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"Hail Satan?" (2019)
#41
RE: "Hail Satan?" (2019)
(May 14, 2019 at 3:03 am)Belaqua Wrote: No doubt there are serious people among American Satanists as well. My skepticism was about Satanism as a deracinated dress-up version, with nothing much at stake. An American Disney Satanism.

I interpreted the dress-up as them parodying themselves.

Quote:Again, if you want to put up your statue as an equal or alternative government-approved association for nice people, I see no point in calling on Satan.

Are you kidding me, Belequa? The statue thing is a huge JOKE. It's hilarious to put a statue of Baphomet up at a courthouse in the American South precisely because it agitates the indigenous fauna whilst simultaneously making a point about equal rights. The Satanic imagery is likeise an agitant. It is meant to show that they have no respect for the Christian establishment and its repressive ethos.

Quote:It was disappointing to me that nobody here was willing to teach me about American Satanism. I suspect there would be interesting things to learn.

It's okay. I looked into American Satanism at one point. Not that I was interested in it personally... just curious about what it was. LeVey is somewhat interesting. His philosophy is eclectic/bordering on bastardized (which ain't really my thing) but he somehow still comes off as original and genuine. 

There is a bit of antinomian thinking in American Satanism perhaps... in the notion  of a right hand and left hand path. The Christians, Buddhists, (and perhaps Platonic moralists like me) are seen as taking the Right Hand path to Salvation. But the Left Hand Path is different.

Quote:[The Left Hand Path rejects] societal convention and the status quo, which some suggest is in a search for spiritual freedom. As a part of this, LHP followers embrace magical techniques that would traditionally be viewed as taboo, for instance using sex magic or embracing Satanic imagery. As Mogg Morgan wrote, the "breaking of taboos makes magic more potent and can lead to reintegration and liberation, [for example] the eating of meat in a vegetarian community can have the same liberating effect as anal intercourse in a sexually inhibited straight society."
They often question religious or moral dogma, instead adhering to forms of personal anarchism.
They often embrace sexuality and incorporate it into magical ritual.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-hand_...-Hand_Path

The word magic, as it is used there is rather esoteric. So don't assume its colloquial meaning.

What makes me call it at least (somewhat) antinomian is the faint breath of moralism/righteousness in it. Perhaps its just a little yang in the yin. But I see more to it than that.

I'm reminded of a passage from Jung's Answer to Job that I think you'll appreciate if you're in the mood.

Quote:Dogmatically, neither "good" nor "evil"
can be derived from Man, since the "Evil One" existed
before Man as one of the "Sons of God." ...
Clement of Rome taught that God rules the world
with a right and a left hand, the right being Christ,
the left Satan. Clement's view is clearly mono-
theistic, as it unites the opposites in one God.

Later Christianity, however, is dualistic, inasmuch as it
splits off one half of the opposites, personified in Satan,
and he is eternal in his state of damnation. This crucial
question forms the point of departure for the Christian
theory of Redemption. It is therefore of prime importance.
If Christianity claims to be a monotheism, it becomes un-
avoidable to assume the opposites as being contained in
God.
https://archive.org/stream/ThePortableJu...g_djvu.txt
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#42
RE: "Hail Satan?" (2019)
(May 14, 2019 at 4:00 am)vulcanlogician Wrote: The statue thing is a huge JOKE. It's hilarious to put a statue of Baphomet up at a courthouse in the American South precisely because it agitates the indigenous fauna whilst simultaneously making a point about equal rights. The Satanic imagery is likeise an agitant. It is meant to show that they have no respect for the Christian establishment and its repressive ethos.

If they're a serious religion, or something like a religion, and they're taking a left-hand path, then they don't want to behave like right-hand people. So getting equal time on the same turf as Baptists is exactly the wrong thing. 

