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#47769 - 02/01/11 10:55 AM Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?"
Fnord Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 2085
Loc: Texas
This seems to be a popular sentiment out there on the Satanic internet.

We've touched on the edges of it in other related arguments such as the ones dealing with what Satanism is and isn't and who might or might not have the right to define it.

My primary interest in starting this thread is to get very specific about what it is, in precise terms, that is out dated about Satanism as codified by Anton LaVey.

Please do not branch off into other discussion about what is and what isn't Satanism. If you think that Satanism, again as codified by Anton LaVey, is in some way out dated, please specifically cite examples of what is out dated about it (preferably examples from The Satanic Bible, but other works stem from that and so could be included in the discourse).
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#47802 - 02/01/11 02:47 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Fnord]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3812
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
I don't think it can ever be outdated, because I don't think he really created anything that wasn't already there. In my eyes, he put his finger on a pulse that was already beating, gave it a name and crystalized it in written form when nobody really had before.

He noted different elements of this current touched upon by the great authors of the LHP past, and showed how they are all elements of a thing, and called that thing 'Satanism', and for very good reason.

The real question to me isn't whether he was the first word on Satanism, or if his message is still relevant, because that is self evident to me, but whether he was the LAST word. On this final point, I don't really agree.

Satanism is built on a sound and powerful philosophical core, but a philosophy that is not DONE, but rather ENSHRINED, isn't worth too much. In my eyes, viewing it as the latter is an insult to the work done by LaVey, and his memory.
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#47807 - 02/01/11 02:57 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Fnord]
Jason King Offline
Banned/Martyrdom Denied
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Registered: 10/24/10
Posts: 731
Loc: 65?1%833Q!92A24 (It's a code)
I rotes me a hole book aboot it. I even cawled it Postmodern Satanism, just for gaggles and faggles.

On a serious note, LaVey was far too reactionary in his definition/understanding of the Current. I prefer the proactive stance of . . . say . . .Jason King.

I'll rejoin, but I figured I'd give you an extra length of rope. You're going to need it.

JK
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#47812 - 02/01/11 03:49 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Jason King]
Fnord Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 2085
Loc: Texas

 Originally Posted By: Jason King
I figured I'd give you an extra length of rope. You're going to need it.


I am? Interesting, considering I have yet to take a position.

 Originally Posted By: Jason King
I'll rejoin...


Thank you, please do.
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#47813 - 02/01/11 03:51 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Fnord]
TheInsane Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 356
There are core ideas of LaVeyan Satanism and then there are all the rest. When reading TSB I can easily see that it wasn’t written today or for the people of today in the way LaVey goes into detail into certain aspects of the philosophy. While the foundation may remain the same I very much doubt that there would be a big need for a section on “Satanic Sex” in a modern day SB for example. The idea behind it may still be used but today I doubt it would need to be the largest chapter of a SB (I think Im right on this but I don’t have a copy around so I can check the length of the chapter).

I do agree with Jason that LaVey in general tended to be way to reactionary for my taste and I also think that is a trait of the environment that shaped him. If we look into the philosophical parts of TSB almost everything is a reaction – and mainly to Christianity. As far as Satanism goes I think this is very common and what should be active and positive often tends to fall into reaction and negativity. Sometimes the best way is to break free and separate oneself from “the enemy” (not saying LaVey didn’t do that but TSB is still very much an answer to Christianity than it is a plunge into deep Satanic philosophy).

LaVey was very much a product of his time and it can be easily seen in his works which may make certain parts of it seem outdated or a little bit alien. As I said before, not the main idea but perhaps the way it is written about and the obvious feeling of a need to write it. I don’t know how it is for anyone else, maybe youre still stuck in a highly religious environment, but I feel like what needed to be said in the 60’s about Satanism isn’t necessarily what needs to be said about it today.

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#47814 - 02/01/11 03:57 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: TheInsane]
Fnord Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 2085
Loc: Texas
So what you've basically said in all of that is that the core is still valid but that you think the language used to describe those core values aren't to your liking?
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#47815 - 02/01/11 04:06 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Fnord]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3812
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Certainly the 60s were a different time, and the use of shock and awe to present Satanism as a reactionary force is what propelled it into the limelight. It is the form he used, to present Satanism in contrast with the main thing it stood against philosophically, which was Christianity, to highlight what it WAS about. As such, I think there is plenty that is proactive about TSB.

Nowadays we wouldn't need to use this sort of form, which would probably be largely ignored. People aren't shocked by much anymore, and the christian religion becomes less relevant in and of itself as the days go on. The current of submission and obedience it represents though, is stronger than ever.

He used the form he did because of the times he lived in, but even with that form being dated the substance behind it hasn't changed a whit.
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#47817 - 02/01/11 04:18 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Dan_Dread]
TheInsane Offline
member


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 356
 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
CAs such, I think there is plenty that is proactive about TSB.


