Satanism: Serious or Silly?
The Economist posted an article last year (http://econ.st/1G5yMP7) describing Satanism – an anti-theistic and, more specifically, anti-Christian religious movement that is relatively new.
As the article explains, Satanism cannot be defined accurately as it has many branches and many differing beliefs. Most commonly, however, Satanists hold that there are no supernatural beings, and that our world is a strictly material one wherein we must satisfy our base and carnal desires.
New religious movements are typically faced with controversy, and they must fight to gain acceptance amongst the religious community of the world. It is arguable that none face controversy so much as Satanism does. This is not surprising, as Satanism was founded quite literally in opposition to Christianity. The word ‘Satan’ is taken from the Bible, and refers to the vilest being of all.
Does Satanism deserve to be labeled as controversial? It appears that in many respects the movement is qualified to call itself a religion. As such, it would perhaps be improper to not consider it a religion. But whether or not Satanism (regardless of its status as a religion) deserves respect and credibility is an altogether different matter.
I personally do not think that a religious group founded with the intent to oppose other groups in a mischievous or, as demonstrated in the article, humorous manner deserves the same sort of appreciation granted to other religions. It is difficult to take such a group seriously.
If an independent group were founded with no such obvious connection to other groups that it opposes, this would be different. But the deviant tone that the title ‘Satanism’ takes on is too much of an ad hominem (i.e., to the person) attack on Christianity for the group to appear independent and worthy of any sort of unique appreciation.
While the Satanists’ views regarding humanity living in a strictly material world are interesting and could provide the basis for a new, respectable religious movement, the wildly scattered beliefs of current Satanists combined with the deviant tone of the title ‘Satanism’ take away much of the grounds upon which one would be able to currently appreciate the religious group.
Author: M. E.