I notice a weird tendency for newcomers to this religion to equate “atheism” with omniscience—claiming to already know everything about everything. This tendency is reinforced by the polemicists in “science” who pretend that they have already so much certainty about the nature of reality that they already know everything that can possibly exist as well as everything that cannot possibly exist. I place the word “science” in quotes because true science is ALWAYS open to the facts of reality and a complete willingness to change theory in the face of new evidence.
Even Richard Dawkins is always careful to explain that he cannot prove or be 100% certain that God does not exist. Why? Because Dawkins understands that you cannot prove that anything absolutely does not exist. You cannot prove a negative. To claim you can do that is to assume the classical attribute of God Himself: omniscience.
The particular type of atheism we aspire to here is not one of God-like absolute certainty but of pragmatic high probability. We basically view the God with a beard sitting on a throne in heaven as being pretty silly and “unbelievable” despite the millions of people who think otherwise. The kind of atheism we espouse relates to the idea of a PERSON who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere at once (omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent).
The key word here is “person.”
What is important to grasp is what all too many people new to Satanism miss completely. We are not claiming that we know that nowhere in the universe there cannot exist beings who are superior to human beings (such as cats!). Perhaps there are aliens who are smarter and more powerful than we are somewhere out there. Those kind of beings are NOT what we are talking about with Satanic atheism.
Additionally, Satanic atheism does not claim that supernormal powers or experiences are “impossible.” We do not make the common error of equating a rejection of a belief in Jehovah or Allah or Big JuJu with also rejecting so-called “psychic” phenomena such as telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, etc. We don’t even claim to know with certainty that ghosts CAN’T exist, for example.
We apply doubt to such claims and, if the individual Satanist wishes to, we feel free to explore whether such things may or may not exist and even be useful. A large part of Greater Magic in Satanism is involved in just such personal explorations and testing for those who are interested in that aspect of it.
It is useful to distinguish between Satanic atheism and all the many other forms of “atheism” that exist outside of Satanism. Our perspective on what we call atheism is narrower than what many others consider an “authentic” atheistic perspective. In other words we are very, very specific in what we consider to be atheism. Others tend to be very sloppy, and include all different kinds of beliefs about reality as a part of their “atheism.” They start with seeing through the nonsense that surrounds assuming that a “Big Person” like Jehovah or Vishnu or Allah exists since that seems to not match up with anything that we find the least amount of evidence for, but that does not include knowing with absolute certainty that there cannot exist an afterlife or ghosts or sea monsters or Santa Claus (who comes pretty close to Jehovah in his attributes but seems much friendlier to good little girls and boys!).
Now there also is a maturity issue involved in all of this. In late adolescence and early adulthood there is a tendency for people to want to “know the truth” about things. I do not mean that they are just healthfully curious. I mean they want to know the ABSOLUTE truth and win arguments with those who would dare to disagree with them! It is pretty obvious that this psychological tendency is part of trying to achieve adulthood and fit into adult society, jockeying for positions of power as well as to impress members of the opposite sex. Eric Hoffer’s classic book on the COS reading list The True Believer details the kind of personality that finds it important to identify a cause to espouse and become a fanatical supporter of. I recommend this book highly.
So there do exist today a fresh crop of what I call “true disbelievers” or “evangelical atheists” who are out to convert the world to atheism in precisely the same way that fundamentalist religious fanatics strive to convert the world to their belief systems. Sadly, some of these ¥true disbelievers” assume that Satanism shares all of their “certainties” with regard to rejection of not just Big Jujus in the sky but also their omniscient perspectives regarding any evidence for the supernormal.
But our view on atheism is really limited in exactly the manner I have described it. Satanists do not pretend to be omniscient! We do not pretend to already know with certainty everything that is possible or impossible. We are our own Gods in the sense of taking full responsibility for our actions and placing ourselves at the dead center of being important in our universe. But we do not pretend to be like Jehovah! Being our own God is an ethical statement of personal policy rather than a metaphysical statement regarding the nature of reality.
We do assume an attitude of doubt about unusual claims. We do not just “believe” something. And different Satanists will personally draw the line of doubt versus probability at different issues. Some Satanists have accepted that Greater Magic can do really “magical” things, while others do not share that perspective.
However, we are not closed-minded true believers OR disbelievers. Satanic atheism is very specific and does NOT include becoming what we are opposed to as Satanists ourselves! We champion doubt, NOT God-like certainty!
We operate from the assumption that the big personality Gods, like Jehovah, are silly and without supporting evidence for their existence. Beyond that we are willing to look at and explore anything in reality that we are interested in.
And being open to what is really real is something that we treasure very highly indeed!
That’s how I see it.
Magister in the Church of Satan
We Are Legion
A Moment In Time
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