Author Topic: What is your idea of Satan?  (Read 13214 times)

ghost

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 43
    • View Profile
    • The Abyssal Collective
What is your idea of Satan?
« on: March 12, 2015, 08:27:34 PM »
There's nothing here yet so I thought I'd start TST off on its namesake.

I think it goes without saying that our idea of what is Satanic doesn't exactly match what the majority of the population thinks about Satan; saturated in Judeo-Christian fear mongering of all things evil and wicked. There's always been some idea of what is 'evil' basically as long as there have been people, and it varies from culture to culture. So what does Satan mean to you?

My answer is what originally attracted me to TST in the first place, as well as the mission and goals. But I was raised in a Protestant Christian household, and what I was taught at the time I was growing up was essentially, "God = Good, Devil = Bad. But also a whole bunch of other things that distract from God." Christian culture seems to think of education as a corrupting influence because it causes people to stray from their faith, and see things from a new perspective; one that often does not include a god of any kind, which is exactly what happened to me.
So I tend to think of Satan in a similar way to what the temple does, that he represents knowledge. He represents freedom from oppression, the search for truth, and an accurate understanding of the world. Some would seek to vilify him for questioning the powers that be, from straying from the flock, but that villain could not be farther from the truth. 
The gods of the old world become the devils of the new.

The Iron Chariots

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Naturalist & Anti-Theist
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 07:54:27 AM »
I pretty much agree with your idea ghost.

Honestly it's hard for me to reach any sort of rational conclusion that would define "Satan" or "God" into some sort of supernatural entity. I think both of these are more effectively represented as constructs of man's curse of consciousness. Where-by in the past, we as a species, have reached for explanations about the natural universe in a very anthropocentric sense and have aligned our existence along a continuum with these two figures representing the two pole-ward extremes. It is only natural that when trying to find some sort of reference for moral dilemmas we would use this familiar continuum and apply misnomers such as "good/right" and "bad/wrong". What I think is really interesting and, is something the TST is actively doing, is breaking down this archaic thought process, and looking at our existence in more rational sense. Pointing out that "good/bad" doesn't exist on this continuum in terms of a religious text. When you apply Natural law, and humanism the continuum becomes very different, in many respects it becomes nth dimensional(e.g. there are more than just one or two ways to move along it). What is fascinating is that "Satan" comes to represent "doubt, inquiry, perseverance etc." against the monolithic "obedience" commanded by the other. And in this light, what "Satan" really means to me? The Adversary. The Notion that without a duality of nature all we are left with is fatalistic obedience.

And lets be honest, life sucks enough as it is. But it sucks a whole lot less merely because we are afforded the opportunity to struggle against the universe - - and I can find meaning in that.

Lilith201

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2015, 08:39:12 AM »
I agree with both of you.
"Ain't no burning hell."--John Lee Hooker

DR_PAUL_666

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • not your typical physician, member #797
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2015, 09:22:05 AM »
Satan is a bogeyman created by those who want to stay in power. You can't have Heaven without Hell, good without evil. Organized religion was created by men (no women necessary) to have control over others.

If there is a positive side to the idea of Satan for me, it is being true to ones instincts and desires (within reason). I was brought up Catholic, and everything was guilt. It was a vicious cycle of being set up to fail (e.g. masturbation bad), then having to repent (to another man in the confessional).

So if I could extract a positive aspect from the idea of Satan, it would be, do what is right. Not for others. Not for the fear of hell or the promise of heaven. Just do what is right because it is right. And never have faith. Never believe blindly. Always question. And when you are wrong, it is okay to change your mind, and to evolve.
Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the cars are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians

penemue

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2015, 11:11:08 AM »
I was brought up in an atheistic household, but was exposed to religion as a child because my parents thought I should be educated. So I learned the basics, and understood the "scrubbed clean" / simplified stories of the Bible that most children are exposed to. I even was brought to attend church on a few occasions -- mainly functions related to extended family, since my father's family are primarily very religious.  (His story of having to "come out" to his family as an atheist are actually fascinating to me!)

At any rate, I was a bit of a rebel in my teen years and for a while did a lot of reading about religion and the Bible as cultural things. Found out about the old testament Apocrypa and was fascinated by how fanciful the stories were. Read books that talked about the fact that Genesis contains two completely different creation myths badly spliced together, and about how Judaism evolved in its attitudes about good and evil through social processes of cultural conquest.

And in all of that reading I did, of course I learned about the role of Satan in the history of Christianity. How "the tempter" was a minor character for a very long time, and only became elevated to some kind of "big bad" later on in history. How currently people conflate numerous characters (e.g. Satan, Lucifer, The Snake) into one being when really there is no biblical REASON to think they originally were intended to be such.  So I was completely enthralled by the history of this "bad guy."

And I felt some sympathy. Some of it was my general counter-culture nature, especially as a teen. I loved all of the post-modern novels that took traditional stories and re-told them from the "bad guy's" perspective.  I remember reading "Grendel" (the re-working of "Beowulf") in high school. And I love the political saying "History is written by the winners."  And I found myself thinking -- "I wonder what Satan would say if we heard his version of the story?"  (again, not thinking of him as a being, but as a literary figure).

That was my teens, and I was not exposed to modern Satanism until recently. (I'm 41 years old now!).  I always considered myself an atheist, but that label always seems insufficient to describe my "world view".  After all, there are many ways of being an atheist.  And I didn't feel a resonance with atheists who completely disparage the importance of symbolism and ritual in our culture. I've always had a very dialectic view of culture and the human mind.

Anyway, when I came across modern Satanism, it REALLY struck a chord for me.  It was answering that question I had asked so many years ago as a teen: What would the other side of the story be?
"The name of the fourth is Penemue: He discovered to the children of men every secret of their wisdom. He taught men to understand writing. Therefore numerous have been those who have gone astray from every period of the world, even to this day."

666 Satans Child

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2015, 10:41:14 PM »
Love all the responses and know this forum is going to be great for growing my ideology with other who share a similar perspective
The world is a cesspool of crime, corruption, and poverty.  Where there isn't war there is greed, where there isn't greed there is hunger.

Lejeune

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2015, 04:05:40 AM »
I like all the responses here. For me, the main idea behind Satan's name is freedom of will, ability to decide for ourselves what is right (while respecting the choices of the others) and not following anything blindly. Questioning,  researching, not feeling guilty for who we are as human beings ( and here I mean needs, choices, decisions, natural instincts etc) are the very core of it. In short, I've decided to join TST because the idea behind it and my philosophy are alike.

I grew up in Catholic family where no one would really go deeper into beliefs but they still wanted me (they demanded  in fact, especially in my younger years) to be a part of this religious world as it is treated as an important part of national tradition in my country. I've read the entire Bible out of curiosity during high school times and using the accurate quotes I explained my decision to my family of why I could not be considered Church member anymore. To my surprise they understood.  They didn't fight the quotes and I wanted to feel independent. Also, the idea of feeling guilty and being sorry for all the time wasn't convincing as I could not see anything bad or harmful in homosexual couples,masturbation or pre-wedding sex. There is no objective “good” , no objective “bad” and any attempts to draw borders for these concepts will result in mind closed for respect for freedoms of others.
The key to my worldview is  just common sense,  pursuit of knowledge, respect and open mind. I am glad I could find more people who have similar way of perceiving things around.

I apologize for any possible mistakes or typos. English isn't my native language.

ghost

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 43
    • View Profile
    • The Abyssal Collective
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2015, 10:19:03 AM »
And in this light, what "Satan" really means to me? The Adversary. The Notion that without a duality of nature all we are left with is fatalistic obedience.

My thoughts exactly. I started to see myself on the side of Satan when in my research I discovered that the bible's original text in Hebrew always refers to, "ha satan"; which is literally, "the adversary." I was an atheist for 13 years before this, and I always opposed the church at its assertion that it always has the moral high ground. I figured, "Hey, I do that anyway. Maybe I should see what this is about."

But anyway, duality is a very human concept. Things that we design tend to be symmetrical, or have some kind of counterpart. Nature is less so, and I don't think that morality or human nature more generally are as black and white as people often think they are. Reducing the number of options makes things easier to sort out, but it also does a pretty good job of insulting our collective intelligence.

The gods of the old world become the devils of the new.

Asmoday

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2015, 12:54:24 PM »
I like to believe in the missing link theory, that the Anunnaki are essentially advanced humans that merged their DNA with the local life of earth. God being the Enlil of the Babylonians I assume he created mass genocide of all other Anunnaki so that he would be the sole "god" of this planet and Satan was just one of the Anunnaki that decided that he wasn't going to follow him as the modern term angle.


Of course I'm biased, I studied ancient history and demonology for a very long time. I honestly don't know if there are true god like beings existing out there. Unlike most satanists, I believe god, devil, demons, angles actually exist. Just not even close to what we have them portrayed as in any modern religion.

A Thousand Lucifers

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 216
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2015, 04:53:47 PM »
The literary archetype of Satan as the eternal rebel against unjust authority and champion of the oppressed has resonated with me for decades. Also, I am inspired by the image of Lucifer as the bringer of knowledge and enlightenment. I first read Anton Lavey's Satanic Bible some 30 years ago but could never really adopt his philosophy in full because of the authoritarian and social Darwinist elements.   Even so,  I decided to take my screen name from what is to me one of the best parts of the book:

"It has been said "the truth will make men free". The truth alone has never set anyone free. It is only DOUBT which will bring mental emancipation. Without the wonderful element of doubt, the doorway through which truth passes would be tightly shut, impervious to the most strenuous poundings of a thousand Lucifers."

Prior to finding the Satanic temple, I had already realized that I was an atheist and a literary Satanist. I loved Revolt of the Angels when I read it several years ago. It is great to discover that there many us who cherish a construct of Satan that emphasizes empathy and free inquiry.  Hail Satan! Hail compassion and reason!
"But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first free-thinker and emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge." -Bakunin

Lejeune

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2015, 06:44:05 PM »
Thousand Lucifers -> I have found myself trying to "like" your post. I've spent too much time on FB I guess ;) But I just wanted to say: I like what you've said. Laveyan Satanism had some good points  but I could not agree with it fully for the same reasons.

Mr A

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Mmmmm. Bacon
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 08:29:32 PM »
Satan for me, has been an expression on many levels for 'self'. By self, it can be synonymous with identity and individualism. It's been often said that Satan is the opposite of God, as well as being the questioner, the rebel and so on.   In so many readings, the highest expression of 'God' has been the merging into one, the loss of identity and transformation of I into We. Ultimately, Satan is the Federation Starship Enterprise and God is the Borg.

Satan says "I am" where the rest say "We are", even if they're speaking the same message.

Theistic-wise, if there is any physical being such of what we attribute to gods, they're something beyond our full perception or comprehension. Much like the sphere in flatworld. Most of it I attribute to how we're wired mentally to explain things we currently do not understand, or to soothe our trauma from the unknown.

That's my view though.
I am.

A Thousand Lucifers

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 216
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2015, 08:35:51 PM »
Lejeune,

I have heard Lucien talk in interviews about how Lavey's Satanism reflected America of the 1960s and 1970s but our understanding continue to evolve.  As someone who was alive for most of the 60s and all of the 70s, I observe that we live in a very different world today. All of that "might is right" and "blessed are the strong, cursed are the weak" stuff was based on a mistaken understanding of how natural selection actually works. Today we understand that empathy and co-operation can be explained as evolutionary adaptions that have helped the human animal to survive to date and are essential to our future survival as a species. Social Darwinism may be dogmatically accepted by some Satanists but it is not essential to Satanism itself and cannot be rationally justified on a scientific basis.

Thanks for the "like":-)         
"But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first free-thinker and emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge." -Bakunin

Lilith201

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2015, 06:09:53 AM »
I read The Satanic Bible recently and didn't have a problem with it. I found the "might is right" stuff to be slightly satirical. I didn't think LaVey was condoning oppression but rather mocking the idea that people can or should just turn the other cheek when they are wronged. I did find the book to be a little outdated in that it was written from a very male perspective.
"Ain't no burning hell."--John Lee Hooker

A Thousand Lucifers

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 216
    • View Profile
Re: What is your idea of Satan?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2015, 10:12:23 AM »
Lillith,

I think you may be right about the way Lavey originally intended it. In fact, a lot of the Satanic Bible should probably read with the understanding that Lavey "spent a large part of his life with his tongue jammed firmly into his cheek," as he said of Aleister Crowley. If that's the case, I just wish he would have clarified things when some members of the Church of Satan adopted elements of neo-nazism and social Darwinism. In any event, it is great to be here with you and all the rest of us who recognize that the construct of Satan can be used to help further the cause of religious freedom, human dignity, and reason in today's world.
"But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first free-thinker and emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge." -Bakunin