popular mass movement. But I don't think such a mass movement can or should consist primarily of Satanists, although hopefully it would champion tolerance toward all minority religions including law-abiding Satanists.

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