LaVeyan Satanism is the most reasonable religion
Debate Rounds (4)
Leave a comment if you want to accept.
First round is for acceptance, no new arguments in round 4.
Looks like fun :)
The main reason why LaVeyan Satanism is the most reasonable religion in the world is because it is the most beneficial both for the individual and for society. Secondly, it offers the easiest, shortest and most efficient way to improve your life and live happily. Finally, LaVeyan Satanism is heavily supported by science, unlike other religions.
I. Satanism is beneficial for the individual and for society.
First of all, I want to point out that all religions impose a set of rules upon their followers. These rules are usually identical in all major religions. I would like to divide these rules into two categories:
A. needed rules - rules that must exist in a society, usually also condemned by the law; eg. killing, stealing etc.
B. unneeded rules - rules that don't have a direct positive effect on society or don't influence society at all; eg. swearing, praying everyday, going to church every week, having sex, gluttony etc.
Retribution is a very important aspect of religion. Every religion has a way in which people can cleanse themselves. Through either confession or karma, religious people are given a second, third, fourth.... chance. When people break unneeded rules, this doesn't matter to much. However, when they break needed rules, the existence of a retribution system can be harmful for society. For someone who believes in eternal life, spending a few years in prison is not the worst thing that could happen, as long as they confessed their sins in order to enter heaven or helped some poor people in order to be rich in their next life. People who believe in the afterlife are obviously more worried about how they will spend eternity rather that how they live this life. As long as religions offer their followers a way to re-earn their place in heaven even if they kill someone, they have no strong motivation not to break any of the needed rules.
For a Satanist, his life signifies his entire existence. There is no afterlife, therefore there is no way to redeem yourself or be rewarded for your behavior. Even though Satanism promotes a selfish lifestyle, it doesn't teach its followers to break the laws in any way. No other religion teaches its followers to break the laws, but because of the belief in the afterlife and the existence of the retribution system, member of other religions are more likely to be harmful to society than Satanists.
2) Obeying the rules
Many religious rules are unneeded, but some can even be harmful for both the individual and for society. For example, not being allowed to have sex before marriage. Since religions also forbid masturbation, this rules lead to sexual deprivation, which usually results in violence and frustration. This is harmful for individuals and also can be harmful for society, as sexually deprived men are more likely to get into fights.
Also, these rules can also lead to failed marriages. People only getting marries in order to finally have sex, then getting divorced a year later. Most religions also condemn abortion which can result in either abandoned children or children being raised in poverty.
" If everyone had a particular time and place for the purpose of periodically indulging in their personal desires, without fear of embarrassment or reproach, they would be sufficiently released to lead unfrustrated lives in the everyday world. They would be free to plunge headlong into whatever undertaking they might choose instead of going about their duties half-heartedly, their creative urges frustrated by denying their natural desires. "
However, this is not the case in Satanism, where you are encouraged to satisfy your desires in order to live a better life and you have complete liberty to decide what to do with your life. This proves that Satanism is beneficial for both the individual and for society, while other religions can be harmful.
3) Useless struggle
Another negative effect of unneeded religious rules. Followers of these religions have to constantly struggle with their instincts and desires. No matter how religious a person is, it will at one point indulge is something forbidden by his religion. For this reason, religious people must constantly struggle to respect religious rules, and while some are easy to live by, some are almost impossible to obey. Even worse, after religious people have committed a sin, they must also worry about how much they upset god. There is an enormous amount of stress put on religions people to obey these unneeded, unreasonable rules. I believe most people know that sometimes after a confession, Christians break down in tears, as they are happy to finally be forgiven for their sins. This should give you and idea of how harmful these rules can be for people.
To make matter even worse, religions also consider thoughts as sinful. Swearing in your mind or fantasising are also forbidden, making life even more difficult.
"When a Satanist commits a wrong, he realizes that it is natural to make a mistake - and if he is truly sorry about what he has done, he will learn from it and take care not to do the same thing again. If he is not honestly sorry about what he has done, and knows he will do the same thing over and over, he has no business confessing and asking forgiveness in the first place."
Satanism encourages its followers to embrace their true nature and act how they want. Satanists don't have to control their thoughts, actions or feelings.
" He no longer can view himself in two parts, the carnal and the spiritual, but sees them merge as one, and then to his abysmal horror, discovers that they are only the carnal - AND ALWAYS WERE! Then he either hates himself to death, day by day - or rejoices that he is what he is!"
4) Not taking action
Another problem with most religions is that they teach that there is a greater power controlling your life. People will often accept their condition, thinking they deserve it, or they will pray for help instead of doing something to improve their condition. It is not beneficial to pray to a higher power that may or may not exist instead of taking action and improving your life without divine help.
"The Satanist shuns terms such as "hope" and "prayer" as they are indicative of apprehension. If we hope and pray for something to come about, we will not act in a positive way which will make it happen. The Satanist, realizing that anything he gets is of his own doing, takes command of the situation instead of praying to God for it to happen. Positive thinking and positive action add up to results. "
II. Improve your life
The sole purpose of Satanism is to improve the life of its followers, instead of controlling it. Instead of focusing on worshiping and pleasing a supernatural being or respecting the laws of the universe, Satanism focuses on improving your life in the easiest and most efficient way possible. Accepting who you are, satisfying your desires and releasing your anger. The Satanic Rituals represent a way to achieve gratification, release your anger or achieve your goals, while most religious rituals represent a way to show your love for god or ask him for a favor.
By accepting your sinful nature and acting as you want, you can live a better life, without worrying about your behavior, The Satanic Ritual for the destruction of an enemy allows you to release your anger and Satanic magic allows you to gain certain advantages in society.
III. Science and Satanism
Satanism is heavily supported by science. This is partly because it is a newer religion and it doesn't involve any supernatural elements.
The Satanist views regarding human nature and behavior as well as the efficiency of the satanic rituals are supported by biology and psychology.
The Satanic Bible
Thanks to Pro for his argument!
BOP seems to be on him, so all I have to do here is refute his contentions...
Pro's argument here is essentially that because theists believe in the concept of forgiveness (i.e. that there is a way to avoid punishment for sins in the afterlife), theists are more likely to commit immoral acts and be "harmful to society".
However, there is a hidden assumption in Pro's argument here: that the only reason a theist would abstain for committing immoral acts in the first place is a fear of that afterlife punishment. However, this is patently false. Religious beliefs are not the primary consideration in moral decision-making; for the most part, humans automatically avoid being "harmful to society" by following their own ethical intuitions (i.e. murder is immoral, helping people in need is good, etc). A theist is not restraining himself from going on a murdering rampage because he is scared of going to hell for it; he naturally avoids such things because he intuitively grasps the concept that murder is wrong. Thus, the knowledge that he can avoid going to hell for murder if he repents afterwards really doesn't play a large role in stopping him from going on a mudering rampage, because hell is not what was deterring him in the first place!
Of course, I could also go into the idea that forgiveness is *much* harder to earn than Pro is making it out to be, but I believe that the above logic alone refutes Pro's argument here.
R2) Obeying Rules
Pro talks about how some religious doctrines are harmful to the individual and to society, including the condemnation of abortion, pre-marital sex, and masturbation.
First of all, not all of these rules have been proven to be harmful by Pro. Take his examples of PMS and masturbation; he has not supported the notion that abstinence from them is bad at all, instead offering a few bare assertions that they lead to "sexual deprivation", "violence", and "failed marriages".
Secondly, all religions have moderate sects that are almost completely devoid of "unneeded rules", as Pro calls them, concentrating solely on the positive aspects of religion.
Additionally, Pro states that one of Satanism's doctrines is to indulge in personal, natural desires on a regular basis; however, this has some consequences of its own. Ignoring morality and trying to "satisfy your desires" can result in participating in dangerous activities such as drug abuse and irresponsible sex. Satanism's emphasis on fulfilling desires could have *even more* of a negative effect on the individual and on society than Pro perceives religious doctrines to have.
R3) Useless Struggle
This contention suffers the same problems as Pro's C2... Not all unneeded rules are necessarily unreasonable, and not all religious sects are centered around unneeded rules.
Pro claims that "Satanism encourages its followers to embrace their true nature and act how they want. Satanists don't have to control their thoughts, actions or feelings." However, this is not necessarily a good thing; most main stream religions, with their rules and concept of forgiveness, encourage continual personal improvement and spiritual development. What Satanism seems to encourage instead is personal stagnation, and Pro has not shown why that is more reasonable than the gradual moving away from sin that theistic religions support.
R4) Not Taking Action
Same problems as Pro's C2 and C3. "Hope" and "prayer" have well-known positive results, even assuming the non-existence of a personal god, such as the placebo effect. And not all religious sects encourage blind faith and inaction in times of crisis... many more moderate theists believe in acting on your own, following the phrase "self-help is the best help", while at the same time having faith in God for his assistance and support. If what Pro was saying was true, death from choosing faith healing over medical help would occur far more often.
Satanists are no more reasonable than (most) theists in this respect, just like in Pro's past two contentions.
R5) Improve Your Life
I have inadvertently addressed this contention in my R2 and R3.
Satanism's focus on "accepting yourself for who you are" and "fulfilling your desires" can lead to self-destructive behaviors and personal stagnation, making it much less reasonable than most other main-stream religions.
Pro states that "The Satanist views regarding human nature and behavior as well as the efficiency of the satanic rituals are supported by biology and psychology". I believe that I have pointed out the flaws in following Satanist doctrines multiple times now >.>
And with that, I hand the debate back over to my opponent.
I never claimed that all religious people are murderers. Not all Christians are likely to be murderers, but murderers are more likely to be Christians than Satanists. My point was that people who are inclined to murder or steal are more likely to do so if they are religious, because as long as they think they are saved, they are more likely to just do whatever they want. As long as people believe there is an afterlife and believe that their eternal existence is safe, they have no reason not to kill, assuming they have criminal tendencies.
2. "instead offering a few bare assertions that they lead to "sexual deprivation", "violence", and "failed marriages". "
Sexual deprivation means lack of sex. As long as religions don't allow their followers to have sex before marriage, they will be sex deprived until they get married. Since most people will get married after they are 18, religious people will suffer from sex deprivation for at least 4 years. sexual deprivation leads to violent behavior which is harmful to the individual and society. "When men experience sexual deprivation, physical aggression is the most common symptom"
Even religious person need sex and since their religion doesn't allow them to have sex before marriage, it is possible that some people will get married just in order to have sex. I'm not saying this is always the case, but it is likely this will happen.
Also, Con didn't address my point regarding abortion, which is a very serious problem. Religion doesn't allow contraception or abortion. At the same time, religions preach about the futility of material possessions. It would be beneficial for society if poor families wouldn't have to raise more than one kid, yet this is often the case.
"dangerous activities such as drug abuse and irresponsible sex"
First, I want to say that irresponsible sex isn't a dangerous activity. It could be considered immoral, but it isn't harmful to anyone. In addition, Satanism prevents irresponsible sex through The Satanic Rituals. Regarding drug abuse, one of the central doctrines of Satanism is "Indulgence, not compulsion". The Church of Satan doesn't outlaw drug use, since "You make your own personal choice as to what you do as an individual". However, the Church of Satan doesn't encourage drug use, and considers such acts un-Satanic "Self-destructive, suicidal hedonism"via whatever means"is ultimately un-Satanic as it threatens the very thing a Satanist holds most dear: his own life."
3. " encourage continual personal improvement and spiritual development"
Satanists are free to change themselves, but not forced to. This is a very important distinction, because religions will usually force people to improve, as they fear hell or karma. Religion tell people what is right and what is wrong. Satanists are free to chose how to change. They decide what is right and what is wrong and if they want to, they will improve. Other religions will tell you exactly how the improve, which is not more reasonable than being able to decide this for yourself.
Also, I want to mention that personal improvement isn't only influenced by religion. There are many religious people that refuse to improve.
Regarding spiritual development, this is different in every religion. For a Christian, spiritual development means connecting with Jesus, while for a Buddhist it means meditating and seeing the world differently. It is wrong to say that Satanism doesn't require any spiritual development. A Satanist must accept that he is just an animal, "sometimes better, more often worse, than those who walk on all fours". He also has to accept that he is controlled by his carnal desires. This is not very easy to accept and does require exercise and spiritual development.
4. " "Hope" and "prayer" have well-known positive results"
My point was that religious people choose to pray instead of doing something. In times of crisis most people will indeed do something about their conditions, but usually the crisis can be avoided by taking action earlier. Sometimes, religious people might not take action because they think they deserve what happened to them. All religions preach some form of universal justice and if religious people broke some holy law, they might accept their "punishment" and choose not to interfere with God's plan.
5. " lead to self-destructive behaviors and personal stagnation"
As I have shown, self-destructive behavior is regarded as un-Satanic by the Church of Satan, and personal stagnation isn't determined solely by religion.
6. "I have pointed out the flaws in following Satanist doctrines multiple times now"
This doesn't mean anything. Even if the Satanist doctrines are flawed, it doesn't change the fact that science greatly supports Satanism.
The Satanic Bible
I will be using this round to defend my rebuttals.
Pro tweaks his original argument, shifting the focus from theists/satanists in general to criminally-inclined theists/satanists (i.e. people to whom ethical intuitions do not apply, as they either choose to ignore them or do not possess them). However, this suffers the same problem as the old argument. Criminally-inclined satanists are just as likely to commit crimes as criminally-inclined theists are. Let's try to put this into perspective: when a theist commits a crime, they put themselves at risk for suffering the legal consequences of their actions as well as punishment in the afterlife; when a satanist commits a crime, they only put themselves at risk for suffering the legal consequences of their actions. Even if we assume that a theist believes they can waive their potential afterlife punishment, they *still* have to deal with the same legal consequences that the satanist has to deal with.
Thus, criminally-inclined theists and satanists have the exact same lack of ethical intuitions that allows them to commit crimes, and the exact same motivation (i.e. legal consequences) to try avoiding committing crime.
Also, let's note that forgiveness is *much* more difficult to earn than Pro makes it out to be; in most religions it requires *sincere* repentance for the sin committed. This logically means that one cannot simply commit a sin with the intention of repenting and earning forgiveness afterwards, as Pro seems to be implying in this situation.
R2) Obeying Rules
Firstly, note that Pro has not at all responded to my point regarding the existence of more moderate religious beliefs that do not unnecessarily prohibit things like abortion. Obviously Satanism can easily be shown to be more reasonable than the majority of fundamentalist religious sects, but Pro is attempting to show that Satanism is more reasonable than ALL religions, including the liberal and spiritualistic sects.
Instead, he spent much more time arguing that PMS and other sex-related religious restrictions are harmful. However, his only support for this is from a medical blog. More reliable sources show that abstaining from PMS actually has many benefits, psychologically, that can lead to more long-lasting and fulfilling relationships (http://www.webmd.com...).
And anyways, like I said, there are still plenty of liberal religious sects that do not prohibit PMS at all...
Pro has failed to counter my rebuttal here.
R3) Useless Struggle
I am dropping my points regarding self-destructive desires because I took Pro’s interpretation of Satanism to be akin to hedonism, but it turns out it is actually more of rational form of ethical egoism, which does prohibit things such as drug abuse.
However, my point about personal stagnation still holds up to Pro’s counter-rebuttal.
He claims that “satanists are free to change themselves, but not forced to… satanists are free to chose how to change…. Other religions will tell you exactly how to improve.”
Pro does not explain why Satanism’s “freer” system of change is more reasonable than any other religion’s more structured system of change. In religions, you have a clear motivation for wanting to change, an end goal in mind, and a defined method of reaching that goal. Religion clearly provides an easier, more reasonable means for personal improvement/development.
And while Satanism may not discourage change, it certainly doesn't encourage it either, as religion does, and a satanist could easily interpret Satanism’s doctrine of “accepting yourself for who you are” to mean that change is unnecessary, still leading to personal stagnation.
On the subject of spiritual development, Pro suggests that having to accept the primitive, beat-like nature of humans is an example of it. However, this is not spiritual "development"... that is spiritual *regression*. Accepting that you are an animal subject to animal tendencies doesn't require any sort of growth; it would actually seem to imply a reversion to a more primitive state of being...
R4) Not Taking Action
Pro has dropped my other response to this point: that most moderate theists do not avoid taking action in times of crisis, having faith in God AND still doing the best they can in times of crisis.
R5) Improve Your Life
I have shown that following Satanism would, indirectly, lead to personal stagnation and a lack of spiritual development.
Pro claims that science supports Satanism. However, Satanism has its own unscientific, supernatural elements to it, just like all religions, such as the "magic" included in its satanic rituals (http://en.wikipedia.org...).
It has not been shown that Satanism is the most reasonable religion, and in some cases, it is actually *less* reasonable than most religions.
Thus, Pro has not fulfilled his BOP.
Thanks to Pro for an interesting debate.
Please do award him the conduct point, regardless of how other points are awarded.
Thanks to Pro for an interesting debate and to the voters for voting :)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: As per Con's request, awarding conduct to Pro. As to arguments, I'm nulling it, because I'm not sure that Pro really showed LS as the most reasonable religion--Con adequately responded to most of his defenses of it as the "most". I'm tempted to award the arguments to Con, but I don't feel confident enough that the rebuttals ALL stand to do so. A fun debate to read, though. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
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