Convictions, morals, other societies and religions.
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To put it short, he is the hero of hedonistic and profane satanism. Not much wrong with that, but it is a bit dull and regressive. Personally, I don't need an idol as an excuse for my choices.
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I would actually argue that the Church of Satan did not start off this way. The early COS evolved from Anton LaVey's Order of the Trapezoid, which was a group focused purely on Magical workings and activities. LaVey's early writings, first three books (the Satanic Bible, the Satanic Rituals and the Satanic Witch) and the early interviews and documentaries of the COS show that they were not always the Militant Atheist Group that they are today. Sure, most of the Satanic Bible is about rational self-interest and philosophy based around carnal pursuits. But people often fail to realize at least HALF of the Satanic Bible is dedicated to the theory and practice of Ritual Magic, which was fully believed in by the COS during that period. Atheism was never brought up until much later in the COS history, and LaVey states clearly in the Satanic Bible that is up to the individual Satanist how he decides to view Satan - and God. Today, under the leadership of Peter Gilmore, COS Satanism means Dogmatic Militant Atheism, and Magic Ritual is viewed as only a psychodramatic ceremony without any real objective results for the most part, contrary to what the Satanic Bible actually says.Nefastos wrote:Azoth wrote:The runners up's prize goes to Anton LaVey for inventing a religion in the name of something he didn't believe in.
Very apt way to put it.
Still, I think we can thank LaVey for giving Satanism less horrid cultural associations it otherwise might still (or, again) have. It's good if people can more easily see that being a Satanist won't mean one prefers eating babies.
[Edit: Discussion moved here from the topic The Most Questionable Occult Authorities.]
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In the recently published book The Devil and Philosophy (Ed. Robert Arp, Open Court 2014) there is some interesting debate between CoS's Magus Gilmore & and Olli Pitkänen, an author writing about the Star of Azazel. If you can get your hands on the book, I suggest reading at least that part (chapter XI).
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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