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#55385 - 06/02/11 09:17 AM Postmodernism and Satanism
MattVanSickle84 Offline
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The following is intended as a (relatively) short critique of the book "Postmodern Satanism" by Jason King.

It is a considerable volume so I find it only fitting and fair to Mr King that I am respectfully and appropriately thorough. I will not explicitly refer to the contents of book, which is very detailed, only some of it's more glaring shortcomings, but I will mainly question the underlying assumptions through which it has been conceived. Since the book is apparently held in high regard by some Satanists it is worth examining.

I have also ignored the many religious methodologies in the book, purposefully, as I would ignore the intricacies of any theology. Since I reject the assumptions upon which they are based I see no constructive purpose in delving any deeper into the various practices and theories that rest on them.

Upon deciding to read the book I did so with great reservations and suspicions and not only because this is the appropriate way to undertake of any reading (i.e. skeptically). I think it's also fair to mention any a priori reasons I have for these suspicions. They are as follows:

- A general suspicion of postmodernism itself and an acknowledgement of the superiority of the scientific method over and above any philosophy, especially postmodern strains of thought.

- A general lack of enthusiasm for the idea that the various philosophies and ideas that constitute Satanism require any such overhaul.

Firstly, I think one should be extremely skeptical of any system of thought that is prefixed as "postmodern". Postmodernism is an extremely vague and often intentionally confusing (see Lacan, Derrida, Foucault et al.) synthesis of various strains of thought posited upon a mistrust of objective reality and truths. Not absolute truth for this would be more understandable and thus more acceptable, but the scientific criterion of "truth": empirical knowledge. It is essentially an intuitive way of arguing about how to most appropriately understand reality.

Postmodernism is, on the whole, extremely dismissive of the scientific method, of empiricism and it's conclusions. This would be more certainly be a noble and worthy starting point, but only if there are valid and sound reasons. I don't see any. I also am not aware of any instance of postmodern discourse and analysis whereby it has successfully refuted the scientific method or added anything to it. So it seems to me that this position starts with nothing and ends with nothing. This is incidentally in keeping with the recent pronouncements by Professor Stephen Hawking as to the relative uselessness of philosophy in relation to genuine discovery.

Postmodernism, perhaps only less so than theism, is a perfect manifestation of the common expression that one can be so open minded that one's brain falls out.

It also seems to me that in attempting to bring about a revaluation of Satanic thought through the lens of postmodern analysis, begs of us the following question: is there a need for such a paradigm shift and what will this add? I would suggest there is no need and that it would add nothing and here is why:

In my own formulation, Satanism for all it's faults (and there are many) is currently grounded upon rational thought, reason, materialism, skepticism and an acceptance of both subjective experience and objective reality, among other things. See my other posts for more of my complete interpretation of Satanism.

I think that all of the aforementioned have been extensively venerated and remain reasonably unequivocal or at least not refuted by their alternatives. Subjective experience is certainly "real" by particular definitions but this does not bear upon the question of the existence of an objectively "real" universe.

Postmodernists would have us believe that the former negates the latter but fail to offer any evidence for this assertion. There are no valid reasons (yet) to view reality other than as materialism would describe it, even quantum theory which only delves further into matter. There is also no urgency to dismiss reason despite, for instance, Kant's brilliant critique.

Skepticism is just another word for critical thinking, which brings us science and science is absolutely unparalleled in terms of understanding and extrapolating the nature of the universe.

If this is true then I see no reason to move from Modernism (enlightenment values) into the realms of Postmodernism. There is even currently, in some academic circles, a process of reversal underway, moving back from this minor glitch in the history of philosophy to (I shit you not) Post-Postmodernism.


Now to the some of the contents of the book itself, which I'm afraid reminds me in it's basic character of the articles produced by the website http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/ which is an online random generator of parody articles of meaningless obscurantism, indistinguishable from actual postmodern discourses (refresh the page and you get a new one, randomly generated). See also: Sokal hoax.

There are no page numbers, and no references as is common with these kinds of tomes which go so far as to distrust even the extremely useful, possibly essential conventions of academia and intellectual and scholarly pursuit. So if you wish to find these passages you may have to find your own copy.

For now I will only highlight the following excerpts, they are apparently of great importance indicated by their rendition in bold, so I will try to address them:

In the book's introduction, though it is not structured in any such way, is the assertion that "nothing is ground in stone, and everything progresses to that which is better"

This clearly does not allow for the concept of Entropy, central to any credible understanding of the universe and life on Earth (which the author will perhaps know is an extremely hostile set of circumstances and is very likely leading us towards the heat-death of the universe.)

The book also highlights that "the world as we find it is undeniably adversarial."

This is to some extent true of course, but is by no means a defining characteristic of the world and (this may irk my fellow Satanists) applies even less so to our own species, the only one who we can be certain exhibits the capacity for empathy and compassion and, yes, also true altruism. It ignores the cooperation and altruism (reciprocal or otherwise) which exist in other species, termites being an example, and the many instances in the biosphere where symbiotic relationships exist.

