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#62527 - 10/25/04 04:36 PM Questions regarding "official" CoS stances, and miscellany..

I am very interested in becoming a member of the CoS, but before I make the commitment to join, I have a few questions that can hopefully be answered. here goes...

I.) I am aware of the importance placed on questioning (and doubting) beliefs mentioned by Dr. LaVey in the Satanic Bible.
(In the diatribes, and the first page in the book of Lucifer.)
I have also seen these points emphasized by various members of CoS, on these boards and elsewhere. Now I understand that a member of CoS does not necessarily represent the opinion of the church itself, so I am asking for an "official" stance on this matter, if there is one at all.
What exactly is the extent of questioning or doubt, and to what subjects/beliefs is this questioning applied? By "what subjects" I infer the following:
If the CoS is a religion, then by definition, it would be a specific system of beliefs. If I am to be a questioner of all things (including beliefs, of course), then that would imply that I would also question the beliefs of the CoS. On the affiliation page of the CoS website, however, it states that membership can be terminated for "failure to practice the principles of the CoS". Is questioning (including the questioning of CoS principles) a principle in itself? This seems probable, albeit a little paradoxical.
For example, what if a member of CoS was to question (or even doubt) one of the goals set forth in pentagonal revisionism? Would this doubt place that member at risk of termination? Or is this questioning/doubt encouraged?

As far as the EXTENT of questioning, how much is too much?
For instance... I have a friend who possesses a great philosophical mind, and is always posing questions that only seem to made in such away as to confuse or detract from one's entire belief structure. Take, for example, the "Cartesian Evil Demon Consideration" ...

According to this argument there is a possible world containing an evil demon who decieves inhabitants about the truth of what they believe. In this possible world there is no close relation between the evidence that people have for a proposition and the truth of the proposition, although it seems as if there is. Since a world with such a decieving evil demon would be indistinguishable from one without it, there could be no reason to suppose that our world does not have such a demon and, consequently, no reason to suppose that our evidence has any close relation to truth.

Now although this seems like a good start for a philosophical debate, it is really just a nonsensical, shallow method of getting someone to question beliefs, or even their day-to-day actions. For an organization like CoS, which seems to have clear cut goals and ambitions, in addition to a coherent belief system based on the carnal nature of man, this kind of questioning seems like it would do more to hinder or misdirect the progress towards achieving those desired satanic ideals. So I ask again,
To what extent is questioning/doubt encouraged or practiced in the CoS?

II.) The CoS definitely seems to celebrate free thinkers, or iconoclasts, as they are commonly referred to. Some of these figures, however, seem to support ideals that conflict with the beliefs of satanism. Bill Hicks and Timothy Leary come to mind. Both of these men fit the definition of "iconoclast" perfectly, however their dissident opinions were both widely based around the use of drugs, which seems to generally be accepted as an opposition to satanic belief. So my question(s) in relation to the aforementioned is/are as follows:

What is the "official" opinion of the CoS in regards to iconoclasts whose ideas challenge, or conflict with, the ideas of satanism? Are these thinkers shown the same respect as those in agreement with satanism?
Also, (slightly off topic, but not too terribly far from the mark)
what are the distinctions made between drug use as an addiction, versus drug use as an indulgence?
(I already know the "official" stance on illegal activities, so I ask this question in relation to the philosophy set forth in the Satanic Bible. Dr. LaVey might have been against drug use for reasons of will, magic, etc. , but he is obviously VERY big on the point of indulgence. Where is this line drawn? Is it better left to the individual?)

III.) Lastly, I notice there is a spot on the membership application (it might only be on the active app.) for a sponsor.
How does one go about obtaining sponsorship? Are there certain stipulations (i.e.- you must have had personal contact with your sponsor, or he/she must be of a certain degree to sponsor you.) ?

I'm sure that this long-winded post has probably exhausted you, so I thank you in advance for your patience and any answers/info. you can provide. Though, as the man said,
"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."

Hail Satan!

~ JLP ~

#62528 - 10/25/04 05:00 PM Re: Questions regarding "official" CoS stances, and miscellany..
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10146
I. The general answer to the first line of questioning is that, a) yes, questioning all things by definition includes the principles of Satanism as well, and b) this can be taken to ridiculous lengths if you fail to use common sense in conjunction with doubt.

We don't expect you to take anything for granted. The principles of Satanism are based on unshakable bedrock; it is a good idea to prove this to yourself. Try (to yourself, not to me or to the board) to prove the principles of Satanism wrong if you can. You might find that unless you have a foregone conclusion that leads you to a rather biased answer, that they aren't exactly easy to contradict. They are the result of questioning all things.

As a corrolary, you must exercise common sense in asking the whys and wherefores. Remember, even if you can pull a fancy lot of philosophy in words, Satanism is based in reality. Whenever you find yourself in rather strange philosophical territory, I recommend checking it against the real world.

I might also point out that "questioning everything" does not mean "ignore everything." Failure to accept suggestions, or just ignoring the rules while claiming to be "doubting" is in reality just an excuse for bad behavior. You can question whether the laws in place are just, but if in "doubting" them you break the law, you'll quickly learn about another Satanic principle - Lex Talionis. Again, be smart.

II. People are what they are. Some people are famous, some are infamous, and some are famously fucked up. Consider which of these any given person is, and you'll have your answer.

As for drug use, this has be said and said not break any laws. Use common sense. If something is destroying your body and mind, don't ingest it. Use of psychoactive, legal substances such as tobacco and alcohol in moderation is one thing, drug addiction is another. I understand in some countries other substances are legal (such as marijuana in the Netherlands); again, use common sense. If something is a bad habit, aka a compulsion, its probably counter-Satanic. There is a fine line between pleasurable vice and destructive compulsion, and a Satanist should be able to make that call with wisdom.

III. Don't know anything of sponsorship, and I'm not sure this practice is still in place. Perhaps a Priest can offer information about this.
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

#62529 - 10/25/04 05:27 PM Re: Questions regarding "official" CoS stances, and miscellany.. [Re: Hagen von Tronje]

Thanks for your quick reply, Leviathan. You have answered my questions, and in the mindful way I would expect a "true" satanist to reply. You have served to justify my opinion, and reinforce what I already knew unto myself to be the truth.


#62530 - 10/25/04 06:02 PM Re: Questions regarding "official" CoS stances, and miscellany.. [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
MagisterRose Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 05/21/03
Posts: 2417
Sponsorship is not mandatory, but if you know a member you can use them as a reference.That's all that is.

In answer to some of the original questions I offer the following.

Satanism is a very broad field, but it is not some catch-all philosophy. There are parameters which define it. Anyone is free to question anything, but if their answers lead them beyond the boundaries of Satanic philosophy then they will be removed from the Church, not because they questioned it, but because they are no longer within that very broad field of Satanism. We do not condemn those who find their answers along a different path, nor do we embrace them and consider them Satanists just because they think that they are.

Iconoclasm is fine, as far as it goes. Some people throw rocks because they know how to do nothing else. The targets of iconoclasm, and the ideas that motivate the iconoclasm are more important than the iconoclasm itself.
Empty heads babble the most.

The good die young... because they see it's no use living if you've got to be good.
John Barrymore



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