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#469220 - 02/04/12 01:15 PM Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R)
Samyaza Offline


Registered: 02/04/12
Posts: 4
First off, the introduction.

I am a new poster to LttD, though, I've been a long time non-registered lurker.

In college I studied just about every major world religion, trying to find out what was right. I never really thought about religions growing up. I studied Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, Christianity, Islam, and about 12 other 'isms' that I don't need to go into here. Long story short, none made sense to me. Well, I take that back, one did. Atheism.

The only thing that made sense is that we are creatures, just like everything else on the planet, no different (well, maybe a few more brain cells, but that's about it) than any of the other beasts on the Earth.

I have known about the Church of Satan since my days in college, but I never gave it much thought, as the ritualistic trappings seemed to me to be absolutely ridiculous. There's having disdain for organised religion, and then there's carrying it to an extreme, and I felt the CoS was carrying it to an extreme. Then, I started reading these boards, seeing what people were actually like. These all were highly intelligent people, people who were, for the lack of a better word, atheists.

This is my question. To you, is Satanism a Philosophy, or is it a Religion? There is a significant difference. The way that I see it is that it HAS to be a philosophy, that is a way of looking at the world, and humanity as a whole. And, if it is truly a philosphy, then why the 'magic'?

Magic can't exist in a truly rational world. There may be some things we have yet to understand, but nothing that can not currently be explained by science (with the few exceptions of what lies in the singularity of a black hole, and how the quantum forces align with gravity, among others).

I guess I'm just wondering why the religious trappings. Is it just to make it more comfortable for people who are used to going to church every Sunday? These are things that concern me with the Church of Satan. If you took the time to read this far, I thank you, and I am awaiting your replies.

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#469223 - 02/04/12 01:38 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
LKRice Offline

CoS Priestess

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 6363
You mention reading the board, but you don't mention having read The Satanic Bible. I'll assume you have, but we know where assuming can lead...

To answer your question, though, Satanism is both.
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#469225 - 02/04/12 01:43 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10580
Loc: England
>> This is my question. To you, is Satanism a Philosophy, or is it a Religion? There is a significant difference. The way that I see it is that it HAS to be a philosophy, that is a way of looking at the world, and humanity as a whole. And, if it is truly a philosphy, then why the 'magic'? <<

Because it is a religion. And religions incorporate philosophy.

If you have made your mind up that "Magic can't exist in a truly rational world" - despite the fact we can't explain "what lies in the singularity of a black hole, and how the quantum forces align with gravity, among others" - then there is no need for you to go any further in your attempts to understand Satanism.

Having said that, there is no requirement for anyone to practice magic.

>> Is it just to make it more comfortable for people who are used to going to church every Sunday? <<

I'll give you a hint: when a Christian drinks red wine from a chalice, he believes it to transform into the blood of Christ in his stomach.

When a Satanist drinks red wine he believes it to be... red wine.
_________________________
"u.v.ray blends the dark street poetry of Nelson Algren with the swagger and style of a young Iggy Pop."

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#469226 - 02/04/12 01:50 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Satanism has a practical component. It has ritual and dogma.

Satanists don't agree that magic can't exist in a truly rational world. Do not mistake magic (in Satanic practice) from superstition. Do not mistake wonder or mystery for ignorance. Science can explain many things, and allows us to accomplish many things, that are also wondrous and mysterious. Satanists celebrate magic and mystery, not superstition or ignorance.

If the distinction is lost on you, then perhaps Satanism is not for you.
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#469227 - 02/04/12 02:04 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
Samyaza Offline


Registered: 02/04/12
Posts: 4
In reading your response, and re-reading what I wrote, it was clear to me that what I meant did not come across in what I wrote. When I was talking about Satanism as a "Religion" I meant that as a belief in a supernatural power, likewise with magic, magic caused through some supernatural means, and by supernatural, I don't just mean something we can't explain, I mean from some "higher power". I was under the impression that the CoS believed in no higher power other than themselves.

I am an atheist, and in looking for others to identify with, I have found that I more closely identify with adherents to the CoS than to any atheist group. I am greatly interested in becoming a member of the CoS, and obviously before I do, I will be re-reading The Satanic Bible to ensure that the CoS fits in well with my personal philosophy.

Oh, and to answer your question, Priestess, yes, I have read The Satanic Bible, however, it's been ... close to 20 years now since I've read it. I do definitely plan on reading it again.

And Reverend: "When a Satanist drinks red wine he believes it to be... red wine." <---- Best. Line. Ever.

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#469229 - 02/04/12 02:08 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
Janina Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 1501
Loc: Center of my own Universe
Originally Posted By: Samyaza

This is my question. To you, is Satanism a Philosophy, or is it a Religion?


To me Satanism is Religion with Ritual and Dogma. if I would think satanism just as an philosophy I probably would not join to Church of Satan member like I did. I think that satanism is very rational with itīs philosophy but still it is more than just a philosophy.

I do not see Satanism as lifestyle or identity, but more like tool for personal use.

I was bit concerned to comment this issue though you already got some great answers from the priests of Church of Satan but I still took that I might as well tell the way I see it myself..


Edited by Janina (02/04/12 02:18 PM)
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#469230 - 02/04/12 02:09 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: LKRice]
Phineas Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 8274
To expand on this, all of what you are asking is explained in The Satanic Bible, and further discussed and supplemented in the essays at the Church of Satan Website.
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"I'm fascinated with how primitive the human mind still is. It can be misdirected so easily." John Gaughan


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#469232 - 02/04/12 02:20 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10580
Loc: England
Yes. Satanism is atheistic.

