Let’s ask the big question first and the name of this blog, why Satan.
We use Satan as a figurehead to represent our defiance of tyranny. He is a literary character with qualities we admire.
Satan can be used as a symbol. Not only of rational inquiry, but to cast off ideas of arbitrary authority, arbitrary social norms and to embrace the outsider status in others and in ourselfs.
Because I know it will get mentioned that yes there are those who believe in a theistic Satan, I personally do not and so this blog won’t get too into that.
Why not be humanist
Some might say, “sounds humanist, why not just call yourself a humanist”. First I am a humanist. I would say Satanism is a religion with humanist roots (we will cover what makes it a religion some other time). Satanism provides a metaphorical background and an umbrella in which a community can use to inspire itself. Humanists don’t have metaphor to use as symbolism of expression. Symbolism is important, if one were to look at human history symbolism is something we go back to again and again. It is almost like an expansion of our language. Language is limited and it can take a long time for someone to explain a thing, with symbolism however, we can take already understood ideas and build on them in shorter time or use it to make complex ideas easier to understand.
Satan for example in his mythos rebelled against the arbitrary authority of God. We can explain that just because god was the creator and powerful, that doesn’t mean he should be able to use that fact as justification for actions. This explains the idea of what we mean by arbitrary more easily.
Not only did he rebel against authority, but he did so against one that was seemingly much more powerful then he was.
Okay but out of all metaphors why pick Satan.
In some ways I didn’t pick Satan, neither did most modern Satanist. “Modern” Satanism isn’t a new idea it has been around a long time. You could look at the book Children of Lucifer: The Origins of Modern Religious Satanism, by religious historian Ruben van Luijk, but here is some historical discussion.
Those articles go into the long history of Satanism dating back to at least to the enlightenment. Satanism is chosen as much for it’s history as it’s metaphors and way of thinking, one can not simply change the name of such a thing.
You like Satanism to be counter to Christianity!
You bet your ass I do, okay it’s partly true. If I wasn’t in a Christian majority country would I feel as drawn to it? I don’t know, I am going to guess not, but I am in a Christian majority country and I do feel drawn to it. It’s almost like saying I only like pizza cause it has cheese on it.
It is a counter culture, but so is all of protestantism, a religious sect formed out of protest.
But Satan did not wish man to be created.
This is a very interesting question largely because the answer is interesting. If you were to open your Bible you will be hard pressed to find the story of Satan’s fall. Many cite Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28 and Revelation 12, the first two are debatable if they are about Satan and the last it’s debatable if they it’s a prophecy or something that already happen. In all of these accounts it never really goes into the reason for the war in heaven. So where does our classical reasons come from. It comes from writers outside of the Bible and oral tradition. So just using the mythological source material we have no idea why the rebellion happened.
Some say the rebellion was because he was jealous of man, others he did not wish to bow to man, in paradise lost he did not wish to bow to the son of man. So the cause for Satan’s rebellion in the source material is up for discussion. In the end however we believe it is a story nothing more and so it can be reinterpreted many ways.
Satan is evil
Just for fun let’s do a God vs Satan murder count. All of this is in jest of course, I don’t believe in either being anymore than I believe in Ironman and Thanos. However let’s run with marvel cause it’s fun.
Let’s take guardians of the galaxy 2 and if your haven’t see it yet, not my problem it’s been years. Star Lord’s father is a god liked being who created him and wants to use him to reshape the world in his image. The dude who raised Star Lord is a murderer, a pirate, and a supposed cannibal, yet when yondu dies we morn and when Star Lord’s father dies we cheer? Kinda fucked up huh. People love the punisher and Ironman, neither are pillars of moral virtue.
“But those are fictional characters” you say, if you say that, then you have not paid attention to the fact I view the Bible as fictional. If you say “well make a church of Ironman then” I’ll chuckle tell you it’s not the worse idea for a church and point you back to the historical aspects of Satan. But in all seriousness putting aside the funny marvel comparison. The figure of Satan even in the best light might not be the most moral figure and that’s okay. Satanism isn’t about wanting to be just like Satan, that’s ridiculous, ( for one my body type can’t pull off hooves) we can see negative aspects in the figure of Satan and use it as a mirror to see we have problems and moral short comings.
So why Satan
To summarize Satan is used as a central metaphor which informs self exploration, is something a community can share historically and modernly. It can be a common thread to which people can identify with and the fact that it scares some people can be a bonus.
This is far from the complete answer, books are written on the subject, this is just my simple and I do mean simple overview on the subject.