"Hello, is there anybody in there...?" A call to pagans, pantheists, and assorted...

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Tht1Gy!, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. Tht1Gy! Life, The universe, and e... Registered Senior Member

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    Are there any theistic posters out there who are not of the Avraham-ic trad.?:shrug:

    Just your friendly neighborhood Wiccan pantheist who wants to know.:m:
     
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  3. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Hard to say, for me.

    While I don't literally believe in any deities, I consider myself a neopagan. I follow the ethics and morals laid out in the Celtic and Norse myths. I find the morality in most pagan religions to be, in many ways, superior to Abrahamic morality. I think it's the ethics that should be the focal point of any religion or philosophy, and I like neopagan and wiccan morality. It is, mostly, relativist, pragmatic, and utilitarian. It doesn't look down on people with different opinions or beliefs. It respects them, by affirming that morality is relative, that is depends on perception. And I like that.

    As for the metaphysic part of it, I see the mythological figures and stories in the many, many pantheons as metaphors and parables. Some are dramatisations of various aspects of the human psyche, and some are exaggerations of historical figures or events. It doesn't make them any less important, of course. In fact, it makes them that much more important and relevant to humanity. The fact that they represent something that is a part of each and every one of us -our mind and history- makes those characters and events something we can all connect with on a level that is incapable with Abrahamic mythology.

    Besides that, I am somewhat animistic. I believe that there is some underlying life-force or life energy that runs through and permeates all matter. In my interpretation, it's a bioelectric and electromagnetic force, but some people interpret that as a "soul" or "spirit". It's all a matter of perception.
     
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  5. Tht1Gy! Life, The universe, and e... Registered Senior Member

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    Hey cool! While I might change a word or two, I'd more or/and less

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    have to agree. Not that I'd be likely to do that much typing ya understand...

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    At this point there's not much I have to discuss other than to see who all is out there.

    Wait, here's something, is it just me but: why is it whenever I have brought up the subject of being a theist folks on this board go right to "well where is your god... suffering... pain... tragedy... blah blah blah". And assume that I must be christian?
     
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  7. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    The large majority of theists in the world are Christians or Muslims. So, they make an assumption. Normally, it'd be a safe assumption, considering that some 4 billion people in the world are of the Abrahamic family of religions.
    There's something of a risk in making assumptions, because there's always a chance it'd be wrong.

    And, it's good that you understand where I'm coming from. A lot of people are confused when I tell them I'm an atheist and a neopagan. In my interpretation, religion is just a way to show devotion to a particular philosophy. Metaphysics, which is the aspect which includes theology, is just an aspect of philosophy. It's not a necessary component of following a certain religion.
     
  8. Tht1Gy! Life, The universe, and e... Registered Senior Member

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    Well, I have to admit your tag is a bit, um, courious. Me, I'm a witch. But any time I talk about the God and/or the Goddess, I'm actually referring to them as archetypes.
    I also think worship, of any kind, is idolatry.
     
  9. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, but that's the point of it.
    Curiosity invokes questioning, and people must always question the things around them. That's the only way we learn anything.

    And, I agree about the worship thing. There is no reason to worship nature in a prayerful manner. All that is necessary to respect and honour our natural surrounds is to live in harmony with it.
    But, on the other hand, I'm not going to go out of my way to protest people who do so. It's their lives, and I have no right to interfere, as long as it doesn't harm anyone.
    That's the core principle of most wiccan-influenced neopaganism- an it harm none, do as ye will. Best statement of ethics I've ever heard.
     
  10. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, me pagan. Me follow nature centered panthiestic type beliefs. The monothiests and the athiests end up seeming like very similar forces to me. One considers me sinful, the other, irrational. Both have a lot of judgements of the body and emotions. Both tend to be interested in a lot of control. Monotheists via holy text rules and authority figures, athiests with their distaste for all they consider irrational, too passionate and too intuitive. It's just a lot of noise made by these two groups to make us think these are the two choices: the big male angry transcendant God or a primarily dead universe. To think that is the choice is like thinking the democrats and the republicans over the full range of sane political choices.
     
  11. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Although, atheism and paganism aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.
    Atheism simply is not believing in a deity or deities. The literal belief of the figures in pagan religions aren't absolutely necessary.
    But, understanding the points and morals from the stories and myths, and deriving good ethics from them, are.
     
  12. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

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    1,888
    You could make the same argument in relation to Christianity and the other monothiesms then. See them as made up tales that have insights about life that are useful, etc.

    I certainly wouldn't say that literal beliefs are absolutely necessary. People should be free to believe what they like. But to be pagan it seems to me would include experiences of intense recognition of entities and living consciousness in places not currently accepted by science: the earth, specific locations in nature, trees or other life forms not thought of as conscious, deities, spirits, etc. I cannot imagine why someone would identify themselves as a pagan, in other words as having a pagan religion, without having those kinds of experiences or intuiting that such things are real. Again, I think people can call themselves what they want, but it seems to me such a person is basically a secular person who using religion as a set of parables and not as something related to things like metaphysics.
     
