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This is I think the first time I made a thread in the Religious Discussion Section.

The subjects in this section are mostly Christian in nature and I would like to go ahead and enter a debate with atheists about Paganism.

I want this to be an adult debate which I am sure I will recieve with the atheists.

First on my list is:

"What do you think of European Pagan beliefs?"

Following:

"What do you disagree with and how can you compare with mainstream religions?"

-Cade
 

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Forgive my ignorance, but I am mostly ignorant of said beliefs(aside from what extreme examples ActionJackson has stated). So please, if you would, enlighten me.
Goes to show that you've focused on bashing Christians for so long that you're a bit blind to the other ideas and philosophies round about you. I'm happy that Cade posted this thread. It will give some of the troll committee an opportunity to snap out of their obsession with Christ-bashing and take a breather. Carry on.
 

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The direction I come from is religion is man-made and not a direct line to any top God. So in my mind that puts all "religious" beliefs on par having to defend themselves on content.

Pagans tend to be earth grounded, not unlike the American Indians. I have no problem with that. The Greeks, of which I am one, did us the favor of getting the Gods off their high horse and giving them human shortcomings, taking the Gods down a notch. The Jewish/Christian/Muslim God however was put back on the pedestal and is perfect but pissy. The pagans have even more earthy gods. What the Pagans, Greeks and by extension the Indians had in common was they could see their own beliefs in the other system. The Roman would say to a Greek "Dionysus? God of wine? Oh, we call him Bacchus." And they would be in agreement and things were fine. When Alexander the Great got to India there were no religious conflicts, just the same gods with different names. And today a wiccan would find empathy with an American Indian, they have similar views. It is, of course, the three Desert Dogmas that can't get along with anyone. Via Judaism they destroyed paganism while adopting it but insisting their god -- and only god -- was a notch above it all. The problem with that mind set is demonstrated daily via Islam.

Last week some Greek pagans wrangled a ceremony atop the Akropoli in Athens. Now, do they believe in Zef (Zeus?) No, but they do think the original spirituality between man and earth was the prime one rather than a cranky old man in the sky served by parasitic clergy. I think as the environmental movement grows there will be more rejection of the Desert Dogmas and more spirituality regarding older pagan beliefs and our grounding with the earth, and our life from the sun. It would not surprise me if sun worship arises again, and note without the sun we are space dust.

I have often thought that if there was a god the sun would be the perfect symbol of that god and that each day, as the pagans did, we should pay a little respect to that which keeps us alive.

While there are some "hard" atheists -- it is all mechanical -- most soft atheists are not anti-god. They simply say your religion doesn't make sense to me. I think atheists are open to an earth reverency like paganism without having philosophical conflicts.
 

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I left Wicca because it was not what I was looking for. It send me on a road and taught me a great many things. It is not a true polytheistic faith. To tell a god(dess) that he/she is simply an archetype of another is awfully insulting. Imagine if I told any of you that you are simply a symbol, not an individual.

While in Wicca I developed love for Aradia, through seeking after her I actually moved on both from the Italian goddess and Wicca. I met a couple different men who each pulled me slightly towards Asatru. When I landed there, I ran into Thor very quickly. I met my girlfriend at a pagan coffee night. Most of her friends are Wiccan. I still have my pentacle and my athame. Sorry Wicca, but the undying line just ain't real. You don't even make it back to 1800, much less the dawn of man.

Thor makes sense. When I call him I feel a response. For me, this just works. I don't feel like I'm going out of my way to make him happy. My nature pleases him.

Where do I disagree with mainstream religion? (I'm mainly reading this as the Catholic Church)

What does god need with a space ship? I may have just lost all the non geeks. What does a powerful being on another plane of existence need with my currency is the real question. I will not deny that the church has fed and clothed many needy people. They have also built expensive monuments to themselves. They claim to their followers that they are needed to reach god. I disagree with this. The mainstream bows before god. I approach Thor as my equal, a friend. I am a free man, I have no master. A good chunk of the mainstream thinks that its imperative that I come over to their side. Trust me, I will scare you. Go do your thing, I'll do mine.

Oh and last year a coworker who knew that I wasn't christian asked what I do instead of Thanksgiving. I told them that we fry our turkey.
They meant well.
 

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"What do you think of European Pagan beliefs?"
Superstitions with no scientifically proven basis.

"What do you disagree with and how can you compare with mainstream religions?"
All religious beliefs, mainstream or otherwise, require blind faith. Joe Rogan has a joke about the christian story of Noah's Ark which I think can be applied to a whole host of stories. He says:

"I'm not saying there's no god. I'm saying 1) people are full of sh-t, and 2) that story sucks."
 

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Haha
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Discussion Starter #6
I left Wicca because it was not what I was looking for. It send me on a road and taught me a great many things. It is not a true polytheistic faith. To tell a god(dess) that he/she is simply an archetype of another is awfully insulting. Imagine if I told any of you that you are simply a symbol, not an individual.

While in Wicca I developed love for Aradia, through seeking after her I actually moved on both from the Italian goddess and Wicca. I met a couple different men who each pulled me slightly towards Asatru. When I landed there, I ran into Thor very quickly. I met my girlfriend at a pagan coffee night. Most of her friends are Wiccan. I still have my pentacle and my athame. Sorry Wicca, but the undying line just ain't real. You don't even make it back to 1800, much less the dawn of man.

Thor makes sense. When I call him I feel a response. For me, this just works. I don't feel like I'm going out of my way to make him happy. My nature pleases him.

Where do I disagree with mainstream religion? (I'm mainly reading this as the Catholic Church)

What does god need with a space ship? I may have just lost all the non geeks. What does a powerful being on another plane of existence need with my currency is the real question. I will not deny that the church has fed and clothed many needy people. They have also built expensive monuments to themselves. They claim to their followers that they are needed to reach god. I disagree with this. The mainstream bows before god. I approach Thor as my equal, a friend. I am a free man, I have no master. A good chunk of the mainstream thinks that its imperative that I come over to their side. Trust me, I will scare you. Go do your thing, I'll do mine.

Oh and last year a coworker who knew that I wasn't christian asked what I do instead of Thanksgiving. I told them that we fry our turkey.
They meant well.
You are very right about Wicca. It is not very old and rather a mix of many customs from many other Pagan religions. I don't want to call it reforming pagan customs as much as creating it's own path. Wicca is very broad though and all the Wiccans I have ever met didn't name any god's. I have met those who follow a god and those a goddess and most that followed both and a bit in there that believe god/goddess to be one and many or two at the same time. There are also some that think the god/goddess is everything and we see him/her in nature all around us. Then there are some where the god/goddess is just a symbol for a higher conscience of themselves they tap to gain empowerment. So many paths and not one believes that only theirs is right but only right for them. No one is wrong and people are satisfied or they move onto deeper and older beliefs like you did with Asatru.

I myself follow a general Celtic path without any specifically named gods or goddesses. My rituals are spiritual in nature for my own enjoyment and benefit and I am pleased with them. While in the military I tended to follow a warrior path with discipline, virtue and bravery. After being discharged I found I no longer needed to follow this and decided to settle calling on spirituality whenever I needed it. Sometimes I go months without any reading or study. I use it only when I want to.

-Cade
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Superstitions with no scientifically proven basis.



All religious beliefs, mainstream or otherwise, require blind faith. Joe Rogan has a joke about the christian story of Noah's Ark which I think can be applied to a whole host of stories. He says:

"I'm not saying there's no god. I'm saying 1) people are full of sh-t, and 2) that story sucks."
How are you sure Pagans need blind faith?

-Cade
 

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Haha
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Discussion Starter #9
Because there is no evidence supporting their beliefs. In order to believe it, you need to have faith that it's true, and without evidence, it's blind faith.
So your saying when a Pagan decides to cast a health spell in which he baths frequently, exercises, eats right and has proper hygiene he is blindly believing something that won't make him healthy and is a waste of time?

