View Poll Results: Polytheism vs Monotheism?

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Thread: Monotheism vs Polytheism

  1. #21
    Sees all, knows all Chlodovech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thornwight
    I've heard of Christians adopting Kabbalah, yet I've never met one who actually practiced it.
    I don't think that still happens but who knows, Christian scholars were historically interested in it and Jews instructed them. A few Jews still practice it but only in secret - and they also keep it a secret for each other. Kabbalahists have been discredited after failing to predict the arrival of the messiah, promoting the wrong one instead - half a millenium ago - and hence the whole business has been frowned upon by Jews themselves for quite some time now. Yet until the 20th century there was still a big group of practitioners.

    Much of Christianity relies exclusively on faith in Christ, and trusting in God's plan, so they are in many ways opposed to magic, which is typically using your own abilities to change the future in some way.
    Yes, but that doesn't exclude the possibility of magic, although it depends on your definition of magic. Transubstantion for instance still requires the actions of a priest as well. And saint Oda was a full blown witch - she supposedly changed a man into a rock once.
    "If we were going to stand in darkness, best we stand in a darkness we had made ourselves.” ― Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet

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  3. #22
    Member ThornWight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    Yes, but that doesn't exclude the possibility of magic, although it depends on your definition of magic. Transubstantion for instance still requires the actions of a priest as well. And saint Oda was a full blown witch - she supposedly changed a man into a rock once.
    Much of magic within Christianity would be miracles. I know of Saints praying for x to happen and when the odds were impossible it happened for instance. Thats not quite what I consider magic to be. In Medieval times people considered blacksmithing to be magic, since it is technically alchemy and transforming a lump of steel into a well crafted weapon was mysterious and seemed like magic to many commonfolk. Blacksmithing, knowing the medicinal herbs, and the philosophies leading to modern science were essentially just traditional knowledge passed down genetically. Even the laws of causality were codified in ancient religions, such as Dharma for Hindu, and wyrd for the Saxons. Not to say that it was entirely about material laws, the metaphysical was just a deeper layer of reality and much of magic was simply about understanding things at a higher level than simple eyes could perceive.

    Christianity has miracles, but these occur at the discretion of Yahweh. It doesn't really leave a means for a person to carve out their own destiny in some way. Most of Monotheism seems like this to me, everything is the will of a god so fate is predetermined. Also the lineage for traditional knowledge to be passed down is typically blurred because of the Universalist trappings of them. This is probably the main reason people have been leaving the Church when you boil it down to its simplest terms.

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  5. #23
    Sees all, knows all Chlodovech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thornwight
    Christianity has miracles, but these occur at the discretion of Yahweh. It doesn't really leave a means for a person to carve out their own destiny in some way.
    For me this distinction is non-existent. Magicians relying on spirits or rather demons to do their bidding is the norm. From ancient Egypt to king Solomon to Aleister Crowley and Jack Parsons. There may very well be no other forms of magic at all. Using your own abilities isn't a thing, you do not produce the magic yourself, which you seem to think of as crucial to be able to speak of magic. The involvement of an independent power/entity from an invisible realm seems pretty much to be a necessity for real magic to occur. Why would magic be only magic when it's the magic of the left hand path? All of magic is a miracle.

    In Medieval times people considered blacksmithing to be magic, since it is technically alchemy and transforming a lump of steel into a well crafted weapon was mysterious and seemed like magic to many commonfolk.
    But that isn't magic. It's not more magic than cable TV is. To the most primitive people on this planet that would be bonafide magic.

    Also the lineage for traditional knowledge to be passed down is typically blurred because of the Universalist trappings of them. This is probably the main reason people have been leaving the Church when you boil it down to its simplest terms.
    I think it hardly matters: scientism, two horrible world wars, the increase in comfort, Christianity becoming a caricature of itself & Vatican II plus treasonous or otherwise faithless clergy members seem to be the reason for Christianity's decline in the West. You're not going to convince people of the reality of magic anyhow, universalist aspirations or not. Magic is at odds with the dominant narrative, whether you stay true to the earliest traditions or you don't. Westerners find traditional knowledge even more stupid than Christianity.
    "If we were going to stand in darkness, best we stand in a darkness we had made ourselves.” ― Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    For me this distinction is non-existent. Magicians relying on spirits or rather demons to do their bidding is the norm. From ancient Egypt to king Solomon to Aleister Crowley and Jack Parsons. There may very well be no other forms of magic at all. Using your own abilities isn't a thing, you do not produce the magic yourself, which you seem to think of as crucial to be able to speak of magic. The involvement of an independent power/entity from an invisible realm seems pretty much to be a necessity for real magic to occur. Why would magic be only magic when it's the magic of the left hand path? All of magic is a miracle.
    This is one method, but how do you think spirits perform these feats? There is an ethereal realm which spirits have access to, however we also have spirits. Most of us are not as developed as a being that lives there, but nothing a spirit does (save for god-tier spirits) is beyond the capabilities of a human. Mostly spirits are used for their knowledge of this world.

    But that isn't magic. It's not more magic than cable TV is. To the most primitive people on this planet that would be bonafide magic.
    You must have never tried bladesmithing before

    I think it hardly matters: scientism, two horrible world wars, the increase in comfort, Christianity becoming a caricature of itself & Vatican II plus treasonous or otherwise faithless clergy members seem to be the reason for Christianity's decline in the West. You're not going to convince people of the reality of magic anyhow, universalist aspirations or not. Magic is at odds with the dominant narrative, whether you stay true to the earliest traditions or you don't. Westerners find traditional knowledge even more stupid than Christianity.
    Christianity's declined started around the time of the Renaissance. The original divergence doesn't so much matter to me as the current reality. The majority of people in the industrial world are Secular (often by means of excessive propaganda) and increasingly Pagan. I am just saying these two systems at least provide a magical system, which I had already defined as a way of describing the mechanics of the universe. It is at odds with the current narrative for a reason. I have no interests in conforming to a self-destructive narrative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThornWight View Post
    Christianity's declined started around the time of the Renaissance. The original divergence doesn't so much matter to me as the current reality. The majority of people in the industrial world are Secular (often by means of excessive propaganda) and increasingly Pagan. I am just saying these two systems at least provide a magical system, which I had already defined as a way of describing the mechanics of the universe. It is at odds with the current narrative for a reason. I have no interests in conforming to a self-destructive narrative.
    In what way are people increasingly Pagan? I know there are terrible narratives out their from alt-lite Christians that equate increasing hedonism with Paganism (as if all Paganism is like a Dionysian cult), but I'm sure you're not making that comparison.

    Also could you further elucidate your point regarding the magical way of defining the mechanics of the universe? I'm not really following your intent; I don't understand why a primitive understanding of now well-understood scientific phenomena is beneficial. Anything comparable to the blacksmith analogy was never magical. It is certainly artistic, but never magical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leRoux View Post
    In what way are people increasingly Pagan? I know there are terrible narratives out their from alt-lite Christians that equate increasing hedonism with Paganism (as if all Paganism is like a Dionysian cult), but I'm sure you're not making that comparison.
    The younger generation tends to turn more to Paganism, often as a direct result of Secular propaganda, but occasionally from some contrarian reaction to Christian propaganda. The last Baptist church I went to made a point to criticize "new religions" a lot because of this. A lot of them have very limited or skewed views of these religions since they are looking at it only from a modern lens, however they will still claim it.

    Also could you further elucidate your point regarding the magical way of defining the mechanics of the universe? I'm not really following your intent; I don't understand why a primitive understanding of now well-understood scientific phenomena is beneficial. Anything comparable to the blacksmith analogy was never magical. It is certainly artistic, but never magical.
    Yes, blacksmithing is magical by classical definition. I'd also argue that for all intents and purposes, much of science is also "magic" to the vast majority of people on earth. By definition a system of describing the mechanics of the universe means a series of technical knowledge for a small group of people. In the past it was mostly associated with mystery, largely because commoners would not, and should not know all of these things (for a good reason btw), that does not mean that magic necessitates mystery. That was just how it worked socially.

  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by leRoux View Post
    In what way are people increasingly Pagan?
    Where numbers and officially recognised faiths are registered (Denmark, Iceland, the Baltic nations f.e.) paganism is the fastest growing faith. Even though Germany does not recognise paganism/Odinism/Asatru, I'd assume the same trend. People leave the churches in droves, and many young seek a faith that's more fitting to their world view (no, not hedonism, but the difference in promoted values: stength, perseverance, courage, honour, Volk etc).

    I don't understand why a primitive understanding of now well-understood scientific phenomena is beneficial. Anything comparable to the blacksmith analogy was never magical. It is certainly artistic, but never magical.
    While I wouldnt necessarily agree to the equation of blacksmithing to magic, art in general was indeed linked to "magic". Now it's a matter of taste maybe to seperate this into mere craftmanship and "magic". The first one who ever smithed a tool from a clump of iron certainly was ascribed some kind of "higher powers" to his skills by the people watching this magic unfold. It's not just hammering something into form, the material also changes. When people today hear the word alchemy, it's 'booh superstition', but all the chemical science of today bases in that ancient old research into the materials, chemical elements and how they react to various ways of treatment, like heating, cooling, pouring acid upon it, whatever. And then these modern alchemists come up with supraconductors that makes trains "fly". So where does "magic" end and "science" begin? Same with "astrology". In all of recorded history kings had astrologers in their court. Then someone said, astrology is "new age nonsense", we now call it astronomy and it's a science. Looking to the stars for guidance and context however was the birth place of this science.

    And re the "primitive", we have unlearned, between all this "well understood scientific phenomena", to revere the world with a tiny bit more "awe". It wouldnt be a bad idea to re-instill the ability to perceive the world with awe into the culture and the people. It may be a "romantic" desire, but it ties in with the developing consciousness of the uniqueness of Volk/Culture, actually, which is driving people in droves to paganism.
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  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by velvet View Post
    Where numbers and officially recognised faiths are registered (Denmark, Iceland, the Baltic nations f.e.) paganism is the fastest growing faith. Even though Germany does not recognise paganism/Odinism/Asatru, I'd assume the same trend. People leave the churches in droves, and many young seek a faith that's more fitting to their world view (no, not hedonism, but the difference in promoted values: stength, perseverance, courage, honour, Volk etc).
    I hope this is true. In my own experience outside of the internet community, most people I've met with an interest in Paganism were mostly the new-age type people.

    While I wouldnt necessarily agree to the equation of blacksmithing to magic, art in general was indeed linked to "magic". Now it's a matter of taste maybe to seperate this into mere craftmanship and "magic". The first one who ever smithed a tool from a clump of iron certainly was ascribed some kind of "higher powers" to his skills by the people watching this magic unfold. It's not just hammering something into form, the material also changes. When people today hear the word alchemy, it's 'booh superstition', but all the chemical science of today bases in that ancient old research into the materials, chemical elements and how they react to various ways of treatment, like heating, cooling, pouring acid upon it, whatever. And then these modern alchemists come up with supraconductors that makes trains "fly". So where does "magic" end and "science" begin? Same with "astrology". In all of recorded history kings had astrologers in their court. Then someone said, astrology is "new age nonsense", we now call it astronomy and it's a science. Looking to the stars for guidance and context however was the birth place of this science.

    And re the "primitive", we have unlearned, between all this "well understood scientific phenomena", to revere the world with a tiny bit more "awe". It wouldnt be a bad idea to re-instill the ability to perceive the world with awe into the culture and the people. It may be a "romantic" desire, but it ties in with the developing consciousness of the uniqueness of Volk/Culture, actually, which is driving people in droves to paganism.
    I don't disagree with this and I don't want to argue over semantics.

    ThornWight, I am just not following the philosophy behind the statements about magic/modern-science -> abandoning Christianity and magic = bladesmithing. I don't think the growth of scientific progress fundamentally has much to do the dying of Christian denominations nor do I see how the idea of an artisanal craft being a somewhat magical experience when performed correctly is mutually exclusive with Christianity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leRoux View Post
    I am just not following the philosophy behind the statements about magic/modern-science -> abandoning Christianity and magic = bladesmithing. I don't think the growth of scientific progress fundamentally has much to do the dying of Christian denominations nor do I see how the idea of an artisanal craft being a somewhat magical experience when performed correctly is mutually exclusive with Christianity.
    I already explained it. Do you want me to repeat myself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThornWight View Post
    I already explained it. Do you want me to repeat myself?
    Well, you just made some statements with qualifiers like "not what I consider" but lacking proper justification. I find statements like the below interesting and would be curious to discuss them, but lacking depth that's kind of difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThornWight View Post
    [...] philosophies leading to modern science were essentially just traditional knowledge passed down genetically.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThornWight View Post
    [...] the lineage for traditional knowledge to be passed down is typically blurred because of the Universalist trappings of them. This is probably the main reason people have been leaving the Church when you boil it down to its simplest terms.
    So yes, I'd like you to elaborate and qualify these statements better.

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