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 Post subject: Paganism
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 15:53 
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Okay, I've been lurking though there's a lot I haven't read yet. Please excuse my ignorance. I'm curious about paganism.

For starters, should the word be capitalized?

What is it all about, short version, your own words?


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 18:16 
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My views on it? Personally?
You may need to get properly medicated for this ... :barman:


Well, I recognize that many people who call themselves pagan, heathen, or a witch are looking to use a counter-cultural, somewhat incendiary term to bother folks in more institutionalized and powerful religious systems. While I'm sure I could pull up some great philosophical/ theological mumbo-jumbo about dualities and such, personally, I think it's a lot more basic.

Modern pagans, even those in more codified religions, are really looking for something that works for them. Rather than having a desire to conform and have others do their thinking for them, they want to make choices, and they're willing to take some responsibility for that. They want to be able to pick and chose when it comes to an understanding of the supernatural world.

Overall, they tend to recognize and take a more active role in their interactions with the supernatural as well as the natural world. They tend to look to the positive of every natural event, even recognizing the natural phenomena that occur as, quite possibly, having absolutely nothing to do with the supernatural world. As such, they tend, in many ways, to be more conscientious of not only their own actions and the repercussions of them, but also that others may not see things as they do, and, as such, be much more accepting of differing viewpoints.

As to the term itself and it's use? I wouldn't bother capitalizing it. I doubt there's any such thing as a 'typical pagan' (Yeah, I know, I just sort of profiled one above, but here I'm talking about beliefs and practices. Just have another drink and I'll continue ... :beer4:), the possible combinations and interpretations are just too widely varied. As such, I don't think you can call it a single 'Pagan' religion like Islam, Christianity or Buddhism. Even while those have their sets and cults, they still share some major commonalities.

Now some of the groups who are included within the pagan umbrella would be those like Wicca and Asatru, who follow varying degrees of closed or focused pantheons, and hold some core ethical aspects among adherents. Asatru is much more closed, while Wicca has an aspect of individual growth and knowledge (the personal or coven-level 'Book of Shadows'), and even within these groups there are some differences in interpretation or focus which lead to them being seen as 'splinter groups' and having the same sorts of arguments as you might see between Catholics and Protestants. But there are many, many pagans that are not in any such sort of grouped category.

Now ...

Did that make sense? :umm:

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 19:19 
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Hex wrote:
My views on it? Personally?
You may need to get properly medicated for this ... :barman:

Oh, well, you're in luck tonite.

Quote:
Well, I recognize that many people who call themselves pagan, heathen, or a witch are looking to use a counter-cultural, somewhat incendiary term to bother folks in more institutionalized and powerful religious systems. While I'm sure I could pull up some great philosophical/ theological mumbo-jumbo about dualities and such, personally, I think it's a lot more basic.

So 'stick it to the man' is part of it, so to speak. I'm on board with that.

Quote:
Modern pagans, even those in more codified religions, are really looking for something that works for them. Rather than having a desire to conform and have others do their thinking for them, they want to make choices, and they're willing to take some responsibility for that. They want to be able to pick and chose when it comes to an understanding of the supernatural world.

On board once again. You aren't giving me anything to argue against. :evil:

Quote:
Overall, they tend to recognize and take a more active role in their interactions with the supernatural as well as the natural world. They tend to look to the positive of every natural event, even recognizing the natural phenomena that occur as, quite possibly, having absolutely nothing to do with the supernatural world. As such, they tend, in many ways, to be more conscientious of not only their own actions and the repercussions of them, but also that others may not see things as they do, and, as such, be much more accepting of differing viewpoints.

Hammer out a few terms (such as 'supernatural') and I imagine no one except the fundamentalist atheist would object.

Quote:
As to the term itself and it's use? I wouldn't bother capitalizing it. I doubt there's any such thing as a 'typical pagan' (Yeah, I know, I just sort of profiled one above, but here I'm talking about beliefs and practices. Just have another drink and I'll continue ... :beer4:),

Done. Another drink; plus I won't bother capitalizing the word.

Quote:
the possible combinations and interpretations are just too widely varied. As such, I don't think you can call it a single 'Pagan' religion like Islam, Christianity or Buddhism. Even while those have their sets and cults, they still share some major commonalities.

So what are those major commonalities? Just to be clear, I don't care so much what you believe, I care about how you behave. If I could think of an example I would share it, but I cant right now so I won't, and it's your own fault for telling me to drink first.

Quote:
Now some of the groups who are included within the pagan umbrella would be those like Wicca and Asatru, who follow varying degrees of closed or focused pantheons, and hold some core ethical aspects among adherents. Asatru is much more closed, while Wicca has an aspect of individual growth and knowledge (the personal or coven-level 'Book of Shadows'), and even within these groups there are some differences in interpretation or focus which lead to them being seen as 'splinter groups' and having the same sorts of arguments as you might see between Catholics and Protestants. But there are many, many pagans that are not in any such sort of grouped category.

What? I don't know what 'patheons' are, whether closed or focused. I've heard of 'Wicca' though not of 'Asutru'. I kinda like what I've heard of Wicca - nature based, and not at all evil. And I'm not opposed to belief in a deity, though I'd like to hear a reason why I should believe in such.

Quote:
Did that make sense? :umm:

Too much, and not enough. Obviously you hope to make a case and convince people. or this site wouldn't exist. I'm mostly on your side - you won't find a much easier target. I still don't know what paganism is about. Probably because my questions suck.


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 20:27 
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Asking specific questions isn't a waste. A lot of thios can be nebulous, and reiterating it can clear it up.

I'm not sure what you're looking for overall, Garrett. So I'll try to answer what I think you are asking...

pagan should only be capitalized when it starts a sentance. ;) It's a slang term that basically means the same as 'hick', and settled on the specificacy of religious hicks. It was a term used by Christians the way Jews used gentile--- to separate 'us' and 'them'. As such, we're a worse lot to herd than atheists, because some of us border on no belief at all, and some border on the literal 'there are monsters under my bed'. What we are is non-Abrahmic. Hindu counts, and there is some argument for different types of Bhuddism.

supernatural, I believe most pagans would agree, is merely something that hasn't been explained by science yet.

This site is here as a community builder. There's nothing to prove (I'll get to that). Some of us noticed that there were no sites where different religions could meet up, and none that were really science friendly. So, we're trying. It's slow, but good.

Why should you believe in gods? Damned if I know. There is no damnation nor salvation based on faith. Some religions have a rewardsystem, but that would be true no matter what you believe, and some don't. All I personally care about is that I am not discriminated against based on my faith or lack there of. It all comes down to the old sayiong:

No matter what path we chose, we are all going home.

Why don't you believe? Maybe you aren;'t flakey enough to believe a myth? Maybe Spirit (to steal a concept from the Spiritualists) hasn't revealed itself to you yet. Maybe it never will.

It's the opposite of Pascal's wager. There may be or may not be something out there. Your belief in it does not affect your eternal soul (if it exists). So what does it matter?

For me, I don't know if there is anything 'out there'. But following ritual pleases me, so I do. And I like to party. :occasion1:

Now, your other point seems to be, how do pagans behave? Well, it's a nasty fact that a lot of upper eschalon Nazis were pagan, so there, we can be evil. We can be flakey. We can be selfish and mean and cranky. We can be friendly and nice and sweet and good.

We're basically just like you... ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 20:54 
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Aaaaannnnnnd ... jess beat me to it. I'm posting mine anyhow, since, as much as we have in common, they are a bit different ...

Garrett wrote:
Hex wrote:
My views on it? Personally?
You may need to get properly medicated for this ... :barman:

Oh, well, you're in luck tonite.
:cheers: Cheers! Prost! Skol! :cheers:

Garrett wrote:
Quote:
Overall, they tend to recognize and take a more active role in their interactions with the supernatural as well as the natural world. They tend to look to the positive of every natural event, even recognizing the natural phenomena that occur as, quite possibly, having absolutely nothing to do with the supernatural world. As such, they tend, in many ways, to be more conscientious of not only their own actions and the repercussions of them, but also that others may not see things as they do, and, as such, be much more accepting of differing viewpoints.

