What do Satanists believe?

I'm an atheist and have noticed that a lot of christians would like to believe there are evil satanists out there following satan. The only satanists I've ever met don't believe in satan, oppose religion in general, and are hedonistic(pleasure seeking) and not terribly concerned with the needs of others. Is this the norm?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    What is Satanism?

    Not necessarily what you may imagine...

    by Diane Vera and Geifodd ap Pwyll

    Satanism is not one single religion. Satanism is a broad category of religions, worldviews, and literature all featuring a favorable interpretation of the figure of Satan.

    Christians (and Muslims) regard their "God" as all-good and Satan as evil. But what is "good"? What is "evil"? Many of the moral values espoused in the Bible seem very strange from a modern Western point of view.

    In the Garden of Eden story, Adam and Eve are punished for eating from the "tree of knowledge of good and evil." In other words, blind obedience to the Biblical "God" is considered "good," whereas independent moral judgment, based on one's own knowledge, is considered "evil." But, like many other educated people in the West today, we Satanists do not agree with this idea at all.

    In the Book of Genesis, "God" seems to be outright threatened by human knowledge and achievement, both in the Garden of Eden story ("And the LORD God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.'" - Genesis 3:22) and then later in the Tower of Babel story ("But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, 'If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.'" - Genesis 11:5-7).

    In several books of the Bible, the supposedly all-good "God" commands the Israelites to slaughter various enemy nations in their entirety, in some cases sparing only the virgin girls who are taken as slaves. Nowhere in the Bible is Satan alleged to do anything even remotely as "evil" by modern Western standards.

    According to traditional Christian doctrine, the main “evil” thing Satan is believed to do is simply to lead people away from Christ. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on how you feel about Christianity.

    From a more down-to-Earth point of view, the worst thing Satan is said to do in the New Testament is to drive people insane. (Insanity is blamed on alleged “demon possession.”) Indeed, if one is careless, one can drive oneself insane through exploring the unknown and seeking to “become as gods,” as Satan invites us to do. On the other hand, if one takes reasonable precautions in pursuing one's explorations and ambitions, one can reap great benefits.

    Thus, most Satanists do NOT see themselves as "worshiping evil." Rather, most Satanists associate Satan with such values as pride, independence, individuality, knowledge, achievement, thinking for oneself, and exploring unknown and forbidden realms.

    Furthermore, contrary to the portrayal of Satanism in horror movies and sensationalistic tabloids, the vast majority of Satanists do NOT see any need to sacrifice animals or commit violent crimes in the name of Satan.

    There are many kinds of Satanists.

    For most of the past forty years, the most public Satanist spokespeople have been atheistic symbolic Satanists, who do not believe in or worship Satan as a literal entity, but who regard Satan as a symbol of independence, pride, individual ambition, etc. The best-known symbolic Satanist organization is the Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey.

    There is now a growing movement of theistic Satanists, who do believe in and revere Satan as a deity.

    There are many kinds of theistic Satanists. The vast majority do NOT simply accept Christian beliefs except for siding with the Other Guy. The beliefs of most theistic Satanists are based on sources other than just Christianity.

    Some theistic Satanists regard Satan as the Christian-era image of a more ancient deity such as the Egyptian god Set, the Greek Titan Prometheus, or the Sumerian god Enki. The Temple of Set is the best-known organization holding such a belief.

    Others base their ideas on ancient Ophidian Gnosticism, which venerated the serpent of the Garden of Eden myth. Ophidian Gnostics saw the Biblical God as the Demiurge (an evil god who created the physical world for the purpose of trapping human souls) and the serpent as Sophia, the bringer of wisdom. This theology isn’t popular among today’s Satanists, most of whom have a more favorable opinion of the material world and their own bodies than the ancient Gnostics did.

    Some see Satan as “God of this world” in a deistic or pantheistic sense, thereby giving a decidedly non-Christian interpretation to a phrase used in the Bible to refer to Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4).

    Many theistic Satanists are polytheistic and regard both Satan and the Christian "God" as just two of the many gods. Some believe that all the gods, including both Satan and the Christian “God,” are really just very advanced extraterrestrial humanoids. Others are polytheistic in a more traditional spiritual sense.

    The authors of this pamphlet are founding members of the Church of Azazel, which has a polytheistic theology. We believe that the Christian "God" is not the true cosmic God. To us, the workings of Nature do not suggest that the cosmic creator God desires a personal parental-like relationship with us humans. We believe that the true cosmic God is most likely impersonal, and, therefore, that any god who does relate to humans in a personal way is not the cosmic God. Thus we regard neither the Christian "God" nor Satan as the ultimate God of the universe. We regard Satan as a spirit who rules over the Earth and as a Muse of human innovation.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have probably met Nazis. It doesn't sound like Satanists. The true Statanists believe the exact opposite of Catholic Chrisitians and have taken the Apostle's Creed and turned it backwards to denounce the existence of Jesus as savior. Some Christians have there head buried in the sand because some, a sorted few, every stick their heads out of their homes for fear of being tempted. That's a sorted few that I've met personally. What is a Norm, I don't think that anything has a basic run of the mill norm, perhaps hypothetically speaking but not in the real world

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Very few do. The overwhelming majority of Satanists are members of the Church of Satan (officially or unofficially) founded by Anton Szandor LaVey. The CoS is essentially a humanistic atheist philosophy. There are some Theistic Satanists (Temple of Set, Lokeans) who follow various Dark/Chaos deities (Temple of Set [Sutekh], the Egyptian deities, Lokeans, the Norse deities, etc...) The Anti-Christian Satanist, who worships the Christian concept of the Devil, is essentially a media myth, having no basis in reality.

  • 1 decade ago

    Satanists don't believe in or worship Satan. They derive their name from the Pre-Christian life force, called 'satan'. There wasn't a devil by that name until Christians invented one.

    Satanists are fiercely protective of and concerned about their loved ones. They simply don't dole out concern to every Tom, Dick, and Harry, since it's not productive. You have to EARN their respect and love, which makes it more valuable.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There are Satanist as in the ones that follow LaVey and then there are the ones Christians call satanist which are really just cultist that pray to the christian ideal of Satan.

    It's funny to read the Satanic statements LaVey put down to christians, most of them agree with them. That is until you tell them it's the foundation of the "Church of Satan". LaVey's Satan has entirely NOTHING to do with christian doctrine.

    So which is your question about?

    Source(s): Life
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That is the norm. There are the occasional ones that really do believe in Satan, but I've personally never met one. I've talked to several that fit your bill, although they aren't all hedonistic.

  • hog b
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I don't think there is a general rule for satanists. Some who claim that affiliation are hedonist, some get into quasi spiritual stuff with rules. I've never met one with a coherent philosophy, but I've only met a few who just say it for the outrage, shock factor, usually when they're drunk.

  • 1 decade ago

    I know a guy who has been through several beliefs, but calls himself Satanic now.

    Atheism, Agnosticism, Christianity, Atheism again, and now Satanism.

    He believes Satan has his best interest in mind because he was high once and he "met Satan" and he told him to break up with his girlfriend.

    Source(s): True story.
  • 1 decade ago

    Huh. A theology major afraid to spell out the word GOD. Or maybe just that illiterate? As to the question, I believe the Church of Satan has a website. They also have a publication called The Black Flame.

  • 1 decade ago

    My experience mirrors yours. Many only use the term Satanist to scare children - even those with grownup bodies.

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