If they're not serious, if the whole thing is intended as a poke in the eye to people who are sincere, then they're playing at demanding equal rights when there are genuinely oppressed groups who would literally fight and die for equal rights. It doesn't help anybody to smirk and pretend you want recognition when gays and trans people and black people and Muslims in the US and any number of other groups are still going through actual struggle. 

So either they're a religion that has given up its foundational purpose -- to go the alternative route -- or they are a fake of the kind Baudrillard described -- the simulacrum that takes the place of reality. 

I don't think it's hilarious. I think it cheapens real culture.
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#43
RE: "Hail Satan?" (2019)
The Satanic Temple are fighting to keep the separation of church f state which is very important.  In fact even many christians support them on that because it is so important even to some of them.  They also fight against Pseudoscience which is great because way too many people are being fooled by that stuff even some atheists.  They also fight for other things like womens rights, etc.  They do great things.

Again this is The Satanic Temple that this film is talking about and I am glad it is getting so much positive attention. It is not about LaVeyan Satanism at all. LaVeyan Satanism is more about things like Pseudoscience and occultism and the supernatural and Might is Right, etc very different from The Satanic Temple.  And Laveyan Satanism (Church of Satan) is not active, they dont do anything
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#44
RE: "Hail Satan?" (2019)
(May 14, 2019 at 8:48 am)prhill Wrote: The Satanic Temple are fighting to keep the separation of church f state which is very important.  In fact even many christians support them on that because it is so important even to some of them.  They also fight against Pseudoscience which is great because way too many people are being fooled by that stuff even some atheists.  They also fight for other things like womens rights, etc.  They do great things.

What do any of their goals have to do with Satan? Why do they use that label?
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#45
RE: "Hail Satan?" (2019)
(May 14, 2019 at 5:57 pm)Belaqua Wrote:
(May 14, 2019 at 8:48 am)prhill Wrote: The Satanic Temple are fighting to keep the separation of church f state which is very important.  In fact even many christians support them on that because it is so important even to some of them.  They also fight against Pseudoscience which is great because way too many people are being fooled by that stuff even some atheists.  They also fight for other things like womens rights, etc.  They do great things.

What do any of their goals have to do with Satan? Why do they use that label?

From their website: WHAT DOES SATAN MEAN TO TST?

Satan is a symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority, forever defending personal sovereignty even in the face of insurmountable odds. Satan is an icon for the unbowed will of the unsilenced inquirer – the heretic who questions sacred laws and rejects all tyrannical impositions. Our metaphoric representation is the literary Satan best exemplified by Milton and the Romantic Satanists from Blake to Shelley to Anatole France.
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#46
RE: "Hail Satan?" (2019)
(May 14, 2019 at 6:26 pm)prhill Wrote:
(May 14, 2019 at 5:57 pm)Belaqua Wrote: What do any of their goals have to do with Satan? Why do they use that label?

From their website: WHAT DOES SATAN MEAN TO TST?

Satan is a symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority, forever defending personal sovereignty even in the face of insurmountable odds. Satan is an icon for the unbowed will of the unsilenced inquirer – the heretic who questions sacred laws and rejects all tyrannical impositions. Our metaphoric representation is the literary Satan best exemplified by Milton and the Romantic Satanists from Blake to Shelley to Anatole France.

It's good to see that they have some roots in history. Certainly using Satan as an example of rebellion has precedents. 

I'm sorry to see that their knowledge of literature apparently doesn't go beyond this simple fact. 

For Milton, Satan is evil. Though later Romantics found Satan the most interesting character in Paradise Lost, Milton himself didn't think so. Milton knew enough of theology to understand that God is not arbitrary authority, but goodness itself. To oppose goodness itself is not good, and people who work for women's rights, separation of church and state, and other good things, are not following Milton's lead. 

; Walter Clyde Curry

; Irene Samuel

Their characterization of Satan as Blake's symbol of rebellion is not accurate. Blake's symbol of rebellion is Orc. And Blake was aware enough of history to know that when he succeeds, Orc changes his state and becomes Urizen, the fundamental cause of the Fall of man, who decrees the arbitrary laws. Blake, a Christian, is entirely against the imposition of arbitrary laws. For him, however, Jesus has nothing to do with such laws. Urizen (whose name comes from "your reason" and "horizon") decrees such laws out of fear and an inability to endure the roiling change of the world.

Satan, for Blake, is unmitigatedly evil. Blake's Satan is the limit of opacity, the lowest level to which human perceptual conditions can fall. Blake's goal is to redeem mankind from Satan's condition, by opening the doors of perception -- a change that comes about by sensual enjoyment. For anyone to hold up Blake's Satan as a model is to show that they don't understand the first thing about Blake. 

; S. Foster Damon

; David Erdman

It's true that Shelley found a symbol of rebellion in Satan. As I recall off the top of my head, his own work used Prometheus for this role, however. Prometheus would be a far better figurehead for rebellion aimed at doing good in society. This might demand further thought, though, because the gifts of Prometheus are two-edged swords -- bringing knowledge but also the possibility of destruction. 

So if American Satanists want to use the character in their own way that's their right. It's not really accurate to claim that Milton and Blake are on their side, however. Nor does the symbol work very well if people are aware of the roots and the nuances. 

I remain skeptical that use of the Satanist label is overall a serious attempt at doing good, and not largely a desire to poke Christian neighbors in the eye for fun.

edit: Strange that the html thingy cut off the book titles above. In order, they should be: Milton's Ontology, Cosmology, and Physics; Plato and Milton; A Blake Dictionary; and William Blake, Prophet Against Empire.
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#47
RE: "Hail Satan?" (2019)
(May 14, 2019 at 6:55 pm)Belaqua Wrote:
(May 14, 2019 at 6:26 pm)prhill Wrote: From their website: WHAT DOES SATAN MEAN TO TST?

Satan is a symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority, forever defending personal sovereignty even in the face of insurmountable odds. Satan is an icon for the unbowed will of the unsilenced inquirer – the heretic who questions sacred laws and rejects all tyrannical impositions. Our metaphoric representation is the literary Satan best exemplified by Milton and the Romantic Satanists from Blake to Shelley to Anatole France.

It's good to see that they have some roots in history. Certainly using Satan as an example of rebellion has precedents. 

I'm sorry to see that their knowledge of literature apparently doesn't go beyond this simple fact. 

For Milton, Satan is evil. Though later Romantics found Satan the most interesting character in Paradise Lost, Milton himself didn't think so. Milton knew enough of theology to understand that God is not arbitrary authority, but goodness itself. To oppose goodness itself is not good, and people who work for women's rights, separation of church and state, and other good things, are not following Milton's lead. 

; Walter Clyde Curry

; Irene Samuel

Their characterization of Satan as Blake's symbol of rebellion is not accurate. Blake's symbol of rebellion is Orc. And Blake was aware enough of history to know that when he succeeds, Orc changes his state and becomes Urizen, the fundamental cause of the Fall of man, who decrees the arbitrary laws. Blake, a Christian, is entirely against the imposition of arbitrary laws. For him, however, Jesus has nothing to do with such laws. Urizen (whose name comes from "your reason" and "horizon") decrees such laws out of fear and an inability to endure the roiling change of the world.

Satan, for Blake, is unmitigatedly evil. Blake's Satan is the limit of opacity, the lowest level to which human perceptual conditions can fall. Blake's goal is to redeem mankind from Satan's condition, by opening the doors of perception -- a change that comes about by sensual enjoyment. For anyone to hold up Blake's Satan as a model is to show that they don't understand the first thing about Blake. 

; S. Foster Damon

; David Erdman

It's true that Shelley found a symbol of rebellion in Satan. As I recall off the top of my head, his own work used Prometheus for this role, however. Prometheus would be a far better figurehead for rebellion aimed at doing good in society. This might demand further thought, though, because the gifts of Prometheus are two-edged swords -- bringing knowledge but also the possibility of destruction. 

So if American Satanists want to use the character in their own way that's their right. It's not really accurate to claim that Milton and Blake are on their side, however. Nor does the symbol work very well if people are aware of the roots and the nuances. 

I remain skeptical that use of the Satanist label is overall a serious attempt at doing good, and not largely a desire to poke Christian neighbors in the eye for fun.

edit: Strange that the html thingy cut off the book titles above. In order, they should be: Milton's Ontology, Cosmology, and Physics; Plato and Milton; A Blake Dictionary; and William Blake, Prophet Against Empire.

What ever they are doing it works.
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#48
RE: "Hail Satan?" (2019)
(May 14, 2019 at 6:55 pm)Belaqua Wrote: I remain skeptical that use of the Satanist label is overall a serious attempt at doing good, and not largely a desire to poke Christian neighbors in the eye for fun.

If somebody gets in your way and glares because you're a homosexual, or feminist, or hippie, or nonconformist... maybe poking them in the eye is an appropriate response.

Many Southern evangelicals/fundamentalists might categorize Augustine or even Aquinas as being influenced by Satan. These people are loud, Belequa. They are mistrustful of science and intellectualism. They don't read Paul's tirades about homosexualty as an emphasis of spiritual things over bodily things, either. They read it as an excuse to "keep gays in their place." And any government that allows homosexuals equal rights has obviously been corrupted by evil. It's pretty refreshing to see people getting loud at them-- because liberals don't really do that.

Context matters.
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#49
RE: "Hail Satan?" (2019)
(May 14, 2019 at 7:09 pm)vulcanlogician Wrote:
(May 14, 2019 at 6:55 pm)Belaqua Wrote: I remain skeptical that use of the Satanist label is overall a serious attempt at doing good, and not largely a desire to poke Christian neighbors in the eye for fun.

If somebody gets in your way and glares because you're a homosexual, or feminist, or hippie, or nonconformist... maybe poking them in the eye is an appropriate response.

Many Southern evangelicals/fundamentalists might categorize Augustine or even Aquinas as being influenced by Satan. These people are loud, Belequa. They are mistrustful of science and intellectualism. They don't read Paul's tirades about homosexualty as an emphasis of spiritual things over bodily things, either. They read it as an excuse to "keep gays in their place." And any government that allows homosexuals equal rights has obviously been corrupted by evil. It's pretty refreshing to see people getting loud at them-- because liberals don't really do that.

Context matters.

It depends on what we want. 

If we want to make progress, overcome those people's prejudices, and improve society, calling ourselves exactly the thing they hate may not be the most effective means. 

If the American Satanists, for whom Satan is a deracinated symbol of doing good, think that provoking and intentionally making people mad is effective, then I guess they should give it a try.
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#50
RE: "Hail Satan?" (2019)
(May 14, 2019 at 8:48 am)prhill Wrote: The Satanic Temple are fighting to keep the separation of church f state which is very important.  In fact even many christians support them on that because it is so important even to some of them.  They also fight against Pseudoscience which is great because way too many people are being fooled by that stuff even some atheists.  They also fight for other things like womens rights, etc.  They do great things.

Again this is The Satanic Temple that this film is talking about and I am glad it is getting so much positive attention. It is not about LaVeyan Satanism at all. LaVeyan Satanism is more about things like Pseudoscience and occultism and the supernatural and Might is Right, etc very different from The Satanic Temple.  And Laveyan Satanism (Church of Satan) is not active, they dont do anything

LaVeyan Satanism has nothing to do with psuedoscience. Occultism? Meh... depends on how you look at it. LaVey was certainly interested in various occultist groups and drew different ideas and imagery from those groups but I would not describe LaVey or the Church of Satan as occultists in any way shape or form. A vast majority of LaVeyan Satanists would and do identify as atheists.

Also, there is no onus on the CoS to be "active." It's not a political group. There is no "group agenda" for the CoS.
Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
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