Satanists and sympathetic parties often claim that Satanism has nothing to do with the Christian Satan since its adherents do not believe in God or, strictly speaking, in the Devil at all.
The reason this will never fly with Christians--though it may sway those not familiar with Christianity or its core beliefs--is that the denial of God and Satan's existence is a Satanic act in the classically Christian sense. To go about claiming that God is a fiction, a mere mechanism of social control, and that the individual human being and his worldly desires have the highest place in the cosmos, is to preach utter damnation.
Satan is indeed an archetype. In earliest history he was identified as a figure hostile to humanity, sort of a chief prosecutor who accuses us and works for our defeat. As this figure was developed and interpreted over the centuries, he came to be seen as the enemy of God and all His works, one who seeks to destroy life, joy, trust, creativity, all that comes from the Divine. To suddenly assign these positive qualities to Satan is akin to pointing at a stop sign and announcing:
- That it actually means "Speed Up".
- That the common perception that it means "Stop" is a lie spread by would-be enslavers and believed only by weaklings and fools.
- That barreling your way through busy intersections at top speed is a much more authentic and pleasurable way to drive.