The author should also be aware that in recommending both Russell and Nietzsche he is recommending a volume (...Western Philosophy) which almost completely dismisses Nietzsche with contempt, and his ideas as absurd and deeply flawed. This is a small grievance obviously.

Much of the rest of the book is taken up by the familiar impenetrable, obscurantism we have come to expect from postmodernism and I'm extremely confident that once deciphered is largely vacuous. If the author wishes to be fully understood in the interest of clarity and scrutiny, he should not reject the "norms of our linguistically dependent culture" in such a flagrant manner. It has long been understood that language is not a cultural phenomenon and to the extent that culture is dependent on it, is entirely justified.

My overall conclusion of the book is that it is attempting to shoehorn various unfounded (and to me at least) useless esoteric notions into various scientific or explanatory ones, which leads to an inevitably confusing clash of intention and outcome. The emphasis on arcane occultism adds nothing to King's analysis such as it is and nothing to my own understanding. Nor does the undertone of intellectual superiority implicit in so much of it, bear upon the intellectual value of the work itself.

Since the volume has in no sense ''proved' anything (though I understand this is an incorrect usage of a mathematical term, I use it colloquially), I fail to see why it is in the interest of any of my Satanic contemporaries to prove themselves superior to the author or his assertions, as we are finally implored to do so in it. No doubt he would perceive this very critique as an attempt at this.

M V-S
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#55388 - 06/02/11 10:11 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Diavolo Offline
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I prefer to read postmodern, in this case, as past modern but if or if not this is as intended, the author will surely mention.

I'd like to disagree with some points you make.

While “Modern” Satanism, as in Laveyan or related, is indeed grounded in reason, materialism, rational thought and skepticism, as you stated, this is only the case for modern Satanism. Other paths in the LHP, where the emphasis is on experience itself, realize the value of “unreason”, irrationality and belief. Reason and rational thought, no matter how glorified, have value under specific conditions and become obstructions towards certain experiences. Not to mention most of our decisions are not made on reason to begin with but that's maybe for another debate.

I also like to disagree that there are no reasons to see reality other as materialism describes it. We know the objective is the subjective and while at a pragmatic and practical level, there is no real use in a denial of materialism, at other levels, this doubt or uncertainty does have its merit, if not only as a reminder not all might seem as it appears or as we interpret it. As I argued elsewhere, I see our "material" view upon causality and reality as naive and prefer a more probabilistic approach.

That the world is undeniably adversarial I can only agree upon, at least when seen from a Nietzschean perspective where the "world" is driven by Will to Power. This creates continuous conflicts in which each status quo is merely an illusion.

D.

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#55390 - 06/02/11 11:11 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Diavolo]
Jason King Offline
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Though I must thank you for a review as heartfelt as "I will not explicitly refer to the contents of book," I feel obliged to mention this is a bit of the tail wagging the dog. But hey, if I can be your huckleberry, so be it.

JK

p.s. Diavolo, I doubt when they made the tags they knew there would be as prolific a poster as yourself. "Stalker," lol.
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#55391 - 06/02/11 11:38 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Jason King]
MattVanSickle84 Offline
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Jason,

It is in no sense of the word "heartfelt", but detached, considered and objective. Selective quoting obviously does not count as a rebuttal. I plainly did refer to the contents of your book, (the statements that you bring attention to by highlighting in bold) just not explicitly due to it's disregard of logical structure and overall lack of coherence.

You also appear to have misunderstood the "wag the dog" expression, which clearly does not apply here.

If you are not up to a serious defence of your own book, why write one?

M V-S
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The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.

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#55392 - 06/02/11 11:40 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Jason King]
Diavolo Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Jason King

p.s. Diavolo, I doubt when they made the tags they knew there would be as prolific a poster as yourself. "Stalker," lol.


Stalker is quite an amusing title.

I tend to reply often and the main reason is that my brain functions best upon intellectual conflict, disagreement upon something interesting tends to kick it into overdrive which is a quite a rewarding process. Without these conflicts, we'd not evolve too much and hardly ever force or be forced outside our own bubble.

D.

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#55393 - 06/02/11 12:47 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Diavolo Offline
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 Originally Posted By: MattVanSickle84
If you are not up to a serious defence of your own book, why write one?


Besides your critique upon Postmodernism, which isn't related, the only two objections you specify are the statements that "everything progresses to the better" and "the world is fundamentally adversarial". The rest seems to be a disagreement about style or form used.

D.

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#55395 - 06/02/11 01:10 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Diavolo]
MattVanSickle84 Offline
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I would have expected a defence to come from the author, who can presumably speak for himself, but never mind.

I have given my reasons for highlighting those particular statements (actually they were highlighted for me). I'm not doing so again. Am I expected to quote the entire book? I can do if you like, might take a while.

Are you seriously suggesting that Postmodernism is not relevant to a discussion of Postmodern Satanism? I have to check because that must surely be a typo.

M V-S


Edited by MattVanSickle84 (06/02/11 01:19 PM)
Edit Reason: Additional comments added.
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#55396 - 06/02/11 01:16 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Fnord Offline
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Based on prior discussion we've had here on this topic, I get the impression that JK meant Post Modern Satanism.... versus Postmodern Satanism.

Changes the game entirely.
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#55397 - 06/02/11 01:27 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Diavolo Offline
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I'm afraid I am hardly bothered about your expectations and will reply to anything whenever I feel the need. As Fnord mentioned and as I hinted at, Postmodernism isn't postmodern in this case, although it of course can be confused as such.

And I questioned your criticism when agreeing with the world being adversarial. Your argument about cooperation does not really imply it therefor isn't fundamentally adversarial as, what I mentioned in another thread, cooperation can be a side-effect of domination.

D.

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#55399 - 06/02/11 01:36 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Fnord]
MattVanSickle84 Offline
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Fnord, if that's the case, fine. But the parallels with Postmodernism as I understand it are clear and present. In fact they are overwhelming.

I will post later on this if necessary, as well as a dissection of the entire book front to back if people would like! I would rather not waste my time though, if Jason is not going to respond. I look forward to his response, as he is clearly a man interested in discussing his ideas...

(I also have to try and attend to day to day life, having spent unhealthy amounts of time occupying this forum as of late, as much as I'm enjoying it. People must be sick of the sight of me and I don't blame them. At this point even I'm going "Fuck me, he's posted another one!" *rolls eyes*)

Also, it can't have escaped your attention that the book is not called Post Modern Satanism but Postmodern Satanism. I'm not being pedantic here as you have raised the distinction. Maybe you can expand upon this distinction or point me to where I can find out more and judge for myself.

Thanks

M V-S
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The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.

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#55406 - 06/02/11 02:19 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Fnord Offline
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 Originally Posted By: MattVanSickle84

Also, it can't have escaped your attention that the book is not called Post Modern Satanism but Postmodern Satanism. I'm not being pedantic here as you have made the distinction. Maybe you can expand upon this distinction or point me to where I can find out more and judge for myself.


No, no, I understand. This is why we bandied it about on a prior thread somewhere. The title is confusing and another member here, who's quite studied in postmodernism (MatthewJ1), has taken it on from that aspect though not in any detailed fashion. My comment wasn't a critique, only a clarification.

On some of your other points I agree. Some will say that I'm old hat (JK for example) in that I also find the basic and foundational tenets of modern Satanism to be more than sufficient to suit my purposes. The ideas, to me, are timeless and the suggestion that they've outlived their shelf life seems a bit ludicrous to me (check this thread for an expansion of that topic).

My own personal brand of Satanism is very pragmatic in most aspects. I use the philosophies to help me right at the point where the rubber hits the road. Postmodern Satanism is, to me, an exploration in philosophy and esoteric occultism. In that light, it was a good read and is representative of the JK I know from scant interaction here and there. He's a really smart dude but often speaks from the aether (versus from a practical perspective).

As for Post Modern vs Postmodern with relation to JK... it's potentially in several places and I couldn't find the exact one I was looking for (MEGO). Do a search for "Postmodern Hand Jive" and read through those responses. I believe it's in that thread somewhere.
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#55422 - 06/02/11 10:50 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Jason King]
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I took from this the same open-minded approach I took to the Satanic Bible, and other works by LaVey.

Its possible that my new-found interest in Satanic thought and philosophy which actually allowed me to enjoy reading this particular book in that I didn't have an agenda for reading it. Nor did I carry a bias based on past dealings with the author, or his perceived transgressions in this very forum. I read it with an open mind, and took in as much as I could. As selective as I am in the books I do take the time to read, this one was only sought out because of the apparent opinions being discussed here and I thought it prudent to enlighten myself to its contents.

Unlike Matt, I will lightly touch upon pieces I found particularly enjoyable and in no particular order.

The lack of page numbers, indexes, and such I think made it more important to read it in the entirety simply because trying to pick and choose only specific parts you miss the whole message which was being professed.

The Wisdom anecdotes at the end were in my opinion excellent food for thought and consideration, if not a few laughs. I too on occasion take known verses and make them my own. So I enjoyed this part of the book especially.

 Quote:
In my own formulation, Satanism for all it's faults (and there are many) is currently grounded upon rational thought, reason, materialism, skepticism and an acceptance of both subjective experience and objective reality, among other things. See my other posts for more of my complete interpretation of Satanism.


Why would I wish to weigh the credibility of this book to someone Else's fixed view of this philosophy. Satanism is supposed to be an individualized pursuit and no two Satanists/Luciferians are alike(as the author proposed). If there is fault to be had, its in the individual Satanists mind where the fault lies, and it is up to them to correct their own interpretation so that no fault can be found. Make of it that you will I say..... take the good with the bad and live.

 Quote:
Since the volume has in no sense ''proved' anything (though I understand this is an incorrect usage of a mathematical term, I use it colloquially), I fail to see why it is in the interest of any of my Satanic contemporaries to prove themselves superior to the author or his assertions, as we are finally implored to do so in it. No doubt he would perceive this very critique as an attempt at this.


