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Satanism and CFI
Posted: 11 August 2007 12:48 AM   [ Ignore ]
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What are you thinking? Are you out of your mind? Is this some sort of “April fool” distasteful joke?

This is a quote from the Skeptical Community thread on the Dawkins “Coming Out” campaign:

P.S. Did not think there was a dumber idea than “Bright,” but then I did not think there was a dumber idea than identifying yourself as a member of the debate team or chess club. Some people want to be beaten up for their milk money well into their middle age.

This podcast gives the religious fanatics ammunition to use against Freethinking and Naturalism.

I can only think of the film “A Flock of Dodos” as another example of the failure of rational thinking to convince Society of the benefits of Scientific Truth.

I was considering becoming a “Friend of the Center”, but now I am not sure if I will even spend time listening to future podcasts.

If I am going to declare I am an agnostic/atheist, I do not want anybody associating disbelief with satanism. If I do not believe in “God”, I do not believe in “Satan” either!

Humanism does not need Satanism kooks/jokers trying to convince Society that they are ethical people just like rational non-believers.

I hope that POI will consider to remove this offensive podcast from the site before many others get to listen to it.

What will be next: active NAMBLA members that are skeptics? NeoNazis? cannibalistic mass murderers?.......

[ Edited: 11 August 2007 05:21 AM by OhioDoc ]
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Posted: 11 August 2007 07:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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OhioDoc - 11 August 2007 12:48 AM

I hope that POI will consider to remove this offensive podcast from the site before many others get to listen to it.

And I sincerely hope they leave it up. The fact that you find it offensive doesn’t make it wrong.

Call me old fashioned if you will, but I thought as reasoning beings we could learn to accept diverse views.

Yes, it sounds to me like the Satanists are doing nothing more than having a laugh at (or even taking the piss out of) religion, but why shouldn’t they?

I find the Satanists less offensive than the religionists who cut bits off their son’s penis, blow up market places in Baghdad or tell us that gays are evil.

But to each their own…

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Posted: 11 August 2007 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Disclosure: I’m the publisher of “The Satanic Scriptures”. I considered myself an Atheist in 1986, a Satanist in 1993 - these two are compatible.

OhioDoc - 11 August 2007 12:48 AM

*This podcast gives the religious fanatics ammunition to use against Freethinking and Naturalism.
*I was considering becoming a “Friend of the Center”, but now I am not sure if I will even spend time listening to future podcasts.
*If I am going to declare I am an agnostic/atheist, I do not want anybody associating disbelief with satanism. If I do not believe in “God”, I do not believe in “Satan” either!
*Humanism does not need Satanism kooks/jokers trying to convince Society that they are ethical people just like rational non-believers.
*I hope that POI will consider to remove this offensive podcast from the site before many others get to listen to it.

I’d like to quote a few angry letters that yours remind me of:

When I read yesterday’s letters to the editor, I was astonished to find two letters supporting the Danish cartoons of Muhammad on the basis of free press (“Cartoon reaction symbolic of Muslim radicalism” and “Outrage toward cartoon is hypocritical,” Feb. 7, p. 6). Then the Muslims who are outraged by this are either labeled as extremists or are hypocrites on free press. Well, it is blasphemy to make any depictions of Allah and the Prophet. I cannot see how the Muslims should not be outraged when their holiest man is made a fool of, and it is against their religion. Also, I have no doubt that if a similar situation happened in America then conservative Christians would have protested as well. Now about free press, it is a right, but there are also some responsibilities attached. A newspaper cannot just publish whatever it wants without some consideration of the consequences and the appropriateness of the subject.

The following is from: http://christianmusic.about.com/od/editorial1/a/letterwriting_2.htm

  *  Do - Take the time to actually write a letter with your own thoughts and feelings.
  * Do - Remain calm and let your letter be a voice of reason.
  * Don’t - Write an emotional attack. (You’ll be written off as a “nutcase.”)
  * Do - Give them a reason to make a change.
  * Don’t - Tell them something like, “I’ve never watched that garbage you call TV and now I never will!” (That statement gives the network no reason to work with you. You don’t already watch them and you never will ... so why should they do something to make you happy?)
  * Do - Remember - South Park isn’t the only show on Comedy Central. Tell the network which CC shows you do watch and explain why you’re seriously questioning if continuing to support their network is a good idea.
  * Don’t - Trash the entire network. (See the previous don’t.)
  * Do - Remember the advertisers. CC your letter to a few companies that advertise on Comedy Central.
  * Don’t - Tell one of those companies that you’ll never buy their product again. (Give them a chance to do something before the word boycott even enters your mind.)

