collapse
2020 Donation Drive IS NOW COMPLETE!

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $710 to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 02 December 2020: $710 donated. Only $0 more needed! Thank you, donors!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


Author Topic: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?  (Read 8745 times)

Aine Llewellyn

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Posts: 46
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2012, 01:27:18 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54444
Please note I wasn't trying to offend anybody with my questions, I just simply want to know why you picked what you believe, because I am a man of science, and I think critically and rational about beliefs in gods and god. If you can rationally explain your belief to me (basically just say anything but "I believe because my parents do) then I am fine with that. That means that when I think about these gods and stuff, I know others have battled the same fights I battle in my head.

(Bolded parts I found...interesting.)

I plan to answer your other questions, but first I want to address the points I bolded.  I didn't pick what to believe, I just do.  I can't describe it well, and I don't really care about describing it rationally to other people.  Cause...it's not rational and I don't pretend it is.  I have my faith and my practice, and if people are interested in that, that's cool, I'll talk to them about it.  I don't just go skipping along assuming every experience I have is granted to me by the gods or is a big sign made special for me, I use common sense, but since I believe in literal deities and literal myth I can't explain it away rationally.  I don't want to or need to.

Quote from: GKDAIR; 54444
1) What makes you so sure about your beliefs? Why do you believe in pagan gods like thor and or zeus instead of jesus?

2) With all these different pagan beliefs, aren't you worried you picked the wrong one and will die in whatever "hell" exists?

3) Why did you pick your belief?

4). Do pagans believe in all the gods? Like could I for instance, have a shrine to Zeus and Thor? Or am I only limited to a specific belief like Greek or Norse?

5) We know, or can assume that the ancient gods and godesses were created because humans couldn't explain what thunder or snow was. How do you justify believing in these gods today where we can prove what makes lightning?


1) I believe in many gods - polytheist - including Jesus.  I don't worship Jesus because I don't really care about him and don't think there's any reason I should worship him.  I feel that way about other gods too - I just don't want any interaction with them and have a pretty apathetic approach to them.  People don't necessarily believe in x god over Jesus, they just might worship a different god.  My worship goes to very specific deities, but I believe all of them exist.  

2) No.  Never been worried about hell.  I worry that if I mess things up right now, in the present, if I behave cruelly or unjustly, that I will have to face the consequences of my actions and perhaps the will of the gods I follow, but that's about it.  I don't concern myself with the afterdeath/life.  It is whatever it is.  

3) As I said above, I didn't pick my beliefs, I've just had them.  I have been involved with certain deities because, oh, I don't know...just because?  Maybe I make a good joke or am good company or burn good incense that makes them like me~ Anyway. I've had spiritual experiences since I was little and have always felt that faith is just a part of who I am, part of my core being.  Nothing can change that.

4) As stated above, I believe in many gods, including the ones I don't worship.  They all exist.  I just don't interact with all of them.  (That'd be tiring.)

5) We can assume, we can't know, unless you're capable of time travel.  (If so, please take me with you on your next trip.)  The gods that were related to natural phenomena were also connected to many other things (Zeus wasn't just 'teh lightening'), so I don't see why knowing the scientific explanation for a phenomena makes it more difficult to believe in a deity.  Lots of people find science to be spiritual and, with full knowledge of the science behind the phenomena, still find it to be awe-inspiring, incredible, beautiful, and worthy of acknowledgment as something 'greater-than-ourselves'.

May not be making a lot of sense, posting this in my spare time between doing dishes....

yewberry

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 1775
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2012, 01:43:13 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54409


Quote
1) What makes you so sure about your beliefs? Why do you believe in pagan gods like thor and or zeus instead of jesus?


I don't believe in pagan gods.  Or, more accurately, nothing like a god (as I've seen them defined) has ever made itself known to me.  Other entities have, though, and I work with (or at least in parallel with) these.

Quote
2) With all these different pagan beliefs, aren't you worried you picked the wrong one and will die in whatever "hell" exists?


Not even a little.  Don't know, don't care.  I work with ideas, beings, feelings, actions in this life.

Quote
3) Why did you pick your belief?


My "beliefs" (if you can call them that) are a poetic ritual framework for understanding what I've experienced spiritually.

Quote
4). Do pagans believe in all the gods? Like could I for instance, have a shrine to Zeus and Thor? Or am I only limited to a specific belief like Greek or Norse?


"Pagans" aren't a monolith.  There are paths and beliefs that are largely or entirely unrelated to each other.  There is no one set of beliefs that relates us.  It is problematic to be a pure, exclusive Celtic Reconstructionist and worship Zeus, however, in much the same way that it's difficult to worship Jesus (with whom the expectation of exclusivity is inherent per Christian doctrine) and, say, Thor.

Quote
5) We know, or can assume that the ancient gods and godesses were created because humans couldn't explain what thunder or snow was. How do you justify believing in these gods today where we can prove what makes lightning?


As I mentioned, I don't work with gods, but the entities I do work with are intimately related to the land upon which I live, and its cycles, rhythms, and manifestations.  I don't see the two as separate, however.  They function in a way that is utterly inseparable and interlinked.  They are form and function in unison.  I'm afraid it's kind of difficult to describe, but this is as close as I can generally come.

Brina

Shine

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 912
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://houseofthelion.wordpress.com/
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2012, 01:54:54 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54444
Please note I wasn't trying to offend anybody with my questions, I just simply want to know why you picked what you believe, because I am a man of science, and I think critically and rational about beliefs in gods and god. If you can rationally explain your belief to me (basically just say anything but "I believe because my parents do) then I am fine with that. That means that when I think about these gods and stuff, I know others have battled the same fights I battle in my head.

Also, glad to know I am not the only one who tends to believe in the greek gods. I don't know why but I always seem drawn to them. I really hope its not just a childhood fantasy of mine clouding my mind.


Anyway, ONE FINAL QUESTION: I totally forgot to add this.

5) We know, or can assume that the ancient gods and godesses were created because humans couldn't explain what thunder or snow was. How do you justify believing in these gods today where we can prove what makes lightning?

Again, not trying to offend anyone, just looking for some answers, as I struggle with these questions in my head.

 
I think it's less the questions and more the way you worded them and the tone that wording conveyed.

Also, I have a bit of a problem with this statement:

Quote
If you can rationally explain your belief to me (basically just say anything but "I believe because my parents do) then I am fine with that.


I know I'm taking it slightly out of context, but I've run into this attitude amongst a lot of atheists and agnostics. Science tells us that we can explain virtually everything once we have enough data. Religion doesn't. Religion is that softer, mushier stuff, so depending on your definition of "rational", you will never get the kinds of answers you're looking for.

Bringing this statement back into context, I think most of us have battled at some point with the question of, "is this all real? Any of it at all?" In fact, we'd be delusional if we didn't question at least some of our experiences and beliefs. But there's only so much science you can try to tack onto divine beings or to the divine in general. They are ultimately unknowable.

Quote
Also, glad to know I am not the only one who tends to believe in the greek gods. I don't know why but I always seem drawn to them. I really hope its not just a childhood fantasy of mine clouding my mind.


You might try reading up on the Greek myths again, and maybe how religion was practiced in ancient Greece. If something clicks with you, it might be of benefit to try and make tentative contact with the gods.

I feel you on the "childhood fantasy" thing. Once I discovered there was more than the Christian God, an entirely new world opened up to me. It was almost like being thrown into a fantasy movie. I've kind of settled back into reality, though.

Quote
5) We know, or can assume that the ancient gods and godesses were created because humans couldn't explain what thunder or snow was. How do you justify believing in these gods today where we can prove what makes lightning?


It can get kind of complicated. Obviously there's no denying the science. People deal with this in different ways. So, what I'm about to write is purely my opinion.

I tend to see natural phenomena such as thunder and snow as a manifestation of a god or goddess's powers. I'm not sure if they do it on purpose or if that's just something that naturally happens with them and, being a mere mortal, I'm not in a position to know. :)

To me, the gods follow most if not all of the scientific "rules" we've discovered, because that's the order of the world. That, to me, is part of Maat, which is an important concept in Kemeticism. Now, I've just basically placed every pantheon on Earth in a Kemetic viewpoint, which not everyone shares, but it works, and as long as I don't try to force anyone to believe exactly as I do, most people would be fine with that, too.

Alternately, a god or goddess can be an action or a process. The example I always use is with Djehuty (Gr: Thoth), a god of time, mathematics, and plenty of other stuff. When you solve a math problem, that's Djehuty. The higher the mathematics, the closer you get to him.

And, of course, they can be "in" a thing, too, such as the Ausir (Gr: Osiris) tree in my backyard.

Quote
Again, not trying to offend anyone, just looking for some answers, as I struggle with these questions in my head.


May I recommend the  Pagan Primer? It might be a good start to your journey.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

GKDAIR

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 7
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2012, 02:02:26 am »
Quote from: Shine;54453
I think it's less the questions and more the way you worded them and the tone that wording conveyed.

Also, I have a bit of a problem with this statement:



I know I'm taking it slightly out of context, but I've run into this attitude amongst a lot of atheists and agnostics. Science tells us that we can explain virtually everything once we have enough data. Religion doesn't. Religion is that softer, mushier stuff, so depending on your definition of "rational", you will never get the kinds of answers you're looking for.

Bringing this statement back into context, I think most of us have battled at some point with the question of, "is this all real? Any of it at all?" In fact, we'd be delusional if we didn't question at least some of our experiences and beliefs. But there's only so much science you can try to tack onto divine beings or to the divine in general. They are ultimately unknowable.



You might try reading up on the Greek myths again, and maybe how religion was practiced in ancient Greece. If something clicks with you, it might be of benefit to try and make tentative contact with the gods.

I feel you on the "childhood fantasy" thing. Once I discovered there was more than the Christian God, an entirely new world opened up to me. It was almost like being thrown into a fantasy movie. I've kind of settled back into reality, though.



It can get kind of complicated. Obviously there's no denying the science. People deal with this in different ways. So, what I'm about to write is purely my opinion.

I tend to see natural phenomena such as thunder and snow as a manifestation of a god or goddess's powers. I'm not sure if they do it on purpose or if that's just something that naturally happens with them and, being a mere mortal, I'm not in a position to know. :)

To me, the gods follow most if not all of the scientific "rules" we've discovered, because that's the order of the world. That, to me, is part of Maat, which is an important concept in Kemeticism. Now, I've just basically placed every pantheon on Earth in a Kemetic viewpoint, which not everyone shares, but it works, and as long as I don't try to force anyone to believe exactly as I do, most people would be fine with that, too.

Alternately, a god or goddess can be an action or a process. The example I always use is with Djehuty (Gr: Thoth), a god of time, mathematics, and plenty of other stuff. When you solve a math problem, that's Djehuty. The higher the mathematics, the closer you get to him.

And, of course, they can be "in" a thing, too, such as the Ausir (Gr: Osiris) tree in my backyard.



May I recommend the  Pagan Primer? It might be a good start to your journey.

 
Oh dude, I know how the tone sounds, honestly though I'm not asking these questions in any kind of rude or arrogant way.

About explaining your beliefs rationally, all I really want to know is why do you believe what you believe, if you felt called to it or you just decided to practice it one day I don't care, but if you just believe in Thor because mommy and daddy believe in Thor, your belief is not rational IMO. I'm not asking for proof or anything, because I know we don't have any obviously.

Shine

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 912
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://houseofthelion.wordpress.com/
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2012, 02:14:01 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54454
Oh dude, I know how the tone sounds, honestly though I'm not asking these questions in any kind of rude or arrogant way.

About explaining your beliefs rationally, all I really want to know is why do you believe what you believe, if you felt called to it or you just decided to practice it one day I don't care, but if you just believe in Thor because mommy and daddy believe in Thor, your belief is not rational IMO. I'm not asking for proof or anything, because I know we don't have any obviously.

 
I don't think you're trying to be rude or arrogant. It sounded a bit that way, is all. I've had to answer people who were honestly being rude, and were way more combative.

I was definitely led into my belief by Bast, one of my favorite goddesses. Anpu (Gr: Anubis), too, but she was the one who got me to take a closer look at Kemeticism. Once I began to study Kemeticism more using as many scholarly resources I could find, I discovered that I loved virtually every aspect of the culture and religious practice. I read the Wisdom Texts and found that I agreed with most of the advice there.

I've had experiences with Bast, Anpu, and Aset, (and a few years ago I got messages from Odin). As far as I'm concerned, my gods exist, take at least a small interest in my life, are worthy of worship, and so here I am.

But I guess it's also the culture and framework, too. When you mesh well with something, it seems to be human nature to kind of settle into it, at least for a while.

Hope that satisfied your curiosity.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

GKDAIR

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 7
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2012, 02:29:27 am »
Quote from: Shine;54455
I don't think you're trying to be rude or arrogant. It sounded a bit that way, is all. I've had to answer people who were honestly being rude, and were way more combative.

I was definitely led into my belief by Bast, one of my favorite goddesses. Anpu (Gr: Anubis), too, but she was the one who got me to take a closer look at Kemeticism. Once I began to study Kemeticism more using as many scholarly resources I could find, I discovered that I loved virtually every aspect of the culture and religious practice. I read the Wisdom Texts and found that I agreed with most of the advice there.

I've had experiences with Bast, Anpu, and Aset, (and a few years ago I got messages from Odin). As far as I'm concerned, my gods exist, take at least a small interest in my life, are worthy of worship, and so here I am.

But I guess it's also the culture and framework, too. When you mesh well with something, it seems to be human nature to kind of settle into it, at least for a while.

Hope that satisfied your curiosity.

 
Well how do I know that what I believe isn't just some childhood fantasy, how do I know I really believe in people like Hellios and Zeus and not just believe in them because I love playing God of War.

Ever since I knew what Greek Mythology was I was in love with it. When I broke away from Christianity I just explored my options, and totally out of the blue deicded to research paganism, so I do feel called to it, especially Greek Mythos. But how do I know Zeus is calling me, and i'm not just simply thinking it is Zeus?

Also, are there any books you can recommened me about current day greek mythology believers, I think its called hellenismos?

Shine

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 912
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://houseofthelion.wordpress.com/
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2012, 03:06:37 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54458
Well how do I know that what I believe isn't just some childhood fantasy, how do I know I really believe in people like Hellios and Zeus and not just believe in them because I love playing God of War.


It's not easy.

This is where faith and intuition come in. You have to know yourself, your typical feelings toward novelty, etc. It's tougher when you have media influence (been there, done that), but keep digging deeper. Are you drawn because of the kickin' action in a video game? Any religion can get kind of boring, and it's definitely not anything like God of War, so you might want to think again. Or, are you drawn because you are "in love with it"?

Also consider that the gods can use many venues to communicate with followers past and future. I'm not saying that some god flipped a switch and had a video game manufactured just to communicate with followers. I'm saying that the gods and, say, "cosmic forces" may have brought you into contact with a game filled with Greek gods and references to Greek myth at a time when you appear to be at a crossroads.

And there's nothing supernatural about this. It relies completely on your willingness to see the possiblity of a sign and explore that further using faith, intuition, and a hefty dose of reasoning.

Of course, it could just be nothing.

Quote
Ever since I knew what Greek Mythology was I was in love with it. When I broke away from Christianity I just explored my options, and totally out of the blue deicded to research paganism, so I do feel called to it, especially Greek Mythos. But how do I know Zeus is calling me, and i'm not just simply thinking it is Zeus?


Yet another not-easy question.

Note that not all pagans feel "called" by a god or goddess. Some pagans pick which gods or goddesses they want to worship and, if it's good with both parties, then worship generally continues for x-amount of time. So, you might be called to worship gods and/or goddesses from the Greek pantheon, but don't assume that there's any one specific deity calling out to you.

But let's say that maybe there is a god trying to get your attention. This is where it's helpful to know the symbols, colors, animals, forms, patterns, etc. associated with the god. That way, if there are any signs, you can spot them. Dreams can be a resource, too. Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that everything and anything is a sign, and sometimes dreams are mere dreams.

Sometimes you'll get a major smack in the head. Before I became more firmly entrenched as a Kemetic, I did feel drawn toward Hellenic paganism as a kind of "add-on" to my Kemetic practices. Did you ever see the Scion commercials featuring Zeus? I'd been feeling a kind of tug toward Hellenic paganism and was actively contemplating it the evening when those commercials played twice in a row. Coincidence? Possibly.

Or Athena. When I became more interested in Athena, I started seeing owls. Owls, owls, everywhere! I saw a commercial for Minerva Magazine, too.

Hell, I still feel that draw.

Quote
Also, are there any books you can recommened me about current day greek mythology believers, I think its called hellenismos?


I'm no expert on Hellenic paganism. I'm going to direct you to another eCauldron page. Maybe later some Hellenics will come by to give you specifics: Greek Reconstructionists. There are tons of great resources listed on this page. We also have a specialty forum that you might be interested in: Ta Hiera. It seems a bit dead, but there's still good information there. You might do a search on Google for the eCauldron archives as well.

Now's the time to familiarize yourself with the concept of reconstructionism if you're not familiar with it, by the way. It's not the only option in worship, but Hellenismos and Hellenic paganism in general lean that direction.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

DashesAgainst

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 157
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2012, 04:56:05 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54409

1) What makes you so sure about your beliefs? Why do you believe in pagan gods like thor and or zeus instead of jesus?

Because I've experienced my gods -- they revealed themselves as being Greek deities.  

Being a polytheist, I believe in the Abrahamic god, too - I just see him as another god, one I haven't experienced.  I'm not so sure about Jesus being divine though. I think it's possible that maybe he was a real person.

Quote
2) With all these different pagan beliefs, aren't you worried you picked the wrong one and will die in whatever "hell" exists?

No, not at all!  But even if hell turned out to be real, and the Christian god supreme, I would gladly 'die' for my gods. I love them that much!   They have done so much for me - more than I have ever asked... and deserved!

Quote
3) Why did you pick your belief?

I didn't pick it - it picked me.  Well, it was sort of mutual, in that I kind of grew into it from Wicca.  But the gods gave me a big push!  Long, long story!

I've always rejected the Abrahamic faiths, though -- too many moral conflicts for me.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 05:02:23 am by DashesAgainst »
"Of all the rest of mankind, make him your friend who distinguishes himself by his virtue." - The Golden Verses of Pythagoras

mlr52

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 781
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.GIN.michaellrichardson.com
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2012, 06:40:36 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54454
Oh dude, I know how the tone sounds, honestly though I'm not asking these questions in any kind of rude or arrogant way.

About explaining your beliefs rationally, all I really want to know is why do you believe what you believe, if you felt called to it or you just decided to practice it one day I don't care, but if you just believe in Thor because mommy and daddy believe in Thor, your belief is not rational IMO. I'm not asking for proof or anything, because I know we don't have any obviously.

 
Why do you say believing what one's parents believe, just because they did, is not rational?

 My mother believed if a person crossed the street without looking they would get hit by a car.  I have seen people not look and not get hit, by a car, and I have seen people look and get hit by a car.  However I still believe what my mother believed about looking and cars.

I was raised Baptist, I currently identify as a Unitarian Unilateralist Pagan, and what I was first taught, shows up unexpectedly and some of it I consider valid.  Other parts I do not.
Light Your Candle, In Love and Service, Blessed Be.
I am a Notary Public for The State of New York, - I do not charge for Notary Fee\'s, I Live in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Elani Temperance

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Posts: 446
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.littlewitchmagazine.com
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2012, 07:04:28 am »
Before I reply to the questions at hand, I want to say that although I understand where you are coming from, had I jumped into this discussion earlier, I would have addressed your tone as well. I did not 'pick' my faith out of a list, nor would it have been a 'wrong' answer to say 'because my parents were Pagan too'. You are asking for very personal information and you're doing it with over simplified and often asked questions. We answer because we want to help you. What you think about our reasons or believes is honestly not our (at least not my) concern.


Quote from: GKDAIR;54409
1) What makes you so sure about your beliefs? Why do you believe in pagan gods like thor and or zeus instead of jesus?

I'm a hard polytheist, meaning that I believe all Gods and Goddesses that have ever been worshipped, acknowledged or feared exist. This includes Jesus, the Abrahamic God, Mother Mary, etc. I was just not drawn to this pantheon. I work with the Gods and Goddesses I work with because they listen, offer advice or help and demand something from me in return. I believe because I have seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt the Gods and Goddesses I work with and that is enough for me. There are a gazillion Gods and Goddesses out there whom I believe in but don't work with. Honestly, I have my hands full with the ones I do.

Quote
2) With all these different pagan beliefs, aren't you worried you picked the wrong one and will die in whatever "hell" exists?

What is wrong? And what is hell? As a mostly Hellenic, Eclectic Religious Witch, I have the freedom to choose which death myth I'd prefer. I want to be reincarnated so I believe my Goddesses will allow me to. And if not, well, I hope I have done well enough in this life to end up in a good part of Hades. I do not fear death. I respect and worship the Gods; I trust Them to look out for me when I pass on. Oh--and if the Abrahamic Hell ends up being the place I go (honestly, as a gay woman there is no hope for me anyway in that department), I still would not have changed a thing. I would still have worshipped 'false Gods', because after all They have done for me, They deserve it.

Quote
3) Why did you pick your belief?

As I said before, I picked nothing. I was chosen by my Goddesses at a very early age and they have made it clear that I belong on the path I am on. Picking implies that it was a cerebral, conscious decision to live my life the way I do. It was not. This is a heart thing, a feeling thing. There is also no doubt, not for me. The Gods are real and with the way my life is going, I deduce I've done well enough in the eyes of the Gods to be worthy of Their attention and Their aid.

Quote
4). Do pagans believe in all the gods? Like could I for instance, have a shrine to Zeus and Thor? Or am I only limited to a specific belief like Greek or Norse?

Some do, some don't. Some believe all Gods are one and all Goddesses are one. Some believe all Deities are in essence One. Some doubt that One is in fact a God; it might just be energy. There are as many views on Deity in Paganism as there are Pagans.

I believe in all Gods and I am very, very sure that some Gods don't mind having to share altar/shrine space and some do. In my experience, female Deities with matching portfolios in different pantheons often don't mind sharing space while male Deities do. There are very notable exceptions to this, though and many Gods within a pantheon will not share altar/shrine space because of feuds. Ares and Hephaestus are a good example, in my experience.

Quote
5) We know, or can assume that the ancient gods and godesses were created because humans couldn't explain what thunder or snow was. How do you justify believing in these gods today where we can prove what makes lightning?

Errr... this is that tone I was talking about earlier. Even if we can assume that the ancient Gods and Goddesses were created because humans couldn't explain what thunder or snow was, this does not mean these Gods and Goddesses didn't become an embodiment of these phenomenon. Take thunder and Zeus; Zeus throws thunderbolts at people/objects/whatever He does not like. Why does a scientific explanation of thunder take this power from Him? Why can't the storm front be part of His rage? It's a different way of seeing the world which, understandably, is hard to see when you don't view the world this way. This question, at least to someone like me who has worked with these beings, is complete nonsense.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 07:10:56 am by Elani Temperance »
Where I ramble on: Baring the Aegis
Where I try to be coherent: Little Witch magazine
My PaganSquare blog as hosted by Witches & Pagans
Hellenic Polytheistic charity circle Pandora\'s Kharis.

HeartShadow

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2195
  • Total likes: 3
    • View Profile
    • http://www.flamekeeping.org
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2012, 07:31:39 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54444


 
Ahhh, science.  Is there anything you can't prove?

....yes.  Science and religion are about DIFFERENT QUESTIONS.  Overlapping, sure, but different.  Science is about HOW.  HOW does thunder happen, how does the day/night cycle go on, etc.  Religion is about an internal why.  Why are we here, why should we give a damn about each other .. those sorts of questions.

Do people use religion to fill in the gaps of science?  Sure - but that doesn't make it right.  Different questions need different answers.

As far as is it all a delusion ... What if it is?  Does it cause any harm to you or those you care about?  If you're making the whole thing up, is there a downside to that?  If you're looking for absolute proof, you won't find it.  The more you insist that the answers you get fit YOUR format, the more you're going to block out the actual answers in favor of the format.

RandallS

  • Site Admin
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: NE Ohio
  • Posts: 10264
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 279
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2012, 08:11:22 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54444
Anyway, ONE FINAL QUESTION: I totally forgot to add this.

5) We know, or can assume that the ancient gods and godesses were created because humans couldn't explain what thunder or snow was. How do you justify believing in these gods today where we can prove what makes lightning?

We know this? How do we known this? We can certainly assume it -- and many people do -- however, billions of humans do not assume such about their God(s) although strangely many of these same peopl;e do assume it about deities other than their own/ones they approve of.

Could I be wrong in my personal religious beliefs? Of course -- as could those who believe in different deities or no deities at all.
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free

veggiewolf

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 3105
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2012, 08:46:34 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54409
...

I just have some questions for you all.

1) What makes you so sure about your beliefs? Why do you believe in pagan gods like thor and or zeus instead of jesus?

2) With all these different pagan beliefs, aren't you worried you picked the wrong one and will die in whatever "hell" exists?

3) Why did you pick your belief?


Thanks for all the help guys!


1) I do believe in Jesus; I just wasn't called to follow Him.
2) No.
3) I actually didn't pick it - it evolved as I interacted with the deity (then deities) that chose me.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

veggiewolf

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 3105
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2012, 08:57:26 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;54491
1) I do believe in Jesus; I just wasn't called to follow Him.
2) No.
3) I actually didn't pick it - it evolved as I interacted with the deity (then deities) that chose me.


I forgot to add the following:

Quote
4). Do pagans believe in all the gods? Like could I for instance, have a shrine to Zeus and Thor? Or am I only limited to a specific belief like Greek or Norse?

5) We know, or can assume that the ancient gods and godesses were created because humans couldn't explain what thunder or snow was. How do you justify believing in these gods today where we can prove what makes lightning?


4) As someone said earlier, pagans aren't a monolith.  Some pagans believe in all gods, some don't.  You can have a shrine to anything you want.

5) I don't.  I believe because I have direct experience with my deities and therefore *know* They exist.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Jenett

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3371
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 862
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: What makes you so sure about your beliefs?
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2012, 09:32:21 am »
Quote from: GKDAIR;54409

1) What makes you so sure about your beliefs? Why do you believe in pagan gods like thor and or zeus instead of jesus?


