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FantasyWitch
16 Feb 2011, 00:57
I have been thinking about this for a wee while, and whither I should stick a thread in to try and explain to myself and others what is going on in my head religion wise- if anything at all.

I guess now I am :P

For a wee while I have considered myself an atheistic pagan. In other words someone who has a deep love and reverence for nature, but does not believe in a god/goddess or any of the magic stuff. The natural cycle of what the world does is worth much more praise than any God or Goddess I have yet discovered.

I think I stopped trying to believe in a God/Goddess this summer when quite a few people I loved died around me. I felt like I HAD to find something to believe in but nothing felt really right, so when the shock of losing people happened I realized didn't want to believe and that I didn't have try anymore.

I am still very much exploring what it means to be what I am at this point, so I am hoping that any questions you guys may want to ask I can answer and hopefully your questions will help me learn more about what is going through my head!

Ask away! X

Caelia
16 Feb 2011, 02:15
I've read up a bit on Atheistic Paganism and it sounds similar to Naturalist Pantheism. Apart from the focus on paganism, is there a difference between the two?

Roknrol
16 Feb 2011, 07:03
Strange...based on what you're saying, it sounds to me like you could drop the "Pagan" part entirely :p

There's nothing inherently spiritual about having a full appreciation of the world around us...finding nature interesting seems to be a favourite pastime of a lot of Atheists ;)

FantasyWitch
16 Feb 2011, 08:38
I've read up a bit on Atheistic Paganism and it sounds similar to Naturalist Pantheism. Apart from the focus on paganism, is there a difference between the two?

It is very similar. Personally the only difference between what I would say I feel and Naturalist Pantheism is some old habits that I think many people who have dabbled in paganism pick up. I (for example) still use my Goddess cards and use my crystals as comfort. Those sort of things I think set us apart. Naturalist Pantheism is all about having reverance for the REAL universe, whereas I still like to look at things that have not been explained and find them fascinating/comforting.
But that is really such a tiny difference it really doesn't add any new dimention to it.


Strange...based on what you're saying, it sounds to me like you could drop the "Pagan" part entirely

There's nothing inherently spiritual about having a full appreciation of the world around us...finding nature interesting seems to be a favourite pastime of a lot of Atheists

I don't think I'm quite ready to drop the pagan side yet. I still (as I said above) hold a few pagan habits and things that hold me to it quite contently. I can't bring myself to believe in a God/Goddess, its just not happening. But I would like to know IF I could be wrong.
In essence I CAN'T believe/try to believe anymore, but I'd still like to KNOW.


Hope that made sense. I've never actually thought about how to explain the conection I still feel to paganism before. It just seems natural. X

cesara
16 Feb 2011, 09:11
There's nothing inherently spiritual about having a full appreciation of the world around us...

While I agree....I MUST say that there certainly can be something spiritual (and magical, for that matter), about it while staying firmly in an atheistic frame set. To acknowledge the gaps in scientific knowledge with wonder and reverence doesn't necessarily mean inserting deity. ;)

Dumuzi
16 Feb 2011, 09:48
Hmmmm

I've always found it puzzling for someone to appreciate or revere nature, while being atheist at the same time. To me that's like praising a painting while refusing to praise the painter.

FantasyWitch
16 Feb 2011, 09:57
Hmmmm

I've always found it puzzling for someone to appreciate or revere nature, while being atheist at the same time. To me that's like praising a painting while refusing to praise the painter.

From the perspective of an artist: I wouldn't want to be praised for a masterpiece, the masterpiece is what should be praised.

X

Lunacie
16 Feb 2011, 10:03
It is very similar. Personally the only difference between what I would say I feel and Naturalist Pantheism is some old habits that I think many people who have dabbled in paganism pick up. I (for example) still use my Goddess cards and use my crystals as comfort. Those sort of things I think set us apart. Naturalist Pantheism is all about having reverance for the REAL universe, whereas I still like to look at things that have not been explained and find them fascinating/comforting.
But that is really such a tiny difference it really doesn't add any new dimention to it.



I don't think I'm quite ready to drop the pagan side yet. I still (as I said above) hold a few pagan habits and things that hold me to it quite contently. I can't bring myself to believe in a God/Goddess, its just not happening. But I would like to know IF I could be wrong.
In essence I CAN'T believe/try to believe anymore, but I'd still like to KNOW.


Hope that made sense. I've never actually thought about how to explain the conection I still feel to paganism before. It just seems natural. X

Have you done any reading on Panentheism?

It is the belief that God's physical body is the universe and everything in it, and that God also transcends this universe. Existence is a part of God, but God is larger than existence. It is similar but different to pantheism, which says that the universe IS God in totality. It is also a belief in a genderless God, and God as the creator.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_panantheism#ixzz1E97KFREr

FantasyWitch
16 Feb 2011, 10:10
Have you done any reading on Panentheism?

It is the belief that God's physical body is the universe and everything in it, and that God also transcends this universe. Existence is a part of God, but God is larger than existence. It is similar but different to pantheism, which says that the universe IS God in totality. It is also a belief in a genderless God, and God as the creator.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_panantheism#ixzz1E97KFREr

I will read up on it just now. No I had never heard of it before, however from the way you describe it I don't think it will be anything other than a casual interest to me. It still holds a bit too much "God" for me. X

magusphredde
16 Feb 2011, 10:24
Please remember that the following are only my opinions and subject to total obscurity at any moment ...


It is very similar. Personally the only difference between what I would say I feel and Naturalist Pantheism is some old habits that I think many people who have dabbled in paganism pick up. I (for example) still use my Goddess cards and use my crystals as comfort. Those sort of things I think set us apart.
No worries about divination or using stuff ... The crystals themselves have power ... Everything does in its own way ... As with your tarot cards ... it is the cards themselves as well as the power within you yourself and your connection with the cards that really matters ... Not whether some idea of deity has intervened on your behalf ...



Naturalist Pantheism is all about having reverance for the REAL universe, whereas I still like to look at things that have not been explained and find them fascinating/comforting.
But that is really such a tiny difference it really doesn't add any new dimension to it.
Everything is nature ... All things ... Whether we can understand them at this particular time or not ... Natures existence does not depend on human understanding ... If something is, then it is ... Simple as that ... The stars were here before humans were and will be long after we and our awe are gone ...



I don't think I'm quite ready to drop the pagan side yet. I still (as I said above) hold a few pagan habits and things that hold me to it quite contently. I can't bring myself to believe in a God/Goddess, its just not happening. But I would like to know IF I could be wrong.
In essence I CAN'T believe/try to believe anymore, but I'd still like to KNOW.

I will always have my habits ... No matter what my beliefs are ... I will always put a piece of hematite in my pocket when I go into new situations ... I will always put little fertilizer pegs by plants that grow wild when I go berry picking ... Not because some God/dess wants me to but because I have at least a reverence for nature itsself ...

Dumuzi
16 Feb 2011, 10:32
From the perspective of an artist: I wouldn't want to be praised for a masterpiece, the masterpiece is what should be praised.

X

At least you admitted the painting does have a painter ;)

FantasyWitch
16 Feb 2011, 10:54
At least you admitted the painting does have a painter ;)

Yeah, but I don't know the painter. The PAINTING is what is important.
This analogy is going to give me a headache Batman :p x

cesara
16 Feb 2011, 11:26
I will read up on it just now. No I had never heard of it before, however from the way you describe it I don't think it will be anything other than a casual interest to me. It still holds a bit too much "God" for me. X

I consider myself a panentheist (search the forum for the thread I started on the subject) and I absolutely do not hold to any belief in deity -- at all. I believe in a 'Oneness' of All that is and all that is not.....and that includes whatever lies beyond our universe.....but I don't see this as any type of personal deity....it just.....is (and is not at the same time...lol)

For me, that description on answers.com is at best, incomplete and at worst, false.

FantasyWitch
16 Feb 2011, 11:32
I consider myself a panentheist (search the forum for the thread I started on the subject) and I absolutely do not hold to any belief in deity -- at all. I believe in a 'Oneness' of All that is and all that is not.....and that includes whatever lies beyond our universe.....but I don't see this as any type of personal deity....it just.....is (and is not at the same time...lol)

For me, that description on answers.com is at best, incomplete and at worst, false.

Sounds like more research is in order. This being another one of those paths (like the one I follow) where it is hard to explain in words, its just to do with your view and no one elses? X

Dumuzi
16 Feb 2011, 11:40
Yeah, but I don't know the painter. The PAINTING is what is important.
This analogy is going to give me a headache Batman :p x

Hehe, oops.

I was just trying to say, that in my opinion, that you can't admire creation without admiring the creator.

For example, if you were cold and hungry, and then I gave you something to wear and a piece of bread. Would you be thankful to the bread, or give thanks to me, the one who gave you the bread?

Just my point of view :)

FantasyWitch
16 Feb 2011, 11:43
Hehe, oops.

I was just trying to say, that in my opinion, that you can't admire creation without admiring the creator.

For example, if you were cold and hungry, and then I gave you something to wear and a piece of bread. Would you be thankful to the bread, or give thanks to me, the one who gave you the bread?

Just my point of view :)

Both.


BUT we don't KNOW if there is a creator, so I am sitting in a happy grey zone there :P And even if there is a God, I bet he/she/it is far beyond what we can even conceive, so my worship will do no good. X

Dumuzi
16 Feb 2011, 12:08
You have exactly 1000 posts, by the way!

On Topic:
Conceiving god/the creator and worshiping him are two different things. You can always just give thanks to the creator whoever that is!

Roknrol
16 Feb 2011, 13:26
I don't think I'm quite ready to drop the pagan side yet. I still (as I said above) hold a few pagan habits and things that hold me to it quite contently. I can't bring myself to believe in a God/Goddess, its just not happening. But I would like to know IF I could be wrong.
In essence I CAN'T believe/try to believe anymore, but I'd still like to KNOW.


Hope that made sense. I've never actually thought about how to explain the conection I still feel to paganism before. It just seems natural. X

Atheists "want" to know too - we just realize that we CAN'T know, and rely on what we DO know. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not beyond becoming religious again - I haven't "decided" that there's no way I'll ever believe in God. I just figure that it's been roughly 10,000 years since we've started believing in religion and it doesn't seem to have done us much good - certainly nobody can answer any God questions and know with an absolute fact that they're correct (otherwise there wouldn't be religious disagreements, even between members of the same sect).

That being said, I do understand what you mean - it took me a couple of years before I felt comfortable dropping "Pagan" as well.

The short answer? You won't know until you die. That is the ONLY time you will KNOW about religion. Nothing wrong with research and study, and there are quite a few Atheists who are experts on a variety of religions.

---------- Post added at 09:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:21 PM ----------


While I agree....I MUST say that there certainly can be something spiritual (and magical, for that matter), about it while staying firmly in an atheistic frame set. To acknowledge the gaps in scientific knowledge with wonder and reverence doesn't necessarily mean inserting deity. ;)

I agree wholeheartedly - "Wonder" does not need to come from "God" (or equivalent). I am thankful every day that I wake up in the morning, I smoke my last cigarette at night looking up at the night sky and pondering the beauty and wonder in our Universe. Doesn't mean that a consciousness caused it ;)

---------- Post added at 09:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:23 PM ----------


Hmmmm

I've always found it puzzling for someone to appreciate or revere nature, while being atheist at the same time. To me that's like praising a painting while refusing to praise the painter.
That's because you assume that there MUST be a creator. Regardless of your beliefs, or where your information is from, it's still an assumption. Atheists, by and large, don't like to make assumptions like that - we assume, rather, that until there's a reason to believe that something HAD to be created, that it just "happened" as a matter of course.

Example? It's hard to give an example because every example I'd give, you'd see as being created by God anyway :p I can see the beauty in a flame or a volcano...I may have started the fire, but I'm certainly not controlling it. I usually have less to do with volcano's exploding though :p

Dumuzi
16 Feb 2011, 13:55
That's because you assume that there MUST be a creator. Regardless of your beliefs, or where your information is from, it's still an assumption. Atheists, by and large, don't like to make assumptions like that - we assume, rather, that until there's a reason to believe that something HAD to be created, that it just "happened" as a matter of course.


It is not an assumption, though ;)

Think about it, rationally. Everything that is created has a cause. This isn't an opinion, it's a fact. Show me one thing in this creation that doesn't have a cause and I might change my position. But since there is no such thing, my argument still stands. Everything that is created has a cause.

(I always add the following, because people get confused. I want to point out that I neither mentioned God in the above post, nor did I talk about religion. All I did was use simple rational, that anyone can understand)

Roknrol
16 Feb 2011, 15:20
It is not an assumption, though ;)
Think about it, rationally. Everything that is created has a cause. This isn't an opinion, it's a fact.
ERm...yes, everything that's been CREATED has a creator...but you're filling in the answer to the question within the question itself. Who says that something has to be CREATED to exist? Therein lies the assumption.


Show me one thing in this creation that doesn't have a cause and I might change my position.Now you're changing the question :)

There are lots of things that have CAUSES but no CREATOR. Snow falls from the sky in some parts of the world. Sometimes it overloads a tree or a house to the point that it collapses. I have yet to be able to point my finger at whoever "caused" it ;)

From my perspective, the Universe is a perfect example (well, and everything in it). Just because it *exists*, doesn't mean that an intelligent being *created* it - that's the assumption that I'm talking about.


But since there is no such thing, my argument still stands. Everything that is created has a cause.I'm not disagreeing with this, but this is NOT the same question that you posted above. You said that everything that is created has a cause - I don't dispute that. But not everything that *exists* has been "created" (implying an intelligence behind it, although the word "created" does not by itself imply that - example, "The snow created a hole where my roof used to be". No creator)

Sorry if this looks messy - my text and the background clash when I'm at work so it's REALLY hard to read :p


(I always add the following, because people get confused. I want to point out that I neither mentioned God in the above post, nor did I talk about religion. All I did was use simple rational, that anyone can understand)Nope, you sure didn't - and I think I understand why you posted the disclaimer, but I don't think it really applies.

There are three possibilities: Either there is 1) a Creator, however it didn't create our Universe, 2) A creator that DID create our Universe or 3) No creator.

We have no evidence to support #'s 1&2. None. Zero. We have the words of people that may or may not have been smarter than us, and we have a whole lot of cultures and people repeating it - that's what we've got. Proof is lacking :p

Medusa
16 Feb 2011, 15:30
Hmmmm

I've always found it puzzling for someone to appreciate or revere nature, while being atheist at the same time. To me that's like praising a painting while refusing to praise the painter.

I love nature and all her wild things. I revere it for the spectacular event that it is. Do you think Atheists simply are soulless beings who wear grey and talk like a robot?

cesara
16 Feb 2011, 16:06
Good Conversation.


Think about it, rationally. Everything that is created has a cause. This isn't an opinion, it's a fact. Show me one thing in this creation that doesn't have a cause and I might change my position. But since there is no such thing, my argument still stands. Everything that is created has a cause.

I agree with you on this....proof of 'cause' is all around us....BUT, I think -- the 'cause' doesn't necessarily have to be God, or any type of conscious deity. That is where rationality diverges and assumption comes in to play.

---------- Post added at 12:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:04 AM ----------


Sounds like more research is in order. This being another one of those paths (like the one I follow) where it is hard to explain in words, its just to do with your view and no one elses? X

Hmm, I suppose.

See: http://www.paganforum.com/showthread.php?1027-Panentheism

Hope it's helpful! :)

Dumuzi
16 Feb 2011, 17:07
But not everything that *exists* has been "created"

Rok, I never made that statement. I said everything that is created has a cause. I will try to explain what I wanted to say.

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefor, the universe has a cause

First statement is proven by everything around us. Even in your example, the roof fell because the snow caused it to fall. And I have yet to see actual proof against my second statement, as opposed to the proof for it. Especially, since every single thing that we observe in this creation has a beginning. Everything. So the burden of proof would be on the ones who deny this, to show me that the universe in fact did not have a beginning.

So my conclusion still stands. Rationally, at least ;-)


I love nature and all her wild things. I revere it for the spectacular event that it is. Do you think Atheists simply are soulless beings who wear grey and talk like a robot?
No, no, honey. I am saying the opposite. I am saying the fact that lots of atheists do revere nature that much, puzzles me, because it's like saying this piece of art is amazing, while rejecting the idea that it was created by an artist.


Good Conversation.
I agree with you on this....proof of 'cause' is all around us....BUT, I think -- the 'cause' doesn't necessarily have to be God, or any type of conscious deity. That is where rationality diverges and assumption comes in to play.


Yep, I haven't brought God into the conversation. I am simply pointing out the fact that this creation does have a cause. That's all.

Of course, I can also rationally link that cause to Allah, but that belongs to another thread. ;-)

All of this started because of my comment to FW. If you do want to be thankful for the bread, you gotta give thanks to the one that gave you the bread, and not the bread itself. Whatever that 'creator' might be.

thalassa
16 Feb 2011, 17:10
Yep, I haven't brought God into the conversation. I am simply pointing out the fact that this creation does have a cause. That's all.

Of course, I can also rationally link that cause to Allah, but that belongs to another thread. ;-)

All of this started because of my comment to FW. If you do want to be thankful for the bread, you gotta give thanks to the one that gave you the bread, and not the bread itself. Whatever that 'creator' might be.

Yup...and that cause is nature. :p

Roknrol
16 Feb 2011, 17:44
Rok, I never made that statement. I said everything that is created has a cause. I will try to explain what I wanted to say.

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefor, the universe has a cause Yup - I agree with all of this - but nowhere in here does it say that something has to have been caused by an intelligent being. That's kinda my point :p Sometimes, as much as we hate to admit it, shit just happens. Doesn't have to have been someone's "fault". I never said the Universe was eternal - quite the contrary, there's enough evidence to suggest that this is not the case. But just because it's HERE, does not mean that it was "Created" (indicating an intelligence, of course). It could have been "created" when two other Universes collided, or when the 76th plane of existence ceased to exist: That's the point, we don't know. Those arguing the "creation" (as in, with a *creatOR*) are the folks assuming that there is, in fact, a creatOR.

As an Atheist I don't dispute that the Universe is here, and I don't argue that it's eternal or that it's always existed or anything like that. I'm just saying it (probably) wasn't CREATED (implying, once again, an intelligence behind it).

I think perhaps the terms are getting confused here: When I hear the word "created", it implies that someone or something intentionally caused it to happen (we can get into a sticky grammar issue, but I'm trying to avoid that :p )

From what we can tell - scientifically - the Universe "became"...it wasn't, and then it was. Anything prior to the Universe's existence is completely beyond the realm of science at this point, so science doesn't concern itself with what came first, much like "what will be here after"...who f'ing cares? WE sure won't be here! :p

And yes - I tend to agree with thalassa on this :p


First statement is proven by everything around us. Even in your example, the roof fell because the snow caused it to fall. And I have yet to see actual proof against my second statement, as opposed to the proof for it. Especially, since every single thing that we observe in this creation has a beginning. Everything. So the burden of proof would be on the ones who deny this, to show me that the universe in fact did not have a beginning.Well, you can't offer proof against an idea - that flies in the very face of science. The claimant (yourself) states that the Universe had to have been Created. Ok, I can get on board with that - but it's up to you to provide the proof (not up to me to prove you wrong).

So my conclusion still stands. Rationally, at least ;-)


No, no, honey. I am saying the opposite. I am saying the fact that lots of atheists do revere nature that much, puzzles me, because it's like saying this piece of art is amazing, while rejecting the idea that it was created by an artist.



Yep, I haven't brought God into the conversation. I am simply pointing out the fact that this creation does have a cause. That's all.

Of course, I can also rationally link that cause to Allah, but that belongs to another thread. ;-)

All of this started because of my comment to FW. If you do want to be thankful for the bread, you gotta give thanks to the one that gave you the bread, and not the bread itself. Whatever that 'creator' might be.[/QUOTE]

cesara
16 Feb 2011, 18:10
All of this started because of my comment to FW. If you do want to be thankful for the bread, you gotta give thanks to the one that gave you the bread, and not the bread itself. Whatever that 'creator' might be.

I really don't want to derail this thread any more, but I must point out that.....you are assuming that the bread and the giver of the bread are two separate things. What if I were to tell you that the "Creator" didn't 'create' the bread.....the "Creator" became the bread.....

Medusa
16 Feb 2011, 23:47
I feel high whilst reading this thread.

FantasyWitch
17 Feb 2011, 00:22
I feel high whilst reading this thread.

I agree :p Watching D and Rok debate makes me feel thick as mince :P

Basically I agree with Rok. The idea that a child needs a mother doesn't mean the universe needs one. That is down to assumption. I'm sure there is a fallacy involved there somewhere.... X

Dumuzi
17 Feb 2011, 02:27
Yup - I agree with all of this

Yay, you finally agree! :p

Rok, while I can easily and rationally show that this cause has the attributes of god, I haven't done so at all in this thread. Where did I say that this cause is intelligent, for example? Perhaps, it was my use of the word creator.

The point I was making to FW, since this is what this thread is really about, is that some people have respect/revere/are thankful to things that we see in this universe, regardless of having intelligence or not. So by that logic, one should have even more respect/reverence/be more thankful to the cause that made it possible for this universe to exist. Whether this cause is intelligent or not is irrelevant to that line of thought.

Now understand my point?

I really don't want to derail this thread any more, but I must point out that.....you are assuming that the bread and the giver of the bread are two separate things. What if I were to tell you that the "Creator" didn't 'create' the bread.....the "Creator" became the bread.....

Its body became bread and its blood became wine? :;):

Yeah, I won't derail the thread, anymore, but I'd love to discuss this with you somewhere else!
:)

Roknrol
17 Feb 2011, 08:14
Yay, you finally agree! :p

Rok, while I can easily and rationally show that this cause has the attributes of god, I haven't done so at all in this thread. Where did I say that this cause is intelligent, for example? Perhaps, it was my use of the word creator.

The point I was making to FW, since this is what this thread is really about, is that some people have respect/revere/are thankful to things that we see in this universe, regardless of having intelligence or not. So by that logic, one should have even more respect/reverence/be more thankful to the cause that made it possible for this universe to exist. Whether this cause is intelligent or not is irrelevant to that line of thought.

Now understand my point?
Aye...just wanted to make myself clear too :) I thought FW might benefit from seeing the other side, is all ;)

FantasyWitch
17 Feb 2011, 14:33
Aye...just wanted to make myself clear too :) I thought FW might benefit from seeing the other side, is all ;)


I always value your opinion! Its good to read it as always! Now back on topic lads and ladies? :P x

Roknrol
22 Feb 2011, 16:30
Ok, so back to the original questions :)

Why do you consider yourself "Pagan"? I mean, it's easy to understand why you include "Atheist" in your religion name, but why bother with the Pagan at all? What beliefs do you have that you consider to be Pagan?

FantasyWitch
23 Feb 2011, 05:23
Ok, so back to the original questions :)

Why do you consider yourself "Pagan"? I mean, it's easy to understand why you include "Atheist" in your religion name, but why bother with the Pagan at all? What beliefs do you have that you consider to be Pagan?

Well this takes us back to the old habits thing.

I still have a strong connection to my Tarot cards. They have never steered me wrong and I trust them even though I have no trust or knowledge of how it works. YET I find comfort in it and I feel that maybe it is just fate guiding my hand. I feel that there is nothing divine but that we are all heading to the same place, so maybe "fate" exists which is what takes us down our own paths.

When I started looking into paganism properly I felt such a connection to the earth that I felt I could be swallowed by it. I felt so grounded when I stood on the grass and I could be on my own surrounded by it for hours. What better way to worship the land? That feeling went away for a while but it has come back with a vengeance and I want to spend more and more time alone, just me and nature. That feels pretty pagan to me because it's where I began.

I'm finding this very hard to describe....

Roknrol
28 Feb 2011, 17:29
Well this takes us back to the old habits thing. Old habits die hard...


I still have a strong connection to my Tarot cards. They have never steered me wrong and I trust them even though I have no trust or knowledge of how it works. I suppose the question here should be: *DOES* it work? I used to read Tarot too...but once I started falling away from Paganism, I started paying a little bit more attention to how much "interpretation" was required when I did a reading. I discovered that - lo and behold - my "abilities" were significantly less than I thought. Not only that, my good vs bad readings were not nearly as well "balanced" as I had thought.


YET I find comfort in it and I feel that maybe it is just fate guiding my hand. I've always had a difficult time believing in anything so neat and tidy as "fate" ;)


I feel that there is nothing divine but that we are all heading to the same place, so maybe "fate" exists which is what takes us down our own paths. Without something like "divinity", what could possibly exist about our persons that would exist in that "same place"? IS there a place?

I struggled with this a bit too, to be honest. It was so goddamned HARD to think of "afterlife" and not picture myself there...in reality, it (to me) is more like "after life"...which means you're not around to enjoy it :p


When I started looking into paganism properly I felt such a connection to the earth that I felt I could be swallowed by it. I felt so grounded when I stood on the grass and I could be on my own surrounded by it for hours. What better way to worship the land? That feeling went away for a while but it has come back with a vengeance and I want to spend more and more time alone, just me and nature. That feels pretty pagan to me because it's where I began.

I'm finding this very hard to describe....It always is ;)

I have found, from time to time, my own connection with Nature following my conversion to Atheism. Most nights I smoke my last cigarette before bed by looking up at the stars. I occasionally head out to the middle of the desert to pan for gold. I absolutely love going out and hiking (getting lost) in the woods. None of these things detract (or add to, for that matter) the wonder that is our planet and the life that it has brought forth. Honestly? I think I actually feel closer to nature since converting, because it's forced me to actually look into the "why's" and "how's"...which, if you remove religion, is actually quite intriguing :) Did you know that when you kiss someone, your body is actually determining whether that other person is too close to a genetic match for you? True story - if you've kissed someone and had the thought, "That was weird...that felt like kissing my brother" it may just be that your DNA isn't far enough removed from theirs...your body "tells" you by making you feel uncomfortable. Stupid, silly shit like that can get REALLY interesting when you start seeing how it all works together...and it doesn't require God or questions for which there are no acceptable answers ;)

Irishdize
14 Nov 2011, 16:32
Hi
I am new here but would like to say that to me at least Atheists do not see Nature as anything special, I have encountered many that love to be in Nature, they enjoy the Great outdoors but if you ask them if its Sacred to them or Holy, if it invokes the feelings of awe, reverence, etc they laugh and say NO.

I have been struggling with this issue as of late, when I saw this thread while browsing the net looking for other Naturalistic Pagans such as myself, I knew I had to come here (I will ignore your Worf Pic, because we all know Tasha rocks!) :)

I am Naturalistic in the sense that I have no Gods, No supernaturalism (except Magic), Im not superstitious as far as I know, I dont call myself a Pantheist because it doesnt feel right and most Pantheists do not believe in Magic and are not interested in the Rituals and such that I still engage in, I also dont want to be boxed in too much, for example as a Pagan, I now say I dont believe in say divination but someday you never know, that may change and I dont have to change the Pagan Label where if I said I was an Atheist or Pantheist, I would in good conscience.

Well, Im sorry for such a long first post, I just get excited when I encounter other Pagans who are Naturalistic like me! Oh you are in Las Vegas too? Cool What is Hebro?

Terr

Roknrol
12 Apr 2012, 17:49
Sorry for the late reply - I have been absent for quite some time ;) I only see one post from you so you're probably not going to see it anyway, but perhaps someone can benefit :)

Hi
I am new here but would like to say that to me at least Atheists do not see Nature as anything special, I have encountered many that love to be in Nature, they enjoy the Great outdoors but if you ask them if its Sacred to them or Holy, if it invokes the feelings of awe, reverence, etc they laugh and say NO.Well no, because "sacred" and "holy" are faith-based words. As you say, we can have awe and reverence (etc) for nature, which I'm pretty sure sums up how you're supposed to feel about "sacred" and "holy" items. To assume that we feel "less" because we're not spiritual is an assumption that you're making and not something grounded in experience.


I have been struggling with this issue as of late, when I saw this thread while browsing the net looking for other Naturalistic Pagans such as myself, I knew I had to come here (I will ignore your Worf Pic, because we all know Tasha rocks!) :) I just snagged the Worf pic because he looks so retarded in it :p


I am Naturalistic in the sense that I have no Gods, No supernaturalism (except Magic),Except magic? lol...not to be insulting, but that's like saying that I ignore gravity unless I'm on the planet. Magic = supernaturalism (as do many many other things). I assume you are referencing things like psychic phenomena, but to my knowledge those particular aspects of the supernatural aren't based on any religious or spiritual beliefs...at least not usually.


Im not superstitious as far as I know, I dont call myself a Pantheist because it doesnt feel right and most Pantheists do not believe in Magic and are not interested in the Rituals and such that I still engage in, I also dont want to be boxed in too much, for example as a Pagan, I now say I dont believe in say divination but someday you never know, that may change and I dont have to change the Pagan Label where if I said I was an Atheist or Pantheist, I would in good conscience.I think that you're too hung up on the label. Be what you are - you obviously believe in something beyond nothing, so Atheist is clearly the wrong label for you. But a label doesn't really do anything more than identify you as something similar to someone else - it doesn't define you.


Well, Im sorry for such a long first post, I just get excited when I encounter other Pagans who are Naturalistic like me! Oh you are in Las Vegas too? Cool What is Hebro?

Terr
LOL - Look through some of my older posts and you'll see some that I had to break up into 5 or more posts because the character count was too high ;) I'm not in Vegas anymore - moved to Portland, OR last August...Hebro is kinda like Hebrew, only considerably more laid back :D I found out I've probably got some Jewish ancestry so am enjoying myself...after all, I've apparently been "chosen" by birthright...not much better than that!!!! :D (I know, I'm horrible). My religion there in my bio isn't anything more than a goof - I stopped taking religion seriously and have found myself being a bit more lighthearted about life ;)