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Author Topic: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?  (Read 34412 times)

wadjet

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #240 on: February 08, 2013, 11:32:29 pm »
English is a funny thing, what with its words having meanings for the purpose of communication and whatnot. If you don't mind me regressing the conversation....

Quote from: Nyktipolos;42943
(Although I've heard and found a lot of material published by monks or nuns about living ascetic lives are often very appealing to pagan ascetics.)

This was exactly my interpretation of "God-Slave", someone living an ascetic lifestyle whose daily life is entirely (or primarily) devoted to service. What they wear, what they eat, how they provide for themselves, and their choices of activity, all these things are conscious decisions to either prove their devotion and bring themselves closer to their god, or to further the purpose of their god among humans.

Perhaps there are less extreme examples of individuals who fall under the God-slave category, but unless I see a person living a seriously devotional lifestyle, I am going to take their supposed God-slavery with a grain of salt.

God-slave is another one of those words that's been tossed around online a lot lately, all blasé, because people are trying to prove just how truly different they are. (I guess since we can't claim unbroken secret heritage any more we need a new way to prove we're a Real Witch.)

SassyWitchin

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #241 on: March 31, 2013, 08:35:29 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;16669
I am certainly not willing to discuss this in a thread that starts with someone being disgusted by my life.

 
I think she meant it disgusts her because she isn't ready for that kind of commitment like a mental defence responce. not because she finds people who do that disgusting as she said she may eventually become one but is afraid. Correct me if I'm wrong.

veggiewolf

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #242 on: April 01, 2013, 08:57:59 am »
Quote from: SassyWitchin;103951
I think she meant it disgusts her because she isn't ready for that kind of commitment like a mental defence responce. not because she finds people who do that disgusting as she said she may eventually become one but is afraid. Correct me if I'm wrong.

 
You can see exactly what she meant as you read further in the thread.
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Rainbo

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #243 on: April 09, 2013, 10:40:13 am »
Quote from: SatSekhem;16631
In the book that I've been reading, I've stumbled upon the phrase "god-slave" which both intrigued me and worried me and disgusted me and terrified me. From what I have gathered, the terminology is similar to that of having a patron deity, however, instead of merely having this divine parent, so to speak, loving you and offering you encouragement from afar, you have literally dedicated your every waking second to the patron that has chosen you.

I was just wondering... how do you guys feel about all of this?

 
I don't have a problem with the idea of it at all. I think being a "slave" to any deity can present a host of potential problems; but keep in mind, I was raised by pretty abusive fundamentalist Christians, so that's my main reason for being gunshy about any potential for fanaticism, having seen how far it can go. So I feel a slight twinge of caution on the matter.

That being said, a more healthy commitment of servitude to a deity or deities from the Old World really gives me warm fuzzies, to be honest. I think it's wonderful! I'm really glad to know that people are doing that! It appeals to that part of me that's always terribly worried about the Old Ways being lost or trampled down by the all-too-eager (and all-too-numerous!) New ones.

Personally, I am not a long-term indentured servant (I guess I'm a little more hesitant to use the word "slave", haha) to any particular deity and not very likely to be. The ones that have bothered to show themselves to me always seem to acknowledge me as a stubbornly free-spirited person and thus far haven't had a problem with that, which is very generous of them. In the presence of any deity I am always humble and reverent, even carrying out tasks with little hesitation - but so far, the ones I've stumbled across almost seem to grin a little bit knowing I've steadfastly chosen my path of servant to everyone, slave to no one.

veggiewolf

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #244 on: April 09, 2013, 11:56:15 am »
Quote from: Rainbo;104820
I don't have a problem with the idea of it at all. I think being a "slave" to any deity can present a host of potential problems; but keep in mind, I was raised by pretty abusive fundamentalist Christians, so that's my main reason for being gunshy about any potential for fanaticism, having seen how far it can go. So I feel a slight twinge of caution on the matter.


All paths have potential for problems or risk...and moreso without the consent of all involved parties.  The key for me, as a god-slave, is that I consented to the role and the risks that come with it.

I understand that you might be uncomfortable with the word 'slave' (there are a lot of people who are) but just note that some of us get twitchy when our chosen title/label/role is put in quotes.

Quote
That being said, a more healthy commitment of servitude to a deity or deities from the Old World really gives me warm fuzzies, to be honest. I think it's wonderful! I'm really glad to know that people are doing that! It appeals to that part of me that's always terribly worried about the Old Ways being lost or trampled down by the all-too-eager (and all-too-numerous!) New ones.


I'm curious about two things with regard to your statements above...and yes, these are serious questions and not an attempt to tear apart what you've said.  

(1) Why did you emphasize 'healthy'?  Did you intend to communicate that god-slave relationships are not healthy, or was there something else you were trying to get across?

(2) What, exactly, do you mean by 'Old Ways'?  I've not heard that descriptor in a long time and it doesn't mean what the last people I heard use it thought it meant.

Quote
Personally, I am not a long-term indentured servant (I guess I'm a little more hesitant to use the word "slave", haha) to any particular deity and not very likely to be. The ones that have bothered to show themselves to me always seem to acknowledge me as a stubbornly free-spirited person and thus far haven't had a problem with that, which is very generous of them. In the presence of any deity I am always humble and reverent, even carrying out tasks with little hesitation - but so far, the ones I've stumbled across almost seem to grin a little bit knowing I've steadfastly chosen my path of servant to everyone, slave to no one.

 
Given the descriptions noted throughout this thread by god-slaves and those who consider themselves servants rather than slaves, how do you differentiate the two?  

Obviously, the path of a god-slave is not for everyone, nor should everyone expect to find themselves in such a relationship.  In your explanation, I can't tell if you've been asked to fill the role and have rejected it or if it hasn't come up for you at all but you plan to reject it if it does.
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Nachtigall

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #245 on: April 09, 2013, 12:11:35 pm »
Quote from: wadjet;95795

This was exactly my interpretation of "God-Slave", someone living an ascetic lifestyle whose daily life is entirely (or primarily) devoted to service. What they wear, what they eat, how they provide for themselves, and their choices of activity, all these things are conscious decisions to either prove their devotion and bring themselves closer to their god, or to further the purpose of their god among humans.

 
So, while I don't identify as a God-Slave, this thread, and this paragraf in particular got me thinking. To an extent, I can relate to that; "does it further the purpose of my god" isn't the only factor in my life decisions, but it is most certainly *a* factor, from deciding what carreer path to take, to deciding what I eat and how I look. It just seems natural to me, and in my mind slavery would be involving at least some kind of coercion... so, I don't know.

On the other hand, my relationship with my god does seem to have a certain D/s flair from times to times... this is where I am reminded, that Apollon Despot was one of His cult titles as well (again, there's no coercion there, so I'm still reluctant to use the slavery term). So... perhaps I do have to give this idea a second look.

veggiewolf

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #246 on: April 09, 2013, 12:44:40 pm »
Quote from: Nachtigall;104824
...

On the other hand, my relationship with my god does seem to have a certain D/s flair from times to times... this is where I am reminded, that Apollon Despot was one of His cult titles as well (again, there's no coercion there, so I'm still reluctant to use the slavery term). So... perhaps I do have to give this idea a second look.

 
FWIW, there's no coercion per se in my relationship with Neb.y; everything is consensual.
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Chaldi

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #247 on: April 09, 2013, 04:12:34 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;104828
You have completely dedicated your entire life to this god/dess that has chosen you.

Sorry, I really didn't read all the 24 pages this thread contains, it is a bit much but I have a problem concerning the pure meaning of "slave" and the complex of slavery as it is stated in the initial post.

Devotion as the single and most striking key element of slavery is quite unsatisfying for there is clearly more that defines this subject in contrast to others. And assuming slaves to be always devoted to their masters, owners etc. is quite ... uh ... let's say sarcastic. Surely, slavery and different forms of servitude - motivated by religion or not - might have some characteristics in common but you shouldn't melt it into one single thing.

Being a slave or slavery as a practice is clearly something with an emphasis on a condition maintained by force but not always made by it. You are forced into slavery simply by lasting physical force or an abstract force like law - because of a crime, debt etc - tradition etc. by someone or something that demands and dictates slavery in certain circumstances. Your choices are being restricted and chanelled as are your rights in a sometimes quite extreme manner.

Servitude - I'll talk only about the religious forms keeping feudalism etc out - demands in most cases devotion, the decision to BECOME a servant in a very significant way. You cannot be forced into servitude, you cannot be made a pure slave of a god for you cannot be forced to truely believe. Sometimes one might think ones HAS to do service for the god WANTS it and punishment might follow. But still you have to BELIEVE in this specific god. An atheist cannot be forced into religious service but into slavery - which might theoretically consist of religious services. Religious service might thus be inititally started by force but it needn't be maintained by force.

This element of voluntariness as a prerequisite for belief AND thus devotion to a specific belief system seems key to me. Slavery does not require you to actually believe in what you do or even who you serve. It requires you - ideally because of fear of punishment but it's not necessary for you'll still be a slave even if you're a poor one - to do what your owner, master etc asks you to do regardless of your willingness. It does not really matter if punishment will be delivered at all, by your "owner", master or a supervisor.

Another very important element is social stratigraphy. While being a slave will strip you of rights and contain additional restrictions which will exclude you at least partially from normal society resulting in a usually lower social status religious service will mostly lead to a higher social status.

All in all I think it's the most important step to discuss the role of voluntariness and belief as a prerequisite in a specific case to decide if it's a form of slavery - physically or psychologically - or anything else. I'm really far too lazy to list all the possibilities to combine and incorporate slavery and concepts of religious service into another but at least I think they're quite different social phenomena.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 04:19:29 pm by Chaldi »

HeartShadow

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Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #248 on: April 09, 2013, 04:52:08 pm »
Quote from: Chaldi;104838

So you are right and all 24 pages you didn't read is full of people being wrong about their own lives?  Really?

Morag

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #249 on: April 09, 2013, 05:41:51 pm »
Quote from: Chaldi;104838



 
Why have you attributed the OP's words to veggiewolf? They're not the same person.


Regarding the rest of your post: saying "tl;dr" to people talking about their very real lives and then telling them about how wrong they are is often considered tacky. Just fyi.
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Shine

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #250 on: April 09, 2013, 05:43:23 pm »
Quote from: Chaldi;104838


Wow. Just. . . wow.

I'd ask if you even read what everyone else said, but you've already admitted to not doing that. So I can't help but think you've kind of missed the point here.

Oh, and what Heartshadow and Morag said.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 05:44:38 pm by Shine »
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Chaldi

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #251 on: April 09, 2013, 06:36:00 pm »
Quote from: Shine;104845
Wow. Just. . . wow.

I'd ask if you even read what everyone else said, but you've already admitted to not doing that. So I can't help but think you've kind of missed the point here.

Oh, and what Heartshadow and Morag said.

Well , I read a good part of it but at some point I was wondering how much there was still left *gg* I maybe missed the important posts uh but well, my bad. Just skip the post. I won't bother.

Short PS:

I read Morags post and I do agree but I think one don't have to remain silent if someone else did already mention any or every of ones arguments. But as I already said: Just skip it.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 06:45:18 pm by Chaldi »

Nyktipolos

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #252 on: April 09, 2013, 06:43:20 pm »
Quote from: Chaldi;104838
[snip] but I have a problem concerning the pure meaning of "slave" [snip]


What do you define the "pure" meaning of the word slave as? What makes it pure? What makes other definitions "less" pure?

Quote
You are forced into slavery simply by lasting physical force or an abstract force like law - because of a crime, debt etc - tradition etc. by someone or something that demands and dictates slavery in certain circumstances.


Or, you enter into a consensual agreement with a god, spirit, or human being, as has already been addressed in the thread.

Quote
[snip] you cannot be made a pure slave of a god for you cannot be forced to truely believe. [snip]


I don't actually understand the point of this sentence, and bits below. No one here is being forced to believe in a god, and thus forced to do their will. I think in most of the cases presented here in the thread people had already believed in the existence of their gods, even if they weren't already giving them worship or cultus.

Also, why are we defining people's roles as being "pure slave" or not?

Quote
Religious service might thus be inititally started by force but it needn't be maintained by force.


