If one is asked to swear an oath in public which requires asking for the help of a god and perhaps putting one’s hand on a bible or other religious book, how would a Satanist handle it?
In situations wherein one is required to take some form of public oath, it is up to each Satanist to decide how open they wish to be about their philosophical perspective. We are rational and thus we do not martyr ourselves, particularly if proclaiming our Satanism might bring hostility, or even worse, our way. Passing for “just one of the crowd” you find yourself in, is always an option.
Since Satanists are atheists, the gods and sacred books of theists have no ethical or moral meaning—they are simply the mythology and historical documents of theistic beliefs. A Satanist might decide to affirm, rather than swear, an oath if that phraseology is available, since saying things like “So help me God” are statements with no impact, with no intrinsic personal meaning demanding a commitment to truth-telling—or anything else. These days, there is growing recognition of the presence of atheists as well as people who are not believers in Christianity, or whatever religion might be locally dominant, so in more enlightened places, affirmation based on one’s personal integrity could be presented and taken with no negative consequences.
But, if no other alternative is offered and religious forms of taking an oath are presented, a Satanist might just view it as a tradition, like a salute, a bow, or a tipping of a hat—thus a Satanist might go along with it. We Satanists are all anthropologists to some degree and can find that not upsetting people who think in such simplistic and erroneous terms of “belief equals goodness and truthfulness” might be worthwhile to smooth the proceedings in which one is involved. Trying to teach them that they are mistaken in such a belief may not be worth one’s efforts. But the choice remains with each Satanist on how to handle such situations.
A Satanist would not request that The Satanic Bible be offered for oath swearing. Even though Magus LaVey’s book is highly regarded as our foundational literature, it doesn’t have that “supernatural, sacred” aspect of being the words of a divine entity, the way theists view their own prime religious writings. Magus LaVey was just a man, though a highly accomplished and insightful one, so swearing on his works would not have the heft of what is generally sought for certifying any sort of binding oath.
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