You did well on a few points, but your letter was over the top emotional and you did kind of trash CFI as a whole, but I think Christian agitators would be pretty proud, but suggest you work on it some more.

This is a good letter, very sound and thoughtful:

CBS’s failure in judgment

We Americans need to rethink whether CBS and its parent company Viacom should continue to be trusted to broadcast on our publicly owned airwaves.

First, CBS turned down an ad by MoveOn.org discussing the budget deficit because it was too controversial for the Super Bowl. Then it proceeded to air an obscene halftime show produced by MTV. The show included Nelly urging women to take off all their clothes, and Janet Jackson performing with dancers wearing leather fetish outfits and lingerie, and then closing her performance by exposing her breast. MTV’s website promised on Jan. 28 that Jackson’s performance would include shocking moments, so it is clear that this was planned. We cannot tolerate such failures in judgment.

Christine Bolzan, Beverly, MA

So, here is how your letter could be rewritten:

Point of Inquiry’s failure in judgment,
We Freethinkers/Naturalists need to rethink whether PoI and its parent organization Center for Inquiry should continue to be trusted to broadcast ideas that are supposed to be representational of our views.
We Freethinkers and Naturalists have very strict guidelines that inform us what is inside or outside our real of free thought, and this Satanism is clearly outside of those parameters.
What could be worse for us in our daily lives than if Joe Crucifix were to confront us with the statement “Well, I heard that Satanists are Atheists, that means Atheists are Satanists.” It’s impossible to disprove this logic. And what if you run into not Joe Crucifix, but Professor Ephraim Ecclesiastical, who may produce such an astounding bear trap of a argument as: “Sleeping with one’s shoes on is strongly correlated with waking up with a headache. Therefore, sleeping with one’s shoes on causes headache.”

Or could it be that Satanists are indeed Atheists, though there are some divergent areas of thought between them and certain types of Atheists. Why would someone who calls themselves a Freethinker have such a kneejerk reaction to this interview? Oh my goodness, what will the Christians think of us? They already think your going to hell and hate you - if you’re living your life to impress Christians, you’re screwed.

You’ve shown such cowardice in your letter by threatening to withhold monetary contributions from CFI if they don’t toe the line that you delineate. You’ve shown such Unfree Thinking when you said you might not listen to any future episodes of PoI.

[ Edited: 11 August 2007 02:59 PM by KevinISlaughter ]
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Posted: 11 August 2007 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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OhioDoc - 11 August 2007 12:48 AM

What will be next: active NAMBLA members that are skeptics? NeoNazis? cannibalistic mass murderers?.......

Oh yeah, special thanks for this - lumping Satanists in with child molesters, street thug racists and cannibalistic mass murderers…

Because there haven’t been enough accusations like that in the past from Christians: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_panic

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“Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.” - John Milton Aeropagitca

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Posted: 11 August 2007 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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OhioDoc,

Did you actually listen to the podcast?  If you did, you would have discovered that the Church of Satan is, in large part, a goof on belief in Satan.  Although I was aware of this, I was happy to be reminded of it, because as a teenager, attending evangelistic Baptist church events decades ago, I actually heard a youth ministry presentation about the Church of Satan rituals,  presented as if they were creepy monsters who really did believe in Satan.  It is good to be reminded of the various ways Christian evangelists lie (or at least uncritically repeat untruths.)  For people who have witnessed similar presentations/sermons etc.. and believed them, this could be an eye-opener.

Just because most people are taken in by such distortions, no matter what kind of ill-informed, deep-seated, knee-jerk reactions they might have, still it’s B.S., and Point of Inquiry should never shy away from exposing it.  That is a big part of what the program is intended to do, isn’t it?

As for Church of Satan people, if there are theatrical types for whom “dark” dress-up rituals is a way to socialize (though I can’t say I’m one of them), so what?  Maybe part of the satisfaction of the ritual is cathartic, to “cast out” the religious hooey they’ve been subjected to in their lives.  Again, so what?

