Why I Acquired a Taste for the Acquired Taste of Satanic Aesthetics

There’s much about stereotypical Satanic music and art that I just don’t jive with—at least I didn’t initially. I’ve made myself get into it, though, because I see an important reason behind the stereotype’s existence that has nothing to do with conformity, allegiance to tradition, or just a shallow desire to shock others. This post is all about that reason and its role in promoting what I argue is a central concern of modern atheistic Satanism: to remake human beings and the societies they form along non-tribal lines. By “tribal” here, I don’t mean to invoke the sense of the word as applied to indigenous or Native American groups; rather, I’m referring to the kind of hyperpartisanism that arises in human beings largely from innate, unconscious mental processes against which, I think, Satanism militates. In order to avoid giving unnecessary offense through terminological choices, I’m going to begin substituting the phrase “parochial group” for “tribe” and following moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt in using the adjective “groupish” for “tribal” in this negative sense. Satan is The Adversary, and much of Satanism means using aesthetic choices that are, at first blush, somewhat ugly on multiple levels toward the adversarial end of deconstructing humans’ natural inclination to associate the body and morality with purity and cleanliness and to allow our innate reactions of disgust to drive us to denigrate and dehumanize those who disgust us. If you’re not too put off by all this, come on in for a closer look.

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