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Thread: Is God really dead?

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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Is God really dead?

    Ok, so this is a jump off of a question I asked in another thread. And I thought I would open it up here. Again, those who know me, know I'm blunt and to the point. Those who don't? I'm an Atheist. And I am very curious about the inner workings of a theistic brain.

    Now to those who were Christians once and now are Pagans:

    Do you acknowledge the existence of the Christian God?
    If so, do you find that it was false information it was giving about being THE ONLY ONE?
    What does your new Pagan religion say in reference to the Christian God, if any?
    Or just in general, what are your thoughts now as a Pagan, to the concept of the Christian God?
    And while I'm at it? Can you in good consious deny the very existence of the Christian God with only human proof of said existence, while accepting the Pagan deity with the same fallible human proof? Do you find that maybe you let the existence of a Christian God slide on by because...Before the grace of you know who...go I? (oh lordy, I just had to ask this question as I was pondering it)But, it's a very valid question if you think about it.

    no disrespect meant in any way.
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    Sr. Member Celtic Tiger's Avatar
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    Re: Is God really dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Do you acknowledge the existence of the Christian God?
    Sure. But one of the reasons that I am here and not on some Christian forum is that my view of "God" is that God is not Christian, and neither was Jesus. That label and the bulk of Christian theology came later.

    So in short, I acknowledge the existence of the Divine Father, who finds expression in different cultures and religions, including, but not limited to Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    If so, do you find that it was false information it was giving about being THE ONLY ONE?
    I suppose that it depends on how you view the notion of 'the only one.' I believe that there is one single creator source, which both transcends time and space and permeates time and space. The Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, all would agree, but as soon as anyone says that God is in the trees or God is in the rocks, their adherents cry, "pantheism!"

    I also believe that this creator source emanates expressions of itself; a divine father and a divine mother, for example. Christianity will acknowledge that God is both male and female, but again, as soon as anyone mentions a mother goddess, Christianity's adherents cry, "paganism!"

    Many religions have the concept of a divine human king figure who is in some way sacrificed and reborn. This also includes Christianity. I believe that the theme is valid and that Jesus is such a figure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    What does your new Pagan religion say in reference to the Christian God, if any?
    I don't really have a new pagan religion; my spiritual path has simply been taking me away from Christian dogma. Perhaps at some point, I will identify with a specific pagan religion, but at this point, it's kind of me on my own path trying to connect with other people who are on a non-modern mainstream religious path.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Or just in general, what are your thoughts now as a Pagan, to the concept of the Christian God?
    See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    And while I'm at it? Can you in good consious deny the very existence of the Christian God with only human proof of said existence, while accepting the Pagan deity with the same fallible human proof? Do you find that maybe you let the existence of a Christian God slide on by because...Before the grace of you know who...go I? (oh lordy, I just had to ask this question as I was pondering it)But, it's a very valid question if you think about it.
    I don't view the Christian God as a different god so much the perception of God common to those who follow Christian dogma. I have always believed in a divine creator and likely always will. I don't view evidence for a divine creator as being strictly limited to human say so. I just don't happen to believe that Christianity has cornered the market on divine truth.

    Personally, I think that Christianity is fine, in and of itself. But much of the dogma developed out a sense of Roman cultural superiority. When Christianity became the religion of the empire, it took on all of the baggage that went with being a part of the Roman empire. Part of that baggage is a need to impose imperial will and cultural norms onto any people that the Roman army was able to subdue.

    I don't frankly think that Christ would much approve of Christianity as it came to exist. Nor do I believe that inventing Christianity was Jesus' idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    no disrespect meant in any way.
    None taken.

  3. #3
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Is God really dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    do you acknowledge the existence of the Christian God?
    That would depend on two things...what one means by "existence" and what one considers "the Christian God" to be.

    I don't think that god, in any form, is a literal and independent agent acting in or on the universe. Therefore, I don't think that the typically Christian idea of God is anything close to what God is (or is not). I acknowledge that Christians (as well as other religions) believe that the manner in which they have chosen to define god (which differs from sect to sect) is "God", but I don't think their projection of "God" *is* the totality of what the Divine is.

    If so, do you find that it was false information it was giving about being THE ONLY ONE?
    Of course--even the Bible acknowledges other deities, for certain Christian religions to claim otherwise is either ridiculously disingenuous or purposely obtuse.

    What does your new Pagan religion say in reference to the Christian God, if any?
    Nothing really.

    My personal opinion is that "God is" Anything word added beyond the "is" is just our attempt to put humanity on something we have no ability to conceptualize the totality of. Once you add a word there, you are narrowing down the vision of god to fit it in your personal frame of reference. As a metaphor...people put god in a box so that we can carry the idea around in a way that is comfortable for us. Some people have a big box for god, and some have a really really really small box, while others have lots of small boxes, even others aren't down with carrying a box at all. When we try to define god by our understanding, we put god into a box.



    Or just in general, what are your thoughts now as a Pagan, to the concept of the Christian God?
    To be perfectly blunt, I think that the literal existence of a single entity being omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent that decided to play cosmic cookie maker and mudball sculptor is as short-sighted and human-centric as the idea of multiple literal and distinct entities taking a role in the day to day activities of humans for shits and giggles...and both are (IMO) flawed.

    But neither one of those ideas are what *I* think "god" (in any form) actually is...so it really doesn't matter.

