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September 18, 2010


Slim Wirth

"Fish don’t see the water that they swim in. It is an invisible part of their world. Likewise, we do not see our see-ing, the lenses or meaning-making systems through which we perceive, interpret and act on the world around us. Unlike fish, however, occasionally we have an opportunity to see and change our lens."

Jesus Reyes

"The modern system is “prop-agenda.”, the control of what we think about. social control is more covert. we generally don't notice or laugh at the notion it even exists.

When our governments want to sell, by making sure it's the only thing on the agenda. They pre-load the discussion with selected images, devious and prejudicial language, dubious linkages, weak or false “intelligence” and selected “leaks”.

Strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views

Create the sense of free thinking but all the while the system are being reinforced by the limits.

The people are allowed to speak out, but control that voice, control what people think."

Michael M.

That's a good point. I wonder though, if they're not buying into that themselves by naming themselves in such terms, while simultaneously describing themselves as very different. After all, it seems reasonable to assume that if people have Satan in the name of their group, they have at least something to do with Satan. It almost becomes a type of double-speak, though time may also play a role. After all, the original atheists weren't really arguing in a society where polytheism, or anything besides Christianity, was really on the agenda. Satanists, in the modern Church of Satanism vein were, however.


You said, "After all, the original atheists weren't really arguing in a society where polytheism, or anything besides Christianity, was really on the agenda." Did you just misspeak here, or is this what you really meant to say? Atheism pre-dates Christianity by quite a lot.


It's a very clever way of slipping doctrine past people's social defenses by controlling what is seen as relevant to discuss, rather than trying to oppose things directly. People notice "This is clearly false because I, personally, don't already believe it" a lot more easily than they see "Oh, this is silly, and hey, what about this other topic over here?"

And it's great for keeping people in the fold: when you reflexively turn dissenting views into ridiculous strawmen, there's zero motivation to bother understanding any view other than your own. It's the vicious cycle of reduced understanding causing reduced empathy ("Who could believe such stupid things?"), which in turn causes more reduced understanding ("Why bother trying to figure them out?"), ad infinitum.

Lin Wells

...To create man was a quaint and original idea, but to add the sheep was tautology.- Mark Twain's Notebook, 1902-1903

Michael M.

Yeah, I did misspeak. I meant it in the post-Enlightenment Western sense. As in it took time for Europeans to safely articulate a non-Christian paradigm.

Tim Sean

This is really perceptive. I hadn't been in a position to think about our cultural language in this way. I also like the term "coercive speech."

Matt Mikalatos

It seems to me that Anton LeVay purposely couched his philosophy using Christian terminology (baptisms, black mass and all), so it's not surprising that Christians and others without any detailed knowledge of LeVay's brand of Satanism would fail to realize that it's a philosophy that completely denounces supernaturalism. If all you see is a picture of a guy with red robes and a snake saying he follows Satan, there's no reason to assume he's referring to Satan as a symbol for something else, and the more sensational news coverage of Satanism rarely has any depth to exploring the actual beliefs of the participants. LaVey was a smart guy, though, and I'm sure he chose to enter the language game in this way with eyes wide open.


I'm sure you're already all over this Pew survey showing atheists and agnostics are way more knowledgeable about religion than religious folks, but just in case you were in a coma and missed it, here's one link: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/09/28/130191248/atheists-and-agnostics-know-more-about-bible-than-religious?sc=17&f=1001. I look forward to your take on it!


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