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Auseklis
02 Oct 2013, 14:58
I was not sure how to structure this question but I will do my best, so please excuse if I am not overly clear in my delivery...

Many Pagan's worship the earth and nature solely and see God's and Goddesses symbolic of what they find in nature but not as 'real' life forms or should I say spirit forms. My own flavor of paganism does exactly that... so in essence are we Atheists?

Satu
02 Oct 2013, 15:24
I'd guess it would depend. What you're describing sounds a lot like pantheism. Some people say pantheism is atheistic, while others say it's a flavor of theism. My personal opinion is that if a person's "pantheistic gods" aren't considered personalities to some degree, then the person is more atheist than theist. But if a person's pantheistic gods are aspects of nature but are also, in a sense, entities separate from nature, then the person is more theist than atheist.

Denarius
02 Oct 2013, 15:52
That's an interesting question, one I am not really comfortable answering as a simple yes or no. So, yes and no. I would say that reverence of nature is not theistic in and of its self, but anthropomorphizing it makes this a bit more of a grey area.

Still, at the end of the day theism is the belief in at least one god. If you see yourself as doing that, then that is what you are. Simple as that. If you were one for complication, the there is room for debate in what is meant by belief and god.

KahlanAmnell
02 Oct 2013, 17:10
I'd guess it would depend. What you're describing sounds a lot like pantheism. Some people say pantheism is atheistic, while others say it's a flavor of theism. My personal opinion is that if a person's "pantheistic gods" aren't considered personalities to some degree, then the person is more atheist than theist. But if a person's pantheistic gods are aspects of nature but are also, in a sense, entities separate from nature, then the person is more theist than atheist.

I fall in the red.

volcaniclastic
02 Oct 2013, 17:12
Still, at the end of the day theism is the belief in at least one god. If you see yourself as doing that, then that is what you are. Simple as that. If you were one for complication, the there is room for debate in what is meant by belief and god.

I had something typed up, and then I read this. So...basically, this.

I worship nature, and while I talk to the gods, I don't actually believe in them. I see them as archetypes of nature - imaginary constructs designed to allow me to talk directly to nature and to human traits and emotions. So...I do consider myself to be atheist, while still being pagan.

Corvus
02 Oct 2013, 17:50
I had something typed up, and then I read this. So...basically, this.

I worship nature, and while I talk to the gods, I don't actually believe in them. I see them as archetypes of nature - imaginary constructs designed to allow me to talk directly to nature and to human traits and emotions. So...I do consider myself to be atheist, while still being pagan.
does that mean that the gods come from inside yourself like your subconscious link to nature? It sounds like by giving nature anthropomorphic form you find it more easy to relate to and understand. If I'm right (correct me if I'm wrong because I may be) it's a very interesting view. Does it involve recognizing that the gods don't actually exist? or because they're a construct doesn't that make them real to you, even if not properly existing? From where do the gods come then? are they cultural from a collective conscious/unconscious of accepted traditions that our minds adapt to better understand divinity or do they arise from our own conceptions of divinity? Perhaps it would be easier to think of it this way; do you make your own gods originally or talk to established gods with mythology that is well known or researched?

Furthermore is nature a divine thing to you? why not think of nature as a god, though a much more all encompassing and inhuman one than we are familiar with?. Worshiping something would imply that it would be worthy of worship. If nature isn't divine then why worship it ? is it because nature is beautiful or because it is physical or something else? I'm really quite interested in this.

Medusa
02 Oct 2013, 17:57
I do not believe in symbols in nature. I do not believe natural things represent deities of any sort, imagined, desired, hoped for. I would then not be an atheist. Atheist do not have a belief in any deity formed with a name or imagined as 'wind' etc.

Auseklis
02 Oct 2013, 18:27
I do not believe in symbols in nature. I do not believe natural things represent deities of any sort, imagined, desired, hoped for. I would then not be an atheist. Atheist do not have a belief in any deity formed with a name or imagined as 'wind' etc.

Taken from the dictionary meaning of Atheist - One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

So, if pagans give something in nature a name such as a tree and attaches a personality to that name, but does not see the tree as a God or supreme being then can they still be an Atheist?

Medusa
02 Oct 2013, 18:39
Taken from the dictionary meaning of Atheist - One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

So, if pagans give something in nature a name such as a tree and attaches a personality to that name, but does not see the tree as a God or supreme being then can they still be an Atheist?

I'm not one to make rules for anyone else. But if you are asking my personal opinion? If you think anything is a representation or symbol of a deity then you are not an atheist. If you want to attribute a personality to a thing, I guess you can. Atheism is only one real thing: non belief in deity(s).

Though Pagans, in general, have a way of bending any sort of deity rule they see fit in very imaginative ways. An attribute that makes the world a more interesting and sometimes beautiful and whimsical place to live.

Hence my strong hearted belief in unicorns. :o

volcaniclastic
02 Oct 2013, 19:55
does that mean that the gods come from inside yourself like your subconscious link to nature? It sounds like by giving nature anthropomorphic form you find it more easy to relate to and understand. If I'm right (correct me if I'm wrong because I may be) it's a very interesting view. Does it involve recognizing that the gods don't actually exist? or because they're a construct doesn't that make them real to you, even if not properly existing? From where do the gods come then? are they cultural from a collective conscious/unconscious of accepted traditions that our minds adapt to better understand divinity or do they arise from our own conceptions of divinity? Perhaps it would be easier to think of it this way; do you make your own gods originally or talk to established gods with mythology that is well known or researched?

Furthermore is nature a divine thing to you? why not think of nature as a god, though a much more all encompassing and inhuman one than we are familiar with?. Worshiping something would imply that it would be worthy of worship. If nature isn't divine then why worship it ? is it because nature is beautiful or because it is physical or something else? I'm really quite interested in this.

I don't think I explained myself very well. This is why I never post in these types of threads - because frankly, I don't put enough thought into these things. A lot of you meditate and do rituals and stuff - I simply can't be bothered. So...let me try to explain:

There are no gods. They don't exist in the real world, in the spiritual world, or inside my head. They are not real. They are a thought, a human construct that we created to help us cope with parts of the world that we do not understand (or did not understand). I use their names sometimes because I am a weak human being that can't stick to one set thought or spirituality. I've wanted to believe in them my entire life...but they are not real.

And I worship nature because it is what sustains my life. Whether or not it is divine is irrelevant. We should worship what kills us, and what sustains us.

And I'm done posting in this thread.

Heka
02 Oct 2013, 20:39
There are no gods. They don't exist in the real world, in the spiritual world, or inside my head. They are not real. They are a thought, a human construct that we created to help us cope with parts of the world that we do not understand (or did not understand). I use their names sometimes because I am a weak human being that can't stick to one set thought or spirituality. I've wanted to believe in them my entire life...but they are not real.
.

This is kinda where I think I'll end up. But I'm going to keep waiting for now, waiting to believe. Maybe I'll convince myself one day, or at least that's what I hope....

Bjorn
10 Dec 2013, 14:08
I was not sure how to structure this question but I will do my best, so please excuse if I am not overly clear in my delivery...

Many Pagan's worship the earth and nature solely and see God's and Goddesses symbolic of what they find in nature but not as 'real' life forms or should I say spirit forms. My own flavor of paganism does exactly that... so in essence are we Atheists?

Pantheism: the belief that god interpenetrates every part of nature

Panentheism: the belief that god interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond human comprehension

Agnosticism: the belief that, essentially, there is no way to prove or disprove god (that everyone is wrong about god)

Theism: the belief in at least one god

Atheism: the disbelief in all gods

Any of those ringing a bell in your heart?

