Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Immanuel Kant on Enlightenment

  1. #1
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member


    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    Germanic
    Gender
    Posts
    837
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    67
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    99
    Thanked in
    39 Posts

    Immanuel Kant on Enlightenment

    IMMANUEL KANT

    An Answer to the Question:
    What is Enlightenment? (1784)



    Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! [dare to know] "Have courage to use your own understanding!"--that is the motto of enlightenment.

    Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men, long after nature has released them from alien guidance (natura-liter maiorennes), nonetheless gladly remain in lifelong immaturity, and why it is so easy for others to establish themselves as their guardians. It is so easy to be immature. If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think, if only I can pay: others will readily undertake the irksome work for me. The guardians who have so benevolently taken over the supervision of men have carefully seen to it that the far greatest part of them (including the entire fair sex) regard taking the step to maturity as very dangerous, not to mention difficult. Having first made their domestic livestock dumb, and having carefully made sure that these docile creatures will not take a single step without the go-cart to which they are harnessed, these guardians then show them the danger that threatens them, should they attempt to walk alone. Now this danger is not actually so great, for after falling a few times they would in the end certainly learn to walk; but an example of this kind makes men timid and usually frightens them out of all further attempts.

    Thus, it is difficult for any individual man to work himself out of the immaturity that has all but become his nature. He has even become fond of this state and for the time being is actually incapable of using his own understanding, for no one has ever allowed him to attempt it. Rules and formulas, those mechanical aids to the rational use, or rather misuse, of his natural gifts, are the shackles of a permanent immaturity. Whoever threw them off would still make only an uncertain leap over the smallest ditch, since he is unaccustomed to this kind of free movement. Consequently, only a few have succeeded, by cultivating their own minds, in freeing themselves from immaturity and pursuing a secure course.

    But that the public should enlighten itself is more likely; indeed, if it is only allowed freedom, enlightenment is almost inevitable. For even among the entrenched guardians of the great masses a few will always think for themselves, a few who, after having themselves thrown off the yoke of immaturity, will spread the spirit of a rational appreciation for both their own worth and for each person's calling to think for himself. But it should be particularly noted that if a public that was first placed in this yoke by the guardians is suitably aroused by some of those who are altogether incapable of enlightenment, it may force the guardians themselves to remain under the yoke--so pernicious is it to instill prejudices, for they finally take revenge upon their originators, or on their descendants. Thus a public can only attain enlightenment slowly. Perhaps a revolution can overthrow autocratic despotism and profiteering or power-grabbing oppression, but it can never truly reform a manner of thinking; instead, new prejudices, just like the old ones they replace, will serve as a leash for the great unthinking mass.

    Nothing is required for this enlightenment, however, except freedom; and the freedom in question is the least harmful of all, namely, the freedom to use reason publicly in all matters. But on all sides I hear: "Do not argue!" The officer says, "Do not argue, drill!" The tax man says, "Do not argue, pay!" The pastor says, "Do not argue, believe!" (Only one ruler in the World says, "Argue as much as you want and about what you want, but obey!") In this we have examples of pervasive restrictions on freedom. But which restriction hinders enlightenment and which does not, but instead actually advances it? I reply: The public use of one's reason must always be free, and it alone can bring about enlightenment among mankind; the private use of reason may, however, often be very narrowly restricted, without otherwise hindering the progress of enlightenment. By the public use of one's own reason I understand the use that anyone as a scholar makes of reason before the entire literate world. I call the private use of reason that which a person may make in a civic post or office that has been entrusted to him. Now in many affairs conducted in the interests of a community, a certain mechanism is required by means of which some of its members must conduct themselves in an entirely passive manner so that through an artificial unanimity the government may guide them toward public ends, or at least prevent them from destroying such ends. Here one certainly must not argue, instead one must obey. However, insofar as this part of the machine also regards himself as a member of the community as a whole, or even of the world community, and as a consequence addresses the public in the role of a scholar, in the proper sense of that term, he can most certainly argue, without thereby harming the affairs for which as a passive member he is partly responsible. Thus it would be disastrous if an officer on duty who was given a command by his superior were to question the appropriateness or utility of the order. He must obey. But as a scholar he cannot be justly constrained from making comments about errors in military service, or from placing them before the public for its judgment. The citizen cannot refuse to pay the taxes imposed on him; indeed, impertinent criticism of such levies, when they should be paid by him, can be punished as a scandal (since it can lead to widespread insubordination). But the same person does not act contrary to civic duty when, as a scholar, he publicly expresses his thoughts regarding the impropriety or even injustice of such taxes. Likewise a pastor is bound to instruct his catecumens and congregation in accordance with the symbol of the church he serves, for he was appointed on that condition. But as a scholar he has complete freedom, indeed even the calling, to impart to the public all of his carefully considered and well-intentioned thoughts concerning mistaken aspects of that symbol, as well as his suggestions for the better arrangement of religious and church matters. Nothing in this can weigh on his conscience. What he teaches in consequence of his office as a servant of the church he sets out as something with regard to which he has no discretion to teach in accord with his own lights; rather, he offers it under the direction and in the name of another. He will say, "Our church teaches this or that and these are the demonstrations it uses." He thereby extracts for his congregation all practical uses from precepts to which he would not himself subscribe with complete conviction, but whose presentation he can nonetheless undertake, since it is not entirely impossible that truth lies hidden in them, and, in any case, nothing contrary to the very nature of religion is to be found in them. If he believed he could find anything of the latter sort in them, he could not in good conscience serve in his position; he would have to resign. Thus an appointed teacher's use of his reason for the sake of his congregation is merely private, because, however large the congregation is, this use is always only domestic; in this regard, as a priest, he is not free and cannot be such because he is acting under instructions from someone else. By contrast, the cleric--as a scholar who speaks through his writings to the public as such, i.e., the world--enjoys in this public use of reason an unrestricted freedom to use his own rational capacities and to speak his own mind. For that the (spiritual) guardians of a people should themselves be immature is an absurdity that would insure the perpetuation of absurdities.

    But would a society of pastors, perhaps a church assembly or venerable presbytery (as those among the Dutch call themselves), not be justified in binding itself by oath to a certain unalterable symbol in order to secure a constant guardianship over each of its members and through them over the people, and this for all time: I say that this is wholly impossible. Such a contract, whose intention is to preclude forever all further enlightenment of the human race, is absolutely null and void, even if it should be ratified by the supreme power, by parliaments, and by the most solemn peace treaties. One age cannot bind itself, and thus conspire, to place a succeeding one in a condition whereby it would be impossible for the later age to expand its knowledge (particularly where it is so very important), to rid itself of errors,and generally to increase its enlightenment. That would be a crime against human nature, whose essential destiny lies precisely in such progress; subsequent generations are thus completely justified in dismissing such agreements as unauthorized and criminal. The criterion of everything that can be agreed upon as a law by a people lies in this question: Can a people impose such a law on itself? Now it might be possible, in anticipation of a better state of affairs, to introduce a provisional order for a specific, short time, all the while giving all citizens, especially clergy, in their role as scholars, the freedom to comment publicly, i.e., in writing, on the present institution's shortcomings. The provisional order might last until insight into the nature of these matters had become so widespread and obvious that the combined (if not unanimous) voices of the populace could propose to the crown that it take under its protection those congregations that, in accord with their newly gained insight, had organized themselves under altered religious institutions, but without interfering with those wishing to allow matters to remain as before. However, it is absolutely forbidden that they unite into a religious organization that nobody may for the duration of a man's lifetime publicly question, for so do-ing would deny, render fruitless, and make detrimental to succeeding generations an era in man's progress toward improvement. A man may put off enlightenment with regard to what he ought to know, though only for a short time and for his own person; but to renounce it for himself, or, even more, for subsequent generations, is to violate and trample man's divine rights underfoot. And what a people may not decree for itself may still less be imposed on it by a monarch, for his lawgiving authority rests on his unification of the people's collective will in his own. If he only sees to it that all genuine or purported improvement is consonant with civil order, he can allow his subjects to do what they find necessary to their spiritual well-being, which is not his affair. However, he must prevent anyone from forcibly interfering with another's working as best he can to determine and promote his well-being. It detracts from his own majesty when he interferes in these matters, since the writings in which his subjects attempt to clarify their insights lend value to his conception of governance. This holds whether he acts from his own highest insight--whereby he calls upon himself the reproach, "Caesar non eat supra grammaticos."'--as well as, indeed even more, when he despoils his highest authority by supporting the spiritual despotism of some tyrants in his state over his other subjects.

    If it is now asked, "Do we presently live in an enlightened age?" the answer is, "No, but we do live in an age of enlightenment." As matters now stand, a great deal is still lacking in order for men as a whole to be, or even to put themselves into a position to be able without external guidance to apply understanding confidently to religious issues. But we do have clear indications that the way is now being opened for men to proceed freely in this direction and that the obstacles to general enlightenment--to their release from their self-imposed immaturity--are gradually diminishing. In this regard, this age is the age of enlightenment, the century of Frederick.