  13. Tht1Gy! Life, The universe, and e... Registered Senior Member

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    On the subject of atheism, every dictionary I looked at said that atheism is the belief there is no god.
    While I don't hold a view of god as some dude sitting in judgement... blah, blah, blah.
    I guess I'd say that god is 'the whole' that is greater than the sum of its parts.

    Or, we're figments of god's imagination.

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    As I've said, I don't much like to use the word god when discussing my beliefs on the nature of exsitance.

    Blessed Be.
     
  14. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    That's one interpretation of it. Specifically, that is Strong or Explicit Atheism.
    Weak or Implicit Atheism is simply lack of belief in a deity or deities.

    Yeah. That anthropomorphises or puts a personality into something that by definition has no personality: the universe and its constant energy.
     
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I once thought of my self as a deist.


    From Wikipedia
     
  16. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

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    1,888
    If a portion can have a personality, why not the whole?

    We are also made up of energy.

    And we contain subpersonalities.

    Science has a very hard time recognizing sentience. For a long time it considered animals machines.

    There is nothing by definition or proven by science that precludes a God or that the universe as a whole is conscious.
     
  17. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    Okay, fine, I admit it's possible for that energy to manifest itself as a being with personality.

    However, the possibility of such a being's existence is matched equally by a possibility of non-existence.

    What is slightly more reasonable is a species of highly powerful and developed organic beings with capabilities often misconstrued for godlike power, while in reality being some form of naturally-evolved energy manipulation.

    But that is only slightly more plausible. In all likelihood, there is no god or gods. Only human minds attempting to understand a subjective universe by objective means, and poets attempting to relate human society and history into a way that it becomes relevant to future generations.
     
  18. Tht1Gy! Life, The universe, and e... Registered Senior Member

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    I thing this is the/an explaination of/for Jehovah
    /www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=69931 [A thread I'd like to promote]
    A good definition of the concept of archetypes.
    When I talk about Cerridwen and Cernunnous, I speak of the god and goddess; but truly, I think of them as archetypes, and not actual beings. To muggles

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    I explain them as "kinda like yin/yang of oriental philosophy. They represent the female and male aspects of existence."

    As to the 'personality thing', I buy into the Gaia concept, that the earth has a consciousness, I accept the possibilty that a star might have a consciousness, why not the universe?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2007
  19. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    It's too vast and disorderly. It doesn't function or self-regulate like an organism does. Neither do stars, nor planets. They're too chaotic to be a concious being. Living organisms, however, do self-regulate. Homoeostasis, in a word.

    However, these living, animated organisms exist along side and with disorganised, inanimate matter in a single, cyclic reality; with the four primary physical forces acting together, being like a cosmic glue holding them. binding them, within that reality. At least, in my opinion.

    I also think that the current manifestation of the universe is just one stage of an endless cycle of universes, which chaotically destroy themselves through a sub-cycle of expansion and crunching.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2007
  20. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

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    1,888
    By what formula did you come up with 50%?

    I can only see this as an intuitive guess. Which does not mean it is wrong.

    There is no rational foundation to guess liklihoods here. This is one area where rationalists and scientists do not acknowledge they are speculating wildly or trusting their intuitions (to put it another way).
     
  21. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    When there's only 2 options, probability dictates an equal chance of either.

    Say you have a blue marble (representing the existence of deities), and a red marble (representing the nonexistence of such) in a bag. There is an equal chance of pulling the red marble out as there is of pulling the blue marble out.
     
  22. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

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    1,888
    You are basing this on faulty assumptions.

    You are also assuming there are only two possibilities.

    Is there a 50% chance that I will be dead by the time you read this? There are only two possibilities. Yet the answer is no. I have a better than 50% chance. If I were a starving person, a person in prison my odds go down. Etc.

    Is there a 50% chance I am bald?

    Is there a 50% chance I am a male? No, women are a slight majority.

    If were were dealing with bees, the vast majority are males, but there are only two possibilities.

    If I have a bag full of blue and red marbles and yet they are of an unequal number the odds are not 50%.

    You have no way of knowing what the odds are of there being or not being a god. YOu don't know what possible ways of having a universe are. You have no way to know the variables involved or factor that make it more or less likely.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007
  23. Tht1Gy! Life, The universe, and e... Registered Senior Member

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    You don't know that. There is no way beings that live 80-100 years can judge the behaviour of things that exist for billions of years. And as to the issue of vastness, stellar distances are roughly equal to atomic distances in a ratio sort of way. Do you doubt your own existence?

    Whose constituent parts are imbued with the life force, prana, chi, the holy ghost, etc...
     

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