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Featured Two Kinds of Religion

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Rival, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    This is another thought I've had from my foray into Paganism.

    I've reached the conclusion that Abrahamic (and monotheistic religions generally) and many Pagan religions (excluding certain Dharmic paths) are not the same thing. And by 'thing' I mean 'religion'. I think describing these two both as 'religion' is to miss the mark terribly. They are not the same in concept at all. @The Hammer essentially said on my other thread that Abrahamic religions are top down, while Pagan religions are bottom up. One has directions from God; do this, don't do that; wear this, not that; pray this many times; etc. As well as having an all-powerful force that cannot be tampered with, whether by magic, ritual or otherwise. Pagan beliefs tend to be nothing like this, and are built from the ground up, rather, in my view, from folks seeing things around themselves and making certain inferences. There aren't any dos and don'ts such as there are in Abrahamic systems.

    Another main point I would like to make is that philosophies tend to exist separately from Pagan religions themselves such as in Greece and Rome, where philosophy (especially moral) was distinct from religion but one could, and rather should, have both - this seems foreign to an Abrahamic mindset, where one's religion essentially dictates one's philosophy and is basically the same thing.

    I think it could reasonably be argued that these two God-beliefs are so distinct as to be different things and not really apt to be put under the same banner of 'religion'.

    @Augustus @Vouthon @SalixIncendium @JustGeorge
     
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  2. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    I don't see why radical differences don't mean they deserve the same umbrella term for practical reasons.

    If we were to say paganism is not religion it would have to be protected under some other term and I don't see any other practical term for it. Do you?

    In my opinion
     
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  3. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    I'm not suggesting a radical overhaul, just making what I think is a point to be debated.
     
  4. Jeremiah Ames

    Jeremiah Ames Active Member

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    i wonder if the pagan religion of greece or rome influenced their morals?

    perhaps morals must come from something ?
     
  5. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    They're most certainly radically different, and personally I don't think it takes a great deal of study to see that. I've had a lot of difficulty in explaining that POV, though, to anyone who has been convinced that religions are basically all the same. So best wishes with your efforts.

    In discussion on here, I must have used 'very different paradigms' as a concluding summary for my comment at least 100 times. They're so different, in fact, that it gives anyone trying to 'think from the other side' a real challenge. You'll get 'What????" from both sides.

    Looking forward to comments. Thanks for the topic.
     
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  6. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
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    I think one thing its good to remember to view the Pagan religions fairly is we only have fragments of them.

    Most of the world's indigenous traditions have had other cultures come in a try to stamp them out, sometimes successfully. Today, there seems to be certain groups of people who are trying to revive these faiths, but they just don't have every little piece left to do it just the way it was hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. Most Pagans acknowledge there are gaps(but aren't bothered by it). It isn't necessarily important to them to recreate things exactly as they once were, they just want a connection with their roots, the Old Gods, or to what they find to be a more connected life. You do find some who try to reconstruct a religion to the best of their ability, but they're not the majority.

    I took a Pagan friend with me to my Hindu temple once. He remarked at one point "I bet my own religion was once this complex". He felt sad, wondering all the things that would be available for him today regarding his religion if history hadn't gone the way it had.

    I think as far as a list of dos and don'ts, that's really going to depend on the tradition. However, most of the Pagan community isn't as interested in do's and don'ts. You're really going to have to dig if you want to find them. I'm far from knowledgeable on Norse traditions, but I somewhat remember the Havamel dispensing do's and don'ts, though not as clean cut as the Abrahamic 10 Commandments.

    But it comes down to what the term 'religion' means to a person, and whether or not they think it fits the bill. I met a lot of Druids who said Druidry was not their religion, it was their life or spiritual path. I think religion has become a dirty word for some. (Personally, I'm not eloquent enough to worry over semantics too extensively.)
     
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  7. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    What would you call someone who constructs their own religion from the ground up, and doesn't adhere to do's and don'ts? Is that still pagan?
     
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  8. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    I'd say the word 'Pagan' is just about meaningless.
     
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  9. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    You're just discovering that religions can be radically different? ;)

    I usually think of religion as a belief or set of beliefs that manifests an ethic or values among believers. If something can be thus described, I'm OK with calling it a religion.
     
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  10. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Especially in the West, Religion is mostly associated with Christianity (at least it has been for hundreds of years, and recently people, using internet, come to understand there is more to Religion than just Christianity (or Islam)). Both also have this tendency to believe "my way is the highway".

    All this makes it for me not comfortable to use the word Religion for myself.

    But like @danieldemol said, we have already 1 word, and there is all the Law governing this. So my personal view is, that it would be better to detach the word Religion from Christianity, and make the word what it originally was meant to be, all inclusive (meaning all fit under the same umbrella, though being totally different in their beliefs and practices).

    BUT, that won't be easy, because 5 billion people have these "do's and don't's" heavily in their religion, and they love to evangelize, which makes it even more problematic, to ever get rid of these (IMO) negative(uncomfortable) vibes when hearing the word Religion. But now with the internet, and soon 5G, everyone will be easily informed properly. So, maybe within a few decades Religion has a totally new image.
     
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  11. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    No. More than that. That the term 'religion' doesn't seem to apply to all these God-beliefs. They're two different mental concepts that should not be lumped in the same category, in the same way shoes and apples should not be put in the same category. Pagan religions do not seek to do or achieve what Abrahamic ones do.
     
  12. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Fair point. Have you looked at some of the the so-called "Dharmic" religions? They're even more radically different than the pagan or Abrahamic faiths. You'll find different religions can have radically different world-views.

    Then there is the evidence and testing based world-view; not much for values, morals or propriety, but very authoritative within its proper magisterium.
     
  13. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    Yes, I mentioned them briefly in my OP.
     
  14. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    That sounds "spiritual but not religious" which to me means that rites, rituals and theology is not their focus. Rather the focus is on an inner life. For Abrahamic religions, such people could be Islamic sufis, Jewish students of Kabbalah and various Christian groups.

    Many words lose their meaning when focused on. in an attempt to get a vague concept into a hard compare/contrast form. Religion is another such word. Christians can be all over the map when it comes to how they consider Jesus. The word "Hindu" was applied by westerners to an astonishing range of beliefs and practices.
     
    #14 sun rise, Jun 12, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  15. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    When I was a kid, 'What religion are you?" meant which sect of Christianity you were. Even the answer 'atheist' was assumed to be some rare and unheard of sect of Christianity.
     
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  16. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
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    I 'unno. I tend to use the religious label the person is comfortable with when describing their religion(or trying my best to, anyways).

    I see 'Pagan' as being a blanket term. A Yoruba practitioner and a follower of Romuva are entirely different paths, but both are called 'Pagan'. To me, Pagan just means indigenous faith, or a modern take on an indigenous faith. That's just how I categorize it in my own brain, though. Others may see it differently.
     
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  17. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    To me there are two (2) choices: one kind of religion is false, and one kind of religion is religious truth.
     
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  18. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    I would call that someone as being non-biblical.
     
  19. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    So while the Bible may be important to you, why would you suppose it should be important to anybody else?
     
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  20. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Since the Scriptures were important to Jesus, and Jesus explained or expounded them for us then we have good reason to think what was important to Jesus could be important for us.
     
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