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    Contemporary Society and the Gods

    Hello,

    With modern society that has things that did not exist back pre-christian times, how do we view the gods? Do you see them being willing to use modern technology and items that did not exist back then?

    I was inspired to ask this question from my biblical studies class that I am taking for my medieval studies minor, as well christanity was just a little bit important back then. anyways, we were talking about the prophets in the old testament and the question my teacher asked was "if they were around today, what sort of things would they speak on" This made me think on how does that apply to my own pagan path, ie how do I see the gods.

    for example, computers, the internet, cameras, planes, guns, tv, phones and so forth; none of this existed back in ancient times. So how do you see the gods and modern society? do you see them using it at all?

    I read a post, i think here but I can't be sure, that was about a hindu deity that had in addition to ancient symbols also the telephone in one of its hands. reading that and thinking on this question is what lead me to my own UPG about one of the celtic deities, Lugh. Since in the tales Lugh is stated to be skilled to be in many skills. So it came to me, that lugh could be skilled in arts and skills that are modern inventions, such as engineering, building computers, web design, just as much as he is still skilled in the things that would have existed in the celtic times.

    so I wonder what you think about these questions, and if others have had thoughts like I did when it comes to diffrent gods and goddesses?

    -herkles

    Last edited by RandallS; 29 Feb 2012 at 07:04 AM. Reason: Subject Fixed

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    Re: contempory society and the gods

    Quote Originally Posted by herkles View Post
    Hello,

    With modern society that has things that did not exist back pre-christian times, how do we view the gods? Do you see them being willing to use modern technology and items that did not exist back then?

    I was inspired to ask this question from my biblical studies class that I am taking for my medieval studies minor, as well christanity was just a little bit important back then. anyways, we were talking about the prophets in the old testament and the question my teacher asked was "if they were around today, what sort of things would they speak on" This made me think on how does that apply to my own pagan path, ie how do I see the gods.

    for example, computers, the internet, cameras, planes, guns, tv, phones and so forth; none of this existed back in ancient times. So how do you see the gods and modern society? do you see them using it at all?

    I read a post, i think here but I can't be sure, that was about a hindu deity that had in addition to ancient symbols also the telephone in one of its hands. reading that and thinking on this question is what lead me to my own UPG about one of the celtic deities, Lugh. Since in the tales Lugh is stated to be skilled to be in many skills. So it came to me, that lugh could be skilled in arts and skills that are modern inventions, such as engineering, building computers, web design, just as much as he is still skilled in the things that would have existed in the celtic times.

    so I wonder what you think about these questions, and if others have had thoughts like I did when it comes to diffrent gods and goddesses?

    -herkles
    I've thought about this before. Had a conversation about it with my roommate too. Most of that conversation was about what different gods would be associated with if the myths were being written in the modern age, and it got ridiculous real quick, but I do remember saying that Loki would be associated with heavy traffic. Now anytime I'm getting into traffic, I can't help but to think of Loki.

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    Re: contempory society and the gods

    Quote Originally Posted by herkles View Post
    Hello,

    With modern society that has things that did not exist back pre-christian times, how do we view the gods? Do you see them being willing to use modern technology and items that did not exist back then?


    so I wonder what you think about these questions, and if others have had thoughts like I did when it comes to diffrent gods and goddesses?

    -herkles
    Douglas Adams had me thinking that when I first read his works. And it was fun to think about in that vein. American Gods by Neil Gaiman did the same thing in a slightly different way for me.

    It is difficult to imagine the mind of a god without anthropomorphizing, and it may be that difficulty which causes the idea to be handled with levity so often.

    Personally, I think a god would use all the tools in the tool box and if the entity did not find one suitable, another would come to be.

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    Re: contempory society and the gods

    Quote Originally Posted by herkles View Post
    for example, computers, the internet, cameras, planes, guns, tv, phones and so forth; none of this existed back in ancient times. So how do you see the gods and modern society? do you see them using it at all?
    Personally, I think the Morrigan would ADORE the cut-throat world of politics. XD She'd probably adapt to modern warfare very well, although the thought of her with a nuke or land-mines is terrifying.

    She would also have no problem with the rise of feminism or the proliferation of porn on the Internet. XD

    Lugh would also adapt very well to modern society, as mentioned earlier, and I'd think the various healing gods would be interested in all the leaps medical science has taken.

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    Re: contempory society and the gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharysa View Post
    Personally, I think the Morrigan would ADORE the cut-throat world of politics. XD She'd probably adapt to modern warfare very well, although the thought of her with a nuke or land-mines is terrifying.
    That's an odd equivalency of nukes and landmines. Care to elaborate why you'd find her terrifying with both of them?

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    Re: contempory society and the gods

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor View Post
    That's an odd equivalency of nukes and landmines. Care to elaborate why you'd find her terrifying with both of them?
    Sorry, I meant "nukes and/OR landmines," not necessarily "Nukes and landmines at the same time."

    The Morrigan is already very intimidating, and the thought of her being able to kill dozens to thousands at a time is very unsettling.

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    Re: contempory society and the gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharysa View Post
    Sorry, I meant "nukes and/OR landmines," not necessarily "Nukes and landmines at the same time."

    The Morrigan is already very intimidating, and the thought of her being able to kill dozens to thousands at a time is very unsettling.
    Still an odd equivalency. Nukes that can kill 100s of thousands on one end. Landmines that might kill a dozen or less on the other.

    What about bombs, missiles, artillery, machine guns? All are pretty much more deadly than landmines. If you are going for high end (nukes) to low end, I'd think pistols would be more low end in terms of effectiveness.

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    Re: contempory society and the gods

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor View Post
    Still an odd equivalency. Nukes that can kill 100s of thousands on one end. Landmines that might kill a dozen or less on the other.

    What about bombs, missiles, artillery, machine guns? All are pretty much more deadly than landmines. If you are going for high end (nukes) to low end, I'd think pistols would be more low end in terms of effectiveness.
    I think actually it's the /randomness/ of nukes and landmines. The sense of the being nowhere near a battle and still being a potential target.

    A gun is a deliberate attempt to shoot /someone/. A landmine is any damn bastard that steps there.

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    Re: contempory society and the gods

    Quote Originally Posted by herkles View Post
    With modern society that has things that did not exist back pre-christian times, how do we view the gods? Do you see them being willing to use modern technology and items that did not exist back then?
    Well, I'm a bit of a technophobe and resistant to progressive technology, so I find this a very difficult question to answer. For me, the gods are the forces of nature, and the natural functions of the cosmos. In the Greek pantheon, the younger Olympians (Athene, Hephaistos, Apollon, Hermes, Ares, etc.) are more the gods of civilization, while the elder Olympians (Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Aphrodite) are associated with the natural forces like the domains of sky, earth, and water, as well as fertility and generation. I've always been more drawn to the gods of nature rather than civilization, so I guess I don't really find the spirituality in new-fangled gadgets, no matter how much easier (and often, more stressful) they make our lives.

    These days I'm mainly a follower of Isis and Osiris/Serapis, who are pretty universal in function, but I still see them as more associated with the forces of nature. For example, Isis is the feminine reproductive power in the universe, the womb of the sky that gives birth to the sun and the fertile earth from which life sprouts. Serapis is the sun that is born, dies, and is ever renewed; the king of the world and underworld; the bringer of fecundity and the fructifying waters of life. Modern technology is much more a strictly human concern rather than a universal life-bringing power, and actually makes it easier for us to bring devastation to the life in the universe. For example, I don't see Demeter or Isis in factory farming and all the abuses forced on animals and the earth through machinery, hormones, and chemical pesticides. Radiation from cell phones is linked to cancer (though I'm no scientist, and not an expert), industrialization causes a lot of pollution and environmental devastation. Dependency on individualized computers, mp3 players, and even communication devices, cause more isolation and disconnection from one another than anything. I use them, since one can't really avoid it in modern society, and they do have a lot of benefits (like connecting with like-minded people on forums like this, which would be difficult without modern technology), but I try not to overdo it.

    I'm not totally against modern technology, I just associate it more with humanity than divinity.

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor View Post
    Still an odd equivalency. Nukes that can kill 100s of thousands on one end. Landmines that might kill a dozen or less on the other.

    What about bombs, missiles, artillery, machine guns? All are pretty much more deadly than landmines. If you are going for high end (nukes) to low end, I'd think pistols would be more low end in terms of effectiveness.
    She probably just means devastating modern war weapons in general would be terrifying in the hands of a raging goddess.

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    Re: contempory society and the gods

    Quote Originally Posted by herkles View Post
    Hello,

    With modern society that has things that did not exist back pre-christian times, how do we view the gods? Do you see them being willing to use modern technology and items that did not exist back then?

    I was inspired to ask this question from my biblical studies class that I am taking for my medieval studies minor, as well christanity was just a little bit important back then. anyways, we were talking about the prophets in the old testament and the question my teacher asked was "if they were around today, what sort of things would they speak on" This made me think on how does that apply to my own pagan path, ie how do I see the gods.

    for example, computers, the internet, cameras, planes, guns, tv, phones and so forth; none of this existed back in ancient times. So how do you see the gods and modern society? do you see them using it at all?

    I read a post, i think here but I can't be sure, that was about a hindu deity that had in addition to ancient symbols also the telephone in one of its hands. reading that and thinking on this question is what lead me to my own UPG about one of the celtic deities, Lugh. Since in the tales Lugh is stated to be skilled to be in many skills. So it came to me, that lugh could be skilled in arts and skills that are modern inventions, such as engineering, building computers, web design, just as much as he is still skilled in the things that would have existed in the celtic times.

    so I wonder what you think about these questions, and if others have had thoughts like I did when it comes to diffrent gods and goddesses?

    -herkles
    I think that, for example, a mobile phone can become a modern symbol of Hermes as the God of communications, thus, all the communication means, ancient, or modern, or not yet invented, are within his domain. But I'm not quite sure what you mean when you mention deities actually using the mobile phone - I guess in my view the gods aren't so anthropomorphic.
    Same with other deities. I can definitely see Athena governing over modern research facilities, Ares over all the modern warfare, Aesculapius over modern medicine and so on. Just because that's within their nature and has always been, not because they suddenly decide to "adapt".

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