There are many reasons why doktor LaVey took up the name Satan in his religion. The obviousness is in the strong connotations of Satan’s name. Many non-Satanists that discover this religion often grasp its fundamentals but can’t quite seem to get past the dreaded “S” word. This specifically is one of the reasons why Satanism is not for everyone and why I am proud to call myself as Satanist. The name of Satan as a label or archetype is a negator and shit filter.
The ravings of hysterics and lunatics from the camps of both atheism and theism alike purport that Satanism is a fancy form of atheism which gives “Satanists” a distinctive name. While it is true that Satanism starts out as atheistic, what these people fail to realize is that Satanism expands away from pure “lack of belief” (nothing more or less than atheism) and focuses on the needs of the individual, or I-theism. Satanism being realistic views that it is unknowable to be sure if a deity exists or does not exist, and so focuses on the gratification of the individual in the here and now. Keep in mind what exactly Satanic atheism is. It is NOT the claim that one knows without a doubt that there is not a deity, but rather it is a highly doubtful perspective that one exists. To claim that one knows for sure that a god doesn’t exist plays into godlike omniscience, claiming to know everything that there is to know when one clearly does not. Upon realizing this, I-theism is adopted to accept personal godhood. What this entails is self-gratification and responsibility for those actions.
Taking the Devil’s name as a part of one’s self is a very difficult feat. Upon realizing these things the would-be Satanist still cannot get past the “S” word with its “negative” associations. That is fine as not very many can live up to being an Adversary. We live in a world where opposition to convention is unpopular. Even less will be counted among “the outstanding few.” Satanism is demanding and not everyone can be expected to be Satans in a society of artificial happiness and fake moralisms. Becoming the Adversary is a fine arte. I would submit that it was a natural and easy choice for those of us who decided to identify with Satan, as Satanists are born and are not made.
The name of Satan stands triumphant as the great negator. It is an outstanding title to stratify those that may be incompatible with Satanism. Just as the aspiring atheist cannot swallow the title, it also still evokes fear and dread into the minds of men. We have in no way shape or form tried to distill or remedy this stimulating emotional effect that is felt when the name “Satanist” is uttered. I revel in the wide-eyed stares that reveal nonsensical white and black dichotomies.
It is also a great shit filter. As it often generates a direct emotional response it can be employed to either filter out certain individuals or entice an arousing situation. Some people find the sinister very attractive.
Those that cannot get passed their own hang ups would do well without Satanism, much less calling themselves “Satanist.” The “S” word is in place as a means to stratify, to keep certain individuals out. Satanism blatantly confesses that it is NOT for everybody. Few will make the cut in the active role of the Adversary and even fewer will recognize the god or demiurge within themselves. The Left Hand Path is the road less traveled on the interstate of life. Where does your road end?