TSR Pagan Society Watch

Teao the Cat
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#481
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#481
Heh, I forget about this thread until it pops up in my watched threads... I take it 'ask a pagan' died a death?
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Hylean
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#482
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#482
(Original post by Teao the Cat)
Heh, I forget about this thread until it pops up in my watched threads... I take it 'ask a pagan' died a death?
It did, but it'll resurface eventually. It's there now, so any questions can be moved there quickly and easily.
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twinlensreflex
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#483
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#483
*waves*

I think pagan best describes my spiritual/religious beliefs. But I'm not especially keen on the ritual side of things, I'm happy with herbal medicine and meditation. Maybe when I stop being such a wuss I'll try some stuff out, see how it goes.
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Hylean
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#484
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#484
(Original post by twinlensreflex)
*waves*

I think pagan best describes my spiritual/religious beliefs. But I'm not especially keen on the ritual side of things, I'm happy with herbal medicine and meditation. Maybe when I stop being such a wuss I'll try some stuff out, see how it goes.
Good thing about neo-paganism is that its eclectic, so you can make of it what you will.
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SilverArch
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#485
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#485
This thread is really informative, thanks guys

I first heard about paganism from my family. One set of my grandparents (I think it was them anyway) were druids at one point, and we still have one of their books with rituals described in it. I got quite interested in the whole of paganism from there, and lately thinking about my own spirituality

I was raised Catholic, but rejected the Church years ago. Right now I would say I am completely atheist when it comes to the concept of a God in the Abrahamic faiths' meaning of the word (if that makes sense). Too many fundamental concepts of the Church didn't make sense to me. I used to feel 'Gods' presence but that also stopped years ago

But if I'm honest, sometimes I do feel very spiritual. I don't believe in ghosts, spirits or the like, but sometimes I just feel 'energy' in things and all around me. This was pretty confusing a couple of years ago, because the only explanation I had for that was 'God' which I didn't really believe in. I investigated Buddhism a bit, but I don't believe in reincarnation or karma either, although I love the meditative and introspective aspect of it.

I tend to feel very 'at home' with nature and it's when I'm relaxing outside I tend to just get a sense of energy all around me. I also interestingly felt that once when using my mum's tarot deck. I enjoy using tarot decks (as an aid to help me focus on the direction my life is going in, if that makes sense?) and looking at crystals (never actually collecte any, but I'm going to start soon)

So basically, I'm investigating paganism a lot closer now. I like the fact that there is no dogma and it's so personal. But most of the pagans here seem to believe in deities in one form or another. Is it actually pagan to feel a 'life force' running through nature, but not to feel or believe in deities? Or am I understanding deities in the wrong way? Can you be pagan and atheist? What do the pagans on this thread feel deities to be? Sorry for the essay, hope this makes sense!
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green.tea
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#486
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#486
Spiritualism is a means for so called mediums to use messages from beyond to control people, creating lots of little micro cults or "circles" as they prefer to call them. Its disgusting and people who legitimize it with those stupid tv shows should be shot.
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sollythewise
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#487
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#487
aren't all pagans/wiccans/etc. "out there"?
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Teao the Cat
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#488
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#488
I reckon pagan beliefs and atheism can go hand in hand... I don't think you need to believe in a 'god' figure to be pagan, more just that there is power in the world around us. I'm swaying more to that direction myself- I'm contemplating the idea that all the deities are just constructs that are used by us to make sense of the world, because we have trouble comprehending it all at once, so split it up...

Just my strange little brain-ramblings. Probably don't make any sense!
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Diety
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#489
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#489
(Original post by Teao the Cat)
I reckon pagan beliefs and atheism can go hand in hand... I don't think you need to believe in a 'god' figure to be pagan, more just that there is power in the world around us. I'm swaying more to that direction myself- I'm contemplating the idea that all the deities are just constructs that are used by us to make sense of the world, because we have trouble comprehending it all at once, so split it up...

Just my strange little brain-ramblings. Probably don't make any sense!
Makes quite allot of sense actually; even David Hume outlined how polytheism may have emerged out of the personification of things in nature.
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Hylean
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#490
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#490
(Original post by Teao the Cat)
I reckon pagan beliefs and atheism can go hand in hand... I don't think you need to believe in a 'god' figure to be pagan, more just that there is power in the world around us. I'm swaying more to that direction myself- I'm contemplating the idea that all the deities are just constructs that are used by us to make sense of the world, because we have trouble comprehending it all at once, so split it up...

Just my strange little brain-ramblings. Probably don't make any sense!
But where does that power come from? Have you looked into Deism? You might like that.

I don't really see Paganism and Atheism going hand in hand. Spiritualism and Atheism, certainly, which is where you seem to be going towards. Paganism, on the whole, does seem to have some kind of deity behind it, even if only vaguely in the form of a deistic Lord and Lady. That said, it's constantly changing, so I might just be old fashioned in my interpretation. Even Wiccans, who tend to accept the gods as constructs, generally have their Lord and Lady or the One.


(Original post by Diety)
Makes quite allot of sense actually; even David Hume outlined how polytheism may have emerged out of the personification of things in nature.
An argument Christians have been making for a very long time. See Snorra Edda for a Nordic example of it. :yep:
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SilverArch
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#491
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#491
(Original post by Hylean)
But where does that power come from? Have you looked into Deism? You might like that.

I don't really see Paganism and Atheism going hand in hand. Spiritualism and Atheism, certainly, which is where you seem to be going towards. Paganism, on the whole, does seem to have some kind of deity behind it, even if only vaguely in the form of a deistic Lord and Lady. That said, it's constantly changing, so I might just be old fashioned in my interpretation. Even Wiccans, who tend to accept the gods as constructs, generally have their Lord and Lady or the One.
Your post was very thought provoking for me, so thank you for that

I definitely would describe myself as a spiritual atheist. I feel a certain force outside me, which exists in all of nature equally, but I feel that deities are a way to personify that force and give it a form that a human can begin to understand. The Catholic faith I knew seemed to just put a form on that force (make it God) then put a massive structure and dogma around it. Is that force divine on it's own? I don't believe in a Creator deciding to make the universe..but could that force have always been there, just without a conscious face (the God I was taught about had a kind of omniscient consciousness)? I'm actually questioning myself here, not you guys. Questioning myself helps me sort my beliefs out. And tomorrow my belief will probably have alterred again I guess what I'm exploring is belief systems which let me find ways of feeling at one with that force, whilst rejecting worship of it. I use things like the tarot, lucid dreaming and so on as a meditation excercise to help me focus on either the force I feel, my own life and goals, or just to relax...I did dabble in spells when younger, but now i realise that was also me trying to feel connected and focussed. I don't believe you can manipulate energy through magic personally

I think I'll stick around this thread, if you all don't mind. I may not be pagan, but I feel more 'at home' reading this thread, than on the atheism thread which is pretty much devoid of all spirituality. I'm also interested in learning more about paganism in general, as an academic excercise. I'll take a look at some of the books mentionned earlier in the thread if i can find any in the library system. I'm especially interested in Druidism, as it's in the family history (I love researching my family history).
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Etoile
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#492
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#492
(Original post by sollythewise)
aren't all pagans/wiccans/etc. "out there"?
Not all of us While it's true that paganism does tend to attract a lot of oddballs, that's probably because pagans are generally more accepting of difference than mainstream religions - for example, there are a lot of homosexual pagans, because paganism doesn't teach that homosexuality is wrong, but that isn't to say that all or even most pagans are gay. Anyway, the point of my ramble is that I am pagan but I am normal(ish).





I had a question for the rest of you folks: what do you think of the rule 'harm none' in general, and do you think it outlaws things like eating disorders and self-injury, and then I guess to an extent things like smoking and binge drinking?
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Hylean
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#493
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#493
(Original post by Etoile)
Not all of us While it's true that paganism does tend to attract a lot of oddballs, that's probably because pagans are generally more accepting of difference than mainstream religions - for example, there are a lot of homosexual pagans, because paganism doesn't teach that homosexuality is wrong, but that isn't to say that all or even most pagans are gay. Anyway, the point of my ramble is that I am pagan but I am normal(ish).


I had a question for the rest of you folks: what do you think of the rule 'harm none' in general, and do you think it outlaws things like eating disorders and self-injury, and then I guess to an extent things like smoking and binge drinking?
I don't know, you're pretty "out there". :p:

Harm none? I don't look on it as a rule, but just a guiding statement, and tied with the threefold law let's me know what I'm in for. After all, the smallest things could count as "harm", such as eating red meat or living in a region with heavy traffic.
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Etoile
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#494
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#494
(Original post by Hylean)
I don't know, you're pretty "out there". :p:

Harm none? I don't look on it as a rule, but just a guiding statement, and tied with the threefold law let's me know what I'm in for. After all, the smallest things could count as "harm", such as eating red meat or living in a region with heavy traffic.
Haha, do you think so?
Thanks for your viewpoint I suppose it really does depend on what you think constitutes harm. How do you think the threefold law and harm none interact?
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Teao the Cat
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#495
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#495
With the harming none, I just take it as try to be nice and helpful and kind to other people. I've never considered the self harm aspect, because I have luckily never been in a situation where I was likely to self harm, and I don't feel I have the right to judge the actions of others, so...
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Etoile
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#496
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#496
(Original post by Teao the Cat)
With the harming none, I just take it as try to be nice and helpful and kind to other people. I've never considered the self harm aspect, because I have luckily never been in a situation where I was likely to self harm, and I don't feel I have the right to judge the actions of others, so...
You're a good ...cat? And you think that self-harm is acceptable then?
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Teao the Cat
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#497
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#497
(Original post by Etoile)
You're a good ...cat? And you think that self-harm is acceptable then?
I suppose I think that I can't judge on self harm, because I have no idea what it;s like to be in a situation where it seems a good idea. So i can't then decide whether it's 'acceptable' or not. In an ideal world, i'd love for it not to happen at all, because i'd rather people didn't feel badly enough about themselves that they would want to hurt themselves, however...

I suppose a definition of self harm can be pretty broad though... I overeat, so i suppose that could constitute self harm... and wahat about all the people who get tattoos, say, or even wax... that hurts!
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Hylean
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#498
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#498
(Original post by Etoile)
Haha, do you think so?
Thanks for your viewpoint I suppose it really does depend on what you think constitutes harm. How do you think the threefold law and harm none interact?
Don't really think so, no.

Anything we do is brought back to us threefold, thus when we harm someone, it is brought back to us threefold. For me, "harm none" has to involve willing, premeditated and conscious intent to harm something, rather than you know, just living in a polluted area or eating red meat. We have to be wielding some form of a blade, metaphorical or otherwise. When we harm ourselves, we will only experience worse harm later in life or in another life.


(Original post by Etoile)
You're a good ...cat? And you think that self-harm is acceptable then?
No. Harm none is quite clear on that score: self-harm is not "acceptable". This is not me judging people who do self-harm, as they do what they do for various reasons and many are acceptable in my opinion, but "harm none" leaves no room for debate, really.

Edit: To clarify, when I say it's "not acceptable", I mean with regards to "harm none". However, I've already stated I believe that to be a guideline and not a strict "law".
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sollythewise
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#499
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#499
(Original post by Etoile)
Not all of us While it's true that paganism does tend to attract a lot of oddballs, that's probably because pagans are generally more accepting of difference than mainstream religions - for example, there are a lot of homosexual pagans, because paganism doesn't teach that homosexuality is wrong, but that isn't to say that all or even most pagans are gay. Anyway, the point of my ramble is that I am pagan but I am normal(ish).





I had a question for the rest of you folks: what do you think of the rule 'harm none' in general, and do you think it outlaws things like eating disorders and self-injury, and then I guess to an extent things like smoking and binge drinking?
it depends what the logic behind the rule is. if it because of some sort of social contract, eg. "allowing people to cause harm lowers overall happiness, and we want to maximise happiness, so to stop that happening, we ban everyone from causing harm", then self-harm should be fine, as long as it doesn't prevent you from participating in society as normal. so cutting your own arm is fine (as in it sticks to the rule, not that it is fine in general!), whereas binge drinking isn't (as it makes people behave antisocially and stops them being productive economically, as well as often requiring the NHS to waste money on morons.)

however, if the reasoning is that causing harm is essentially bad, then no justification can be made in any situation. this would include self-harm, but also restraining a terrorist on the grounds that "i might hurt him, and anyway he has a right to move freely".

i suppose you could say that you want to reduce the total harm done in the universe (by people, possibly). then we would have to work out if the psychological satisfaction caused by self-harm outweighed the physical damage done.

basically, it's complicated.
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SilverArch
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#500
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#500
I try to live without causing harm to anybody/thing. Sometimes it's simple, like my decision to be vegetarian. Other times, it's confusing trying to decide if something is harmful or not

Does self harm ever bring any long term psychological satisfaction? I know short term you might find relief in it and a way to cope, but long term I think it will probably only be harmful? Most people self harm because they are already greatly suffering, but self harm is not a cure.

But defining harm is quite hard, IMHO. It's obvious that deliberately running over a squirrel is nasty and harmful, but there's such a grey area where something could be classed as harmful or not harmful by different people. What about BDSM? You might have a deliberate pre-medidated intent to cause humiliation or minor physical harm to someone, but if it gives intense satisfaction psychologically and strengthens your relationship...then can it actually be classed as harm? My gut (and head) says no. But someone could easily disagree with me!

Yep, definitely complicated to define what causing harm is!
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