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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2008, 13:48 
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Grand Poobah
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oh, and Mav's thread may have a lot in common with this one---

I wonder if it's that we all reject the mainstream, but we went different directions afterwards. Some of us were fine not believing and some of us found something new.

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2008, 14:28 
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Garrett wrote:
And I'm not opposed to belief in a deity, though I'd like to hear a reason why I should believe in such.

No one is going to give you a reason of why you should believe in deity, at least not one that is actually going to compel you to. Here's why:

A friend of mine introduced to me a definition of belief that I very much like: belief is the articulation of divine experience. Therefore, you will come to recognize/ believe in the gods when you experience them.


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2008, 22:22 
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Quote:
Hex
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 ...

Point taken.

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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 ...

Okay, that's interesting, say more please. Why are myths and legends necessary in order to, what, embrace a nature-oriented view of reality? Or did I just stick too many of my own assumptions into that question?

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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.

Okay, yes, although part of the cause is my belief or expectation based on that omen, which is in part caused by my desire to have a good day! If the day broke cloudy and threatening, I may very well say what a good omen, this day will be interesting and memorable!

Quote:
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.

Hmm. But why am I looking at that legend instead of for example one where the day breaks clear but ends in disaster?

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

I guess so. I'm just not sure why I should base my life on the frameworks of others? I mean, I do accept other frameworks, but only when I believe I should - why should I accept this myth over that? Why can't I look at both and believe in neither, and then make up my own mind what sort of day I'm going to have?

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Garrett I think we agree that science is good, scientism is not.
hex Absotively. It blinds you to possibilities, even within the sciences ... :banghead:

Nice coined word btw. Since we agree on that point, I don't understand why you bang your head. I guess your word "it" refers to scientism. Science is just a tool. There are other tools, equally important.

I dunno, for a trivial example, science can't tell you who you should marry.


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2008, 22:34 
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Hex wrote:
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?

Rhetorical question, In My Opinion. But I realize that many people wouldn't see it that way. As religions go, Catholicism sucks. :x

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In Wicca the motto (not sure the terminology) is 'do no harm.'

No news there. I already said I like what I've heard of Wicca.

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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.

I see a logical fallacy there. Just because it's older doesn't make it right.


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2008, 22:42 
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TomasFlannabhra wrote:
Garrett wrote:
And I'm not opposed to belief in a deity, though I'd like to hear a reason why I should believe in such.

No one is going to give you a reason of why you should believe in deity, at least not one that is actually going to compel you to. Here's why:

A friend of mine introduced to me a definition of belief that I very much like: belief is the articulation of divine experience. Therefore, you will come to recognize/ believe in the gods when you experience them.

Forgive my argumentative nature, but I believe I have a computer, yet no divine experience is involved in that belief.

I do have an intellectual (as opposed to experiential) path that leads me to think there may be gods. Maybe gods are to people as people are to their neurons. Something like that, anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2008, 06:26 
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Garrett wrote:
TomasFlannabhra wrote:
Garrett wrote:
And I'm not opposed to belief in a deity, though I'd like to hear a reason why I should believe in such.

No one is going to give you a reason of why you should believe in deity, at least not one that is actually going to compel you to. Here's why:

A friend of mine introduced to me a definition of belief that I very much like: belief is the articulation of divine experience. Therefore, you will come to recognize/ believe in the gods when you experience them.

Forgive my argumentative nature, but I believe I have a computer, yet no divine experience is involved in that belief.

I do have an intellectual (as opposed to experiential) path that leads me to think there may be gods. Maybe gods are to people as people are to their neurons. Something like that, anyway.

I am speaking of belief within the context of modern paganism.


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2008, 21:46 
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TomasFlannabhra wrote:
I am speaking of belief within the context of modern paganism.

I'm trying to figure out what 'modern paganism' is.


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 29 Aug 2008, 12:36 
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Grand Poobah
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Heya!

Modern paganism will be as difficult to define as saying modern Christianity.

Here's an attempt:

First line:

Quote:
Paganism is a broad, eclectic contemporary religious movement that encompasses shamanistic, ecstatic, polytheistic, and magical religions. Most of the religions termed Pagan are characterized by nature-centered spirituality, honoring of pre-Christian deities, dynamic, personal belief systems, lack of institutionalization, a quest to develop the self, and acceptance and encouragement of diversity. Paganism is sometimes referred to as Neo-Paganism to emphasize its connections to as well as difference from pre-Christian religions.

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2008, 07:06 
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jess wrote:
Heya!

Modern paganism will be as difficult to define as saying modern Christianity.

Heya back! Thanks for the link to pen, I'm using it and it's very informative.

People become Christians because they're indoctrinated, basically. But afaics that isn't the case with paganism. That's part of what I don't understand, but I don't know how to express it well. This doesn't say it right, but it's as if paganism is more like a choice, you believe (whatever) because you like it and want to, not because you're actually thinking Thor (or whatever) actually exists? Or am I way off base?

Anyway, from reading here and from pen, and from talking to you guys, paganism seems a lot healthier in general for people than most versions of Christianity. Catholicism for example seems to cause a lot of depression and inhibition, it hurts people. Paganism seems more uplifting and fulfilling.

I haven't had any coffee this morning yet, that's why I'm not making much sense. :confused2:


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2008, 07:26 
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Garrett wrote:
This doesn't say it right, but it's as if paganism is more like a choice, you believe (whatever) because you like it and want to, not because you're actually thinking Thor (or whatever) actually exists? Or am I way off base?

I wouldn't say modern paganism is just "believe whatever you want" because it feels good, though there are many pagans like that. One "believes" because he/ she found a medium that best expresses his/ her experience of the world and philosophical truths.

Quote:
Anyway, from reading here and from pen, and from talking to you guys, paganism seems a lot healthier in general for people than most versions of Christianity. Catholicism for example seems to cause a lot of depression and inhibition, it hurts people. Paganism seems more uplifting and fulfilling.

Indeed. Pagan religions are organic spiritual expressions of a people. With Christianity, "religion" no longer became a medium that expressed a people's experience of the world, but rather it became one man's revelation of a desert god that people had to conform to.


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2008, 07:46 
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Grand Poobah
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quick answer form me before I'm off---

I feel like it's gears. All my life, the gears ground against each other. I find this, and suddenly, <click>, and things run smoothly.

Things make sense, life makes sense, and *my* life makes sense.

I have peace and a sense of continunity with our ancestors I did not have before.

Thor may not exist (or he may have--- I wonder if gods were human heros who were deified through time) but the concept of Thor is real. The need for Thor is real. Thor, at a minimum, is shorthand for a whole mess of human yearings that can't be expressed easily but can be summed up in his name.

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2008, 16:46 
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I understand how things can click, giving insights. And I understand how we can find a medium that best expresses our experience of the world and philosophical truths.

But I'm not understanding where/how myths and legends become involved.

Jess, are you saying that the gears weren't running smooth until you considered some myth or legend, and then things clicked?


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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2008, 18:53 
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Grand Poobah
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myths and legends--

they are a bunch of things.

First and foremost, they are truth. I'm debating captitalizing that. Truth. According to Merriam Webster, maybe I should...

Quote:
1 aarchaic : fidelity, constancy b: sincerity in action, character, and utterance
2 a (1): the state of being the case : fact (2): the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3)often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality b: a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true <truths of thermodynamics> c: the body of true statements and propositions
3 a: the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality bchiefly British : true 2 c: fidelity to an original or to a standard
4capitalized Christian Science : god


So, Truth. Not right, but real.

It's not like I believe in the literal word of the story, that it is an eyewitness account (unlike some Christians who seem to waffle between what is true and what is parable/story), although I won't say that it's impossible that these things (some of them) aren't literal, or at least based in some fact/historical event.

On some level, the 'fact' is less important than the truth. Or at least less telling.

I guess, it wasn't some myth or legend that made it click for me--- it was the sudden realization that these myths and legends are true that made it click.

Not true as in 'right' or 'words to live by' but true as in they answer a need.

I can't say what I need to. I'll sleep on it...

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2008, 20:03 
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That's a nice way to put it ...

Myths and legends often 'encode' this explanation of the world, specific phenomena or events/ course(s) of action/ reasons 'why' for any number of things.

Looking to the stories can, without so much conscious thought, make the way through life seem just that much clearer or at least provide explanations that make it easier to cope. :dontknow: But looking at how powerful they can be in a culture really shows how well they work at their job ...

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 Post subject: Re: Paganism
PostPosted: 15 Sep 2008, 00:58 
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jess wrote:
Quote:
2 a (2): the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3)often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality

So, Truth. Not right, but real.

So Truth is not the universe itself (it is not the body of real things), but instead is a "transcendent fundamental" reality. Really, though, besides the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (iow the objective physical world), the only other thing I know exists is the subjective mental world.

So from my perspective the capital T Truth must refer to some sort of mind.

Quote:
It's not like I believe in the literal word of the story, that it is an eyewitness account (unlike some Christians who seem to waffle between what is true and what is parable/story), although I won't say that it's impossible that these things (some of them) aren't literal, or at least based in some fact/historical event.

On some level, the 'fact' is less important than the truth. Or at least less telling.

I guess, it wasn't some myth or legend that made it click for me--- it was the sudden realization that these myths and legends are true that made it click.

When you say they are true you mean... they point towards the capital T Truth, which means... well, that the legends give you insight into the mind or reality of god/the spiritual reality?

Quote:
Not true as in 'right' or 'words to live by' but true as in they answer a need.

I can't say what I need to. I'll sleep on it...

That sounds a lot like what I recently heard: the symbols and rituals fill an emotional psychological need, they don't really answer to the rational portions of the brain, so to speak.

I'm interested in learning more about your use of the myths and legends to answer a need to understand the transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality. I think there's something here I should know.


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