-Cade
 

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Part of enlightenment is admitting that we don't know everything, and getting the courage to ask someone about their beliefs, even if they differ from our own.
Yes and no....I am always interested in any belief other than the Desert Dogmas.* I've had enough of those, thank you. Saw the movie, two thumbs down. You all know the story, tribes wandering in the desert, rising stars, moving mountains... Mormonism is the sequel....

Their idea of heaven is troublesome... spending eternity in some place like church 24/7 with no sex, food, booze, dogs... if there are no pets in heaven I don't want to go there... and if I have to spend heavenly time with my Cousin Debra then that would surely be hell...

Give me a sun worshiper... life is direct and the reminder is overhead every day. The seasons makes them pious and all life comes from one source. Sacrifice a virgin now and then and life is good. (Perhaps that is the source of virgins the Muslims get in Mecca.)

*Also not too interested in Scientology, invented by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. It's another rescue from above story... Desert Dogma in Outer Space.
 

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This is I think the first time I made a thread in the Religious Discussion Section.

The subjects in this section are mostly Christian in nature and I would like to go ahead and enter a debate with atheists about Paganism.

I want this to be an adult debate which I am sure I will recieve with the atheists.

First on my list is:

"What do you think of European Pagan beliefs?"

Following:

"What do you disagree with and how can you compare with mainstream religions?"

-Cade
As an Atheist married to a woman who considers herself a Pagan, I can tell you that the "pagan movement" is a FAR better example of what christians tell themselves that they practice.
"That it harm none, do as you will" is a FAR more restrictive rule than the 10 commandments put together. Christians claim that it allows pagans to "do what they want without conscience" but that isn't so. It's the first part that's important "That it harm NONE" and many of them take that very seriously. "NONE" of course, includes themselves. I don't know many pagans that drink to excess or take recreational drugs. (sure some do, but then again, prominent christians like Ted Haggard certainly do, and unlike them, the pagans that do don't lie about not doing it)

So, when it comes to honesty and morality, give me a pagan over a christian any day of the week.

Just my 2c...
 

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Superstitions with no scientifically proven basis.
That what religions is after all. Good definition.

All religious beliefs, mainstream or otherwise, require blind faith. Joe Rogan has a joke about the christian story of Noah's Ark which I think can be applied to a whole host of stories. He says:

"I'm not saying there's no god. I'm saying 1) people are full of sh-t, and 2) that story sucks."
LOL! Oh that is beautiful! Thanks for posting it, I'm going to look up this Joe Rogan on You Tube!
 

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So, when it comes to honesty and morality, give me a pagan over a christian any day of the week.

Just my 2c...
Well, there is a HUGE difference in the moral reasoning of the two. The pagan's focus is us and now, the Christian focus is himself and later. Christians like to puff up and say how moral they are but they only do that for a big reward at the end. The promise of heaven is the carrot/whip that keeps them straight. Pagans, atheists et cetera manage to be moral WITHOUT a big pie in the sky, or threat. That, in my view, requires far more commitment and personal verve.
 

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Blacksmith44;254635]As an Atheist married to a woman who considers herself a Pagan, I can tell you that the "pagan movement" is a FAR better example of what christians tell themselves that they practice.
If you've never been a Christian or if you've never been married to a Christian then you really have nothing to compare your circumstances to.
I'm a Christian and have been married to a Mormon, then an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and now a Christian. I can tell you that the "pagan movement" is in no way a better example of what Christians believe and should be practicing.
"That it harm none, do as you will" is a FAR more restrictive rule than the 10 commandments put together. Christians claim that it allows pagans to "do what they want without conscience" but that isn't so. It's the first part that's important "That it harm NONE" and many of them take that very seriously. "NONE" of course, includes themselves.
I can't see how you can conclude that "harm none, do as you will" is less restrictive than the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments has you worshipping 1 God; casting away all idolatry; resting your mind and body every 7th day; not coveting what your neighbor has; etc. "Harm none" is open big time to interpretation. I could see that as an invitation to steal someone's car as long as I don't hurt the person. It might hurt the person's finances but it wouldn't hurt the person physically. Very nebulous.

I don't know many pagans that drink to excess or take recreational drugs. (sure some do, but then again, prominent christians like Ted Haggard certainly do, and unlike them, the pagans that do don't lie about not doing it)
The only pagan I ever knew shot himself while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

So, when it comes to honesty and morality, give me a pagan over a christian any day of the week.
You got it.
 

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All wiccan and pagan groups are just a ATTEMPT to recreate the views of pre-christian world. How that is done is left to the individual. Weather it works is also up to the individual. It is only as good, or as bad, as you and your fellow pagans make it.
 

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wow all wiccan and pagan groups are just an attempt to recreate the views of a pre-cristian world? reallly poptart i bet some native americans that still practice there tribal religon would not agree there. and sense they practiced pre and post christian world.

now i'm not a native american but i am a pagan "Asatru" and the only reason i used the native american side of paganism is that most people grasp it better than other pagan exsamples.
 

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I hope I can join in this one I'm not an Atheist but I'll try to be an adult.

I've looked at the Indo-European beliefs. The only issue I ran in with them is that I have trouble separating the crap from the truth. Some groups claim a connection to the time before Christianity and some groups come very close the Asatru are closer I believe then some as the religious take over came later to their lands then the Celts. The Russians carry many beliefs well past and some into our current centuries. I also looked to other faiths outside of the European group to the Hindu and native Americans as they have been far less influenced in a lot of ways to help when I first left the church with trying to understand and find faith again.

The difference I found between theses other religions and the mainstream ones (if you can call Hindu non-mainstream) is that the religion has the ability to change and grow over time to except new teachings and to learn how the world around them works. Because there is no written book one must follow they religion is able to adjust to the world as it changes. With simple morals and rules if your friend is cheating on their spouse you don't have to stone them to death but you may need to try and convince them what they are doing is wrong.
 

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All wiccan and pagan groups are just a ATTEMPT to recreate the views of pre-christian world. How that is done is left to the individual. Weather it works is also up to the individual. It is only as good, or as bad, as you and your fellow pagans make it.
The Hindu's would beg to differ as well and they are a very long lasting pagan group as are the Sikh which as it was explained to me an off-shoot formed around the time of the Muslim arrival in India.

I have found that group pf pagans as well and after a while you begin to see others that have agreed upon rules of conducted even to those outside the religion. They are much like some Bible thumping groups that give Christians a bad name. They only want the freedom to not be "controlled" by anyone.
 

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I can't see how you can conclude that "harm none, do as you will" is less restrictive than the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments has you worshipping 1 God; casting away all idolatry; resting your mind and body every 7th day; not coveting what your neighbor has; etc. "Harm none" is open big time to interpretation. I could see that as an invitation to steal someone's car as long as I don't hurt the person. It might hurt the person's finances but it wouldn't hurt the person physically. Very nebulous.
Or it affects there ability to work and removes their sense of safety due to the violation of their person.

The only pagan I ever knew shot himself while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
I knew a Christian Minster who beat his wife and children in secret and was almost always drunk right up until he went to church on Sunday. He eventually found help when he was so drunk he couldn't shoot himself in the temple with his own gun. Just because you claim a religion doesn't mean your removed of issue.
My dad celebrated 30 years of not drinking before his death when I was younger I use to go to the meetings and hear the stories of their recover and life. A lot of the guys there are respected members of their communities and churches. They are Christians before and after religion does not remove the problems it helps you through them. Some people don't make it it some do. I'm glad my father found a God of his understanding before he died.
 

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As an Atheist married to a woman who considers herself a Pagan, I can tell you that the "pagan movement" is a FAR better example of what christians tell themselves that they practice.
This about sums up my opinion on the subject as well.

I admire that Pagans on the whole have no need to proselytize. I also find the European flavor of the faith less offensive than the sex-negative obsessive religions of the Middle East.

However, I think that the issue of whether or not it's "real", i.e. are pagan Gods more likely to exist than Jehovah, is a non-issue. If Jehovah is unbelievable, so is Aradia, or Zeus, or Brahma. No different.

But I give a lot of props to a faith that can actually walk the walk, and many, many pagans I've met have impressed me with their unpretentiousness and tolerance of those who disagree with them.
 
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