Could you give some examples? I could think of a few things but mainly it is a very reactionary book.

 Originally Posted By: Fnord
So what you've basically said in all of that is that the core is still valid but that you think the language used to describe those core values aren't to your liking?


Well, I would prefer a more active and positive approach but I realize it was different times and different needs in how to present things. Just saying that reading TSB today may give you a feeling of outdatedness because of how it is written. But then again you cant escape your place in time and your writings must reflect where you are at the given moment. Sadly I think some get stuck in the reactionary fold of Satanism and never quite escapes.

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#47819 - 02/01/11 04:27 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: TheInsane]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3812
Loc: Vancouver, Canada

 Originally Posted By: "theinsane"
Could you give some examples? I could think of a few things but mainly it is a very reactionary book.

Sure. Take the 9 statements for instance. They use reactionary form because they are stated by way of contrast, but the first half of each statement is proactive in nature. The Idea of man as his own god, which is the core of the philosophy, is also proactive, but delivered by way of contrast to conventional religion. The idea of magic as psychodrama is also quite an important, and proactive concept. LaVeys style was to deliver ideas by way of contrast.

I guess whether or not you see this as reactionary is a matter of perception. Myself, I have never had any need to use catharsis on christianity, or any other religion as I have never been a believer, yet I have found everything I need to build outwards within TSB. Like I said, not the last word..it will be a sad day when there is nobody left to DO Satanic philosophy, but still it was the first.
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#47821 - 02/01/11 04:47 PM Anton LaVey's Satanism is Outdated [Re: Fnord]
nocTifer Offline
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Registered: 11/07/09
Posts: 87
Loc: Khazakstan
hi Fnord,
 Originally Posted By: Fnord
This {that Anton LaVey's Satanism is outdated} seems to be a popular sentiment out there on the Satanic internet.

that'd be nice. I'm willing to entertain the notion and provide feedback from my quarter.

 Originally Posted By: Fnord
We've touched on the edges of it in other related arguments such as the ones dealing with what Satanism is and isn't

that is a perpetual attempt to dominate the (dwindling?) subculture through posturing and little more. it appears to be a left-over of Protestant vying in the aftermath of domain-peddling by religious institutions which it superceded (Roman and other Catholicisms, primarily). note the historical development of emphasis on individualist authoritative focus, the interest in spearheading a mock-catholicism by the early CoS, and the 'wild west' venue for the origins for something reflecting off of subversion ideology reactions.

 Originally Posted By: Fnord
and who might or might not have the right to define it.

definitions are used by authors and mapped in their aftermath by dictionary makers. only individual cults prop up these dogmas, and they are thereafter the programmers of their members' minds. those outside their cultus are not constrained except within totalitarian theocracies (definitely on the way out), and imagining that they now apply is an alarmist or zealous advocation without much merit.

 Originally Posted By: Fnord
...what {is it}, in precise terms, that is {outdated} about Satanism as codified by Anton LaVey{?} ...please specifically cite examples of what is out dated about it (preferably examples from The Satanic Bible ....

The Outdatedness of Bibles as Magical Books of Authority

one of the most outdated aspects of LaVeyan Satanism is its tendency to use a magic book to prop up someone's social or cultic authority. haven't you had enough of that from the Christians? my theory is that the novelty of scrolls, later the books, and still later publishing, wowed the gullible religious, whose priesthood then lorded it over them and prevented them from reading the woowoo magic language of Latin.

for all the (self-)religious and anti-religious rebelling against the Christians, very many of you appear to want a Bible to replace your parental magic book. I am not really a party to it, excepting that i was born into the environ, generally, in which the Church of Satan was formed (San Francisco Bay Area, 1960s, agnostic household). I find it valuable to point out the problems and advantages of all religions, but religion the world 'round shares these problems, and Christians aren't alone. it appears to be a function of inadequate education and science that we still have religion, and i think it serves some remedial and preservative aims. demonizing it is just applying the religious "solution" to the religious problem.

self-reliance, individual sovereignty (as promoted by many of the New Age cults including Thelema, Neopaganism to an extent, and Satanism to an extent), and the dismantling of the architecture of moral panics as a means to sociopolitical ends (often through religious or folkloric vectors using rumor, innuendo, slander, and playing on ignorant human bigotry) seem to be the main benefits of Satanism and its kindred constructs. Bibles, churches, and (black/white) popes are a temporary and expiring caricature with arguable staying power as long as the institutions employing them retain their prestige.

as i was growing up in a fragmenting Christian culture, this seemed to me the main crux-point and weakness of (at least localized) religious advocations: their focus on a glorified magic book to help them solve their problems, answer their (in some cases deep and important) philosophical dilemmas, and secure their social integrity (as by creeds). this is not assisted much by making it a variable, as do the Freemasons ('Volume of Sacred Law' which most members just 'plug-in' their Bible, Tanakh, or Qur'an to supply) or Wiccans ('Book of Shadows' which is an even less impressive magical and ritual record and traditional diary). numerous competing 'Bibles' have seen publication, and this is all well and good in a struggle against the whole magic book phenomenon.

as the state of scholarly analysis begins to improve (read: secularize and grow some teeth) and it becomes apparent how religion ignores its supposed authoritative books as it desires in order to pursue its very human interests, establish the past as the foundation of religious superheros for the purpose of supplementing its gods, etc.), religions relying on these types of constructs will be (and have been in some cases) cast aside and into museums as historical oddities, trotted out occasionally by brand new cults or with sci-fi/fantasy/horror magic books like the Necronomicon. while it may have impressed the Christian culture of its time, and provided an entre to be taken seriously by adherents of a religious institution whose power is extant yet waning, to those who understand its rudimentary principles of self-empowerment, it is training wheels that ought be cast off as outdated by those who are ready for this. just as the Church of Satan put down its Christian Black Masses because they'd worn out their catalyzing power for those who sustained them, this 'Satanic' Bible has for many of us either never seemed appropriate for anything but apology to Christians, or was relegated to legitimizing processes needed to a get a point across.

as Satanists mature, and as more Satanists arise who came from outside of any Christian background (as i did) provide their input to the possibly dwindling movement, we will begin to focus less on what Christians or gullible religious find interesting to us, and also focus less on that which concerns anti-theists who have a beef with Christianity. instead, authority will center on the individual, results will be the evaluating fulcrum of any mechanisms engaged, and the props of legitimation like some singular Bible will be left behind for those who are still emergent from their Christian envelope. if Satanism expands outward you should be about to discern 'The Satanic Qur'an' (though Salman Rushdie may have already worn this one out a bit), and possibly 'The Satanic Talmud' or 'The Satanic Tanakh' (i'm already seeing 'Jewish Satanists' on the rise as regards visibility). all of these will likely have less staying power through time and constitute triggering liberation devices for their users.


The Outdatedness of Popes (or Their Churches) as Social Authorities

alongside this externalizing plea for authoritative underpinnings, the author and promoter of this Bible bears no special cosmic stamp of genius, power, or authority. his promoters will attempt to glorify him regardless of his initiatic nature, and his family and successors can be expected to zealously promote his magnitude as a superhero in conventional religious style. by 100 years from now we should expect that stories will be told about his having signed a pact with Satan, that he was born of a virgin (or a harlot), and that he had miraculous powers (with several successful curses under his belt; that one's already underway). attempting to stop this process is futile.

the momentum of religion may be seen in the Thelemic subculture as it glorifies Aleister Crowley regardless of his extremely repugnant character (his strengths of endurance lie in his written word, prose) and in the Satanist as it does the same with Anton. this is, to those of us who understand it, a diversion engulfing the gullible for purpose of social transformation. one may witness the legitimating process in witchcraft religion in the aftermath of Gerald Gardner and the numerous diversifying cults in his wake, largely replacing him with others (Alexandrians focussing on Alex Saunders, Georgians focussed on George Patterson, and many others), then tending to decentralize.

dynastic tendencies in which a family, a clan of individuals, or some oligarchic principle council determined authoritative succession went out of favour with the passing of theocratic rule. with the rise of democracies and a step away from aristocratic class to successive landed gentry, successors might be promoted by the influential, and yet discernment between state and religion and a focus on meritocracy (however ephemeral and artificial) makes a mockery of the edifice of the Roman Catholics or shadowy secret societies such as the Church of Satan and its Council of Nine Unknown Men outdated and useful only for its initiatic purposes, gaining a foothold for the expansion of the rebel cultus.


Social Conversation and Spiritual Technology

the real strength of Satanism as it develops will not be found in its degradation into the Methods of Religion either for promotion or for social integrity. publications and publicists have their place, but the ongoing social conversation pitting subversion ideologies against novelty religion and anti-theistic rationalism will continue and become pertinent as they make use of evaluations by sociologists, folklorists, and anthropologists documenting the actualities associated with these cults and gods, and all of the institutions with which they are associated.

too wide a gap may be seen to have developed between conservative religious cults, on the one hand, and critical scholarly secular evaluations on the other, so as to consolidate a lasting scientific scrutiny of religion and moral panics. the Satanic Panic and the rise of religious Satanism may be seen as a step along the way to a gradual reproachment between these religious and the anti-religious who have emerged from their ranks to engage with them a struggle for supremacy.

long-term, the techniques or pragmatic subjective technologies that extend beyond mere sociopolitical contrivance ought to be examined for what they are in the cold light of clinical scrutiny, and even if they firm up some kind of overall placebo-effect or chamber-operation techniques which are cognitive tools, they should be omitted from demonizing ("occultnik", etc.) and subjected to rational evaluation. the rise of the individual as primarily important where these technologies are concerned makes Bibles, churches, cults, and whatever may promote them to a secularizing establishment outdated as we begin to winnow fantasy from reality, social leverage from sustainable personal development.

comments, rebuttals welcomed.
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#47823 - 02/01/11 05:01 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Fnord]
Moravagine Offline
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Registered: 11/02/10
Posts: 16
A condensed and modernized version of TSB might simply run: "Man is god. Have at it." TSR is completely useless.

The portions on sex and magic were written for a specific audience, and quite likely totally irrelevant nowadays. Dare I suggest that "Satan" should also be binned? What is left? [see above]

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#47827 - 02/01/11 05:30 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Fnord]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3118
I have troubles with the statement LaVey's Satanism being outdated. While there might be a whole discussion about who started with Satanism and are the true founding fathers of the philosophy (anyone is entitled to their opinions, all I can say is that there is only Satanism), I don't see the core being outdated.

The Satanic philosophy has always been about the individual and his/her progression in social/economical/intellectual status and position. It is thus in my honest opinion that if a person finds something lacking with Satanism that it is not so much the philosophy being outdated, but moreover the individual who is running short and probably should start to consider if Satanism is really their philosophy. And that goes for about ANY individual who started using adjectives like "progressive", "spiritual", "postmodern", "red",..
A person might know a lot of the philosophy and have read various works many fellow travellers see as a vital part for understanding the philosophy, but theory without experience doesn't cut the cake.

Satanism remains Satanism, LaVey is the person who should be admired of holding up a mirror and let the persons see for themselves what was already known. He simply wrote down what most Satanists already knew and gave the ability to identify and classify the persons who at least dared to take a look in that mirror and embraced what they saw.
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#47830 - 02/01/11 05:49 PM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Moravagine]
XiaoGui17 Offline
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Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 1126
Loc: Amarillo, TX
I don't know if TSB is outdated so much as sloppy.

The Book of Satan is fodder for every troll who wants to whine about plagiarism.

The Book of Lucifer is the most valuable original material in there, but if LaVey had published that alone TSB would’ve been a pamphlet.

The theoretical material on ritual magic in the Book of Belial was okay.

The Book of Leviathan has some glaring mythological inaccuracies that make me wince.

King, while I like your book, your shameless plug is making Aquino blush.


Edited by XiaoGui17 (02/01/11 05:50 PM)
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#47849 - 02/02/11 12:02 AM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Moravagine]
Simon Jester Offline
stranger


Registered: 10/24/09
Posts: 36
 Originally Posted By: Moravagine
"Man is god. Have at it."


I love it! It's hardly enough to make a fortune cookie, but would a "satanist" really need anything more?

I've just gone over TSB one last time. My impressions of it have not altered. There is nothing in it of "bedrock philosophy" or commonsense, the closest I came were the lifted portions from MIR. It remains a vague curiosity - a mock self-help manual, full of factual errors, outright fraud and loads of metaphysical/psychological BS.

For the OP: Do you feel there is anything of relevance in TSB?

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#47855 - 02/02/11 01:42 AM Re: Anton LaVey's Satanism is "outdated?" [Re: Fnord]
MatthewJ1
Unregistered



An important thread this. As usual my thoughts are my own.

Apparently Dr. LaVey was reactionary? I thought he was actually progressive and it was the Christian's who were reactionary.

I mean shit the guy was saying that one should enjoy this life to the fullest cause it was the only one to be had; and one should indulge in all the vices and sins in a responsible manner. He also acknowledged that might is right is a fundamental truth and that one can obtain their own Godhood and their own freedom.

This is definitely reactionary shit.

Apparently Dr. LaVey was reactionary in some other way with regard to some current? Well shit, I mean it is Satanism and that S word does have its own history and its own meaning. Fundamentally it gains its meaning from the system of religious and cultural thought/practice it arose within: doesn't it? And LaVey does seem to situate his thought in opposition to Christianity and the cowering ones. Satan is the accuser, or the adversary, or the opposition?

Words gain their meaning because they are not this and they are not that. They gain meaning through their opposition to each other, and further because they partake of a context, a history of usage.

Oh well, maybe Satanism can be changed to whatever just like one can name Minimalism, the Baroque; or chess, football, or a dog, a cat etc.

I am definitely going to write my own book on this cause I am ready to re - define as many words as possible and then claim some sort of saviour status.

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