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Osric

Paganism and Neo-Paganism General Discussion

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Osric

So, anybody here involved in Paganism or Neo-Paganism? I don't know exactly where to put this, but since this is about religion and spirituality, I figured I'd place it here since it is a serious subject.

 

Wiccans, Druids, Norse Heathens, Polytheists, and practitioners of Shamanism, Voodoo, Witchcraft, or any other occult or ancient tradition are welcome.

 

Feel free to discuss any form of Paganism you may practice and share your thoughts on the subject. I've been involved with Paganism since 2011, although I was raised Christian (nothing wrong with Christianity but it wasn't for me) and prior to entering Paganism, I was an atheist from 2007 to 2011, when I sort of had an epiphany following a long period of self-reflection and discovering the Neo-Pagan and Pagan communities.

 

I myself am a Greco-Roman Polytheist, with a focus more on the Roman aspects of the pantheon rather than the more traditional Greek interpretation of the Gods and Goddesses (Jupiter instead of Zeus, Mars instead of Ares, etc.). I will openly admit that I am a bit syncretic, drawing worship from Greek, Roman, and Celtic sources, which is rooted in history, the Romans were very cosmopolitan and Roman religion was highly syncretic, this is especially true of the Romano-British culture that freely mixed Roman and Celtic pagan elements before being absorbed and displaced by Christianity in the last years of the Roman Empire.

 

I will admit, I don't do much ritual magic but I do pray to the Gods and meditate sometimes.

 

Anybody else here on GTA Forums involved with Paganism, Wicca, Druidism, or Heathenry?

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Darth Yokel
Posted (edited)

I am an adult, so no.

Edited by Darth Yokel

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sivispacem

Fundamentally I look at Neopaganism the same way I do any other non-clerical religious belief- an exercise of personal faith I neither support nor denounce.

The exception to that is the Odalist/Neo-Volkish arm of Germanic neo-Paganism, which is fundamentally just a reimagining of the mysticist bits of Nazism imagined by the likes of Savitri Devi.

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Short Stay

I would if I thought it would get me laid by some earth mother type.

 

Darth Yokel put it best above.

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Typhus

I see Neo-Paganism as being potentially very useful to tackling the issue of climate change. By teaching environmentalism not as a political issue, but one of faith, there would be less acceptance for the negligence and hubris of the capitalist classes. The veneration of the Earth, rather than Gods in the image of men, would be a positive step forward for humanity. Our species needs to understand that we are transient animals, our emotions and quarrels are not sacred, and we have no mastery of this planet, we can be wiped out very easily, and the Earth would carry on spinning.

 

How many problems could humankind avoid from a simple exercise of humility?

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Osric
13 hours ago, Darth Yokel said:

I am an adult, so no.

 

I'm an adult as well, having a non-traditional faith is not a sign of immaturity (though I admit that a lot of immature people can be drawn to Paganism)

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Eutyphro
Posted (edited)

So how do you reach a consensus between the belief in gods representing forces of nature and ancient cosmology on the one hand, and modern science on the other?

Edited by Eutyphro

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Osric
30 minutes ago, Eutyphro said:

So how do you reach a consensus between the belief in gods representing forces of nature and ancient cosmology, and modern science?

 

Science cannot explain everything, though it does explain a lot.

 

Honestly, I find peace and solace within the Gods and Goddesses, and that is completely fine with me.

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Eutyphro
Posted (edited)

Science doesn't explain everything, but the idea that a titan carries earth, or that Zeus makes lightning, or that Poseidon controls the seas, etc.. Ergo, the personification of nature, is not credible to any modern human, is it? I love Greek myths, because they go really deep into psychoanalytical themes, but as a representation of reality nobody modern can believe in them.

Edited by Eutyphro

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Osric
1 hour ago, Eutyphro said:

Science doesn't explain everything, but the idea that a titan carries earth, or that Zeus makes lightning, or that Poseidon controls the seas, etc.. Ergo, the personification of nature, is not credible to any modern human, is it? I love Greek myths, because they go really deep into psychoanalytical themes, but as a representation of reality nobody modern can believe in them.

 

 

The same could be said of almost any religion, and yet people still have belief. Not everything is to be taken literally, but I do believe the Gods and Goddesses exist, in higher forms than our human minds can comprehend.

 

A lot of the "personification of nature" came from human interpretation of the works and power of the Gods.

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Eutyphro

No, because not every religion anthropomorphizes nature. Every religion has an issue with how to bring the idea of the supernatural in accordance with our scientific knowledge. but anthropomorphizing nature is especially problematic in my view.

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Osric
7 minutes ago, Eutyphro said:

No, because not every religion anthropomorphizes nature. Every religion has an issue with how to bring the idea of the supernatural in accordance with our scientific knowledge. but anthropomorphizing nature is especially problematic in my view.

 

Well, then let's just agree to disagree and move on from there.

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Typhus
9 hours ago, Eutyphro said:

So how do you reach a consensus between the belief in gods representing forces of nature and ancient cosmology, and modern science?

Actually quite easily! What are the key attributes of a God?

 - Omnipresence

 - Omnipotence

 - Omniscience

Now, the issue with human-centric Gods is that we attribute these qualities to representations of ourselves. But wouldn't you say these qualities are more evident in the natural elements? The Earth which sustains us can destroy us, we are all part of the cycle of nature - of birth, growth, death and rebirth. And this is tangible scientific fact, not a matter of faith. You and I will die one day, and our bodies will return to the Earth or the Waters, and join with it again.

 

Death worship, too, is perfectly compatible with scientific belief - being a concept which likely exists beyond our world, and is known to others, a concept which exists even when there is no sentient life, and it is just the stars burning out and being destroyed.

 

Nature, Plague, Death, all these elements are more powerful than us, and will survive our species. They possess all the attributes of what we call "God", they are truly immortal and govern every aspect of our lives. This, again, is scientific fact, and so is compatible with modern learning. Now, were you then to represent the Earth as a human character with human bigotries, then you'd have a problem. But veneration of the natural elements makes perfect sense given our own unimportance in the face of them.

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GTA_fear
Posted (edited)

I strongly recommend you to give up this neo-paganism and go back to your Christian roots.

Edited by GTA_fear
Grammatical mistake.

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Typhus
1 hour ago, GTA_fear said:

I strongly suggest you to give up this neo-paganism and go back to your Christian roots.

May I ask why?

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Doctor Holliday
On 7/13/2018 at 4:37 PM, Osric said:

So, anybody here involved in Paganism or Neo-Paganism?

Yeah, basically anyone who calls themselves a Christian is just a latent Pagan...

 

...which is just more evidence for the fact that all religion is man-made nonsense :)

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Dealux

I've replaced that need to look up to or admire a higher power with something else. I think that sort of feeling of awe can actually be had in the context of a romantic relationship.

 

No need to worship a god when there are amazing people walking the Earth at this moment.

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GTA_fear
Posted (edited)
On 8/7/2018 at 9:29 PM, Typhus said:

May I ask why?

Well, first of all, if OP is going to believe in anything / anyone, then it might as well be a god that actually could exist rather than gods that humans had in order to have an understanding of things they were unable to explain earlier in history. Although now when I look at it, I am not sure whether Osric has literally taken the faith of the ancient Greeks and Romans (and therefore believes these gods to be responsible for the different forces of nature and such), or they have just decided to pray to these gods for other, personal reasons, and they in fact accept today's scientific explanations of these forces and occurrences. If the latter is true, then never mind what I've just said. But no matter what the case is, it would be interesting to hear about this "epiphany" OP has mentioned.

 

Second of all, I said what I said in my first post because God - the Christian God - is real and these other gods are not. This again brings me to OP's epiphany, as I would like to know what kind of epiphany encourages a person to start praying to false gods (not saying I haven't done that, but I never had an epiphany and started doing it so suddenly). Well, that's the short answer. And as for the long answer, that might be a bit more complicated.

 

Sorry if I'm coming off as disrespectful or aggressive here, but I had to tell the truth.

Edited by GTA_fear

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Typhus
1 hour ago, GTA_fear said:

Well, first of all, if OP is going to believe in anything / anyone, then it might as well be a god that actually could exist rather than gods that humans had in order to have an understanding of things they were unable to explain earlier in history. Although now when I look at it, I am not sure whether Osric has literally taken the faith of the ancient Greeks and Romans (and therefore believes these gods to be responsible for the different forces of nature and such), or they have just decided to pray to these gods for other, personal reasons, and they in fact accept today's scientific explanations of these forces and occurrences. If the latter is true, then never mind what I've just said. But no matter what the case is, it would be interesting to hear about this "epiphany" OP has mentioned.

 

Second of all, I said what I said in my first post because God - the Christian God - is real and these other gods are not. This again brings me to OP's epiphany, as I would like to know what kind of epiphany encourages a person to start praying to false gods (not saying I haven't done that, but I never had an epiphany and started doing it so suddenly). Well, that's the short answer. And as for the long answer, that might be a bit more complicated.

 

Sorry if I'm coming off as disrespectful or aggressive here, but I had to tell the truth.

What makes you believe that the Christian God is real?

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Tchuck
9 hours ago, GTA_fear said:

then it might as well be a god that actually could exist

Oh, do tell, what are the conditions for a god to be considered "potentially existent"?

9 hours ago, GTA_fear said:

had in order to have an understanding of things they were unable to explain earlier in history.

Ironically, the Christian god is also used extensively to explain away things people are unable/unwilling to explain. "God did it" is in fact very frequently uttered by Christians. So, by your own "standards", your god is just as false as these other gods.

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GTA_fear
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Tchuck said:

Oh, do tell, what are the conditions for a god to be considered "potentially existent"?

Ironically, the Christian god is also used extensively to explain away things people are unable/unwilling to explain. "God did it" is in fact very frequently uttered by Christians. So, by your own "standards", your god is just as false as these other gods.

No, I believe you misread the first part of my previous post.

 

If OP has literally taken the beliefs of the ancient world and believes their gods to be responsible for e.g. storms, rain, earthquakes, etc., and they still pray to these gods, then the Christian God is "potentially existent", as opposed to the old, pagan gods, seeing as today we have a scientific explanation for these natural occurrences and so the old gods have been, so to speak, debunked.

 

However, if this is not the case (and I believe in fact that it is not, but OP has not clearly stated what they do and do not believe), and OP only draws certain elements from ancient polytheistic religions, prays to these gods for their own personal reasons and does not actually believe these gods to be responsible for the different forces of nature, then yes, from an outside perspective, both my God and their gods are basically equally (im)probable, because Christians basically do the same thing. Hence the "if the latter is true, then never mind what I've just said". My question to OP in this scenario is why then go for these gods and not the Christian God, is it because it feels more personal that way? If they find solace and piece in these gods, how could they not find this in God, who is mercy and peace Himself, while these gods are probably not defined as peace or mercy in their original contexts? Again, what is this "epiphany" that led OP to these other gods?

 

Although I've basically repeated myself here, I hope this clears it up a bit.

 

 

21 hours ago, Typhus said:

What makes you believe that the Christian God is real?

And that brings us to the long answer... I guess this is kind of off-topic, but I reckon it's still important seeing as we're basically discussing religion here.

 

What makes me believe that the Christian God is real is me converting a couple years ago. Well, ok, it wasn't as radical with me as it was with my cousins. Although we'd all been Christians and gone to church on Sundays, etc. all our life, it was only about two or three years ago that we started taking it more seriously, actually believing, when some, well, weird things started happening in their lives. A few months later I heard about it, so it kind of affected me as well, started changing me. As a result, in these past couple years I've been to a lot of seminars, gatherings where people pray and sing, as well as been part of a few charismatic groups, where, again, khm, interesting things happen. And thanks to different things I've experienced myself, I firmly believe that God is real, it just can't be me seeing and hearing things.

 

So while I understand where you're coming from and know that to a non-believer any god seems equally (im)probable as the next, I have more than enough proof in my life to know that paganism is a bad idea.

Edited by GTA_fear

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Typhus
2 hours ago, GTA_fear said:

So while I understand where you're coming from and know that to a non-believer any god seems equally (im)probable as the next, I have more than enough proof in my life to know that paganism is a bad idea.

Well, I respect your position, and I am genuinely happy that you have found some peace and are so content in your faith. I won't mock you for it, or judge you for your beliefs.

However, what I will suggest is that you try a more nuanced view of Paganism. You cannot simply shrug off other beliefs as being "false". There are some with such beliefs who feel the presence of their Gods just as strongly as you do yours, and who could tell similar stories of their faith improving their lives.

Just show respect, that's all I would ask.

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GTA_fear
Quote

However, what I will suggest is that you try a more nuanced view of Paganism. You cannot simply shrug off other beliefs as being "false". There are some with such beliefs who feel the presence of their Gods just as strongly as you do yours, and who could tell similar stories of their faith improving their lives.

Well, at the risk of sounding disrespectful again... I can claim that people's beliefs in other gods are false because that's one of the main principles of Christianity - that there is only one God, and that one must not have any other gods. So while OP, for example, can believe in their gods and still admit that my god is true for me if I feel like it (which is relativism), I can't do the same, since the principle of there being only one true god is fundamental to my faith. Again, I know what you mean, but what you're asking of me is to infuse Christianity with a bit of relativism, but those two things most often don't get along very well, and doing so wouldn't be very Christian.

 

Also, I'm not saying that one cannot find solace in something / someone else at all, but this something / someone is not God / a god, as one might think is the case, but... Potentially something / someone else. Back in my high school days there was a period when I found solace and satisfaction - or at least thought I did - in telekinesis and things connected with it, but as it turns out, that was a bad decision.

 

 

1 hour ago, Typhus said:

Well, I respect your position, and I am genuinely happy that you have found some peace and are so content in your faith. I won't mock you for it, or judge you for your beliefs.

Just show respect, that's all I would ask.

Yeah, I appreciate this, really. The last thing I want is for this to turn into bashing and a forum war, as usually happens. And as for the last sentence, if I've come off as disrespectful, then I apologize again, that's why I apologized in advance in one of my previous posts. However, I didn't want to sugar-coat things. I'm not mocking Osric for their belief, I'm just trying to show them why they're wrong -- why I believe they're wrong, if you will.

 

So in a nutshell, I too respect both your choice not to believe and their choice to believe in something else - as does God Himself - but I cannot believe that all three of us are right in their choice. If that makes sense.

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