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Author Topic: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion  (Read 12693 times)

Juniperberry

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2011, 10:21:02 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;3761
I think you are missing that these "worldview" descriptions are someone's idea of an "average" American view. Averaging out the differences between states and regions of the country, averaging out the differences in views between rural parts of America and the urban areas, etc. There is no real single "American worldview" any more than there is a real American family with exactly 3.14 members (the average US family size in the year 2000).

 


Well, there is. That isn't to say that individuals, families, and local areas can't have their own worldviews, but there is a worldview of the majority or consensus that makes us American- or forces up to operate under an American worldview. Which is why when people operate outside of that consensus they are outcast or penalized.

For example- Racial equality is part of the American worldview. Not every American operates within this worldview but enough of the majority do that it's 'wrong' to view the world otherwise.

We actually live in an interesting time right now because the worldview of America is really shifting. For example, one the elements for defining a worldview is in answering for: "Values, answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"

In 1950's America the majority of the worldview operated under a Christian model. Today, that worldview is shifting as we address the questions of same-sex marriage and abortion. Will everyone agree that  allowing these things is ethical? No. But (hopefully) the majority will agree to the ethical values of these and an overarching worldview according to those values will exist. In the last century the American worldview shifted and we accept and operate under the premise that there should be racial equality. That is the American worldview, regardless of the minority of people who disagree from within their individual worldview.

And, underneath all that, is the worldview that we operate under that informs us of how we even answer questions of ethics and value. Votership, consensus, amendments and enactments of laws.  

It doesn't matter what the Southern or Northern culture is in America, there is an over-arching worldview.  

Can a reconstructionist argue that there is one singular worldview? Absolutely not. But they can argue for a overarching worldview - a framework- by which a culture answers questions and interacts with it's world.

That's how I understand it at least, which isn't to say it's right (and that's why I'm here.)  :) *shrug*
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sailor

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2011, 10:26:04 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;3761
I think you are missing that these "worldview" descriptions are someone's idea of an "average" American view. Averaging out the differences between states and regions of the country, averaging out the differences in views between rural parts of America and the urban areas, etc. There is no real single "American worldview" any more than there is a real American family with exactly 3.14 members (the average US family size in the year 2000).

 
If you go with what you wrote though, then there are no world views beyond the individual.

The American world-view is not an averaging, it's a predominate commonality.  Most American's believe these things.

What the urban American believes that is not believed by the rural American is not part of the American world view.  It's only part of the urban American world view.  The urban American worldview contains the American worldview, but has more elements.

sailor

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2011, 10:30:50 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;3773

In 1950's America the majority of the worldview operated under a Christian model. Today, that worldview is shifting as we address the questions of same-sex marriage and abortion. Will everyone agree that  allowing these things is ethical? No. But (hopefully) the majority will agree to the ethical values of these and an overarching worldview according to those values will exist. In the last century the American worldview shifted and we accept and operate under the premise that there should be racial equality. That is the American worldview, regardless of the minority of people who disagree from within their individual worldview.


 
I agree. 50 years ago the American world-view was that marriage was between a man and a woman. Now, there is no American world-view on what marriage is.  A signficiant number believe same-sex marriage is fine, another signficiant number disagree.  Until there is a clear preponderance of commonality of view, there is no Amercan world-view on what marriage is.

drekfletch

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2011, 08:48:39 pm »
Quote from: sailor;3770
Not the way I always saw it.  You pull out a round peg that is 1.5 inches across, ancient Greek culture, etc. You then shape that round peg to fit the square hole that is 1.2 inches across. You end up with a peg that has square sides, but rounded corners.

That or I'm not visualizing your example about the pegs in the way you are thinking.

I definately don't get your house example.

 
Yeah, the house example doesn't make as much sense as I thought it did.  My bad.  I was going for how the climate influences building techniques.  The pegs don't make much sense either...  The Greek version of religion was defined more by the relation between the peg/hole than by the shape of either.

Religion was the integration of the daimones into cultural life.  Taking out the culture leaves one with just the daimones themselves.  Then you get the recon literalists, who want to do things like they did in ancient Hellas.  In order to do things the same way, you'd need the same culture, otherwise it's not the same.
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Haganrix

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #34 on: July 19, 2011, 02:20:13 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;3123
And contrary to what some people think, I don't think you can really reconstruct the religion separate from the culture. You certainly can't do the great city-wide festivals today. There's no cultural support and governmental support for them -- both of which are critical to them.  Worse, we (or at least most of us) don't live in Athens or Sparta or one of the other classical era Hellenic city-states. Following the festival schedule of ancient Athens when you live in modern Waco or San Francisco not only doesn't make sense but isn't very realistic. When Athens (for example) started a colony city it soon developed its own festival schedule, patron deities, etc. It was not a carbon copy of Athens. Yet today, many Hellenic Pagans do not want to deviate from the Athenian festival calendar because it is the only complete one available. This seems to be putting the limitations of scholarship over what we know was certainly true about classical Greece: Each city had its own festivals -- they were not carbon copies of Athens.

Agreed, but furthermore the Hellenism of today is not performed by public cults but private piety. That should be an important difference too.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 02:15:07 am by SunflowerP »

Haganrix

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #35 on: July 19, 2011, 02:57:02 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;3123
I can't understand how any American could support groups like YSEE. As for as I can tell they are just a bunch of somewhat racist nationalists using ancient Greek religion as a thin cloak for their political agenda. I will admit that the Greek Orthodox church has far too much influence over the Greek government, but from what I've seen better the Greek Orthodox church than groups like YSEE.


It may be that my information about YSEE is not as complete as it should be. But followers of YSSE claim the same about ELINAIS what you tell us about YSSE calling some of the ELINAIS members racist nationalists.

However, in ancient times the Hellenic religion was the cult of the state too and for that reason necessarily also political. Julians letters for instance are full of political demands. Plato has claimed quite a lot of public morals, Socrates too.

Thus not every political action should be classified as racist or nationalist. Say the quarrel over the recently found altar of the twelve Olympic Gods is a legitimate public dispute by the Hellenic groups in Greece. And why shouldn't they hold a view on the actual financial crisis in Greece?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 02:16:02 am by SunflowerP »

kallimahos

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #36 on: July 20, 2011, 04:58:41 am »
Judging from the overall political stance, ysee is rather leftist. As a matter of fact, presenting a rather intense political 'face' is the one reason for some to turn away from ysee in the first place. The other reason, is its name 'supreme council' which, as much as the wider greek polytheist community is concerned, is arbitrary and may raise speculations, such as at which point does a 'supreme council' turn to a 'council of supremes'. Ellinais on the other hand is a more 'conservative' group, with a high age average and far less organized than most. For the last 2-3 years ellinais is going under a juridical dispute between two different administrations, one claiming legitimacy over the other.

Quote from: Haganrix;6237
And why shouldn't they hold a view on the actual financial crisis in Greece?

 
Well imo they can, but with certain limitations. Politics (modern politics the worst) is one thing and religion/culture is another - they should be mixed with extreme caution. Julian, Plato, and Socrates were talking as philosophers and philosophy does have a political dimension.

Haganrix

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2011, 03:22:37 pm »
Quote from: kallimahos;6428

Well imo they can, but with certain limitations. Politics (modern politics the worst) is one thing and religion/culture is another - they should be mixed with extreme caution. Julian, Plato, and Socrates were talking as philosophers and philosophy does have a political dimension.


If you take a look into Julians letters you will find that he derives everything from the Gods and in my view his main consultant Saturninius Salutius Secundus (Saloustios) does the same in his treatise Peri Theon kai Kosmou (On the Gods and the Cosmos). In some respect that was even required because Hellemism was the state religion. Pytagoras, Plato and Socrates referred to the Gods too. In ancient times religion and philosophy had not been seperate.
The seperation of politics and philosophy (Earth) from religion (Heaven) has a christian genesis. The christians beeing uncapable of performing "the paradise on Earth" pointed to the incomplete world and their faultless beyond. There had been no other way for them because the world didn't improve under their reign and quite early by the council of Nicäa in the year 325 they had rejected the metempsychosis (transmigration of souls). So they had to explain why many things developed so bad hundreds of years after their seizure of power and therefore they created the separation of politics and religion.
That was quite different in ancient Heathen times when in the public meetings the Gods were implored.

Besides, meanwhile the christian churches have changed their minds interfering into politics. Not as a party but taking stances in different political subjects. This is devoted to the "modern human needs", called the "anthropina pragmata" in the treatise of  Saloustios "On the Gods and the Cosmos".
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 03:29:38 pm by Haganrix »

kallimahos

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2011, 04:14:06 am »
Quote from: Haganrix;6579
In ancient times religion and philosophy had not been seperate.


You are right, but don't forget philosophy came as a rationalization, an effort to de-symbolize and categorize primal religious beliefs and traditions. Religious and cultural traditions did not need philosophy to exist and so they did for a long time, before Parmenides and Pythagoras. Those philosophers built their systems of thought on the Orphic tradition and then followed Zenon and Platon, all the way to neoplatonists like Ioulianos and Saloustios. Philosophy came as an intellectual development of religion, but did not necessarily identify with it.

Now, it is one thing for a philosopher to apply philosophy for nomothetic (law-making) purposes, and another thing for a somebody to mix contemporary politics with culture and philosophy. In the first case, the motion goes from culture/religion towards philosophy and then to politics, whereas in the second case, one is motivated by a pre-existing political stance to learn about philosophy, religion and culture. For example in the case of leftists, Engels references to the political matters of ancient Greece offered that motivation.

But politics have always used religion and culture for propaganda purposes.



Quote from: Haganrix;6579
The christians beeing uncapable of performing "the paradise on Earth" pointed to the incomplete world and their faultless beyond.


The 'incomplete world' and the 'faultless beyond' are basically Eleatic and Platonic concepts, 'borrowed' by the first christian thinkers in their search for a solid intellectual basis. Just like prior to these thinkers, christian jesus had 'borrowed' traits from other gods of the region. These very 'borrowings' is what discomforts christianity the most about the ancient religion and philosophy, as to defame and persecute it and even try to make it disappear from memory.



Quote from: Haganrix;6579
Besides, meanwhile the christian churches have changed their minds interfering into politics. Not as a party but taking stances in different political subjects.


You are right, Christianity has always been an organization and a corporation, so its existence always depended on politics, at some degree.

RandallS

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2011, 07:45:00 am »
Quote from: kallimahos;6749
These very 'borrowings' is what discomforts christianity the most about the ancient religion and philosophy, as to defame and persecute it and even try to make it disappear from memory.

You seem to be stating this as fact, not opinion. Do you have any evidence to support this?

Quote
You are right, Christianity has always been an organization and a corporation, so its existence always depended on politics, at some degree.

Early Christianity wasn't very organized and certainly wasn't "corporate."
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kallimahos

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2011, 01:13:58 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;6765
You seem to be stating this as fact, not opinion. Do you have any evidence to support this?


A couple of years ago, the orthodox ecumenical patriarch Bartholomeus was touring down Greece and briefly visited a site on mount Olympus.

Cynically speaking, on the one side of the ring you have the leader of the most powerful organization of eastern Europe and the richest and most influential institute in Greece. On the other side, you have a great heap of rocks.

Let me translate from Eleftherotypia newspaper the statements of the ecoumenical patriarch:

"The Orthodox spiritual leader sent out messages of environmental as well as spiritual awakening. Specifically, inaugurating the Park of Environmental Education of Elassona, he declared the need "to keep the environment safe and unspoiled", whilst passing from the KEOAX Ski-racing training camp on an altitude of 1900m, he felt the need to speak about the one and only God, characterizing as "comical" the efforts of some people to "resurrect" dodekatheon.

Standing on the mythical mountain, mr. Bartholomeus said: "Here we are between earth and sky, we feel much closer to God. To our one and only God and not to Zeus of course. The definite end of the sad era of Idolatry, has now passed into the psyche of our people, despite the late, comical efforts of certain people to resurrect the -so called- religion of the Greeks. Greeks do have a religion. Not the inexistent Dodekatheon, but a true, told-about, living, vivid, saving one...."


All the way from 5th century until today, Christianity is constantly defaming and persecuting everything that has to do with the old faith. They keep on doing so, even if it makes them fight windmills. Today they represent the status-quo, they have the power to bend the state to their will, they are many times more wealthy to anything that comes second in Greece, entire families live on their charity and 9 out of 10 share their beliefs. Yet they keep dedicating enormous amounts of time and resources for new apologetics (see here, here and here) and new defamation.

What is the reason behind their struggle? It is because Ideals are timeless and most pieces of their idealistic puzzle are 'borrowed' from the Hellenic tradition. Yet they refuse to accept this, claiming uniqueness and originality as the only true religion Greeks have ever known.

Thus, their fear lies in their anathema.....




Quote from: RandallS;6765
Early Christianity wasn't very organized and certainly wasn't "corporate."


True, but early Christianity lasted for a short while.

RandallS

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2011, 02:30:46 pm »
Quote from: kallimahos;6846
What is the reason behind their struggle? It is because Ideals are timeless and most pieces of their idealistic puzzle are 'borrowed' from the Hellenic tradition. Yet they refuse to accept this, claiming uniqueness and originality as the only true religion Greeks have ever known.

This restates your original "These very 'borrowings' is what discomforts christianity the most about  the ancient religion and philosophy..." statement but still does not show any evidence that "these borrowings" are the reason for the actions you point to in your last message. I don't doubt that Christianity feels it has the one and only true way -- what I doubt is that their borrowings from pre-Christian philosophers is the reason it acts as it does.