We do not believe that magic is reliant on supernatural powers. We do suggest that psychology, and in particular the human will, can be empowered through symbolism and suspension of disbelief.

A few years ago I wrote 4 articles on Satanism for The New Statesman. It includes this one on Satanic ritual magic. You might find it helpful:

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-faith-column/2007/08/satanic-ritual-satanist-fudd
_________________________
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www.uvray.moonfruit.com





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#469234 - 02/04/12 02:22 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
Zaftig Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3409
If philosophy can be defined as a way of seeing the world then religion can be defined as way of acting in the world; philosophy in action. Satanism is a religion of action, after all. If someone claims to be Satanic but never leaves their mother's basement to actually achieve something, it's just words. And words are weak.

It seems that the majority of people who reject or are uneasy with Satanism as a religion is exactly because people associate the word with organized institutions that exploit the gullible, abuse children, and cause wars. But why reject the word religion simply because of a discomfort with other religions?

The word itself has a long history in the study and categorization of religions, which I won't go into except to state that since Satanism defines itself as a religion - containing many of the elements of "traditional" types of religion sans the spiritual part - then to limit it solely to philosophy omits an important part what it means to be a Satanist.

I would add that wonder and amazement and mystery are part of it - we are not blind automatons who reject spiritual trappings without finding other sources that inspire awe. Instead, finding things to marvel at could be understood as the most Satanic thing one can do.


Edited by Zaftig (02/04/12 02:24 PM)

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#469237 - 02/04/12 02:29 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
TheAbysmal Offline


Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1024
Originally Posted By: Anton LaVey, Satanic Bible, (1969 edition, p.53)
Modern man has come a long way; he has become disenchanted with the nonsensical dogmas of past religions. We are living in an enlightened age. Psychiatry has made great strides in enlightening man about his true personality. We are living in an era of intellectual awareness unlike any the world has ever seen.

This is all very well and good, BUT -- there is one flaw in this new state of awareness. It is one thing to accept something intellectually, but to accept the same thing emotionally is an entirely different matter. The one need that psychiatry cannot fill is man's inherent need for emotionalizing through dogma. Man needs ceremony and ritual, fantasy and enchantment. Psychiatry, despite all the good it has done, has robbed man of wonder and fantasy which religion, in the past, has provided.

Satanism, realizing the current needs of man, fills the large grey void between religion and psychiatry. The Satanic philosophy combines the fundamentals of psychology and good, honest emotionalizing, or dogma. It provides man with his much needed fantasy. There is nothing wrong with dogma, providing it is not based on ideas and actions which go completely against human nature.


My apologies if newer editions word that differently. I just Googled for what I could remember and copied it. I still have all my books in boxes. Mr. LaVey addressed dogma in my copy, anyway, in much the same fashion.

I'd say Satanism is pretty close to Philosophy and Religion, or maybe somewhere in the murky middle between each.

I read a reply by Magistra Ygraine a few days ago in another thread that has kinda stuck with me. Perhaps taken slightly out of context, but I think useful to your question:

Originally Posted By: Magistra Ygraine
...[T]oday's CoS is involved in illustrating the Satanic lifestyle and philosophy through the current actions and achievements of our members and Satanists around the world.


Here, she calls it a philosophy, but more importantly, she highlights the why of the magic, even if that was not the question she was directly addressing.

Because it works! It works toward tangible achievements in the real world. At least for some.

Originally Posted By: Samyaza
Magic can't exist in a truly rational world. There may be some things we have yet to understand, but nothing that can not currently be explained by science (with the few exceptions of what lies in the singularity of a black hole, and how the quantum forces align with gravity, among others).


It is possible in those (you say) few exceptions presently unexplained by science where the magic can happen. Without getting too wishy washy about it, I'll stick with what is familiar to me: computing terminology.

Think of magic as a black box. You don't really understand quite how it works on the inside, except for a given input, you get a (or more than one) output:

Input --> Black Box --> Output

So, given this map:

1 --> Black Box --> 2

You might postulate that the Black Box adds 1 to the input and produces that sum as an output.

And, that would be true until you encountered:

1 --> Black Box --> 1

Now, you can throw the original idea, that the Black Box simply added 1 to its input, out the window, because it doesn't hold.

But, what if the Black Box seemed to add 1 most of the time... Say, a 90% chance that it would add one. Could it be useful? Probably not in terms of precision computing, though this is kinda where quantum computing looks headed, in my simpleton understanding of it.

Well, now consider this:

Perform Magical Ritual --> ??? --> Desire Becomes Manifest

Let us assume that this particular observation only appears to work 10% of the time. Is it useful?

Perhaps so, perhaps not, and that's why you'll find replies all across the rainbow from people who engage or do not engage in ritual. It just comes down to what you find useful.

I think that magic can exist in a truly rational world. Just because a phenomena cannot yet be explained in basic, understandable, scientific terms, does not mean that it is irrational to acknowledge that the observed phenomena exists, however much it evades our understanding. The rational person, I think, would instead acknowledge magic as a viable tool if and when he or she proved its worth, and one that never observed it would simply acknowledge his ignorance of it.

The only way to bridge that gap of ignorance is to try ritual for yourself. Simply calling it silliness won't do. You might very well be among the majority, but that doesn't mean you're correct or that you don't look silly to those who have found utility in magic.
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#469238 - 02/04/12 02:31 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Zaftig]
Samyaza Offline


Registered: 02/04/12
Posts: 4
You both have excellent points. I think the one thing this thread has really done has let me know that I have some reading I need to do. You are all absolutely correct. I think I just misunderstood the semantics. I do have a lot that I would like to learn about all this, and I do know where to go to learn it. You all have been more than patient, and I appreciate that.

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#469240 - 02/04/12 02:39 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: TheAbysmal]
Samyaza Offline


Registered: 02/04/12
Posts: 4
Well, it may very well be that the "magic" only focuses our goal just that much more, and we are even more driven and focused than before to attain that goal. I could imagine that one would conduct a ritual for a certain outcome like getting a new job, or something along those lines, that individual performs some ritual to attain it, well, in performing said ritual, the individual then focuses on that goal, and in focusing is more likely to attain that goal. In that respect, I can believe that 'magic' can exist. However, there are other ways of focusing on a goal that may not entail that "fantasy and enchantment", that "ceremony and ritual". I will grant to Mr. LaVey that dogma may be necessary for some, and I would never begrudge that of anyone. I just wanted to ensure that my lack of desire for any of the 'trappings' was not going to be a preclusion to my joining the Church.

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#469242 - 02/04/12 02:53 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
de_Lioncourt Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 09/18/07
Posts: 563
You have received some very good responses.

My answer to your question is also that Satanism is both a philosophy and a religion.

Satanism is a religion dedicated to mans carnal nature and a denial of any mysticism or spiritual parental figures.

If anything, it is a religion of the flesh, materialistic, carnal nature of man. It is a religion that celebrates life right here and now.

That being said, naturally the philosophy that surrounds it is applicable in the real world.

When it comes to Magic, and it's role in Satanism, I would encourage you to read the Satanic Bible, The Satanic Rituals, The Satanic Witch, The Satanic Scriptures and study the Church of Satan Website. In fact, in the news section there was a very recent link to an interview with High Priest Gilmore, where he discusses Magic's role in Satanism that you should find very informative.

I can't help but notice your reference to atheism in both your original and subsequent posts.

As you can imagine, this is a topic that gets brought up whenever discussing what real Satanism is. Detractors will instantly say, "Well, why call yourself a Satanist if you don't believe in a spiritual side? Why not just call yourself an atheist?"

To this question, I would note that Bishop John Aylmer (under Queen Elizabeth I) used the term Satanist in a pamphlet entitled "An Harbour for Faithful and Truth Subjects" to describe people who believed in nothing (the atheists of his day) in 1559.

So far, this is one of the earliest references to the term Satanist that I can find. So as far as My research indicates, when Dr. Lavey founded the Church of Satan nearly four hundred years later, he used the correct term to describe both his philosophy and the religion that he based it around.

On the other hand, I do not think that many of the popular atheists today (or those that are quick to jump on the band wagon for atheism) could quite bring themselves to that dreaded S word wink.

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#469245 - 02/04/12 04:23 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
TheAbysmal Offline


Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1024
Quote:
Well, it may very well be that the "magic" only focuses our goal just that much more, and we are even more driven and focused than before to attain that goal. I could imagine that one would conduct a ritual for a certain outcome like getting a new job, or something along those lines, that individual performs some ritual to attain it, well, in performing said ritual, the individual then focuses on that goal, and in focusing is more likely to attain that goal. In that respect, I can believe that 'magic' can exist.


And, if that is all that you yet find valid in magical ritual, can you still see how that could give you an edge over so many other people whose "goals" are nothing more than daydreams that flit through their minds? If magical ritual were nothing more than an outlet to take a first physical step toward a goal, can you still see how that sets you up for further steps?

I'll bluntly offer that there is more to magical ritual than that. Still, if that is as far as you ever to take magical ritual, I'd say you'd still be better off than the many who'd chalk magical ritual to balogna, just as quickly as they'd also choose to plop on their couch in front of the television instead of taking meaningful action toward their desires. wink In that vein, you might benefit from giving it a try. And, that isn't to suggest that you're content rotting in front of a television, mind you!

From one of your other replies in this thread:

Quote:
In reading your response, and re-reading what I wrote, it was clear to me that what I meant did not come across in what I wrote. When I was talking about Satanism as a "Religion" I meant that as a belief in a supernatural power, likewise with magic, magic caused through some supernatural means, and by supernatural, I don't just mean something we can't explain, I mean from some "higher power". I was under the impression that the CoS believed in no higher power other than themselves.


First, I suggest you consider that there are a handful here who possibly did understand exactly what you meant to convey. Some, still, close if not quite. There are those here whom have more experience in applying Satanism to their benefit than you or even I. I actually noticed it today: I registered here back in 2006. I've already forgotten the month and day, but that's still in the ballpark of six years since I stumbled upon LttD and Satanism in more than a passing interest. At that, I can finally say that I understand there is truth to this statement: Satanism is a religion of study, not worship.

It's such a loaded statement!

For starters, it's an indication that we can look to those with more experience with Satanism to see how it applies to and enriches our lives. It is, after all, a religion claimed to embrace life enriched an enjoyed!

Well, life enriched and enjoyed might just be a matter of fact for some lucky few. For the rest of us, it takes that study, and to extend that thought, application and practice.

Like life, you're probably not going to understand all there is to Satanism in a single sitting. Even if you did understand it all, right now, there is still that leap from understanding it all to applying it and experiencing it.

As I have been told many times, understanding is the booby prize. I find this lesson to be true. While it is fun to understand--for me, at least--I find it far more enjoyable to experience things first hand, at least as far as they seem to benefit me.

Quote:
I just wanted to ensure that my lack of desire for any of the 'trappings' was not going to be a preclusion to my joining the Church.


Speaking from experience, it is easy to "join" than to remain. That's pretty much the advice I got when I got promoted to Sergeant in the Army, it being easier to get demoted than promoted in my unit at the time. It's easy to fill out an application, say what you expect to be received favorably, and send it in with $200. Far harder is it, in my opinion, to live up to ideal.

But, there is reward to be had in it. Please don't take my words as a discouragement, but as a matter of fact: Unless you're just interested in parading a membership and title, there is hard work to be done before you realize any benefit.

Give joining careful consideration.
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#469260 - 02/04/12 09:25 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10143
The answer is right in The Satanic Bible. Religions have ritual and dogma, philosophies do not. Satanism has both. Satanism obviously has an underlying philosophy, but it is clearly a religion.
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#469270 - 02/05/12 04:04 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
Sir Schwarzweise Offline


Registered: 02/03/12
Posts: 100
Loc: Hic et Nunc
Although I am new and haven't deserved any confidence yet, I would like to add something to the discussion about terms, which should be used to describe Satanism.

Many wise words are said, but in the middle of choosing whether Satanism is a religion or a philosophy, I am missing the word ideology.

The dictionary says this:
- a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy
- the set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual

Nevertheless, I think all of these terms can be used, because Satanism includes essential elements - and the benefits - of all. This makes the word versus in the name of this thread incorrect.
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#469272 - 02/05/12 05:41 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Sir Schwarzweise]
Janina Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 1501
Loc: Center of my own Universe
Originally Posted By: Sir Schwarzweise
Although I am new and haven't deserved any confidence yet, I would like to add something to the discussion about terms, which should be used to describe Satanism.

Many wise words are said, but in the middle of choosing whether Satanism is a religion or a philosophy, I am missing the word ideology.

The dictionary says this:
- a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy
- the set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual

Nevertheless, I think all of these terms can be used, because Satanism includes essential elements - and the benefits - of all. This makes the word versus in the name of this thread incorrect.



I myself donīt see Satanism so much as an ideology, in the meaning that ideology is believing in some system of thoughts or ideas.

In the way I see satanism, it is more pragmatic tool than just philosophical idea. Satanism has magnificent philosophy but it does not end in the level of "just thinking". Satanism as an lifestyle means first of all pragmatic action. You have an purpose and you use Satanism as tool for reaching that goal..


Edited by Janina (02/05/12 09:32 AM)
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#469288 - 02/05/12 01:44 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Sir Schwarzweise]
John Prophet Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 995
Loc: My suburban lair
Originally Posted By: Sir Schwarzweise
The dictionary says this:
- a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy
- the set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual

Based on the definitions that you just gave for "ideology", I'm not sure how well the word would apply to Satanism.

As was explained in Magus Gilmore's essay The Myth of the “Satanic Community” (strongly suggested for gaining a better understanding of how Satanism operates), there is a distinct lack of continuity among the preferences, standards and "beliefs" of individual Satanists in regards to many different elements of life, particularly in regards to things like politics and economics, aesthetics and art, personal goals and even standards for interaction with other people.

Satanism entails a lot of individualism, and I generally think of the word "ideology" as implying something a lot more cohesive and conformist than what I see within Satanism. Though it may be a semantic issue and could depend a lot on exactly how you want to define the word.
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#469317 - 02/05/12 10:25 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11565
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: Samyaza
I studied Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, Christianity, Islam, and about 12 other 'isms' that I don't need to go into here. Long story short, none made sense to me. Well, I take that back, one did. Atheism.

"Atheism" isn't mutually exclusive with everything you listed, though. It's possible to be both an atheist and a Buddhist, or an atheist and a Taoist. More on that later.

Quote:
I have known about the Church of Satan since my days in college, but I never gave it much thought, as the ritualistic trappings seemed to me to be absolutely ridiculous. There's having disdain for organised religion, and then there's carrying it to an extreme, and I felt the CoS was carrying it to an extreme.

Actually, I find that atheists of the 'militant atheist' sort of variety are better examples of people who "have disdain for organized religion" and "carry it to an extreme", to the point where they erroneously assume that all religions behave like their parents' Christianity. For example, naively dismissing any and all forms of ritualized expression as "absolutely ridiculous".

Quote:
Then, I started reading these boards, seeing what people were actually like. These all were highly intelligent people, people who were, for the lack of a better word, atheists.

There already IS a better word for us: "Satanists". All the term "atheist" tells you is where one stands on the issue of deity existence. An atheist is somebody who does not believe in the existence of deities. That's ALL the word means. That's ALL it has ever meant. But obviously there's much more to Satanism than that, just as there's more to the Abrahamic religions than monotheism.

Quote:
This is my question. To you, is Satanism a Philosophy, or is it a Religion?

"Philosophy" and "religion" are not proper nouns, so there's no need for capital letters here. All religions have some sort of philosophical component, and Satanism is no exception. But Satanism is indeed a religion, as it contains the necessary and sufficient components of a religion: philosophy, dogma, ritualized expression, etc.

