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Author Topic: The Long and Winding Road  (Read 5989 times)

catja6

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2011, 03:00:30 pm »
Quote from: schwertlilie;22518
:

 
Aaaaaand once again, someone comes in claiming that people who identify as Pagan are not.  Awesome!  Never mind that Recons, who you've identified as "not Pagan," are rebuilding the very religions that the term "Pagan" was made for in the first place!    

Protip:  you will not get along well here if you keep trying to insist that Paganism is one religion.  It most certainly is not, as many, many people have told you.  Just because there are some Pagans who like to make claims about how everyone else follows their religion (they just don't know it) doesn't make it RIGHT. It is unethical to dismiss people's claims about their OWN religions.  It's when they start making claims about OTHER PEOPLE'S RELIGIONS that you need to draw a line.  Therefore, it is one thing to take seriously the claims of people who identify as "generic Pagan" that that is a meaningful term/description for themselves.  That's fine.  It's another thing to insist that those "generic Pagans'" claims about OTHER PEOPLE'S PRACTICES get to override those other people's own understandings, just because it's more comfortable and convenient for you to claim that "Paganism" is limited ONLY to those "generic Pagan" types.  

Many, many people who are *not* "generic Pagans" understand their religions as being substantially different from one another.  And since you're so keen on academic understandings, you should be aware that it is the rare modern historian of religion who will claim that Anglo-Saxon religion was omg totally the same as ancient Greek religion and both of those are the same as Egyptian religion, or that they're all "denominations" of some big overarching Pagan religion. That fell out of fashion a long time ago, once Victorian cultural evolutionary ideas had been thrown out.  

This is why TC's working definition of Paganism has such a strong "self-identifies" clause, to avoid exactly this kind of uninformed, unethical nonsense.

Juniperberry

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2011, 03:32:00 pm »
Quote from: catja6;22604
Aaaaaand once again, someone comes in claiming that people who identify as Pagan are not.  


What? *laughs*

That's, like, the complete opposite of what she said

Quote
Protip:  you will not get along well here if you keep trying to insist that Paganism is one religion.


She's insisting that paganism is both. A religionfor some and an umbrella term covering a specific religion by others.

Quote
 It most certainly is not, as many, many people have told you.  Just because there are some Pagans who like to make claims about how everyone else follows their religion (they just don't know it) doesn't make it RIGHT. It is unethical to dismiss people's claims about their OWN religions.  It's when they start making claims about OTHER PEOPLE'S RELIGIONS that you need to draw a line.  Therefore, it is one thing to take seriously the claims of people who identify as "generic Pagan" that that is a meaningful term/description for themselves.  That's fine.  It's another thing to insist that those "generic Pagans'" claims about OTHER PEOPLE'S PRACTICES get to override those other people's own understandings, just because it's more comfortable and convenient for you to claim that "Paganism" is limited ONLY to those "generic Pagan" types.  


Which she didn't do. In fact, there's really only one person in this threaad telling people what they "can not" and "do not" get to do.


Quote
Many, many people who are *not* "generic Pagans" understand their religions as being substantially different from one another.  And since you're so keen on academic understandings, you should be aware that it is the rare modern historian of religion who will claim that Anglo-Saxon religion was omg totally the same as ancient Greek religion and both of those are the same as Egyptian religion, or that they're all "denominations" of some big overarching Pagan religion.


She's replying to all the posts before that said paganism is ONLY an umbrella term and showed cause as to why it is often the actual religion for some. I don't see what's the problem.

Quote
This is why TC's working definition of Paganism has such a strong "self-identifies" clause, to avoid exactly this kind of uninformed, unethical nonsense.


Wowsers. That's pretty ironic language to use against someone who is sticking up for the rights/definitions of self-identified (just)pagans.
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."

Shadow

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2011, 05:17:17 pm »
Quote from: catja6;22604
 
Protip:  you will not get along well here if you keep trying to insist that Paganism is one religion.  It most certainly is not, as many, many people have told you.  Just because there are some Pagans who like to make claims about how everyone else follows their religion (they just don't know it) doesn't make it RIGHT. It is unethical to dismiss people's claims about their OWN religions.  It's when they start making claims about OTHER PEOPLE'S RELIGIONS that you need to draw a line.  Therefore, it is one thing to take seriously the claims of people who identify as "generic Pagan" that that is a meaningful term/description for themselves.  That's fine.  It's another thing to insist that those "generic Pagans'" claims about OTHER PEOPLE'S PRACTICES get to override those other people's own understandings, just because it's more comfortable and convenient for you to claim that "Paganism" is limited ONLY to those "generic Pagan" types.  


I think you must be reading her posts in a very different way to me. From what I can see she isn't insisting that Paganism is a religion and that everyone must agree with her but only saying that in her opinion it is.

From my perspective, as someone who doesn't know either of you, it seems that she is trying to explain why she disagrees (whilst not stating that anyone is actually wrong) and you are telling her she is completely wrong and 'offensive and unethical' for having a difference of opinion from anyone who doesn't believe paganism is a religion (which would include me btw). I may be missing something (which is entirely possible) here but I am genuinely trying to understand why her posts have provoked such a heated response from you?

Catherine

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2011, 05:43:20 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;22609
What? *laughs*
That's, like, the complete opposite of what she said


Actually, that's exactly what she said.

Quote from: schwertlilie;22518

But if, say, Doris, a reconstructionist who tries to practice as closely to the history as possible & to eliminate/ignore Pagan or modern magical theory in her own practice, rejects all four of those criteria.. I'd say that she isn't Pagan.


bolding mine

So, who decides who gets to be pagan? There is no single pagan religion. There are pagan religions, plural. Many reconstructionists who fit this description consider themselves pagan.

Juniperberry

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2011, 05:47:25 pm »
Quote from: Catherine;22643
Actually, that's exactly what she said.



bolding mine

So, who decides who gets to be pagan? There is no single pagan religion. There are pagan religions, plural. Many reconstructionists who fit this description consider themselves pagan.

 
She was reciting the criteria for generic pagan. The generic pagan that she claims- and that may understand as well- can be a religion unto itself.  A reconstructionist would not be a generic pagan.
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."

schwertlilie

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2011, 06:54:02 pm »
Quote from: Catherine;22643
Actually, that's exactly what she said.

So, who decides who gets to be pagan? There is no single pagan religion. There are pagan religions, plural. Many reconstructionists who fit this description consider themselves pagan.

 
To clarify the Doris example, I'm re-quoting criteria four:

Quote from: schwertlilie;22518
4) The person self-identifies as Pagan. If they don't think they, themselves, are Pagan, they're not Pagan - they're a person with beliefs similar to Paganism.

 
The invented "Doris" rejects all parts of the definition, including the requirement that she self-identify as Pagan. She doesn't call herself Pagan, so why would I call her Pagan?

If Doris rejects the first three criteria but still calls herself Pagan, that's fine - I'm not saying she isn't Pagan-in-the-broader-sense, and I'm not saying she can't use the term. I'm only saying she doesn't fit the given definition of "just Pagan."

schwertlilie

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2011, 06:56:00 pm »
Quote from: catja6;22604
Aaaaaand once again, someone comes in claiming that people who identify as Pagan are not.  Awesome!  Never mind that Recons, who you've identified as "not Pagan," are rebuilding the very religions that the term "Pagan" was made for in the first place!    

 
The definition I gave is only for us "just Pagans," which I consider a religion, singular - a single panel on the "Pagan religions" umbrella. I am not speaking about the larger family of religions, which I agree are very, definitely different from "just Paganism." Darkhawk asked me what I considered Paganism to be, and I responded, thinking only of my own little panel on the "Pagan religions" umbrella. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear about that.

Again, I am making no claims about the broader Pagan religions group, self-definitions, or identities - only the existence of us "just Pagans."

Catherine

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2011, 09:46:18 am »
Quote from: schwertlilie;22665

The invented "Doris" rejects all parts of the definition, including the requirement that she self-identify as Pagan. She doesn't call herself Pagan, so why would I call her Pagan?

If Doris rejects the first three criteria but still calls herself Pagan, that's fine - I'm not saying she isn't Pagan-in-the-broader-sense, and I'm not saying she can't use the term. I'm only saying she doesn't fit the given definition of "just Pagan."

 
That's not how I read your statement at all, so thanks for the clarification.

It gets complicated because there are so many different ways to be "just pagan" I know pagans who don't have any religious components to their practices who reject the label religion, others who have spiritual beliefs but no structured religious practices, others who do work within a structured religious system that they've created for themselves, etc.

So, when someone talks about "the pagan religion", lots of people are going to get touchy about it because it seems as though they're lumping us all in the same basket. Religion implies shared practices, values, and beliefs.   Many times the only thing we all have in common is that we aren't part of an Abrahamic religious system. And even then, there are some who are.... so....

Also speaking for myself here, I can't tell you how many times over the last 20 years someone has told me that I'm a) not pagan, b) not pagan enough, c) really a Wiccan, Druid, whatever, d) just confused, e) going through a phase, and lets not forget the ever popular lazy, because my practices and beliefs are an eclectic mix. All because I didn't fit their personal definition of what pagan is, or should be.

After a while, it gets tedious because your pagan religion isn't the same as my pagan religion, so how can there be any "pagan" religion?

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that you shouldn't define your religion as "just Pagan". I'm saying that when someone says "the Pagan religion" or "religion of Paganism", lots of us are going to say, huh?

Darkhawk

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2011, 09:59:48 am »
Quote from: Catherine;22757
Also speaking for myself here, I can't tell you how many times over the last 20 years someone has told me that I'm a) not pagan, b) not pagan enough, c) really a Wiccan, Druid, whatever, d) just confused, e) going through a phase, and lets not forget the ever popular lazy, because my practices and beliefs are an eclectic mix. All because I didn't fit their personal definition of what pagan is, or should be.

 
A couple of days ago elsewhere I had someone going off on me for gently reminding someone that Samhain is not "the pagan new year", but rather "the new year for certain pagan religions".

Not the person who was being corrected, who took the note quite graciously, but someone who decided that pointing out that "pagan" does not contain a universal set of practices, holidays, and so on was just too arrogant to communicate with and thus went on a nigh-incomprehensible tirade about what a nasty scumbag I was.

That's what "the pagan religion" leads to.
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SunflowerP

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2011, 12:12:11 am »
Quote from: Shadow;22634
I think you must be reading her posts in a very different way to me. From what I can see she isn't insisting that Paganism is a religion and that everyone must agree with her but only saying that in her opinion it is.

From my perspective, as someone who doesn't know either of you, it seems that she is trying to explain why she disagrees (whilst not stating that anyone is actually wrong) and you are telling her she is completely wrong and 'offensive and unethical' for having a difference of opinion from anyone who doesn't believe paganism is a religion (which would include me btw). I may be missing something (which is entirely possible) here but I am genuinely trying to understand why her posts have provoked such a heated response from you?

 
Hmm - the way your post reads (and I've had a sense of this from a few other posts in the thread), I wonder if you're parsing this as being part of the debate, "Is paganism a 'real' religion?"  Sort of like the way there's differences of opinion about whether Buddhism is a religion, or if it's a philosophy or a spirituality or a something-else.

That's not what people are heated about, though; it's the implication (now clarified as not being what was intended) that paganism is a religion.  That's not just a matter of opinion, it's a matter of observable fact - there simply aren't enough religious commonalities among the various pagan religions to call them all "a religion".  No religious commonalities that apply to all of them, which is why people get heated; any definition that attempts to show that they're all branches of a religion invariably either misrepresents or excludes (or both) some of those religions.

