The Satanic Temple is an Atheistic Religion

Lucien Greaves is a founder and lead spokesperson for the SatanicTemple. He said:

“Words like ‘spiritual’ or ‘holy,’ I think — one of the first things that people need to realize about us is that we don’t advocate for any supernatural beliefs. We’re a nontheistic religion,” Greaves said. “We don’t subscribe to supernatural explanations or accept them as legitimate.”

A nontheistic religion, eh?

A puff piece article about the TST describes it likewise: an explicitly nontheistic, rationalistic religion. 

As, of course, does Wikipedia:  The Satanic Temple is a nontheistic religious group

So let’s go to Google and look up the meaning of “nontheisitc.”

Nontheistic – not having or involving a belief in a god or gods. 

Whoa!  Isn’t that the very definition of atheism?  We have been told countless times that atheism is the lack of belief in gods.  Which is exactly the same as not having or involving a belief in a god or gods.

Nontheism = atheism.

Thus, logic dictates that The Satanic Temple is an atheistic religion.

Let’s all be honest and admit this.

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30 Responses to The Satanic Temple is an Atheistic Religion

  1. Ilíon says:

    Let’s all be honest and admit this.

    It’s a bit late in the game for them to delve into intellectual coherence.

  2. RobertM says:

    From Canada: “Is atheism a religion? The Ministry of National Revenue is a non-believer”

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/atheism-religion-charitable-status-1.5384686

    This was a case of an atheist group that claimed to be a religion for tax benefits, and got slapped down because the group couldn’t demonstrate they “have a comprehensive and particular system of faith and worship.” They claimed belief in Science, and a “Ten Commandments of Energy”, which was apparently too nebulous for the Canadian government.

  3. Stardusty Psyche says:

    Well, obviously the Satanic Temple has succeeded in jerking your chain, their apparent goal in the first place.

    Satan is a supernatural entity, yet they call themselves Satanic and hold no supernatural beliefs.

    And you bite on the pranks of provocateurs.

    The fact that these jokers can spout self contradictory nonsense and get taken seriously as a religious group is just a satirical way of demonstrating that religion is self contradictory nonsense.

  4. Isaac says:

    Stardusty, that doesn’t really make any sense.
    The word “religion” does not describe specific content. It describes a medium.

    A book is a medium.
    The fact that The DaVinci Code is trash doesn’t mean that The Lord of the Rings is trash, just because they’re both books.

    Making up your own stupid religion doesn’t prove anything about Christianity. Except perhaps that a lot of people hate Christianity enough to forego any productive social life they might have had in service of “satirizing” it.

  5. Isaac says:

    As it happens, I have perused the Church of Satan and Satanic temple websites in the past. They both alternate between atheist talking points and actual propagation of belief in magic or supernatural of some vague sort. They seem to be casting a wide net, mostly targeting kids in their early teens. It doesn’t make any internal sense, but then you remember the whole “Father of Lies” thing, and it kinda does.

  6. jim- says:

    Does it matter what supernatural imagination one worships? The victors, in your case, the oppressors got to write the narrative.

  7. Kevin says:

    Don’t you know, Isaac? You’re an oppressor who has no evidence for his beliefs, according to the guy who has no idea whatsoever what evidence for God would even look like.

  8. “They both alternate between atheist talking points and actual propagation of belief in magic or supernatural of some vague sort.”

    No, the Church of Satan established at its conception in 1966 that all gods/devils/bogeymen/etcetera were the creations of humans. As far as Magic is concerned, there are two types used by the Church of Satan, Greater Magic or ritual acts, and Lesser Magic or the manipulation of others to see your enacted in the world. Neither of these ideas have a supernatural basis.

    Unlike the Church of Satan, when the Satanic Temple started in 2013, they claimed a belief in the existence of an actual devil. This changed when they weren’t getting the press traction they were looking for.

    “They seem to be casting a wide net, mostly targeting kids in their early teens.”

    Not the Church of Satan. They won’t allow children to be members.

  9. “the oppressors got to write the narrative”

    Ah, relativism. The last refuge of the scoundrel too proud to admit error.

  10. Dhay says:

    jim- > Does it matter what supernatural imagination one worships? The victors, in your case, the oppressors got to write the narrative.

    You seem to have your own supernatural imagination which you are proselytising on your blog, as I have noted in other threads. Are you hoping to become a victor and oppressor yourself and to get to write the narrative?

