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  #726  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:54 PM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
Sure. I don't think we're arguing.

And that's the part that's a shame. Any religious, inter-faith discourse with them is only going to go so far because they exist solely for political reasons. When you dig deep, their answers on the nature of morality are going to be identical to a secular humanist's. Which is fine; I can talk morality and religion with a secular humanist. They are real. There is a philosophical level of secular humanism that exists on its own WITHOUT being pure reaction to political climate. It exists as something more than internet trolling translated into real life.
If the religious people would behave themselves, we wouldn't need groups like the Satanic Temple.
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  #727  
Old 06-07-2019, 04:53 AM
Genesis Genesis is offline

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Dude, we realize it's not a "real" religion. Church of Satan exists to point out the hypocrisies of the protected status of religion. Like, it's one thing to pray in peace and safety. It's quite another to build multi-million dollar, corporations (essentially) that are completely tax-free. Large, international organizations that have the resources and manpower to lobby the government to push their ideology onto the general population.
The Church of Satan is not the Satanic Temple. These are two separate organizations. Carry on.
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  #728  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:39 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/faq

So I did underestimate the Satanic Temple. Its website actually does flesh out a philosophical mindset with moral guidelines (and in my opinion, "philosophy" is the big "P" word that gets you the secular version of theology and religion, e.g. Confucianism).

The neat thing about belief systems is that, if designed as more than a joke, you can flesh out and explore them without being an actual believer. When you're not a believer, it's interesting how much these systems can feel like the lore or "canon" of a fictional universe. Art imitates life imitates art, and all that.

Like most modern philosophies/religions, the morality of this Satanism brand is focused on humanism and empathy. Emphasis on the empathy. The Golden Rule, right? The conclusion of game theory. There's an almost universal agreement that an individual's rights are not allowed to supercede another individual's rights, generally. You see this in most modern religions plus in atheistic secularism - it's sort of pleasant to reflect on how so many of us stand by this conclusion despite coming from so many premises.

But the true entertainment in studying religion (and history) comes from the philosophical EMPHASIS that each group leans toward.

With my Catholic Christianity, for example, there's a high emphasis on sacrifice and on the belief that we fall short of perfection. Most of our sacraments are bound to this recognition of failure and the need for a greater force to reshape us. Our application of empathy and humanism are entwined with personal sacrifice and the desire to come as close to perfection as possible.

Reading this website for the Satanic Temple, I'm getting an emphasis on PURGING and REBELLION.

Not the wicked kind of rebellion, but the kind of rebellion tied to purging. The kind related to taking something filthy, cleaning it completely, obliterating the filth you discovered, and restoring whatever left that is actually clean and good. If I were looking for equivalent tones within Christian scripture, I'd look to Jesus flipping tables in the temple or to the metaphor of a house being tested by fire so that the wood and straw burn away but the more durable elements remain (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). And incidentally, that latter example is often used by Catholics to convey the Purgatory concept to Protestants.

But of course, "purging" isn't the word these Satanists use. They use the term "destruction", a term I consider loaded and unfair. Because when you look into it, this "destruction" is a constructive version of destroying. It destroys so that the target can be improved. That's what I consider purging. Look at this list of Satanic Temple rituals:

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Black Mass — a celebration of blasphemy, which can be an expression of personal liberty and freedom

Unbaptism — participants renounce superstitions that may have been imposed upon them without their consent as a child

Destruction ritual — participants destroy an object they own that symbolizes a source or pain in their lives

Defiance ritual — a pledge to challenge the status quo in a way that is personally meaningful
Look at all that. The first, second, and fourth are all striking out at perceived evils in the world and society. The third one (Destruction ritual) feels almost like a Lenten vow or sort of spring cleaning, removing objects that burden us or bring us further away from that personal purity we could otherwise attain. It's interesting. I wonder if the site might ever list less destruction-focused rituals, maybe like "Tree of Knowledge" for some sort of educational experience.

But yes, it all looks more offensive than it actually is because everything is ensconced in the language of REBELLION. As Wikipedia describes:

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Originally Posted by Wiki wiki
In an interview with The New York Times, co-founder Malcolm Jarry stated that the idea of starting a Satanic faith-based organization was first conceived as one "that met all the Bush administration's criteria for receiving funds, but was repugnant to them"
And that's their two-edged sword, with the disadvantage of being reactionary in form and tone (anti-Christian), but the advantage in getting attention and ability to specifically target what they consider filthy and pervasive in modern times. That advantage is their stated reason for founding. An intriguing take, though I prefer the tone of those who call themselves secular humanists.

It is very entertaining to read their stabs against the other forms of "Satanism". The true spirit of reformation and counter-reformation: attacking your fellow denominations more effectively than outside religions truly can!

EDIT: Whoops, I forgot to comment on the most obvious link between the tone of rebellion and the repeated mission goal of "empathy". By using anti-Christian verbiage to shape its religion into something repugnant to Christians, they are of course working to increase empathy among the Christian population itself. "See how we feel!" and all that. Which serves a purpose. I prefer more of a balance between internal growth and external growth, but at least they do have the internal aspect present (e.g. the Destruction ritual mentioned above).

Last edited by BaronGrackle; 06-10-2019 at 01:04 PM..
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  #729  
Old 06-10-2019, 04:22 PM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
Look at all that. The first, second, and fourth are all striking out at perceived evils in the world and society. The third one (Destruction ritual) feels almost like a Lenten vow or sort of spring cleaning, removing objects that burden us or bring us further away from that personal purity we could otherwise attain. It's interesting. I wonder if the site might ever list less destruction-focused rituals, maybe like "Tree of Knowledge" for some sort of educational experience.
Here's an example of one of their "black mass" things:
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