Evil

It might be noticeable that, even as a Satanist, I still talk a lot about honor, morality, ethics, right and wrong and some such. For some, this might be at odds with Satanic philosophy, since it is common for the Satanist to view good and evil as illusory concepts (perhaps in close following with Anton LaVey’s form of Satanism).

I don’t want to be evil. In fact, I think mankind has just got the definition of evil screwed up for the worse. The only reason I feel I might be falsely tied to evil is because whatever I like is judged by the world I live in as evil. Sex is seen as evil or disgusting and degrading, when it should be seen as natural. Heavy metal is seen as evil music just because the lyrics flirt with the dark side a lot of times, but the actual music is among the most positive influences you could have in your life (or at least in my opinion it is). The occult is seen as strange and therefore evil, when in reality the occult has barely anything to do with the pursuit of evil. If you like Satan, you’re seen as evil, even though the actual Satan has killed no one in any mythological references he has been recorded in, and let’s not forget the fact that in Christian tradition it is their god who judges and “punishes” your soul and sends you to hell in the first place and not Satan. I am not in the camp of evil just because the masses have no idea what true evil is outside their spoon-fed beliefs. I just want to live as I please and conduct my life with passion, honor, rightness, self-honesty, and self-liberty. I don’t think it alienates me from Satanic philosophy, and I certainly don’t think my personal interests make me evil. If anything, I’m probably a more idealistic Satanist than many, but only because a sense of right an honor to be just as part of the fabric of my being as the forces of desire and lust, and I think I have always felt this way.

Do you want to know what true evil is? How about oppression, harassment, and manipulation of the people by those who are supposed to lead and/or protect them. Selling out your own family and friends for some kind of reward or even for religious faith. The idea that someone can claim possession over the body and soul of another human being. Defrauding people. Abuse and coercion of others. The pursuit of robbing people of their right to life and liberty. The exploitation of sexuality to produce herd conformity. The oppression of sexuality and freedom of choice for the sake of baseless political causes and false morals. Making people feel isolate, depressed, and lonely for being different, bullying them for it, or worse still making them feel like psychopaths for it when they aren’t. Leading people into lives of slavery. Killing innocent people. Killing people who are non-believers because they are non-believers. Scapegoating human beings and media because you can’t own up to your own weakness, ignorance, or twisted state of mind. The allowance of injustice and evil acts to go on unpunished. Branding children with beliefs and ideas that they did not choose and before they could make up their own minds, and making them fear eternal damnation if they don’t agree. And of course, the exploitation of innocent children for either demented pleasures or some twisted moral cause, especially to spread panic and division among the masses (a recent example of such behavior was described in detail by my good friend satanicviews).

The fact is, if you think about it, you can sense what real evil is, and it’s not sex, or Satan, or violent media, or the dark side of the force. Evil encompasses the unjust and immoral actions committed by humans, and possibly whatever sickening state of being inspires it. But do we draw our attention to the true evil? No! We make panics based on ignorance and false morals, we focus on the “evils” of sexual expression, pornography, and human sexual urges, and we do nothing but strengthen our own ignorance in service of false morals instead of fighting true evil.

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The ethical Satanist

This post isn’t about me. It’s about a possibility within the Satanic path that can be pursued by the Satanist. I don’t know if somebody’s already coined it or not, but this is my perspective on what Ethical Satanist might mean.

The ethical Satanist recognizes virtue and ethics as a vital part of the self and the nature of man just as much as our carnal desires are a part of our nature, is concerned with ideas of virtue, ethicality, and honor alongside generally Satanic beliefs, and bases his/her association with Satanism on ethics or morality. From ethically Satanic perspective, the ideals of Satanism are far more morally worthwhile than the ideals espoused by other religions, and any path of herd mentality and surrender of the individual self to some notion of a higher consciousness would be morally contemptible.

For the ethical Satanist, it is morals and a sense of right and wrong that leads him/her to become a Satanist. Good and evil are often seen by Satanists as non-existence to not exist, though this refers to the Christian idea of the cosmic good and the cosmic evil. Even without the cosmic good and evil, there are still the sense of right and wrong for the individual, and it would be that which leads to the Satanic path if ones moral ideals are basically those of Satanism as well. It is not about conformity to any common sense of ethics, but about virtue and the individual sense of right and wrong.

That’s my perspective anyway. Other Satanists might have a different viewpoint.

You have to truly believe in something

People these days may act like having beliefs and values is just a game, pretending to believe in something but refusing to act on it. But we need to realize that belief and personal morality is more than just a game, it should actually mean something and not just be a badge you present to somebody. And it can’t be based on what society tells you either. It should be based on your essential self, what makes you tick, what you honestly believe deep down without any societal persuasion at all. You gotta think about it honestly and genuinely. You won’t get to only think about it only either, you will always have to think about what you believe in on some level and at some rate.

If you say believed that money is evil (which I personally do not), then if you truly believed that money is evil, then you have to reject the power of money in all forms, even if that means living in poverty and possibly dying there (though that’s not to say there isn’t room for at least some allowances). I would not recommend this to anyone, let alone myself, but if you really believed money is evil, it wouldn’t matter if you were poor for you now wouldn’t it? If say you were a Christian, then it should be because you understand the philosophy and the rules and feel an affinity towards the faith in some way, and you should really believe in it, rather than just associated with it because you’re mindlessly going with the flow. If you believed in freedom for the individual, then you should be brave, even a little, and be prepared to face ridicule. If you believe in independence but you’re not prepared to live alone, then you should at the very least face that you aren’t ready and try to deal with it, even learn skills for independence, rather than pretend you’re ready to be a lone wolf and blow off anyone who could be willing to help you.

If you believe in something, you can’t hesitate about it, you can’t dilly-dally or be half-hearted about it. You have to truly believe in something, eliminate the middle men in your mind for the sake of your path. It takes some discipline to actually follow someone, or have real faith in what you believe in. When you honestly believe in something, you have to commit to it, and whatever you do, you base on what you feel is right.

Apology shouldn’t be about coercion or submission

My brother apparently thinks there is no reason to apologize for anything other than an artificially imposed sense of guilt, shame, and defeat, along with submission. While this is usually the only reason most children apologize, I do not believe these are valid reasons to apologize at all. It shouldn’t be just out of a sense of coercion or submission.

It should be out of a sense of genuine remorse for one’s actions, a real desire to admit wrongdoing and to make amends. Or, to paraphrase Anton LaVey, when you’ve painted yourself into a corner and the only way out is to say “I’m sorry”, “I’ve made a mistake”, or “I wish we could compromise somehow”.

Dealing in absolutes

It’s been said that only a Sith deals in absolutes, but Star Wars philosophy aside there are times when you actually can apply absolutes. For instance, I feel there are moral judgement that you can make absolutely depending on your perspective, and I value the making of strong decisions free of doubt. However often times we apply absolutes in the wrong places, especially in the form of dichotomies (“if you’re not with me, then you are against me”), not working with any shades or subtleties, not even making strong decisions informed by them.

It’s also a bad idea to deal in absolutes regarding tastes, and simplifying your ideas and tastes too much is bound to create some personal unhappiness. For a while I was overconfident regarding my tastes regarding the opposite gender when I analyzed said tastes, and felt I was in danger of losing a sense of diversity that I felt I had before, and that’s never a good thing. In a different area, I believe a while ago I mentioned the dangers of trying to simplify ones own aesthetic tastes, especially to suit a goal. It narrows down the sense of diversity one has and limits one’s tastes and interests to a specific area. That’s never a good thing.

An ethical question, or two, for fellow Satanists

I would like to pose an ethical question to my fellow Satanists, without the intention to incriminate of course.

My question is as follows: let’s say in a future society a religion such as Christianity has gained greater authority and directly influences the state and its laws, you are offered a high position in the government. You would surely know that by accepting that position you would be supporting the power of religion to control the lives of all humans, a major threat to individuality and liberty, but the position you are offered promises increased status and a generous salary. You would surely also know that since your religion is against the ruling religion in that environment, then resisting that religion let alone revealing your religious identity would put you at extreme risk. If you find yourself in that situation, unlikely as it may be, you must choose between ethicality and desire for wealth. Would you uphold principles in defiance of that society, or embrace a high position within it just to gain greater privileges in life?

And if that’s a little too much of a weak scenario for you, then here’s another: You are working for a big company which you learn makes additional profits by exploiting innocent people or the environment around you. By choosing to stay in employment for that company and drawing a salary from them, you would be making your money by supporting a company that exploits human life, but by leaving you would be rejecting exploitation at the cost of your salary. What do you choose in that scenario?

In general, there may come times when you have to choose between standing up for your own principles and immediate fulfillment of self-interest. In those circumstances, what do you do?

Satanic ethicality

Good, evil, and morality are not usually stressed in the Satanist viewpoint. In fact, Satanism generally rejects the notion of morality as defined in traditional/conventional terms and focuses on personal gratification and ethics-neutral self-empowerment. But ethics is an important concept not only for me, but for my own strand of Satanism.

If you think about it, Satanism is an ethical code that simply tells you not to be a slave to any kind of external authority figure or device, and stresses that you are the only master unto yourself. If ethicality means to be ethical, to uphold any kind of ethic, principles, or morality, then there is no reason the Satanist should not hold this trait so long as he bases his sense of ethics on his own feelings, rather than any inflated idea of a common idea of morality and right or wrong. Ethicality at its heart means attention to any kind of principles, you don’t need to be a religious or sheepish person to uphold any sense of virtue.

If the Satanist is his own master, logically then he/she is free to have ethics as well, but his/her ethics that spring from himself and not from any mind mass of society. All you need to do is define your virtues and morality for yourself and try not to impose it on others.