Someone who exults in the name Quantanephilim (either a very large quantum, or a very small giant, no doubt) has done me the courtesy of answering all my points in order.
I still cannot tell if he is pulling my leg, since this wording so very much like a stereotype. The witches and pagans I know personally (I know more witches than I do Christians) don't actually talk about selfishness and personal power: this sounds like what a Christian who does not understand neopaganism thinks the pagans talk like. But so on the off chance that Mr. Nephilim is being entirely serious, I owe him at least as much courtesy as he has shown me, and so I must answer in all sobriety.
Besides, there is always the possibility he will remember my words later in his life, when he is past his present troubles, and he wants to see a better way to live.
The conversation began when I mentioned a heartbreaking case where a woman on Medicaid could not keep her child alive on a respirator: Texas law gives the hospital the authority to pull the plug, affording the woman a ten day grace period to find some other hospital to keep her mortally ill child alive. I condemned the Culture of Death in which we live, observing that pleasure-seeking as a basis for morality leads to killing children in the name of economic convenience.
Mr. Nephilim (as no doubt befits the sentiment of a giant, who are pitiless enemies mankind) expressed a lack of pity for the child, affirmed hedonism an acceptable way of life, and basically adopted the posture of Thrasymachus, that the strong should lord it over the weak. The beginning of the conversation is here: http://johncwright.livejournal.com/80663.html?nc=28.
My original rebuttal is in bold; his counter-rebuttal in italics; my answer here is in plain text.
1. Life is pain. Whoever tells you otherwise is selling something.
Haha! The lie of the Buddhist and Nazarene. I will quote a true sage on these matters:
'Existence is pure joy. Sorrow is caused by failure to perceive this fact; but this is not a misfortune. We have invented sorrow, which does not matter so much after all, in order to have the exuberant satisfaction of getting rid of it. Existence is thus a sacrament.' -Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Chapter VII
In essence, it is only flaws in our perception that keep us from the pure bliss of existence itself.
This is perhaps a dispute in semantics only: what you might call life plagued by a flaw in our perception, I would call this present life on earth. What you attribute to a flaw in perception, I would attribute to original sin. No matter what we call it, pain is the common lot of mankind. It is part of the human condition.
2. You are of no value to society. I am of no value to society. Society does not value all that very many people, when it comes right down to it.
I'll concede this one; I sounded suspiciously, uncharacteristically leftist when I made that statement.
Thank you. I don't mind talking to a Satanist, but I would feel uncomfortable talking to a Leftist. They give me the creeps.
3. The child in this case is of value to his mother, who seeks to keep the child alive. If you have children, you can sympathize with the sentiment. If you do not have children, please try to imagine what it is like to live for someone other than for oneself.
I can sympathize with this. Point conceded.
Thank you again. Even if we disagree on certain basics after this point in the discussion, keep in mind that we have found a large common ground here: I hope we can both agree that human life is of value. This means that the virtues needed to keep human life intact you and I should both affirm. The valor of men who fight to be free, for example, is incompatible with the surrender to mere appetite. These are things you also mention you admire (see below). This is in conflict, or, at least, a counter-current, to the notion that we should all live merely to seek pleasure.
Also, once we acknowledge the need for men of valor to behave valiantly, once we admire heroism, logically we should admire (or, at least, accept) those things that accompany heroism.
One thing that accompanies heroism is selflessness: all military men put the good of the group before the good of the individual. If one man breaks ranks to save himself, the whole platoon is doomed. Self-centeredness is a luxury of peacetime, a thing to enjoy like a festival, not a common experience of life, like work.
Another thing that accompanies heroism is the principle that the strong must defend the weak. Not only do soldiers make haste to rescue wounded comrades, they place themselves in harm's way to shield women and children and old men. This is the very opposite principle of what Nietzsche recommends: Nietzsche is a weakling, and therefore he adores strength. He admires bullies. Normal men are strong, and therefore we adore women and children and liberty and justice and all the other weak, fragile, beautiful things in life.
4. Pleasure seeking is an unmanly way to live, fleeing pain is cowardly. You should be deeply ashamed to express such base sentiments in public. Socrates would slap your foolish mouth for saying this, or, at least, ask you a few pointed questions.
