Alasdair MacIntyre, Alexandra James, Anton LaVey, Friedrich Nietzsche, G.W.F. Hegel, gender, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Hebrew Bible, John Milton, music, qualitative individualism, Satan, Satanism, Twin Temple
One philosophical principle I have tried to live by is: there is truth in everything. This is a weaker version of Ken Wilber’s “Everybody is right”: many people are wrong, about many things, but they come to their wrong views for a reason. I take this principle to underlie Hegel’s dialectical method: one should transcend and include every view, which is to say preserve the truth and the reasons underlying a wrong view while leaving aside what is wrong in it.
One thing that led me to this view: as a teenager I was deeply anti-Christian. I saw in Christianity only an oppressive anti-gay, anti-feminist politics – a pillar of Reagan’s Moral Majority coalition. As an adult, though, I came to appreciate Christianity – never adopting its worldview, but coming to see in Christianity a similar kind of self-cultivation to the Buddhist one that had changed my life.
But a true Hegelian, I think, needs to find the truth not only in Christianity but also in its opposite. Hegel himself spends a great deal of time in the Phenomenology looking for truth in Enlightenment anti-clericalism alongside Christian faith itself. In an era later than Hegel’s, though, we now see anti-Christian views taken further than the Enlightenment thinkers ever dreamed: a significant number of people now openly embrace Satanism. And I think it is also important to see the truth in that.Continue reading