    I note you have no trouble writing your narrative that you don’t get to write your narrative because you are oppressed by Christians.

  11. Dhay says:

    jim- > …the oppressors…

    Are you genuinely oppressed by Christians, or do you dislike them and the feeling’s mutual?

  12. Michael says:

    Well, obviously the Satanic Temple has succeeded in jerking your chain, their apparent goal in the first place.

    That I find it ironic and amusing to observe that the Satanic Temple is an atheistic religion doesn’t mean my chain is being jerked. Has it occurred to you that because of TST, I get to jerk your chain. lol

    Satan is a supernatural entity, yet they call themselves Satanic and hold no supernatural beliefs.

    According to the TST FAQ:

    “The idea that religion belongs to supernaturalists is ignorant, backward, and offensive….Satanism provides all that a religion should be without a compulsory attachment to untenable items of faith-based belief. It provides a narrative structure by which we contextualize our lives and works. It also provides a body of symbolism and religious practice — a sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values.”

    That the Satanists don’t believe in a supernatural Satan (or so they publicly say) is irrelevant.

    And you bite on the pranks of provocateurs.

    You mean they are liars?

    The fact that these jokers can spout self contradictory nonsense and get taken seriously as a religious group is just a satirical way of demonstrating that religion is self contradictory nonsense.

    If the courts and mainstream media are allowed to take them seriously, so can I. So it’s time for you to be honest and admit The Satanic Temple is an atheistic religion.

  13. Dhay says:

    Stardusty Psyche > The fact that these The Satanic Temple jokers can spout self contradictory nonsense and get taken seriously as a religious group is just a satirical self-parodying way of demonstrating that religion The Satanic Temple’s satanism is self contradictory nonsense.

    Fixed it for you.

  14. pennywit says:

    The Satanic Temple chiefly comprises trolls with overly exaggerated horns.

  15. Isaac says:

    “Does it matter what supernatural imagination one worships?”

    Imagine a person who hates all books, pointing to a crappy romance novel to prove his point that all books are bad. And when you remark that books contain wildly diverse content, he replies,

    “Does it matter what stupid paper-and-ink-nonsense one pollutes his mind with?”

  16. jim- says:

    Evidence for god would be a universal truth. The closest proximity to that is core shamanistic principle and practice that was common throughout all corners of the word, developed over the millennia by utility. Nobody ever heard of Yahweh outside a tiny piece of ground in the near east. Imagine if ye “go out into the world to preach my gospel”, and found other, uncontacted countries or civilizations that worshipped a Yahweh/Jesus type, or even a shadow of him? That would be some compelling evidence. But, he was nowhere to be found. Shamanism on the other hand, had many things in common in indigenous populations throughout the world. That is evidence Christianity could certainly prove its point, but again fails to have any. There is a lot of evidence for gods, just not your god or your definitions of him.

  17. TFBW says:

    @jim, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that what you want as evidence is a mysterious, widespread, innate knowledge of God. To some extent, that condition obtains: the intuition that some sort of God exists is strong, so children tend to volunteer the idea that God created the universe without being taught the concept, for example. What you seem to be after, though, is something more specific, yet vague enough that I don’t understand it. What is it that’s so compelling about the intuitions associated with shamanism, exactly? It’s not at all obvious what you’re asking for, let alone why you think it makes for a good sort of evidence.

  18. Kevin says:

    There is a lot of evidence for gods, just not your god or your definitions of him.

    Careful not to let Stardusty see you saying this.

  19. jim- says:

    Thankfully there are secular laws that regulate Christianity’s bully tactics that pervaded about 1400 years at the tip of a sword on 5 continents. Btw, I’m not promoting anything on my blog but ideas. They are not my beliefs. Don’t conflate the two. I write about everything. There are some interesting proofs I have been following and developing though. Proofs Christians would love to have. I do not read atheism nor do I watch their videos. Taints the open mind too much. A lesson I learned as a Christian biased tail chaser.

  20. RobertM says:

    Jim, once upon a time it was fashionable (if not defensible) to claim that Christianity was a rip-off of Mithraism or other mystery religions, or Egyptian deities, or what have you. Complete with online lists of similarities between Jesus and Mithra, or Horus, or Osiris, or Zoroaster, or Elvis. So Christianity is either too like or too unlike contemporaneous religions to be true. Got it.

