Religious Exploration: A Week As A Pagan.

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Now, I've made no attempt at hiding the fact I'm a Roman Catholic on this forum. I consider my Catholic upbringing part of my heritage and I'm proud of it. However, there comes a time in almost every persons life when they consider a bit of "religious exploration". Whether that be checking out other religions or even converting, it's normal for a person to be curious about the beliefs of others.

I've had a curiosity towards the "Old Gods" for some time now. Paganism was rarely discussed in Religion class, and when it was it was a... Biased depiction, to say the least; it was said that many people converted to early catholicism because Pagan beliefs treated the world as a 'terrifying place' and Christianity/Judaism was one of the few if not the only religion to be idealistic and see the world as wonderful and beautiful. While that may have been true for the ancient Greek and Roman gods (which were, admittedly, frat boys with super powers and all the dickishness that comes with it) other Pagan beliefs were quite idealistic, and had more then a few things in common with early Christianity (Persian Zaroastrianism is a great example of this).

So, I've decided, starting right at this moment. I will follow the "Old Gods" of my forefathers for an entire week. I will pray to the Norse Gods (I tried to choose a Pagan religion closely tied to my ancestry, and I have quite a bit of Germanic ancestry in me) and write about my experiences daily until next Friday Night. I will write about what I've learned, and what I feel about the beliefs. This will be a bit... Difficult, considering it's lent and I'm still in a Catholic family, so I wont be able to totally avoid all christian practices in fullness. Also, given how Modern Day "Neo-Paganism" is somewhat divided and at times it's hard to tell the serious practitioners from the "I chose this religion because I think it's all about magic and hate my parents" crowd, so if anyone that can link me to some reputable sites explaining the beliefs/practices of the current religion I'll be following, it would be much appreciated.

If this thread seems popular enough, I might even try another Pagan religion for another week. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a new prayer to say before I go to sleep.

"Night has fallen, Day is flown
Holy Frigga, bless our Home
With Joy and Laughter, Love and Song
Frigga keep our Family strong.

Night has fallen, Day is flown
Holy Hammer, ward our Home
From Trolls and Thurses - Thunar keep
Our Family safe, so we can sleep."

I think a major reason for pagans converting to Christianity in the past might have been more to do with the carrot and stick method- you worship our God you go to heaven, if you don't you burn in hell. As far as i know, the pagans didn't have anything comparable, you could worship as many or as few god's as you liked without consequence. Well, so long as you didn't offend any god's that is.

I find your views regarding religion rather...interesting. For one, if your genuinely a catholic your committing sin by breaking the 1st and 2nd commandments so it strikes me as a bit strange why a proud catholic would do this. Secondly, how you make it sound as if your "switching" religions as if you were simply changing your diet and using the non-committal term "religious exploration". I've never really regarded religious belief or lack of it as a choice really. I couldn't "choose" be a Christian at the drop of a hat because i'm an atheist and take a materialistic view to the world. Likewise, i wouldn't think a Christian could decide to become pagan, because Christians believe in the divinity of Christ and the Bible which explicitly out-rules belief in other god's.

I know it's unwise to make presumptions about people, but i suspect your interest in paganism may be more spiritual than you are willing to admit. You should talk to Polarity about your "exploration", she's the main neo-pagan on these forums.

Nickolai77:
I think a major reason for pagans converting to Christianity in the past might have been more to do with the carrot and stick method- you worship our God you go to heaven, if you don't you burn in hell. As far as i know, the pagans didn't have anything comparable, you could worship as many or as few god's as you liked without consequence. Well, so long as you didn't offend any god's that is.

Well, that works for the stick, not sure about teh carrot.

Proselytizing religions tend to subvert rival faiths, your demons end up looking like their gods. In fairness, this could be done in good faith, so to speak, if you believe there's your deity, and lots of horrible monsters, if someone tells you about the 12 legged goat beastie they worship, you are likely to interpret that as a monster from your own mythology.

