Literal Minded Atheism

Whether the gods are objectively real is the least interesting question you can ask about a person’s religious experience. What is much more interesting is the subjective reality of their experience. What was the experience was like for them? And what does it mean to them in the context of their life? People’s religious experiences aren’t going to help us put a person on Mars or cure cancer, but they can help us understand why we want to put a person on Mars or why should try to cure cancer.

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Literal Minded Atheism

Whether the gods are objectively real is the least interesting question you can ask about a person’s religious experience. What is much more interesting is the subjective reality of their experience. What was the experience was like for them? And what does it mean to them in the context of their life? People’s religious experiences aren’t going to help us put a person on Mars or cure cancer, but they can help us understand why we want to put a person on Mars or why should try to cure cancer.

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What About Those Who Insist Their Gods Are Real? A Policy Statement.

Though I generally try to avoid engaging with them, there are those in the broader Pagan community who are quite adamant that their gods are real and that anyone who doesn’t think so isn’t a Pagan. Some of them feel the need to rail at people like Atheopagans and call for our expelling from Pagan … Continue reading What About Those Who Insist Their Gods Are Real? A Policy Statement.

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Literal Gods Are for the Literal Minded: Re-Enchanting the Gods

The disenchantment of the world happened, not when we stopped seeing gods and spirits in nature, but when we stopped seeing our essential connection to nature. Personifying rivers and trees with dryads is not going to accomplish this. Rather, we need to realize our essential oneness, the manifold ways in which we are connected to the rivers and the trees–whether or not we find gods in them.

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Literal Gods Are for the Literal Minded: Re-Enchanting Polytheism

The disenchantment of the world happened, not when we stopped seeing gods and spirits in nature, but when we stopped seeing our essential connection to nature. Personifying rivers and trees with dryads is not going to accomplish this. Rather, we need to realize our essential oneness, the manifold ways in which we are connected to the rivers and the trees–whether or not we find gods in them.

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Capitalist Extortion in the Pagan Community

Extortionist behavior is not aberrant–it’s a feature of a capitalist system. Not all capitalists will resort to this level of extortion, obviously, but there are no inherent checks to prevent it when they do. It even finds its way even into our religious lives. We can condemn the extortionist behavior, but its not a problem of a few bad apples. We need to get to the root of the problem–the inherently extortionist nature of capitalism. Until we do that, extortion will be an unavoidable part of our lives–and our Paganism.

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The Problem and the Promise of Paganism, and Why One Looks a Lot Like the Other

In spite of the tendency of many Pagans to confuse the pre-rational with the trans-rational, in spite of the uncritical attitudes and superstitious ideas that haunt a lot of Paganism, I still call myself a Pagan. I am still a Pagan because I believe that Paganism is a door to the trans-rational. I believe that Paganism has the potential to bring together the wisdom of our animistic forebearers and the discoveries of contemporary science in a way that has the power to reenchant the world.

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Community Doesn’t Just Build Itself

So, there was a blogosphere dustup about whether Paganism is “dying”, complete with defensive denials, gross oversimplifications, and quite a bit of ridicule all around. All of which rather missed the point, in my opinion. My guess is that—in developed nations, anyway— if you looked at any subculture not made up exclusively of the young, … Continue reading Community Doesn’t Just Build Itself

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