Should I then cut myself with razors, simply to make myself manlier (I know a number of people who do this; I wouldn't describe them as particularly "manly" or "virtuous"?) Chain myself up, go under the whip? If it is wrong to avoid pain, then surely it is best to pursue it? The morality of the flagellant.
Contemplate the following three examples: I have to go to the dentist today. I go because I expect it is good for me, not because it pleases me. My son refuses to eat his vegetables. I am his father, and so I command him to eat what is good for him, not necessarily what pleases him. I come from a military family: my father was in the service. We cannot secure to ourselves the blessings of liberty until and unless young men are willing to put their frail bodies between their loved homes and war's desolation. I cannot reconcile any of these sentiments with pleasure-seeking. Even to seek pleasure in the long term requires fortitude and stoicism in the short term.
Cutting oneself with a razor to prove one's manhood is excessive, I agree, but it is an excess of an otherwise noble impulse: the desire not to be enslaved to desire. To be blunt, I would rather have him in a foxhole with me than a self-serving hedonist. He, at least, I know is not afraid of merely physical pain.
Your doubts, when taken to the extreme you imply, undermine any intellectual basis you might have for courage, intellectual integrity, or moral fortitude. Without a proper metaphysic, one cannot have a proper philosophy. In the absence of philosophy, one must rely on sentiment, tradition, or religion to supply the groundwork for morality.
The man who relies on sentiment says (as Neo famously said in the last and worst MATRIX movie) "I fight for justice because I chose to." He is basically a creature of whim. Should his emotions make something other than moral rectitude and courage seem appealing to him, he will follow those other things instead. Only as long as his sentiment is healthy, will his moral life be healthy.
The man who relies on tradition says, "I fight for justice because, well, how can man die better than by facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the Temples of his Gods?" He is in a better position, but if he comes from a culture where, for example, cowardly attacks on civilians are thought praiseworthy rather than shameful, like a terrorist, he will act cravenly while thinking himself a hero. Or, to use an example closer to home, if he comes from a period in history where sexual perversion is lauded and praised as brave, like a modern American, he will act abominably while thinking himself a hero. Only as long as his tradition is healthy, will his moral life be healthy.
Religion and philosophy, alas, have similar drawbacks. An honest man who honestly follows a heretical religion will be a heretic; a reasonable man following an unreasonable philosophy to its logical extreme will end up defending and supporting unconscionable excesses.
No, no, I am not ashamed- I am not ashamed of anything, precisely because I am not afraid of what others may think of me. I challenge them to look at their assumptions, and question them. Like Socrates, I doubt. I doubt all. I doubt to the very core of my being, and adopt and create metaphysical systems for the very enjoyment of it- they are all as nothing.
Then you don't have a philosophy to support you in your hour of trouble, or a faith. The consolation of philosophy is only to open to philosophers. The consolation of faith is closed to skeptics. When your hour of trouble comes, will you pray to yourself, small god?
5. Freedom is a blessing, no doubt. Somehow in your mind you equate freedom with the ability to kill helpless children. I do not comprehend the equation. What about the mother's freedom to keep her child alive?
Freedom is the condition of anyone strong enough to be free, and overcome the obstacles in his way- it is not a blessing, it is a reward for the strong. And yes, indeed, the mother should have the freedom to keep the child alive, if she so chooses.
I did not fight in the Revolutionary War; or either World War, I merely received the benefits bestowed by the sacrifice of better men than I am.
The mother in this case, we are talking about someone too poor to afford the medical care she needs to keep her child alive. She is one of the weaklings you despise. She is unable to remove the obstacles someone stronger than she could remove. If you feel sympathy for her, this conflicts with your strength-worshipping philosophy. Whereas if I feel sympathy with her, this is in keeping with my philosophy, that preaches love, forgiveness, charity to the poor and weak.
If one worships strength, as Nietzsche does, one cannot root for the underdog. One must cheer for the giant, not for Jack, and applaud when a jackboot of strength grinds of the bloodstained, tearstreaked faces of the poor and humble into the sewer-mud.
Of course, the strong things in life, such as massive international corporations, hegemonic superpowers, remorseless police states, don't really want nor need the applause of weaklings like you or me.
6. If Christianity exists only to crush joy from reality, why do all catechisms and psalms and poetry speak of joy, command rejoicing, and speak of love in such glowing terms? Why would anyone be a Christian in such a case?
The brutal history of the destruction of the Hellenic mystery cults, of healthy pagan indulgence, of the literature and poetry of the western world, and any mystic who would preach liberation outside of the loving arms of orthodoxy give lie to this. Christianity came about to appeal to the helots- it is there to reward those who are denied the joys that were the privilege of the aristocracy. In the process, it was forced to obliterate the light of the ancient world.
I am afraid I do not understand your response: it is a non sequitur. I will ask again. If Christianity seeks to crush joy, why do they preach joy, supernal joy ringing from the housetops, with bells?
The Hellenic mystery cults were not joyous, but sorrowful and grim, as were most pagan things, occupied with the mysteries of the underworld, where even heroes like Achilles go to twitter like bats. The conversion of the ancient world was simply not as you depict: most of the Roman Empire converted to Christianity voluntarily, and through the impulse of the weaker elements in society, the underclass, or rich widows. The "healthy pagan excesses curtailed" include concubinage, infanticide, sodomy, gladiatorial games, and, eventually slavery itself: all practices of the Culture of Death—hardly healthy.
I am a scholar. I read Greek. Do not try to work your humbug on me in my area of expertise. In the West, the literature of the ancient world was preserved by the Church and only by the Church. Had it not been for Christianity, the literature of the Romans and Greeks would have gone the way of the literature of the Hittites and Babylonians.
7. The idea that Christians place no value on human life is belied by this conversation, and by history. You are supporting killing a child in the name of pleasure: I am supporting keeping the child alive in the name of Mother's love and the dignity of the human person. Who abolished the gladiatorial games? Who abolished slavery? Who is opposed to abortion? There is only one society in the history of the world that even regarded all these questions in moral terms: and that is Christendom.
The Christian sees human life as important only in as far as that which comes after it. The inquisitors made use of this logic- it did not matter if the falsely accused died while under torment, they were saved anyway!
The problem you have when arguing with a Christian, is that when you say, 'Christians believe this' or 'Christians say that' and in fact they believe and say the opposite, your credential as an expert witness is undermined.
Christians do indeed see this life as preparatory to the life to come. But, so far in history, we always on the side of life, and against those who would demean it.
No, the Christian opposed the gladiatorial games because (the games) exalted the virtues of bravery and strength over weakness and martyrdom.
The ancient excuse for gladiatorial games, that it prepared young men for the sight and scent of bloodshed, was belied by the time of the later Empire, when the circuses were merely used as an entertainment to divert the idle mobs.
In any case, it was love of humanity, not faintheartedness, that led to the abolition of gladiatorial games. If Christians are too squeamish and effete to appreciate the allegedly manly sport of watching slaves fight each other to the death, why were we suddenly too bold and warlike when the time of the First Crusade rolled around?
The Christian abolished slavery because Christianity IS a slave cult that mistakenly saw human beings as being "equal" in the eyes of God, a Semitic falsehood which even a cursory glance at each Indo-European indigenous faith will put to rest.
William Wilberforce and the other movers behind the abolitionism stated their reasons very clearly and very forcefully, over and over again. On what grounds do you claim to be able to read the minds of these dead men, and tell me their secret purposes were other than what they said they were?
Are you forsooth objecting to the abolition of slavery? I am familiar with the pagan religions of Europe and India, and have a considerable knowledge, more than a cursory glance. Nothing in those religions makes the proposition that some men are born to rule and others born to serve self evident.
In any case, if Christianity were a slave cult, we would support slavery, not abolish it. I notice that the Christian opposition to slavery is over a thousand years old. Even before the fall of Rome, it was held to be unlawful and immoral for one Christian to own another as a slave; and if his slave converted, the master was required to manumit him. I notice that Mohammedans (who do indeed call themselves the submissive slaves of God, and not His sons) have not abolished slavery.
The Christian opposes abortion because he fears the consequences of giving woman control of her sexuality- it may lead to the discovery of paths of ecstasy that lie outside the purview of the church.
