…okay the disturbing thing is that the more I learn about Non-Theistic Satanism, the better it seems.
No, seriously, listen to this:
There are progressive and libertarian elements here; diversity is encouraged, everyone is expected to discover his/her own sexuality, chart his own personality, and decide their own ambitions in life. In this stress on individuality, Satanism is considered a “Left-Hand Path" religion.
and there’s also this
Lex Talionis, or “The Law of Reprisal” (from the Latin lex/legis (f.), “law”, and talio, -onis (f.), “retaliation”, “rejoinder”) informed much of LaVey’s Satanic formulation. “Do unto others as they do unto you” supplanted the directive to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, so that you are only to give compassion and sympathy to those who deserve it. It is a reactive rule, compared with the Christian proactive rule; by the rule, love, compassion, and sympathy are not to be wasted upon “ingrates”; these are to be given only to those who the practitioner feels deserves them. The religion of Satanism, as LaVey espouses it, is centered almost exclusively upon the concept of being one’s own god; as such, values and attachments such as love, affection, and caring, along with opposing concepts such as hate and wrath, are to be disseminated at the discretion of the individual Satanist. As such, it is the individual’s responsibility (and not that of a god, or the fault of any devil) to both justify and accept the consequences of their actions. LaVey felt that intelligent and strong people spent too much time caring for psychic vampires — weak individuals who always demanded attention and care, yet would never give any back. He taught that Satanists should strive to remove themselves as much as possible from such people in order to live in accordance to their instincts and individual wills.
So basically what I’m taking from this is that is encourages people to cut out poisonous relationships/people who aren’t the best for them from their lives, to be true to themselves instead of conforming to what people say and think they should be, to respect and love themselves and have confidence, and to treat others as they treat you; if someone is kind to you, of course you should be kind to them, but if someone is, say, rude, negative, and degrading, you are well within your rights to respond the same way, and in no way do you have to continue being caring, supportive, or polite.
What I’m researching now (called LaVeyan Satanism) actually seems pretty solid. Still aren’t convinced? Take a look at the Nine Satanic Statements
- Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence.
- Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams.
- Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit.
- Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates.
- Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek.
- Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires.
- Satan represents man as just another animal (sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all fours), who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all.
- Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification.
- Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years.
…need more? Okay, here’s the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth(which I like even better than the Nine Statements)
- Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
- Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
- When in another’s home, show them respect or else do not go there.
- If a guest in your home annoys you, treat them cruelly and without mercy.
- Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal(AKA consent. Consent is crucial, and is actually stressed several times throughout other things I’ve come across in my research, such as: We fully accept all forms of human sexual expression between consenting adults. The Church of Satan has always accepted gay, lesbian and bisexual members since its beginning in 1966. This is addressed in the chapter “Satanic Sex” in The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey. And then there’s this;
E. What about S&M? Isn’t that a requirement for Satanists?
Anton LaVey made it very clear in his writings that all forms of human sexual expression between consenting, responsible adults is endorsed by Satanism. That can even mean asexuality—the avoidance of sex altogether. Masturbation is considered natural and healthy. Additionally, LaVey advocated the idea of exploring personal sexual fetishes as a means for erotic fulfillment. Especially after sexologists began issuing reports based on surveys, Dr. LaVey noted it is likely that everyone would be considered a deviant based on their personal means for gratification should they be compared with that of others. The S&M and B&D fetish practices at this point are well explored and can be easily researched if one is attracted to such experiences. But there is no requirement that any Satanist participate in B&D, S&M or any form of sexual activity that is not to his or her taste.).
6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9. Do not harm little children.
10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
Yeah, I’m still not seeing the supposed ‘downside’ here. Also, the very nature of LaVeyan Satanism denies sacrifice(which is what most people tend to think of as Satanism), as stated here:
In his most important essay, "Satanism: The Feared Religion", the Church of Satan’s current leader Peter H. Gilmore states:
"Satanists do not believe in the supernatural, in neither God nor the Devil. To the Satanist, he is his own God. Satan is a symbol of Man living as his prideful, carnal nature dictates. The reality behind Satan is simply the dark evolutionary force of entropy that permeates all of nature and provides the drive for survival and propagation inherent in all living things. Satan is not a conscious entity to be worshiped, rather a reservoir of power inside each human to be tapped at will. Thus any concept of sacrifice is rejected as a Christian aberration—in Satanism there’s no deity to which one can sacrifice."
Yep, still not seeing a downside here. And come on, need I direct you to more than The Nine Satanic Sins?
1. Stupidity—The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid.
2. Pretentiousness—Empty posturing can be most irritating and isn’t applying the cardinal rules of Lesser Magic. On equal footing with stupidity for what keeps the money in circulation these days. Everyone’s made to feel like a big shot, whether they can come up with the goods or not.
3. Solipsism—Can be very dangerous for Satanists. Projecting your reactions, responses and sensibilities onto someone who is probably far less attuned than you are. It is the mistake of expecting people to give you the same consideration, courtesy and respect that you naturally give them. They won’t. Instead, Satanists must strive to apply the dictum of “Do unto others as they do unto you.” It’s work for most of us and requires constant vigilance lest you slip into a comfortable illusion of everyone being like you. As has been said, certain utopias would be ideal in a nation of philosophers, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, from a Machiavellian standpoint) we are far from that point.
4. Self-deceit—It’s in the “Nine Satanic Statements” but deserves to be repeated here. Another cardinal sin. We must not pay homage to any of the sacred cows presented to us, including the roles we are expected to play ourselves. The only time self-deceit should be entered into is when it’s fun, and with awareness. But then, it’s not self-deceit!
5. Herd Conformity—That’s obvious from a Satanic stance. It’s all right to conform to a person’s wishes, if it ultimately benefits you. But only fools follow along with the herd, letting an impersonal entity dictate to you. The key is to choose a master wisely instead of being enslaved by the whims of the many.
6. Lack of Perspective—Again, this one can lead to a lot of pain for a Satanist. You must never lose sight of who and what you are, and what a threat you can be, by your very existence. We are making history right now, every day. Always keep the wider historical and social picture in mind. That is an important key to both Lesser and Greater Magic. See the patterns and fit things together as you want the pieces to fall into place. Do not be swayed by herd constraints—know that you are working on another level entirely from the rest of the world.
7. Forgetfulness of Past Orthodoxies—Be aware that this is one of the keys to brainwashing people into accepting something new and different, when in reality it’s something that was once widely accepted but is now presented in a new package. We are expected to rave about the genius of the creator and forget the original. This makes for a disposable society.
8. Counterproductive Pride—That first word is important. Pride is great up to the point you begin to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The rule of Satanism is: if it works for you, great. When it stops working for you, when you’ve painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say, I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I wish we could compromise somehow, then do it.
9. Lack of Aesthetics—This is the physical application of the Balance Factor. Aesthetics is important in Lesser Magic and should be cultivated. It is obvious that no one can collect any money off classical standards of beauty and form most of the time so they are discouraged in a consumer society, but an eye for beauty, for balance, is an essential Satanic tool and must be applied for greatest magical effectiveness. It’s not what’s supposed to be pleasing—it’s what is. Aesthetics is a personal thing, reflective of one’s own nature, but there are universally pleasing and harmonious configurations that should not be denied.