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Author Topic: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.  (Read 2065 times)

GaelicWarfighter5811

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Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« on: August 30, 2012, 03:07:43 am »
As some of you may know, I'm new to referring to myself as a Pagan.  Not that there hadn't been signs throughout my life, but by following the old ways of my ancestors, I broke with new traditions of Christianity (and specifically Catholicism).  I had an interesting discussion with a Pagan friend of mine tonight, regarding Faith in all it's forms.  He's been a Pagan for years, and his in his early fifties now.  Faith in itself, regardless of deity, is a pretty amazing them.  I don't feel I need "proof" in my belief of Lugh and my belief that he watches over me.

However, I do feel that I have it, both on a personal level and a more widely recognized level.  Neolithic Celtic forts in Scotland made of stone that's been vitrified (turned to glass) with legends surrounding Lugh and his spear attached to the area seem pretty obvious to me.  However, I don't feel that I need this to "prove" my faith.  

Was Lugh simply a normal man from a past age (we've had seven ice ages on this planet, and it's more than probable that prior to one of the cataclysms we reached a high degree of technology) who possessed technology that other's deemed to be magic or godlike power?  Perhaps he was an extra-terrestrial power that helped humanity?  Or, he was a supernatural being that we can't even begin to contemplate.  Does it really matter?  I don't think so, but it could be an interesting discussion.  Anyone care to weigh in?
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RandallS

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2012, 06:36:39 pm »
Quote from: GaelicWarfighter5811;71415
Was Lugh simply a normal man from a past age (we've had seven ice ages on this planet, and it's more than probable that prior to one of the cataclysms we reached a high degree of technology) who possessed technology that other's deemed to be magic or godlike power?  Perhaps he was an extra-terrestrial power that helped humanity?  Or, he was a supernatural being that we can't even begin to contemplate.  Does it really matter?  I don't think so, but it could be an interesting discussion.  Anyone care to weigh in?

I guess I can, althought it may not be too helpful. There's no evidence for any technological civilizations before or in between ice ages nor evidence of extra-terrestrials helping humanity. Supernatural beings, of course, are possible.
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Aster Breo

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Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 06:53:54 am »
Quote from: GaelicWarfighter5811;71415
 Neolithic Celtic forts in Scotland made of stone that's been vitrified (turned to glass)

Can you provide a source about these forts?  They sound interesting.

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RandallS

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 08:25:26 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;71605
Can you provide a source about these forts?  They sound interesting.

Here's some forum discussion on this that seems fairly level-headed: http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=31115
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Maps

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 11:53:33 am »
Quote from: GaelicWarfighter5811;71415
As some of you may know, I'm new to referring to myself as a Pagan.  Not that there hadn't been signs throughout my life, but by following the old ways of my ancestors, I broke with new traditions of Christianity (and specifically Catholicism).  I had an interesting discussion with a Pagan friend of mine tonight, regarding Faith in all it's forms.  He's been a Pagan for years, and his in his early fifties now.  Faith in itself, regardless of deity, is a pretty amazing them.  I don't feel I need "proof" in my belief of Lugh and my belief that he watches over me.

However, I do feel that I have it, both on a personal level and a more widely recognized level.  Neolithic Celtic forts in Scotland made of stone that's been vitrified (turned to glass) with legends surrounding Lugh and his spear attached to the area seem pretty obvious to me.  However, I don't feel that I need this to "prove" my faith.  

Was Lugh simply a normal man from a past age (we've had seven ice ages on this planet, and it's more than probable that prior to one of the cataclysms we reached a high degree of technology) who possessed technology that other's deemed to be magic or godlike power?  Perhaps he was an extra-terrestrial power that helped humanity?  Or, he was a supernatural being that we can't even begin to contemplate.  Does it really matter?  I don't think so, but it could be an interesting discussion.  Anyone care to weigh in?

 
I don't really have faith, I have belief. I know, inasmuch as I can without being able to put it to rigorous scientific testing, that my gods are real and that they're in charge of the things that they are traditionally in charge of.

Crazy (white) people like to think Quetzalcoatl was an alien or a lizard-Jesus or something. They like to think Pacal was an alien. That the pyramids were mechanisms that shot lasers at Zeta Reticuli and were made by telekinesis. Whatever. It's not even a discussion that I'm keen on having because it reduces gods to conspiracy and tabloid fodder.

I don't believe in literal myth, that Chaak literally goes about smoking a 100lb tobacco cigar and that his axe is made from a rock that existed on the earth at some point. I don't need to go looking for physical evidence of him beyond hearing the peal of thunder and seeing the dark storm clouds to know that he exists. To me, that's more real than the kind of evidence you're interested in.

Darkhawk

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2012, 11:57:01 am »
Quote from: Maps;71635
I don't believe in literal myth, that Chaak literally goes about smoking a 100lb tobacco cigar and that his axe is made from a rock that existed on the earth at some point. I don't need to go looking for physical evidence of him beyond hearing the peal of thunder and seeing the dark storm clouds to know that he exists. To me, that's more real than the kind of evidence you're interested in.

 
Well, there's literal and then there's literal.

I'm sort of in the "Of course there's Amun.  You're breathing, aren't you?  That air thing?" school.  Which is actually really literalistic.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Maps

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2012, 01:25:12 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;71637
Well, there's literal and then there's literal.

I'm sort of in the "Of course there's Amun.  You're breathing, aren't you?  That air thing?" school.  Which is actually really literalistic.