Why does it have to be 'instead'? I believe Jesus exists. I believe lots and lots of Gods exist. Just like there are lots and lots of people in the world, but I only have relationships with some of them, and I only have really close relationships with a much smaller number.

The other thing - which people have touched on, but which it's probably worth making explicit - is that many Pagan religions are united by shared practice, rather than shared belief. Even in small close groups of coreligionists, people may have quite different views of the nature of deity, have close relationships with different deities, etc.

On a personal level: I have relationships with specific Gods for the same reasons I have relationships with specific humans: they show up in my life, we mutually agree that's awesome, and we get on with doing stuff together. (Or we negotiate something that ends up useful, at least.) Belief isn't really a factor, any more than my belief in my co-worker is a factor.

Quote

2) With all these different pagan beliefs, aren't you worried you picked the wrong one and will die in whatever "hell" exists?


Nope.

I do my best to live a good life, by well-considered and regularly examined standards, to make recompense when I fail to do that, and to leave the world a slightly better place than I found it. If there *is* an afterlife, and that's not acceptable to whatever God is in charge, I don't want to be in their space anyway.

(I tend to believe there are bunches of different afterlifes, and it all works out in the end, but mostly I don't worry about it at all, because it's not something I can control, and it's not something I have meaningful data about. I do have lots of data about what I'm doing right now in this world, and what that affects.)

Quote
3) Why did you pick your belief?


See above about beliefs and practices. I picked my *practices* because they work, they help me do more the 'trying to live a good life' stuff described above, and they give me a framework for doing a number of things more easily, better, or with more joy.

I don't think it's the only possible answer - and in fact, I believe my specific tradition of practice is the right fit for a very limited number of people in the world, and that's just fine.

Quote
4). Do pagans believe in all the gods? Like could I for instance, have a shrine to Zeus and Thor? Or am I only limited to a specific belief like Greek or Norse?


I am a polytheist who believes in the power of 'and'. I am also a realist who accepts the unyielding apparent reality of 24 hours in a day, and a desire to do other things than talk to the Gods all the time.

I believe that lots and lots of Gods exist. (When in doubt, I go with "assume they exist, return to decision later if there is new data'). That said, I have specific direct interactions of any kind with only a very limited number, there are some deities where I would not go to a ritual honouring them, and most of my primary work is with two specific deities I honour personally, and the deities my tradition works with regularly.

I don't think multiple-pantheon honouring is wrong: I do think it's complicated.

Basically, we're back to "There are lots of people in the world, but that doesn't mean I want them all in my living room when I'm trying to cook dinner."

Quote
5) We know, or can assume that the ancient gods and godesses were created because humans couldn't explain what thunder or snow was. How do you justify believing in these gods today where we can prove what makes lightning?


So not the core of why I work with deities, for two reasons: first, I don't look to my deities to explain why the world is how the world is *anyway* - and even if I did, there's a difference between scientific truth (lightning happens because X) and more mythic truth (what that lightning means in the scope of my life in the world.)

I care less about lightning than I do about things like connection, communication, affection, partnership, magic, ethics, death and rebirth, and so on: the deities I spend time with are also focused on those things, and not so much natural phenomena. (I am a "All Water Deities R Us" sort of person - which is to say, I tend to gravitate towards water - but that's both symbolic and literal.)
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
27 Replies
4306 Views
Last post December 27, 2012, 02:08:54 pm
by Holdasown
8 Replies
1938 Views
Last post August 23, 2013, 09:24:59 pm
by LadyLabcoat
5 Replies
1463 Views
Last post July 26, 2014, 05:34:58 pm
by HeartShadow
11 Replies
2817 Views
Last post February 04, 2016, 12:32:50 am
by Sobekemiti
10 Replies
2323 Views
Last post August 08, 2020, 04:39:24 am
by PerditaPickle

Beginner Area

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

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 43
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 3
  • 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.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* 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

SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal