collapse

Important Announcement

Changing the Guard at The Cauldron

Sunflower is the new Host of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
Please read this thread for more information.

* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?  (Read 2954 times)

SunflowerP

  • Host
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Posts: 8226
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 248
  • Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
    • View Profile
    • If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough
  • Religion: Eclectic religious Witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: sie/hir/hirs/hirself
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2015, 08:30:51 pm »
Quote from: Merin;183469
Might be the hour - but this makes no sense to me.  I was speaking generally about Wiccans in my experience.  I was not picking out any particular tradition - BTW or otherwise.


Oh, but you were - you were making a statement that excluded all of the first cluster (BTW, who are the point of origin for modern use of the word 'Wicca'), pretty much all of the second cluster, and a large part of the third cluster, of traditions and currents that get called 'Wicca'. (See Jenett's useful page about different ways the word 'Wicca' is used, for what I mean by 'clusters'.) It applies only to those currents/traditions that are often called 'NeoWicca', to distinguish them from other types. (And not necessarily to all practitioners who fit under the 'NeoWicca' part of the umbrella.) So even if you were unaware of doing so, you were picking out particular traditions.

The Wiccans of your experience might well all be NeoWiccans. That doesn't make them representative of Wicca as a whole, it just means your experience of Wiccans is limited. Trying to talk about 'common themes in Wiccan ideology' by extrapolating from that experience will only lead to nonsensical, false-to-fact statements.

Quote
Maybe you can enlighten me on how BTW intention works. :)

 
Like this one. Leaving aside that I am not BTW and could only speak in very general terms about how anything BTW works, I can't possibly answer this as asked because it's not a meaningful question in context; 'intention' is not a central concept in BTW as it is in (much of) NeoWicca.

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
"Nobody's good at anything until they practice." - Brina (Yewberry)
My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

HarpingHawke

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 1530
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 15
    • View Profile
  • Religion: shapeshifting, witchery, polytheism. under endless construction.
  • Preferred Pronouns: ze/zir or they/them
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2015, 11:55:45 am »
Quote from: Ian288;183425

...But that's because I think that if Karma exists, it's probably more of a natural law than anything else.

 
It's interesting to note that Karma in its original definition and function is different from a Neopagan and/or New Age concept of it.

Link for further reading!
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

Lana288

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Apr 2014
  • *
  • Posts: 255
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2015, 01:15:13 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;183507
It's interesting to note that Karma in its original definition and function is different from a Neopagan and/or New Age concept of it.

Link for further reading!

 
Lol! I've been on the cauldron long enough to know that it definitely is. :) Thanks so much for the link; I'll sit down later and give it a proper read through.

HarpingHawke

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 1530
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 15
    • View Profile
  • Religion: shapeshifting, witchery, polytheism. under endless construction.
  • Preferred Pronouns: ze/zir or they/them
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2015, 03:39:25 pm »
Quote from: Ian288;183511
Lol! I've been on the cauldron long enough to know that it definitely is. :) Thanks so much for the link; I'll sit down later and give it a proper read through.

 
Haha of course! It wasn't addressed specifically to you. Hope you enjoy it--I found it to be quite informative.
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

kratos264

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Oct 2015
  • Posts: 35
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2015, 04:06:59 pm »
Quote from: Zephyrine;183298
I have one Wiccan friend that says that evil doesn't exist. I, however, do believe it does. Evil in the form of great misfortune, premature death, unnecessary pain, natural disaster, disease. Also, human evil comes in the form of wanton cruelty, greed, gross abuse of power etc. It is elusive because it can look ordinary (banality of evil).

Like people, I don't think all gods or spirits are wishing the best for us at all times.

Do other Pagans believe in evil?

 
My understanding of what I have read is that it truly depends on the situation one is in, for example something might be evil in one situation but good in another situation. I believe that it depends if you were acting out of virtue or vice. However, I am new at this and could be completely wrong.

Aubren

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2014
  • Posts: 126
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2015, 07:51:31 pm »
Quote from: Zephyrine;183298
I have one Wiccan friend that says that evil doesn't exist. I, however, do believe it does. Evil in the form of great misfortune, premature death, unnecessary pain, natural disaster, disease. Also, human evil comes in the form of wanton cruelty, greed, gross abuse of power etc. It is elusive because it can look ordinary (banality of evil).

Like people, I don't think all gods or spirits are wishing the best for us at all times.

Do other Pagans believe in evil?

I don't believe that the Universe has a sense of morality. I do, however, believe that nearly all living entities (including the non-corporeal) have a morality or code that they run by.

However, these are vastly different on individual, cultural, species, and other levels.

So, morality definitely exists as a universal principal, but it's not a shared, concrete principal.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 07:52:04 pm by Aubren »
Wazhazhe

Merin

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Posts: 206
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2015, 09:58:41 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;183488
Oh, but you were - you were making a statement that excluded all of the first cluster (BTW, who are the point of origin for modern use of the word 'Wicca'), pretty much all of the second cluster, and a large part of the third cluster, of traditions and currents that get called 'Wicca'. (See Jenett's useful page about different ways the word 'Wicca' is used, for what I mean by 'clusters'.) It applies only to those currents/traditions that are often called 'NeoWicca', to distinguish them from other types. (And not necessarily to all practitioners who fit under the 'NeoWicca' part of the umbrella.) So even if you were unaware of doing so, you were picking out particular traditions.

The Wiccans of your experience might well all be NeoWiccans. That doesn't make them representative of Wicca as a whole, it just means your experience of Wiccans is limited. Trying to talk about 'common themes in Wiccan ideology' by extrapolating from that experience will only lead to nonsensical, false-to-fact statements.


 
Like this one. Leaving aside that I am not BTW and could only speak in very general terms about how anything BTW works, I can't possibly answer this as asked because it's not a meaningful question in context; 'intention' is not a central concept in BTW as it is in (much of) NeoWicca.

Sunflower

 
I'll respectfully disagree.  When I used the term "Wiccan" I was using a general "umbrella" term.  If I had said - "Wicca, including BTW," then I would agree with you. But I think the point of your post was to point out that I should have used the word "Neo Wiccan" rather than just "Wiccan."  Okay, I can see that.  I didn't realize Wicca was separated like that now.  Thank you for the link. Turns out I have some reading to do.

I will apologize for the last sentence tho (referring to my original post).  I was feeling a bit snarky when I typed that.

Merin

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Posts: 206
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2015, 10:09:48 pm »
Quote from: Merin;183693
I'll respectfully disagree.  When I used the term "Wiccan" I was using a general "umbrella" term.  If I had said - "Wicca, including BTW," then I would agree with you. But I think the point of your post was to point out that I should have used the word "Neo Wiccan" rather than just "Wiccan."  Okay, I can see that.  I didn't realize Wicca was separated like that now.  Thank you for the link. Turns out I have some reading to do.

I will apologize for the last sentence tho (referring to my original post).  I was feeling a bit snarky when I typed that.

 
I think that first sentence should read "excluding," but you know what, it doesn't matter.  What does matter is that I should have used the word "Neo-Wiccan" and I have been showing my ignorance all along.  

My apologies, especially to SunflowerP.

Lionrhod

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Posts: 167
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.lionrhod.com
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2015, 05:37:23 pm »
Quote from: Zephyrine;183298
I have one Wiccan friend that says that evil doesn't exist. I, however, do believe it does. Evil in the form of great misfortune, premature death, unnecessary pain, natural disaster, disease. Also, human evil comes in the form of wanton cruelty, greed, gross abuse of power etc. It is elusive because it can look ordinary (banality of evil).

Like people, I don't think all gods or spirits are wishing the best for us at all times.

Do other Pagans believe in evil?

 

Do I believe in "evil"? Yes- that's the short answer.

Are disease, famine, premature death, natural disaster, etc. necessarily evil? No, they're just facets of life on this planet.

Now, deliberate cruelty, jealousy, rage, greed, racism and similar things? Yes, I believe these are evil. Or to put it in hypnotic terms, I feel these are inelegant solutions to dealing with our negative emotions.
When given a choice between black and white, choose purple.
SpellCraft Secrets: The Art of Creating Magic Spells Made Easy 2nd edition, revised
Dark Moon Gates - Pagan YA Fantasy
Nenfari - FREE Dark Sword & Sorcery
The Spider\'s Yule Gift - A Children\'s Folktale & Polish Pagan Holiday Traditions
My Website

Lionrhod

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Posts: 167
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.lionrhod.com
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2015, 05:40:58 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;183340
First, define "evil".  (Possibly also 'believe in'.)

You've got three different apparent places where you might find something to call evil in your original post here: "bad things that happen", "human misbehaviour", and "entities that don't have your best interests in mind".  These are of course wildly different things, and any concept broad enough to encompass all of them is very likely to be vague enough to be useless.

Do bad things happen?  Yes.
Do people do things that are cruel, thoughtless, exploitative? Yes.
Are some beings malevolent?  Yes.
Do some beings just not give a shit about entities that aren't closely related to them?  Yes.
Are some of those beings humans?  Yes.

There are all kinds of things that I can answer "yes" to, but I can't answer "Do you believe in evil?" unless someone first goes into some detail to explain what it is that they're asking.

Because some of those things that I say yes to, if asked "Is that evil?" I would say "Of course not" to, or "It depends", or "That depends on what you mean by evil," or any of a number of other things.

(Mostly I use "evil" sparingly because too often its use mostly means "this is something about which I will not accept nuanced thought!  It is EVIL!")

Well said.
When given a choice between black and white, choose purple.
SpellCraft Secrets: The Art of Creating Magic Spells Made Easy 2nd edition, revised
Dark Moon Gates - Pagan YA Fantasy
Nenfari - FREE Dark Sword & Sorcery
The Spider\'s Yule Gift - A Children\'s Folktale & Polish Pagan Holiday Traditions
My Website

Lionrhod

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Posts: 167
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.lionrhod.com
Re: Pagan belief systems - does evil exist?
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2015, 05:50:35 pm »
Quote from: Gigi Kiersten;183423
I don't know about other pagans, but I certainly believe that evil does exist. Mostly, because I actually came up against a person that was genuinely evil.  Destroying lives just because he could. It's a long story, but yeah evil exists. I also believe that there are such things such as demons exist or rather really old and dark spirits.

 
I'll agree with you here, because I have also met similar dark spirits. It's rare, but it happens. When it does happen it is most un-fun.

One that I met was the hiring agent for a job interview I went to. He looked me in the eyes and said, "I crush people like you." No, it wasn't me not getting the stupid job that made me feel that way, he just emanated evil.

Another was a local psychic vampire/shell of a demon that used to hang around our local metaphysical shop. Oh the very inappropriate stories I could tell about this one and his rather twisted fantasies.

Lucky me, I got to abjure his presence from a crystal when the shop closed. Long story.
When given a choice between black and white, choose purple.
SpellCraft Secrets: The Art of Creating Magic Spells Made Easy 2nd edition, revised
Dark Moon Gates - Pagan YA Fantasy
Nenfari - FREE Dark Sword & Sorcery
The Spider\'s Yule Gift - A Children\'s Folktale & Polish Pagan Holiday Traditions
My Website

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
1 Replies
1325 Views
Last post July 22, 2011, 12:40:01 pm
by Starglade
21 Replies
2771 Views
Last post June 21, 2014, 08:06:43 pm
by EclecticWheel
99 Replies
8955 Views
Last post July 14, 2017, 03:27:50 pm
by Owl
24 Replies
2431 Views
Last post April 16, 2016, 05:27:37 pm
by RecycledBenedict
21 Replies
1612 Views
Last post November 11, 2017, 11:48:36 am
by Naunau

Beginner Area

Warning: You are currently in a Beginner Friendly area of the message board.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 25
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 2
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall