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Precursors of Samaelite Philosophy: Voltaire, reason, deism and theism

Curia Europae - Ordo Adamantis Atri. curiaeuropae@gmail.com

"There is a common and mistaken belief that Satanism does not believe in God. The concept of 'God', as interpreted by man, has varied so much over the centuries that the Satanist simply accepts the definition that seems best to him. The mighty force that pervades the Universe is too impersonal to be concerned with the happiness or misfortune of flesh and blood creatures". (Lavey, The Satanic Bible).



Summary

The Samaelite philosophy understands God from the same perspective as that expounded by Lavey in "The Satanic Bible", a perspective which, in turn, comes from the Age of Enlightenment and, more specifically, from the rationalist encyclopaedism promoted by Voltaire. However, in contrast to Lavey, who stated the impossibility of communicating with God as one of the bases for not dealing with Him at all and not taking charge of the consequences that his affirmation implies, both Voltaire and Samaelism articulate around this idea a whole Philosophy based on the rejection of theism, the affirmation of reason and above all, of absolute human freedom precisely, as a path towards the idea of Divinity, ("powerful force that permeates the Universe") which for us is identified with the Pharmonic. Keywords: Deism, theism, reason, Voltaire, Samaelism.


The crisis of the European conscience that the Age of Enlightenment brought about had a central point in the area of religion: the process of preparation and struggle against tradition and the separation of morality and religion. Deism or natural religion was born. This belief in a single, eternal, infinite, wise and creative Being, conservative and sovereign monarch, but outside all revelation, apart from any traditional religion. In France, however, this debate that agitated the intellectual classes in the half-century immediately preceding the Revolution was not entirely a conflict between religion and philosophy, between religious faith and scientific thought; it was primarily a conflict between philosophers and Catholic Christianity. In this predominant theme Voltaire presents himself as fully convinced that the contemplation of the order of nature and its harmony, regularity and complexity, necessarily leads to the certainty of the existence of an Almighty Creator.


"It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason: (Pylos. Dic., chap.(( 196, faith).

However, this position is opposed on the one hand to the possibility of demonstrating the essence of God in a rationalist-metaphysical way, and on the other hand to the exclusivity of any established religious institution. This natural, universal and supra-confessional religion does not need revelation or special miracles to convince. In the first seven letters of the Lettres philosophiques, in numerous dialogues, in the Traite sur la tolerance and, above all, these religious questions were reflected in his Dictionnaire phüosophique in which articles on religious and biblical criticism make up the largest number. What is more, this problem underlies all his correspondence, his short stories and his work as a whole. Throughout his life, Voltaire maintained a constant concern: the defence of natural religion. As early as his Lettres philosophiques, we can see this attitude, which consisted of suppressing all content - dogma or mystery - and all sentiment in religion. With this youthful work he inaugurated his deism as a reaction to the fanaticism and enthusiasm of the militants of a particular religion. From his primitive and youthful contempt for the miracles, mysteries and myths that comfort the people, from his often derisive scepticism towards Christian doctrines such as the Trinity or the Incarnation, Voltaire evolved towards a more radical stance: harsh and violent criticism of the established religion and all that it represented: the Church, priests, monks, prerogatives, intolerance.....

There is not space in this blog to detail the full scope of Voltaire's religious thought. But it is possible to bring out the relation of his idea of "Natural Religion" to the philosophical scheme of Samaelism with regard to religion. Samaelism posits the rational affirmation of the existence of God. Not as a Revelation granted by a Superior Being, but as a purely rational exercise of man (Treatise on Samaelite Doctrine, 2023). And then the rational discourse stops right there: Of God we can only say that He exists (Exalogy of the Serpent no. 1).

Therefore, all subsequent talk about God cannot be established as certain knowledge, but as mere unverifiable hypotheses, the fruit, if anything, of man's legitimate attempts to understand something else. From this perspective, Samaelism views all attitudes to the Mystery, including Satanism, as positive.


But he by no means shares any attempt to base on God a social order that compromises the absolute freedom of human belief, thought, and ways of life, and it is here again that we meet Voltaire:

"I find myself, here, with Armenian Christians who say that it is not allowed to eat hare; with Greeks who assert that the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Son; with Nestorians who deny that Mary is the mother of God; with some Latins who boast that in the far West the Christians of Europe think differently from those of Asia and Africa. I know that, in Europe, ten or twelve sects anathematise each other; the Muslims around me look down on all those Christians whom they nevertheless tolerate. The Jews also execrate the Christians and the Moslems; the Parsees despise them all; and the few Sabeans who are left would not eat with any of those whom I have named to you: the Brahmin can bear neither Sabeans, nor Parsees, nor Christians, nor Moslems, nor Jews".

In conclusion, it seems obvious to us that we agree with Voltaire in the affirmation of the idea of God as an exercise of reason. In the rejection of all forms of slavery based on this idea, and in the absolute freedom of human belief and morality. The forms of Samaelite spirituality, related to prayer, meditation and magic, have an absolute explanation related to the traditional forms of religion and are completely beyond the scope of this article; they belong to the more esoteric Doctrine of Samaelism, imparted to its members.


Bibliography:

Ordo Adamantis Atri (2023). Treatise on Samaelite Doctrine. OAA.

Voltaire (2022). Anti-Christian Writings. ED. Laetoli.

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