Spritzophrenia

humour, music, life, sociology. friendly agnostic.

Posts Tagged ‘Satanism’

The Logic of Satan

Posted by spritzophrenia on May 18, 2010

I’ve never appreciated those christians who major on Satan and demons. (Although as an agnostic I notice I’ve blogged on Satan or Satanism several times in the last few months.) Why not listen to Burn In Hell by Twisted Sister while reading? It’s today’s blog background music. [1]

Methinks the idea of God, and Jesus as God’s incarnate son provides quite enough mystery to spend one’s time on. “Shaitan” and demons can be found in Islam and some other religions too and of course Lucifer first appears in the Jewish scriptures. The Bible actually says very little about the Devil as he’s also called. Nevertheless, I got to musing on the nature of of Satan. For the sake of this blog I’ll assume the christian theist conception of him exists.

I think that if Satan is real there is no humour about him. Not that he cannot take pleasure – I discuss this idea below – but he’s not a laughing clown in red pajamas. Satan is never described in the Bible. Movies often depict him as a figure of fun, eg in Little Nicky and even horror movies often make the devil out to be more camp than creepy. Why is this wrong? Because humour is a good, an invention of God. Satan is not a figure of fun.

If anything, I think satan could be compared to a shark – a cold, ruthless killing machine with no feelings. That’s why I’ve used Pinhead from Hellraiser as the illustration for this post. Unfeeling lust after pain is much more scary – and realistic in my opinion. I rather suspect Clive Barker was thinking along these lines when he wrote it.

esoteric

It’s long been a standard argument that evil cannot create anything, only alter something already created. The argument “God created everything, therefore God created evil” has been dismissed since Augustine (c 300 CE) as evil is not regarded as a creation, but a distortion or lack of good. A “privation” of good, to use the terminology. Eg disease is seen as a warping of an existing good, not as a creation in its own right. Hence the devil can’t create humour.

What about pleasure though? Most beings require some sort of motivation. Simplistically, humans and other animals are motivated by either pleasure or pain. What motivates something evil? I think every being needs a motivation, otherwise why do anything at all? Even an evil being is motivated by some sort of pleasure. Therefore evil can use the inventions/creations of good even though they do not author them. Perhaps there are a base set of goods that an evil being uses, the minimum set of “goods”. For example, existence itself is a good. For Satan to exist, he is inadvertently glorifying the creator. I’m assuming here that an evil being only exists for malice and destruction; it’s quite conceivable that an evil being could take pleasure in flowers, love and friendship. Only the being’s motivations and goals would be entirely selfish. Rather like us humans, right?

So yes, Satan can take pleasure in doing whatever Satan does. Lying and deceiving, perhaps, according to the New Testament.

On reflection, I’m not completely happy with all of my conclusions. Some of my alleged logic is perhaps not so logical after all. I started out thinking that Satan had to be humourless and then began to doubt this. Nevertheless, I shall post rather than say nothing. What are your thoughts?

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If you want some fun, try taking the Dante’s inferno test to see which of the 9 levels of hell you’d end up on, based on Dante’s 13th century Divine Comedy. I made it to level two. Inferno is Dante’s interpretation, the idea of purgatory, nine levels, the punishments and even some of the sins are not from the Bible.

1. As you’ll see from the lyrics, Burn In Hell by Twisted Sister is actually an exhortation to live a moral life, not a celebration of hell. Twisted Sister were the first band I saw live and I still rate that as a great show.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Why Satanists Should Burn Churches

Posted by spritzophrenia on February 27, 2010

Satanists should burn churches. If they won’t, christians should. A few Satanists have already tried it on, mainly in Scandanavia. Although it’s likely that most of these burnings were simply bored teenagers trying to keep warm. It’s freakin’ cold up there.

I think church burning is a good thing. Apart from buildings with architectural/historical beauty which i kinda like, most of these buildings either have little utility or are easily replaceable. Note that burning churches with people still inside them is extremely bad form.

Churchianity has nothing to fear. If their g0d is real, they will survive and flourish. A buildingless faith will purge and improve churchianity. After all, it started as a buildingless faith, hovering around the temple of the ‘old’ faith and largely meeting in peoples’ houses or catacombs full of dead bones.

In a few hundred years churchianity became so successful that it took over state temples formerly dedicated to Roman gods. And speaking of which, “mergers and acquisitions” is another approach Satanists could take.

