Response Paper II :
Response to Guest Lecturer Cimminnee Holt
On Thursday, 7th February, guest lecturer Cimminnee Holt came to present the Church of Satan, founded in 1966 in San Francisco, California by Anton Szandor LaVey. Information found in this response paper is based on her article Death and Dying in the Satanic Worldview in the Journal of Religion and Culture, vol. 22/1 (2011) and on the slides that she presented. The members of this church are atheists called Satanists. LaVey wrote The Satanic Bible in 1969, which gives a good idea of what Satanism is about. He died in 1997 and was succeeded by Peter H. Gilmore who is the current high priest. It is regarded as one of the New Religious Movement (NRM). Theirs sombre looks creates misconceptions but they have an interesting perspective of life and death. Ms. Holt demonstrates in her works how instead of focusing on the afterlife, they focus on their existence. Atheism, individualism, ethics, Epicureanism, responsibility, aesthetics, scepticism and greater magic are some of the prime ideas. Sex, money and power are awesome, as quoted by Ms. Holt during the lecture. According to LaVey, gods are externalized representation of humankind’s ego. The nature is indifferent to human beings, which is a reason to reject god. He also introduced the idea that Satanists should worship themselves directly, become their own god. A person is accountable of their own actions and everything depends on them. The good and the bad are defined by our priorities and values and thus it is different from one Satanist to the other as each has a different meaning of life. They act according to what benefits them and ̎ indulging responsibly and legally in the pursuit of pleasures, be it professional or personal, is a prime Satanic ideal. ̎ However, they accept the fact that actions do have consequences and that self-control is a desired trait, which explains the mantra ̎ Indulgence, not compulsion ̎. The aesthetic representation...
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