collapse
2020 Donation Drive

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 21 October 2020: $558 donated. Only $152 more needed! Thank you, donors!


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


* Recent Posts

Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset by Sefiru
[October 19, 2020, 07:12:35 pm]


Re: Dreaming of Moonlight on Water by entwife
[October 19, 2020, 12:06:02 pm]


Re: Dreaming of Moonlight on Water by PerditaPickle
[October 19, 2020, 07:15:27 am]


Re: Dreaming of Moonlight on Water by ehbowen
[October 18, 2020, 09:50:51 pm]


Dreaming of Moonlight on Water by entwife
[October 18, 2020, 03:14:20 pm]

Author Topic: Humanism and Paganism  (Read 1558 times)

Donal2018

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 511
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 90
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Humanism and Paganism
« on: July 14, 2020, 03:31:19 pm »
I have found some naturalistic pagans on Facebook who identify variously as atheist pagans or humanist pagans. I wonder what role humanism can have in the various paganisms?  Do people here mix the two? Or are they separate for most people?

Sefiru

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Location: In the walls
  • Posts: 2077
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 495
    • View Profile
Re: Humanism and Paganism
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2020, 06:39:40 pm »
I have found some naturalistic pagans on Facebook who identify variously as atheist pagans or humanist pagans. I wonder what role humanism can have in the various paganisms?  Do people here mix the two? Or are they separate for most people?

Depends on what sense you mean 'Humanism'? Going by the broad definition of 'belief in the value and agency of human beings', I think many Pagan paths include elements of humanism.

SirPalomides

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2020
  • Location: Pennsylvania
  • Posts: 26
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 17
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Surrealist with Daoist, Christian, pagan characteristics
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/my
Re: Humanism and Paganism
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2020, 10:08:56 am »
I have found some naturalistic pagans on Facebook who identify variously as atheist pagans or humanist pagans. I wonder what role humanism can have in the various paganisms?  Do people here mix the two? Or are they separate for most people?

Humanism gets defined in a lot of different ways; historically I believe it was first applied to late medieval Christian scholars who saw value in Greek and Roman pagan literature, such as the priest-magician Marsilio Ficino. The point being that they saw value in human culture, human creations, as reflecting true wisdom even if it did not align consciously or historically with explicitly Christian revelation. Generally religions feel a tug of war between, on the one side, ascetic otherworldliness and, on the other, finding the sacred in this world, in the human realm- so the latter approach could be termed "humanist."

So humanism and any kind of religious faith are not contradictory and it would be hard for a religion to survive long without a touch of a humanism. Generally religions that are full-on otherworldly restrict themselves to an elite circle capable of maintaining rigorous ascetic discipline.

Naturalism is another tricky one. Some (perhaps most?) religious people believe, implicitly or explicitly, that all of existence is made up of the same stuff. Spiritual beings are just made up of finer stuff than other things. So a philosopher like the Confucian Zhu Xi readily accepted the existence of gods and spirits, but posited that they were formed of a particularly refined qi which is what enables consciousness. Thus his view is sometimes labeled "naturalistic." Epicurus was a thoroughgoing materialist- he taught that even gods were made up of atoms (also that they were far too happy and distant to concern themselves with human affairs). This led some to declare him an atheist. Was he? Generally when I have seen religions attempt to explain "supernatural" events, the explanations just seem to be extensions of what is "natural", even if they are not demonstrable in terms of modern science.

EclecticWheel

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 738
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 190
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Christo-Eclectic
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Humanism and Paganism
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2020, 11:01:53 am »
Do people here mix the two? Or are they separate for most people?

Over the years the most consistent aspect of my personality has been that I do not think of morality as a Divine mandate, not even when I've been a Christian.

I did identify for a while as a cultural Christian and also a Secular Humanist.

I embrace morality as a feature of my humanity, of my belonging to the human species.  I do not need cosmic justification for my morals.

I do like my morality to be a consistent one, at least, as consistent as any of us can be given conflicting interests in our world.

My morals are basically the same today as when I was a Secular Humanist, and I have worked spiritually in a few beliefs and approaches along the way without changing morals.

I don't know if that helps, but that has been my experience.

Adopting devotional practices hasn't changed my morality -- it just adds to the relationships I endeavor to honor and build.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

EclecticWheel

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 738
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 190
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Christo-Eclectic
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Humanism and Paganism
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2020, 11:12:30 am »
Naturalism is another tricky one. Some (perhaps most?) religious people believe, implicitly or explicitly, that all of existence is made up of the same stuff. Spiritual beings are just made up of finer stuff than other things. So a philosopher like the Confucian Zhu Xi readily accepted the existence of gods and spirits, but posited that they were formed of a particularly refined qi which is what enables consciousness. Thus his view is sometimes labeled "naturalistic." Epicurus was a thoroughgoing materialist- he taught that even gods were made up of atoms (also that they were far too happy and distant to concern themselves with human affairs).

Naturalism is a tricky term, as I discovered after adopting it for myself at one point.  If I explain them enough, of course all "supernatural" explanations begin to look "natural."

What would something outside of nature even look like?  If there are gods, and if they are immanent and interactive, aren't they natural?