I live by well defined parameters in regards to my dealings with other people. You can either look me in the eye as an equal, follow my lead....or stay the fuck out of my way. By challenging the reader to surpass him he only invites progress to be made. I applaud this. Whether or not anyone attempts to better the author's views will be left to be seen. I think I garnished as much insight and direction as I did the first time I read Anton's Satanic Bible. In that it only solidified my belief that I am definitely of the Satanic mindset, and that my growth will continue and my beliefs expanded.

The internal debate as to the living devil's existence has yet to be answered(to my satisfaction). But being true to my thoughts and convictions if I find evidence in my workings to support this I will revel its its implications and the effects it will have on my personal life. Im not the timid type, and running from the devil, Satan, Lucifer would be hypocritical due to the fact I believe it would be that spirit which set me free. You either embrace the darkness for what it is...or you dont.

Point is, I enjoyed the read, and the lists contained in its pages gave me more leads to follow.
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#55431 - 06/03/11 09:25 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Jason King Offline
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 Originally Posted By: MattVanSickle84
due to it's disregard of logical structure and overall lack of coherence.

You also appear to have misunderstood the "wag the dog" expression, which clearly does not apply here.

If you are not up to a serious defence of your own book, why write one?

M V-S


I clipped the part I found most insightful, so here goes.

Wagging the dog is when you spend a post intended as criticism of a work dealing, by and large, with a single word in the title. Postmodernism is not a single thing, the descriptor must be defined in each application. And since I was the one to attach it to the term "Satanism," I felt free to do so.

Postmodern Satanism is an attempt to give a proactive (rather than reactive) meaning to everyone's favorite bad guy. Satanism is not just the rejection of Christianity (and religion in general), it is a worldview capable of a robust hypostasis. The work further intends to move past old, worn-out dichotomies and understandings, replacing these with a fresh yet fluid approach. It is an open-ended book, as much an abstract as it is a thesis.

Lack of coherence? There are two threads woven together, one in large text, one in small. If you were astute, you would see that even the placements of the subtexts had meaning. But when I wrote this, I knew that there would be layers of meaning that were missed, and yes it was on purpose. Like the Tantras, this is something aimed at three distinct audiences. Perhaps you could just read the large text and skip over the rest, maybe you'd get some coherence . . .

Serious defense? I'll wait until I have a serious critique on the table. No, but seriously, Diavolo already pointed to the two things of substance (actually there was a third) you brought up. And I thought he did a fair enough job with them that I didn't bother with a "what he said" reply. Regarding the aforementioned third:

"I fail to see why it is in the interest of any of my Satanic contemporaries to prove themselves superior to the author or his assertions, as we are finally implored to do so in it."

You might have missed the entire point of the epilogue. It wasn't a "prove me wrong," it was an invitation to be genuinely better. The word "prove" doesn't always imply sorites of mathematical logic.

Now, for some pointwise (I save such things for the end, as most people were bored already):

"Firstly, I think one should be extremely skeptical of any system of thought that is prefixed as 'postmodern'."

See above.

"Postmodernism is, on the whole, extremely dismissive of the scientific method, of empiricism and it's conclusions."

Then I guess you'd be hard pressed to explain the underlying empiricism in the volume. Or the Syllabus devoted entirely to Science and Mathematics.

"the recent pronouncements by Professor Stephen Hawking as to the relative uselessness of philosophy in relation to genuine discovery."

Little do you know, Hawking also relies on philosophy, he just doesn't admit it. And some of his most "recent pronouncements" (I lol'd at that btw) have been the most egregious in this regard. I've done this argument before, just let me know if I need to do it again . . .

"attempting to bring about a revaluation of Satanic thought through the lens of postmodern analysis"

This is a failure of reading comprehension, nothing more.


"Subjective experience is certainly "real" by particular definitions but this does not bear upon the question of the existence of an objectively "real" universe."

No? How do you figure? Who other than "subjects" can argue towards such a thing as an objective universe. Kant destroyed this over 500 years ago.

"There are no valid reasons (yet) to view reality other than as materialism would describe it"

I have mad loads of fun with this every time I see it. You are a materialist, so let me ask you, what is matter?

"which I'm afraid reminds me in it's basic character of the articles produced by the website http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/ . . . (refresh the page and you get a new one, randomly generated)"

Didn't even click the link. It's rare that you get to see a literal straw man argument, but this fits the bill quite nicely.

"There are no page numbers, and no references as is common with these kinds of tomes"

Really? This is common? Shit dude, I thought for a second I did something new. But, as they say, proof's in the pudding. Since you said "common," I'll ask for just FIVE (5) works that intentionally do not number pages. And I'll press you every rejoinder you don't. Get to work.


"For now I will only highlight the following excerpts, they are apparently of great importance indicated by their rendition in bold"

Just wait for the Annotated Edition. Then, maybe then, you'll get what's bolded and why.

