Why Satanism Does Not Teach "Anything Goes"

baphomet pentagram
Church of Satan, used with permission

Satanic philosophy has a strong focus on the glorification and gratification of the self. It also rejects a variety of common social taboos as well as taboos in general that lack practical justification. They emphasize that each person is a master of their own fate, and that actions are not subjected to any sort of spiritual judgment.

This should not, however, be interpreted to mean that Satanists have no ethics, appreciate all behavior equally, or encourage people to simply do whatever they want.

Hedonism vs. Success

Individual Discipline

The more you make your own rules, the more self-sufficient you must be. Self-sufficiency takes time, knowledge, energy and resources. If you spend all of your time indulging in pleasure, how are you supporting yourself? Satanists despise parasites so much so they are addressed in the Nine Satanic Statements, as is the importance of responsibility.

There's also a variety of indulgences that go against Satanic thought. Satanism condemns addiction, for example, because a Satanist should be a master of himself, and addiction hands control over to the source of the addiction.

There's a variety of thoughts on intoxication. Some reject it outright as a loss of self control and a psychological crutch. Others see no objection as long as the circumstances are controlled, such as making sure you don't get behind the wheel of a car in such a state. Regardless, it always comes back to responsibility: if you do something stupid while drunk, it is your fault, not the fault of the drinks, not the fault of friends who convinced you to drink. The right to choose brings responsibility for those choices.

Value of Civilization

If you choose to live within civilized society, you have chosen to live within certain boundaries. Satanists do not encourage people to break the law, and they call for swift and severe punishments for those who break it. While they are strongly individualistic, they are absolutely not anarchists. You don't get to benefit from society while giving nothing back. The objection is not, however, a moral one so much as a practical one: this is the only way civilization works.

Freedom of Self vs. Freedom of Others

Therefore, no indulgence should infringe upon the rights and freedom of others. Rape, murder, theft, and child molestation among others all clearly infringe upon the freedoms of others. These are inherently bad things to Satanists.

Read more: What is Satanic Ritual Abuse?(Short answer: it's a fiction)

Practicality

So What CAN a Satanist Do?

  • A Satanist should feel free to indulge in anything that involves only consenting parties. He should not feel limited, for example, by the fact that society might consider a certain sexual practice to be “deviant.”
  • A Satanist should feel free to use his property and spend his money as he sees fit. He should not be embarrassed by these marks of success. He should not be shamed into giving to charity (although he's certainly welcome to do so as his own choice) or putting on an air of moderation, restraint and prudence. There is nothing wrong in enjoying the fruits of one's labors.
  • A Satanist is encouraged to actively seek out things that please him and help him succeed in life. Satanists hold to a “survival of the fittest” mentality: if you're going to succeed, you're going to have compete for it. Those that play nice will be walked over by those who do not. Behaving overly brutal, however, will probably bring more consequences than benefits.
  • A Satanist is encouraged to work against those who have wronged him.
  • A Satanist is welcome to form his own personal code of ethics. Indeed, one should. Otherwise, the individual is simply parroting the outlooks of someone else, even if that someone else is, say, Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. However, every Satanist should also accept that such codes are subjective, not objective. People read the same scenario in different ways. People can read the exact same text and interpret it in radically different ways.