  21. Dhay says:

    jim- > Evidence for god would be a universal truth. The closest proximity to that is core shamanistic principle and practice that was common throughout all corners of the word, developed over the millennia by utility. Nobody ever heard of Yahweh outside a tiny piece of ground in the near east. …
    … compelling evidence.

    Nobody ever heard of shamanism, either, at some earlier time. Your point?

    Shamanism seems to have endless varieties, so what is the “core shamanistic principle and practice” — I notice you don’t elaborate — that is “common throughout all corners of the word”? I’ll have a stab at elaborating for you: my bet is drugs, drumming, dancing, chanting, ‘sympathetic magic’ and psychodrama; but in what way are any of these, these collectively, or these plus [jim-, please let me know what other core principles and practices there might be] — how are they universal truth, pray? And tell me what you think they are evidence for.

    *

    jim- > Evidence for god would be a universal truth. The closest proximity to that is core shamanistic principle and practice…

    But I can guess what you think shamanism is evidence for, I’ve seen that passage before, it’s the start of your 16 January 2020 blog post entitled “What Evidence Would Be Enough?”, where after disparaging Christianity you quoted a Scientific American article about panpsychism and concluded:

    Most likely consciousness is not a fundamental feature of the universe, but universe is a fundamental feature of consciousness, not the other way around. It is such a fundamental part of the whole, you can’t separately identify matter from consciousness.

    https://jimoeba.wordpress.com/2020/01/16/what-evidence-would-be-enough/

    I haven’t quite untangled what you might have meant by that garbled paragraph, but from the context it looks to me like your blog post is claiming (albeit without any discernible line of argument) that “core shamanistic principle and practice” is evidence against God and is evidence — “compelling evidence” — for panpsychism.

    I suspect from your earlier posts that you also consider “core shamanistic principle and practice” to be “compelling evidence” for the Akashic Record.

    *

    Ah yes, and the stories worldwide of fairies, goblins, trolls, elves, witches, brownies, sylphs, nats, spirits, kami and [insert the local equivalents here] are “compelling evidence” proving the existence of fairies, goblins,… kami, etc. Yeah, yeah.

    *

    I did find one universal truth: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

    *

    jim- > There are some interesting proofs [on my blog that] I have been following and developing though. Proofs Christians would love to have.

    I note your proof that the Earth is not flat; it rightly takes a clueless flat-earther to task, but this part of your proof shows you equally clueless:

    Did you know you weigh slightly less on mount Everest than at sea level because you’re farther from the gravitational constant?

    https://jimoeba.wordpress.com/2020/01/25/is-earth-really-flat/

    That’s pretentious pseudo-scientific hilarious nonsense.

    Are your other proofs equally interesting?

  22. Dhay says:

    jim- > There are some interesting proofs [on my blog that] I have been following and developing though. Proofs Christians would love to have.

    This one — promoting panpsychism — is a really, really interesting proof; it’s longish and includes this sample:

    Dinosaurs, once tiny specimens of slightly larger flecks of dust before the earth enlarged its area thorough never-ending chains of cosmic collisions, emerged again in their re-birth as expanded fossil-forms to thousands of times their prior size as the power came on for this generation of conscious energy, expanding to life in the void, for life makes space—and a lot of it (by comparison sake) creating a void between the nucleus and shell, massless electrons fill the space by being everywhere simultaneously as pure energy. Prior to this moment, all the fossil fuels on earth would contain in a thimble.

    https://jimoeba.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/the-compromise-panpsychism-pan%CB%88si%CB%8Ckiz%C9%99m/

    Elsewhere there’s also the delicious phrase, “un-eradicated men”, and:

    By being “civilized” we have lost intuition with the connective forces that sustain us.

    There you have it: if we would only abandon science and reason we could all become quacks, sorcerers, witches and panpsychic shamans:

    …”the plants [will] speak to us”. This exchange of informations takes place at a primitive level. Attuned simply to the frequencies and vibrations of the earth and its secrets—secrets that are now considered quackery, sorcery, witchcraft, and second class to modern medicine, shamanism.

    “Secrets” that only the gnostic initiates will know, that’s why they’re secrets — give me modern scientific medicine over shamanistic intuition any day, the latter sounds like New Age (or is it Stone Age?) woo to me. It continues:

    These deeply connected people knew “to be“, was to be in touch with their natural environment, sharing electrons and transferring data with every thing that came in their path. The secrets of life are found in our bare skin and the souls of our tightly bound feet. But we now live in a world of barriers.