"'nothing is ground in stone, and everything progresses to that which is better'

This clearly does not allow for the concept of Entropy"

There are real scientific questions about applying entropy to the universe as a whole, but whatever. I'll let you figure that one out. Hint: closed system.


"The book also highlights that 'the world as we find it is undeniably adversarial.'

This is to some extent true of course, but is by no means a defining characteristic of the world"

I would argue that it is the most basal reality. Without such a mechanism, the generation of life would become stagnant. But yet both predator and prey have to up their respective games. You can thank that simple thing (I call it the Current) for your Homo Sapiens.

"applies even less so to our own species"

No, it applies differently. We don't kill prey, we fight wars. Think about it.

"in recommending both Russell and Nietzsche he is recommending a volume (...Western Philosophy) which almost completely dismisses Nietzsche with contempt, and his ideas as absurd and deeply flawed. This is a small grievance obviously."

Your mention of such a thing would be a smaller grievance. I recommend each independently, though Russell's critique of Nietzsche is not nearly as harsh as you represent it. What he dismisses in Nietzsche is what runs counter to his ethical worldview (pacifism). This is a flaw in Russell, but understood in light of his placement in history.

"Much of the rest of the book is taken up by the familiar impenetrable, obscurantism we have come to expect from postmodernism and I'm extremely confident that once deciphered is largely vacuous."

All good. Forget the straw man. Forget the fact that you shouldn't separate an adjective from its noun with a comma. You know something intuitively. That seems to argue against . . . fuck, nevermind.

"It has long been understood that language is not a cultural phenomenon and to the extent that culture is dependent on it, is entirely justified."

Based on your critique, and please correct me if I'm wrong, I think you read about a quarter of the volume. Returning to the beginning over and over is silly. Now, let's take: "language is not a cultural phenomenon" - then why do different cultures have different languages? And before you rejoin, understand that I was merely responding to silliness with silliness. The truth is in the middle.

"My overall conclusion of the book is that it is attempting to shoehorn various unfounded (and to me at least) useless esoteric notions into various scientific or explanatory ones, which leads to an inevitably confusing clash of intention and outcome."

Perhaps it was meant to get you to question where you get those categories from. And what they mean. Newton - was he a scientist or esotericist primarily?

"Since the volume has in no sense 'proved' anything"

I'll do this again. Give me five (5) books you've read that have proved anything. But before you go and try to figure out how to google+wiki your way to a win, understand that I never set about to "prove" a goddamned thing. As said BY YOU (quoting me) above: "Nothing is ground in stone," and further (which you didn't quote): " Just as Anton LaVey's philosophy has been superceded, so to will my own, for such is the nature of the world."

thanks for the feedback,

JK
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#55432 - 06/03/11 09:39 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Jason King]
Fnord Offline
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That one quote is the only thing that really bugged me about your book... "nothing is ground in stone".

What does that mean?

It sounds like that old saying "nothing is carved in stone" ... meaning that it's a text/idea/etc that cannot be erased.

Nice rebuttal up there, by the way, enjoyed it.
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#55433 - 06/03/11 09:47 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Fnord]
Jason King Offline
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"It sounds like that old saying "nothing is carved in stone" ... meaning that it's a text/idea/etc that cannot be erased."

Actually it means the opposite. Nothing is ground in stone = everything changes, progresses.

JK
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#55434 - 06/03/11 10:05 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Jason King]
Diavolo Offline
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I think Fnord mistook "not being carved in stone" for "being carved in stone" which I assume hints to Moses and his stone tablets.

D.

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#55435 - 06/03/11 10:07 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Jason King]
Fnord Offline
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Godammit, I did that wrong. (wasn't clear)

'nothing is carved in stone' = there is nothing written that cannot be erased = progress.

Of course, then there's guys like George Bernard Shaw who further try to confuse the issue by saying things like "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

\:\)

I gotcha now, thx.


Edited by Fnord (06/03/11 10:08 AM)
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#55437 - 06/03/11 10:43 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Fnord]
Jason King Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Fnord
Of course, then there's guys like George Bernard Shaw who further try to confuse the issue by saying things like "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

\:\)

I gotcha now, thx.


This is one of the most interesting commentaries I've had on Postmodern Satanism in some time (though I do realize it was more of a direct rejoinder). Why do I say the prior? This is exactly the dichotomy I was dealing with.

Self. World. LHP. RHP. Interaction. Synergy.

One of the things that has disappointed me the most about critiques of the work is that I've heard sparsely next to nothing about my complete re-evaluation of LHP/RHP. Not that it's completely novel, but it does cut against the inherited grain. I'd give ten paypal dollars to the first person who can define LHP/RHP without recourse to Aquino or his ilk.

I digress . . .

JK
_________________________



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#55443 - 06/03/11 01:13 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Jason King]
MattVanSickle84 Offline
stranger


Registered: 05/23/11
Posts: 42
Loc: London, UK
Thanks for your response Jason,

If you don't mind I'll just dive right in at the beginning.

"Wagging the dog is when you spend a post intended as criticism of a work dealing, by and large, with a single word in the title."

The first part of my post deals with postmodernism (which I pointed out, and we both agree, is not a single "thing"). The point at which I proceeded to specifically address the book itself is indicated roughly halfway through by: "Now to the some of the contents of the book itself…"

You correctly state that the purpose of the epilogue is not to prove your treatise wrong. Further evidence of this is indicated on the third page (sorry to count): "I’d rather see people who agree with me formulate their own systematic analyses, instead of quoting me like some authoritative prophet or guru."

This statement allows no room for those whose views actually depart from your own, imploring only the converted, those in agreement, to engage. Are you excluding dissenting views and are we simply to assume the validity of the book's contents and then proceed?

I should clarify that my statement that "postmodernism is, on the whole, extremely dismissive of the scientific method, of empiricism and it's conclusions", does not bear upon contents of the book (see above), which certainly does allow for empiricism, alongside myth and various incompatible interpretations of reality, which it attempts to align.

I would be most interested in discussing any underlying philosophies which Hawking may be harbouring and how these specifically relate to and impact upon his scientific work. Seems like an extremely relevant topic and an excellent idea and I shall try to think of a specific way to address this in relation to this forum, unless you can think of a way. (I missed the joke there, so good call on that one! Pronouncement?! Ha!)

It seems to me that the problem of object-subject is unresolved, despite Kant, and I think that scientific empiricism is the only hope of solving it. You will notice that this is a personal assertion or intuition with no firm grounding, like all other attempts to answer this question thus far. Certainly grounds for another intriguing discussion.

"You are a materialist, so let me ask you, what is matter?"

My understanding of matter is that it is scientific theory that goes some way to understanding the fundamental nature of reality, assuming there is any such thing. The alternatives are unhelpful and do not elucidate anything, they are also seemingly outside the realms of scientific testing. The ideas surrounding matter are, in principle at least, observable and falsifiable.

"I'll ask for just FIVE (5) works that intentionally do not number pages. And I'll press you every rejoinder you don't. Get to work."

You will be waiting a very long time.

Obviously the statement was meant thus: "There are no page numbers, and no references as is common with these kinds of tomes"

Badly put, I'll admit, but you have sparked in me an interest in the revolutionary idea of not numbering pages and the many deep implications of this…

Perhaps though, this was unfair as the work is clearly not meant to be peer reviewed or scrutinised in the interest of originality/plagiarism, but is only a treatise. A discussion of certain established ideas, in accordance to a particular criteria and how these bear upon one another, excluding those which do not comfortably fit.

The bold statements (!) are also the main ones in your "…in under 3 minutes" YouTube video. The overarching idea being the emphasis on the idea that nature is above all adversarial. So they are clearly relevant and central to your philosophy. They are also quite apart from any general criticism of postmodernism or any specific usage of the word itself.

I would argue that a more useful way to understand man in nature is not your adversarial paradigm but by simply survival and gene propagation, which to a large extent is adversarial, but that this is the not it's defining characteristic. This is not entirely out of step with what you say. But If there are any clear and defining characteristics of the universe they may well be indifference and apparent hostility to life (also, as far as we know, true of most of our solar system). Randomness is also to be taken into account, another long discussion to have.

Your ideas would certainly validate some of my own personal intuitions, philosophies and observations. So it's actually in my interest that, in this respect at least, you're on the mark. You certainly could be.

I'm just not so sure about this as you are. Obviously.

"Newton - was he a scientist or esotericist primarily?"

Newton was both and to the extent that he was an esotericist, he was mistaken and failed to substantiate his alchemical beliefs. His science has stood the test of time, being open to falsification for 300 years or so, informing modern science and having a massive impact on our species and the world. His esoteric ideas, in stark contrast, have done nothing of the sort. If they were valid they would just be just another part of science as we presently understand it.

Don't get me wrong, alchemy is a big interest of mine, despite my own skepticism. It'd better be, I have an alchemical symbol tattooed on my arm! In full awareness of it being strictly symbolic. I would not do away with it in it's entirety. (Sorry to include such trivial, personal info).

"Give me five (5) books you've read that have proved anything."

If you mean the sense in which I used the word, none. That was my point. In the other sense of proof, the mathematical sense, there are many proofs in existence. I'm not going to trawl the depths of the internet because there's no need, there are many and they are widely known. Others can do so if they like.

At this point I should mention, that you have actually pointed out a massive flaw in my post which cannot go ignored and which it would be unforgivable not to address.

You quoted me as saying "Much of the rest of the book is taken up by the familiar impenetrable, obscurantism we have come to expect from postmodernism and I'm extremely confident that once deciphered is largely vacuous."

In this post I did in fact separate an adjective from its noun with a comma and whilst I realise the implications of such a massive blunder, I can only hope it will not have the appropriately devastating effect of nullifying the entire enterprise. I also hope other readers will take some mercy on such contempt for grammatical conventions.

Thanks,

M V-S
_________________________

The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.

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#55446 - 06/03/11 01:38 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Diavolo Offline
RIP
stalker


Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
 Originally Posted By: MattVanSickle84
I would argue that a more useful way to understand man in nature is not your adversarial paradigm but by simply survival and gene propagation, which to a large extent is adversarial, but that this is the not it's defining characteristic. This is not entirely out of step with what you say. But If there are any clear and defining characteristics of the universe they may well be indifference and apparent hostility to life (also, as far as we know, true of most of our solar system). Randomness is also to be taken into account, another long discussion to have.


And this is where you, and so many others, go wrong even when most of science, these days, tends to agree upon these assumptions.

I used to think the main drive of life was survival, or as an extent of that, survival of the genes and thus reproduction. But this premise does make one wonder when observing certain behavior. One could wonder why so many animals not reproduce or why, in the case of humans, people die for others, often not even related. All sorts of theories have been proposed to support the basic premise. Then I started to reread Nietzsche and finally understood what he implied with WtP at this level.

While survival nor reproduction is common in all lifeforms, dominance is and this revelation made the behavior of life, and humans, much easier to understand and predict, at least for me.

Reproduction is merely a side-effect of dominance. Survival is often less important than the rewards of a conflict. This Nietzschean premise describes the world much clearer and, at the same time, shines a light upon the real tragedy of humanity.

D.

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#55448 - 06/03/11 04:10 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Zophos Offline
member


Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 115
Loc: U.S.A.
I have no dog in this race, but I would like to offer one clarification.


MattVanSickle84:

 Quote:
Newton was both and to the extent that he was an esotericist, he was mistaken and failed to substantiate his alchemical beliefs. His science has stood the test of time, being open to falsification for 300 years or so, informing modern science and having a massive impact on our species and the world. His esoteric ideas, in stark contrast, have done nothing of the sort. If they were valid they would just be just another part of science as we presently understand it.

Incorrect. The clean division you draw is almost entirely a modern anachronism. It must be understood that the concepts, procedures, and beliefs which are now placed under the term "alchemy" come in large part from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, not from anything understood by alchemists themselves. The inextricable connection between alchemy and chrysopoeia (gold-making by use of the Philosophers' Stone), while certainly an important part of the larger scope of alchemical desiderata, should by no means be understood as the whole or even necessarily as the "core" of its practice. Moreover, Newton's alchemical endeavors, while built on a mistaken (but highly influential) matter theory, did have a fascinating impact on the history of science, contrary to your claim. Please see the website of which I am an editor:

The Chymistry of Isaac Newton

For more on Newton's alchemy in historiographical context, I recommend:

Newton and Newtonianism: New Studies (Essay 10, "Reflections on Newton’s Alchemy in Light of the New Historiography of Alchemy" by Lawrence M. Principe)

Gehennical Fire: The Lives of George Starkey, an American Alchemist in the Scientific Revolution ("Isaac Newton and Eirenaeus Philalethes")

Lastly, to liberate you (and anyone else) from the notion that alchemy is somehow historically separable from other facets of medieval and early modern natural philosophy as a distinctively "esoteric" practice, the following book is ideal:

Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry



Diavolo:

 Quote:
I used to think the main drive of life was survival, or as an extent of that, survival of the genes and thus reproduction. But this premise does make one wonder when observing certain behavior. One could wonder why so many animals not reproduce or why, in the case of humans, people die for others, often not even related. All sorts of theories have been proposed to support the basic premise. Then I started to reread Nietzsche and finally understood what he implied with WtP at this level.

Try your hand, if you haven't already, at a textual contrast of Nietzsche's Will to Power with Schopenhauer's Will to Live. The subtlety and erudition of both thinkers on the topic of Will is very engrossing.


Z.
_________________________
Nihil sit tam infirmum aut instabile quam fama potentiae non sua vi nita.

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#55449 - 06/03/11 04:34 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Zophos]
Diavolo Offline
RIP
stalker


Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
I bought WWV 1&2 ages ago, even before I encountered Nietzsche and was enamored with Schopenhauer for a while. I must have a weak spot for the mildly depressing.

D.

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#55450 - 06/03/11 04:46 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Diavolo]
Zophos Offline
member


Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 115
Loc: U.S.A.
Schopenhauer was an indisputably profound human being, a genius of his time possessed of the utmost clarity in his writing and penetration in his thought. Enthusiasm for his work is, I think, an extremely useful foundation for understanding Nietzsche, who built his philosophy very much on the basis of Schopenhauer's critique of Kant, emphasis on the Will (an aspect of Nietzsche's thought virtually always misunderstood through adolescent sensationalism), analysis of the human condition, and anti-egalitarian worldview. Freddy's essay, "Schopenhauer as Educator," is an excellent piece of work which highlights just how indispensable Hegel's great enemy was to this edifice.

Be that as it may, the philosopher should be studied in his own right rather than merely as a John the Baptist to the coming Antichrist. Schopenhauer has much of value to say.