To be honest, I don't hear much from god-slaves about being forced to do religious service. Most of them either feel obligated to do certain stuff, but more commonly do stuff because they actually want to, as it's a way to show their love and devotion. There's no Stern God-Master standing over them forcing them to do every little action; even if they are gods, such micromanaging never lasts long and doesn't really, IMHO, help a relationship become stronger between two (or more) beings/people.

Quote
Another very important element is social stratigraphy. While being a slave will strip you of rights and contain additional restrictions which will exclude you at least partially from normal society resulting in a usually lower social status religious service will mostly lead to a higher social status.


I think one thing to keep in mind here, which you do not seem to know, is that this social popularity surrounding god-slaves and/or god-spouses is relatively new; go back maybe 5 years and on and a lot of people were NOT talking about it in public spaces because oftentimes no matter how respected and how much work you did for your community, etc., if people found out you were involved in such a dynamic with a god, you could be treated like the worst of the worst.
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HeartShadow

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Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #253 on: April 09, 2013, 07:16:27 pm »
Quote from: Chaldi;104850
Well , I read a good part of it but at some point I was wondering how much there was still left *gg* I maybe missed the important posts uh but well, my bad. Just skip the post. I won't bother.

Short PS:

I read Morags post and I do agree but I think one don't have to remain silent if someone else did already mention any or every of ones arguments. But as I already said: Just skip it.

I have absolutely no idea what you are saying here.

Chaldi

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Re: Are You a God-Slave? Will You Be?
« Reply #254 on: April 09, 2013, 07:46:15 pm »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;104851
What do you define the "pure" meaning of the word slave as? What makes it pure? What makes other definitions "less" pure?


Well, mainly the definition of the UNO from 1956 ( I didn't find an english version so this is my translation): Slavery is the status or situation of a person to be exercised by individual or all of the powers associated with ownership right.

(The german version reads: Sklaverei ist die Rechtsstellung oder Lage einer Person, an der einzelne oder alle der mit dem Eigentumsrecht verbundenen Befugnisse ausgeübt werden.)

Loosely: You are a slave if you can be owned, sold, bought and forced to labour.

Don't mess with the little word "pure", you could say "simple" or something like that. You know, me no englishman ;)

Quote

To be honest, I don't hear much from god-slaves about being forced to do religious service. Most of them either feel obligated to do certain stuff, but more commonly do stuff because they actually want to, as it's a way to show their love and devotion. There's no Stern God-Master standing over them forcing them to do every little action; even if they are gods, such micromanaging never lasts long and doesn't really, IMHO, help a relationship become stronger between two (or more) beings/people.


Subjectively felt obligation MIGHT be - generally speaking, not in the case of every god-"slave" or what-so-ever, I don't know everyone of them personally. I don't know their "levels" of obligation and what they feel obliged to - induced by a form of psychological force if it fears sanction. These sanctions do not have to be physical. It can also be a form of spiritual exclusion etc. like excommunication. In a religious context belief in an assumed form of sanction would be necessary.
                               As I said I do not only think of physical force like a club but psychological force implying fear by terror or what-so-ever like sending a picture of your captive child  or if a soldier is told to battle the enemy, otherwise his family might be killed by them - no matter if it's true or not. They too do it because of love, because they WANT to but their love forces them to do so. Coersion and blackmail are a kind of force and can put you into a situation you might call slavery.

Quote

I think one thing to keep in mind here, which you do not seem to know, is that this social popularity surrounding god-slaves and/or god-spouses is relatively new; go back maybe 5 years and on and a lot of people were NOT talking about it in public spaces because oftentimes no matter how respected and how much work you did for your community, etc., if people found out you were involved in such a dynamic with a god, you could be treated like the worst of the worst.

 
I was not denying that some of these phenomena MIGHT end in a lower social status. I even said - maybe to short - that slavery and religious service might be incorporated, service into slavery or slavery as a part of religious service. But they're not the same.
That argument wasn't actually the main point. I was already thinking of many possibilities while writing it.

My problem is not religious service or people feeling a strong religious obligation but I won't call it god-SLAVERY. It does have some extreme aspects resembling slavery but it is still encompassed by the free choice of belief IN this system which cannot be forced. It does not contain ownership rights, slave trade etc.

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