I think this was worth one episode of Point of Inquiry, in fact, I’m sending a donation to CSICOP right now.

[ Edited: 11 August 2007 10:41 PM by JohnnyHands ]
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Posted: 11 August 2007 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I haven’t listened to the podcast yet (and I probably won’t), but it really sounds distasteful to “explore the similarities of atheism and Satanism.”

[ Edited: 12 August 2007 10:22 PM by George ]
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Posted: 11 August 2007 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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DJ made it quite clear that the aims of CFI were not associated with satanism. Satanism and secular humanism are quite different worldviews, just to start with.

(Also this sort of satanism isn’t satanism at all. It’s just a variety of atheistic Ayn Rand/Libertarianism for people interested in the macabre).

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Posted: 11 August 2007 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I didn’t listen to the podcast because I have no interest in the subject. However, I don’t have a problem with CFI running it. After all, the name of the show is “Point of Inquiry,” not “Preaching to the Choir.” Besides, my impression, based on a very limited acquaintance, is that most Satanists are simply poking fun at religion.

Anyone concerned that this will lead some Christians to associate Satanism with non-belief should relax.

They do that already. Have been for years.

George

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Posted: 11 August 2007 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I don’t know what DJ talks about in the podcast, but this is what the intro says:

In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Peter Gilmore explores the similarities of atheism and Satanism, how science and Darwin’s theory of evolution may undergird its worldview and ethics, and how Satanism is a theatrical “nonreligion.” He also shares his opinions about recent strategies to popularize atheism, and contrasts Satanic ethics with other nonreligious ethical perspectives such as secular humanism and Objectivism.

rolleyes

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Posted: 11 August 2007 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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What Doug said!
I have no problem with CFI exploring whatever is of interest. But Stanism as worship of a malign supernatural being (which is how many people use the word, though the representatives of the point of view here use it differently) is just another form of supernaturalism, and if anything even worse that the usual forms since it promotes evil for its own sake, rather than in the name of good (though, FWIW that’s pretty messed up too). And Satanism as described here is as Doug said a form of Objectivism/Hedonism/Libertarianism, all of which I consider seriously flawed ways of looking at the world. Not helpful in the promotion of secular humanism and scientific naturalism, which is CFIs core mission.

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Posted: 11 August 2007 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Edited (deleted) after listenig to the podcast.

[ Edited: 17 August 2007 08:45 PM by George ]
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Posted: 11 August 2007 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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dougsmith - 11 August 2007 03:33 PM

(Also this sort of satanism isn’t satanism at all. It’s just a variety of atheistic Ayn Rand/Libertarianism for people interested in the macabre).

I’ll take objection to that, since before 1966 there was no above-ground religious body that referred to itself as Satanism. It is a new religion, and to say it’s not Satanism is dismissive and wrong.

It IS Satanism, and middle-age Christian scare tactics (Malleus Maleficarum) and talk-show spook stories does nothing to change that.

How do you define Satanism and what non-Christian sources do you use to prove that definition?

And:

mckenzievmd - 11 August 2007 03:46 PM

(b)ut Stanism as worship of a malign supernatural being (which is how many people use the word, though the representatives of the point of view here use it differently) is just another form of supernaturalism, and if anything even worse that the usual forms since it promotes evil for its own sake, rather than in the name of good (though, FWIW that’s pretty messed up too). And Satanism as described here is as Doug said a form of Objectivism/Hedonism/Libertarianism, all of which I consider seriously flawed ways of looking at the world. Not helpful in the promotion of secular humanism and scientific naturalism, which is CFIs core mission.

I don’t know about Stanism, but as per my first response, show me where Satanism in practice by an organized religion is the worship of a malign supernatural being. At different times, many groups were referred to as Satanists, Jews and Mormons for example.
By your definition, Satanism would be a poor topic, but in reality, since Satanists are Epicurian Atheists, I don’t see the problem.
Now if I’m not mistaken, PoI’s mission is:
1. Pseudoscience and the paranormal (Bigfoot, UFOs, psychics, communication with the dead, cryptozoology, etc.)
2. Alternative medicine (faith healing, homeopathy, “healing touch,” the efficacy of prayer, etc.)
3. Religion and secularism (church-state separation, the effects and proper role of religion in society, the future of secularism and nonbelief, etc.)