I no longer call myself a naturalist.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

SirPalomides

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2020
  • Location: Pennsylvania
  • Posts: 26
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 17
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Surrealist with Daoist, Christian, pagan characteristics
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/my
Re: Humanism and Paganism
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2020, 04:01:03 pm »
What would something outside of nature even look like?  If there are gods, and if they are immanent and interactive, aren't they natural?

I think it has something to do with Platonism and the ideal realm which utterly transcends the realm of particulars, yet still influences it. In Christianity and other Platonic influenced religions the ideal realm dovetails with God who is utterly distinct from His creatures (including angels) yet somehow fully immanent in them. In this view the nature of created things, which all have a beginning, is completely different from the unknowable nature of the beginningless God. And yet there is also some mysterious, intimate connection. The modern theologian Sergius Bulgakov's theory about Sophia is one attempt to explain this. It's been a while since I read all that- I don't remember if it settles the question but it was beautifully presented.

PerditaPickle

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: UK
  • Posts: 1376
  • Country: england
  • Total likes: 333
  • It's all metta - at least, I believe it should be
    • View Profile
    • Portrait of Perpetual Perplexity
  • Religion: Druidry-leaning learner
  • Preferred Pronouns: She/her/hers
Re: Humanism and Paganism
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2020, 05:14:55 pm »
(also that they were far too happy and distant to concern themselves with human affairs). This led some to declare him an atheist. Was he?

This is interesting to me, as this (the bit in brackets) is sort of what I believe about divinity - actually, not so much that divinity is too happy (I wouldn't have a clue one way or the other) but certainly that its too distant to be concerned with (or possibly even aware of) our affairs (though, again, I've actually no way of knowing).  I can't decide whether this makes me an atheist or not.  I've sort of mentally adopted the term 'non-theistic' about myself, though I think that's the first time I've articulated it outside of my own brain.

(I think I've mentioned else-forum that these ideas are still all very nebulous in my own mind, and this is still the case, so writing about them in a way which makes sense is still very problematic I'm afraid.  (I'm kind of sort of in the middle of a blog post about something similar, and I've very much stalled with it...))

I do not need cosmic justification for my morals.

This sentiment is also very relatable to me, too.  It's how I've always been, since long before embracing paganism (and despite never considering myself religious - I still consider myself spiritual but not religious).
“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.” – The Buddha
(From the Metta Sutta)

My Portrait of Perpetual Perplexity blog

Donal2018

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 511
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 90
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Re: Humanism and Paganism
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2020, 08:39:05 pm »
I have found some naturalistic pagans on Facebook who identify variously as atheist pagans or humanist pagans. I wonder what role humanism can have in the various paganisms?  Do people here mix the two? Or are they separate for most people?

Yes, I started this Thread back in July and forgot to follow up on it. Thanks everyone who commented. I have read your posts and appreciate them. I do not have the spoons at the moment to answer them in any detail. Hopefully I will get back here to comment in the future.

Helix109

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2017
  • Posts: 6
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Romance Paganism
Re: Humanism and Paganism
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2020, 03:05:41 pm »
I know the old Renaissance Humanists were very involved in Paganism(or at least adopting Pagan understanding). Figures like Michael Tarchaniota Marullus and Gemistus Pletho were both rumored to be Pagans at the time they were alive.

EclecticWheel

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 738
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 190
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Christo-Eclectic
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Humanism and Paganism
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2020, 03:32:55 am »
I know the old Renaissance Humanists were very involved in Paganism(or at least adopting Pagan understanding). Figures like Michael Tarchaniota Marullus and Gemistus Pletho were both rumored to be Pagans at the time they were alive.

A Reminder:
Just a quick note:  Please remember to quote, even if you're just  replying to the first message in the thread.  It makes the discussion  easier to follow, and it's required by  our  rules. (If you're using tapatalk on a phone, please hold your finger down on the message you wish to reply to until the quote function pops up.)

This isn't a formal warning, just a reminder.  No  reply is necessary, but if you have questions or need clarification,  please feel free to contact a member of staff privately.

Thanks!

EclecticWheel, TC forum staff
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

SirPalomides

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2020
  • Location: Pennsylvania
  • Posts: 26
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 17
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Surrealist with Daoist, Christian, pagan characteristics
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/my
Re: Humanism and Paganism
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2020, 10:45:10 am »
I know the old Renaissance Humanists were very involved in Paganism(or at least adopting Pagan understanding). Figures like Michael Tarchaniota Marullus and Gemistus Pletho were both rumored to be Pagans at the time they were alive.

Plethon's paganism is for sure. It was poorly kept secret made explicit in his later writing. Most of his students (like Mark Eugenikos, Bessarion, and Marsilio Ficino) were Christians though. The Byzantine authorities weren't in a mood to persecute him, as he was held in high regard as one of their best scholars.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
44 Replies
14713 Views
Last post July 07, 2012, 11:00:53 am
by DancesWithHorses
13 Replies
1884 Views
Last post December 13, 2012, 09:58:13 am
by Sophia C
26 Replies
4145 Views
Last post October 29, 2014, 07:02:46 pm
by Kyndyl
4 Replies
1738 Views
Last post March 06, 2015, 02:30:25 pm
by veggiewolf
21 Replies
4386 Views
Last post May 19, 2016, 06:11:17 pm
by RecycledBenedict

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 50
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • 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