Z.
_________________________
Nihil sit tam infirmum aut instabile quam fama potentiae non sua vi nita.

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#55451 - 06/03/11 05:27 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Zophos]
MattVanSickle84 Offline
stranger


Registered: 05/23/11
Posts: 42
Loc: London, UK
Thanks for the recommendations Zophos. I will add them to what is a growing list. I have looked at the website briefly, which looks very interesting and can hopefully go some ways to broadening my horizons. Your clarification is duly noted.

On a separate note, for all I have said in criticising Jason's book, the adversarial approach of the very arguments I've been engaged in on the forum so far are certainly extremely worthwhile in clearing out any cobwebs within this skull of mine! Value of the dialectic and whatnot. If you're reading this Jason I take it all back (only kidding).

I'm certainly forced to retract any previous arrogance on my part regarding the level of debate here. The quality and range of the debate has surpassed any expectations I may previously have had about the 600 Club, which were certainly not low.

I'm even rather enjoying having my arse continually handed to me on an intellectual level! Character building as it is.

Much wisdom here for sure. Now I sound like Yoda. Christ.

M V-S

_________________________

The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.

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#55467 - 06/04/11 11:02 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: MattVanSickle84]
Fnord Offline
senior member


Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 2085
Loc: Texas
 Originally Posted By: MattVanSickle84

I'm even rather enjoying having my arse continually handed to me on an intellectual level! Character building as it is.


Well, it can be a blow to the ego at times for sure. Especially if you've convinced yourself that you have it all figured out (been there a time or two).

To me, though, true character building comes into play when one fails in real life (OU) versus in an intellectual sort of setting. I've noticed a trend in Satanism, more so of late, where the intellect is honored over achievement. Obviously, Satanism requires intellectual pursuit and an in depth understanding of the world (aka the playing field) so that one may use this greater/enhanced wisdom to manipulate obstacles toward favorable conditions. Intellectual development, though, is barely 1/3 of the overall game. To my reckoning, one has to be able to gather up all of this wisdom (1), formulate a plan (2), and use those components to execute (3) (create the match > create the strike > light and apply the fire). After that, one has to have the ability to evaluate the result, adjust for improvement, and continue down the path.

I'm not criticizing the fact that, at 600, we push a lot of rocks around and do our fair share of spit balling. My post is only a meant as a reminder that Satanism is about action and personal power just as much as it is about sharpening the mind.

I was thinking about this several months back, and made a back room post about the value of knowledge without a pragmatic plan to use it in some way. Another member suggested that much of it could be seen as very useful in the context of lesser magic. To an extent, I find this to be true but it reminded me of my brother in law who is now 38 years old. He has had a short career in academia (teaching philosophy) and does hold a PHD in philosophy. He's studied at some of the best known institutions and has just now completed law school and passed the bar exam. I hope that he will now be able to argue an Eskimo into buying ice cubes but, to date, I see no plan that would justify, to me, his investments (debts) as legal folk in the market place are now commonplace and often work for salaries that can be surpassed easily in industries that don't require advanced education at all.

He has a match and a strike but no place to put the fire.

Anyway, apologies for my digression. I enjoy the intellectual back-and-forth as much as the next guy (though I'm not as good at it as some here). I just thought it an appropriate place to play Devil's Advocate (I am, on occasion, good at that). \:\)

_________________________
Dead and gone. Syonara.

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#55468 - 06/04/11 11:46 AM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Fnord]
Jason King Offline
Banned/Martyrdom Denied
active member


Registered: 10/24/10
Posts: 731
Loc: 65?1%833Q!92A24 (It's a code)
 Originally Posted By: Fnord
I enjoy the intellectual back-and-forth as much as the next guy (though I'm not as good at it as some here).


You're as good as anyone here. Mainly because you recognize intellectual ping-pong for what it is.

To Matt: the only thing I'd remove from your delivery is the continual apologetic. You are doing just fine; everyone is both teacher and student, just at different times and places. And honestly, one gains far more from being a student . . .

JK
_________________________



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#55473 - 06/04/11 03:03 PM Re: Postmodernism and Satanism [Re: Fnord]
Diavolo Offline
RIP
stalker


Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 4997
In agree that character building is mostly at work in real life and that experience is the key to that. Online debating at best makes one grow some emotional skin, but that is a part of character too.

Of course Satanism is fundamentally about real life application and quite often, intellectual knowledge is of little value there. Understanding Nietzsche's perspectivism doesn't help much when being in a fist-fight and having read Tolstoy doesn't really improve one's qualities in bed, or at work for that matter.

But identical as abstract accomplishments or specific knowledge are of little value in real life, practical accomplishments and real world merit have little value at the internet, which is an abstract environment in itself. The fact that one makes a 100k doesn't quite help one in an intellectual argument and being an accomplished mechanic doesn't provide much benefit to understanding Kant.

To a degree that is an advantage of the internet, what you did doesn't count for much if you can't bring it to the table and to your benefit right now. That's kinda sweet isn't it?

D.

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