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Author Topic: Dealings with Devout Theists  (Read 882 times)

Materialist

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Dealings with Devout Theists
« on: January 25, 2013, 12:34:06 pm »
This is inspired by cox123's thread, "Dealings with Devout Christians."

In that thread, posters mentioned being talked to by Christians who assumed they were Christians. Some people responding to things I've said has given me the impression that they are assuming they are talking to a fellow theist of whatever subcategory.

I picked my username because it refers to the doctrine of my religion, and I'm wondering if it is not generally known in the population of this website what a materialist is, and what the World Pantheist Movement is.

Sage

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Re: Dealings with Devout Theists
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 12:41:38 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;93475

I picked my username because it refers to the doctrine of my religion, and I'm wondering if it is not generally known in the population of this website what a materialist is, and what the World Pantheist Movement is.

 
I have no idea what you mean by either of those things, but I do go out of my way not to assume anyone else - even other druids - have the same conception of deity that I do.
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Re: Dealings with Devout Theists
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 01:24:55 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;93475
This is inspired by cox123's thread, "Dealings with Devout Christians."

In that thread, posters mentioned being talked to by Christians who assumed they were Christians. Some people responding to things I've said has given me the impression that they are assuming they are talking to a fellow theist of whatever subcategory.

I picked my username because it refers to the doctrine of my religion, and I'm wondering if it is not generally known in the population of this website what a materialist is, and what the World Pantheist Movement is.

 
I'm conceptually familiar with pantheism, but I wouldn't mind learning more about it if you wanted to share. I'm not familiar with that particular group.

I think most people frame their answers in theistic terms because most pagans are theistic, whether hard or soft polytheist or something else. In particular, when we are answering questions with our own POVs, we're likely to refer to deities when they are related to how we view something, even if you yourself are nontheistic.
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Shine

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Re: Dealings with Devout Theists
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 02:37:01 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;93475
In that thread, posters mentioned being talked to by Christians who assumed they were Christians. Some people responding to things I've said has given me the impression that they are assuming they are talking to a fellow theist of whatever subcategory.


What Jack said on this topic.

If you're chatting in threads that have a theistic slant, most people are going to figure that you're a theist of some kind. What might help is write, at the beginning of your reply, something that identifies yourself. For example: "atheistic pagan", "pantheist", "soft polytheist", "sees gods as archetypes", etc. People won't necessarily agree with your position, but you'll at least make it clear where you stand.

Quote
I picked my username because it refers to the doctrine of my religion, and I'm wondering if it is not generally known in the population of this website what a materialist is, and what the World Pantheist Movement is.

 
I've looked up the WPM site. And I understand what materialism is. And neither of them really jive with me, yet I understand that these ideas--positions, if you will--would not exist if they weren't useful to some people. C'est la vie.

WPM's conception of pantheism is very different from the pantheism I hold and have grown up with. It is a debate in the wider religious community, but pantheism is still, for many people, a kind of theism. WPM's conception sticks with the "sexed up" atheism idea. Since there are two opposing conceptions of what pantheism is, you may need to be more specific than WPM (atheistic pantheist would clear up a lot of confusion, for example).

Even historically pantheism has had a theistic slant. So, coupled with this fact, and the fact that a good number of pagans are theistic, it's kind of easy to see why people might get mixed up.

As for dealing with devout theists, one important thing to understand is that, for many theists, the gods are real beings. Maybe they don't live on the same plane of existence that we do, but they do exist. Many of us have been helped greatly by these beings--for example, I would not be alive without Bast--and are very fond of them. They're like family, in some ways. It may help to think that way and act accordingly.

Also, perhaps avoid some of the more theistic threads on the Cauldron? It's just a suggestion, but one that may prove helpful. We have a lot of threads with theistic subjects, but we also have many without.
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Materialist

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Re: Dealings with Devout Theists
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 06:04:49 pm »
Quote from: Shine;93497
What Jack said on this topic.

