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Atheist Paganism?


Guest InquisitiveMind
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Call me blonde, but I genuinely didn't realise pagans could be atheist. I thought atheists were atheist, and pagans were ... polytheist? But just a quick browse around the forum and I've seen the phrase 'atheist pagan'.

 

Currently I'm not really comfortable with the idea of deities, the whole ritual worship thing - and I personally have no connection with any Gods or Goddesses. Are there any atheist pagans around here? Could you let me know what you think about it?

 

Thanks :)

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hi there! yes indeed there are rather a few atheists around here, and that's before you get into the other variations on atheist spirituality!! a quick search of the forum has come up with rather a lot of topics, so here's a couple of links to get you started:

 

http://thevalley.ukpagan.com/topic/72609-atheist-pagans/page__hl__atheist__fromsearch__1

http://thevalley.ukpagan.com/topic/30863-talk-to-me-about-atheist-paganism/page__hl__atheist__fromsearch__1

 

Try those... just to get started ;)

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Hello, atheist Pagan here :)

I worried myself silly that I'd never be accepted by the Pagan community due to being an atheist and was so so relieved when I found the courage to join here to find other like minded people, there are at least 2 other very regular posters who are atheist whom you shall no doubt meet ( if that's the right term? ) when you are posting. We are in the minority but hey I like to be different lol. There are as Shini said quite a few threads on the subject, some quite heated!

I see paganism as a nature based faith/religion/path, that to me is the common thread that labels us all Pagans rather than the worship of deities. I don't think any atheist is an atheist through choice I know for myself sometimes I feel I am missing out on certain aspects due to my non believing on the other hand all my energy, belief and faith can be concentrated on just nature in all it's glory which is exactly how I like it. If a deity ever jumps out in front of me shouting worship me then I may change my view until then I'm perfectly happy and comfortable being an atheist Pagan :D Becca

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I absolutely agree with Rebecca. You is what you is....... and either have an understanding of deity or not. I don't personally, but there are a great many people I respect greatly who do, so although I am atheistic, I keep an open mind and will change it if I am ever lucky enough to experience Deity. Thing is InquisitiveMind, there is sometimes pressure to conform even within such a broad field as Paganism. And we have had people who are new to Paganism join the site and insist that being both atheistic and Pagan is impossible......... your name is an apt one as you didn't do that! Some Pagans believe in a single deity..... some in a duality of deity, some believe there are many deities, but that they are all aspects of one force..... others that there are many deities and that they are all quite distinct. And Pantheist thinks it all God! There has to be a bit of room in that lot for those of us who simply don't get it. The threads linked to above will probably make very interesting reading for you, just ignore the tensions and concentrate on what is being said and they make interesting reading. Mike

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another one here....I dont follow any deity or anything, i am fairly resolved on the matter of deity, but hey you never know, so i always try to keep an open mind. I also try to maintain the view that belief is a very individual thing and i adopt an approach that when discussing deity, i am entering anothers world view point, which even if i don't share that view I try to be respectful of it (unless we're talking about purple unicorns then i would find that a challlenge). people have their traditions, who am i to upset apple carts.

 

you certainly wont find me 'doing a dawkins' ....although i must admit if the theory of evolution is dumped in favour of religious interpretations of creation i probably would kick off then.

 

as for my own spiirituality well here's a bit of a run down on what I believe: I respect those that have gone before me (my grandparents in particular, and n ow, sadly, my mother who was an endlesss source of strength to me).

 

Although I am too disabled now to do much, I really value the simple life (which for me is how we survive best)...but i am aware that the rest of society moves at a different pace and so I have to adapt. But I really dont think its good for us in the long run (I refer here to things like mass use of pesticides, MSG, and things like that). I begrudgingly use technologgy and i suppose we live in a society that we can't really live without it. Only this morning I discovered that I can now put all my essential documents in the bank via the cloud! and I wonder how that information will be used (or abused). I have a great concern about world population (like how are we gonna feed everyone), I know that this stuff isnt traditionally seen as paganism, but for me it is because these things affect our environment and us and lets face it, this earth is the only place we can call home.

 

....so i really cherish nature, I used to love gardening, the changing seasons - i'll even join in the odd pagan festival like samhain etc just because I think these things are worth celebrating.

 

Family is important to me too, and i will fight tooth and nail for my son, my carer/bf in order to protect their interests.

 

Do I believe in magic? well, as much as love harry potter, percy jackson and all the rest - thats fiction (and very enjoyable too), but if you were to ask me do I believe psychic ability/esp - then yes, enough for it to be worth of further study. in a similar vein i also value the use of herbs, plants as an important source of nutrition and by extension a part of the healing process for the body and mind.

 

Do I believe in ghosts/spirits/wights - well, i swing between yes-no-maybe alot on this one, I undoubtedly sense something in natural places and in houses/homes sometimes and when i have entered altered states (like during hypnosis, trance) i've had experiences probably would be classed 'all in the head' but never the less are just as 'real' to me. I think experiences like these make a person think about the nature of reality (the physical world and the mental world). Certainly more importance is attached to the physical, mundane world in society at large today, since our physical survival rests on that as well as our capacity to adapt. but the mind can never be dismissed, you only have to consider the sheer mountain of so called articles/magazines devoted to or advocating for some such approach that will make us stronger, more intune, more responsive/adaptive to something, whether thats work, networking, social skill building, a better one minute manager, or some sort of soup for the soul....or a road less travelled.

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    • Moonsmith
      I’ve posted a link (in links) to a BBC article in today’s news just to illustrate a bit of the colourful side of Paganism.  Perhaps it will do something to balance my prosaic take on the subject. i know little of Witchcraft but I enjoyed the article and like her approach.  
    • Ellinas
      👍 It's as good a position as any and better than quite a few.  
    • Stonehugger
      Yes, it was in Nettle's "Who are your deities?" thread. I said "I seem to have become an atheist. That was never my plan, but here I am." Veggiedancer later said it better than me - "I don’t exactly believe in deities as such. I think they come from  our minds. Archetypes, ways of identify or characterising the spirit/ magic/ life or whatever it is we sense around us. Ways our minds try to explain the unexplainable to us???"
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    • Ellinas
      All the above, plus the impression of a preponderance of atheism is currently, as well as historically, inaccurate.  Certainly, I am no atheist.  I believe MS rejects the term as applicable to himself.  Stonehugger, I think, recently said he had headed in that direction, but I've not seen the other resident atheists for a while. However, our ideas of deity are not the same, necessarily.
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