Is there such a thing as being an Agnostic Pagan...or a Pagan-Agnostic? Meaning, can I be agnostic but feel very connected to nature and still find the old beliefs quite intriguing and spiritual?
In the end it's not the name you identify yourself by, but the path you follow.
I tend to fall on the agnostic side, but for me, it's more that I don't believe any one established religion has it right. Even some of the Wiccans I've met are as crazy and inconsistant as the Christians and the Catholics.
So I follow the path my heart tells me is the right one.
I completely agree with your answer. Except the Wiccan part. I've never met any, but I think we get too caught up in the labels. No label really identifies the person. Everyone's ideas on spirituality are too unique to be identified in any group.
Yes. You can be Agnostic (not knowing of or if there is a divine) and be very much in tune with the world around you.
I agree with DoubleScorpion. Kittythedreamer, if I've understood you correctly, you're saying that you're a heartfelt Pagan, and an Agnostic with respect to the existence of God.
The problem is with the way that others interpret the two hybrid labels: Pagan-Agnostic and Agnostic-Pagan. It almost sounds like you're using one of the two key words as an adjective, when in reality, they're probably both intended to be nouns.
Unfortunately, I don't know of any standard labels to describe your worldview. From my perspective, it shows that your outlook is fairly nuanced. And that's refreshing in an age of instant opinions about almost everything.
my great great grandparents were believers in nature - they treat nature, stones, moon as a their Gods, until the Spaniards colonized the Philippines and the first thing they did was to baptized all the natives as Catholics. This goes on and on for more than 300 years and then they finally left the country. My great grandparents were Pagans before the Spaniards came to colonize the country. There are other places in the country were the Spaniards couldn't penetrate but the intermingling with other locals who were turned into Christians made them become Agnostic Pagans.
Can I relieve you of at least some of your confusion for I am one who holds Pagan beliefs, but can I also point out that it is not a religion... it is simply a way of life. Modern day Government census takers added Paganism to the list of religious beliefs along with Klingon and the Force from Star Wars. Plus of course we have the modern day whack jobs trying desperately to create new religions such as Neo Paganism or Neo Druidism or the Wicca ... As I said, and keep saying, to hold Pagan beliefs is not and never was a religion.
Ancient Pagans believed in gods and spirits, hundreds of them this is how they rationalised the fear of the unknown powers of Nature. Anything they themselves could not readily recreate or understand had to be the work of evil spirits or angry gods that had to be appeased somehow, this is how religion began. Although why it persists to this day is way beyond my comprehension.
To understand ancient Pagan beliefs all you have to do is strip away all the religious notions and belief that we are somehow different from and therefore superior to the other animal life on this planet. The long held notion that some mythical supreme being granted humans power over all other living things and they are ours to do with as we please is not only wrong but criminally wrong.
There are some religions that still belief that this God creature created man from clay and woman from the rib of man and we all magically descended from them. This is not only untrue it is scientifically impossible and therefore a lie, however the same religion cannot accept that mankind is just A N other animal species and therefore continue to perpetuate the lie and ignore all logic and reason, So Be It....
Of course I also find it difficult to see the Agnostic point of view; Man invented the Gods, not the other way around, we either accept that or we don’t ! Man invented Religion, all of them.... and he’s still inventing new ones today... Again we either accept that or we don’t. I can’t seen any fence to sit on unless people don’t believe but deep down they have this desperate need to keep the God door half open... Just in case !
Many centuries ago we were just another life form on the planet, and in truth not a very good example either. We were surrounded by other species that were bigger, faster and stronger and as a species we were part of the food-chain and fairly low down on the list. Back then the other animals were our teachers and we were all a part of the whole, none taking more than they needed.
Only man in his arrogance has broken those rules, no other animal on Earth has created Greed, Selfishness and Stupidity into an Art form. Look around at all other animal species, content in their world, happy in their environment they remained Pagans while we turned our back on the principals they taught us. Pity that all life forms will have to pay the price for our arrogance some are already paying with their lives.
I can see no cause for agnostic belief, only an unwillingness to accept the facts that surround us.
An Agnostic doesn't know and admits to not knowing if there happens to be a higher power.
A Pagan sees nature as a higher power.
So, it's a contradiction.
I've been a Pagan for nearly 20 years and I've never seen nature as a higher power nor have any of the many Pagans I've known throughout my life.
Your definition of agnosticism is also off. It merely means someone who is unsure.
There are Pagans of many stripes, some of whom believe in a higher power and some who do, so yes, you can be a Pagan agnostic.
See, I disagree. I don't think Pagans look at nature as a higher power, but feel connected to it...and feel it moves through them and a part of them.