Hammer out a few terms (such as 'supernatural') and I imagine no one except the fundamentalist atheist would object.


I'll use the definition of supernatural that I use for teaching (from Webster's IIRC): A force or existence that transcends the natural.

The 'natural' world is that which exists to our sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing. We can run tests on it in physics and chemistry labs, and have predictive science around. This, of course, is based from the point of view and knowledge/ understanding of the culture you're within. In this case, a maglev system that is demonstrated during the Middle Ages in Europe , from our point of view is scientifically explainable, but then, it's likely to be interpreted as witchcraft or work of the devil. :cheeky:

Garrett wrote:
Quote:
As to the term itself and it's use? I wouldn't bother capitalizing it. I doubt there's any such thing as a 'typical pagan' (Yeah, I know, I just sort of profiled one above, but here I'm talking about beliefs and practices. Just have another drink and I'll continue ... :beer4:),

Done. Another drink; plus I won't bother capitalizing the word.

Quote:
the possible combinations and interpretations are just too widely varied. As such, I don't think you can call it a single 'Pagan' religion like Islam, Christianity or Buddhism. Even while those have their sets and cults, they still share some major commonalities.

So what are those major commonalities? Just to be clear, I don't care so much what you believe, I care about how you behave. If I could think of an example I would share it, but I cant right now so I won't, and it's your own fault for telling me to drink first.


Okay, I'm guilty, it's not your fault. Feel free to take my penalty drink if you'd like ... :beer_toast:

For the commonalities, often these will focus on some element(s) of preservation of the environment, equality of the genders, hand work (as opposed to mass produced stuff), and personal accountability within the supernatural world (ie - no supernatural saviors). But, as you may well imagine, there are lots of ways of doing any one of these - for the environment, are you espousing solar energies rather than coal, are you growing your own (whatever) in your back yard, do you only buy organic, hormone free, and/or free-range, do you chain yourself to large trees that are in danger of of being logged, or something else? Do you do these by yourself or with a group of like-minded individuals?

Garrett wrote:
Quote:
Now some of the groups who are included within the pagan umbrella would be those like Wicca and Asatru, who follow varying degrees of closed or focused pantheons, and hold some core ethical aspects among adherents. Asatru is much more closed, while Wicca has an aspect of individual growth and knowledge (the personal or coven-level 'Book of Shadows'), and even within these groups there are some differences in interpretation or focus which lead to them being seen as 'splinter groups' and having the same sorts of arguments as you might see between Catholics and Protestants. But there are many, many pagans that are not in any such sort of grouped category.

What? I don't know what 'patheons' are, whether closed or focused. I've heard of 'Wicca' though not of 'Asutru'. I kinda like what I've heard of Wicca - nature based, and not at all evil. And I'm not opposed to belief in a deity, though I'd like to hear a reason why I should believe in such.

:oops: I'm taking some of my own medicine ... :beer3: ... and I mis-spelled 'pantheon'. A pantheon is made up of the gods and goddesses of particular culture/ religion. Think of all those Greek gods and goddesses who fight and get married and have affairs and make deals and ... so on, and all in that nice, racy, night-time telly sort of way ... They, as the whole group, make up the pantheon of the ancient Greek religion.

Asatru is a modern reconstruction religion based on the ancient Norse gods and goddesses - think Odin, Thor, Frey, Freyya, and the like.

As to the reason why? Well, I suppose some of it's personal preference, and some of it is just what they perceive as a 'best fit' explanation for the way they see the world. It also involves community, and often celebrations. Asatru have the great drinking and boasting and swearing of oaths and storytelling of blots. Now, isn't it nice to get drunk with a bunch of mates and share secrets and dreams and get the announcements of what's going on in their lives first hand and in vin? :2drunks:

Garrett wrote:
Quote:
Did that make sense? :umm:

Too much, and not enough. Obviously you hope to make a case and convince people. or this site wouldn't exist. I'm mostly on your side - you won't find a much easier target. I still don't know what paganism is about. Probably because my questions suck.
[/quote]

Actually, I've no case to make. I've nothing to thrust upon folks; I'll give advice if they ask or present a problem to me, but in a way, I've got a bit of a Buddhist view to me, where the path is the way to right living, but what's right for me might not be right for you, so you're best off finding your own path.

The reason the site is here is more for people who -do- accept a supernatural world, or at least recognize the possibility of same, to talk. About anything, from science to the supernatural, and everything in-between, but to really discuss. You learn from discussion, and this was to be a place of discussion; not a dedicated atheist board, not a dedicated (insert major religion) board, but one that's in a way, nondenominational.

We don't outright condemn anybody for their views on the supernatural, pro or con, so everybody's welcome, and welcome to say their piece. So long as they're polite in the right places of the board, of course ... :wink:

So ... Keep asking the questions. Feel free to press my boundaries on the subject. I'm always happy to learn more along the way ... :wave:

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 20:56 
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Except Scientologists.

We seem to have an intolerance for Scientologists.

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2008, 23:12 
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This thread is interesting in a nighttime telly sort of way... :popcorn:

:wink:

So, I guess Garrett's drunk or something...


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2008, 07:44 
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apparently.

He's sober now and apparently apologetic. Not that he needs to be...

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2008, 12:04 
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Quote:
jess
It's a slang term that basically means the same as 'hick', and settled on the specificacy of religious hicks.

*opens a dictionary tab*

Quote:
What we are is non-Abrahmic. Hindu counts, and there is some argument for different types of Bhuddism.

Non-Abrahamic I get; basic Buddhism I get. I don't know anything about Hinduism except that they have lots of gods, which apparently are different aspects of one god?

Quote:
supernatural, I believe most pagans would agree, is merely something that hasn't been explained by science yet.

I know there are things science can't explain except peripherally. The scientific methods aren't of much use in politics, for example. Basically, the more that subjectivity is involved, the less science can explain it.

Quote:
Why should you believe in gods? Damned if I know. There is no damnation nor salvation based on faith. Some religions have a rewardsystem, but that would be true no matter what you believe, and some don't. All I personally care about is that I am not discriminated against based on my faith or lack there of. It all comes down to the old sayiong:

No matter what path we chose, we are all going home.

Good answer, and I'm okay with all of that.

Quote:
Why don't you believe? Maybe you aren;'t flakey enough to believe a myth? Maybe Spirit (to steal a concept from the Spiritualists) hasn't revealed itself to you yet. Maybe it never will.

It's the opposite of Pascal's wager. There may be or may not be something out there. Your belief in it does not affect your eternal soul (if it exists). So what does it matter?

I could just barely argue with that. Maybe god is to people as a person is to her neurons. It would really suck if my brain decided I don't exist. :(

Quote:
For me, I don't know if there is anything 'out there'. But following ritual pleases me, so I do. And I like to party.

Now, your other point seems to be, how do pagans behave? Well, it's a nasty fact that a lot of upper eschalon Nazis were pagan, so there, we can be evil. We can be flakey. We can be selfish and mean and cranky. We can be friendly and nice and sweet and good.

We're basically just like you... ;)

Then I guess I want to learn about the rituals that please. Really, all I'm seeing here is that the Abrahamic religions don't work for pagans, but they still need a way to express their spirituality? So they have or invent rituals?


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2008, 12:19 
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I don't think it's just the Abrahmic religions that count here. I actually wouldn't lump Hinduism in with pagans, as their religion, as fragmented (with many gods) and personalizible (is that a word?) as it is, is still fairly strongly codified and regulated into a single coherent system.

I think the thing is that important for many pagans is getting away from the codification and 'big religion' feel of something like Catholicism or Islam and going for the personal control and intamacy of ... well ... whatever they settle on ... :cheeky:

But I think -we- in the Western World see the pagans as anti-Abrahmic simply because they're the biggest game(s) in town ...

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2008, 13:46 
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Quote:
Hex
Aaaaannnnnnd ... jess beat me to it. I'm posting mine anyhow, since, as much as we have in common, they are a bit different ...

I've heard it's the differences that draw us together. Think of magnets.

Quote:
:cheers: Cheers! Prost! Skol! :cheers:

No fucking doubt. But I'm sober now.

Quote:
I'll use the definition of supernatural that I use for teaching (from Webster's IIRC): A force or existence that transcends the natural.

The 'natural' world is that which exists to our sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing. We can run tests on it in physics and chemistry labs, and have predictive science around. This, of course, is based from the point of view and knowledge/ understanding of the culture you're within. In this case, a maglev system that is demonstrated during the Middle Ages in Europe , from our point of view is scientifically explainable, but then, it's likely to be interpreted as witchcraft or work of the devil.

I get all that. No one has ever seen a mind, but minds exist anyway and there you go.

Quote:
Okay, I'm guilty, it's not your fault. Feel free to take my penalty drink if you'd like ...

Truth be told, I'd rather smoke a bowl, but I appreciate the offer.

Quote:
For the commonalities, often these will focus on some element(s) of preservation of the environment, equality of the genders, hand work (as opposed to mass produced stuff), and personal accountability within the supernatural world (ie - no supernatural saviors).

Mother Earth? I don't see any problem here.

Quote:
But, as you may well imagine, there are lots of ways of doing any one of these - for the environment, are you espousing solar energies rather than coal, are you growing your own (whatever) in your back yard, do you only buy organic, hormone free, and/or free-range, do you chain yourself to large trees that are in danger of of being logged, or something else? Do you do these by yourself or with a group of like-minded individuals?

Okay, it sounds like pagans activate. I've never done such, but I appreciate those who do.

If I were to activate, I would join NORML right off the bat, for example. It's kinda like, I'm safe behind my wall, too dangerous to leave. People suck.

Quote:
A pantheon is made up of the gods and goddesses of particular culture/ religion. Think of all those Greek gods and goddesses who fight and get married and have affairs and make deals and ... so on, and all in that nice, racy, night-time telly sort of way ... They, as the whole group, make up the pantheon of the ancient Greek religion.

Got it.

Quote:
Asatru is a modern reconstruction religion based on the ancient Norse gods and goddesses - think Odin, Thor, Frey, Freyya, and the like.

Got it, I guess. I like that mythology, but I see no reason to suppose they are anything other than myths, just sayin.

Quote:
As to the reason why? Well, I suppose some of it's personal preference, and some of it is just what they perceive as a 'best fit' explanation for the way they see the world. It also involves community, and often celebrations. Asatru have the great drinking and boasting and swearing of oaths and storytelling of blots. Now, isn't it nice to get drunk with a bunch of mates and share secrets and dreams and get the announcements of what's going on in their lives first hand and in vin? :2drunks:

Yes, of course.

Long ago I was invited to a 'party' where I expected to chemically alter my consciousness. Turned out to be a 'hare krishna' thing. I felt ripped off. Later I learned the value of meditation. Those kids were into something of value that I completely failed to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2008, 16:59 
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Garrett wrote:
Quote:
But, as you may well imagine, there are lots of ways of doing any one of these - for the environment, are you espousing solar energies rather than coal, are you growing your own (whatever) in your back yard, do you only buy organic, hormone free, and/or free-range, do you chain yourself to large trees that are in danger of of being logged, or something else? Do you do these by yourself or with a group of like-minded individuals?

Okay, it sounds like pagans activate. I've never done such, but I appreciate those who do.

If I were to activate, I would join NORML right off the bat, for example. It's kinda like, I'm safe behind my wall, too dangerous to leave. People suck.


Well ... In thinking about it, there probably is a higher percentage of activists within the pagan umbrella. It may have something to do with the counter-cultural aspects. :dontknow: It might also have something to do with some of the focus on the 'nature' and 'growth' aspects of the religions/ and local aspects of gods and spirits involved ...