[ Edited: 11 August 2007 04:07 PM by KevinISlaughter ]
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Posted: 11 August 2007 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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KevinISlaughter - 11 August 2007 03:59 PM

How do you define Satanism and what non-Christian sources do you use to prove that definition?

Come now, Kevin. I’m using the word as I try to use all words: as they are generally understood. Satanism is the worship of Satan.

Satanism is a Christian invention, going back centuries.

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Posted: 11 August 2007 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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And Kevin, your own materials in your Introduction on this forum descirbe your “religion” as essentially a form of objectivism/hedonism with a “satanic” esthetic.

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Posted: 11 August 2007 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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mckenzievmd - 11 August 2007 04:07 PM

And Kevin, your own materials in your Introduction on this forum descirbe your “religion” as essentially a form of objectivism/hedonism with a “satanic” esthetic.

I don’t contradict that, and I was editing my prior post, you guys were already typing, so I’ll paste it below:

And:

mckenzievmd - 11 August 2007 03:46 PM

(b)ut Stanism as worship of a malign supernatural being (which is how many people use the word, though the representatives of the point of view here use it differently) is just another form of supernaturalism, and if anything even worse that the usual forms since it promotes evil for its own sake, rather than in the name of good (though, FWIW that’s pretty messed up too). And Satanism as described here is as Doug said a form of Objectivism/Hedonism/Libertarianism, all of which I consider seriously flawed ways of looking at the world. Not helpful in the promotion of secular humanism and scientific naturalism, which is CFIs core mission.

I don’t know about Stanism, but as per my first response, show me where Satanism in practice by an organized religion is the worship of a malign supernatural being. At different times, many groups were referred to as Satanists, Jews and Mormons for example.
By your definition, Satanism would be a poor topic, but in reality, since Satanists are Epicurian Atheists, I don’t see the problem.
Now if I’m not mistaken, PoI’s mission is:
1. Pseudoscience and the paranormal (Bigfoot, UFOs, psychics, communication with the dead, cryptozoology, etc.)
2. Alternative medicine (faith healing, homeopathy, “healing touch,” the efficacy of prayer, etc.)
3. Religion and secularism (church-state separation, the effects and proper role of religion in society, the future of secularism and nonbelief, etc.)

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“Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.” - John Milton Aeropagitca

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Posted: 11 August 2007 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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dougsmith - 11 August 2007 04:04 PM
KevinISlaughter - 11 August 2007 03:59 PM

How do you define Satanism and what non-Christian sources do you use to prove that definition?

Come now, Kevin. I’m using the word as I try to use all words: as they are generally understood. Satanism is the worship of Satan.

Satanism is a Christian invention, going back centuries.

There is a problem with the popular definition of Satanism, as addressed on religious tolerance.org :http://www.religioustolerance.org/satanism.htm

Here’s their suggested definition:

A suggested definition:

Such definitions create great confusion, and stir up religious animosity against followers of benign faith traditions. It has been known to trigger lynching, attempted mass murder, fire bombings, shootings, common assaults, etc. We strongly recommend that the terms “Satanist” and “Satanism” be used only to refer to religions that have some direct involvement with Satan in some form. Thus a “Satanist” is one who either:

  1. Worships the Christian devil. Although the Christian Churches taught during the Renaissance that devil worshipers were very common, such individuals were in fact extremely rare, and remain so. The very few who do exist appear to be solitary practitioners; they do not appear to have formed an organization.
  2. Accepts Satan as a pre-Christian life-principle concept worth emulating. These are religious Satanists, who follow a number of religious traditions, of which the largest by far is the Church of Satan.

Now, come on, you know as well as I do the “popular opinion” of Atheists and how utterly skewed that is, I’m defining Satanism as it is, not how it’s believed to be.

Don’t confuse this with me claiming victim status, just clarification. I’m sure most people here should applaud a definition based on reality over one of perception.

A definition based on perception with no basis in reality is a lie, even if Merriam-Webster supports it.

[ Edited: 11 August 2007 04:52 PM by KevinISlaughter ]
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