Pagan Thought of the Day

Mar 2007
23,114
6
Ga
tristanrobin said:
just as Christianity can mean a lot of things to different people
Not necessarily. Christianity is a bit more specific, for example, you know they are talking about some version of "The Bible" when someone talks about Chrisitianity. And Jesus and Jehovah, Jah, Yahweh, etc is gonna figger in there somewhere.



"Pagan" can mean some of anything it seems. And the vague answers I am getting here prove that.
 
Jun 2008
1,362
3
In its broadest historical sense, "Pagan" means "non-Abrahamic" and as such means "anything that's not Judaism, Christianity, or Islam". From my reading, it was generally used in that way by those in the Abrahamic religions as a way to say "those who don't believe in our God".



So if you're looking for the historical reason why the word "pagan" seems to encompass a wide variety of things, it's basically because it was an exclusionary term used by those "in the in crowd".



It's like saying "I can define a horse, but what defines a 'not-horse'?" Well, that would be everything from a dog to a cat to a monkey to a sea lion to a whale to an aardvark to a beetle. The primary thing they have in common is "It's not a horse."



Basically the primary thing that Pagan religions have in common is "they're not Abrahamic".
 
Mar 2007
23,114
6
Ga
Tirya said:
In its broadest historical sense, "Pagan" means "non-Abrahamic" and as such means "anything that's not Judaism, Christianity, or Islam". From my reading, it was generally used in that way by those in the Abrahamic religions as a way to say "those who don't believe in our God".



So if you're looking for the historical reason why the word "pagan" seems to encompass a wide variety of things, it's basically because it was an exclusionary term used by those "in the in crowd".



It's like saying "I can define a horse, but what defines a 'not-horse'?" Well, that would be everything from a dog to a cat to a monkey to a sea lion to a whale to an aardvark to a beetle. The primary thing they have in common is "It's not a horse."



Basically the primary thing that Pagan religions have in common is "they're not Abrahamic".
Well that's what I've been reading. Still sounds rather vague though. It's like "other".
 
Jun 2008
1,362
3
It's like "other".


Basically that's what it is - it's the label that followers of Abrahamic religions gave to the beliefs of the "other" folks.



"Pagan" isn't necessarily defined by "what it is" - it's more defined by "what it isn't" - it isn't Abrahamic.



So it includes everything from neopagan religions like Wicca and Asatru, to ancient religions like Hinduism and Shinto, to re-creation religions like Hellenism and Druidism.



They're all Pagan. Why? Because they're not Abrahamic.
 
Jun 2008
1,362
3
Would you rather the thread be called "Non-Christian, Non-Islamic, Non-Judaic Thought Of The Day"?
 
Mar 2007
23,114
6
Ga
Tirya said:
Would you rather the thread be called "Non-Christian, Non-Islamic, Non-Judaic Thought Of The Day"?
Naa, this is fine. I was just looking to see if there was more to "Pagan" than I was reading elsewhere. I've heard "Pagan" used as if it were a bad thing before, especially during holidays like Halloween. I never really cared really. You guys have a nice thread.
 

tadpole256

Former Staff
May 2005
14,314
60
Planet Earth (Mostly)
I think people frequently mis-use the term "pagan", a lot of people seem to think it is synanomous with Heathen or Witchcraft, which is not really the case.