Well yeah. But then there's the popular, skeptic's notion of literal--"I wanna see fossils, droppings, tracks, photographic evidence of the supernatural event"--which just doesn't even make any sense in my worldview. Nobody wants to see me point at everything when they ask where my gods are and if I have evidence of their existence. :B
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 01:26:41 pm by Maps »

Darkhawk

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2012, 01:29:52 pm »
Quote from: Maps;71655
Well yeah. But then there's the popular, skeptic's notion of literal--"I wanna see fossils, droppings, tracks, photographic evidence of the supernatural event"--which just doesn't even make any sense in my worldview. Nobody wants to see me point at everything when they ask where my gods are and if I have evidence of their existence. :B

 
Personally, I always get hung up on the notion that the gods are supernatural.  I mean, when you start out asking for information about "fancy word for stuff that doesn't exist"... ;)
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Maps

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2012, 02:53:14 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;71656
Personally, I always get hung up on the notion that the gods are supernatural.  I mean, when you start out asking for information about "fancy word for stuff that doesn't exist"... ;)

 
Yeah once it's evident to me that that's your point of reference, then it's pretty obvious that either we're going to wind up talking about two completely different things, or we won't be having a discussion at all. :B

I just think the whole fascination is kind of gross-- this is the stuff we do to celebrities. We build them up as these supernatural beings that aren't quite human, and then we get this fetishistic glee from picking apart every aspect of their existence until there's nothing left, at which point we either build them up again or move on. Not in my religion pls

iulla

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2012, 04:00:45 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;71610
Here's some forum discussion on this that seems fairly level-headed: http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=31115


"The History Channel program "Ancient Aliens" makes a big deal of this.  Connecting it to a deity called "Loo",who according to them was an ET with a weapon capable of producing this effect."

Um.  What.  Lugh is an extraterrestrial toilet, now?  ಠ_ಠ

Anyway, I'm fine without concrete proof that deities exist - the belief that they exist, taken from my own experiences and feelings, is enough for me.  Sure, I have my own "proof", I guess you could call it, that they exist, but is it provable?  No.  Not by any scientific means, in any case, and I'm fine with that.
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wadjet

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2012, 12:28:49 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;71656
Personally, I always get hung up on the notion that the gods are supernatural.  I mean, when you start out asking for information about "fancy word for stuff that doesn't exist"... ;)

 
I hate the word "supernatural". It implies something that happens outside the realm of existence, as if it's defying the laws of physics ON PURPOSE just so it can be inexplicable, for the sole purpose of confounding skeptics, whereas if we were "good" people,  our "faith" would be enough for us to be satisfied. Hrumph. (You can maybe tell where I think this type of thinking comes from.)

It's not faith that makes me think this. It's not even "belief" - that's like saying I "believe" in gravity....or I "believe" we just landed stuff on Mars. "Belief" implies some level of inflexibility which I don't adhere to. And "faith" implies thinking something is true in opposition of collected evidence. I think the existence of spirits and deities is likely true based on the evidence of my knowledge and senses.

Here is how I feel about the spirits and deities: There are species of animals with no sight or hearing. Does that mean light or sound do not exist? I believe that the spirits exist in our universe just like anything else in our universe, but that our capability to perceive them is limited. That's why humans have interacted with them in similar ways for thousands of years. Perhaps one day they or us will evolve further and/or develop better technology and we'll be able to perceive them more and study more about them with stronger "scientific" methods.

Sophia C

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Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2012, 03:34:11 am »
Quote from: GaelicWarfighter5811;71415
However, I do feel that I have it, both on a personal level and a more widely recognized level.  Neolithic Celtic forts in Scotland made of stone that's been vitrified (turned to glass) with legends surrounding Lugh and his spear attached to the area seem pretty obvious to me.  However, I don't feel that I need this to "prove" my faith.

I think that legends like the one you mentioned would have been imposed on the landscape after the fact. Got a legend about a deity that seems to fit a local stone circle or other monument? Perfect. And the vitrified stone becomes the spear of Lugh. There are stone circles all over Ireland with 'druid' in their name, but that doesn't mean Druids built them - just that people believed they did.

In these cases I find it interesting to think about what the landscapes reveal about people's beliefs. I'm much more interested in that than what may have actually happened to lead to those beliefs. What my ancestors believed is much more interesting than whether it was 'true', in the physical/apparent world, or not.

And finding out that my gods were 'just' deified ancestors wouldn't bother me in the slightest. It's entirely possible that that's what they were, once. (ETs, no - unlikely. That's just my opinion, of course.)
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wadjet

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2012, 01:30:53 am »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;71751
And finding out that my gods were 'just' deified ancestors wouldn't bother me in the slightest. It's entirely possible that that's what they were, once.

 
Apologizing ahead of time for Christian-bashing, because it's not meant to be. But I think that it is a product of Christianity that makes society feel that spiritual beliefs must be unchangeable and definitive. (Or perhaps not Christianity specifically, but something about the cultural shift of religions over the last thousand years.) I don't understand this attitude. And, I guess it's not even just spirituality. Even scientists of the past used to say "this is a LAW of nature which CANNOT be broken!"

We're learning that's a load of crapola now, so maybe there will be a societal shift...eventually. (Is just because I got into advanced science at a really young age that it makes sense to me to always leave things a little open-ended?) (Did you know 46% of Americans still believe In Creationism? The mind boggles.)

(Unrelated fun fact: I could have sworn unmutable was a word. BUT I AM FLEXIBLE AND CAN ACCEPT WHEN MY "FACTS" ARE PROVEN UNTRUE.)

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Re: Faith, the "proof of" and simple meanings.
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2012, 04:01:45 am »
Quote from: wadjet;71921
Unrelated fun fact: I could have sworn unmutable was a word.

 

The word you're thinking of is "immutable".


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