With that sort of thing, the two religions could sort of blur into each other, though the expanding one tends to blur less, if you see what I mean.

...

The OP mentioned Zoroastrianism as being similar to Christianity...Zoroastrianism is a truly ancient religion, which influenced Judaism and therefore Christianity when as they encountered each other.

I've often found it interesting how the belief systems of different people can interact with each other.

There's always Bifrost's webpages. I think they're pretty much what you're looking for, but most of the information is written in Norwegian.
Information in English.
These people have a rather small community and do their best to keep the "rebellious teenager" crowd out of their religion. They don't allow you to be born into their religion either. If you're born by a member, you have a membership with your mother until your 14th birthday, upon which you will be kicked out of the organization. They apparently test you for resolve if you wish to join.

I have a friend who joined them in a "blot" for a project in religious education. They were standing around a fire by a lake, drinking mead and sacrificing to the gods.
The sacrifice was symbolic. You were supposed to throw something that meant something to you onto the fire, and then say something to the gods. The thrown item should preferrably be something that was related to how the gods had treated you this year.
I found it interesting that they didn't necessarily just praise the gods or beg them.
e.g. One woman, at the blot which my friend joined, allegedly said something along the lines of "thanks for the crappy harvest this year, Frøy. There was so little, you might as well have it back." and threw a bundle of some sort of corn onto the fire.

If you have any questions about the religion/organization, I can try to see if I can find an answer to them in the FAQ section and translate for you.

Also related: Here's a link to a tv-show that aired on Norwegian television a while ago.
http://www.nrk.no/nett-tv/prosjekt/1879/
It's a serial documentary about an atheist who decides to try living as a member of a different religion each episode. I think he spends one week with each.
Sadly, I don't think there are any English translations of it.

Jonluw:

These people have a rather small community and do their best to keep the "rebellious teenager" crowd out of their religion

I wish there were some groups like that here. Unfortunately every group I've looked at where I live seems to be completely saturated with people who are pagans 'because Amon Amarth.' Not saying getting into it because of Pagan metal and the like is wrong, but you should at least base your belief on something other than 'this band is awesome!'

Anyway, OP, I would suggest picking up the Eddas and reading them for yourself. The legends so much of the religion is based on is always a good starting point. Interesting idea you have here, hope you enjoy it.

Kvaedi:
Anyway, OP, I would suggest picking up the Eddas and reading them for yourself. The legends so much of the religion is based on is always a good starting point. Interesting idea you have here, hope you enjoy it.

This is indeed a good idea.
If you wish to read both, you should proabably read the poetic edda before the prose edda.
I particularly recommend reading Håvamål (a particular section of the poetic edda), as it outlines the morality of the early pagans and what kind of attributes they valued in a person. It is filled with proverbs and wisdom surrounding how to act in general. It is very interesting to contrast the norse ideals with the christian ones. I remember writing an essay on that very topic last year.

A lot of the proverbs are really down to earth and just plain practical.

Example of a proverb:
Trust not completely in the flying arrow, one night old ice and snakes that lie coiled. Do not trust brides-words beneath the duvet. Do not lay your trust in broken sword, playing bear, or the child of a king.
Stol ikkje heilt på flygande pil, dalande båre, nattgammal is og orm som ligg kveila. Stol helst ikkje på brure-ord under dyna. Lit ikkje fullt ut på brote sverd, leikande bjørn eller barnet til ein konge.

Cautious man
thinks his life safe
if he battles can avoid.
But old age
grants no man peace
if the sword spares him.
Ein stakkar tykkjest
han støtt må leva,
når han strid mun sky.
Men alderdomen
gjev ingen mann fred,
um sverd honom sparde.

These are hard to read in Norwegian. The language is horribly archaic.

Jonluw:

Kvaedi:
Anyway, OP, I would suggest picking up the Eddas and reading them for yourself. The legends so much of the religion is based on is always a good starting point. Interesting idea you have here, hope you enjoy it.

This is indeed a good idea.
If you wish to read both, you should proabably read the poetic edda before the prose edda.
I particularly recommend reading Håvamål (a particular section of the poetic edda), as it outlines the morality of the early pagans and what kind of attributes they valued in a person. It is filled with proverbs and wisdom surrounding how to act in general. It is very interesting to contrast the norse ideals with the christian ones. I remember writing an essay on that very topic last year.

Yes, I should have said all of that. If the Eddas are too much to read during this week of your experiment, at the very least read Håvamål.

"Cattle die, kinsmen die, we ourselves also die; but the fair fame never dies of him who has earned it.

Cattle die, kinsmen die, we ourselves also die; but I know one thing that never dies, -- judgment on each one dead."

Witty Name Here:

So, I've decided, starting right at this moment. I will follow the "Old Gods" of my forefathers for an entire week. I will pray to the Norse Gods (I tried to choose a Pagan religion closely tied to my ancestry, and I have quite a bit of Germanic ancestry in me) and write about my experiences daily until next Friday Night. I will write about what I've learned, and what I feel about the beliefs. This will be a bit... Difficult, considering it's lent and I'm still in a Catholic family, so I wont be able to totally avoid all christian practices in fullness. Also, given how Modern Day "Neo-Paganism" is somewhat divided and at times it's hard to tell the serious practitioners from the "I chose this religion because I think it's all about magic and hate my parents" crowd, so if anyone that can link me to some reputable sites explaining the beliefs/practices of the current religion I'll be following, it would be much appreciated.

If this thread seems popular enough, I might even try another Pagan religion for another week. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a new prayer to say before I go to sleep.

"Night has fallen, Day is flown
Holy Frigga, bless our Home
With Joy and Laughter, Love and Song
Frigga keep our Family strong.

Night has fallen, Day is flown
Holy Hammer, ward our Home
From Trolls and Thurses - Thunar keep
Our Family safe, so we can sleep."

I really love that prayer, where did you find it? That first part sounds like something I need to be doing, with some good offerings for Frigg and her handmaidens.

Let's see... good sites... let me get back to you on this tomorrow. Try Frigga's Web for starters, lots of good newbie info on there.

BTW, it would be a nicety to make an offering or two, particularly to your ancestors (especially, if you're doing anything with Frigga, your Disir (female ancestors)). It's often said that the ancients would go to the ancestors before they'd go to the Gods (the Gods got community worship, the ancestors and house/land wights got individual worship) because your family are the ones most expected to have your back. If you have accessible ground, pour some of what you're drinking for them. You'll find libations and food offerings pretty standard across the board for Neo-Pagan religions that aim to reconstruct the old ones.

And hey, this is cool, you doing this. I did the reverse a couple years back, spent a few months learning about Catholicism and doing some devotionals as a nod to my Catholic ancestors.

Kvaedi:

Jonluw:

Kvaedi:
Anyway, OP, I would suggest picking up the Eddas and reading them for yourself. The legends so much of the religion is based on is always a good starting point. Interesting idea you have here, hope you enjoy it.

This is indeed a good idea.
If you wish to read both, you should proabably read the poetic edda before the prose edda.
I particularly recommend reading Håvamål (a particular section of the poetic edda), as it outlines the morality of the early pagans and what kind of attributes they valued in a person. It is filled with proverbs and wisdom surrounding how to act in general. It is very interesting to contrast the norse ideals with the christian ones. I remember writing an essay on that very topic last year.

Yes, I should have said all of that. If the Eddas are too much to read during this week of your experiment, at the very least read Håvamål.

Yeah. And I forgot to mention:
You should probably just skip the kings' sagas altogether.
They're interesting if you want to know about history and all, but they can be really tedious to read, and they don't contain a lot of information on the actual practises and beliefs of pagans.
Besides, from Olav Haraldsson and out it's all about christian kings.

Witty Name Here:
Snip

I managed to find a translated version of Håvamål available online, OP. I haven't read too much of it, but I think the translation should be decent enough.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/poe04.htm
Recommended reading.

Nickolai77:
snip

I'm not going to shy away from admitting what I'm doing probably counts at heresy. Luckily enough the Catholic Church (at least where I live) seems to be pretty lenient towards it's flock practicing other religious faiths for a while. In fact, several religion teachers (and even at one point, a priest) that I've met have joined another religion at one point (Mostly Buddhism, although I've seen a few people who became anything from athiests to even scientologists before returning to the church.) Also, the bible has been a bit... Iffy when it comes to other Gods. Sometimes it has said there is only one God; other times it says early Jews believed that the Gods of other faiths did exist, yet their God was mightier than them all and the only God they were to worship.

Though I suppose that enough of me rambling and trying to justify my actions. I better get some of the 'required reading' done and read some of the Eddas

Polarity27:

I really love that prayer, where did you find it? That first part sounds like something I need to be doing, with some good offerings for Frigg and her handmaidens.

I believe the sight was called "Asatru Teutonic Prayers". I believe that they share some of the prayers the community on it made. Although from time to time you get a few that seem to sound suspiciously like Christian prayers reworded a bit to include Thor. The prayers on it seem generally heartfelt and nice.

thaluikhain:

The OP mentioned Zoroastrianism as being similar to Christianity...Zoroastrianism is a truly ancient religion, which influenced Judaism and therefore Christianity when as they encountered each other.

I've often found it interesting how the belief systems of different people can interact with each other.

If anything, I find that Zoroastrianism can be closer to Hollywoods version of Christianity than actual Christianity in several ways. Mostly the 'never tell a lie' aspect and how two divine beings are equal in power yet the good one always wins. For some reason Hollywood didn't catch up to the fact Satan wasn't a God in his own right.

I don't much about the Norse pantheon, but you should have fun. Paganism is very "exotic" compared to mainstream religion. I have to agree with Nik, though. It seems odd that you, a Catholic, would be praying to other gods. That is still a sin, right?

EDIT: Also, that is a very awesome prayer. I never looked into prayers because my chief pantheons are Roman and Aztec(one patron deity is Shinto, but I can't find a lot of information on him, much less prayers) and I didn't think they had prayers. Silly, silly me. What a glorious excuse for RESEARCH!

This thread makes me happy. as a devout agnostic (Hmm, sounds like an oxymoron), I've taken a lot of time to research the beliefs and practices of many different religions. Some I genuinely believed in for a time, others I just explored to see what the fuss was about. I can safely say that this hobby of mine has changed my outlook on life and the world around me, so it pleases me to see someone else doing the same.

Without trying to get too metaphysical or preachy, I will say if you stick to your plan, and truly live these religions and seek to understand them, it'll be a life changing experience for you.

Well I've just made a sort of Sacrifice to one of the Gods, so there isn't really a turning back now.

It felt a bit awkward, and I probably bungled it up a bit, but I basically just left an apple out, said a few words to "Thor, son of Odin, Brother of Loki, Husband of Freyja; Wielder of Mjolnir and Protector of the Humans" asking him to help ward the house and my family and... That was it.

It's a bit awkward trying to jump into a new religion, especially one that might be a bit sketchy on some of the rituals.

Witty Name Here:
Well I've just made a sort of Sacrifice to one of the Gods, so there isn't really a turning back now.

It felt a bit awkward, and I probably bungled it up a bit, but I basically just left an apple out, said a few words to "Thor, son of Odin, Brother of Loki, Husband of Freyja; Wielder of Mjolnir and Protector of the Humans" asking him to help ward the house and my family and... That was it.

It's a bit awkward trying to jump into a new religion, especially one that might be a bit sketchy on some of the rituals.

Is it the whole "offering" that made you feel uneasy?

Cuz I don't think Christianity has that, like the whole giving god a physical thing so he can watch over you.

i applaud you for taking a step next to no one makes. embracing the walk in anothers shoes ideal.

its a brilliant way to get a true understanding

nikki191:
i applaud you for taking a step next to no one makes. embracing the walk in anothers shoes ideal.

its a brilliant way to get a true understanding

Thank you for the compliment.

I figure that you have no right to say "So and So are satan worshippers who sacrifice goats and howl at the moon" without learning firsthand the religious beliefs of that people.

In my opinion, no religion exists and has numerous followers if it's inherently and obviously 'evil'.

Witty Name Here:
In my opinion, no religion exists and has numerous followers if it's inherently and obviously 'evil'.

Obvious to whom, though?

Generally, I'd say you were right, at least of all accepted religions in our culture (our culture being the one that decides what is or isn't right, of course), but you'll usually be able to find someone in favour of any given idea, no matter how abhorrent it seems to everyone else.

Though, a religion does need a large number of followers for it to be a religion. Not saying that "X amount of people can't be wrong", but if it holds itself together, it must be doing something right, survival being the only arbitrary test of anything..

Nickolai77:
Secondly, how you make it sound as if your "switching" religions as if you were simply changing your diet and using the non-committal term "religious exploration". I've never really regarded religious belief or lack of it as a choice really. I couldn't "choose" be a Christian at the drop of a hat because i'm an atheist and take a materialistic view to the world. Likewise, i wouldn't think a Christian could decide to become pagan, because Christians believe in the divinity of Christ and the Bible which explicitly out-rules belief in other god's.

Good grief, if you couldn't convert from Christianity to Paganism the number of active Pagans today would be about ten. (Okay, I'm exaggerating, but not by all that much.)

Setting that aside for a moment, to my mind OP is doing a bit of seeking (that's what we'd call "religious exploration") and there's nothing at all wrong with that. If it doesn't stick, OP might come out of it with a better appreciation of a discriminated-against minority religion, or come out with a better understanding of what he appreciates about Catholicism, neither would be a bad thing in the least. The only thing I dislike seeing seekers do is to pick up a religion with no research and then do practices completely dissonant with it yet call it X Religion. OP isn't doing that, in fact he's reading the Eddas for a week's experiment-- that's incredibly laudable. I'd argue that doing the research and *then* doing the practice might offer a richer experience, but that's kind of nitpicking.

(I'll be sad if OP can't either make it to a blot or sumbel or watch one on YouTube, though. OP, if you have anyone to drink with, you can Sumbel at home. It's an easy thing, fill a mug or a big glass with your favorite beverage (mead is traditional, but not on your short time-frame) and have a big bowl standing by. It's a toasting ritual, you toast, take a sip, pass the glass to the other people, and when it comes round to you, toss what's left in the bowl and refill the glass. First round toasts the Gods, second round toasts heroes and ancestors, third round is "toasts and boasts" where you must either toast someone else (living) or boast about your or your family's recent accomplishments. Toasts start with "hail (so-and-so)" and the group says "Hail (person)!" in response as you drink (it's hilarious when you get an unintentional "Hail Mary!" out of a roomful of people because you toasted your dead grandmother Mary :). After the three rounds, the remains in the bowl yet taken outside and poured on the earth as thanks. "From the Gods to the earth to us; from us to the earth to the Gods" is a customary thing said while doing this. It's also an immensely adaptable ritual if you're doing it with a mixed-religion group, you can either allow other gods for the first round or do two ancestor rounds instead. If you don't wish to speak in a group sumbel, you can raise the horn/glass and simply say "hail!" or sip in silence. Either is perfectly polite.)

Yes, I think you can choose a religion, I absolutely regard my religious affiliation as a choice. There are elements of it that I don't find entirely volitional (polytheism is most inherently logical to me), but the precise cultural expression is 100% a choice. I think sometimes, for some people, it's less of a choice than it is for others, particularly the very god-bothered, but even there I wouldn't call it choice-less.

Polarity27:

Nickolai77:
Secondly, how you make it sound as if your "switching" religions as if you were simply changing your diet and using the non-committal term "religious exploration". I've never really regarded religious belief or lack of it as a choice really. I couldn't "choose" be a Christian at the drop of a hat because i'm an atheist and take a materialistic view to the world. Likewise, i wouldn't think a Christian could decide to become pagan, because Christians believe in the divinity of Christ and the Bible which explicitly out-rules belief in other god's.

Good grief, if you couldn't convert from Christianity to Paganism the number of active Pagans today would be about ten. (Okay, I'm exaggerating, but not by all that much.)

I think you've misunderstood me. The point i was trying to make was that the OP makes it sound like he's woken up one morning and decided to practise paganism by using neutral and clinical terms such as "exploration". People just don't do that, unless something fundamentally psychological has been occurring which leads to a change of religious belief. Which is why i say that the OP's behaviour may be more "spiritual" than he's letting on. Of course people convert to different faiths, but that is as a result of major psychological changes which lead someone to make the choice to change their faith.

Witty Name Here:
Well I've just made a sort of Sacrifice to one of the Gods, so there isn't really a turning back now.

It felt a bit awkward, and I probably bungled it up a bit, but I basically just left an apple out, said a few words to "Thor, son of Odin, Brother of Loki, Husband of Freyja; Wielder of Mjolnir and Protector of the Humans" asking him to help ward the house and my family and... That was it.

It's a bit awkward trying to jump into a new religion, especially one that might be a bit sketchy on some of the rituals.

Don't feel bad, anything new is awkward. I *still* feel awkward saying anything religious out loud after doing this for 20+ years because I was raised secular and it still feels... odd. I'd say "like talking to myself", except that I talk to myself and that feels *less* odd.

What makes it even more difficult is that Pagans tend toward spontaneous prayer much of the time, so there's no recourse to well-worn things like the Rosary that you say over and over again every day. (Well, Wicca has a few of those, but they're few on the ground even there.) I've been in a lot of circles over the years and I think there's probably 20 of us stumble-bumble-through-it types to every one person who consistently manages high-flown oratory.

Actually, you picked one of the more ritual-light Pagan religions. Heathens/Asatru sumbel, blot, and give private offerings, and that's about it. Nothing near as baroque ritually as Wicca or say, Thelema.

Nickolai77:

Polarity27:

Nickolai77:
Secondly, how you make it sound as if your "switching" religions as if you were simply changing your diet and using the non-committal term "religious exploration". I've never really regarded religious belief or lack of it as a choice really. I couldn't "choose" be a Christian at the drop of a hat because i'm an atheist and take a materialistic view to the world. Likewise, i wouldn't think a Christian could decide to become pagan, because Christians believe in the divinity of Christ and the Bible which explicitly out-rules belief in other god's.

Good grief, if you couldn't convert from Christianity to Paganism the number of active Pagans today would be about ten. (Okay, I'm exaggerating, but not by all that much.)

I think you've misunderstood me. The point i was trying to make was that the OP makes it sound like he's woken up one morning and decided to practise paganism by using neutral and clinical terms such as "exploration". People just don't do that, unless something fundamentally psychological has been occurring which leads to a change of religious belief. Which is why i say that the OP's behaviour may be more "spiritual" than he's letting on. Of course people convert to different faiths, but that is as a result of major psychological changes which lead someone to make the choice to change their faith.

Ah, okay, TY. Well, whatever's behind it is between him and the involved deities. And it's certainly a conflict which his long-passed ancestors would have been intimately familiar. :)

Though I'd note that some Jews and some Christo-Pagans interpret the first commandment with an emphasis on "before me", meaning that other gods can exist, but YHVH has to be numero uno. Henotheism, in essence. It's rather unorthodox, but it does work for some people.

Witty Name Here:

In my opinion, no religion exists and has numerous followers if it's inherently and obviously 'evil'.

Must-resist-urge-to-invoke-Godwin's-law-AAARGH

Marik2:

Is it the whole "offering" that made you feel uneasy?

Cuz I don't think Christianity has that, like the whole giving god a physical thing so he can watch over you.

Eating your God sounds even more... 'uneasy'...

In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation (in Latin, transsubstantiatio, in Greek μετουσίωσις metousiosis) means the change, in the Eucharist, of the substance of wheat bread and grape wine into the substance of the Body and the Blood of Jesus,[1] while all that is accessible to the senses (the appearances - species in Latin) remains as before.[2][3][4]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transubstantiation

image

Polarity27:
[

Don't feel bad, anything new is awkward. I *still* feel awkward saying anything religious out loud after doing this for 20+ years because I was raised secular and it still feels... odd. I'd say "like talking to myself", except that I talk to myself and that feels *less* odd.

Try saying a prayer in a language you can hardly pronounce. THAT'S awkward.

Witty Name Here:
[quote="nikki191" post="528.351303.13901997"]

I figure that you have no right to say "So and So are satan worshippers who sacrifice goats and howl at the moon" without learning firsthand the religious beliefs of that people.

In my opinion, no religion exists and has numerous followers if it's inherently and obviously 'evil'.

Satanists have different systems depending on what kind you are talking about, but none of them worship the evil prince of darkness. I mean, why side against the omnipotent good guy?

Of course, is someone worships something, they tend to look past it's worse side. Look at Christianity. God is directly responsible for a lot of actions that would be called "evil" if done by anyone else, and indirectly responsible for every evil act in the world and not using his omnipotence to stop them. He would, at best, be True Neutral. Considering he demands worship or lets you go to hell, I place him as Lawful Evil. Uh, no offense to your Catholic upbringing. But that's the thing. You, and other Catholics, wouldn't see it the way I do.

Even the pagan gods have done awful things. Less so the Norse. Most of the Norse gods, to me, seems Chaotic Good. My patrons are (and keep in mind this is just a guess) Lawful Neutral(Raijin) and, if I had to be honest, somewhere on the Evil spectrum or True/Chaotic Neutral(Tlazolteotl).

If you have no idea what I am talking about, I am using the pre-Fourth Edition Dungeons and Dragons alignment system.

Danyal:

Witty Name Here:

In my opinion, no religion exists and has numerous followers if it's inherently and obviously 'evil'.

Must-resist-urge-to-invoke-Godwin's-law-AAARGH

The Nazis absolutely weren't obviously and inherently evil. Lots of people passionately embraced their ideals as good and noble, hell some still do.

Just because current western society generally says something is evil, doesn't make it obvious that it is.

If something is obviously and inherently evil, it won't get enough followers to get the label of ideology/religion, it's just some person that should be locked up, and maybe his/her mates, and it still probably isn't obviously evil to them.

thaluikhain:

The Nazis absolutely weren't obviously and inherently evil. Lots of people passionately embraced their ideals as good and noble, hell some still do.

Just because current western society generally says something is evil, doesn't make it obvious that it is.

If something is obviously and inherently evil, it won't get enough followers to get the label of ideology/religion, it's just some person that should be locked up, and maybe his/her mates, and it still probably isn't obviously evil to them.

Sorry. I am studying history, I have to disagree. Godwin's law is about referencing to Hitler and the nazi's; Hitler was obviously and inherently evil. The Holocaust was obviously and inherently evil.

Danyal:
Sorry. I am studying history, I have to disagree. Godwin's law is about referencing to Hitler and the nazi's; Hitler was obviously and inherently evil. The Holocaust was obviously and inherently evil.

To us, and many (not all) people living in Allied nations during WW2.

It most definitely wasn't obvious to many millions of Germans and Austrians (and assorted others) who fought and died defending Nazi ideology.

Generalising, bu the people running the concentration camps thought they were doing the world a favour.

If everyone had realised that Hitler was evil, he'd not have been voted in and he'd not have been allowed to remain in power.

thaluikhain:

To us, and many (not all) people living in Allied nations during WW2.

It most definitely wasn't obvious to many millions of Germans and Austrians (and assorted others) who fought and died defending Nazi ideology.

Generalising, bu the people running the concentration camps thought they were doing the world a favour.

If everyone had realised that Hitler was evil, he'd not have been voted in and he'd not have been allowed to remain in power.

I kind of agree with you, but let's word it better;
Nothing exists and has numerous followers if it is appears to be inherently and obviously 'evil'.

Danyal:

I kind of agree with you, but let's word it better;
Nothing exists and has numerous followers if it is appears to be inherently and obviously 'evil'.

Witty Name Here:

In my opinion, no religion exists and has numerous followers if it's inherently and obviously 'evil'.

Notice how people were talking about religion, until you pulled in nazism to prove you're right about something nobody here was saying.

TheBelgianGuy:

Danyal:

I kind of agree with you, but let's word it better;
Nothing exists and has numerous followers if it is appears to be inherently and obviously 'evil'.

Witty Name Here:

In my opinion, no religion exists and has numerous followers if it's inherently and obviously 'evil'.

Notice how people were talking about religion, until you pulled in nazism to prove you're right about something nobody here was saying.

Ah, so normal things can be very popular and evil, but religion certainly can't. As soon as you make references to the supernatural, 'being evil' isn't an option anymore!

So if Hitler had demanded that he was treated like a god, he could not have been evil!

Danyal:
snip

Listen, you're talking about Nazis in a thread that has nothing to do with them. Now, can we stop pulling the whole "What constitutes evil" argument and get back on topic?

Anyways, I've read the Håvamål, I find it interesting that, while the ten commandments state natural laws that seem to be inherent in humans (I.E. don't kill, don't steal, it isn't a bright idea to be adulterous) the Håvamål seems to be more interested in giving more... Practical advice. Such as telling people to be cautious, yet not too cautious as to be cowardly. It definitely gives more incite into the norse religion, and shows that it was much more sophisticated than "Shed the blood of your enemies to enter into Valhalla!!!"

Interesting thread, could do with more metaphysics and less Godwin to be honest.

I have nothing noteworthy to contribute at this time, so I shall just say great stuff OP and await more tales from "the darkside". You heretic.

GoaThief:
Interesting thread, could do with more metaphysics and less Godwin to be honest.

I have nothing noteworthy to contribute at this time, so I shall just say great stuff OP and await more tales from "the darkside". You heretic.

Technically I'm a heathen... Which really doesn't do much to make my soul any less "Damned" in the eyes of several... 'Pious' people.

More tales from the darkside are arriving soon.

One of the things I've noticed is how calming some of the prayers (especially the one invoking frigga) can make me. While there is a cross as one of the few things decorating my room, sometimes it just feels like it belongs more to the "Old Gods" now than the christian one. Despite how strange that sounds.

Well I have to go back to school tomorrow (Today was president's day, so I had the day off lucky enough) I'm wondering how my friends will react to the news that I'm a (Temporary?) Convert to Norse Neo-Paganism.

I'll make sure to write down each of their reactions.

Witty Name Here:
Well I have to go back to school tomorrow (Today was president's day, so I had the day off lucky enough) I'm wondering how my friends will react to the news that I'm a (Temporary?) Convert to Norse Neo-Paganism.

I'll make sure to write down each of their reactions.

Do so, this is an interesting thread.

I've had a brief look at the Håvamål this morning and it does make interesting reading, i especially like verses 89-93 which deal with love:

"Never a whit should one blame another
for a folly which many befalls;
the might of love makes sons of men
into fools who once were wise."

That is so bloody true.

Anyway link below:

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/havamal.html

From reading it i sense there is at least a vague rhyming pattern but i havn't been able to find it. If there is a rhyming pattern that suggests it must have been quite heavily translated from the original meanings, so i'd bear that in mind.

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