Quote
True, but early Christianity lasted for a short while.

A couple of hundred years in southern Europe, much longer in some other places. Roman Christianity never was the only type out there -- and still isn't (even if you not not consider "Eastern" Orthodox Christianity as separate from the Roman variety).
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kallimahos

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2011, 04:56:08 am »
Quote from: RandallS;6865
This restates your original "These very 'borrowings' is what discomforts christianity the most about  the ancient religion and philosophy..." statement


No it does not, my rationale is explained and it is really simple:

- Christianity has 'incorporated' key concepts of pre-existing religious/philosophical systems.
- In the same time Christianity needs to be the only one, original and true religion.
- Contradiction: one cannot be original when he's made from broken fragments. One cannot be blue when he consists of bits and pieces from someone who was red.
- Conclusion: Christianity tries constantly to cleanse itself, by putting down every preceding religious/philosophical system.

This is proved by the statements of the senior Orthodox official which I translated for you (he says literally that dodekatheon never existed) and it is made evident if one navigates through the vast apologetical texts contained in the sites I've linked and read what those people have to say.



Quote from: RandallS;6865
A couple of hundred years in southern Europe, much longer in some other places. Roman Christianity never was the only type out there -- and still isn't (even if you not not consider "Eastern" Orthodox Christianity as separate from the Roman variety).

 
A couple of hundred years is 1/10 of a couple of thousand years and still its the impact on the surroundings that concerns us, of which the early christianity had none.

I don't understand the reference to Roman Christianity.

RandallS

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #43 on: July 22, 2011, 08:18:11 am »
Quote from: kallimahos;7041
No it does not, my rationale is explained and it is really simple:

- Christianity has 'incorporated' key concepts of pre-existing religious/philosophical systems.
- In the same time Christianity needs to be the only one, original and true religion.
- Contradiction: one cannot be original when he's made from broken fragments. One cannot be blue when he consists of bits and pieces from someone who was red.
- Conclusion: Christianity tries constantly to cleanse itself, by putting down every preceding religious/philosophical system.

This is proved by the statements of the senior Orthodox official which I translated for you (he says literally that dodekatheon never existed) and it is made evident if one navigates through the vast apologetical texts contained in the sites I've linked and read what those people have to say.

This shows one Christian official claims the ancient Gods did not exist. It says nothing about why he believes this or why he said it. It certainly does not show that he said this because some Christianity theology is built on the backs of ancient Greek philosophers and he's somehow ashamed of this/needs to purge it. Side Note: Many of those ancient Greek philosophers did not believe that the dodekatheon existed either -- often believing that there was just one God.

Do you know why ancient Christian theologians came to identify the Gods of Rome (and the Greeks) with demons? It wasn't because their theology demanded it, but because the persecution of the Christians was so horrible under certain Roman officials that these theologians came to believe than any deities that could allow such things to be done in their names had to really be demons.
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Nyktelios

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Re: Modern Human Needs and Hellenic Religion
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2011, 09:07:04 am »
Quote from: RandallS;7060
This shows one Christian official claims the ancient Gods did not exist. It says nothing about why he believes this or why he said it. It certainly does not show that he said this because some Christianity theology is built on the backs of ancient Greek philosophers and he's somehow ashamed of this/needs to purge it. Side Note: Many of those ancient Greek philosophers did not believe that the dodekatheon existed either -- often believing that there was just one God.

Do you know why ancient Christian theologians came to identify the Gods of Rome (and the Greeks) with demons? It wasn't because their theology demanded it, but because the persecution of the Christians was so horrible under certain Roman officials that these theologians came to believe than any deities that could allow such things to be done in their names had to really be demons.


Exactly. I get so tired of pagans whining about how terrible Christianity is, and yes, there have been awful things done in the name of Christianity, but the early conversion of pagans in the Mediterranean wasn't so forceful. Philosophy had worn away traditional polytheistic belief among the elite, and Christianity appealed to poor people because of its message of salvation and a blessed afterlife after a miserable life. Traditional Greek religion did not have very developed ideas about the afterlife, and what ideas they did have about it were very bleak. It was also pretty impersonal, as the gods required piety and respect, but not personal affection or salvation. With the worship of the Olympians being so cold and impersonal, it isn't surprising that foreign cults like those of Isis and Christianity appealed to the Greco-Roman world so strongly, although Christianity triumphed mainly for political reasons, being backed by later Roman emperors.

The shift from paganism to Christianity was a slow one, so they influenced each other over time. Sure, some things were absorbed into Christianity from paganism to ease conversion of the masses, but it mostly just absorbed older religious elements because of constant contact with the culture.

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