If you're chatting in threads that have a theistic slant, most people are going to figure that you're a theist of some kind. What might help is write, at the beginning of your reply, something that identifies yourself. For example: "atheistic pagan", "pantheist", "soft polytheist", "sees gods as archetypes", etc. People won't necessarily agree with your position, but you'll at least make it clear where you stand.


 
I've looked up the WPM site. And I understand what materialism is. And neither of them really jive with me, yet I understand that these ideas--positions, if you will--would not exist if they weren't useful to some people. C'est la vie.

WPM's conception of pantheism is very different from the pantheism I hold and have grown up with. It is a debate in the wider religious community, but pantheism is still, for many people, a kind of theism. WPM's conception sticks with the "sexed up" atheism idea. Since there are two opposing conceptions of what pantheism is, you may need to be more specific than WPM (atheistic pantheist would clear up a lot of confusion, for example).

Even historically pantheism has had a theistic slant. So, coupled with this fact, and the fact that a good number of pagans are theistic, it's kind of easy to see why people might get mixed up.

As for dealing with devout theists, one important thing to understand is that, for many theists, the gods are real beings. Maybe they don't live on the same plane of existence that we do, but they do exist. Many of us have been helped greatly by these beings--for example, I would not be alive without Bast--and are very fond of them. They're like family, in some ways. It may help to think that way and act accordingly.

Also, perhaps avoid some of the more theistic threads on the Cauldron? It's just a suggestion, but one that may prove helpful. We have a lot of threads with theistic subjects, but we also have many without.


I must say, I find Mr. Harrison's (the founder of the movement) adoption of the term "pantheism" to be unfortunate, even though it's based on a historical strain of Western philosophy, because it literally means in Greek "follower of all the gods."  A better term, I think, would have been pancosmoism, "follower of all that is," roughly.

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Re: Dealings with Devout Theists
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 06:56:31 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;93544
I must say, I find Mr. Harrison's (the founder of the movement) adoption of the term "pantheism" to be unfortunate, even though it's based on a historical strain of Western philosophy, because it literally means in Greek "follower of all the gods."  A better term, I think, would have been pancosmoism, "follower of all that is," roughly.

"Pantheism" as used on this forum refers to someone who either follows/beliefs in all gods or who believes that "reality is god". As generally used on TC, pantheism is always a form of theism.  Unless a specific "by pantheism I mean X" statement is included near the beginning of a post that uses it is some other way, people are likely going to see the word and assume its standard (for TC) theistic meaning.
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Re: Dealings with Devout Theists
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 06:50:53 am »
Quote from: Materialist;93475


 
I don't always doublecheck to make sure the person I'm speaking to has the same exact viewpoints I do.  I'm responding to what's posted - and this IS a religious forum!  I'm not walking down the street responding with god-stuff to random strangers, I'm in a god-stuff venue.  It's not a strange assumption that I can talk about god-stuff in a god-stuff place!

Also, /pantheist/ really doesn't help on that - *I* see myself as a pantheist.  I believe in the sacredness of all that exists.  I'm also a polytheist.  I believe in many things.  I'm not going to self-censor which bits I talk about in a place specifically about religious discussion.

I'm not insisting other people believe what I do - but I'm not going to hide it just because other people believe differently!

yewberry

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Re: Dealings with Devout Theists
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 10:04:44 am »
Quote from: Materialist;93544
I must say, I find Mr. Harrison's (the founder of the movement) adoption of the term "pantheism" to be unfortunate, even though it's based on a historical strain of Western philosophy, because it literally means in Greek "follower of all the gods."  A better term, I think, would have been pancosmoism, "follower of all that is," roughly.


Harrison's choice seems quite calculated.  I always got the impression that the WPM is trying to be woo-less woo.  Personally, I like my woo with woo in it (despite my not being a theist).

So for me, around The Cauldron, I don't so much presume theism as some flavor of woo.

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Re: Dealings with Devout Theists
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 11:37:44 am »
Quote from: yewberry;93660
Harrison's choice seems quite calculated.  I always got the impression that the WPM is trying to be woo-less woo.  Personally, I like my woo with woo in it (despite my not being a theist).

So for me, around The Cauldron, I don't so much presume theism as some flavor of woo.

Brina

 
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