Is it a contradiction? Maybe...but contradiction is a part of life...
that's awesome, trish m! how so if you don't mind me asking? and larry fields, thank you for the incite...you are very correct in saying that i should probably use them both in more of a noun form Agnostic Pagan...with no dash between the two...that seems a little more appropriate.
Have you read the 'Pagan' hubs of Merlin Fraser?
I recently read them and commented that, though I usually call myself 'agnostic', I also feel a 'call' to the ancient ways, so could feel reasonably happy calling myself 'pagan'.
It's complicated, really, and is more about a feeling than an actual logical belief pattern.
Difficult to put into words
Paganism is the belief that the natural world is a spiritual realm, inhabited by spirits. "a feeling than an actual logical belief pattern.". Feeling is an essential aspect, but logical construct might be said to be possible if one interprets natural sequences of events as logical progression. What is unobserved can have no personal existence.
Isn't this more a definition of Neo Paganism than the belief of the ancient Pagan ?
By definition Pagan is the Latin for Rural dweller, used by the Romans as a name for those outside their sphere of influence and control when they forced Christianity upon the Holy Roman Empire.
Ancient Pagan’s had an acute awareness of their surroundings and their dependence on the whole which they referred to as the Mother or Mother Earth. They studied and learnt from the other animal species learning how to live and hunt from the experts. Back then it would have been impossible for them to have any true understanding of natural balance but that is what they did automatically through pure animal instinct, something we have lost because we chose to ignore it.
True, fear and superstition led to a belief in spirits and an unnatural obsession about what happens to us after death, something which seems to persist today through the creation of religion.
I suppose one can assume from this that the question is unanswerable or that perhaps... just perhaps nothing at all happens and we all just die as a means of making way for the next generation!
Or am I just being far too logical !
"far too logical". Far too illogical. I posted an article on Paganism once on another site, and the moderators kept changing to title to Neo-Paganism and kept rewriting my definitions until I finally gave up. "Pagan is the Latin for Rural dweller". Not going to get far with this one. Farmers are Pagans. "Back then it would have been impossible for them to have any true understanding of natural balance but that is what they did automatically through pure animal instinct,". You sound like and evolutionist. Primitive animals. The making of tool, bows arrows the use of herbs all animal instinct? "I suppose one can assume from this that the question is unanswerable". Logically if nature is believed to be a spiritual world, that is not agnostic.
I am happy with the theories of evolution, they too are logical and progressive. I find the illogical denial by some is usually combined with the false assumption that humans are somehow not an animal species.
Nice try but Farmers are not Pagans just because they live in the countryside.
By definition the term Pagan was used by the Romans purely as a derogatory term to imply inferiority.
As for the development of tools and weapons, I have no idea at what stage man aquired the ablity to reason, trial and error must have played a part. I'm fairly certain that trial and error must have played a roll in the use of plants and herbs..
You watch someone eat something and they fall over dead chances are you won't eat the same thing.
"they too are logical and progressive." I am not a progressive. "I have no idea at what stage man acquired the ability to reason," They found a five thousand year old guy in Switzerland some years ago. Pretty developed with about ten different types of wood for the various implements he carried. Also had a pouch of medicinal herbs. They think he did some smelting of metal. May I say I think you are good guy.
If I was to say that I spent my entire working life as a logistician would that help you understand my thinking patterns ?
True I accept Darwin’s version of the Origin of Species and since the modern day sciences studying DNA, Anthropology, Zoology and Genealogy all seem to prove him right I am content that this proves the old creation theory in the Bible wrong.
I know Darwin upset many people by daring to suggest Man had common ancestors with the other primates and it seems that a lot of people, even today, cannot or will not accept this simple conclusion.
My assertion that when compared with other animal species if you turn the clock of time back far enough we must have been a pretty pathetic bunch living on the very fringes of life. Undoubtedly they would have been vegetarians, far too slow to hunt although in tough times I’m sure they would have scavenged from the kills of the higher animals.
Compared to these guys your 5,000 year old Swiss hunter was well evolved, although what the hell he was doing so far up a frozen mountain is anybody’s guess, I can’t imagine he was hunting.
However my main point is that from these simple and humble beginnings we evolved and adapted, pure survival instinct being the main driving force and in man’s case I would throw in desperation as well. What is they say Adapt or Die ?
So you see I’m talking not 5,000 but 500,000 years....
"So you see I’m talking not 5,000 but 500,000 years...." I know what you are talking about. Ever hear of human footprints encased in stone along side of dinosaur prints? You are an evolutionist. I am an anti-evolutionist. Anything but the slightest change in the earth's orbit wipes everything out. Things, it would seem, do not evolve outside of that condition, take the crocodile for instance.
"Your definition of agnosticism is also off. It merely means someone who is unsure." If you are going to self-decide these things starting from scratch you must first be an agnostic.
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