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Shadow

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2011, 07:35:56 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;22962
Hmm - the way your post reads (and I've had a sense of this from a few other posts in the thread), I wonder if you're parsing this as being part of the debate, "Is paganism a 'real' religion?"  Sort of like the way there's differences of opinion about whether Buddhism is a religion, or if it's a philosophy or a spirituality or a something-else.

That's not what people are heated about, though; it's the implication (now clarified as not being what was intended) that paganism is a religion.  That's not just a matter of opinion, it's a matter of observable fact - there simply aren't enough religious commonalities among the various pagan religions to call them all "a religion".  No religious commonalities that apply to all of them, which is why people get heated; any definition that attempts to show that they're all branches of a religion invariably either misrepresents or excludes (or both) some of those religions.

Sunflower


Thanks for the explanation. I knew I was probably misunderstanding the issue so the clarification was very welcome.

I agree that paganism cannot be defined as a religion and understand why attempts to define it as one can leave those who don't fit within those definitions unhappy.

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2011, 06:22:00 am »
Quote from: Shadow;23402
Thanks for the explanation. I knew I was probably misunderstanding the issue so the clarification was very welcome.

 
Oh, good!  I wasn't certain if that was the problem or not; I'm glad I guessed right.

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sephira

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2011, 05:51:00 pm »
Quote from: MarieInVa;20804

 how did you know which Pagan path to follow?  


 
Back to  MarieInVa, I thought witchcraft was a religion until I came to this board and it was revealed to me, in no uncertain terms, that it is indeed a practice. I have thus learned that I am an Eclectic Witch (thanks Miss)---a little smattering of everything. Perhaps you too will learn what you are here.

Though things get kind of heavy and intense sometimes here, I can honestly say that I have learned more about my craft and spirituality on this board than in all the years I've been reading books about it! I am so glad that I joined!
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Raindrops

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #43 on: November 23, 2011, 07:35:55 am »
Quote from: MarieInVa;20804

As a Newbie, may I just ask something to get clarification (Although I don't want to cause any arguments about it because I know people have differing opinions and i respect that)...

I have found out in this thread that according to some you can be just a "Pagan"; a religion under the Pagan umbrella term, but is Neo-Paganism on the same level as the Pagan umbrella? as in you have "Neo-" religions under it making it an umbrella term itself, or is it an actual religion under the Pagan umbrella term?

I am wondering about it and asking because I can very closely identify with the information on this page and I was wondering also what that kind of Neo-Paganism on that page would be - A religion just like Wicca, Druidry, Kemeticism, or an umbrella term?

Apologies if I should have made a new topic for this question but I thought it fit in with the discussion here :)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 12:39:23 am by SunflowerP »

RandallS

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Re: The Long and Winding Road
« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2011, 08:17:54 am »
Quote from: Raindrops;31446
I have found out in this thread that according to some you can be just a "Pagan"; a religion under the Pagan umbrella term, but is Neo-Paganism on the same level as the Pagan umbrella? as in you have "Neo-" religions under it making it an umbrella term itself, or is it an actual religion under the Pagan umbrella term?

Neo-Pagan is used in several different ways. Some use it as a name for any modern Pagan religion, regardless of the religion's origins. Some only use it as a label for NEW Pagan religions developed in the last 100-200 years or so (and not to attempts to actually revive older Pagan religions). Some use it as a name for any Pagan religion practiced today (which makes no sense at all to me). Etc. Like "Paganism", however, it is an umbrella term even through their are people who consider their religion to be (a generic and/or eclectic) "Pagan" or "Neo-Pagan".

Quote
I am wondering about it and asking because I can very closely identify with the information on this page and I was wondering also what that kind of Neo-Paganism on that page would be - A religion just like Wicca, Druidry, Kemeticism, or an umbrella term?

It's closest to the second option I listed.
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