Am I a Satanist?

  1. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason. I’m on board except for those last four words, which, depending on how you define reason, could twist compassion and empathy into something I wouldn’t recognize.
  2. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions. This time justice is the concept that needs defining before I go along.
  3. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone. We’re good!
  4. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own. I’m good on this one too, with a caveat I’ll explain shortly.
  5. Beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one’s beliefs. We’re up to three out of five.
  6. People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one’s best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused. Four out of six!
  7. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word. Very confusing. I take it (but am not sure) that by every tenet, they mean the six tenets that precede this one. If so, why does the first sentence need stating? The vague phrases I pointed out earlier aren’t fixed by tying them to another vague phrase like “nobility in action and thought.” Also, I’m very partial to the written word so I need to think long and hard before going along with the second sentence.
A pen-and-ink drawing by William Blake showing Satan watching over Adam and Eve.
William Blake, Satan Watching the Caresses of Adam and Eve, 1808. The Satanic Temple’s recommended reading list is an old-school English major’s dream, including works by Milton, Blake, Shelley, and Byron.

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Andy Goldblatt

Andy Goldblatt

Former Risk Manager at UC Berkeley, author of four books, ectomorphic introvert.