Quote:
There is a significant difference. The way that I see it is that it HAS to be a philosophy, that is a way of looking at the world, and humanity as a whole. And, if it is truly a philosphy [sic], then why the 'magic'?

Because there's obviously more to it than just being a philosophy.

Quote:
Magic can't exist in a truly rational world.

Says who? You? It wouldn't be very rational for me to take your word for it, especially since it's been over 20 years since you allegedly read The Satanic Bible! When you do get around to re-reading it as you said you plan on doing, pay particular attention to the chapter that begins with the sentence, "The definition of magic, as used in this book, is..."

Quote:
There may be some things we have yet to understand, but nothing that can not currently be explained by science

Well which is it?

Quote:
I guess I'm just wondering why the religious trappings.

A better question is: why do they bother you so much? Why have you let yourself dread "religion" so much that you dogmatically reject ritualistic trappings as possibly having any underlying, known rational use to the user?
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#469335 - 02/06/12 05:58 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: John Prophet]
Sir Schwarzweise Offline


Registered: 02/03/12
Posts: 100
Loc: Hic et Nunc
Originally Posted By: John Prophet
Based on the definitions that you just gave for "ideology", I'm not sure how well the word would apply to Satanism.

Though it may be a semantic issue and could depend a lot on exactly how you want to define the word.


I did not call Satanism an ideology, I meant (and said), that Satanism includes elements of a philosophy, a religion and an ideology. Indeed, words can be understood differently.

Maybe the dictionary wasn't the right source, I agree. Let me say it in my own words.

To my mind, Satanism is a concentrate of philosophical views - materialistic initial position -, religious concepts - atheism and auto-deism -, and can be called an ideology in the sense that Satanism is also a lifestyle. Philosophy is the worldview, religion is the view on deities and ideology is the practical side of the whole teaching of Satanism --> World - God - Individual, are the three required elements for an opinion. Satanism gives answer to all of them, which shows the strength of the Satanic understanding.

P.S. Maybe I just look at the question from a philosophical angle - something already turned into a habit. But I am fine with being corrected and learn from it.
_________________________
"I'll give you black sensations up and down your spine
If you're into evil, you're a friend of mine..."




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#469346 - 02/06/12 10:23 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Zaftig]
Aku76 Offline


Registered: 01/27/12
Posts: 4
Loc: Maine

"religion is a way of acting in the world"

I like it. And with Satanism, it's just your will.

Logic doesn't dictate the will. Will just is. No matter what. For good or ill.

Philosophy, reason and one's powers of perception are a means to an end, but will is the end in itself.

Religions ultimately don't fit themselves in as subordinate to reason. Adherents must be willing to suspend reason to accept the ( superior ) religion.

Being born isn't a reasonable act. One simply finds themselves existing - with a will all their own.

None of us are justified by anything greater than our will.


Edited by Aku76 (02/06/12 10:26 AM)

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#469347 - 02/06/12 10:41 AM On Defining Religion [Re: Zaftig]
Zaftig Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 3409
For those curious on a how a scholar of religion (yours truly) views the definition of religion (within academia):

The notion of studying religion itself first surfaces when early (male, white, Protestant) explorers encountered the foreign. They needed a word to describe activities which were clearly not Christianity. Christianity was then "religion" and everything else was superstition, magic, witchcraft, or sorcery, and variations thereof. Religion, then, carries with it a heavy notion of superiority.

That was then. Now it is used much more broadly, and sometimes rejected for more appropriate terms, depending on the group studied. For example, Native American scholars prefer the term "tradition" to "religion".

Contemporary scholars are wary of the notion of one pervasive theory that fits all endeavours to study religion. Dictionaries and encyclopedias provide a guideline, but there has never been one definition that could be appropriately applied to all religious activity. The theoretical always falls short of the practical when definitions are too rigid.

Instead, we have mutable parameters when studying religious phenomena, and the large spectrum of possibilities. Religion is not a fixed entity separate from language, culture, politics, or history. Categories are necessary guidelines. We examine the proposed categories to reject, accept, or recalibrate them. Theories and categories are necessary structures in order to better understand our subject. Structures that no longer serve our purpose are ultimately abandoned. Religions themselves are constantly engaged in similar filtering, adjustments, and reengineering of ideas, morals, rituals, and philosophy. Scholars then, also modify frameworks in turn.

“The moral…is not that religion cannot be defined, but that it can be defined, with greater or lesser success, more than fifty ways.”

---Jonathan Z. Smith, "Religion, Religions, Religious” (281).


Edited by Zaftig (02/06/12 10:52 AM)

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#469382 - 02/06/12 03:00 PM Re: On Defining Religion [Re: Samyaza]
Janina Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 1501
Loc: Center of my own Universe
If Satanism would be just a philosophy why would it teach Magic in that case? If Satanism would be just an Ceremony why would it have an philosophy in it. If Satanism would be just one ideology why would it be so pragmatic as it is?

Maybe Satanism is something else than just this or that. To me it is an effective tool for succesive life. Religion with Ritual and Dogma, philosophy with pragmatism and personal ideology!


Edited by Janina (02/06/12 03:09 PM)
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#469395 - 02/06/12 07:09 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Sir Schwarzweise]
John Prophet Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 995
Loc: My suburban lair
Originally Posted By: Sir Schwarzweise
and can be called an ideology in the sense that Satanism is also a lifestyle.

This is the problem with the term, and what I was getting at before. I don't think that there is anything that can be specifically called a "Satanic lifestyle", because lifestyle choices can vary dramatically between individual Satanists.

Originally Posted By: Sir Schwarzweise
and ideology is the practical side of the whole teaching of Satanism

The basics of Satanic philosophy are shared by Satanists, but the way in which that philosophy is applied to those individual's lives can be very different. The practical side of Satanism is largely up to the individual to use as they see fit. Once again, any lifestyle or ideological element would be a highly personalized thing, and therefore can't be put into the same category as something like "Satanic philosophy", because it's not agreed upon by all Satanists.

Satanism doesn't dictate how individuals apply the philosophy to their own lives. In my opinion, this is one of the strengths of Satanism. Whether you're defining ideology as having to do with lifestyle or practical application of the philosophy or even political and economic ideas, there really can't be a definitive "Satanic ideology", because all of these things are up to each individual Satanist and are different for each individual Satanist.

Originally Posted By: Sir Schwarzweise
Satanism gives answer to all of them, which shows the strength of the Satanic understanding.

Another, perhaps easier way to summarize what I've been saying is that Satanism doesn't give you answers about ideology; it expects you to come up with your own.
_________________________


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#469449 - 02/07/12 07:19 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: John Prophet]
Sir Schwarzweise Offline


Registered: 02/03/12
Posts: 100
Loc: Hic et Nunc
Satanism, indeed, does not dictate anything. It gives the Satanist different forms of freedom.

After some thinking I can say any terms can be both right and incorrect to describe Satanism. I think the true description of Satanism has to be an analyse of its elements, while the synthesis fails because of the controversy within Satanism.

By the way, I just can't resist to mention, that - again from the philosophical angle - an inner controversy is the reason and the source of the motus perpetuus , the development and 'life' of the object 'gifted' with a controversy. With other words, Satanism is alive and immortal.
_________________________
"I'll give you black sensations up and down your spine
If you're into evil, you're a friend of mine..."




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#469469 - 02/07/12 03:19 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Sir Schwarzweise]
LordofDarkness Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 760
Loc: Tennessee, U.S.
May I ask what controversy are you referring to?

What terms can be both correct and incorrect?

Quote:
Satanism is a concentrate of philosophical views - materialistic initial position -, religious concepts - atheism and auto-deism -, ...


I wouldn't call Satanism an "auto-deism" because the universe isn't the product of the Satanist. His own reality is the product of his choices, but the creation of the universe isn't.

Reference:

Originally Posted By: Dictionary.com
de·ism
&#8194; &#8194;[dee-iz-uhm] Show IPA
noun
1.
belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation ( distinguished from theism).
2.
belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it.


Source

I would pin it to Autotheism.

Originally Posted By: Dictionary.com
Autotheist
Au"to*the`ist\, n. One given to self-worship. [R.]
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Đ 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
Cite This Source


Source

The reason why I ask is because there are terms that are required to even consider oneself a Satanist while others can be open to opinion. This is why those who fit the description of a Satanist are Satanists by fact and those who don't fit the description are not.

Such as the disbelief in the supernatural.

One term I opinionate here is the application of doubt until proven wrong. I prefer that term because if I'm proven wrong, I acknowledge what is fact instead of a hypothesis of what can be false.

Fantasy after all is for the decompression chamber. wink


Edited by LordofDarkness (02/07/12 03:52 PM)
_________________________

"Any group or collective, large or small, is only a number of individuals. A group can have no rights other than the rights of its individual members." - Ayn Rand

"Laws are there for a reason. You may not agree with them but you gotta obey them. Nobody wants to be in court." - Sonic the Hedgehog

"Satanism is not a white light religion; it is a religion of the flesh, the mundane, the carnal - all of which are ruled by Satan, the personification of the Left Hand Path." - Magus LaVey

"Test Everything, Believe Nothing." -

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#469511 - 02/08/12 02:57 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: LordofDarkness]
Sir Schwarzweise Offline


Registered: 02/03/12
Posts: 100
Loc: Hic et Nunc
Originally Posted By: LordofDarkness
May I ask what controversy are you referring to?


Satanism is (although not only) a religion, but one without a deity; Satanism is a philosophy, but goes beyond the limits of only thinking; Satanism includes Magic Rituals, but preaches not the belief in Magic as shown in Hollywood horror films and Satanism isn't about Satan - the last one seems to confuse the majority, when they hear it for the first time. Satanism is full of facts, most people get disarrayed by, because when they actually 'come in touch' with real Satanism it appears to distinguish from what they expected it to be. I mean, you probably heard this many times:"So, you Satanists worship the Devil, huh?" And then you start explaining you haven't sold your soul to a horned'n'cloven-hoofed monstrosity, what overloads the simple mind of the one asking.

Originally Posted By: LordOfDarkness
What terms can be both correct and incorrect?


The terms religion, philosophy, ideology or lifestyle etc. If you say Satanism is only one of the named, that would be incorrect. Satanism requires words that analyse it, for it is more than just religion - but also is one - and more than exclusively a philosophy, while it is one.


Originally Posted By: LordOfDarkness
I wouldn't call Satanism an "auto-deism" because the universe isn't the product of the Satanist. His own reality is the product of his choices, but the creation of the universe isn't.


Oh, I never meant the opposite! I must excuse myself, this mistake is a product of my, apparently, bad English.


Originally Posted By: LordOfDarkness
I would pin it to Autotheism.


This is just what I meant. Thousand pardons. I have seen the term auto-deist appear somewhere at this forum and even thought why deism was chosen instead of theism, but assumed it was probably my lack of knowledge regarding these terms.

Thank you very much for correcting me before I had the chance to make more mistakes. Once again, thousand pardons for the misapprehension.

"Doubt until proven wrong" is definitely an essential moment. It is part of the philosophies I truly support. (I mean ancient philosophers)
_________________________
"I'll give you black sensations up and down your spine
If you're into evil, you're a friend of mine..."




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#469524 - 02/08/12 10:12 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Sir Schwarzweise]
LordofDarkness Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 760
Loc: Tennessee, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Sir Schwarzweise
I mean, you probably heard this many times:"So, you Satanists worship the Devil, huh?" And then you start explaining you haven't sold your soul to a horned'n'cloven-hoofed monstrosity, what overloads the simple mind of the one asking.


Oh, I have! smile

Speaking of which, a friend of my girlfriend said something similar to that phrase recently and I just chuckled at the irony.

But that friend asked my girlfriend if she could borrow The Satanic Bible.

You won't believe how happy I am to date a Satanist.

You're most welcome for the correction! smile

_________________________

"Any group or collective, large or small, is only a number of individuals. A group can have no rights other than the rights of its individual members." - Ayn Rand

"Laws are there for a reason. You may not agree with them but you gotta obey them. Nobody wants to be in court." - Sonic the Hedgehog

"Satanism is not a white light religion; it is a religion of the flesh, the mundane, the carnal - all of which are ruled by Satan, the personification of the Left Hand Path." - Magus LaVey

"Test Everything, Believe Nothing." -

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#469526 - 02/08/12 10:23 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: LordofDarkness]
Janina Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 1501
Loc: Center of my own Universe
Originally Posted By: LordofDarkness
Originally Posted By: Sir Schwarzweise
I mean, you probably heard this many times:"So, you Satanists worship the Devil, huh?" And then you start explaining you haven't sold your soul to a horned'n'cloven-hoofed monstrosity, what overloads the simple mind of the one asking.


Oh, I have! smile



Well I have heard this many times and my answer is always the same. I do not worship anything smile

I donīt feel any need to explain anything for any people cause I donīt feel I owe them any explanation..


Edited by Janina (02/08/12 10:25 AM)
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#469527 - 02/08/12 10:41 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Janina]
LordofDarkness Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 760
Loc: Tennessee, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Janina
Originally Posted By: LordofDarkness
Originally Posted By: Sir Schwarzweise
I mean, you probably heard this many times:"So, you Satanists worship the Devil, huh?" And then you start explaining you haven't sold your soul to a horned'n'cloven-hoofed monstrosity, what overloads the simple mind of the one asking.


Oh, I have! smile



Well I have heard this many times and my answer is always the same. I do not worship anything smile

I donīt feel any need to explain anything for any people cause I donīt feel I owe them any explanation..


Reasonable enough.

It gives them a chance to look for the explanation themselves if they want it bad enough.
_________________________

"Any group or collective, large or small, is only a number of individuals. A group can have no rights other than the rights of its individual members." - Ayn Rand

"Laws are there for a reason. You may not agree with them but you gotta obey them. Nobody wants to be in court." - Sonic the Hedgehog

"Satanism is not a white light religion; it is a religion of the flesh, the mundane, the carnal - all of which are ruled by Satan, the personification of the Left Hand Path." - Magus LaVey

"Test Everything, Believe Nothing." -

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#469542 - 02/08/12 03:16 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: LordofDarkness]
Janina Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 1501
Loc: Center of my own Universe
Originally Posted By: LordofDarkness
Originally Posted By: Janina
Originally Posted By: LordofDarkness
Originally Posted By: Sir Schwarzweise
I mean, you probably heard this many times:"So, you Satanists worship the Devil, huh?" And then you start explaining you haven't sold your soul to a horned'n'cloven-hoofed monstrosity, what overloads the simple mind of the one asking.


Oh, I have! smile



Well I have heard this many times and my answer is always the same. I do not worship anything smile

I donīt feel any need to explain anything for any people cause I donīt feel I owe them any explanation..


Reasonable enough.

It gives them a chance to look for the explanation themselves if they want it bad enough.




Yes, thatīs truth, but after all these Christian people whom I meet are not actually interested to hear my answers anyway. They already have their view based on prejudices against the Satanism.

Of course I can tell them that Church of Satan do not allow sacrificing animals or that Satanists do not worship Christian Devil, but all they are interested is still dismiss my religion, not to understand it.

I feel that I do not have to hide Satanism, I am not shame about it, but proud. and I will not loose any discussions with Christian cause I can use my brains also not just dead letters. My strategy still is to let my actions to speak by themselves. If somebody ask I may tell about Satanism and do it proudly but I feel no need to advertise it in the streets like some Jehovahīs Witnesses do. To me Satanism is after all action in this moment.

I am not interested about this Heavy Metal style "shock FX Satanism" what teenagers practice with their gothic make ups and upside down crosses. To me Satanism is something deeper and more personal. It is my religion and my Magical tool for ritualized use, but also it is lifestyle which I did not choose to carry, I just am this way naturally.


Edited by Janina (02/08/12 03:44 PM)
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#469587 - 02/09/12 05:13 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: LordofDarkness]
Sir Schwarzweise Offline


Registered: 02/03/12
Posts: 100
Loc: Hic et Nunc
I think this 'collision' with people, who are still not aware - in spite of all the information available - of facts that seem to us (and actually are) obvious and can be perfectly explained and proved, is just something we have to deal with throughout our lives, because I doubt (until proven wrong, of course wink ) that the herd will change and wake up in a wonderful morning as truly wise beings.

"I do not believe in re-education of others. Only believe in yourself, even if others think you're insane." A.Einstein


The correction came just in time - I was about to mention this term in a writing I am working on within the framework of my study of philosophy. I am glad the minds gathered here are generous enough to spend there time on those who are still gaining the needed wisdom.
_________________________
"I'll give you black sensations up and down your spine
If you're into evil, you're a friend of mine..."




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#469752 - 02/12/12 02:46 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
StabAvery Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 717
Loc: michigan
Originally Posted By: Samyaza
I meant that as a belief in a supernatural power, likewise with magic, magic caused through some supernatural means, and by supernatural, I don't just mean something we can't explain, I mean from some "higher power".


What makes you think that magic has got to do with some higher power? It might have a lot more to do with the practitioner than you think.

Do some re-reading, I think you'll answer your own questions.
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StabAvery.com
and coming soon... The Devil's Lab

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#480543 - 09/14/12 05:24 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
Cain Smith Offline


Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 39
I'm studying social anthropology and to me religion is:
The appropriation and interpretation of determined simbols that are considered as sacred.
In the case of satanism the sacred symbol is Satan that represents other sacred simbols like liberty or individualism. coopdevil
_________________________
He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom.
-The Book Of Satan 2:7-




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#480564 - 09/15/12 02:12 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Cain Smith]
mercfocus Offline


Registered: 09/01/12
Posts: 20
Loc: San Diego CA
Satanism is both philosophy and religion at the same time depending on how I apply it to me personnaly.

The religion part I am still studying on. It was the philosophy that attracted me to the religion. For the last ten years, I treated the word religion like any other "bad word" like prayer, faith, god, racial slurs, and anything else I learned to hate.

When I came across the SB less than a month ago, I found a philosophy that matched my thoughts perfectly. Then I found this on pg 26 of the Satanic Rituals:
"Many people who never conceptualized their personal philosophies discover that the principles of Satanism are an unequalled vehicle for their thoughts; hence the title of "Satanist" is now being claimed by its rightful owners."

That sentence reminds me of my tools in my garage before I got my 6ft tall Craftsman roll-away tool box. Before, all my tools were scattered every where and sometimes difficult to keep organized or even find sometimes. This was my lifes philosophies at one time: very unorganized but complete and able to deal with most things. When I got that tool box (the SB) everything became more organized and in better focus and most importantly - more efficient.

The religion part of it has given me that necassary "filler" to keep all the crap out and keep everything inside better organized.

It's because of the philosophy that I can now accept religion as a word worth saying again. I have finally found that symbolism that I have always needed to fight off a god fearing world.

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#480567 - 09/15/12 05:41 AM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: mercfocus]
Cain Smith Offline


Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 39
Quote:
Satanism is both philosophy and religion at the same time depending on how I apply it to me personnaly

If we define something as "religion" then by reaction we're talking about "a philosophy".
The philosophy itself is not a religion but all religions implies a philosophy grin
_________________________
He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom.
-The Book Of Satan 2:7-




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#480586 - 09/15/12 12:36 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: mercfocus]
Lust Offline


Registered: 11/02/05
Posts: 4214
Originally Posted By: mercfocus
Satanism is both philosophy and religion at the same time depending on how I apply it to me personnaly.

The religion part I am still studying on. It was the philosophy that attracted me to the religion. For the last ten years, I treated the word religion like any other "bad word" like prayer, faith, god, racial slurs, and anything else I learned to hate.

When I came across the SB less than a month ago, I found a philosophy that matched my thoughts perfectly. Then I found this on pg 26 of the Satanic Rituals:
"Many people who never conceptualized their personal philosophies discover that the principles of Satanism are an unequalled vehicle for their thoughts; hence the title of "Satanist" is now being claimed by its rightful owners."

That sentence reminds me of my tools in my garage before I got my 6ft tall Craftsman roll-away tool box. Before, all my tools were scattered every where and sometimes difficult to keep organized or even find sometimes. This was my lifes philosophies at one time: very unorganized but complete and able to deal with most things. When I got that tool box (the SB) everything became more organized and in better focus and most importantly - more efficient.

The religion part of it has given me that necassary "filler" to keep all the crap out and keep everything inside better organized.

It's because of the philosophy that I can now accept religion as a word worth saying again. I have finally found that symbolism that I have always needed to fight off a god fearing world.


Bravo!

Hail Satan!
coopdevil
WTI
_________________________
ïŋ―Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.ïŋ―
Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible

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#480587 - 09/15/12 12:53 PM Re: Satanism as a Philosophy vs. Satanism as a Religion (capital R) [Re: Samyaza]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11565
Loc: New England, USA
I don't understand why this thread is still going. The original poster hasn't been here for over 6 months and seems to have disappeared, without ever answering some of the questions asked back to him. I think Reverend Hagen von Tronje said it best earlier in the thread:

Quote:
The answer is right in The Satanic Bible. Religions have ritual and dogma, philosophies do not. Satanism has both. Satanism obviously has an underlying philosophy, but it is clearly a religion.
_________________________
Reverend Bill M.

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