By Vexen Crabtree 2005
I worship truth. I worship reality. The best symbol of reality is Satan. In order to be true to my beliefs, I must seek out the truth, to know. In Satanism, the self is God. Out of the self comes one's own experience of life. This experience of life is sacred. A Satanist does not pollute this life with skewed perceptions of reality. To have a skewed perspective on reality is, for a Satanist, to worship a falsehood. Satanism is the worshipping of truth and reality, and the abolishing of falsehood, deceit and lies. Self-deceit includes wishful thinking, ideas of afterlives and reincarnation, the idea that an eternal universal creator cares about us, the idea that we are greater than we are. There is no 'good and evil', just subjective Human judgements. The Third Satanic Statement does not lack clarity:
Satanists seek to abolish foolish things and things that cloud the mind or will. The worship of truth is a compelling journey that invigorates life and gives meaning. The destruction of lies is an unholy mission that we have dedicated our lives to. The preservation of lies is the abode of religious dogma. In dogma lies an absence of thought and a failure to search for truth.
These things have been reiterated by Peter Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan from 2001:
“Satanists are pragmatists, who do their best to see the world around them in as unclouded manner as possible; we call that "undefiled wisdom." Then we use this understanding to make the best from life for ourselves as well as those whom we cherish.”
Earthly success and happiness are foiled by lies: The more you worship truth, the more it is that truth itself makes you happy. The rosary beads of a Satanist are the gems of truth that shine through the dark glass through which we try to understand the world. The only black light to illuminate our way is the path of Enlightenment, of Lucifer, Crown Prince of Hell.
“He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom.”
To be easily convinced is to be weak. To be strong is to take truth seriously: If you doubt everything you are told, then you are compelled to search for truth rather than condemned to accept misinformation and confusion. To avoid confusion, you must question everything! This makes most Satanists skeptics, and it brings skepticism up to the status of a moral value because being clear-headed is part of the Satanic religion.
The search for truth requires us by definition to attempt to find out what is true. Social customs, personal reflection, reliance upon our primary senses, our memories, our thoughts and our methods of deliberation and finally, our own convictions, can all work against our endeavours to discover the truths of reality. Whatever our beliefs, we must seek out alternative views - opposing views - and see what progress they have made. Our reaction to these other opinions defines whether or not we are serious about our search for the truth. To attack them because they disagree, to ignore them, to shout them down, to ridicule them and to place your own beliefs beyond question are all the hallmarks of someone who is more interested in displaying the posture of someone righteous but who is afraid of the truth. To engage and debate, calmly and personably, is the hallmark of someone who genuinely cares about the truth. Always ask yourself during debates: Which type of person am I?
The art of questioning beliefs and placing emphasis on correct thought, careful deliberation and evidence, is called skepticism. There are skeptical communities in all developed countries.
“Skeptics have a particular challenge with science and moral values, because for us science is a moral value. Critical thinking, honest engagement with the evidence, understanding the world as it is, avoiding self-deception, intellectual integrity, these all have moral stature in our lives.”
Talking of political decisions - in particular the President of the USA and decisions on whether or not to go to war - in "Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed!" by Robert Todd Carroll (2011) the authors writes:
“To push away dissenters and draw closer those who agree with your gut feelings is the worst thing an executive can do when making life and death decisions. [...]
One result of surrounding oneself with sycophants is that not all alternatives are considered; the only options that get considered are those that are seen as promoting what the group members think the leader wants. Group members tend not to offer ideas that might be seen as critical of the leader. On the other hand, group members are quick to attack anyone whose ideas conflict with the group's mindset. A defensive wall is built around the mindset; all criticism is seen as obstruction and must be defended against at all costs.”
"Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed!"
Robert Todd Carroll (2011)3
In order to correctly gauge our own views, we must engage with those who disagree and genuinely try to understand their point of view. It is this that makes science, and skeptical thinking, a much superior method of ascertain what is true or not. It is also a harder path than the opposite route: dogmatic thinking, unquestionable beliefs, taboo topics and complete dismissal of intellectual opponents is a guarantee that you are entombed in a castle of error, violently defending your ideas against the outside world.
I take my beliefs seriously. As a result, I am stubborn about what I believe. I require reasons for things, I want deep understanding of how something can be true. Without those, I am reluctant. The more intellectually slack a person is, the easier it is to convince them of something. I have devoted considerable time to studying the common ways in which falsehoods enter our belief systems and infuse our daily thinking. I have a growing collection of essays on the subject here: "The Human Truth Foundation".
