What does the sixth tenet mean?

The sixth of the Seven Tenets is:

Tenet 6: People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one’s best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.

As with all of the tenets, the sixth tenet is not a “commandment” nor is it rule to be forced on other people. The tenets are fundamental ethical principles that we strive to embody in our own thoughts and actions. Satanists interpret and apply the tenets differently. It is fundamentally unsatanic to use any tenet either to rationalize a decision or to try to coerce or manipulate the behaviors of others. For more general discussion of the Seven Tenets and their role in the religious beliefs of The Satanic Temple, see: What are the seven tenets?

Tenet VI is often brought up in the context of forgiveness. It is a natural connection to make, after all: The first sentence of the tenet is a broad acknowledgement that both you and all of the people around you can “mess up” from time to time. If that is true, and if we have compassion and empathy for people (Tenet I), does it not follow that we should forgive people for their mistakes and give them a chance to make amends?

Perhaps; but that is not what Tenet VI is calling upon the Satanist to do.

Look again at the second sentence of the Sixth Tenet: that sentence is not an instruction for the person who was harmed by a mistake, it is an instruction for the person who made the mistake. This tenet is not a call to be magnanimous: it is a call to be humble. This tenet does not encourage you to forgive: it encourages you to do the work to earn forgiveness from others.


These are some services from the Satanic Ministry Archives that specifically explore topics related to Tenet 6:

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