First, it is the Gnostics, and not the Christians, who preach that it is dishonorable to be a woman.
Compare this statement:
Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life." Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
The first is from the Gnostic GOSPEL OF THOMAS, the second from the Orthodox EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS.
Second, your conclusion is, to put it politely, unsupported by the facts. You are simply being silly.
Let me take myself as an example. I was an antiabortionist long before I was a Christian. My reason for being an antiabortionist is that I think it wrong to kill a child in the womb for the sake of the convenience of the mother.
It had nothing to do with some hidden desire of mine to prevent female ecstatic religious experience without clerical consent. Not a single antiabortionist writer, modern or ancient, mentions any such thing. Note that Christian opposition to abortion goes all the way back to Roman times: it is not a modern controversy.
Even if, in your bizarre conspiracy theory, the first generation of Christians had opposition to aborticide and infanticide only on the grounds of fear of female religious ecstasy, this is not the grounds on which they taught and persuaded their followers to believe likewise, and so by the second generation, the Christians would oppose aborticide and infanticide on the grounds they were taught: respect for human life.
Indeed, if anything, the sexuality of the woman is demeaned, not improved, by convincing her to slaughter her innocent unborn like a piglet. She turns her back on motherhood, which is the very apex of sexuality and femininity. It is the sex act, the very logic of sexual reproduction, she is trying to undo. In effect, she is trying to make herself a sexless machine: a thing that can enjoy the pleasure of stimulation but escape the consequences and purpose of sex.
What abortionists do is exploit a nervous mother in a time of her moral weakness. Childbirth is a painful process that changes one's life forever: woman get cold feet; they are oppressed with reasonable fears, much as men feel on the eve of combat. For money, the abortionist industry tells the frightened woman to kill her offspring.
But if the abortion mills were honest about what they did, they would allow the mothers to see the ultrasound pictures of the babies in their womb: it is deliberately so that the mother's natural sentiment toward the helpless life within her will be bypassed that the abortionists hide the truth from them. The whole movement is characterized by untruth and euphemism: they will not even use the normal words to say aloud what it is they do.
After, long after the deed is done, mothers with aborted children feel loss and regret, those that retain any human feeling at all. I don't think any male can grasp how deep this feeling goes: it is not coincidence that both the mothers in Roe v Wade and the companion case have come forward publicly and denounced abortion.
The meaning of the Christian opposition to aborticide is the same as our opposition to gladiatorial games, concubinage, temple prostitution, the castration of eunuchs, exposing unwanted infants on hillsides, and so on. We revere human life as a divine gift.
We think you deserve better than what the pleasure-seeking, drug-abusing, women-exploiting, child-killing world has to offer you. You deserve better.
We also, despite what you have heard, revere sexuality as a divine gift, and therefore one not to be abused or mislaid. The respect we pay virgins is not innovation of ours: ask Athena, ask the Vestal Virgins, whether the pagans who came before us adored virginity. The respect we pay mothers and wives, however, is a Christian innovation. No one aside from Christendom abolished concubinage, temple prostitution, polygamy, and other institutions that treat women like brood mares or sex toys.
We Christians see love as something that involves body and soul, not the body only. As such, we reserve the ecstasy of sex to marriage, both as a reward to those men man enough to make the commitment of body and soul to their true love and helpmeet, and as a culmination of what otherwise quickly becomes a degenerate and boring goose-chase after increasingly fugitive pleasures.
When sex is not surrounded and sanctified by the sacrament of marriage, the sex act becomes a commodity, and it loses its allure, and the bored heart begins to lust after sterile and unnatural acts, merely because they are unnatural. Because bodily pleasure is fleeting and futile, the only option aside from chastity is perversion.
Remember that both the cult of chivalry and the notion of personal romance are specifically Christian inventions. We Christians enjoy and understand sex, because we regard it as secondary to love and marriage; and the pagans, ancient or modern, will never enjoy the blessing of sexual pleasure, because you do not understand its role in life.
It is the Christians, not the pagans, who uplift and adore womanhood: we have icons both to a Holy Virgin and Holy Mother (for us, one and the same). We are the ones who do not let men keep harems; we are the ones who condemn divorce, so that the rich and powerful do not simply abandon their wives for younger trophies; we are the ones who forbid prostitution, because it demeans the sacred femininity and humanity of women, and reduces them to the status of a pork chop: meat bought for pleasure.
In any case, someone who glories in strength (as Nietzsche would have it), must also glory in strong men demeaning weak women, abusing and abandoning them: because this is how the strong treat the weak, when human nature has its way.
The horror of the Church fathers at the very idea of feminine sexuality is well known, I need not belabor the point here- their works speak for themselves.
What puerile nonsense you utter. Rather, the Church fathers were horrified (and rightly so) at the abuse of feminine sexuality, the dehumanizing abuse, which they saw all around them during the decadence of the last days of paganism. It is a similar abuse to what we see coming into vogue today. You claim to have read Augustine, Origen, Boethius, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Locke, Barth, Tillich. But you talk like someone who gets his information about what Christians say from a Wiccan bumper sticker.
The attitude of the Church Fathers toward adultery and unchastity was the same as that which we see in the pagan sages, the Jewish Lawgivers, the Norse shaman, the Hindu scholars, the Buddha, the Prophet Mohammed, the sages Confucius and Lao Tzu: indeed, every culture on earth and every period in history, everyone, indeed, except the dazed intellectuals of the modern West, has seen the prudence and natural wisdom of chastity and of faithfulness in marriage.
The specific innovation of Christianity was to reduce marriage to one wife, and to forbid divorce. The increasingly anti-Christian culture of the modern age has successfully normalized divorce, and is taking tentative steps toward normalizing polygamy.
8. To say nothing is worth fighting or dying for is the expression of a lonely man, one without wife or children, community or home, faith, ideals, or anything. It is the expression of a slave. Even the Spartans knew better. You cannot both praise freedom and also say it is not worth dying for, because those not willing to fight and die for liberty cannot long retain it. In any case, freedom is curtailed by vice as much as by tyrants: ask any drunk or drug addict.
Indeed, you are right about this.
But a Christian society demolishes all that is worth fighting for. Princes lose their divinity and are made men; feminine beauty is turned into sin; passion and Dionysian abandon are forbidden; "equality" among men is promised (of course, being contrary to human nature, never delivered); magicians are burned; poets ignored; freedom denied to all but the priestly- those devout enough to deny freedom to themselves! Indeed, postmodern society takes it to it's furthest extent- even when all is permitted, rather than becoming supermen, we'd rather be last men. This "culture of death" is simply the ultimate outcome of the dialectical progression of western, Christian society. All value hierarchies are flattened out- eventually a material "demiurge", a crushing economic and informational collective mind begins to squeeze the last life out of a society that has already been thoroughly crushed by his transcendent brother.
You'd fight for that?
If you recall from point 4 above, I am the one who promotes honor, masculine glory proper to men, and in point 7 I promoted chastity, feminine honor proper to females: I am the one who called freedom a blessing, whereas you merely defined it as the ability of the stronger to remove obstacles, including (as Nietzsche would have it) the obstacles of law and morality and reason.
When you are condemning Christian civilization, there is no point in condemning it for those things common to all civilizations: the pagan philosophers condemned the Dionysian abandon in no uncertain terms. Hesiod ("Observe due measure, moderation is best in all things") Euripides ('Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven,') Plato ('We should pursue and practice moderation.')
You speak as if Christians have only fast-days and not feast-days. Note that Mardi Gras is a Lenten eve festival.
Keep in mind that I am the Christian in this conversation: we the ones who say "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." We are the ones who say "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Far from being effete "Last Men" from Hegel, we are crusaders, unafraid to die, fighters for the truth, who conquered the world: every corner of the globe is now influenced by European, which is to say, Christian, civilization. Our missionaries go everywhere; our trade passes freely; we keep the law of the high seas.
As for poets, I will gladly compare our Christian poets with the pagan poetry the Christians preserved from the ancient world, or the garbage modern pagans of the inchoate school grind out: compare Milton with Virgil, or G.K. Chesterton with T.S. Eliot, for example. It is when Christianity is on the wane (as it has been in the West since 1920 or so) that the poets turn to modernism and gibberish. The last man who wrote a decent poem in English, for my money, was J.R.R. Tolkien.
You are also talking to an American, you cur. Gladly would I fight to throw down worldly princes and strip from them their false claims to divinity! All men are created in the image of God: and if unequal in their powers and faculties, equal they are before the law. Americans are a rabble who defy kings.
You are also talking to someone of gentle birth: if not a peer, at least a baronet. My arms are sable, a chevron enguled argent between three fleurs-de-lis on; on a chief of the last, three spearheads propre; the whole within a bordure, wavy, ermine. My crest is On mount vert, and within an annulet or, a dragon's head couped at the neck, argent, semee of annulets sable, and murally gorged gules. My motto is Mens sibi conscia recti. (see page 868 of Lodge, 1859).
I am also in my own right an esquire, a doctor of the law, and an officer of the court. In olden time, I would have been permitted to carry arms.
Are you really advocating a return to medieval notions of inequality between ranks of men? If so, then be prepared to be judged, not by any accomplishment of your own, but only by the deeds of your father and his fathers. If so, you should find out who outranks you before you become too free in your speech: be prepared to crouch like a dog if you come across a superior.
If you worship strength, be prepared to bow toward mastodons and giants, and fawn on them not because they are better, but because they are stronger than you.
And this "dialectic" you perceive, which leads to a degenerate culture, is the result of the pleasure-seeking you were earlier defending, combined with the moral and metaphysical uncertainty you were earlier vaunting. The corruption is due to an absence of Christian charity and Christian decency, not to a superfluity. It is due to a lack of natural reason.
No, I would say the God-given liberty and equality before the law, the emancipation of women, the abolition of slavery, monotheism and monogamy, our sacred honor and our ancient institutions are indeed worth fighting and dying for.
Precious little else on Earth is worth so much. Certainly the selfishness of Nietzsche, the philosophy of a digger wasp, is not worth defending, nor the philosophy of Hugh Hefner, the philosophy of pigs in a sty. They are not worth shedding blood: they are hardly worth talking about at all.
9. If Christianity is a creed of resentment, why does it not preach and teach people to resent? Why does it preach love and forgiveness, and warn us not to judge our brothers? Speaking only for myself, I think I have much less resentment toward those who offend me than I used to: I even can sometimes forgive Leftists for their bizarre life-hating child-killing creed.
Resentment, more accurately. I am not speaking of your personal resentments, here. Wikipedia: "Resentment is a profound sense of resentment, frustration, and hostility directed at that which one identifies as the cause of one's frustration, generated by a sense of weakness/inferiority and feelings of jealousy/envy in the face of the 'cause', that ultimately generates a rejecting/justifying 'value system' or morality that exists as a means of attacking or denying the perceived source of one's own sense of inferiority."
Well, as much as I might respect what random nineteen-year-olds living in their parents' basements might type into Wikipedia, I respect Mr. Webster more: Resentment: "a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury." Nothing here is said about weakness or frustration. A strong man as well as a weak one can brood over an injury done him: see, for example, Achilles son of Peleus.
Whatever else one might say for or against Christianity, what it teaches and preaches is forgiveness toward one's enemy, turning the other cheek, and to judge not. The teachings in the gospel quite specifically ask the Christian to put aside feelings that one has been wronged, insulted, or injured.
10. Worshipping yourself has you bow to a very small god indeed. It is alien to human nature and ultimately not very satisfying.
Ahh, and this is what I have never understood about Christianity, it has troubled me ever since I was a young boy and continued to until I embraced the consequences: If we are children of god, and created in the image of god, shall we not grow and mature into gods? Did Jesus not say that those who come after him will do greater works than he? By this logic, are not men embryonic gods?
Again, you claim to have read Augustine, Origen, Boethius, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Locke, Barth, Tillich. In all that reading, you never came across any discussion of, for example, Luke 12:32 ("It is your father's good pleasure to grant you the kingdom") or Romans 8:17 ("And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.." etc.) and no discussion of the visions in the Book of the Apocalypse, where various crowns and thrones are said to await the faithful; and no discussion of the promise that the faithful will be given princedoms, and rulership over the earth at the Second Coming and so on? This is not the minority opinion. Looking into the Catholic catechism, I see at paragraph 1029, the saved will reign with Christ forever and ever.
Christian tradition also speaks of the pride of Lucifer, who wished to be set up as God, and hymned and adored, and him merely a creature (albeit a highly exalted one), as if he were the creator.
So, yes, we are children of God and promised glorification: embryonic gods, if you will. The difference between the Christian and the Satanist is that we hold the pathway to godhood is not through self-glorification, but through self-abnegation.
On that ground, I pause in wonder to ask about your chosen pathway toward deification. I assume you traffic with familiar spirits or practice esoteric disciplines. Do you think proud Lucifer or any of these chthonic deities will actually aid you? What are you to him? You talk as if lust for strength and self-centered pleasure-seeking are the only passions in your soul. I hope this is not the case, but if such inhuman hungers grip you, what will you do if these superior infernal beings follow the same philosophy? What if, like Nietzsche, the Prince of Darkness scorns such bourgeoisie conventionalities as, for example, loyalty to his loyal henchmen, or honoring oaths and compacts made in blood? Why would he wish to establish a rival to himself, someone who will supersede him? That bespeaks a fatherly affection and love absent from your badass philosophy.
If the spirits of darkness you worship, O Gnostic, are untrustworthy, they will reward your efforts with some initial successes—your spells will go right for a while. And then when you need them, they will not come when you call.
For that matter, what makes you think Crowley had any humanity or sympathy for you when he wrote his books? Perhaps he regarded all his future readers as vermin and interlopers, and wrote merely lies and self-aggrandizement. When someone preaches that men need not follow reason, truth and justice, and then they promise you some reward for departing from reason, truth, and justice, why in the world would you give them the benefit of the doubt? What if your teacher is sincere, and he is unreasonable, untruthful, and unfair to those who follow his word?
So yes, at the moment, I am a rather small god. But I grow larger every day. My knowledge increases. My challenges increase. My strength increases. My influence increases. The possibilities of my existence increase.
Good luck with that. Our saints and martyrs can beat your magicks hands down, always have, always will, which is why the common people flock to our church: to escape the lonely selfishness of you supermen, your brittle pride, your loveless lives. Our side can heal the sick and raise the dead, forgive sins and wash the soul as white as snow. Can your side turn lead into gold? Can you turn cream into butter?
In any case, what will you do when the summertime is life is flown, and the winters years lean on you, and you find your faculties growing weaker with age and weaker every day? Or is Nietzschean Satanism only a way of life for young men?
What will you do if your child is born with autism? Does he get to be a god, too, or is it only the Great and Powerful who are deified?
What about the poor, the humble, the meek? Are they to be saved, or is the secret of the universe something to be hidden among the Illuminati of the Gnostics? It is a poor sort of truth cannot be shouted from the housetops, with trumpets and bells.
No, to worship oneself is in the very essence of human nature…
I concede this point. You're right. We call it original sin.
But if self-worship is natural to man, why is it found only in the twilight periods of cultures who have exhausted their moral and mental capital? Why does every culture and race of history worship something greater than man, and only modern man bows before the looking glass, adoring what is, after all, merely a funny-looking naked ape?
…as we are children of God, and thus have the "DNA" of divinity within us.
If you are the child of God, why do you not obey your Father?
Someday, many of us will exceed our parent in strength, glory, and knowledge, and forge new worlds and universes beyond this one. That is, those of us who don't give in to his appetites, and allow ourselves to be swallowed up in the collective, whether it calls itself the Church, the State, or the Pleroma...
Who would want to live in one of your universes, magician? You are not even willing to say that a small child dying in his mother's arms should not be put to death by the slow cruel methods of our allegedly merciful doctors: starvation, dehydration, or asphyxiation. That was where this conversation started: you were scoffing at pity.
What good will all your powers do you, if you do not have love? To be swallowed up in love is not to lose one's individuality, but finally, to find it.
May God bless you, sir. I cannot believe you are actually as bad as your words make you out to be. You need to worship a bigger god: you will find tha act will enlarge you.