Bjorn
18 Feb 2014, 13:40
I don't think I explained myself very well. This is why I never post in these types of threads - because frankly, I don't put enough thought into these things. A lot of you meditate and do rituals and stuff - I simply can't be bothered. So...let me try to explain:

There are no gods. They don't exist in the real world, in the spiritual world, or inside my head. They are not real. They are a thought, a human construct that we created to help us cope with parts of the world that we do not understand (or did not understand). I use their names sometimes because I am a weak human being that can't stick to one set thought or spirituality. I've wanted to believe in them my entire life...but they are not real.

And I worship nature because it is what sustains my life. Whether or not it is divine is irrelevant. We should worship what kills us, and what sustains us.

And I'm done posting in this thread.

I tend to lean this way as well. These are my own personal thoughts so please, don't twist this into an attack on non-atheists.

There are no gods. Not a single one. There have never been any gods. The earth is not a god. The trees are not filled with spirits. You can talk about energy all day long but it all comes down to what you THINK and what you DO, not about where you put a chair, light a candle, or burn a stick of palo santo.

'On the first day, man created gods.' It is because humans are weak, simplistic, reactionary, sensationalists who did not understand the world around them.

So I use symbolism because I like it. It's a way to remind me WHY I am using the props that I use -- and they are only that, props. None of the things on my altar mean a single friggin thing. It's the same reason that people tell others to 'follow your spirit when using your items,' and why herb/color/stone associations are not always the same: because we're making them up for us personally. Sure, there are some overall similarities between certain associations but at the end of the day, every pagan I know will tell you to do what makes sense to you and to focus your intent.

Well, that's why I do. But I don't do it so that someone will answer. I don't do it so that I can try to bend the universe to my will. I do it to remind myself of MY intent, of my purpose, of what it is that I really want and, since I'm painfully agnostic about absolutely everything, it's kind of like, well, why not? If there's anything I believe in, it's a narrow possibility, but I'm not hurt by considering it, though it's NOT my intent. It's always for me.

B. de Corbin
18 Feb 2014, 15:21
Let me give ya'll another pagan atheist point of view. The usual caveat applies - I can't prove anything, I don't attack anyone, and I care very little if anybody agrees. All statements are based on my life and experiences, so if they don't match your experiences, be comfortable, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Let me introduce you to a fabulous word - that magic word is PRAGMATIC.

The idea behind pragmatic (pragmatism, if you want to sound all philosophical) is simple.

What is, is. What is not, is not. What works, works. What does not work, does not work. It is the polar opposite of "idealism," where an "ideal" is more important than what is, or than what works.

"Theory" (if you use it, and, frankly, it's far less useful than most people imagine) MUST match reality. If, as often happens, a person follows theory even when it doesn't match reality, they are lying to themselves, and stupid (I'm sorry - there is no other word for it), and likely to cause horrendous problems for self and others.

Do gods exist? Well, not likely - according to theory.

However, "gods" have shown up in my life. As crazy as it sounds, they have been present as actual, literally, physical entities. As an Alchemist, I have met Hermes, and I have met Isis. I have felt their hands on my hands, guiding me as I work. I have heard them whisper useful knowledge in my ears.

I have spoken to birds, and they have taught me many useful things. I know the names of trees, and they speak to me as well.

Are they gods? I don't know, nor do I even care. They may be autonomous psychic projections, they may be manifestations of my unconscious, they may be entities of some kind, but so what?

What I have learned is that I can use them to achieve my own ends, if I so choose, and if I don't so choose, they end up using me for purposes I don't necessarily understand, or even approve of.

If I call them gods, they are stronger than me, and I loose control of my life and my destiny. If I do not call them gods, I can retain control of my life and destiny - and, incidentally, I become more powerful than them.

If I am more powerful than them, I'm a much better god, so I'll give reverence to myself. But, under no circumstances what-so-ever will I ever give control of my life and destiny to something other than myself.

So I choose to be an atheist.

Damn their eyes!

I am the scorned transfigured child of Cain.