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Author Topic: What if Paganism were the majority religion(s)?  (Read 10754 times)
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« Topic Start: July 02, 2010, 09:41:45 pm »

I'm curious to see what others think of the type of situation we'd be in as a society, as diverse  nations, as a planet, if varieties of Paganism/Reconstructionism were to become the "majority" religion(s) of the world, displacing Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam.  No one particular Paganism being necessarily predominant, but Paganism as a whole becoming by far the majority practice.  What would happen to our political systems? What would happen to our communities and neighborhoods?  What would happen on a national or local scale?

Would everything go swimmingly and peace and joy reign on earth,  or would new problems be created, new power struggles, perhaps now among Pagan "factions" or different paths, regarding whose was more "correct."?  HOw would you feel if there was no need to "come out" at work, as a Pagan, but rather it was now the Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Muslims who had to trepidatiously "come out" and risk the wrath of the Pagan majority?  

Do you think you'd see Christians or any of the others of the formerly mainstream religions differently, if they were in a tiny minority, instead of the vast majority in your daily life?  (Is it difficult to even imagine such a scenario...?) How would you personally feel if you were no longer part of a minority or a relatively unknown or questionable group, but were identifed with a group that most people knew a good amount about, didn't need to ask you anything or treat you as an oddity, and you became just another Joe or Jill Average as a Pagan?

Would Paganism become banal and kitschy when seized by the majority, threatened with loss of meaning , or could it retain its meaningfulness and its numinosity for you? Any other thoughts?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 10:25:26 pm by RandallS, Reason: Added blank lines to make message more readable » Logged

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« Reply #1: July 02, 2010, 11:21:54 pm »


Though I would much prefer Pagans to become a larger, less maligned minority (with the concurrent desire that the monopoly of Abrahamic faiths drop dramatically), I'd admit that considering the world of a Pagan majority is a somewhat alluring one. I believe that human problems are human problems and that war, crime, and bigotry aren't going anywhere just because of belief or religion or whathaveyou. But damn it would be nice to be able to have an out and proud Pagan for president.

Although I would hope we wouldn't need a majority to do that. Wink (Just... an incredible amount of time.)
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« Reply #2: July 03, 2010, 07:56:50 am »

I'm curious to see what others think of the type of situation we'd be in as a society, as diverse  nations, as a planet, if varieties of Paganism/Reconstructionism were to become the "majority" religion(s) of the world, displacing Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam.  No one particular Paganism being necessarily predominant, but Paganism as a whole becoming by far the majority practice.  What would happen to our political systems? What would happen to our communities and neighborhoods?  What would happen on a national or local scale?



As far as majority religions, you can drop Judaism, at less than 0.2% of the population from the list. Try Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Chinese Folk as the 4 largest groups.
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« Reply #3: July 03, 2010, 08:04:22 am »

Any other thoughts?

I'm of the opinion that things probably wouldn't be much different then they are now. There might be some religious strutural differences but there would be just as many social, political and other issues as exist now even if some of them were a little different.

As far as I personally am concerned I would probably be sure there was only one god but be unable to figure out who he was.  Smiley
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« Reply #4: July 03, 2010, 08:07:27 am »


Well for starters, I don't see war, bigotry, crime, etc., going away because those things were around when the pagan religions were still in power and I doubt they would ever go away in the future no matter which religion is the majority.  Also, I don't think politics would be any better simply because all politicians are the same regardless of religion.  They will just take another religion/ideology and twist it for their own ends.

Sure, conflicts between the mostly-Christian West and mostly-Islamic East will go away, but it would filled by large-scale versions of the inter-pagan clashes you see on the Web.
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« Reply #5: July 03, 2010, 08:11:57 am »

I'm curious to see what others think of the type of situation we'd be in as a society, as diverse  nations, as a planet, if varieties of Paganism/Reconstructionism were to become the "majority" religion(s) of the world, displacing Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam.  No one particular Paganism being necessarily predominant, but Paganism as a whole becoming by far the majority practice.  

I doubt much would change because while Pagan religions might be the majority, there are a lot of very different ones with beliefs, practices, and morals more different from each other than the differences between Christianity and Islam. I suspect these two religions would still be the largest single religions even if the various Pagan religions were the majority. Heck, neither Christianity or Islam are the majority today (population of the world-wise) although the two together are probably close to about half the world's population.
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« Reply #6: July 03, 2010, 08:15:12 am »

I doubt much would change because while Pagan religions might be the majority, there are a lot of very different ones with beliefs, practices, and morals more different from each other than the differences between Christianity and Islam. I suspect these two religions would still be the largest single religions even if the various Pagan religions were the majority. Heck, neither Christianity or Islam are the majority today (population of the world-wise) although the two together are probably close to about half the world's population.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm

Demographics for religions around the world.
 
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« Reply #7: July 04, 2010, 05:29:28 pm »

I doubt much would change because while Pagan religions might be the majority, there are a lot of very different ones with beliefs, practices, and morals more different from each other than the differences between Christianity and Islam.

I suspect that the blanket term "Pagan" would largely disappear as a result of this.

Betty
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« Reply #8: July 04, 2010, 08:27:31 pm »

\

I agree with most others that, on a large scale, the world wouldn't change much. But on a more personal level, I would love it. One of my biggest problems in my journey towards a more spiritual life is not being able to share my experiences directly with others. I think religious services would be good for me...It's just that I don't have any  hypothetical "pagan churches," groups, or covens available to me in real life. I suppose I could argue against myself in that just because paganism became a majority wouldn't mean it would become less individualized, and I do still like that aspect of my path. But at the same time, boy would I love to celebrate sabbats with others and have parties!
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« Reply #9: July 04, 2010, 08:36:23 pm »

I agree with most others that, on a large scale, the world wouldn't change much. But on a more personal level, I would love it. One of my biggest problems in my journey towards a more spiritual life is not being able to share my experiences directly with others. I think religious services would be good for me...It's just that I don't have any  hypothetical "pagan churches," groups, or covens available to me in real life. I suppose I could argue against myself in that just because paganism became a majority wouldn't mean it would become less individualized, and I do still like that aspect of my path. But at the same time, boy would I love to celebrate sabbats with others and have parties!

Imagine having a giant reconstructed Greek temple (a proper one, not just a federal building copying the architecture) in each major city, with one of the Theoi watching over each one... or having ADF bake sales to raise money for local schools... or having the solstices and equinoxes off everywhere.
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« Reply #10: July 04, 2010, 09:45:44 pm »

I'm curious to see what others think of the type of situation we'd be in as a society, as diverse  nations, as a planet, if varieties of Paganism/Reconstructionism were to become the "majority" religion(s) of the world, displacing Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam.  No one particular Paganism being necessarily predominant, but Paganism as a whole becoming by far the majority practice.  What would happen to our political systems? What would happen to our communities and neighborhoods?  What would happen on a national or local scale?

My best guess is that people would start hassling me about what I was doing for the next sabbat and I would go on a murderous killing rampage after the umpty-zillionth of them refused to believe that sabbats are not part of my religion.
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« Reply #11: July 05, 2010, 12:11:47 am »

My best guess is that people would start hassling me about what I was doing for the next sabbat and I would go on a murderous killing rampage after the umpty-zillionth of them refused to believe that sabbats are not part of my religion.

I was going to go with "annoying in a whole new way", but yeah...that works.

Brina
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« Reply #12: July 05, 2010, 12:25:31 am »

I was going to go with "annoying in a whole new way", but yeah...that works.

Brina

Door to door evangelists would take on a whole new meaning of scary. "Hiiiiiiii have you let the Magical Booby Goddess into YOUR heart today?"

(Granted, in a Pagan world it would be more likely to get door to door Pastafarians... which I'm okay with.)
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« Reply #13: July 05, 2010, 01:08:18 am »

I'm curious to see what others think of the type of situation we'd be in as a society, as diverse  nations, as a planet, if varieties of Paganism/Reconstructionism were to become the "majority" religion(s) of the world, displacing Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam.  No one particular Paganism being necessarily predominant, but Paganism as a whole becoming by far the majority practice.  What would happen to our political systems? What would happen to our communities and neighborhoods?  What would happen on a national or local scale?

Just to focus on one aspect of such a society, I think I would very much like to see some of the books that would be produced.

With a majority of people coming from a pagan perspective, there would be a much larger academic and intellectual pool to draw from, as well as those leaning toward things such as poetry or experiential aspects of life as a pagan.  There would, of course, be a proportionate increase in garbage, but I can only imagine that such a condition would produce some genuine classics and gems either directly about various manifestations of paganism, or informed by them.
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« Reply #14: July 05, 2010, 02:27:41 am »



The only answer I can come up with is the Battlestar Galactica / Caprica universe.


So say we all.
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