It might surprise you to know that I don’t talk a great deal about my religion in public life, or at least not as much as you’d expect from an avowed Satanist. However, I occasionally do talk about Satanism to people who aren’t Satanists. I’ve even talked to friends of mine who happen to be Christians about the subject, and strangely enough the ones I’ve talked to aren’t nearly as judgmental as one might expect. When I talk about Satanism, I sometimes come across people who tell me about Satanists they know in their lives who have displeased them because they act in ways that lend to them being considered ignorant teenage edgelords. One argument they tell me they’ve come across from these people is the argument that Satanism is just about being rational and treating people with respect and “basic human values”, whatever that means – and sometimes I hear this argument from people who criticize Satanism as just atheism in a costume, citing invariably the tenets of The Satanic Temple (which is not even a Satanist, but rather an atheist organization pretending to be a Satanist one).
I’m just going to say this right out of the gate: Satanism is not as simple as “basic human values”. Anyone who tells you that it is is either grossly oversimplifying the tenets of Satanism, at least as defined by Anton LaVey, or is modelling his/her assessment of Satanism off of The Satanic Temple, which is literally just a satirical atheist political organization. Rather, at its very simplest, Satanism is about Satan: the archetype of, among other things, instinct, the carnal or “dark” aspects of Man – typically in opposition to forces that would seek its constraint or repression – the adversary, or simple the Shadow in the Jungian sense. For Satanists, that archetype is often represented by the Satan of John Milton – the angel who rejected God’s will, not favoring his yoke and instead seeking to rule his own kingdom (as in, “better reign to Hell than serve in Heaven”). As there are many versions of Satanism out there (no, Church of Satan, the rest of Satanism is not just edgy Christians looking to larp as devil worshipers), and given that many Satanists don’t typically expect other Satanists to just accept their own variation of the doctrine, every Satanist has a different way of interpreting this archetype, let alone what Satanism is. But if the essence of Satanism can be reduced to anything, it’s this archetype. The common theme to this archetype can best be described as the angel of the dark side who embodies the freedom of the self to pursue aspects of the self that are otherwise kept under lock and key by the superego, or proscribed by (typically) “the laws of God”. It doesn’t quite matter if you’re a more of a humanistic (for lack of a better word) for whom the point of Satanism is to put Man (via the human self) at the center, or if you’re a more theistic Satanist who worships Satan as a deity embodying what I described earlier, or if you’re one of those anti-cosmics who believes that Satan embodies liberation from the universe itself because it was supposedly created by the Demiurge. In some way, each form of Satanism presents its own take on the archetype, but it’s usually not too far away from the general idea (unless it’s in the form of a Satan that is basically just a substitute for the God you rejected).
As I said before, it’s also not a fluffy, liberal egalitarian religion at all. We believe that we’re all different, we recognize that the strong rule the weak and the clever rule the strong, and we try to pursue the idea of the master morality, through the lens of our dark archetype. We desire to be the strongest, the cleverest, the best, without the fetters of the Right Hand Path.
I don’t think I need to elaborate much further. I have already done lengthy posts on the subject of what Satanism is and isn’t and I will put links to all of them at the bottom if you want to read them. But I hope you get the picture. Satanism is not just “basic human values”, whatever you define them to be.
What is authentic Satanic philosophy: https://mythoughtsbornfromfire.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/what-is-authentic-satanic-philosophy/
The Church of Satan vs The Satanic Temple: https://mythoughtsbornfromfire.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/the-church-of-satan-vs-the-satanic-temple/