When I first broke the shackles of Christianity, I thought that the Madeline Murray-O'Hare style of atheism was the best fit since she negated ALL of the nonsense and superstition that surrounded Christianity. But as the years wore on, some other points slowly started worming their way into my mind, to wit:
Image via WikipediaChristianity did not invent ANYTHING. Concepts such as 'god', 'devil', 'angels', 'demons', 'magic', 'supernatural', 'hereafter', 'worship', 'ritual' 'symbolism' and/or 'ceremonies' were all around THOUSANDS of years before the advent of Christianity. A person who believes in any sort of non-materialistic values should not automatically be relegated to the 'Christian heap' any more than, for example, a Muslim believer should be considered a 'Jew' simply because they both believe in monotheism.
It is understandable if many ex-christians go the straight atheist route. I have nothing bad to say about their beliefs (or lack thereof :)). I only ask that they consider that there are many elements of our universe that cannot yet be explained by science or 'rational' thought.
Atheism does a terrific job of covering the reason factor as far as its relation to Christianity. I have no quarrel with them in that sense. But as human beings, we have not-fully-defined emotional needs as well. No offense is meant herein to the atheists/materialists on this board, but I have to honestly ask: What is more emotionally stimulating: A picture of the atomic symbol of the American Atheists.........or the glorified image of a strong and powerful goat headed Satan holding a dagger or sword aloft?
Personally (and again, this is just my OWN opinion, folks....no offense is intended!) , I think straight atheists tend to over play the reason/logic factor a bit without giving due attention to the element of emotion. If you doubt this opinion, allow me to present a scenario: A man comes home to find his house on fire and his little daughter trapped inside, waving frantically from a window for help. Is he going to cast his fears aside and rush in to rescue her because his left brain tells him: "That being is my child and children are born of the parent and are therefore attached thereof; ergo, I must enter the inflamed area and extricate said child because child is an extension of my own self." Hell no! He's going to rush headlong into the flames on PURE EMOTION, suicidal as it may be, because that is his little princess screaming for daddy and reason/logic means nothing to him at that point! Truly, he will achieve 'superhuman' goals as he charges forward, ignores any pain the fire/smoke inflicts on his own body and (hopefully) drags/throws/pushes his little girl to safety in spite of all the odds.
As another example, I have been told some years ago by a practicing martial artist that a person HAS to believe that they can break the 2x4, cinder block, brick or other object in order to be successful. If the would be martial artist was to stand there and 'logically' say, "But....human bone is scientifically/physically 'weaker' than stone. I cannot do it!", there would be no martial arts, period! The would be karate student would fracture his bones on the (physically superior) objects instead of shattering/crushing them.
Bottom line: Emotion itself is 'magic' to me. Emotion, imagination, fantasy and pure unbridled will to power can add up to more than we can possibly conceive! Why not use it to our own advantage ?? :)
30,000 years ago sun, wind, fire, rain, thunder and lightning and any other number of factors could only be 'understood' by our Cro-Magnon ancestors by deferring to unknown 'powers.' One day in the distant future, science may well explain such currently debated topics as 'hauntings', 'reincarnation' claims and 'magic' as natural/physical occurrences. If that is the case, then the Satanist will simply die like everyone else and vanish into dust after having fully enjoyed his or her life as a 'black magician.' If there IS a physical/literal 'Satan' waiting for us after death, the Satanist will join the image/being with which they identified with and served (whether consciously or as an metaphorically) during their time on earth.*
It is for these reasons that I consider myself an 'agnostic' when it comes to belief in Satan as either a deity or a symbolic image. Further, I don't waste much time in trying to 'discover' if Satan literally exists or not because in either case, living a Satanic lifestyle is a win-win situation for Satanists and the (presumed) Dark Lord Himself.
* As a side note, when we really stop to think about it, the notion that Satan wishes to ‘torture us for all eternity in Hell’ because we didn’t believe in ‘god’ is absurd in the extreme! Why would a deity torment His own allies ?? It is a bit like saying a Northerner who was supportive of the Confederacy in 1861 would be executed if he entered the South!
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