This is a sample chapter taken from the upcoming overhauled edition of Rational Satanism, Rational Satanism Revelation released January 2018.
Dogma, does it have a place in Satanism?
Satanism is a philosophy that takes great focus on the individual, to be the best individual you can be in a conforming society. One of the main arguments I see within Satanism is “Satanism is a religion as it has dogma, and LaVey knew of man’s need for it”, I have always struggled with the idea of dogma in Satanism when it’s an individualistic philosophy, it always appeared as a major philosophical contradiction to me, can dogma be applied to the philosophical core of the system? I think not, although it can have a place if it’s the individual’s preference of viewing the system.
To go back to basics with the meaning of the word dogma, its as follows
A: something held as an established opinion; especially: a definite authoritative tenet
B: a code of such tenets pedagogical dogma
C: a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds
I see major flaws in each of those descriptions in a system that promotes individuality. (A) Is flawed due to its implying of conformity, a clearly decided tenet by some authority that’s an established opinion of its followers, that sort of thinking is set to develop a zealot mind-set due to the conforming opinions of the flock. (B) Is flawed as it would be a conforming stance to have pedagogical methods in an individualistic paradigm, if the tenets imply moral codes, set ways of behaviour or how to apply the system then that again is going to cause nothing but an echo chamber losing individual values. (C) Is flawed due to its lack of fact, if a meaning of dogma is to have tenets that are produced without satisfactory grounds and lacking in quality and facts, then why on earth would they even be implemented in a system that thrives on facts and evidence based around adequate findings.
This takes us back to the philosophy or religion question, the answer to that I believe belongs entirely with the individual, which is a question I cover in more detail further in to the collection, but it’s clear to see how Satanism and dogma really create a systematic conflict as they are both complete opposite ends of the spectrum, one says don’t conform and be individual, the other says conform to these authoritative tenets or texts, so you can’t put the two together to make up the core of a belief system for individuals. The core foundations of a Satanic system based on individuality needs to be adaptable, providing guidelines for personal interpretation, This is what the Rational Satanic paradigm provides, we have an adaptable foundation created with our unique concepts that you will learn as you progress through the collection, these are coupled with the neoteric guidelines and averments which are both open for personal interpretation by the individual to implement them to their paradigm to fit with their personal way of thinking. Now this brings me to where dogma could have a place in Satanism for the individual.
The Neoteric guidelines and averments in the Rational Satanism paradigm do not classify as dogma as they have no set meaning, they can be interpreted in many ways as they are introduced in to the individuals system, but once they have been interpreted by the individual to complement their way of thinking then they will have a set meaning, thus becoming dogma but only on an individual level, this strips out any systematic conformity in the Rational Satanic system as the dogma that applies to each person’s system will in some way be inherently different, but still using the framework of the Rational Satanic system to grow on a personal level. This way of producing dogma if it’s a viewpoint the individual wants to take removes the contradiction of having dogma in the core of the system leading to non-conformity by individuals utilizing the paradigm. This also allows individuals to call the system a religion if that’s the way they personally want to view it due to them creating their own dogmatic views, and it certainly won’t create an echo chamber as no two individual system or dogma interpretations will be the same, so opinions can flourish and personal paradigm’s can continue to grow due to the freedom or not having dogma in the foundations of the system.
So does dogma belong with Satanism in the foundations of the core system? I personally think no, it’s restricting, conforming and certainly contradicting, but use a system that has adaptable foundations the interpretations you pull in to your paradigm to create your personal dogma can only serve to help you grow as an individual as its you that’s important and it’s only you it will ultimately apply to.