Author Topic: Epicureanism vs. Hedonism within Satanism  (Read 71 times)

Cabshear

Epicureanism vs. Hedonism within Satanism
« on: November 26, 2017, 10:25:31 pm »
Greetings,

I think a common misunderstanding with Satanism is the idea that it allows or encourages Hedonism, which would be a haphazard, undisciplined and irrational pursuit of pleasure. In the rare times I have to explain Satanism, since I usually keep it to myself (at least until someone stumbles into my Intellectual Decompression Chamber) I am very quick to explain that, as a Satanist, I consider myself Epicurean and not Hedonistic.

Rand saw Hedonism as the other side of the altruistic coin. Where altruism demanded my sacrifice to others, hedonism would be my expectation of others to sacrifice their interest for me. Also, I would consider Hedonism to be what Ayn Rand called: Whim Worship. This would be emotional thinking, essentially flying by the seat of your pants and acting for pleasure with impunity. It is irrational self interest and tends to not only be destructive toward the people you care about, but can also be self destructive. IMO, I see hedonism as the resulting behavior of unconscious Egoism. Hedonism results from compulsive irrational self interest. Once a healthy Egoism is formed in the Satanist then the Carnal aspect can be accepted and celebrated from a rational perspective.

Further, I draw another conclusion inspired from a chapter in The Satanic Scriptures. In the book Magus Gilmore describes the Carnals and the Etherals. Etherals are divided against themselves, splitting themselves up because it is hard for them to accept the Ego. IMO, this incessant need to constantly be divided against one's own Self makes for serious confusion and personal anguish. This can lead to an unhealthy approach toward pleasure. Carnals, who can accept themselves and don't need to constant be at war with who they are can have a healthy and rational approach toward pleasure and enjoyment.

I hold that one cannot achieve happiness by random, arbitrary or subjective means. One can achieve happiness only on the basis of rational values. By rational values, I do not mean anything that a man may arbitrarily or blindly declare to be rational. -Ayn Rand in a Playboy Interview 1964

Rand was one of many philosophers that inspired Anton LaVey's Satanism. I enjoy her works, and agree with her assertion. Random, chaotic, arbitary pleasures are un-Satanic, Satanism doesn't support chaotic and destructive behavior like Drug and Alcohol abuse.

Epicurianism, while it is a form of hedonism, does not share in the colloquial definition of modern hedonism.


In modern popular usage, an epicurean is a connoisseur of the arts of life and the refinements of sensual pleasures; epicureanism implies a love or knowledgeable enjoyment especially of good food and drink—see the definition of gourmet at Wiktionary.

Because Epicureanism posits that pleasure is the ultimate good (telos), it has been commonly misunderstood since ancient times as a doctrine that advocates the partaking in fleeting pleasures such as constant partying, sexual excess and decadent food. This is not the case. Epicurus regarded ataraxia (tranquility, freedom from fear) and aponia (absence of pain) as the height of happiness. He also considered prudence an important virtue and perceived excess and overindulgence to be contrary to the attainment of ataraxia and aponia.
-Epicureanism from Wikipedia

So, essentially as a Satanist I prefer to being a personal "connoisseur" of good food, good drink, friends, and a generally well balanced and reasonable good time. Not a constant wreak-less, destructive, and mindless hedonism. This would violate the law of Self Preservation, not to mention the possibility of putting others in harms way. Also, as a side note there is no refusal or abnegation of Self-Discipline within the Satanic Philosophy. As a matter of fact, for myself, ritual has been a useful method for building self discipline not just with good food and drink, but also within the Gym.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 10:28:34 pm by Cabshear »
I say: liberate yourself as far as you can, and you have done your part; for it is not given to every one to break through all limits, or, more expressively, not to everyone is that a limit which is a limit for the rest. - Max Stirner, The Ego and it's Own

Liu

Re: Epicureanism vs. Hedonism within Satanism
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 04:48:59 am »
Welcome!

I basically agree with your assertion.
Pure hedonism is potentially self-destructive.

I wouldn't say it has no place in Satanism, though. Sometimes one first has to explore the extremes to find the balance in the middle. Shouldn't be done completely mindlessly, though, of course.

Kapalika

Re: Epicureanism vs. Hedonism within Satanism
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2017, 09:50:37 am »
I came in here ready thinking I was gonna find a lot to pick apart. Particularly when I read Rand was involved.

I was pleasantly surprised. I can't find much wrong with this, seems pretty balanced to me. I also really like the focus on ataraxia as opposed to outright pleasure.

The only thing I'd qualify is that I don't think altruism has to be irrational like "hedonism" is here. At least, in the way rational hedonism (Epicureanism) is differentiated maybe rational altruistic acts need to be too.
My Music and Blog // My Chatroom
My religion is Satanism & Trika via Vāmācāra (Left Hand path)
"God and the individual are one, to realize this is the essence of Shaivism.” - Lakshman Joo

Xepera maSet

Re: Epicureanism vs. Hedonism within Satanism
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2017, 01:22:56 pm »
This is very interesting, thank you for sharing.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

Cabshear

Re: Epicureanism vs. Hedonism within Satanism
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 02:42:44 am »
I came in here ready thinking I was gonna find a lot to pick apart. Particularly when I read Rand was involved.

I was pleasantly surprised. I can't find much wrong with this, seems pretty balanced to me. I also really like the focus on ataraxia as opposed to outright pleasure.

The only thing I'd qualify is that I don't think altruism has to be irrational like "hedonism" is here. At least, in the way rational hedonism (Epicureanism) is differentiated maybe rational altruistic acts need to be too.

Thanks.

My Egoism is firmly rooted in Satanism. There are many good sources for Egoism. James Walker's works in Egoism, A bible not borrowed from the neighbors, Speaks of a "temporary altruism" of the egoist. Simply this is deferring gratifacation for a much more lucrative long term egoistic benefit.

Ex. Defer the immediate gratifacation of pizza or pop to contribute to healthier body.

I always appreciated Rand's criticism of altruism. My life doesnt exist to be mortaged out to others. Other's aren't to be mortgaged out for me. My life is not a means to someone elses end, it's an end in and of itself.

Collectivism depends on people not considering this becuase their resources, the lives and assests of others,  begin to dry up. Thus, labeling rational self interest as "evil", "white supremacy" ensures that the masses will be willing to serve up their lives to the religious and social idols.

To step away from Rand to Stirner he considers God, The State, The Good of the People to be ghosts. Spectres in the mind. Essentially they are Ideals drummed up in the minds of Men. We can face all manner of social or religous condemnation for not tossing aside our views and upholding their ideals.

"As Human Environments change,  no human ideal stands sure!" - The Book of Satan, TSB

"There is nothing inherintly sacred about moral codes. Like the printed idols of old, they are the work of human hands. What man has made, man can destroy." - The Book of Satan, TSB

« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 03:04:52 am by Cabshear »
I say: liberate yourself as far as you can, and you have done your part; for it is not given to every one to break through all limits, or, more expressively, not to everyone is that a limit which is a limit for the rest. - Max Stirner, The Ego and it's Own


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