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Author Topic: Elements of Worldview: Heathen  (Read 5206 times)

Juniperberry

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Elements of Worldview: Heathen
« on: July 10, 2011, 10:40:21 pm »
This came up in another thread and I thought it might be an interesting discussion here. Below are the six elements that comprise a worldview. How would these be answered within heathenry?


1.An explanation of the world

2.A futurology, answering the question "where are we heading?"

3.Values, answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"

4.A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action.: "How should we attain our goals?"

5.An epistemology, or theory of knowledge. "What is true and false?"

6.An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own "building   blocks," its origins and construction.

Feel free to add examples of how you feel this worldview is expressed in heathen literature, architecture, etc. Or even how it evolved, etc. Maybe it'd be even better to chose one at a time and discuss that element? What do you think?

Hopefully this will be a fun topic! 0_0
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 10:42:00 pm by Juniperberry »
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Mark C.

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Re: Elements of Worldview: Heathen
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 01:49:03 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;3780
This came up in another thread and I thought it might be an interesting discussion here. Below are the six elements that comprise a worldview. How would these be answered within heathenry?


Interesting! I’ll take a stab at the 6 points to get things moving:

1. An explanation of the world

We don’t know the ultimate origin of the universe, but it was organized by Odin and his brothers. There is no “other world” and the gods, the spirits, the living and the dead all inhabit the here and now.

2. A futurology, answering the question "where are we heading?"

Ultimately all individuals will die. However, our deeds, and hopefully our name, will live on. The universe too will come to an end. Nothing is eternal and chaos and order will eventually cancel each other out. It is therefore important to live well and to live now.

3. Values, answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"

There is no divine source of right and wrong. We have guidance in the Havamal; but we have no ethical laws or commandments. Standards of right and wrong are determined by the communities in which we live and upon which our actions impact (which can be far reaching in the modern age). All actions have to be weighed against the impact, positive and negative, that they will have on the others. We will not be judged in the “next life” for our actions, but judged in the here and now. Heathens do not subscribe to the notions of “Judge not lest ye be judged yourself”, we judge others and expect to be judged ourselves. When we do wrong it is up to us to put it right. When others do us wrong, then likewise we will seek to ensure the situation is rectified (this is not to be confused with seeking vengeance). We fully accept responsibility for all that we do and don’t do; and we expect others to do the same.

4. A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action.: "How should we attain our goals?"

We attain our goals through hard work, through seeking knowledge and experience, and through maintaining right relationships within our communities, our ancestors, the land wights and the god and goddesses.

5. An epistemology, or theory of knowledge. "What is true and false?"

What is true will be proved true and what is false will be proved false. Everything is to be tested. There is no unquestionable authority for determining the truth. Experience and testing will determine truth; and no truth is absolute and not subject to further testing.

6. An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own "building blocks," its origins and construction.

The mythology and the wider lore tells us how the heathen world-view came into being mythological. History and the archeological record will tell us how the heathen world-view came into being literally.

Not 100% happy with any of those answers, but as a quick Q&A I think they have the core of how I feel about these things. Thoughts?

Mark.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 01:51:08 pm by Mark C. »

Juniperberry

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Re: Elements of Worldview: Heathen
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 07:32:23 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;3780
This came up in another thread and I thought it might be an interesting discussion here. Below are the six elements that comprise a worldview. How would these be answered within heathenry?


1.An explanation of the world

2.A futurology, answering the question "where are we heading?"

3.Values, answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"

4.A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action.: "How should we attain our goals?"

5.An epistemology, or theory of knowledge. "What is true and false?"

6.An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own "building   blocks," its origins and construction.


1. Everything came into being by natural process; elements  meeting and producing and changing. There is no Creator, but man and Regin alike  take charge of what they've arisen from and build their own fates.

Since there isn't an omni-type Creator and the origin of the world is natural, then there isn't any conflict between science and the worldview. Science only explains the intangible truths.
Since we all emerged from nature there is no great beyond, and no realm to return to outside of our reality. This is the world, this is your place, be responsible for it now and for those who come after.

2. We are heading only towards what we build. There isn't a plan, no divine fate. What you do in this moment and the choices you make create the future for yourself and the following generations. The future is influenced by your choices, those around you, the God's and the norns. But you always make the ultimate choice and in your choices you are responsible for all who come after. Through it all we move forward with the knowledge that things change, that things end and things are reborn and we must be prepared and willing to face this.
 
3. We should do what is best for, and brings honor to, our family and our communities. A heathen is not independent of those around her (see 2); a heathen should maintain the frith of her innergard, and work to support and be productive for the family and community. A heathen should give worth to those who have earned it, and seek to build worth for herself and her family. A good name lasts and is all we truly have at the end.

4. The goal of a heathen is ar ok frith. We meet these goals through hard work on a personal level, and through working with and for family and community and Regin.

5 What is "true" is your inneryard. What is "false" is the outeryard. If elements of the outeryard support and give worth to your family and community then they become part of your inneryard. Truth here means worth, truth is found in the continued history of your family, its ar ok frith, and its name. Anything outside of this, anything that threatens this, is false until proven worthy.  

6. The building blocks of the heathen worldview began with the regin and the origins of the world. They established the community and the boundaries of midgard and jutonheim, of inneryard and outeryard. They established the boundaries between the dead and the living, between order and chaos. Their worth and good name is at the beginning of every families worth and good name. Without family, without honor, without boundaries- in both men and gods- the world will collapse into chaos.

The absolute foundation of the heathen worldview is the importance of the family/community. Without your kin and regin you have nothing, you have lived for nothing,  and you die forgotten. Without families and communities and worth and ar ok frith, the world is nothing and builds towards nothing.

You were right, Mark, some of these were a little harder to answer than others. Which ones weren't you completely satisfied with?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 07:37:51 pm by Juniperberry »
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Mark C.

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Re: Elements of Worldview: Heathen
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2011, 05:33:50 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;4034
You were right, Mark, some of these were a little harder to answer than others. Which ones weren't you completely satisfied with?

I wasn’t happy with any off mine to be honest. I thought there are subtleties and details needed to give a solid answer. As you can probably tell from my average post length, I’m also not great at getting to the point :-)

Got to say that I really like your answers though! I think they capture the essence of the worldview as well as introducing things for further exploration. I like them lots!

I once read a very good book on Celtic Reconstructionism called “The CR FAQ: An Introduction to Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism”. It is in a Q&A format and on reading it I felt that Reconstructionist Heathenry would greatly benefit from having a similar text. It would be great to be able to point people towards a clear text that explained what Heathery was essentially all about. Your answers are the kind of thing I think such a book should contain: Succinct and to the point and easy for people to digest.

Mark
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 05:34:27 am by Mark C. »

Juniperberry

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Re: Elements of Worldview: Heathen
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2011, 06:49:27 am »
Quote from: Mark C.;4198
I wasn’t happy with any off mine to be honest. I thought there are subtleties and details needed to give a solid answer. As you can probably tell from my average post length, I’m also not great at getting to the point :-)


I think I'm safe in saying that we all love your posts so not complaints here! I agree, there is alot more depth to some of these that are hard to fully answer...especially they way they all intertwine and inform each other.

I wasn't very comfortable with the "truth false" one and sort of came up with something that seemed along the general theme of the rest of them. I also thought you're answer was very good and very true of the worldview. I think anyone that answers this will bring another detail to the table, and that complexity is so fun.

I also was uncomfortable, myself, with how much the gods should be within the answers. We get accused a lot of being very dogmatic or stuck in a Christian mindset so I was trying very carefully to...idk, I was just hyper aware of that. Thoughts?
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

hlewagastir

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Re: Elements of Worldview: Heathen
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2011, 09:32:41 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;3780
This came up in another thread and I thought it might be an interesting discussion here. Below are the six elements that comprise a worldview. How would these be answered within heathenry?

Nice topic!

If I knew the answer further reconstruction woulden´t be nessarsary ;)
But here´s what I think I have garnered so far.

Quote
1.An explanation of the world


The world is comprised of places with their own beings and with their own orders.
The place of man and of gods exist as well as a place of the dead and of Jotunr. The boundaries of these places are set by the concept of innangard and utangard.
The different communities have their own thews and persons worth and importance to a community work in concentric circles; with the gods in the middle, the community at large after that and strangers/jotnur in the next circle(s) (note that there are subcircles also defined by innangard and utangard).


Quote
2.A futurology, answering the question "where are we heading?"

Everyone including the gods will die and loose their breath. We will die into the mount and/or into the hall of our forebares. The worth and luck we have laid into our names and family will be honoured and remembered for a time (depending on our deeds in life) and will live on to benefit or burden our living kin.

Our world and order will persih in Ragnarok but a new will rise from the ocean as ours did - IOW, destroyed communities will be rebuild or replaced.

Quote
3.Values, answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"


The gods have laid down the thew of community and the community will judge its members accordingly. The individual exists but its interests are outwighted by those of the family and community - IOW, one is usually bound by ones duties.
The hamingja, honor and peace of a family and community must be retained at all costs (even if the cost is restoration by killing).

Quote
4.A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action.: "How should we attain our goals?"


The goals of a family is to preserve or better its hamingja, honor and stabillity and the overall goal of a community is to preserve or better the peace and luck of the community as a whole.
On a communal level it is important to preserve and respect the institutions of the community and acting amongst them in a manner according to the thew of the community.
This is done by fulfilling ones duties to the community and family as well as sacrificing to the gods in order to bring Hêl into the community (or the leading parts anyways).
For the induvidiual family its standing in the community is everything; to secure that the family will renerate its ancesters and making sure it´s honor is intact, however, it will also accept the judgement of the central community institutions (such as the "Thing") in order to preserve peace.

Quote
5.An epistemology, or theory of knowledge. "What is true and false?"


What Juniperberry said!
The group and the thew laid down, and therefore in the last instance also the Gods, will decide what is truth and what is false in the community.

Quote
6.An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own "building   blocks," its origins and construction.


Again, Juniperberry sums this up beautifully.
Even though there´s some Icelandic, mythological mentioning of "the building blocks" the important things are; 1) that the gods shaped and ordered the world (from some primeval material), 2) that the gods founded the community of man by laying down the thew and creating the institutions (temples and Thing and so on).


Really interesting topic! :D:
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 09:40:34 am by hlewagastir »

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