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Author Topic: Best thing(s) about being Pagan  (Read 25720 times)
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« Topic Start: May 22, 2010, 11:39:04 pm »

What, in your opinion, is/are the best thing(s) about being Pagan?  First the best part, then anything else you like.

For me, the absolute best thing is the lack of dogma.  I can disagree with the other guy on the Nature of the universe and still be his friend, instead of exchanging "you're going to hell!"'s.  Okay, not ALL Christians do that; it's mostly a Catholic thing.  But I think my point is clear.  Pagans can disagree about religion then go out bowling, whereas with some JCI folks, a religious disagreement can be a big thing.

Another thing is melding with science.  Paganism does not contradict science (as far as I know).  Pagans (again, the ones I've seen) believe that science is great, and just uncovers the methods of the gods.

Paganism, just being Pagan, and appreciating and standing with the gods and goddesses of Ensigart and Vanaheim, and learning their values, and learning the truth of my deep soul, and learning the science of the universe... it's all made me happier than I ever was as a Christian.  I love the god/desses, I love it all.  It's a wonderful life and world.

What do you all love about your religion?

-HC
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« Reply #1: May 23, 2010, 12:05:07 am »

What do you all love about your religion?

Its lack of smugness.

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« Reply #2: May 23, 2010, 12:12:30 am »

I can disagree with the other guy on the Nature of the universe and still be his friend, instead of exchanging "you're going to hell!"'s.  Okay, not ALL Christians do that; it's mostly a Catholic thing.

I don't think that's really an accurate reflection of the Christian/Catholic world.  There are large swaths of Fundamentalism that are far more concerned with Hell and expect that much larger chunks of people will end up there than Catholicism does.

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Pagans can disagree about religion then go out bowling, whereas with some JCI folks, a religious disagreement can be a big thing.

Really?  You've never seen Pagans throw down over religious differences?  I have seen many, many passionate disagreements between Pagans on this site...and we are much calmer than a lot of the Pagan web. 

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« Reply #3: May 23, 2010, 12:31:55 am »

What, in your opinion, is/are the best thing(s) about being Pagan?  First the best part, then anything else you like.

For me, the absolute best thing is the lack of dogma.  I can disagree with the other guy on the Nature of the universe and still be his friend, instead of exchanging "you're going to hell!"'s.  Okay, not ALL Christians do that; it's mostly a Catholic thing.  But I think my point is clear.  Pagans can disagree about religion then go out bowling, whereas with some JCI folks, a religious disagreement can be a big thing.

Another thing is melding with science.  Paganism does not contradict science (as far as I know).  Pagans (again, the ones I've seen) believe that science is great, and just uncovers the methods of the gods.

(snip)
-HC

Overly broad statement to the point of not really saying much. I could substitute Judaism for pagan in your description and be accurate.

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« Reply #4: May 23, 2010, 01:03:21 am »

What, in your opinion, is/are the best thing(s) about being Pagan?  First the best part, then anything else you like.

I'll be honest, I'm not even sure how to answer because I'm getting caught up on several points here.  First, I feel like you're painting pagans and Christians with a really broad brush and, from my experience, it will hinder conversation on a board that has folks from so many different religions and spiritual paths.

Quote
...the absolute best thing is the lack of dogma.  I can disagree with the other guy on the Nature of the universe and still be his friend, instead of exchanging "you're going to hell!"'s.  Okay, not ALL Christians do that; it's mostly a Catholic thing.  But I think my point is clear.  Pagans can disagree about religion then go out bowling, whereas with some JCI folks, a religious disagreement can be a big thing.

I've met pagans who are aggressively dogmatic about certain beliefs.  You must worship gods or revere nature to be pagan, for example.  Or that all pagans follow a certain set of ethics.  Or that you must worship the gods of your blood ancestors.  Dogma is not necessarily a negative thing (technically all it means is that to be a member of religion X, you must believe Y and Z) and is not restricted to the Abrahamic faiths.  Also, where did this fact about Catholics come from?  A good portion of my family is Catholic and I also happen to be married to one- lovely people who have never told me I'm going to burn in the afterlife.

Quote
Another thing is melding with science.  Paganism does not contradict science (as far as I know).  Pagans (again, the ones I've seen) believe that science is great, and just uncovers the methods of the gods.

Oh, keep your eyes open for them.  Some pagans really, really love occult psuedo science and the like.  It's impossible to get those folks to admit that what they deem science is actually just an occult theory or religious belief with no data or logic behind it.  I think you might be getting stuck on this point: paganism isn't a single religion or even a group of similar religions.  It's a broad, broad umbrella term.

Anywho, to answer your question my religion is my home.  The gods are my family.  In a nutshell, that is why I am a Canaanite polytheist and I considered those factors to be essential when I was a seeker.

- OpenHands
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« Reply #5: May 23, 2010, 02:08:57 am »

What, in your opinion, is/are the best thing(s) about being Pagan?  First the best part, then anything else you like.

The fact that I believe what I believe and follow that belief however I see fit. Which, technically, is more what I like about being me. But pish-posh, same diff, right?

What I HATE about being Pagan?

People who lump us all into one big group albeit stereotypical or not. As in all umbrella religions, there are different sects, different belief systems. And ultimately we are all individuals and live our lives accordingly. What you do is probably not what I do.
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« Reply #6: May 23, 2010, 06:28:03 am »

What, in your opinion, is/are the best thing(s) about being Pagan?  First the best part, then anything else you like.

For me, the absolute best thing is the lack of dogma.  I can disagree with the other guy on the Nature of the universe and still be his friend, instead of exchanging "you're going to hell!"'s.  Okay, not ALL Christians do that; it's mostly a Catholic thing.  But I think my point is clear.  Pagans can disagree about religion then go out bowling, whereas with some JCI folks, a religious disagreement can be a big thing.

In my experience, the majority of Christians are pretty tolerant.  One of my new friends of the last couple of years is what some might term a fundie - she believes that we're living in the End Times, she doesn't believe that we 'evolved from monkeys' (I pointed out that evolutionists do not make that claim either), etc.  She is nevertheless very accepting of other people.  She knows that I am gay and an atheist, and we disagree quite firmly on many points.  But we're never angry with each other, and we're able to poke fun at each other.  She is also decidedly unimpressed with Christians who aggressively proselytise.


Quote
Another thing is melding with science.  Paganism does not contradict science (as far as I know).  Pagans (again, the ones I've seen) believe that science is great, and just uncovers the methods of the gods.

Tee hee.  I've seen so many Pagans online who are clueless about science and also anti-science, this struck me as pretty funny.  Also, can you clarify what you mean by 'does not contradict science'?  I'm assuming that you recognise that there are many different Pagan religions, so are you talking about myths, beliefs, practices?  Depending on what you're focusing on, I may be more or less inclined to agree with you - but I need to know what aspects of 'Paganism' that you are comparing to, for example, Christianity.


Quote
Paganism, just being Pagan, and appreciating and standing with the gods and goddesses of Ensigart and Vanaheim, and learning their values, and learning the truth of my deep soul, and learning the science of the universe...

Can you please clarify what you mean by 'the science of the universe'?  Are you referring to astronomy, or physics, or...?
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« Reply #7: May 23, 2010, 09:55:56 am »

For me, the absolute best thing is the lack of dogma. 

Some Pagan religions do have some dogma -- and members of them may be just as inclined to argue dogma as non-Pagans who are members of religions with dogma.

Quote
I can disagree with the other guy on the Nature of the universe and still be his friend, instead of exchanging "you're going to hell!"'s.  Okay, not ALL Christians do that; it's mostly a Catholic thing.

Catholics in your area must be different from Catholics in my area. I've only been told I'm going to hell by a few of the Catholics I've met. I've far more likely to hear this from members of fundamentalist Protestant churches than from Catholics, non-fundamentalist Protestants, Orthodox, and Anglicans.

Quote
Another thing is melding with science.  Paganism does not contradict science (as far as I know).  Pagans (again, the ones I've seen) believe that science is great, and just uncovers the methods of the gods.

About the only people I know who have problems with religion and science supposedly conflicting are fundamentalist Protestants.
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« Reply #8: May 23, 2010, 01:26:37 pm »


I thought I might get a few people on my case for this thread.  Oh well.

I don't mean to paint with brushes, I was simply talking about my own personal experiences with Paganism and I think I'll leave it at that.

And by science of the universe I mean learning the reality behind existence (UPG's of course).

-HC
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« Reply #9: May 23, 2010, 02:13:20 pm »

I thought I might get a few people on my case for this thread.  Oh well.

I don't mean to paint with brushes, I was simply talking about my own personal experiences with Paganism and I think I'll leave it at that.

And by science of the universe I mean learning the reality behind existence (UPG's of course).

-HC

Wait, what?  That's not science.

Science is the proving and disproving of independently verifiable data to build a picture of how the universe and the bits and pieces of it work.  I am wearing shoes is not science, because while it can be tested, it leads to nothing.  Photosynthesis is science, because it explains how plants can grow and thrive on sunlight, and leads to other ideas and knowledge.  Knitting is a sacred art that can be used to discover the truth of the universe is not science, because it cannot be tested.

UPGs are not science.  They're beliefs.  Belief is INHERENTLY not science because it is not independently testable.  You and I can test the same belief against our own reality and disagree on what result we get.  A hundred people could do the same and get multiple answers.  But we're all going to get the same photosynthesis of plants if we set up the experiment the same.
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« Reply #10: May 23, 2010, 02:14:47 pm »

I don't mean to paint with brushes, I was simply talking about my own personal experiences with Paganism and I think I'll leave it at that.

Then you need to start phrasing things to reflect that.  What's meant by "broad brush" is that you appear to be claiming universal truths about pagans and paganism, which hereabouts is always problematic.  Try using phrases like "in my brand of paganism, we believe A, B, and C."  The title of your thread is, again, problematic because it appears you're talking about "paganism" as a unified whole.  If the thread had been titled "Favorite things about your beliefs" you wouldn't have gotten the same types of responses.

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« Reply #11: May 23, 2010, 03:20:42 pm »


And by science of the universe I mean learning the reality behind existence (UPG's of course).


Somehow this is pretty much what I was expecting.  Also, as pointed out, this isn't science.  Which ties in with my earlier comments re: many Pagans and science.
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« Reply #12: May 23, 2010, 04:40:07 pm »

And by science of the universe I mean learning the reality behind existence (UPG's of course).

As others have pointed out, this isn't science -- as least not as the term is normally used.
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« Reply #13: May 23, 2010, 07:49:33 pm »


What do you all love about your religion?

-HC

I don't really self define as Pagan, because I don't like the junk drawer for faith that it can become.  What I like about 'paganism' is that you can find some very entertaining bits and bobs in the drawer, and that it leaves a lot of room for creativity and invention.

I think it creates a great starting point for opening to new thought on religion and a safe place to start to move away from other more standardized belief systems. 

Paganism for me was the starting point for where spirituality replaced religion.  It was the step out the front front door and onto the road to personal evolution.
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« Reply #14: May 23, 2010, 08:12:58 pm »

Wait, what?  That's not science.

Science is the proving and disproving of independently verifiable data to build a picture of how the universe and the bits and pieces of it work.  I am wearing shoes is not science, because while it can be tested, it leads to nothing.  Photosynthesis is science, because it explains how plants can grow and thrive on sunlight, and leads to other ideas and knowledge.  Knitting is a sacred art that can be used to discover the truth of the universe is not science, because it cannot be tested.

UPGs are not science.  They're beliefs.  Belief is INHERENTLY not science because it is not independently testable.  You and I can test the same belief against our own reality and disagree on what result we get.  A hundred people could do the same and get multiple answers.  But we're all going to get the same photosynthesis of plants if we set up the experiment the same.

Very well.  "No contest." Smiley

-HC
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