I don’t believe in God or Satan, but I increasingly wonder whether I should. I greatly admire and regularly learn from the writers Vox Day and Bruce Charlton, so perhaps I should adopt the Christianity that they make central to their work. At the same time, I can separate the ontics from the pragmatics in the epistemics of theistics. That is, I understand that believing in God can be useful whether or not God literally exists. Indeed, I know for myself that merely imagining a God can be useful. The concept of God clarifies and consolidates some valuable techniques of mental, moral and spiritual hygiene.
Even if you’re an atheist (and adiabolist) like me, you might find it useful to ask yourself of your own thoughts and deeds: Would God be pleased with these or would the Devil be cheering you on? By definition, God is the embodiment of Truth, Beauty and Goodness. He wants what’s best for you, me and every other human. Satan, by contrast, is the absolute and eternal enemy of Truth, Beauty and Goodness. He wants what’s worst for you, me and every other human. So it’s a very effective shorthand to ask who would be pleased by what one is doing or thinking: God or Satan? I’ve killed negative trains of thought by asking myself that question. And thereby snapped out of self-pity, bitterness and recrimination. Those are bad things to have in your head – Satanic things, a Christian would say, so it’s no wonder that leftism encourages thoughts like that.
Yes, the same “God or Satan?” question applies just as much to the political as the personal. Indeed, the political is the personal, because the politics you espouse reflect what kind of person you are. Is someone interested in power rather than Truth, Beauty and Goodness? Then they will espouse leftism. And that gives leftists some big advantages. It is easier to pursue power when you don’t have to worry about truth, morality and aesthetics. This is related to the fact that it’s easier to destroy than to create. Leftism is the ideology of destruction, not creation, and that again gives leftists an advantage. They are energized and encouraged by destruction, decay and degradation – by ugliness and evil in the arts and entertainment, by the elevation of thuggish Black criminals like George Floyd to sainthood, and by the flooding of White Christian nations with unattractive, unproductive and unintelligent non-Whites.
Hope creates morale, morale wins wars
Those of us who oppose leftism are not encouraged and energized by those things. Quite the opposite. And so it’s easy to be dismayed and demoralized by them – in short, to slip into despair. But that’s where the “God or Satan?” question proves useful once again. Christianity has always taught that hope is virtuous and despair is damnable. As Vox Day puts it: “The choice is between the hope of Jesus Christ and the despair of Satan.” Despair is what our enemies want us to feel, because it does their fighting for them. As Vox Day has also said: “Hope is what generates morale, and morale is what wins wars and every other form of conflict that requires endurance.” Here are some excellent blog-posts by Day on the subject of hope and despair:
As he says in the first blog-post above: “Words not only describe reality, they shape reality by influencing thoughts.” Feeling despair yourself is bad enough; seeking to infect others with despair is worse still. That’s why defeatism has often – and rightly, in my opinion – been a capital offence in times of war. It’s exactly what the enemy wants you to practise. If you oppose the enemy and his ideology, why do you do his work for him?
Despair is always wrong
And if you understand the world, why do you feel despair in the first place? That’s because one essential part of understanding the world is the recognition that you don’t and can’t fully understand the world and its future course. That is, the world is too complex and you know too little of it to warrant a firm belief in one outcome or another. Despair isn’t just stupid and self-defeating: it’s egotistical. By indulging in it or encouraging it in others, we set ourselves up as something we are not and cannot be: infallible prophets and prognosticators. And if you want to understand better this aspect of the wrongness of despair, I strongly recommend a blog-post by Bruce Charlton entitled “Palantir problems… Tolkien on the evil of despair.” Here’s an extract from the post:
And – simply put – despair is always wrong because we never have conclusive reasons to give-up hope.
Despair is not based on probability, but certainty – and that certainty is always false. A high probability of a bad outcome should be called pessimism. It is not despair because it is a best guess, and estimate; and we realise that even the very improbable sometimes happens.
Note: It is vital to distinguish between despair and pessimism; and between hope and optimism.
Despair is a sin, and is always-wrong; hope is a virtue and (for a Christian) always-right. Optimism and pessimism are merely conjectural judgments about the likely future – constrained by individual ability, information and honesty…
But more fundamentally, despair is not even about strict probabilities of the future of a known situation; since we are very unlikely to be framing, to be understanding accurately, the real nature of the situation.
Even if we know a lot about a situation, we never know every-thing about it; and some specific thing (some ‘fact’) that we do Not know, may have the capacity to transform our understanding. (“Palantir problems… Tolkien on the evil of despair,” Bruce Charlton at The Notion Club Papers, 5th January 2021)
Bruce Charlton is writing about what he calls “Tolkien’s frequent theme that it is always wrong to despair” [his emphasis]. And that theme is another of the many ways in which Tolkien’s great work Lord of the Rings (1954-5) is invaluable for White nationalists. We can do more than refresh our souls and rejoice our spirits by reading Tolkien: we can learn how to conduct ourselves in the war between the friends and the enemies of Truth, Beauty and Goodness. In one section of Lord of the Rings, one great and noble character is driven to despair by what he learns from a palantír, a crystal ball that allows the skilled and strong-minded to learn of distant events.
The character learns much, but he misinterprets what he sees, because despite his wisdom he fails to understand his own limitations. As Bruce Charlton says: “Even if we know a lot about a situation, we never know every-thing about it; and some specific thing (some ‘fact’) that we do Not know, may have the capacity to transform our understanding.”
“Westward, look, the land is bright!”
This has long been a theme of literature. In the ancient myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, Theseus’ father Aegeus, King of Athens, casts himself in despair into the sea when he sees the black sails of an approaching ship. Theseus has been successful in his fight with the Minotaur, but has forgotten to hoist the white sails that he promised his father would signal victory. So Aegeus despaired and died, misinterpreting what he saw and failing to wait for the truth. And here is the Victorian poet Arthur Clough (1819-61) using the power of verse to compress into a few lines what Tolkien, in his different genre, takes many thousands of words to say:
Say Not the Struggle Availeth Naught
Say not the struggle nought availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright!