Satanism as a concept tends to bring to mind notions of evil , darkness, and perhaps even death. This a misconception, as very well-known examples of Satanism are not even concerned with devil-worship. Of course, there are religions existing today, whose philosophies and ideologies are centered around worshipping the devil, but not the ones discussed in this article.
Perhaps the most famous example of Satanism– LaVeyan Satanism– is a religious movement established in 1966 with the founding of the Church of Satan in San Francisco, CA. The Church’s founder, Anton Szandor LaVey, began to notice the looming influence of Christianity over society– pertaining particularly to human perception and intuition. LaVey believed that Christianity was a hypocritical belief system, which impeded people getting the most out of their lives.
LaVeyan Satanism is a religion, which first and foremost emphasizes a sort of hedonistic lifestyle. The seven deadly sins of Christianity are considered inherent aspects of human nature in Satanism, which “lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification” (LaVey 25). Additionally, Satanism promotes self-deification, and views mankind as just another animal in all its carnal desires. What is most relevant to this article is Satanism’s lack of a belief in an afterlife.
LaVeyan Satanism stresses the importance of “complete gratification of his ego. Satanism, in fact, is the only religion which advocates the intensification or encouragement of the ego” (94). With that in mind, what LaVey essentially attempts to convey with his religion is that life is meant to be lived to its fullest on earth, and that there is no afterlife. Mankind should be content with living out their days here, and not wait in expectation for the promise of life after death.
The belief in no afterlife is so prevalent in LaVeyan Satanism, that some practitioners even choose not to have funerals. The ideology is contrary to many other belief systems, in that death is not considered a reward. “Each person comes into existence at birth and disappears at death.”
Szandor, La Vey Anton. The Satanic Bible. New York: Avon , 1969. Print.
Http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alternative-Religion-at-Aboutcom/90280679016. “Do Satanists Believe in an Afterlife?” About.com Religion & Spirituality. N.p., 08 Feb. 2017. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.