Taboos and BlasphemyPosted: June 8, 2013
Challenging and breaking taboos is often a key aspect of Satanism and other left hand paths. Indeed our natural tendency to do just that may be one of the signposts that lead us to this path in the first place. I believe it is good to challenge and break taboos a lot of the time. It is something I am unapologetic about doing myself. In this post I intend to explain why; however I do think there are limits to the usefulness or appropriateness of breaking taboos and I will speak of that too.
A taboo is something which is generally seen to be proscribed or forbidden by society. Very often the reason why it is forbidden is obscure and so is the authority by which it is forbidden. We are left with a general belief that something is wrong or bad but are not encouraged to question why it is seen that way. In reality the root cause of something being seen as taboo is very often religious in nature and the authority for something’s prohibition comes from the God or church which has dominated the social structure in a particular place. Thus, where I live many things which are taboo are seen that way directly because of the Christian church. A church I don’t believe in. A church whose teachings I oppose.
A case in point is homosexuality. Pretty much the only reason that homosexuality is still seen as taboo in many areas is religious. In my part of the world the “Moral Authorities” who are most violently opposed to homosexuals having equal rights are the powers of Christianity and Islam. There is in fact nothing whatsoever wrong with homosexuality and the attitude of the religious agents of social control have done great harm and caused great suffering to homosexuals. I am bisexual myself and presently in a relationship with a woman. In effect every time we have sex I am breaking a taboo.
So, sometimes it is good to break taboos simply because the premise on which they are based is entirely wrong and the moral authorities should be challenged.
As Satanists we are obliged to think about and question everything ourselves and rely on our own judgements. Moreover we don’t submit to the doctrines or authorities of any other religion, especially Christianity. Therefore we pretty much have to break taboos on a daily basis. It is in a sense our mission to confront and illuminate the lunacy of many of the moral values our society has inherited from it’s Christian history.
But all people break taboos sometimes and it can be psychologically helpful to our own development. The chances are that your first drink, your first cigarette, the first time you masturbated, had sex, experimented with drugs, got a tattoo or read a book your parents wouldn’t approve of; you were breaking a taboo in some context or other. We all challenge the rules as we grow up in order to decide who we want to be, and carve out our own personalities. We don’t always continue with all the things we try, but most of us do experiment. We do break the rules. And very often we get a kick out of it too. The kick can be addictive and there are inherent dangers in all addictions, a point I shall return to later… But to an extent we all need to break taboos in order to grow up and live full and satisfying lives. I could have remained a non drinking, non smoking, pure and blameless virgin who never questioned anything and kept within the boundaries all the time and always did as society required. In which case I would have nothing to say or write about and would consider my life a waste. Besides, I’ve never had any desire to be a robot or a sheep.
Many taboos are also culturally and geographically specific. In the west we generally find the idea of eating dog to be abhorrent while in other countries it is considered a delicacy. We don’t mind eating sheep or cows though; even nice little bunny rabbits! I recently saw a travel documentary which featured some children in Indonesia innocently collecting dragonflies and then roasting them on sticks and eating them. The point is that most taboos are based not on some universal law we all share, but on the subjective beliefs and practices of specific communities.
There are of course some taboos which do have some logic behind them. I will certainly never break the incest taboo. Not because some unnamed authority says it is forbidden, but because I am aware of facts that lead me to think it is a very bad and potentially harmful activity. Whatever creed we profess, if we decide to break a rule we should do so thoughtfully and mindfully and be prepared to take the consequences. Some rules are there for a reason and we need to develop the intelligence to recognise such things. Satanism is not alone in detesting stupidity.
One area of taboo that is particularly popular with Satanists is blasphemy. As defined by thefreedictionary.com blasphemy is