    AFAIC, there is an Eternal Universal Imminent and/or Transcendent Something, which to me is the meaning of "divine"...therfore there is a Divinity of some sort. Whether or not this Divinity is "god" as X people or X religion sees it is immaterial. IMO, how we interpret individual deities is more about seeing ourselves in something bigger than ourselves than it is seeing "god" as "god" is. It doesn't mean that that idea of god is a lie or that it is false or ignorant...and actually our visions of god(s) can be entirely useful and powerful, without being literal.


    And while I'm at it? Can you in good consious deny the very existence of the Christian God with only human proof of said existence, while accepting the Pagan deity with the same fallible human proof? Do you find that maybe you let the existence of a Christian God slide on by because...Before the grace of you know who...go I? (oh lordy, I just had to ask this question as I was pondering it)But, it's a very valid question if you think about it.
    Most Pagans (unlike most Christians) that I know are more than happy to acknowledge that they might be wrong. Most Pagans I know also acknowledge the possibility of the existence of the Christian God...but just either don't consider him worthy of worship or find a compelling reason to take him as a personal deity.

    I could totally be wrong--the human mind is capable of convincing itself of tons of things that aren't entirely true. My idea of what god is (which is pretty open-ended) could be totally wrong. And statistically speaking, I probably am wrong...in a field of infinite possibilities, the chance of any one point being right is well, one in an infinity. And therefore, the absence of "god" is just as unlikely...
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Is God really dead?

    First, Yes.

    The rest: I believe that humans are inherently faulty and imperfect. I don't believe that is necessarily a bad thing, it just means that we can't view the whole picture in this existence. Perhaps our purpose in this existence is to learn to be accepting of that, I don't know. I don't know what the whole picture is, I'm human, but I do strongly believe that it encompasses some sort of balance and some sort of opposing forces. Where Christian beliefs and mythology fit in is something I'm working on. But I don't believe that the Christian path is the only one. I believe that all paths are valid.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

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    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
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    Sr. Member Yazichestvo's Avatar
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    Re: Is God really dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post

    Do you acknowledge the existence of the Christian God?
    Absolutely. One of the things that encouraged me to embrace a pagan religion was non-exclusivity. I think it's sort of a double-standard to say that one God is real, while another isn't. Ancient pagans generally didn't consider foreign Gods to be "false". In some cases, they would even adopt them. I don't reject the existence of any spirit or deity from any culture, so it would be hypocritical to reject the Abrahamic God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    If so, do you find that it was false information it was giving about being THE ONLY ONE?
    What does your new Pagan religion say in reference to the Christian God, if any?
    Or just in general, what are your thoughts now as a Pagan, to the concept of the Christian God?
    Just because I believe in him doesn't mean I believe everything I hear about him. That's a good rule of thumb for any deity, actually. The simple fact that he has 3 separate religions with countless splinter sects makes it evident that the truth about him was garbled long ago. Also, if you study the origins of the Abrahamic God, there's a good argument to be made that Judaism evolved from the same polytheistic state found among other Semitic peoples, such as the Canaanites. That's not even getting into Chrisitanity's origins. As one poster pointed out, Christ has a lot in common with other so-called "Dying and rising Gods". I think there's a good chance that the Christian God was at one time worshiped alongside others, though perhaps not under the same name.

    However, I do tend to steer clear of him.
    If you want to be thought intelligent, just agree with everyone.

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    Re: Is God really dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Now to those who were Christians once and now are Pagans:

    Do you acknowledge the existence of the Christian God?
    Not as an entity distinguishable from the Jewish God or Islamic God. But to an extent, yes.

    If so, do you find that it was false information it was giving about being THE ONLY ONE?
    No, because that theology developed from earlier Biblical theology of "'the only one you are allowed to worship", because the Bible does say that the Egyptian gods did in fact exist, because God of the Bible did say he was going to punish them.

    What does your new Pagan religion say in reference to the Christian God, if any?
    Nothing, because its older. The Abrahamic God, well... that's a different but complicated story. See, alot of the abrahamic names for God, are also names for my gods. Also the names for another semitic religion, the canaanite gods. Also, in late Babylonian theology, the Gods were all expressions of the God. Also, alot of Bible stories are found in both Mesopotamia and Canaan as Canaanite and Mesopotamian stories. So, there is a suggestion that they evolved from the earlier 2.

    Or just in general, what are your thoughts now as a Pagan, to the concept of the Christian God?
    Whatever. So long as they don't infringe upon my beliefs, or right to not believe in theirs, I don't care.

    And while I'm at it? Can you in good consious deny the very existence of the Christian God with only human proof of said existence, while accepting the Pagan deity with the same fallible human proof? Do you find that maybe you let the existence of a Christian God slide on by because...Before the grace of you know who...go I? (oh lordy, I just had to ask this question as I was pondering it)But, it's a very valid question if you think about it.

    no disrespect meant in any way.
    In another sense, I view all the monotheisms and polytheisms as different expressions of the same divine. I believe that all religions, just like all languages, evolved from a common ancestor. So the truths contained in them are mostly relative to the cultures and people who follow them. The Canaanite and Babylonian religions evolved with the Jewish one from the ProtoSemitic one which evolved from the ProtoAfroAsiatic one.

    Hinduism, Hellenism, Asatru and Buddhism all evolved from the ProtoIndoEuropean one.

    Does the divine exist? Can't know for sure, but I believe it does based in personal experience. Do I believe that others have to believe? No. Because you believe based on your experience.
    I was Hadad2008 when I joined Feb 2008.
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