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Thread: Are Most Modern Day Heathens Atheists?

  1. #11
    Member Johan the Blind's Avatar
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    Regarding the afore-mentioned 'your humble servant' and 'forgive me, master' sentiments, I wonder if those aren't largely a by-product of the feudal system of the Middle Ages when the Church was in a full court press on the world. Those sorts of forms of address- and the whole 'master/servant' relationship and attitude thing- were in full swing in those times and it would only be natural that they would extend into the extensive hierarchy of the Church as well as the later Protestant developments.

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  3. #12
    Senior Member Rodulf's Avatar
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    Those of us that are Asatruar would tend to not worry about the next life so much as living with honor in this one. Extreme levels of mystical whackiness has never been a characteristic of Germanic Heathenism. I know of atheists that also identify as Asatru, it's not a contradiction. Even though some Heathens take the Eddas as "Holy Scripture" I think most would agree that words in a book have no power or special meaning. Knowledge over faith, deeds over words, strength over weakness...As for our view of the afterlife, our Ancestors were all over the map on this one. This life, lived with honorable action, is important.
    "This World We Cannot Tolerate,
    It's Time To Seal All Preachers Fate,
    And Hang Them All,
    From Odin's Tree!"
    Amon Amarth

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  5. #13
    Senior Member SaxonPagan's Avatar
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    In the strictest literal sense, Pagans cannot be atheists but I've just checked out the definition of this word on Google and it comes back with (among others) "heathen" & "pagan".

    I've often heard Christians referring to non-Christians as 'Pagans' and so looked into this a bit further here

    Paganism has been broadly defined as anyone involved in any religious act, practice, or ceremony which is not Christian. Jews and Muslims also use the term to refer to anyone outside their religion. Others define it as religions outside of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, while some simply define it as being without a religion [ ... ] Most modern-day pagans believe in more than one god, while others are atheistic.
    This is news to me, and now explains what I initially thought was a nonsensical thread title.

    I don't distinguish between Pagans and Heathens. For all practical intents the two words are interchangeable.

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  7. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idis View Post
    By faith I meant more like a general belief in something. I did not want to call it a religion because not everyone considers their set of beliefs a religion. When you say "fate is how things happen and it is cast for you and you should not go against it", do you mean that you believe in some sort of predetermined path that is established for you by the gods, nature, etc.?
    Yes, I believe in a predetermined fate that is cast upon you by nature more so than by the Gods.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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    It's hard to have a discussion about heathenism when all the words you can use are already defined by the christians, at best all you can discuss is christianity! You have to set a "ground zero" like both gods and humans arise at random out of chaos and gods are immortal, humans are not so if a god wants to be worshipped they have to wait their turn! There's not enough humans to go around. Heathenism is the process of finding a god worthy of worship and some gods are very, very greedy!
    This should "spice up" the discussion!

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  11. #16
    Senior Member SaxonPagan's Avatar
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    Yes, I believe in a predetermined fate that is cast upon you by nature more so than by the Gods.
    I used to have a friend (..yes, honestly! ) with whom I once spent a whole evening in the pub discussing the subject of fate.

    He argued that anyone could use this as an alibi for doing the most appalling things, simply by saying they were ‘fated’ to behave that way. However, I don’t think that fate rules out free will and personal responsibility because nobody knows what their fate is and can still act as they choose at any given moment.

    I’ll keep it brief because you can go round in a lot of circles pondering all of this and much of it seems (at least superficially) illogical. Suffice to say, I believe that we all control our own destinies even though we may be on pre-determined paths.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxonPagan View Post
    I used to have a friend (..yes, honestly! ) with whom I once spent a whole evening in the pub discussing the subject of fate.

    He argued that anyone could use this as an alibi for doing the most appalling things, simply by saying they were ‘fated’ to behave that way. However, I don’t think that fate rules out free will and personal responsibility because nobody knows what their fate is and can still act as they choose at any given moment.

    I’ll keep it brief because you can go round in a lot of circles pondering all of this and much of it seems (at least superficially) illogical. Suffice to say, I believe that we all control our own destinies even though we may be on pre-determined paths.
    My understanding of the concept of "Wyrd" or "Orlog" is a blending of sheer chance, luck inherited from past lives and ancestors, and the weaving of the Norns. Wyrd suggests we are active participants, not helpless victims, but at a point, we are destined to die. The information we still have seems to show our ancestors saw Wyrd as something to follow, actively and with courage, and not as an excuse for fatalistic acceptance and submission.
    "This World We Cannot Tolerate,
    It's Time To Seal All Preachers Fate,
    And Hang Them All,
    From Odin's Tree!"
    Amon Amarth

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    Fate is an interesting concept, the Sagas say we are all fated and that includes a "use by date", our appointed time of death (when we hatch from our chrysalis). This is a blessing! Up until this time you are immortal and are free to live life as an immortal but remember, you don't know your fated time of death so think through what you do, it would be a shame to be blessed with "temporary immortality" only to die an idiot!

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    Senior Member velvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxonPagan View Post
    Suffice to say, I believe that we all control our own destinies even though we may be on pre-determined paths.
    This is quite correct. The weaving of Wyrd says exactly that. Past actions and decision start weaving a pattern, or if you will, one's birth, but you can change that pattern and redirect the threads. Not as easily most of the times, but with will and effort it's quite possible. The end-pattern is never finished until the day you bite the dust, and what is not finished, can be altered.

    Urd (wyrd) marks the day coming to life
    Skyld (guilt) is the result of our deeds, counted at the day of death
    Between those two marked days however is Verdandi, the eternal-becoming (also: the never-finalised).

    "Fate" does not refer to death, but in fact to life, what you do, or what you are "destined" to do, by your own wyrd-pattern, by your own choice.

    Cattle dies, and kinsmen die
    I myself shall die
    One thing I know that never dies
    the fame of a dead man's deeds
    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

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