“We all suffer from systematic thinking errors4,5 which fall into three main types: (1) internal cognitive errors; (2) errors of emotion6, perception and memory; and (3) social errors that result from the way we communicate ideas and the effects of traditions and dogmas. Some of the most common errors are the misperception of random events as evidence that backs up our beliefs, the habitual overlooking of contradictory data, our expectations and current beliefs actively changing our memories and our perceptions and using assumptions to fill-in unknown information. These occur naturally and subconsciously even when we are trying to be truthful and honest. Many of these errors arise because our brains are highly efficient (rather than accurate) and we are applying evolutionarily developed cognitive rules of thumb to the complexities of life7,8. We will fly into defensive and heated arguments at the mere suggestion that our memory is faulty, and yet memory is infamously unreliable and prone to subconscious inventions. They say "few things are more dangerous to critical thinking than to take perception and memory at face value"9. We were never meant to be the cool, rational and logical computers that we pretend to be. Unfortunately, and we find it hard to admit this to ourselves, many of our beliefs are held because they're comforting or simple10. In an overwhelming world, simplicity lets us get a grip. Human thinking errors can lead individuals, or whole communities, to come to explain types of events and experiences in fantastical ways. Before we can guard comprehensively against such cumulative errors, we need to learn the ways in which our brains can misguide us - lack of knowledge of these sources of confusion lead many astray11.
Learning to think skeptically and carefully and to recognize that our very experiences and perceptions can be coloured by societal and subconscious factors should help us to maintain impartiality. Beliefs should not be taken lightly, and evidence should be cross-checked. This especially applies to "common-sense" facts that we learn from others by word of mouth and to traditional knowledge. Above all, however, our most important tool is knowing what types of cognitive errors we, as a species, are prone to making.”
“Human thought and religion is confounded by our susceptibility to cognitive thinking errors, and traditional world religions have employed every method possible to suppress free thought. It has always been the figure of Satan that has stood up and questioned god, revealed truth, and challenged religious dogma and Human wishful thinking. Satan represents doubt, the questioning of all things. [...]
Satan represents Doubt. God did not want Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Allah did not want his creation to doubt his word. In both theologies, it was Satan, the most intelligent created being, who stood up against this enforced ignorance. Satan tells mankind: Search for knowledge, even in taboo places. Shaitan told the Djinn: Let us test God's word, let us not mindlessly believe all that God says. Although these myths are irrelevant to the modern world, the role of Satan is very much relevant to our lives and our search for knowledge. Enlightenment is the ability to look past stated truth and dogma, and Lucifer is the Crown Prince of Satan that represents our search for enlightenment.”
“There is something ticklish in "the truth" and in the search for the truth; and if a man goes about it too humanely, I wager he find nothing!”
The Satanic approach is captured wonderfully in the few words below about philosophers by Walter Kaufmann, and a direct comment from Aristotle:
“Part of the excitement of the quest for the truth comes from the scent of freedom: What is wanted is what is new, different, original: A hitherto unknown fact, a novel distinction or an unconventional perspective ... to dislodge as much as possible of what had seemed fairly established... above all, we want to triumph over falsehood and deception.”
“Still perhaps it may appear better, nay to be our duty where the safety of the truth is concerned, to upset if need be even our own theories, specially as we are lovers of wisdom: for since both are dear to us, we are bound to prefer the truth.”
A Satanist seeks the truth in the opposite way to the religious adherent - through trial and error, inference and intelligence, rather than the theistic methods of heart-searching, Bible-reading or the trying to find truth in myths! The opposite to divinely inspired knowledge, we learn through empirical observation and hard work. The scientific method.
The search for truth is not always the same as the search for mere happiness. Happiness can result from misdirection and ignorance; therefore the search for truth is nobler. Albert Einstein, one of the most prominent Human intellects, once concluded that there is no simple answer to the question of how far the search for truth should cast a shadow on happiness:
“Should truth, for instance, be sought unconditionally even where its attainment and its accessibility to all would entail heavy sacrifices in toil and happiness? There are many such questions which, from a rational vintage point, cannot easily be answered or cannot be answered at all.”
Albert Einstein (1948)15
Satanism drives me to a life of study, research and reading, especially in the social sciences, general science, and comparative religion. In devoting time to discovering - and disseminating - the truth, we all find we step on others' toes. It is imperative we do so - and those who recoil in hatred and fear are simply unworthy of knowing the truth. For those people, the self-deceit mentioned in the Third Satanic Statement is insurmountable. Leave those people by the wayside - or try to help them if you care to!
Remember, therefore, that there was once a Latin saying used when study was hard and evidence was lacking:
Ignoramus et ignorabimus.
It meant "we do not know and cannot know". The pathetic cry of the inferior! Instead, embrace the edifying and freeing response of mathematician David Hilbert16:
Wir müssen wissen.
Wir werden wissen.
We must know.
We will know.
Fitting words to take as far as the grave.
The Book of Satan is the first book in the Satanic Bible. It states:
“No hoary falsehood shall be a truth to me; no stifling dogma shall encramp my pen! I break away from all conventions that do not lead to my earthly success and happiness.”
And the Second Satanic Statement reads:
Spiritual pipe dreams are forms of hoary falsehood that feed on peoples' shallow emotional wants. Dogma stifles thought. Vital existence is the reality of life. Satan represents truth and the search for truth. It therefore also represents the abolition of religious dogma. The traditional churches and religions of mankind are the symptoms of mental disease. How many hundreds and thousands of times in history has scientific truth been oppressed by the murderous, holy rage of the Christian and mainstream churches? Their search for truth has ended; the only truth they are seeking is that which confirms what they already think. The search for truth is unholy, anti-establishment, irreligious and above all Satanic.
All of this talk of the worshipping of truth and the seeking out of lies highlights the Cardinal Sin of Satanism: Stupidity.
Satan is an enemy of stupidity: Satan is our intellectual muse and holds high a banner of intelligence and success. Utmost important is placed on critical thinking, inner thought, reflection and deliberation. Although not all successful people or Satanists are highly intelligent, so such people should always know this, and work around it -- see the page on Satanic Power which concerns the adaptability and success that is achievable as long as you know your own shortcomings.
Satan represents freethought, thought without dogma, absolutes or herd conformity. That is why stupidity is the cardinal sin in Satanism; it is simply a show-stopper. No-one embarks on the Satanic path with a weak mind full of gullibility and daft ideas. There are popular, legalistic, and very feel-good religions to suit those types of people. Satanism is not for the stupid.”
This page drew on a lot of material from pages I've already written because I felt it pertinent to bring together various strands: Such as the 2nd and 3rd Satanic Statements and the Cardinal Sin, into reflection with each other. Satanism as the worship of truth highlights Satan as the enemy of religion and stupidity.
This devotion to hard reality and truth is hedonism-when-applied-to-the-head. Lucifer, the Crown Prince of the Eastern Cardinal, is the path of more philosophically minded Satanists. This page is therefore the path of Lucifer rather than the paths of the other types of Satanists. As I myself align strongly with the Lucifer Aspect of Satan this essay is biased: There are Satanists who would disagree with the very idea of spending so much time on intellectual endeavours. Many other Satanists have more practical-elitist skills and follow the paths of Belial or Leviathan.
Current edition: 2005 Aug 14
Last Modified: 2014 Mar 28
Parent page: The Description, Philosophies and Justification of Satanism
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Skeptical Inquirer. Magazine. Published by Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, NY, USA. Pro-science magazine published bimonthly.
Carroll, Robert Todd. (1945-2016). Taught philosophy at Sacramento City College from 1977 until retirement in 2007. Created The Skeptic's Dictionary in 1994.
(2011) Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed!. E-book. Amazon Kindle digital edition. Published by the James Randi Educational Foundation.
Einstein, Albert. (1879-1955)
(1954) Ideas and Opinions. Paperback book. Published in 1954 by Crown Publishers, New York, USA and in 1982 by Three Rivers Press. A collection of Einstein's writings and texts.
Gilmore, Peter. High Priest of the Church of Satan (as of 2001+).
(2007) The Satanic Scriptures. Hardback book. Published by Scapegoat Publishing, USA. Compendium of texts. Many essays are new editions of older texts by Gilmore.
(1991) How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life. Paperback book. 1993 edition. Published by The Free Press, NY, USA.
(1958) Critique of Religion and Philosophy. Hardback book.
(1999) Social Psychology. Paperback book. 6th ('international') edition. Originally published 1983. Current version published by McGraw Hill.
Wilson, E. O.
(1998) Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. Hardback book. Published by Little, Brown and Company, London, UK. Professor Wilson is a groundbreaking sociobiologist.