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#96726 - 04/29/05 03:48 PM "Satanists are born, not made"
Serpens Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 125
Loc: Western New York
Anton LaVey held that "Satanists are born, not made." I wish to question those more versed in Satanic philosophy than myself about how strongly this belief is held.

My internet research came upon this snippet:

"Anton LaVey said many times that Satanists are born, not made. Testimony to this is the large number (the majority) of Satanists who did not need to be taught Satanism, who did not need to be converted, tutored or schooled in Satanism in order to comprehend it. Many Satanists, upon coming in to contact with the items in the above list instantly convert. The most frequent testimony of conversion to Satanism is "I read The Satanic Bible and I already believed everything it said, so I called myself a Satanist. This is perhaps one of the reasons that there is little proselytising in Satanism. If a person does not convert after being showed the basics the chances are Satanism simply isn't for them. There is rarely any point in trying to convince a person to accept Satanism if they do not automatically understand it. Proselytisation of those who are not born Satanists feels like a waste of time. Satanism is understandable to non-Satanists, but non-Satanists will not in general be converted through knowledge or understanding of Satanism. Whatever demonic traits a person needs in order to accept Satanism seem to be more nature than nurture. Born, not made."

An Objectivist that I voluntarily debated with dismissed all of this as bunk, stating that it "was stupid to believe that the contents of a man's mind are determined by genetics." I disagree with him. He seems to be saying that "since you and I do not know that this is the case, it is not so."

My question is; does Satanism hold that whether or not a person has a "Satanic" personality is dependent on genetics as an objective and de facto, or is it more a commonly-accepted hypothesis? Does proof exist? Or have I missed the proverbial dart board entirely and stuck my dart into the wall?

#96727 - 04/29/05 04:05 PM Re: "Satanists are born, not made" [Re: Serpens]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10146
So far as I know, the Church of Satan does not speculate as to the "cause;" i.e. whether it is genetic in origin, or otherwise.

This doctrine is firmly based on observation. It is also related to another concept put forth by Anton LaVey, especially in The Satanic Witch: that people are ultimately not changeable, and a person will always revert to the "true self" when the cards are down.

Everyone's seen a born loser. Everyone's seen a born winner. Nobody debates the validity of this; its obvious that some are born with a capacity to succeed, others simply do not have the faculties to do anything worthwhile.

If I might say so, there is an obvious element of genetics in determining whether one can be a Satanist or not. Satanism demands intelligence, and it is not disputed that intelligence, to a large degree, is a genetic characteristic.
"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."

#96728 - 04/29/05 04:32 PM Re: "Satanists are born, not made" [Re: Serpens]
Rev_Malebranche Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4136
Loc: Oregon
I would add to Leviathan XIII's remarks that this need not be framed as an argument based on genetics--I don't necessarily think it was ever intended to be framed as a 'genetic' argument, specifically. That's putting a very scientific emphasis on the word 'born.'

Just because you can't make yourself something you're not, doesn't mean that 'thing' is something determined by genetics. If you consider the 'Satanist' to be a personality type, that personality type could be the result of a vast number of factors and experiences which are beyond one's control. Personalities are often fairly well formed by late adolescence, perhaps even earlier.

Think about yourself.

Were you trained to be exactly who you are?

Or are you simply 'that way?'

Could you train yourself to be an entirely different personality type?

(For instance, could you honestly, over a period of years, make a radical shift in Meyer-Briggs personality type? From expressed introvert to expressed extrovert or vice-versa? Perhaps...but this seems as though it would rarely occur.)

All the nuances of one's personality are not controlled by our basic genetic code. That code itself couldn't possibly account for the huge diversity of personality traits expressed among individuals.

Christianity and other religions offer pre-fab personalities. They tell you who to be, what to like and dislike, how to behave, how to feel. Christians aren't born Christians, they become Christians by adopting, with varying levels of success, a pre-fab 'ideal' personality.

Satanists don't convert. Satanists are already Satanists. No conversion required. You either are 'like us' or you are not 'like us.' Being 'like us' isn't necessarily the result of genetics per se. But you can't make yourself like us.

It's like trying to learn to be 'creative,' 'doubtful,' 'gullible,' 'empathic,' 'misanthropic' or 'inquisitive'-- you either are, naturally, or you are not.

#96729 - 04/29/05 04:45 PM Re: "Satanists are born, not made" [Re: Serpens]
Serpens Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 125
Loc: Western New York
My thanks for your well-written and informative replies. Do enjoy your Walpurgisnacht


#96730 - 05/05/05 11:47 PM Re: "Satanists are born, not made" [Re: Serpens]
Nemo Offline
CoS Magister

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 13220
Loc: Point Nemo s48:52:31:748, w123...
Objectivists do not even believe that human beings have instincts.

I would submit that that says it all.

#96731 - 05/13/05 03:17 PM Re: "Satanists are born, not made" [Re: Serpens]
jedisolo Offline

Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 16
Loc: Behind My Eyes
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Edited by Agt_Malebranche (05/13/05 03:52 PM)


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