Garrett wrote:
Quote:
Asatru is a modern reconstruction religion based on the ancient Norse gods and goddesses - think Odin, Thor, Frey, Freyya, and the like.

Got it, I guess. I like that mythology, but I see no reason to suppose they are anything other than myths, just sayin.


In looking at this from the anthropological level, myths and legends usually represent and illustrate core values and structures within a culture. Religions often get built around myths and legends as a means by which to preserve the myths and legends. They also legitimize rituals aimed at bringing the groups together and to demonstrate some of the values.

In this way, they provide and explanation for why things are the way they are. This need not be simply why the sun provides light, but also why apparent patterns in random chance occur. They can also explain why patterns (like disease vectors) occur when the science behind it isn't known to the culture.

So ... if, in your life, you see patterns in things that -should- go by random chance, and those patterns fit with some particular myths and legends, are they right? If those aspects are right, might other parts makes sense too?

Garrett wrote:
Quote:
As to the reason why? Well, I suppose some of it's personal preference, and some of it is just what they perceive as a 'best fit' explanation for the way they see the world. It also involves community, and often celebrations. Asatru have the great drinking and boasting and swearing of oaths and storytelling of blots. Now, isn't it nice to get drunk with a bunch of mates and share secrets and dreams and get the announcements of what's going on in their lives first hand and in vin? :2drunks:

Yes, of course.

Long ago I was invited to a 'party' where I expected to chemically alter my consciousness. Turned out to be a 'hare krishna' thing. I felt ripped off. Later I learned the value of meditation. Those kids were into something of value that I completely failed to see.


And that's a great example ... Where does meditation fit into science? :dontknow:

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2008, 17:23 
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Quote:
hex
Well ... In thinking about it, there probably is a higher percentage of activists within the pagan umbrella. It may have something to do with the counter-cultural aspects. :dontknow: It might also have something to do with some of the focus on the 'nature' and 'growth' aspects of the religions/ and local aspects of gods and spirits involved ...

Sorry if I'm boiling this down too much. So far I've got that paganism is counter-culture, largely activist, nature-oriented, and fond of myths and legends?

Quote:
In looking at this from the anthropological level, myths and legends usually represent and illustrate core values and structures within a culture. Religions often get built around myths and legends as a means by which to preserve the myths and legends. They also legitimize rituals aimed at bringing the groups together and to demonstrate some of the values.

In this way, they provide and explanation for why things are the way they are. This need not be simply why the sun provides light, but also why apparent patterns in random chance occur. They can also explain why patterns (like disease vectors) occur when the science behind it isn't known to the culture.

That's all familiar to me, and no problem.

Quote:
So ... if, in your life, you see patterns in things that -should- go by random chance, and those patterns fit with some particular myths and legends, are they right? If those aspects are right, might other parts makes sense too?

I sorta kinda think I see what you mean. Without involving myths and legends, I see omens routinely. I know I'm just giving meanings to coincidences and other events (both routine and unexpected), but it's fun and it colors the day, so to speak. For example, if an outing is planned and the day breaks clear I might think "good omen!" and then as a result all day long there's a background thought that this is a good day and so it is - even if a thunderstorm comes up!

But I don't know what it means to put myths and legends into that mix, or what I could hope to gain by doing so.

Quote:
And that's a great example ... Where does meditation fit into science? :dontknow:

Science can study the effects of meditation, that's all. But meditation is about experience, it's very subjective, and science is silent about that.

I think we agree that science is good, scientism is not.


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2008, 18:50 
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Garrett wrote:
Quote:
hex
Well ... In thinking about it, there probably is a higher percentage of activists within the pagan umbrella. It may have something to do with the counter-cultural aspects. :dontknow: It might also have something to do with some of the focus on the 'nature' and 'growth' aspects of the religions/ and local aspects of gods and spirits involved ...

Sorry if I'm boiling this down too much. So far I've got that paganism is counter-culture, largely activist, nature-oriented, and fond of myths and legends?


Hmm ... I'm not exactly sure how to answer that. I mean, yes, at some level, those aspects are in paganism, at least to some extent, but there are also plenty of 'closet' pagans who don't flaunt the fact they're not of an 'established' religion, so I don't know if you could (should?) pigeon-hole ...

I would think that the nature-oriented plays a bigger part than the others if you really want to boil it down. And the myths and legends provide the basis for rituals and/or ethical codes, so it's not just that they're fond of them, at some level they really become necessary ...

Garrett wrote:
Quote:
So ... if, in your life, you see patterns in things that -should- go by random chance, and those patterns fit with some particular myths and legends, are they right? If those aspects are right, might other parts makes sense too?

I sorta kinda think I see what you mean. Without involving myths and legends, I see omens routinely. I know I'm just giving meanings to coincidences and other events (both routine and unexpected), but it's fun and it colors the day, so to speak. For example, if an outing is planned and the day breaks clear I might think "good omen!" and then as a result all day long there's a background thought that this is a good day and so it is - even if a thunderstorm comes up!

But I don't know what it means to put myths and legends into that mix, or what I could hope to gain by doing so.


Oh, but your example is perfect. You set up your expectations based on a 'cause and effect' aspect of your omen. Your cause is the clear daybreak and the effect is the good day no matter how it turns out. To put myths and legends into it, imagine that rather than you deciding on the omen, you instead look to a legend where a hero breaks camp for their quest on a clear day and has good fortune and actually learns something about their upcoming enemy and then attributes it to the favor of a particular god/goddess which has followed them all day.

Myths and legends prime you to see things according to their framework. It's a common religious thing ...

Garrett wrote:
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And that's a great example ... Where does meditation fit into science? :dontknow:

Science can study the effects of meditation, that's all. But meditation is about experience, it's very subjective, and science is silent about that.

I think we agree that science is good, scientism is not.


Absotively. It blinds you to possibilities, even within the sciences ... :banghead:


(And from jess, wants to get back to you about luck, spurred on by your omens bit ...)

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2008, 13:34 
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Oh ... And in lieu of a more substantive post, here's an interesting 'Letter to the editor' thing that came across my newsfeeds that seemed somewhat appropriate here ... And why some people would chose anything but the prevailing orthodoxy ...

Quote:
People misunderstand what paganism is about
The Nanaimo Daily News

It takes a lot to surprise me when it comes to human nature, but last night I met a woman in her 60s at a coffee shop who warned the people at our table about a 'devil' that was going to be at Departure Bay today.

At first I thought she was joking but she said no, she was serious there was going to be a group of devil worshippers gathering there today. She said groups from all the churches were gathering to protest. I asked her if it was the Pagan Pride festival and when she said yes' I said, 'well, my daughter is Wicca and I'm proud of her."

She had nothing to say to that. I really thought that self-righteous people like her had disappeared in the era when witches were being burned. I thought perhaps people were a little more enlightened until I spoke to her.

It's religious fanatics like her who cause destruction in this world because of the fervour of the their beliefs.

One thing that was pointed out in Glenn Olsen's article in Friday's Daily News was that Paganism was around long before the Catholic church.

In Wicca a baby is born 'blessed' and in the Catholic church a baby is born with sin. Which makes more sense and is a gentler, kinder world?

In Wicca the motto (not sure the terminology) is 'do no harm.' The Catholic church has a history of abuse that is still going on and how can any individuals think they have the right to be so judgmental? Why on earth would you think your way is better than anyone else's? Look in your own house of worship first.

I had one daughter become a Catholic and one daughter become Wicca and I'm proud of both of them for making choices that were right for them (I'm Anglican).

Dar Williams has a song we enjoy called "The Christians and the Pagans" about a family who sits down to Christmas dinner "finding peace and common ground, the best that they were able."

For all the ones who think they know better than the "devil worshippers" just remember a lot of our foundations and celebrations are based on Paganism. It's been around forever and will still be around when the churches like yours have crumbled.

Kathy MacDonald

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