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Peter H. Gilmore - Science and Satanism
Posted: 16 August 2007 05:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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kevin,

how can I “contribute” anything if I dont know what is of “merit” to you?

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Posted: 17 August 2007 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I would like to suggest to those that believe satanism is a form of secular humanism/skepticism that you visit the http://forums.randi.org/ and post your views there.

You may also consider http://www.skepticforum.com/index.php

If you still don’t get it, read this: http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf

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Posted: 17 August 2007 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I dont remember anyone saying that satanism is a form of secular humanism. It is not. In fact, they are diametric on central ethical questions. Satanism is skeptical, of course, of the paranormal and the supernatural; it is atheistic and, as such, is skeptical of God belief.

I’ve enjoyed the kerfuffle caused by talking about Satanism on Point of Inquiry. The questions raised (about PR, how to best advance the “cause” and the ethical and epistemological similarities and differences) have been fun to get into, and based on all the back and forth on this forum, seems fun and maybe profitable for others too.

But as with most conversations, this one wont end with a period but rather an elipses. There will always be more to say and think about when it comes to ethics and metaphysics, as highlighted by highlighting some of these topics concerning satanism.

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Posted: 17 August 2007 06:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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OhioDoc - 17 August 2007 03:51 PM

I would like to suggest to those that believe satanism is a form of secular humanism/skepticism that you visit the http://forums.randi.org/ and post your views there.

You may also consider http://www.skepticforum.com/index.php

If you still don’t get it, read this: http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf


What does any of this have to do with Peter H. Gilmore, the Church of Satan, or Satanism in general?

This is so far off topic that I am truly baffled.

Despite numerous and varying opinions, I have yet to see anyone on these boards espouse the belief that “satanism is a form of secular humanism.”  There are similarities and differences, but no one is saying the two are the same. 

In fact, had you bothered to read our most primary of textual sources, The Satanic Bible, you would realize that Anton LaVey explicitly states that Satanism is NOT “humanism.

You appear quite eager to create problems where none exist. 
Why?  Because you haven’t done your homework.

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Posted: 17 August 2007 07:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I am partially relieved that the clarifications have been made.

I guess that I will have to wait until the Sus fly to see the correction in the POI site.

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Posted: 17 August 2007 07:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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DJ Grothe - 17 August 2007 06:52 PM

[Satanism and secular humanism] are diametric on central ethical questions.

Yes, you make that very clear in your discussion with Gilmore. I should have listened to the podcast before accusing CFI of wanting to form a pact with COS. I sincerely apologize, DJ. red face

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Posted: 17 August 2007 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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mckenzievmd said:

1) Vengeance and the “eye-for-an-eye” thing seems to be very important, and shows up in the “dos and don’t list” on the COS website several times. Obviously, there are lots of timeworn arguments about the usefulness of this as a principle for maintaining social order. Bloodfeuds and honor killings didn’t seem like such a great thing for the European nobility or for the Middle East today, yet they seem based on the same premise. I already mentioned why I thought your use of this strategy was counterproductive to your stated goal of clarifying COS ideas in the other thread. How would you argue that such a principle is more effective than a forgiveness principle? Try, if possible, to avoid strawmen (complete pacifism is NOT what I am suggesting, so you needn’t bother to argue against that).

I’d like to take a crack at this, if I may. 


Satanism is first and foremost a religion which champions the individual. 
As with so many other things, “rational” self-interest is paramount.
Again, we’re talking an issue of pragmatism.

Does the desire for revenge outweigh the consequences which are inevitably entailed?

Quite often, the answer is “no.”

Bloodfeuds and honor killings would not benefit the Satanist. 
How savory is the taste of vengeance, when it can only be relished through cold prison bars?

Satanists acknowledge that “survival is the highest law.”
Therefore, if the act of vengeance would compromise survival (or one’s raison d’être),  than vengeance would be short-sighted and futile. 

One’s survival and quality of life always trump vengeance. 
Again, we can apply the maxim of “indulgence, NOT compulsion,” even to an act of revenge.

If vengeance is possible, legal, and well-deserved, than the Satanist will apply it as he/she sees fit.
Often, in our lawful and civilized societies, revenge will have more Machiavellian tendencies—it might come in the form of embarrassment, or intellectual retort, perhaps some sort of psychological sabotage.  These tactics are not unique to Satanists, we just make no qualms about admitting to their use when such is warranted. 

The “Eye for an eye” adage helps determine extent.

Now, obviously, the Satanist is limited in applying this particular aspect of the philosophy whilst simultaneously remaining within legal standards. 

Therefore as pragmatists, we are striving to reshape law, and establish lex talionis—“law of retaliation.”
In other words, we assert that the punishment should indeed fit the crime.
The current system is broken and a mockery of justice.  Repeat felons—often violent—recieve lenient sentences, and become numbers lost in the high recidivism rates; released just to commit the same crimes at the expense of productive, peaceful members of society.  Likewise, claims of false victimization are commonplace, so often rewarded, financially or otherwise, at the expense of the undeserving.  The current legal system, based upon Judeo-Christian morals, is largely a gross failure.

We posit “Responsibility to the responsible.” 

As for the concept of forgiveness… doesn’t the right to grant such belong solely to the persons who were damaged?

Satanism is not a religion of “thou shalt” doctrine. 
If an individual feels that forgiveness is appropriate and prudent, He is always free to extend such.

Vengeance is not mandatory.

Context and personal experience/perspective are always pertinent factors.

[ Edited: 17 August 2007 08:35 PM by Mr_Obsidian ]
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Posted: 17 August 2007 08:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I don’t find any trouble admiting that a man who kill other human being without be threatened deserves to be killed ( I mean: I am not sure if a murderer deserves to be killed, but I am not going to claim that there is no crime deserving death penalty). But I think that the lenient sentences has do more with the trouble we could find trying to prove, beyond any doubt, that the defendant is really guilty: we could always free an inmate.

Can I ask what you have in mind when talking about “claims of false victimization are commonplace, so often rewarded, financially or otherwise”?

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Posted: 17 August 2007 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Can I ask what you have in mind when talking about “claims of false victimization are commonplace, so often rewarded, financially or otherwise”?

Frivolous lawsuits, particularly when it comes to negligence, malpractice, and general civil suits; criminal cases in which someone transfers blame through the ludicrous argument of “influence.”
Also, civil cases in which a plaintiff unjustly sues(and wins) against an innocent defendant.
(i.e. - An armed man decides to rob a house, and is shot after breaking and entering.  The woman who shot the intruder is found innocent at the criminal level, but is then sued by the family of the intruder, loses the suit, and must pay an excessive amount of money to the family of this false victim.)

There is already legislation in the works.

The so-called “Castle Doctrine” is but one example.

Personal responsibility is the underlying theme which is consistently ignored in these “unjust” types of cases.

I hope that clears things up a bit.  grin

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Posted: 17 August 2007 09:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Mr. Obsidian,
Thanks for addressing the question of vengeance. It sounds like you are saying that the purpose of vengeance is the pleasure derived from it, and that the extremes the eye-for-an-eye ethic might lead to are limited because self-interest (survival and comfort_ trump pleasure. FWIW, I think taking pleasure in hurting someone in some way, even after having been hurt by them, seems an unhealthy attitude, and one likely to lead to endless circles of pointless retiribution. I would argue that the current system of justice is broken largely because of the Judeo-Christian notion that retribution serves some purpose, that it balances some metaphysical scale somewhere. This seems remarkably similar to your position.

As a pragmatist, I see punishment as appropriate only if it serves a purpose, and one weightier than making the victims feel better. Deterrance would seem a legitimate purpose (which, regarding Barto’s comment, would seem to be anjustification for the death penalty, if it could be shown to be effective as a eterrant; I doubt this, but there is much dispute and little objective data on the subject to my knwoledge). Giving anyone (government or private citizens) the legitimate, legal right to do harm starts us down a dangerous path that can easily end in wastful violence. It only makes sense to do so if some clear practical good can be shown to be served, and the pleasure of revenge does not suffice for me. As for forgiveness, the right certainly belongs to the aggrieved. My point would be that forgiveness reduces sufferring more effectively than vengeance, and is probably a healthier (though harder) way to go. Not that hatred and a desire for revenge is not legitimate, only that encouraging it seems to do more harm than good.

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Posted: 17 August 2007 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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It sounds like you are saying that the purpose of vengeance is the pleasure derived from it

Well, if we are to be honest, isn’t that what justice truly is about?

The term itself is abstract and relative—implying arbitrary fairness, or what is “deserved.”

The purpose of all justice is to avenge the offended party—to somehow assuage their sense of loss, grief, fear, or victimization. 

Punishment of the perpetrator gives pleasure and often closure to his victims. 

I would argue that justice is dependent on some form of revenge, or alternately, some form of reward.
Satanism offers each, accordingly.

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Posted: 17 August 2007 09:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Mr_Obsidian - 17 August 2007 08:27 PM

The current legal system, based upon Judeo-Christian morals, is largely a gross failure.

It was predominantly the philosophy of the Greeks on which today’s western society was built. To get where we are has taken us much longer than a few thousand years. What are Judeo-Christian morals? To blame “Judeo-Christian morals” for the failure of our legal system would compare to blaming “Judeo-Christian science” for our inability of finding a cure for AIDS.

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Posted: 17 August 2007 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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mckenzievmd - 17 August 2007 09:28 PM

which, regarding Barto’s comment, would seem to be anjustification for the death penalty, if it could be shown to be effective as a eterrant; I doubt this, but there is much dispute and little objective data on the subject to my knwoledge

I am not sure that death penalty is usefull as deterrent, but I’d say that to keep people who commit very cruel crimes off the streets is a good thing for all of us. For instance, I don’t find anything wrong with Eichmann being hanged and I would had found the execution of Pinochet fair enough.

Anyway, because we live in the real world were the justice makes mistakes, where the investigations sometimes are biased and because a wrong application of death penalty has no possible repair, I think it is better to abolish it.


Mr Obsidian: yes, you clarified the things. I asked becase, while I can agree that there is a lot of false victimization, I don’t agree with the idea that there are no real victims who deserves protection and compensation.

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Posted: 17 August 2007 10:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Mr_Obsidian - 17 August 2007 09:49 PM

It sounds like you are saying that the purpose of vengeance is the pleasure derived from it

Well, if we are to be honest, isn’t that what justice truly is about?

 

Well, I guess no. I think justice is about to try to prevent another crime, and it is the reason why we take the criminal off the streets (or at least, we try).

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Posted: 17 August 2007 10:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Barto is right. Vengeance and punishment have (or shouldn’t have) nothing to do with justice. People are sent to jail to be corrected and hopefully re-educated. Perhaps the future success of our jails lies in the hands of the psychologists and the neuroscientists, but certainly not the Satanists.

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