The Satanic Temple has a bad rep, and yet its beliefs, expressed in the temple’s Seven Fundamental Tenets, are far from what most people would consider evil.
Writing on his blog The Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta says that the tenets are “perfectly reasonable.”
Reasonable when compared to the Ten Commandments, Mehta writes, “which so many politicians and religious leaders uphold as the basis for our collective ethics. While some of them are just plain silly (“Thou shalt have no other gods before me”), others condemn behavior that’s not even all that bad (“Thou shalt not covet”).”
Read the Seven Fundamental Tenets below:
- One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
- The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
- One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
- The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
- Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
- People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
- Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.
They operate by promoting positive behaviors which can actively better individuals and the society they are a part of, rather than focusing on the negative extremes of what “thou shalt not” do.
Instead of providing active positive guidelines that functionally apply to improving the way a person interacts with others, four of the Ten Commandments are focused entirely on not making God jealous. As long as one does not take God’s name in vain, make idols, forget about the Sabbath day, or murder anyone, almost everything else is ethically on the table.
Featured image via Flickr