TST Beliefs

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  1. DO YOU WORSHIP SATAN?
  2. No, nor do we believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural. The Satanic Temple believes that religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition. As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions. Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things. Our beliefs must be malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world — never the reverse.
  3. DO YOU PROMOTE EVIL?
  4. No. The Satanic Temple holds to the basic premise that undue suffering is bad, and that which reduces suffering is good. We do not believe in symbolic “evil.” We acknowledge blasphemy is a legitimate expression of personal independence from counter-productive traditional norms.
  5. WHAT DOES SATAN MEAN TO TST?
  6. Satan is a symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority, forever defending personal sovereignty even in the face of insurmountable odds. Satan is an icon for the unbowed will of the unsilenced inquirer – the heretic who questions sacred laws and rejects all tyrannical impositions. Our metaphoric representation is the literary Satan best exemplified by Milton and the Romantic Satanists from Blake to Shelley to Anatole France.
  7. IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE SUPERNATURAL, HOW IS TST A RELIGION?
  8. The idea that religion belongs to supernaturalists is ignorant, backward, and offensive. The metaphorical Satanic construct is no more arbitrary to us than are the deeply held beliefs that we actively advocate. Are we supposed to believe that those who pledge submission to an ethereal supernatural deity hold to their values more deeply than we? Are we supposed to concede that only the superstitious are rightful recipients of religious exemption and privilege? 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.
  9. IS TST A MEDIA STUNT/HOAX/TROLLING, ETC.?
  10. Some have conveniently concluded, upon observing The Satanic Temple’s media coverage, that attention is the primary objective of our activities. While media outreach has helped to raise awareness of the campaigns we have initiated, these campaigns have articulated goals related issues that are important to us and our membership.
  11. So inured is the general public to the idea that there is only one monolithic voice of “the” religious agenda that any attempt at a counter-balance — or assertion of a minority voice — is often viewed as a targeted provocation against those who enjoy traditional religious privilege.
  12. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
  13. We believe in reason, empathy, the pursuit of knowledge and our Seven Tenets:
  14. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
  15. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  16. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  17. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own.
  18. Beliefs should conform to one's best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one's beliefs.
  19. People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one's best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.
  20. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.
  21. DO YOU ADHERE TO THE SATANIC BIBLE OR HAVE ANY BOOKS THAT YOU RECOMMEND?
  22. The Satanic Temple does not have any sacred book or scripture and we do not adhere to The Satanic Bible. We do have a suggested reading list that provides some illumination on the philosophical origins of our beliefs: https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/the-satanic-temple-library.
  23. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RITUALS OF TST?
  24. The Satanic Temple does not have any required rituals, but some members choose to participate in rituals that they find personally meaningful. There is no absolute “right” way to perform any of them. Typically, they are composed by members themselves, adhere to the TST tenets, and are tailored to meet their individual or local needs. Rituals never involve the promotion of suffering, do not involve animals, and are always consensual among all participants. Some of the rituals that have been held by TST members include:
  25. Black Mass — a celebration of blasphemy, which can be an expression of personal liberty and freedom
  26. Unbaptism — participants renounce superstitions that may have been imposed upon them without their consent as a child
  27. Destruction ritual — participants destroy an object they own that symbolizes a source or pain in their lives
  28. Defiance ritual — a pledge to challenge the status quo in a way that is personally meaningful
  29. HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM HUMANISTS?
  30. A unifying attribute of all Satanists is our embrace of our outsider status. In addition, Satanists adhere to the principles of individual sovereignty and the rejection of tyrannical authority. These concerns are of paramount importance to us, but are not fundamental components of Humanism.
  31. HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SATANIC ORGANIZATIONS?
  32. Many Satanic organizations focus on pointless and misguided efforts to establish a monopoly on a vision of the one ‘true’ Satanism. This obsession with ownership has fomented an unfortunate culture in which Satanism’s most vitriolic critics are often self-identified Satanists.
  33. The Satanic Temple is not interested in establishing itself as the sole arbiter of Satanic practice. Rather, we are open to working with other self-identified Satanic organizations to promote general recognition of Satanic legitimacy.
  34. While many Satanic organizations seem to revel in superfluous hierarchies while isolating themselves in petty organizational autocracy, the Satanic Temple eschews rigid, centralized authority and focuses its efforts on effecting tangible constructive change. We believe in building a politically active Satanic movement and invite others to join us in these efforts.
  35. HOW DOES TST’S SATANISM DIFFER FROM LAVEYAN SATANISM?
  36. TST has its own guiding principles and tenets, distinct from the LaVeyan school, that we feel represents a natural evolution in Satanic thought. The overriding principle calls for utilizing the best scientific evidence available to make the most rational real-world decisions. To that end, we reject LaVeyan social Darwinist rhetoric that fails to agree with what is currently known regarding social evolution, specifically as it relates to research in evolutionary biology, game theory, reciprocal altruism, cognitive science, etc.
  37. TST also strongly rejects the LaVeyan fetishization of authoritarianism. We believe this is antithetical to Satanic notions of individual sovereignty. Further, while LaVeyan Satanism is atheistic in that it rejects the notion that Satan is a conscious entity, it nevertheless adheres to supernaturalism. TST does not forward supernatural theories of the universe and finds little value in LaVeyan edicts such as those that instruct one to “acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.” (From the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth, Anton LaVey)
  38. HOW CAN I ATTEND TST SERVICES?
  39. Services are hosted regularly at TST headquarters in Salem, Massachusetts and will soon be posted online.

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