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Author Topic: Neo-Pagan Unity: Does it Exist, Should it Exist?  (Read 14781 times)
EverFool
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« Reply #30: January 27, 2008, 05:58:15 am »

Where do you best get unbiased information about them then?

Well, if you wanted to get information that more accurately reflected branches of Satanism (leaving aside the question of 'un-biased'), one could talk to Satanists.  For Le Vay type Satanism, one could read The Satanic Bible to get the gist of their beliefs/ core statements.  I would imagine there are also Satanic forums one could browse.  I used to regularly read one, but I forget where it is based, and have no idea if it would still be running.  But it included a full range from philosophical Satanists to theistic/ magically inclined Satanists.
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« Reply #31: January 27, 2008, 08:00:50 am »

I think it is safe to conclude that Bonewits is addressing people who don't know anything about Paganism. Faerie K seems to lose sight if this.

Exactly -- he is defining Paganism to the masses and his definition excludes a number of Pagan religions and independent Pagans.  No one made Isaac Pagan Pope. He doesn't get to declare to the non-Pagan world who is and isn't Pagan.

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Of course Bonewits is going to mention and repeat that Neo-Pagans are not Satanists.

The problem with that declaration is that there are Satanists who consider themselves to be Pagan and who fit a reasonable, non-prejudiced definition of the term "Pagan."  As I said above, no one made Isaac Pagan Pope with the right to decide such issues for the general public.

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This comment starts of really well but then does exactly what Bonewits is being criticised for "but there are too few duotheistic religions for this concept of deity to be considered an integral definition of Neo-Pagan beliefs" ie it excludes a lot of Pagans

All this is saying is that definitions of Paganism that talk about Paganism being "duotheistic" are incorrect because many Pagan religions are not duotheistic.

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This is a perfectly reasonable statement with regard to Bonewits idea of Neo_Paganism.

Well, yes, as Bonewits has defined things it is quite reasonable. Many see the Bonewitz definition as the problem.

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Why wouldn't information about the Neo-Pagan view of sexualty be included?

Because there is no one Pagan view of sexuality. There are many different Pagan religions and their views on acceptable sexual behavior vary quite a bit. There are no required sexual views to be Pagan -- Bonewits and others want to impose what they feel are the correct views on Paganism thereby excluding those religions from the "Pagan" category whose views are not what they wish.

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How many fundamentalist Christians do you think are aware that the timing their major festivals is based on Pagan Solar festivals?

While many Pagans like to believe this, in reality it isn't possible to show that this is true. In fact, there is some evidence that in some cases the opposite is true. (See The Seasons of the Sun by Hutton).
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« Reply #32: January 27, 2008, 11:23:42 am »

Well, if you wanted to get information that more accurately reflected branches of Satanism (leaving aside the question of 'un-biased'), one could talk to Satanists.  For Le Vay type Satanism, one could read The Satanic Bible to get the gist of their beliefs/ core statements.  I would imagine there are also Satanic forums one could browse.  I used to regularly read one, but I forget where it is based, and have no idea if it would still be running.  But it included a full range from philosophical Satanists to theistic/ magically inclined Satanists.
Thanks for the recommendations. I'm a bit too overwhelmed with info in general at the moment and too busy with real life to do a large research on that topic, but maybe I'll come back to it later.

I'd be glad if there was a relativly unbiased article in the Pagan Primer or anything similar.


Sorry if I have annoyed everyone with stupid newbie questions and assumptions. The seduction of this forum to ask any question that pops up in my mind is just too strong to resist.
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« Reply #33: January 27, 2008, 11:45:11 am »

(See The Seasons of the Sun by Hutton).

I think you mean "Stations of the Sun". 

Aw, crap.  Now I've got a Rod McKuen poem rattling around in my head.  AAARGH!  Get it out!

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« Reply #34: January 27, 2008, 03:07:21 pm »

Of course Bonewits is going to mention and repeat that Neo-Pagans are not Satanists. There are a lot of people out there who think that Pagans of ARE Satanists. I actually saw a TV show where the evil Satanists where summoning Cernunnos.

I have a significant problem with this as an "of course".

Not just because I find it more useful to talk about what I am than what I am not.

Not just because as a Setian and a Feri, trying to claim seriously that I cannot be considered a Satanist is philosophical deception at best.

But because of "the lady doth protest too much".  The constant defensive bringing up of "but we're not Satanists" does a great deal, I think, to reinforce the notion that there's some relationship; it implants it in the minds of people who weren't going that way ("Why would they bring it up so immediately if it weren't important?") and encourages those who were ("See!  See!  They rush to deny it!").  It's not going to do any good -- the people who are convinced that pagans are all Satanists will believe that regardless of evidence; the people who will be convinced by evidence need to see evidence rather than "But I'm not!" -- and is quite likely to do harm, at least in the sense of encouraging misinformation.
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« Reply #35: January 27, 2008, 04:23:42 pm »

I think you mean "Stations of the Sun". 

You're right -- I did mean Stations of the Sun. And Cyn was just saying that she hasn't seen many "Randallisms" lately... LOL.
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« Reply #36: January 27, 2008, 04:28:34 pm »

The constant defensive bringing up of "but we're not Satanists" does a great deal, I think, to reinforce the notion that there's some relationship; it implants it in the minds of people who weren't going that way ("Why would they bring it up so immediately if it weren't important?") and encourages those who were ("See!  See!  They rush to deny it!").

I gotten so I usually just point out to those in the US making that claim that the First Amendment protects the right of Satanists to worship Satan in spite of the strong objections of Christians just as it protects the right of Christians to worship Christ in spite of the strong objections of Satanists. This almost always derails the "Pagans are Stanists" stuff as they state in on wrong it is for the constitution to allow freedom of religion to religions they don't like.
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« Reply #37: January 27, 2008, 11:11:12 pm »

Sorry if I have annoyed everyone with stupid newbie questions and assumptions. The seduction of this forum to ask any question that pops up in my mind is just too strong to resist.
There are no stupid questions.  The only stupidity lies in not asking the questions you have.  Asking is good; how else are you going to find out?

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« Reply #38: January 27, 2008, 11:28:21 pm »

But because of "the lady doth protest too much".  The constant defensive bringing up of "but we're not Satanists" does a great deal, I think, to reinforce the notion that there's some relationship; it implants it in the minds of people who weren't going that way ("Why would they bring it up so immediately if it weren't important?") and encourages those who were ("See!  See!  They rush to deny it!").  It's not going to do any good -- the people who are convinced that pagans are all Satanists will believe that regardless of evidence; the people who will be convinced by evidence need to see evidence rather than "But I'm not!" -- and is quite likely to do harm, at least in the sense of encouraging misinformation.
Virtually all of the Satanists I know personally are "non-canonical LaVeyists".  With the exception of the theologically-well-educated one who used that phrase, the first thing they say in answer to, "What sort of Satanist?" is, "Not LaVeyist" - not in the sense of, "I'm not one of those and it has nothing to do with me," but as a shorthanded way of saying, "That's roughly what sort I am, but my practice differs in many ways."

Food for thought for loudly-not-Satanist Pagans.

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