I think this church burning thing is a form of jealousy. Satanists are a group of small and kinda disenchanted cults infighting with each other. Just like any other religion. They’re jealous ‘cos they don’t get to have cool buildings dedicated to the propagation of their worldview. Apart from the so-called “Hollywood Satanists” who follow the late Anton La Vey. Brian Warner (aka Marilyn Manson) is a Holywood Satanist. I think the H.S sect probably has enough money to have a building, or maybe a bookshop, or a cute little roadside shrine on Sunset Boulevard. But I digress. Again.

Taking over another religion’s worship places is a well established g0d-thing to do, dating back thousands of years. Take, for example, the muslims. When conquering Byzantium (formerly Constantinople, now Istanbul in Turkey) they took over the Hagia Sofia basilica and turned it into a supermosque. Or the fanatical atheists running the USSR who turned many Russian Orthodox churches into museums or bingo halls. The hostile takeover has a proud and ancient precedent when it comes to competing religious business.

I mean, how cool would it be if in Scandinavia you could find a beautiful old church that’s been painted entirely black and had all the crosses inverted? Hell, I’D go there to worship, and that’s saying something.

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I wrote this before attending the Deicide concert a few years back.

Posted in atheism, Christianity, music | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Satanic Panic

Posted by spritzophrenia on January 9, 2010

For those new to Spritzophrenia, I often include music with a blog post. Today’s soundtrack (below) is by current black metal band Gorgoroth, who have the distinction of one of the few openly gay members in a metal band – unless this is yet more publicity. I find black metal’s shouty-screamy chaos kinda exciting. A love of extreme metal is not a requirement for being a Satanist, ex-circus organist and founder of the Church of Satan Anton LaVey liked pretty cheesey stuff, along with the occasional atonal or majestic orchestral pieces he prescribed for his rituals.

As you might expect for a religion that prides itself on being adversarial, Satanism’s had plenty of controversy both internal and external.

Satanic symbol

It seems Rebecca Brown who published widely debunked Satanic panic books is still around and doing the christian talk circuit where she can, according to Bartholomew’s Notes:

Brown has all kinds of bizarre advice about how to resist demonic attacks – for instance, in Prepare for War we learn that vegetarianism is a Satanic plot, because meat protein offers protection. Her lurid tales were comprehensively debunked in an article entitled “Drugs, Demons and Delusions: The ‘Amazing’ Saga of Rebecca Brown”, by G. Richard Fisher, Paul R. Blizard and M. Kurt Goedelman, which can be read here; a further essay of interest can be seen here.

This reminds me of the excellent exposé of fake satanist Mike Warnke in the 90s done by Cornerstone Magazine. One of the things I love about this piece is that it was written by christian journalists when other christians at the time were swallowing Warnke’s story hook, line and sinker. Apparently not all christians were gullible.

Some time ago I read Michael Aquino’s history of the Church of Satan 1966-1975 (PDF, 10mb). I’m currently reading his work on the Temple of Set, a group that split from Anton La Vey’s church. They too, were not immune from schism:

Left Hand Path institutions often have a history of confrontations between individualist practitioners of different worldviews. The Temple of Set is no exception. High Priest Don Webb stepped down, and, on 9 September 2002, was succeeded by High Priestess Zeena Schreck. Six weeks after the Helsinki Conclave (September 2002), Zeena, Magister Aaron Besson, Magister Nikolas Schreck, and Magister Michael Kelly all resigned on 8 November 2002. Four Priests – Alfred Rodriguez, Kevin Rockhill, Jared Davison and Richard Gavin – also resigned. Temple of Set sources have claimed that eighteen Initiates have resigned while others have estimated the number at closer to sixty (including several Orders, Elements, and members of the Adept and Setian degrees). (Quoting Disinformation)

I also found Anton LaVey: Legend and Reality interesting. It’s hosted on yet another rival “church of satan” site, by someone who appears to be a disaffected ex-member. It claims that the church never had more than a few hundred followers, and repeats the now well-known claim that large parts of The Satanic Bible were plagiarised from other works, including Ayn Rand’s.

The infighting seems to be familiar territory, compared to the myriad splits among other religious groups and denominations, and even atheist groups. What do you think? Is it human nature to split and disagree?

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Gogoroth | Incipit Satan (live). Enjoy the theatricality of their show; is it just me or does their audience seem indifferent?

Posted in atheism, pagan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »