Advantages of reviving ethnic polytheism in Europe

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Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,264
Brassicaland
#61
Let me offer an argument in support of an ethno-polytheistic revival, and then another against it. Euro-American societies are in the grip of terminal modernism--i.e., highly secularized, technocratic civilization. It is a triumph of rationality, but it has no soul. Faced with an anomic existence and starved for meaning, people long for the "Old time religion". Christianity was co-opted long ago by elites pursing un-Chrisitian agendas, and Islam might seem a tad repressive, so maybe the pagans were right after all. "If it was good enough for Aphrodite, it's good enough for me!" I see some sense in that.

Take the Aztec-Toltec deity Quetzalcoatl, for example. Not European, but somebody I know something about. That god is represented as a feathered serpent, symbolizing the union of the tonal (worldly energy) and the nagual (spiritual energy)--the serpent that crawls and the eagle that soars. He shed his blood (some of it) for the resurrection of humanity. He is engaged in eternal struggle with Topcatlipoca (Smoky Mirror), symbolized by an obsidian mirror and a black jaguar--the great obscurer and dark prowler. These are powerful metaphors for spiritual values that most of us could relate to, if it weren't for all the human sacrifice. (The tonali from our tongues and penises might be enough to sustain the god. I'll let the theologians sort that out). Anyhow, I could get inspired by aspects of that metaphor (not the one last mentioned). But I'm Celtic, and Quetzalcoatl is Mexica. Would it be the sin of cultural appropriation if I worshiped him instead of Danu and Bile, who really do nothing for me?

In other words, is it pagan spirituality or ethno-regional identity that you're mainly concerned about?
No wonder that Buddhism has gained some adherents in Europe and North America; we need some spiritual goals afterall.
Why Daoism (Taoism) doesn't make a breakthrough outside of the Chinese community?
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,195
Crows nest
#62
The problem with these essentially "new age" religions is that unlike the originals they try to emulate, they are self conscious constructs without the underlying belief system that had grown around the original religions for millenia. We can read an old text, look at an old statue, but we can never really get inside the minds of those long dead who believed in the old gods. Of course there is the valid argument that all religions are man made, but I think there is a fundamental difference between a religion that grew organically over millenia to one that is the religious equivalent of a microwavable ready meal.

The old religions came about via the natural desire for us to understand the world around us, of what that bright shiny thing in the sky is, and why does it move, and what causes thunder and lightning, and when we think we know, how do we appease these powerful gods. In this age we know all these things are natural, not supernatural, so what is the purpose of any religion to tell us how the universe works. Without going outside the OP into the current main stream religions, what is this attempted regeneration of the old gods actually about? It seems to me not much more than a mix of dilettantism and a desire to stick the finger up at conformity. The last is not a bad thing per se, but attempting to say you actually believe in Thor or the Aten is pretentious nonsense.

However, I certainly don't condemn people for their fantasies, in any religion, and we should all be able to believe in any nonsense we desire, as long as we don't force it on others. Also, as Commodus has mentioned, those who do dabble in these old religions seem to have a better appreciation for the natural world than the main stream religions, who have long been subverted by Mammon.

So while I do not believe that the old religions can ever be really resurrected as the belief system has long gone, I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with them.
 
Jun 2016
1,615
England, 200 yards from Wales
#63
Just a brief note (but maybe relevant to any idea of revival)
Could people perhaps qualify somewhat statements like "we need some spiritual goals after all."
and "starved for meaning, people long for the "Old time religion""
no doubt some, maybe many, people feel like that, but certainly a good many don't.

Corvidius posted while I was typing. I agree with what you say.
 
Oct 2017
135
Laconia
#64
The problem with these essentially "new age" religions is that unlike the originals they try to emulate, they are self conscious constructs without the underlying belief system that had grown around the original religions for millenia. We can read an old text, look at an old statue, but we can never really get inside the minds of those long dead who believed in the old gods.
But we can come nearer to their souls and their respect for their ethnic culture, other cultures, and the natural world.

Without going outside the OP into the current main stream religions, what is this attempted regeneration of the old gods actually about? It seems to me not much more than a mix of dilettantism and a desire to stick the finger up at conformity. The last is not a bad thing per se, but attempting to say you actually believe in Thor or the Aten is pretentious nonsense.
The perceived pretentious nonsense of a community is always better than the palpable pretentious arrogance of an individual.

However, I certainly don't condemn people for their fantasies, in any religion, and we should all be able to believe in any nonsense we desire, as long as we don't force it on others.
Or offend others without cause.

Just a brief note (but maybe relevant to any idea of revival)
Could people perhaps qualify somewhat statements like "we need some spiritual goals after all."
and "starved for meaning, people long for the "Old time religion""
no doubt some, maybe many, people feel like that, but certainly a good many don't.
For those that don't, would they be willing to show regard to the culture and spiritual views of the majority? I respected Lord Rees (the famous British astronomer and author) when he said he goes to Church for cultural and communal reasons, even though he is not a believer.
 
Jun 2016
1,615
England, 200 yards from Wales
#65
For those that don't, would they be willing to show regard to the culture and spiritual views of the majority? I respected Lord Rees (the famous British astronomer and author) when he said he goes to Church for cultural and communal reasons, even though he is not a believer.
What do you mean by regard? Certainly, unless by regard you mean one is not allowed to express disagreement in a discussion.
Certainly Rees has good reasons for going (as other non-believers may not go to Church but will listen to religious music, for instance). Does that make him an adherent of the religion though, which is surely what you are talking about.
My post was really just asking the same - show regard to those who don't feel as you (posters, not you personally necessarily) do, rather than implying that everyone desires or needs a spiritual or religious inspiration.
 
Oct 2017
135
Laconia
#67
What do you mean by regard? Certainly, unless by regard you mean one is not allowed to express disagreement in a discussion.
Regard means acknowledgement, respect and good-will in spite of disagreement.

Certainly Rees has good reasons for going (as other non-believers may not go to Church but will listen to religious music, for instance). Does that make him an adherent of the religion though, which is surely what you are talking about.
My post was really just asking the same - show regard to those who don't feel as you (posters, not you personally necessarily) do, rather than implying that everyone desires or needs a spiritual or religious inspiration.
It makes him a participant rather than an adherent; perhaps the same could be done by atheists and agnostics in the hypothetical event that ethnic polytheism were to be adopted as a state religion.
 
Aug 2017
2
Brazil
#69
You may consider Ethnic polytheism better or whatever, but these religions simply do not serve as a civilizational model in terms of philosophy, politics and social hierarchy capable of encompassing different cultures, only Christianity and Islam and to a lesser extent Buddhism can do this.

Or we will see an increasingly childless, decrepit, secular and post-secular Islamic Europe, or Christianity back on the stage, especially the Neopentecostalism that is growing in France and UK. But there is no chance of reviving pagans polytheistic religions, their time is over..
 
Last edited:
Mar 2012
327
#70
You do realize that Philosophy, Politics and Civilization were well developed in Pagan societies like Egypt, Greece and Rome thousands of years before Christianity and Islam, and at time were the model that these religions based their civilizations on.

Also having less children is not a bad this nor does it have anything to do with religion or the lack there of. Try researching population size and industrialization. Further secularism is what made the west advanced and culturally superior to the backward ignorant cesspools of the middle ages. The Renaissance and Enlightenment movements were heavily Humanist/Secular in nature.



You may consider Ethnic polytheism better or whatever, but these religions simply do not serve as a civilizational model in terms of philosophy, politics and social hierarchy capable of encompassing different cultures, only Christianity and Islam and to a lesser extent Buddhism can do this.

Or we will see an increasingly childless, decrepit, secular and post-secular Islamic Europe, or Christianity back on the stage, especially the Neopentecostalism that is growing in France and UK. But there is no chance of reviving pagans polytheistic religions, their time is over..
 

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