Good is derived from evil. Higher values are derived from materialism and selfishness. Evil is the father of good: without good, evil still exists but not vica versa. The selfish nature of altruism and the carnal nature of all righteousness
The entire natural and living world is based on materialism and "evil". In "Satanism: The Natural Religion" by Vexen Crabtree (2005) I highlight the evil of the natural world. Not only that but the good in the natural world is based on evil. Even the moralistic, conscious and righteous good of Human Beings is based on evil and materialism. The complete picture of the living and natural world is that evil dominates: without evil there would be no good. But without good, there is still evil. To deny evil is to deny good. For us this unholy reality is represented by Satan.
Satanism does not pretend to isolate what is "good" from what is "evil". There is no cosmic struggle between good and evil: all is gray and natural goodness is dependent on the same mechanisms as natural evil. Satanism deprecates dualistic thinking. It is too simplistic to think of things as black and white, good and bad, or moral and immoral. There are multiple sides to every issue. Especially when we start thinking about Human behaviour we find that we should, morally and logically, refrain from classifying phenomenon in a dualistic way.
Satanism does not declare that earthquakes and natural evil are Evil with a capital "E"... they are merely perceived as being evil because they clash with our own lives not because the events themselves are inherently "evil" or malevolent. The universe itself is vastly cold, inhuman, lethal, awesome; life and goodness are short-lived and fragile. No good symbol can represent this situation adequately. This discussion is about Human good and Human evil. It's all about motivation and behavior.
“Good and evil are to many an 'obvious' reality but with thought, the concept of these opposites makes little sense. What is good for one being is frequently bad for another. For example in nature the whole cycle of biological life is based on death and recycling. Hence why major religions have historically been based around these themes, especially vegetation gods who are reborn every Winter Solstice. All predators find it good that prey is available; if you protect the prey you harm the predators, and whilst it is bad from the prey's point of view to be eaten, it is necessary from the predator's point of view. In nature, survival is violent and competitive.
Bacteria1 feed on biological chemicals to survive and breed. What is good for them is bad for us. While antibiotics are good for us and reduce our suffering, their usage creates suffering and death for countless other minor species. What is good for one species is bad for others. While one culture may consider multiple marriage to be a virtue of love and positivity, another considers it an evil sin. What is good in one culture is bad in another. What was good in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible is bad in the New, what is good in the Buddhist Pali scriptures is wrong in the Therevada, what is considered an ethic by one group in society is considered wrong in another. Contraception may be evil according to Catholic doctrine, but, overpopulation causes suffering for all. What the homeless rightly do to survive is a "social evil" to those with homes, and how governments collect tax is evil to the poor person but a social necessity. Good and Evil are impossibly complex, inherently subjective.
Moral subjectivism is not limited to the human concern for other humans. A nuclear attack is bad for billions of people but may well be good for undersea creatures who suffer from our pollutants. Eliminating environmental toxins from our waste may make industry less efficient and slow the economy, but is good for other species. A life-saving vaccine may be good for many people but could be atrocious for the environment and create suffering due to overpopulation.
There are no actions that are "good" or "bad" from the point of view of all peoples, cultures, societies, species and interests. There are no actions that are absolutely good for life, and there are no actions that are bad for all species. There is no "opposite" to good or evil; there is no scale with "good" on one side and "evil" on the other: There are only conflicting subjective interests. It is all personal opinion, compromise and discord. "Good" is not the opposite of "evil" as both concepts are too personal, too subjective and too elusive to warrant definition or resolution as opposites.”
The following section is taken from "Subjectivism and Phenomenology: Is Objective Truth Obtainable?: 1.5. Conflicting Experiences, Absolute Morals and God" by Vexen Crabtree (2000):
Everyone sees things differently because everyone has different information, and everyone's brains are wired different. The same fact presented to two people will be interpreted and stored in two different ways. It's almost as if there is no "real" world... just millions of versions of the world and we just haven't got the mental power as living beings to see what is real and what is not outside of our own experience. Consensus is a diplomatic compromise this gives us shared experiences, cultural assumptions and explanation, and theory about the world. To rely, however, on logic and reason leads to problems where one person concludes that another's experience is false. For example a psychiatrist concludes that a patients' experience of government conspiracy is a false experience - even though it's an experience the person has been having consistently for ten years - at the end of the day it's only one persons' point of view versus another and logic is not self-affirming of the world, only self-contained. These epistemological problems undermine any effective employment of any idea of objective reality.
Even if absolute morals could be perceived or were inherent within us, then because all of our brains are different, every person interprets that moral differently, according to their particular neural history, and no two people would comprehend exactly the same concept. It is impossible to communicate the absolute. It is impossible to dictate an absolute moral using natural methods. Within the scope of Human experience, objective morals do not exist. This has particular implications for religion and some religion's claims for absolute morality. It seems that the creator has specifically gone out of its way to avoid the imparting absolute morals.
For more on topics like this, view: Religion and Morals
This leaves us with the theological implications of the impossibility of the perception of objective reality:
God specifically doesn't want us to know the absolute.
God specifically doesn't want us to know absolute morals. Perhaps this is why religions, as reported by the likes of Moses, has been temporal and local, rather than transmitted directly into all people's minds by God (which would be the technique it would use, if it wanted us to know something absolute). (See: "God's Methods of Communication: Universal Truth Versus Hebrew and Arabic" by Vexen Crabtree (2012))
There are no knowable moral absolutes.
Morals are created by God to suit particular cultures and people, hence, why there are so many revealed religions and why things that are seen as good in one society are seen as bad in another. Therefore even religious morals are temporary and ad hoc both between different religions and between different branches of the same religion.
And finally, much more likely given the evidence:
Morality is purely cultural and subjective and does not come from God at all.
The reason that morals do not come from is obvious: there is no (good!) god!
Mystics, channellors, spirit guides, medicine men, white witches, ghost hunters and all kinds of other types of people have often claimed to be able to discern what type of spirit is nearby. With looks of either horror or pity on their face, they inform the living if the spirit is good or bad, benevolent or malevolent. But are things that simple? If souls are our true selves, and we have free will and motive, it seems that a spirit's actions are likely to be like ours: sometimes nice, sometimes unkind. Dramatic pronouncements on their status as good or evil are too simplistic to be true. And if there are very evil spirits out there, then, it seems that they could simply trick us, just like living humans can. According to the Christian bible "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14), and, God often does evil things (Isaiah 45:7). If the most-evil and most-good beings can fool puny Human minds into appearing the opposite, then, what chance has anyone of truly deciding if mundane spirits are good or bad? Those who claim to be able to make such divisions are faking it, or have led themselves into a simplistic state of melodrama and delusion.
A Satanist will not hesitate to admit to being self-centered, selfish and hard and will tell you that you too, have all these qualities in abundance. Satanism is a wholly self-centered philosophy. But most the Satanists I know are normal, social and friendly beings. What gives? A critic could say that our actions do not match our beliefs.
Humans are social animals. We function as social animals and require social activities in order to remain sane, happy and mentally healthy. Being healthy is a must if you wish to live a long and indulgent life! Most mature Satanists display quite altruistic behaviour. Many Satanists find that making others happy makes themselves happy. Despite the individualism of the left hand path I think that being seen as good, nice or friendly by others is a requirement of our mental health and self esteem. Our ego demands that we are socially acceptable; it makes us unhappy to forfeit altruism, especially in the long-term.
“Biologists, sociologists, philosophers and above all, psychologists, have held to the "universal egoism" theory: that all apparent altruism is really selfishness in disguise. Most arguments for altruism are based on ignorance of the underlying reasons for behaving good towards others or are purely semantic in nature, not logical. "We are born selfish" writes the eminent biologist Prof. Richard Dawkins in "The Selfish Gene" (1976), and this is why, he argues, we need to teach altruism, to give others good moral guidance, to think about our actions carefully, and that when we understand our motives better, we are better equipped to behave well, and overcome the ethnically-biased altruism that we are born with2.
People behave altruistically for a number of selfish reasons. We are programmed genetically to behave in a way conducive to the sociability of the species: This unconscious species-instinct is the closest thing we have to true selfless altruism and this drive is shared with other social species too. In nearly every other conscious sense, altruism is an illusion. We behave well because social good behaviour fires off pleasant neurochemicals in our brains (the pleasure reward), because consciously or unconsciously we want others to see us as a good person (the social reward) or to feel good about ourselves (for pride and self-esteem). This internal reward system means that while we think we act well towards others' for their own sake, we actually do it for the biochemical buzz that it gives us. Altruism is image and illusion.”
When a mature person accepts that part and parcel of their own happiness is dependent on being a successful social animal, that making others happy makes oneself happy, is that person selfish or altruistic? Of course it's plain old selfishness; altruism is surely just long-term selfishness. Altruism is a hypocritical concept.
“Just because you choose to follow a 'me first' creed, doesn't mean you need to suddenly become impervious to the feelings of others. I don't mean that you should rush out and hug a stranger because they look fed up, but if someone you know has a genuine problem in their life, Satanism doesn't mean that you have to go into 'bitch' mode and tell them to 'deal with it' just simply because it seems the Satanic thing to do. If you let the philosophy come between you and a friend, you are acting contrary to your own interests and cutting your nose off to spite your face.”
"The Way I See It" by @stolath
A British Satanist
“Satanism represents a form of controlled selfishness. This does not mean that you never do anything for anyone else. If you do something to make someone for whom you care happy, his happiness will give you a sense of gratification.”
For various reasons people feel a need to adopt a Good Guy Badge and deny that their good actions are derived from their animal instincts and selfishness. See: "The Satanic Mind is Balanced" by Vexen Crabtree (2002).
