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Thread: The Battle For The Word Pagan

  1. #11
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    'When I use a word', Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'
    'The question is', said Alice, 'wether you can make words mean different things.'
    What Alice might also have asked was whether communication is possible if we all use words in different senses. The problem with the word "pagan" is that it has become a victim of what Margot Adler called "The most authentic and hallowed Wiccan tradition … stealing from any source that didn’t run away too fast." The convention of
    "Pagan" = Isaac Bonewits's "neopagan"
    "pagan" = primal religion
    is really too esoteric to be practicable.

    It doesn't seem to be a problem in other European languages, but I think sorting this out is a lost cause in English. I used to call myself an Hellenic Pagan, but I now use Hellenic Polytheist.

    The one thing that all dictionaries and reference books agree on is that paganism is a religion. If you tell people that you are a pagan they will assume that's your religion, so saying it when you're actually an atheist is compounding confusion!

  2. #12
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
    The one thing that all dictionaries and reference books agree on is that paganism is a religion. If you tell people that you are a pagan they will assume that's your religion, so saying it when you're actually an atheist is compounding confusion!
    From the Oxford Dictionary: "Paganism: A religion other than one of the main world religions, specifically a non-Christian or pre-Christian religion."

    So we are still on an umbrella term, and an atheist can be religious, so the confusion is not to blame on the usage of the term but in the assumption that paganism is a specific religion, which is not.

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  3. #13
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    I view paganism as a term much like witch, if you say you're one, you are one!

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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanRave View Post
    From the Oxford Dictionary: "Paganism: A religion other than one of the main world religions, specifically a non-Christian or pre-Christian religion."
    So we are still on an umbrella term, and an atheist can be religious, so the confusion is not to blame on the usage of the term but in the assumption that paganism is a specific religion, which is not.
    Not quite as "umbrella" as one might think, surely. After all, the pagan "religions" in the OED sense basically differ in their pantheons rather than in their underlying assumptions. That's why the languages of those that practice them have no word for religion. I remember the question being asked in a Hindu forum "Are we pagan?" The American members (thinking "Pagan") mostly said "It depends on what you mean by pagan" while the Indians (thinking "pagan") mostly said "Of course we are". The point made was that being a Hindu would not preclude worshiping in a Shinto shrine in the way that being a Muslim would preclude attending a Christian church.

    As for atheists being religious, how would they set about doing it?

  5. #15
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
    Not quite as "umbrella" as one might think, surely. After all, the pagan "religions" in the OED sense basically differ in their pantheons rather than in their underlying assumptions. That's why the languages of those that practice them have no word for religion. I remember the question being asked in a Hindu forum "Are we pagan?" The American members (thinking "Pagan") mostly said "It depends on what you mean by pagan" while the Indians (thinking "pagan") mostly said "Of course we are". The point made was that being a Hindu would not preclude worshiping in a Shinto shrine in the way that being a Muslim would preclude attending a Christian church.

    As for atheists being religious, how would they set about doing it?
    I still don't get the difference between Pagan and pagan, for there is no written consensus anywhere to be found for me they are the one and the same, as per the Oxford dictionary, which is in some way a consensus.

    As for atheist religiousness, look at LaVeyan Satanism or any other archetypal atheism.

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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanRave View Post
    I still don't get the difference between Pagan and pagan, for there is no written consensus anywhere to be found for me they are the one and the same, as per the Oxford dictionary, which is in some way a consensus.
    As for atheist religiousness, look at LaVeyan Satanism or any other archetypal atheism.
    The "Pagan / pagan" distinction is very much confined to the sort of person who hangs out in places like this, I think!

    As for LaVeyan Satanism being a religion, this is really adopting the practice of some sociologists of re-using the word "religion" to mean "world-view". They then define Marxism as a religion, which infuriates Marxists as they would say it demeans their philosophy. But sociologists have always been the arch-Humpty-Dumpty-ists. I don't know what LaVeyans do, as opposed to say, but is it anything that a Hindu or Muslim would recognise as religion?
    Last edited by DavidMcCann; 24 Aug 2018 at 08:26.

  7. #17
    Jr. Member WyvernWorship's Avatar
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    OK. I have reviewed what you have posted on your website over the past few years and am ready to define the word Pagan (again not for this forum but for *global* consideration in all languages).

    START DEFINITION

    Pagans are quinto-polarists who have derived their view of the universe from the five elements of Nature.

    Non-Pagans are those that reject the above sentence and try to introduce their own single-sentence to define Paganism using ideas and constructs foreign to us Pagans.

    Any person can label themselves as Pagan/pagan as long as they do not do what is mentioned in the second sentence.

    Pagans are not anti-technology but are indeed pro-Nature.

    The word PAGAN does not have 5 letters by accident but is actually an acronym in Ancient Greek for the five elements of Nature when listed in the order of Earth, Fire, Air, Ether, and Water. This is illustrated below:

    Petra - Rock/Earth
    Aithos - Fire
    Gon/Gen (with hard 'g') - Air/Gas
    Aither - Ether
    Nero - Water

    Most of these should be obvious to the modern Greek, but the elements of Fire and Air need further clarification.

    Among the evidences that Aithos meant fire in Ancient Greek is that it means "to burn" in contemporary language and that the Ancient Greeks named the country Ethiopia (originally spelled Aethiopia) after the element of Fire because of the extremely active volcanic crater Erta Ale.

    As for Gon/Gen, then Ancient Greeks felt that clean air was made of several individual components, among which were:

    Nitrogen
    Oxygen
    Hydrogen
    Argon

    It is obvious from the endings of these words that a root used to exist in Proto-Indo-European (PIE) beginning with a hard 'g' and ending with an 'n'. This was most probably 'Gen' with a hard 'g' and definitely meant gas/air.

    The reason this word has changed in modern Greek is due to people altering their speech to match words being used by their conquerers (i.e. the Christian Romans).

    Finally, we will explain why we must pronounce 'Gen' with a hard 'g' instead of a soft 'g'. This will require a long explanation. Originally in ancient-ancient Greek, each letter had a one-one correspondence between its symbol and sound. This is because the Ancient Greeks were language purists who believe in this concept. A corruption of this idea was first introduced into Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language). This corruption was called Sandhi/Euphonics. The introduction of Sandhi totally destroyed Sanksrit and caused it to break into Prakrits, which are dialects. These dialects were used by Indian Aryan invaders who tried to conquer Europe. These conquerers were eventually successful in introducing their Prakrits into Europe. These Prakrits had the rule of the soft 'g' and the hard 'g' depending on surrounding letters that you know about. This perversion eventually made it into Greek after its final Pagan Scholars were forced to flee to Morocco after the Christian Roman invasion. In short, ancient-ancient Greek *always* used a hard 'g'.

    END DEFINITION

    So if you want to disassociate the name of our religion, 'Pagan', from Nature, you're running out of reasons and ways to justify that.

    If you still do not agree that Paganism is somehow linked to Nature/Wilderness, then you face the consequences of our 9th dimensional Underworld Nature-creating Wyvern-god Takha-Kratom (which means in Wyvernian "The Highest Warrior") of whom our Pagan Scholars have informed us.

    He does not demand our worship or that we recognize Him as existent - but you gotta realize at some point why he's called "The Highest Warrior" - and why a person like me can stay safe in today's non-Pagan-friendly world.
    Last edited by WyvernWorship; 24 Aug 2018 at 11:53.

  8. #18
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    Holy hell what. From WHERE IN THE WORLD did you get all of this?

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  9. #19
    Sr. Member faye_cat's Avatar
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    So....do only ancient Greeks get the right to call themselves P(p)agan? Also, since the Celts (mainly Druids) consider there to be only 3 elements, how that does affect your definition?
    “I am Cat and I walk alone and all ways are the same to me.” ~Rudyard Kipling, The Cat Who Walks By Himself

  10. #20
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    Spiffy...

    How ya gonna fit that on the recruitment posters?
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