PM3902: On Satanism

Recently I have been reading a bit Vexen Crabtree's websites, such as The Description, Philosophies and Justification of Satanism. I thought it would be useful to comment upon some of the ideas he presents.

I should make clear the Maratrean disagreement with Satanism. "Satan" is a multiple figure. To a Christian, "Satan" is a figure of evil - of the truly evil, and of the good they misintepret as evil. To a Satanist, "Satan" is a figure of good - of the truly good, and of the evil they misinterpret as good. As such, there is not one "Satan", there are always two "Satans" - one good and one evil - the Christian hates both of them, both the good and the evil one - the Satanist loves the good one, yet loves the evil one also. Mind you, the evil Satan which the Satanist loves is often far less evil than the evil Satan the Christian hates, and as such there are less two Satans than four Satans. And in many ways, the Satan of the good which the Satanist knows as good, and the Satan of the good which the Christian wrongly knows as evil, these are one and the same Satan. Thus, we might say, there is not two good Satans but one good Satan - and thus three Satans, one good, one of lesser evil, and one of greater evil.

Now, by omnitheism, we are to believe in the divinity, the deity, of the two good Satans, or the one good Satan - but not of the evil Satans. Yet, to be an omnitheist is not to be an omnilator - all deities exist, but that does not mean that we must worship them all. There exist certain deities - among whom must be the good Satan - which, while it is permissible, and not prohibited, to worship them, neither is it obligatory - or even recommended - on the contrary, though it be permissible, it is recommend against. Why is it recommended against? To choose a deity which others use as a symbol of evil, is not conducive to the unity of humanity. It does not bring people together, it divides them apart. We must distinguish Satan, who originated as a symbol of evil (ha-satan, the adversary, the accuser, the enemy), from other beings who have a pre-Christian or non-Christian origin as good, but Christians later transformed into symbols of evil - such as Pan or Set. To follow such a pre-Christian or non-Christian deity does not impede the unity of humanity (including also Christians) as it does to follow Satan.

We believe in furthering the unity of humanity, thus we must discourage any practice or approach which works against that unity. Thus, we must discourage Satanism. Note that discouragement is not prohibition - we do not seek to prohibit Satanists, or condemn or ostracize Satanists, or make life hard for them - simply discourage them. I think, whatever Satanists see as good in Satanism, we must encourage them to see the same good under another name. For instance, the worship of Set/Seth instead of Satan - as such, I think the basic idea of the Temple of Set is a good one (although, as to what is actually is, beyond this basic idea, I will not comment, since I do not know enough to comment.)

In further postings, I plan to discuss some particular ideas of Satanism, and the Maratrean response to them - in particular, I want to start with the difference between Maratrean and Satanic morality.

Addendum: Vexen Crabtree is of course an atheistic Satanist; there are also theistic Satanists, such as Diane Vera and Venus Satanas. I am asking how Satanism fits in an omnitheist framework; which seems a more natural question to ask for a theist than an atheist. Yet, even if someone sees "Satan" as just a symbol - a symbol of what? If they do not believe in deities, they will reply: Not of a deity, a symbol of other things (certain motivations, ideas, attitudes, etc.). But, if, contrary to their belief, deities exist, maybe those other things somehow constitute a deity. In which case, although at a literal level they are atheistic (they deny it with their tongues), at a deeper level they are theistic - for what they actually believe in is, contrary to their belief, a deity. (Or, even if not necessarily a deity, some kind of lesser spiritual entity, such as an angel or demon.)
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