“If evil were by chance eradicated, the race would die of inertia... at least under existing standards of mental and emotional development. That the villain is the most formidable enemy of boredom was proven in a rather quaint manner by a short-lived tabloid called Good News. Feeling that the populace was weary of the standard journalistic fare of murder, rape, war, riot, scandal and catastrophe, Good News printed just that - good news. It valiantly lasted two or three issues before its not untimely demise. Why did it die? Good news is only really good to those directly involved. Most people lead such futile and useless lives that only bad news makes them feel better. If not better, certainly gooder. If one cannot gain recognition for anything else, he can rest well with the assurance the he is "good," which in most cases equates with "right". Were it not for an evil to rail against he might just as well never have been born. Yes, Evil is the great saviour and sustainer of those who condemn it most.”
Once we understand pure altruism to be hypocritical and based on selfishness and the ego we understand there is no Human motivation that is not selfish in nature, even love:
“Love is perhaps the strongest emotion we possess. But it is ultimately selfish; the satisfaction and feel-good that it brings is an ultimate reward. Our instincts and needs underlie any altruistic behaviour, especially when it comes to love. That is part of the beauty of love... that you know your loved one loves you because it makes them feel good. You know that they know your love is selfish, and they are happy that you love them because it makes you feel good. Without this hidden, deeper selfishness, Human love would have less depth. Love is best and most beautiful when it comes from the depths of one person and extends to another, and both know that the other loves them for selfish reasons. We love someone because they make us feel good and they love us because we make them feel good. This combination is a supreme gift to our ego and helps explain why love is easily the most potent emotion.”
All Good is based on Evil
Between love and altruism there is nothing else we can describe as good that cannot be seen to be selfish. Out of love some people are even inspired to sacrifice themselves. All our "good" motivations are based on carnality, materialism, selfishness and therefore rely on evil. When people deny evil and pretend these things are not true then they veer from honesty and become less in touch with the good things that they attempt to embrace. Ironic. This is perhaps Satanism's biggest point of contention between other religions, as most religions and New Age movements are "white light" and attempt to do the very thing that I am warning against!
“3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!”
For the sake of all the goodness within ourselves we must recognize and accept that we are completely selfish and carnal beings. Evil, even. When we accept this and understand how this works then the good within ourselves can become all the more greater and expressible. Without this embrace of our evil sides we are imbalanced and not capable of fully realizing our "good" potential. More worryingly without accepting our evil side we will not perceive accurately what good itself is and stray.
“It is no good casting out devils. They belong to us, we must accept them and be at peace with them.”
D.H. Lawrence, Pheonix, 'The Reality of peace'
“There is a demon in man that needs to be exercised, not exorcised.”
Satanism advocates more strategic, psychologically sound methods than merely denying your animal side. Instead of suppressing that which is "bad", lingering on it and twisting it, it is far better that you merely accept that you will never be a perfect person, and concentrate on doing the things that you feel are good. If you remain aware of your ulterior motives and analize your own actions you will be respected as an honest, mature and good person by those around you.
Satan represents the state of affairs recognized by Satanists: That all good is based on evil: That love and altruism are both selfish and carnal. Satan represents the evil and uncaring attitude of the dark force in nature. It represents good being dependant on evil and life being ultimately defeated by death. Satan represents all of this evil which in turn creates all good. Without our evil sides we are lost and Satan represents acceptance of this.
“There are millions of mammals on this planet. We are all on the top half of the food chain; under us are billions upon billions of subjected life forms from bacteria and mould to insects and fish. The higher up the food chain you are, the more multiples of creatures have died to provide you with sustenance. Nature is violent, amoral, uncaring, deadly and dangerous. Simple survival is not a luxury afforded to many creatures for very long. [...]
What religion, in the name of truth and honesty, reflects the violence and desperation of the natural life? What religion upholds the symbols that nod a head to the sacrifices of brutal reality? Real life, below the surface of our noble conscious existence, is so immoral, short, pained and traumatic that not many face it. They turn away and look towards distracting figureheads of love and happiness. They deceive themselves. Real life; the life of the world, is not often represented or illuminated by religious texts or preachers. People want religion to be an escape from the truth. Satanism is not a religion for such people.”
By Vexen Crabtree 2002 Oct 10
(Last Modified: 2010 Aug 21)
Parent page: The Description, Philosophies and Justification of Satanism
The Bible (NIV). The NIV is the best translation for accuracy whilst maintaining readability. Multiple authors, a compendium of multiple previously published books. I prefer to take quotes from the NIV but where I quote the Bible en masse I must quote from the KJV because it is not copyrighted, whilst the NIV is. [Book Review]
LaVey, Anton. (1930-1997) Founder of the Church of Satan.
(1969) The Satanic Bible. Published by Avon Books Inc, New York, USA. Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in 1966.
(1992) The Devil's Notebook. Published by Feral House, CA, USA.