    Yep, we’d all be better off going around naked and barefoot. Like the Sambia tribesmen: they have shamanistically intuited the necessity of younger boys performing fellatio on older boys; we can know that’s the right thing to do — we should all of us do it, probably — because shamanistic intuition is the epitome of Wisdom.

  23. Ilíon says:

    Bless you, Dhay, for putting yourself through that exercise (doubtless in futility) on behalf of the rest of us.

    Did you happen to notice, concerning these gods, of whom there is so much evidence, of a type and strength of which we Christians ought rightly to be jealous, lacking, as we do, any at all, are any of them alleged to be the cause of all-that-is-not-themselves (that is, are any said to be “the ground of all being”)? Or, as I suspect is the case, are all of them merely effects of pre-existing conditions? And, if two or more are alleged to be “the ground of all being”, how is that self-contradiction resolved? Or, as I suspect would be the case, is the contradiction ignored?

  24. Ilíon says:

    panpsychism” — “No, no, no! ‘The ground of all being‘ is not an *actually existing* mind, is not an *actually existing* self — for that would mean that ‘theism‘ is the truth about the nature of reality! Rather, the immaterial attributes of minds/selves are, as it were, ‘free floating’ in the material/physical world, disconnected from any actual mind, but bound up with ‘matter’ and ‘energy’ and ‘forces’. And, when enough of these ‘free floating’ immaterial attributes of minds/selves some together in a complex enough, albeit random, arrangement, then an actual mind/self ’emerges’ … for a time.“

  25. Ilíon says:

    Thankfully there are secular laws that regulate Christianity’s bully tactics that pervaded about 1400 years at the tip of a sword on 5 continents.

    Oddly enough, it was inevitably Christians who enacted — and enforced — those “secular laws” … for, “conversion by the sword” has always been antithetical to actual Christianity.

    Religious toleration is a specifically Christian value. No other religion, not even Judaism, and emphatically not the Christian heresies we know as ‘leftism’, is tolerant of people practicing competing religions.

    All gods are jealous — but the Living God, the god Who Is Love, is jealous against the loss of those whom he loves, whereas the other ‘gods’ are jealous out of grasping envy and spite … and out of fear: for, being contingent, they cannot exist if they are questioned.

  26. Ilíon says:

    TFDW:… What you seem to be after, though, is something more specific [than the seemingly universal and intuitive knowledge that the world is a creation], yet vague enough that I don’t understand it.”

    As is always the case with Christ-haters who haven’t the moral courage to admit to their nihilism, what he wants is a god who cannot judge his acts against the “universal truth” of actual morality (*): he wants a god whom *he* can judge by the ever-shifting “standard” of Current Year. In an odd twist of fate, this sort always ends up bowing to a god who mercilessly judges them by the ever-shifting “standard” of Current Year, and who, moreover, knows nothing of redemption and forgiveness.

    (*) And, especially, a god who will not say, “You know, using other persons as though they were merely blow-up ‘sex dolls’ really is something one ought not do.

  27. Dhay says:

    “What Name Comes to Mind When You Think of Atheism? Many Americans Say… “Satan” — that’s the title of an 18 March 2020 blog post by Hemant Mehta, based on answers to a question in a recent Pew Poll.

    https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2020/03/18/what-name-comes-to-mind-when-you-think-of-atheism-many-americans-say-satan/

    The most popular answer, Satan, was given by a mere 6% of the US public, though that easily topped the 4% answering Richard Dawkins and the 4% Madalyn Murray O’Hair; 51% say “no one” or “don’t know” or do not answer the question.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/03/17/when-americans-think-about-a-specific-religion-here-are-some-of-the-first-people-who-come-to-mind/

    I observe that Sam Harris, Jerry Coyne, Lawrence Krauss and Mehta himself have none of them taken on the mantle of ‘Most Famous Atheist’; that Dawkins and O’Hair are now both has-beens; that the Atty hero for 2020, Christopher Hitchens, gets 1% and the 2021 hero, Carl Sagan, doesn’t get even that; that none of the nominees for the “prestigious” Atty ‘Atheist of the Year’ award, or those for any of the other seven Atty awards either, are well known outside of the atheist bubble — and some nominees are surely not well known within the atheist bubble or even within their slant on atheism’s sub-bubbles.