    A prince who does not find it beneath him to say that he takes it to be his duty to prescribe nothing, but rather to allow men complete freedom in religious matters--who thereby renounces the arrogant title of tolerance--is himself enlightened and deserves to be praised by a grateful present and by posterity as the first, at least where the government is concerned, to release the human race from immaturity and to leave everyone free to use his own reason in all matters of conscience. Under his rule, venerable pastors, in their role as scholars and without prejudice to their official duties, may freely and openly set out for the world's scrutiny their judgments and views, even where these occasionally differ from the accepted symbol. Still greater freedom is afforded to those who are not restricted by an official post. This spirit of freedom is expanding even where it must struggle against the external obstacles of governments that misunderstand their own function. Such governments are illuminated by the example that the existence of freedom need not give cause for the least concern regarding public order and harmony in the commonwealth. If only they refrain from inventing artifices to keep themselves in it, men will gradually raise themselves from barbarism.

    I have focused on religious matters in setting out my main point concerning enlightenment, i.e., man's emergence from self-imposed immaturity, first because our rulers have no interest in assuming the role of their subjects' guardians with respect to the arts and sciences, and secondly because that form of immaturity is both the most pernicious and disgraceful of all. But the manner of thinking of a head of state who favors religious enlightenment goes even further, for he realizes that there is no danger to his legislation in allowing his subjects to use reason publicly and to set before the world their thoughts concerning better formulations of his laws, even if this involves frank criticism of legislation currently in effect. We have before us a shining example, with respect to which no monarch surpasses the one whom we honor.

    But only a ruler who is himself enlightened and has no dread of shadows, yet who likewise has a well-disciplined, numerous army to guarantee public peace, can say what no republic may dare, namely: "Argue as much as you want and about what you want, but obey!" Here as elsewhere, when things are considered in broad perspective, a strange, unexpected pattern in human affairs reveals itself, one in which almost everything is paradoxical. A greater degree of civil freedom seems advantageous to a people's spiritual freedom; yet the former established impassable boundaries for the latter; conversely, a lesser degree of civil freedom provides enough room for all fully to expand their abilities. Thus, once nature has removed the hard shell from this kernel for which she has most fondly cared, namely, the inclination to and vocation for free thinking, the kernel gradually reacts on a people's mentality (whereby they become increasingly able to act freely), and it finally even influences the principles of government, which finds that it can profit by treating men, who are now more than machines, in accord with their dignity.

    I. Kant
    Konigsberg in Prussia, 30 September 1784
    Source: http://www.english.upenn.edu/~mgamer/Etexts/kant.html

    Original German text can be found here: http://www.prometheusonline.de/heure...ufklaerung.htm

  2. #2
    Senior Member velvet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Last Online
    13 Minutes Ago @ 07:05 PM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    German
    Ancestry
    Northern Germany
    Subrace
    Faelid
    Country
    Germany Germany
    State
    North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
    Gender
    Age
    45
    Zodiac Sign
    Sagittarius
    Family
    Married
    Occupation
    Pestilent Supremacy
    Politics
    Blut und Boden
    Religion
    Fimbulwinter
    Posts
    4,863
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1,138
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1,248
    Thanked in
    528 Posts
    But isnt Enlightenment then, consequently, a development to atheism?

    Thus, it is difficult for any individual man to work himself out of the immaturity that has all but become his nature. He has even become fond of this state and for the time being is actually incapable of using his own understanding, for no one has ever allowed him to attempt it. Rules and formulas, those mechanical aids to the rational use, or rather misuse, of his natural gifts, are the shackles of a permanent immaturity. Whoever threw them off would still make only an uncertain leap over the smallest ditch, since he is unaccustomed to this kind of free movement. Consequently, only a few have succeeded, by cultivating their own minds, in freeing themselves from immaturity and pursuing a secure course.
    When immaturity is the dependence on a god, a leader or whatever, then independence, stemming from the free spirit of a matured individual, must be consequently the 'becoming your own god', in order that you're the master and at the same time led by yourself only. When this, the leader and the led one, are fully reconciled and integrated, man is his own god.

