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Author Topic: Faith.  (Read 2355 times)
Castus
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« Topic Start: November 05, 2010, 01:39:51 pm »

Are problems of faith standard for most people? I'm a very cynical person, and true faith is very hard for me. I tend not to believe anything without cold, hard, truth. And while the testimonies of others are comforting, I sometimes can't help but wonder if the pagans of the past were delusional, and just invented gods to explain scientific phenomena. I think it may be that I haven't yet started to try to contact any of the deities, as I'm still researching and waiting to see who catches my eye.

((Oops, can someone move this to the "Faith in Everyday Life" Section?))
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 01:48:27 pm by Castus » Logged

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« Reply #1: November 05, 2010, 07:14:41 pm »

Are problems of faith standard for most people? I'm a very cynical person, and true faith is very hard for me. I tend not to believe anything without cold, hard, truth. And while the testimonies of others are comforting, I sometimes can't help but wonder if the pagans of the past were delusional, and just invented gods to explain scientific phenomena. I think it may be that I haven't yet started to try to contact any of the deities, as I'm still researching and waiting to see who catches my eye.

((Oops, can someone move this to the "Faith in Everyday Life" Section?))

*moved*

In Flamekeeping, faith is irrelevant. Cheesy  What matters is what you DO, not whether or not you believe it that day.

There are days I believe in gods without question.  There are other days I think I must have been smoking something.

If on the days when faith seems about as logical as unicorns, you look at your life and decide you wouldn't change it anyway, you're probably fine.  If lack of faith makes your life unchanged into a trainwreck, it doesn't matter if you're following gods or not, you should rethink things. Cheesy

It doesn't matter what you BELIEVE.  What matters is what you do and what comes from that.  Faith .. well, faith is always subject to interpretation.  And guesswork.  And, sometimes, chocolate. Cheesy
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« Reply #2: November 05, 2010, 09:37:58 pm »


I am incredibly gullible and still question whether I have made it all up several times each week. I have always believed in something and talked to someone but I also talk to myself, potplants and animals so the fact I talk to someone doesn't really make me have any less doubts about what I believe.

So to answer your question Yes in my experience most people do have problems with faith.
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« Reply #3: November 05, 2010, 09:51:38 pm »

Are problems of faith standard for most people? I'm a very cynical person, and true faith is very hard for me.

One of the great things about being a pagan from my perspective is that "faith" isn't a part of any standard of what I'm doing.

I do the thing or I don't.
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Liadine (dragonflyeyes)
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« Reply #4: November 06, 2010, 01:26:04 am »

Are problems of faith standard for most people? I'm a very cynical person, and true faith is very hard for me. I tend not to believe anything without cold, hard, truth. And while the testimonies of others are comforting, I sometimes can't help but wonder if the pagans of the past were delusional, and just invented gods to explain scientific phenomena. I think it may be that I haven't yet started to try to contact any of the deities, as I'm still researching and waiting to see who catches my eye.

((Oops, can someone move this to the "Faith in Everyday Life" Section?))

Before I figured out things with the deities who have me, I was working on an 'as-if' basis. Since I'd been researching/practicing/hopping around online like a fluff-bunny/researching more/etc in waves since I was 13 or so (I'm 22 now), I decided that this is where I was supposed to be. No escaping it, even though I tried a few times. So I figured that since this is where I belonged, I would put the question of faith on back-burner and see where working from a place of 'I don't know, and it's okay that I don't know' took me. Easier said than done, I know, especially since I grew up around evangelical Christians and I really craved their certainty sometimes.

Turns out that it worked. Yes, I was skeptical, but what I did still felt as right and still worked. I even worked the 'knowing-not knowing' conflict into how I viewed my path, since I like to work with liminal spaces and concepts.

My deities have changed how I approach faith, but I still deal with skepticism, and I think that's healthy. Stress checks the strength of my path and keeps it from veering off in the wrong direction.

How important is 'true' faith to you? Why? Would what you're doing/what you want to do still have value if none of this is true?

It might not work out for you, but I know I learned a lot from prodding at why I wanted to have the certainty of absolute faith, then working in that weird push-pull zone of not having faith in my own faith (for lack of a better phrase).
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« Reply #5: November 06, 2010, 09:43:10 am »

One of the great things about being a pagan from my perspective is that "faith" isn't a part of any standard of what I'm doing.

I do the thing or I don't.

Seconded.
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« Reply #6: November 07, 2010, 07:31:19 pm »

Are problems of faith standard for most people? I'm a very cynical person, and true faith is very hard for me. I tend not to believe anything without cold, hard, truth.

Same here. My point of view though, has always been that one might as well live as if god(s) exist. IF you're wrong, you've still lived a good life and had a nice go-round. If you're right, then hey presto! You've been doing the right thing all along, and now you get something nice!

Besides, having God around gives me someone to talk to (or yell at) when I'm upset or frustrated. Whether it's God or my inner lawn gnome talking back, if the advice is good then I take it, and it always makes me feel better.

Blessings!
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« Reply #7: November 07, 2010, 07:46:08 pm »

One of the great things about being a pagan from my perspective is that "faith" isn't a part of any standard of what I'm doing.

I do the thing or I don't.

Me too.

I'll add here something I said in chat the other day:

When I have a fortune cookie in my hand, I believe it is there - I am tangibly feeling it and holding it.

When I read the fortune, I have faith that something will happen based on the language in that fortune (money will arrive, a loved one will call me, I'll meet an interesting stranger, etc.)

I believe the tangible, I have faith in the intangible.
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« Reply #8: November 08, 2010, 05:49:09 pm »

Are problems of faith standard for most people? I'm a very cynical person, and true faith is very hard for me. I tend not to believe anything without cold, hard, truth.

Are you me?   Cheesy

I find that for me, I've got to rationalise belief.  I read myths and read of people doing impossible things, and I say "Well, this is impossible, but it probably got more impressive over time, and besides, this isn't necessarily history; it was made up to be a story".  That's simplified, but I tend to apply logic to my beliefs wherever possible.  I think that's why I'm a reconstructionist - I learn about how the Celts thought (inasmuch as that's possible), and how they lived, and I try to base my own life on those rules.  But eclecticism comes to me naturally like burning comes naturally to a lake, because that would involve making my own rules, and I'd never decide on them without a framework.

I also find testimonials comforting, because they come from so many people, and, well, something that so many people experience must have some basis in truth, yes?
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« Reply #9: November 27, 2010, 09:41:58 pm »

One of the great things about being a pagan from my perspective is that "faith" isn't a part of any standard of what I'm doing.

I do the thing or I don't.

I third this. But I think we're inherently biased. As recons (I'm kinda taking a leap and assuming you're a recon), the religious traditions we've taken on were very much concerned with orthopraxy and not so much orthodoxy - that is, the correct practice, and not the correct viewpoint.

I know this is certainly the case with Indo-European religions, not so sure about Near Eastern ones. Is this the case with everyone?
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