    There’s a couple of conclusions to draw from this: one is that there’s no individual acting as a well known public face of atheism nowadays; the other, that if Mehta wants “Satan” not to be the public face of atheism, he would be well advised to refrain from promoting and celebrating Satanists on his blog, which promotion and celebration can only strengthen the connection the public has made between atheism and Satan.

  28. Dhay says:

    Phil Zuckerman’s 13 October 2022 review of a recently published book, “The Little Book of Satanism: A Guide to Satanic History, Culture, and Wisdom”, includes this penultimate paragraph:

    But in the end, I don’t really understand why the Satanic Temple is a real religion. After all, the core element that makes religion a distinct phenomenon is collective supernatural beliefs. Without such supernatural beliefs—either in gods or spirits or karma or whatnot—then it ain’t religion. And from what I can tell, according to the Satanic Temple’s venerable, humanistic Seven Tenets, there are no supernatural beliefs. Quite the opposite. So, I’m not really sure why they are a religion. La Carmina claims that it is because they hold “sincerely held beliefs.” So do Marxists, Ayn Randians, and vegetarians, of course—but they aren’t religions. La Carmina further says that members of the Satanic Temple “consider Satan a metaphor for rebelling against arbitrary authority and defending individual freedom.” I love that. But do metaphors make for religion? That’s kind of a stretch, no?

    https://onlysky.media/pzuckerman/the-brisk-thoughtful-intro-to-satanism-youve-been-waiting-for/

    Yes, even an atheist academic whose speciality is the study of ‘secular values’ — in practice, his mission seems to be the promotion of Humanism (atheist-variety) and the denigration of Christians, the denigration of evangelicals in particular — Zuckerman cannot get his head around how the The Satanic Temple can credibly be called “a real religion.”

  29. TFBW says:

    If you don’t start with a clear definition of religion, you aren’t going to be able to classify whether things are a religion or not. Religion, most broadly construed, addresses the questions of universal meaning and purpose: why do we exist? what is life for? what ought we to be doing and not doing?

    These may or may not entail some kind of belief that would be classified as “supernatural,” which is another ill-defined term. When an atheist invokes that category, he tends to mean something along the lines of “non-corporeal beings.” So is Buddhism a religion? By my classification, yes. By the supernatural classification? The only thing about it which might be classified as supernatural is reincarnation, if we add the assumption that its mechanism must involve the transfer of a non-corporeal soul between bodies.

    But can reincarnation really be the touchstone which makes Buddhism a religion? What if one doesn’t have a religion as such, but believes in the paranormal? Is the general belief in the existence of ghosts, spirits, or psychic powers a religion? It certainly meets the general criteria of belief in the supernatural. If it is not a religion, then what was left out when such a belief set was chosen as the touchstone?

    Are the ideologies of Objectivism, Marxism, and Vegetarianism religions? They certainly make prescriptions about what we ought and ought not to do, but they fail to provide a basis for any of it in terms of the meaning of existence. They perch themselves atop of a void; in the absence of proper foundations, they can only appeal to emotions like intellectual pride, envy, resentment, and self-righteousness for their support. They are religious, but they lack the completeness which would make them a religion even on a par with Buddhism.

    Adherents of these ideologies rarely notice the inadequacies in their own systems. Adherents of the book of Genesis can say that man was created by God in His image, and was placed in the world and given certain tasks to fulfil. Ayn Rand simply says “a man is a man” as though that weren’t a vacuous tautology—which is evidence that some prior idea is being smuggled in, undeclared. Marx is a base rabble-rouser.

    So where does that leave the various Satanic religions? Quite simply, it depends. It’s one thing to say that the world is God’s creation, and Satan is a real being who rebelled against God, and that Satan is the exemplar of the ideal life. That seems like a bad religion, but a religion nonetheless. If Satan is merely a metaphor, however, then that eliminates any connection with reality on that front: one is simply telling a story which if it were true would provide a basis in reality for one’s actions, then admitting that the story isn’t true but you’re going to behave as though it is anyhow. Figure that one out.

  30. Ilíon says:

    Also, “Ayn Rand simply [asserts] “[existence] [exists]” as though that [isn’t a depersonalized way of saying “God IS”]—which is evidence that some prior idea is being smuggled in”

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