    As such, isnt Enlightenment then by its very nature "Satanic"?
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
    Aller Sturm nimmt nichts, weil dein Wurzelgriff zu stark ist
    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

    my signature

  3. #3
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member


    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    Germanic
    Gender
    Posts
    837
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    67
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    99
    Thanked in
    39 Posts
    Enlightenment can lead to atheism, but not necassarily I think. It's a rather recent development that religion and reason are considered opposed to eachother. For many people (whether they were christian or pagan) religion and reasoning went hand in hand and many people in history who can be considered "enlightened individuals" were religious. Kant himself even believed in God.
    In the first chapter of der Mythus des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts Rosenberg praises the "heretic" movements of the middle ages as expressions of the nordic soul, a soul which loves freedom and development of thought and character, yet these movements were all religious movements. I would rather say that this is what characterizes Enlightenment: progress through the rising individual, the individual that dares to explore new grounds. This can indeed lead to atheism, but also to new interpretations of religion and of God(s).

  4. #4
    Senior Member velvet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Last Online
    13 Minutes Ago @ 07:05 PM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    German
    Ancestry
    Northern Germany
    Subrace
    Faelid
    Country
    Germany Germany
    State
    North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
    Gender
    Age
    45
    Zodiac Sign
    Sagittarius
    Family
    Married
    Occupation
    Pestilent Supremacy
    Politics
    Blut und Boden
    Religion
    Fimbulwinter
    Posts
    4,863
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1,138
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1,248
    Thanked in
    528 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard
    Enlightenment can lead to atheism, but not necassarily I think. It's a rather recent development that religion and reason are considered opposed to eachother. For many people (whether they were christian or pagan) religion and reasoning went hand in hand
    At this point it must again be pointed out that our ancestors did not have a religion, they didnt even have a word for their faith. They had a faith and they had gods, but the term religion can only be applied to the three Abrahamic religions, with some limitations maybe also to Hinduism.

    And the character of religion is not only to define the object of worship that comes also with a defined world view, but also the method of worship with a lot of strict rules, whose goal it is to prevent questioning the object of worship or its world view.

    Insofar religion is by its very nature a contradiction to reason, and consequently, any reasoning that appeared throughout history, happened despite / against the religion. It might be that many people who did this didnt even realise the contradiction or the limits religion sets to reasoning, this doesnt change the truth though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard
    and many people in history who can be considered "enlightened individuals" were religious. Kant himself even believed in God.
    Indeed, this is evident in the text above. But it is inconsequent, and the further the way is gone, the greater the contradiction becomes. Kant, and many others, ignored this though and then went into lengthy explanations how to reconcile the immanent contradictions, only to end up again in 'religion', and not in 'reasoning'.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard
    In the first chapter of der Mythus des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts Rosenberg praises the "heretic" movements of the middle ages as expressions of the nordic soul, a soul which loves freedom and development of thought and character, yet these movements were all religious movements.
    And they were hammered back into the expected shape by religion, which does not really allow for development of thought, let alone freedom. Religion, as said, also defines the world view and the method of worship, which consequently hammers life itself into shape of this definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard
    I would rather say that this is what characterizes Enlightenment: progress through the rising individual, the individual that dares to explore new grounds. This can indeed lead to atheism, but also to new interpretations of religion and of God(s).
    When you only have gods, then yes. You can attribute new characteristics to their interpretation, and since the world view isnt defined by gods (only accompanied by them), the world view is allowed to change as well, individuals are allowed to change and grow, gather new knowledge etc.

    When you reinterprete religion, you either end up with a new religion, or with no religion at all, because religion is a package of world view, a god (it basically requires monotheism, hence the questionmark to Hinduism as "religion", although Hinduism has become very stiff and inflexible, but this might be due to them being influenced and changed dramatically by Islamic occupation and then christian occupation, anyway), and the method of worship, which includes rules that define "life" or the limits of life (aka moral), and the world view includes "unquestionable truths". This sets limits to the exploring spirit, already before the spirit makes its first step into exploration. When you transgress these limits or question unquestionable truths, you either get a new religion that redefines these limits with other details but keeps the god, or you throw off the shackles of religion (world view / method of worship) alltogether, and when you do, you also (if this step is made consequent) dont have any more use for the object of worship, ie the god.
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
    Aller Sturm nimmt nichts, weil dein Wurzelgriff zu stark ist
    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

    my signature

  5. #5
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member


    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    Germanic
    Gender
    Posts
    837
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    67
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    99
    Thanked in
    39 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by velvet
    At this point it must again be pointed out that our ancestors did not have a religion, they didnt even have a word for their faith. They had a faith and they had gods, but the term religion can only be applied to the three Abrahamic religions, with some limitations maybe also to Hinduism.
    I consider the faith of the pre-Christian Germanics a religion as well. Maybe it was harder to define what was religion and what was not, since the entire society and life were permeated by it, but this is also the case with medieval Christianity and present day Islam. When I think of religion, I think of religare or the re-uniting [with the divine]. If I understand it correctly your definition of religion is faith based on dogma. And I agree that Enlightenment in the way Kant put it is indeed hostile to (extreme) dogmatism, but enlightenment (or reasoning) can go hand in hand with recognition of the divine and an implied relationship between man and the divine (i.e. worship).
    So if we consider religion as something inherently dogmatic, than yes, enlightenment is anti-religous. But this doesn't mean that enlightenment is atheist, which was your original claim. And when an enlightened individual can recognize the divine and man's relation to the divine, than he can also recognize worship, the way of re-uniting oneself with the divine, or religare: religion.

  6. #6
    Senior Member velvet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Last Online
    13 Minutes Ago @ 07:05 PM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    German
    Ancestry
    Northern Germany
    Subrace
    Faelid
    Country
    Germany Germany
    State
    North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
    Gender
    Age
    45
    Zodiac Sign
    Sagittarius
    Family
    Married
    Occupation
    Pestilent Supremacy
    Politics
    Blut und Boden
    Religion
    Fimbulwinter
    Posts
    4,863
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1,138
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1,248
    Thanked in
    528 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard
    I consider the faith of the pre-Christian Germanics a religion as well. Maybe it was harder to define what was religion and what was not, since the entire society and life were permeated by it, but this is also the case with medieval Christianity and present day Islam.
    Well, for the people where these originated, yes, as it is part of their ethnogenesis. That our life was permeated by religious dogma is already the result of cutting out the "cult" from "culture" and replacing it with an alien element (this is the basic fault of "universal" religions, since the result for all, not only for us, converted folks is that their culture is already destroyed, cut to pieces and parts of these pieces are replaced by something alien and the whole becomes a Frankenstein thingy). I believe that "cult" and "culture" are inseperable, they are the same. But this goes off topic here, just to point this out where I stand on that matter.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard
    When I think of religion, I think of religare or the re-uniting [with the divine]. If I understand it correctly your definition of religion is faith based on dogma. And I agree that Enlightenment in the way Kant put it is indeed hostile to (extreme) dogmatism, but enlightenment (or reasoning) can go hand in hand with recognition of the divine and an implied relationship between man and the divine (i.e. worship).
    And this also is a dogma. I dont think that "worship" is a central part of the divine-human relation. In fact, I consider "worship" rather a factor that destroys the divine-human relation.

    Der Gott, der Eisen wachsen ließ, der wollte keine Knechte

    I think to remember that early Germanics did not have temples, or buildings in general where they locked in the gods (Hinter Mauern aus Stein lebt kein Gott). Temples became fashion only with expanding contact to Romans (namely the oldest known(? I think) temple of Nehelennia, from around the 1st century. Also all the later temples might be already a reaction to expanded contact with christians.

    I believe that the original relation between our gods and humans is rather of a mutually caring nature. We put out food for the spirits in winter (like people today still feed the birds - Odin's ravens!), we offer them their share of feasts, we even invite our gods and ancestors to come into our world again during certain times (Samhain) and so on. We had "holy sites", but they were way more important for energy lines (leylines) than for specific gods. There also was not only one Irminsul for example, holy woods you can find throughout the Germanic world en masse. They were considered the living space of elves and volven, but they were not places of worship originally. This, I believe, is already a great corruption of our original relation to our gods.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bernhard
    So if we consider religion as something inherently dogmatic, than yes, enlightenment is anti-religous. But this doesn't mean that enlightenment is atheist, which was your original claim. And when an enlightened individual can recognize the divine and man's relation to the divine, than he can also recognize worship, the way of re-uniting oneself with the divine, or religare: religion.
    Well, as I tried to imply, maybe not explicite enough since you missed the point; I said: when you only have gods, then they can evolve with the human enlightenment, as they dont claim a certain place or position.

    When, on the other hand, a god (like the christian) claims a certain position in the order of things, then it is indeed consequent, when you enlighten yourself to the point where you dont require the leader-god anymore, to become "atheist" to this specific god, as this god sets limits to the enlightenment. This is also the reason why my profile (I admit, a little provocative) still states Heathen Atheist. I'm Heathen, I know the gods are out there somewhere, and when I call them, they answer. But 'knowing' and 'believing' are two entirely different things. I dont believe. I dont worship. I try to honour them. But this really is complete different from what the (very christian) definition of religion (and I realise that there are even quite a lot of those) is and expects.

    And I also doubt somehow that such a god like the christian god functions without his dogma and the religious construct. Take this all away from this god and there is no reason whatsoever left to 'worship' this god (which is very central to the christian god), in fact, without all its fancy stuff around it, it even ceases to be a god. When you manage to grow so far out of 'the religion' in the process of your enlightenment while keeping the "divine kernell", the god you end up believing in is very much a different one from that god that is part of the religion you left behind.

    From the view point of the religion you then have become a-theist, because you dont worship the god in the expected manner anymore, and christianity, I might remind, fought countless wars over the "proper way of worship", because it really is viewed as an inseperable whole of the "object of worship and the method of worship". When you change the method, you also change the object.


    Hm, hope that makes sense somehow, because I feel that this is really hard to wrap into proper words...
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
    Aller Sturm nimmt nichts, weil dein Wurzelgriff zu stark ist
    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

    my signature

  7. #7
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member


    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Ethnicity
    Germanic
    Gender
    Posts
    837
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    67
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    99
    Thanked in
    39 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by velvet View Post

    And this also is a dogma. I dont think that "worship" is a central part of the divine-human relation. In fact, I consider "worship" rather a factor that destroys the divine-human relation.

    Der Gott, der Eisen wachsen ließ, der wollte keine Knechte
    Whether worship is part of that the divine-human relationship or not, depends on how one views the divine. Like modern-day Christians our pagan ancestors were convinced of the existence of Gods and the way they acted upon the kosmos. They were convinced that worship and sacrifice was benifical to one’s life. The Gods were viewed as real as anything else. Adhering to this view does not have to be dogmatic in the anti-Enlightenment kind of way. Just because something is seen as the truth, doesn’t mean it’s anti-enlightenment. The conception of the divine –human relationship as of “mutually caring nature” can be just as dogmatic.

    Quote Originally Posted by velvet View Post

    I think to remember that early Germanics did not have temples, or buildings in general where they locked in the gods (Hinter Mauern aus Stein lebt kein Gott). Temples became fashion only with expanding contact to Romans (namely the oldest known(? I think) temple of Nehelennia, from around the 1st century. Also all the later temples might be already a reaction to expanded contact with christians.

    I believe that the original relation between our gods and humans is rather of a mutually caring nature. We put out food for the spirits in winter (like people today still feed the birds - Odin's ravens!), we offer them their share of feasts, we even invite our gods and ancestors to come into our world again during certain times (Samhain) and so on. We had "holy sites", but they were way more important for energy lines (leylines) than for specific gods. There also was not only one Irminsul for example, holy woods you can find throughout the Germanic world en masse. They were considered the living space of elves and volven, but they were not places of worship originally. This, I believe, is already a great corruption of our original relation to our gods.
    Personally I consider the temples vs holy sites debate more of a cultural thing. They both had the same function and Germanics in the Roman empire easily adopted the temples as places of worship. Think of the Germanic cult of the Matrones in the Rhineland for example. In ancient Germanic society there were many holy sites which served the same purpose as the Roman temples: to imitate the kosmos. Many holy sites were surrounded by twelve poles representing the 12 divine pairs. That which was holy was within these poles. That these sites did not have a roof on top of them doesn’t make them very different essentially.

    Quote Originally Posted by velvet
    Well, as I tried to imply, maybe not explicite enough since you missed the point; I said: when you only have gods, then they can evolve with the human enlightenment, as they dont claim a certain place or position.
    But the idea that gods can evolve is already a theological theory. Why can’t someone in the process of enlightening himself come to the conclusion that Gods don’t evolve and therefor are superior to human beings and that their position is above humans? And that worship is a way to rise to the divine realm? An enlightened society surely allows individuals to form theological theories like this despite what others think?

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: Wednesday, December 8th, 2010, 05:03 PM
  2. The Tremendous Impact of Immanuel Kant
    By SuuT in forum Modern
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Thursday, May 29th, 2008, 05:45 PM
  3. Classify Immanuel Kant
    By OdinThor in forum Anthropological Taxonomy
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Tuesday, November 28th, 2006, 10:08 PM
  4. Immanuel Kant: Life/The Complete Works
    By friedrich braun in forum Modern
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Monday, April 17th, 2006, 02:30 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •