I seem to have offended an atheist for having unjustly conflated atheists and Satanists. The confusion is understandable, but the fact is that there are two kinds of Satanists, Satanist who are atheists and Satanists who are not. Of the two groups the former is actually the more popular.
What exactly are Atheistic Satanists? At worst, they are the Incels of the atheist world. At best, they are kind of metal, that is, they have the sort of appeal that a 14 year-old boy might enjoy without embarrassment.
Founded on April 30, 1966 c.e. by Anton Szandor LaVey, we are the first above-ground organization in history openly dedicated to the acceptance of Man’s true nature—that of a carnal beast, living in a cosmos that is indifferent to our existence.
I.E. what we call materialism. Then we get into some Freuerbach style God-as-projection / alienation stuff:
Man—using his brain—invented all the Gods, doing so because many of our species cannot accept or control their personal egos, feeling compelled to conjure up one or a multiplicity of characters who can act without hindrance or guilt upon whims and desires. All Gods are thus externalized forms, magnified projections of the true nature of their creators, personifying aspects of the universe or personal temperaments which many of their followers find to be troubling. Worshipping (sic) any God is thus worshipping by proxy those who invented that God. Since the Satanist understands that all Gods are fiction, instead of bending a knee in worship to—or seeking friendship or unity with—such mythical entities, he places himself at the center of his own subjective universe as his own highest value.
So, man is but a beast, but man also has an ego which he cannot accept so he imagines gods as doing what he would like to do but can’t because he is too afraid. That makes man a particularly strange beast, the-beast-at-odds-with-himself. This is the Church of Satan’s harmatology, i.e. a theory of sin at the origin of human unhappiness, even though they would not call it such.
The solution to the “sin” of not accepting egoism is to embrace it, which the Church of Satan does by LARPing about in funny robes.
To help with this are are the 11 Satanic Rules of the Earth. They are a mixed bag: 2-5 and 11 encourage one to live like a solitary predator, 6, 9, and 10 are basically commands to avoid sin, 7 is just strange, and the rest are good advice on how to stop being an irritating simp.
- Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked. (I like this one. Of course I am breaking it right now.)
- Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them. (Good advice.)
- When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there. (“Lair” *snort* haha. But fine.)
- If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy. (The more you think about it, the more inactionable it is.)
- Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal. (Dude, no chick is ever going to give you a mating signal. Also, how do Satanists breed if male and female Satanists can make no move, each waiting on a signal from the other?)
- Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved. (“Thou shalt not steal” is pithier, but stealing is a sin, and sin is good…)
- Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained. (Um… no comment.)
- Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself. (Ok).
- Do not harm little children. (Why not? What, would it be a sin or something?)
- Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food. (What if they annoy you in your lair?)
- When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him. (LOL. This advice only applies to bands of large and heavily armed men in failed states.)
Basically, the disciple of Satan imagines himself as Conan the Barbarian, or maybe the hero of a Spaghetti Western: taciturn, solitary, irresistibly attractive to women who are always dropping “mating signals”, and able to “destroy” anyone he meets while holding onto a few out-of-context moral principals like “I don’t kill kids” for dramatic effect.
Like Conan or a Spaghetti Western there is a certain appeal. A pusillanimous and bullied boy might derive a bit of backbone from this sort of code. But the mythic state of chaos in which the Satanist / Conan character would thrive does not, and has never existed. Even in failed states there is an order: the order of gangs, drug cartels or tribal loyalties in conflict with the attempt to impose the order associated with a modern state, and the loner-outsider very quickly learns that he either accepts a place in the hierarchy or he is killed. At best he can hope to live as a parasite on the edge of a stable existing order. We humans are pack animals raised in families, villages and clans and there is no escaping that except in fantasy.
I don’t know enough about the Church of Satan and its teachings to judge whether it offers a complete and internally coherent philosophy of life, but from my initial glance it does seem as if its basic understanding of the human situation is based on imagination, not observation.