AyeAyeMagpie posted a topic in News and Current Events (pagan issues only),I've just read an interesting article about a research project which has used artificial means to keep pig brains functioning (with capacity for normal brain activity) for up to 36 hours.
The ambition is to apply this to human brains to enable scientists to study the living brain more effectively.
Personally I can see the potential for benefits to humanity - future generations could have a better quality of life without succumbing to degenerative neurological conditions - but it opens up a huge ethics debate around the nature of the research itself and the potential for misuse in practical application down the line. At present we have no way of knowing if there is any form of consciousness in the test subjects and if so whether it causes distress or suffering to the individual. Is it just a functioning organ or is it the vessel for a conscious being? Surely the only way of knowing would be if scientists were to conduct a successful human brain transplant, and this research has arguably unlatched the gate to that path.
I found the research exciting and fascinating, and a little bit frightening. I imagine many people of a religious persuasion will have very strong opinions.
What's your thoughts?
nappadog posted a topic in General Paganism,Right then how best to phrase the question......
I've noticed on here there's quite a number of different belief sets(as you'd expect!)and although some seem to have set rituals and celebrations many are (as mine) an amalgamation of different"paths" and I'm curious as to whether people consider there beliefs" religious"..... for my own part I don't consider my beliefs religious,they are opinions formed from what I'd term spiritual experiences but are not in and of themselves religious
Secondly how do you all define " religion" (don't go to Google I can do that myself I'm looking for your personal definition,how YOU define what's religious and what's simply belief).....does religion require texts,if it has them should they (the word of God/god's/deities ect)be followed to the letter and if you believe not then why when the instructions come from what you believe to be a higher,sacred source?.....if you don't follow the teachings or doctrine of your chosen path( if it has such) how do you justify discarding the parts you deem wrong?
AyeAyeMagpie posted a topic in General Paganism,A bit of a clumsy question but I'm at the end of a long day with my two young children so my ability to articulate is a bit limited.
I've just caught up with an old thread about Christian pagans and something said by Moonsmith got me thinking about belief in deities and how/why people interpret them in the way that they do. I consider myself to be an atheist and a pagan but Moonsmith's description of him/herself (sorry, I don't want to presume gender) as believing in a non-anthropomorthic deity struck a chord with me and now has me questioning my understanding of my own beliefs. I'm beginning to think I must have a very narrow view of what constitutes deity.
I respect the belief in anthropomorphic deities but I've always struggled with the idea, particularly the notion of interventionist gods. And for that reason I've defaulted to self identifying as atheist. But now I'm wondering if that's lazy of me; if the connection I feel for the natural world is a connection to something that could be described as deity - energy, life force, creator, connecting all things - without it being anthropomorphised.
I'd really love to hear the thoughts of others on this subject. What's your perception of deity? Have you always felt that way? Have you challenged your own beliefs? Why does your belief (or lack thereof) make sense to you?
Thank you x
Moonhunter posted a topic in General Paganism,We all went through the shiny new pagan phase. Very occasionally, I see someone post on a pagan forum asking "what next?" They've read the books they found in their local New Age store, found a few online groups, and then, one day, realised that what they know isn't enough for them. They want to go deeper. But deeper into what? And how?
So this is really about how you dealt with that stage. Did you ask for advice? What was the result? What did you pursue? Where are you now?
Back when I was a new pagan, I was accidentally mainlined directly into initiatory Wicca, through a relationship and working with the Pagan Federation Committee. That stage lasted about two years. Back then, there were only email groups - but the participants of the two or three groups I was on were all people who had been pagans for years and knew their stuff. And each other. The discussions could be mind blowing. As a result of those, I began to realise Heathenry was a good fit for the things I felt. Plus, my paganism was always an aspect of my relationships with gods, and one of the gods associated with Heathenry began a working relationship with me. All the recon religions involve reading the old texts of that religion, so that occupied a fair amount of my 'study' time. Since then, I've realised I could so easily have followed the breadcrumb trail to follow various other pagan religions and become Greek, Roman or Kemetic. But I'm happy as I am.