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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.
Christianity

NeoNote — Good and evil

Obviously I am not heathen, but I question that phrase "forces of darkness." Our World has both light and darkness, both are necessary for life, death, growth and renewal.

Perhaps it is just me, but I have issues with assigning good to light and evil to darkness. I probably have issues with the dualistic ideas of good and evil too. Sometimes what is "evil" for one group is "good" for another. If they are anything like the ones I've argued with, your "extreme right ideologies" probably see inclusiveness as very evil and damaging. I disagree, but it is their "evil."



Ah, now that is an interesting bit.

Bonewits pointed out that dualism, especially religious dualism, quickly shifts things to IS and IS NOT. If something IS NOT on the approved list, it is evil because the definitions and underlying assumptions don't allow any other possibility.

Long story short, without monotheism, the meaning of good and evil aren't so clear cut. It tends to be more in the nature of "this HELPS my tribe/city/nation" and "this HURTS my tribe/city/nation." It becomes relative and based on cost/benefit. It depends more on individual judgement and less on an Official List of "THOU SHALT NOTS."

But, since Bonewits is on the Disapproved List, this is just academic, right? An accused sexual predator and pedophile couldn't possibly have had good ideas…



I disagree.

I agree that unrestrained greed and unrestrained tribalism are bad. But so is unrestrained sex, unrestrained pacifism, unrestrained sugar, unrestrained sunbathing, unrestrained hair dyeing, unrestrained television, and unrestrained concrete. A little goes a long way, or as the old saying goes, moderation in all things.

Competition keeps us honest and is one big reason why we try to make things better.



*grins* I may bring the philosophy bit out. I enjoy it, I practice it, and I encourage it.

I was thinking about the Greeks and some of the philosophy of the Golden Mean, although the Buddhist version applies too.

Specifically I was thinking about self-discipline and responsibility. The Ethic of Reciprocity is usually associated with Christianity but predates Christianity and exists independently in other cultures. One of my party tricks is showing how people can build an entire social, ethical, and legal system using the EoR and without depending on authority granted from an Official Religion. And that brings us to unrestrained.

If we are talking about ethical restraints, those restraints have to be self-imposed. It's not really ethical otherwise. If a choice is imposed by force, it's not really a choice, is it?

Self-restraint goes right back to the EoR. If I want to be treated right, it's in my best interest to treat others right. We expect others to act morally and honorably. That gets into defining the Other which is a long subject. I'm going to skip that for our discussion here.

Every morning I have a glass of citrus juice with my breakfast. But it's a water glass, not a juice glass. Is that excessive? Some might say so. But it's my breakfast and my choice. As long as I am not depriving or harming others, then how is it anyone else's business?

That brings us to greed. If I want to continue having OJ, somehow I have to do something that someone else wants and is willing to pay for. With the division of labor, that becomes the free market. Voluntary exchanges between mutually consenting adults. To get what I want, I have to provide something they want.

Competition brings the second keystone of the free market: I can do better than that! Most fail, but the successes change everything.

You're absolutely right pointing out that competition doesn't mean destroying the other (odd how that word keeps cropping up). But the free market means that a company or person has to offer at least as much value as those around them, or someone else will sell.

It's not just buying and selling. Most people reading this site chose paganism or an alternative religion because that religion offered something that they couldn't get elsewhere.



One of the things I recently added to my lexicon, the two most important phrases in human history (www DOT neowayland DOT com SLASH lexicon SLASH tt SLASH #two)

“Let me help.”

“I can do better than that!”


And yes, I gave credit to Star Trek for the first.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Condemnation of memory

Someone is pulling your strings. You'd be a fool to accept that.

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NeoNote — Responding to another Bookworm rant

For something with no moral relativism, there's an awful lot or relative morality going on.

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“Ragnarok: Crash Course World Mythology #24”

“Ragnarok! It's the end of the world, Norse style. It's got everything you want in an apocalypse. Earthquakes, destruction, armies of the dead, a giant evil wolf, giants with flaming swords, and a kind of happy ending. It's got it all. But is it really Norse? It wasn't written down until after Christianity had arrived in Europe. So how much influence is there?”

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“The Apocalyspe: Crash Course World Mythology #23”

“Mike Rugnetta is going to tell you stories of death, destruction, divine judgment, damnation, and the occasional happy ending. That's right, this week we're talking about the Apocalypse. Actually we're talking about a bunch of ways the world could end. Prepare for stories of the end times from Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam! It's the (mostly) Abrahamic Apocalypses on Crash Course World Mythology.”

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NeoNotes — Defending my faith (the long one)

I try to give Christians the benefit of the doubt, mainly because I expect the same. Some make it harder than others. Live and let live works mostly.

For space reasons, this entry has it's own page.

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Fundamentalism denies others choice

I won't submit to your game. You will frustrate yourself more and more if you keep trying. The reason I can do this here, now, is because America is based on choice and pluralism and responsibility. Bad choices and bad consequences teach people to make better choices.
Fundamentalism denies others choice.

It doesn't matter if it's atheism, Islamist, climate change, Christianity, progressive, conservative, pagan, or libertarian. The label just distracts from the tactic.

Fundamentalism denies others choice.
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Fever dream

It's not a statement. It's an anti-statement.

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Giving away your power

If you give your passion to them, then they win. You'll always be reacting and you'll always be unhappy.
— NeoWayland
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More popular than Jesus

We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first-rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.
— John Lennon
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Immediacy

I believe that Paganism offers an immediacy that I couldn't find in Christianity.
— NeoWayland, Why a Technopagan?
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“Here I come to save the Day”

Why do some Pagans believe they are destined to save the world?

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NeoNotes — Real religion

Who am I to judge what happens between someone else and the Divine?

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Several rewrites later…

Dealing with life - updated

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NeoNotes — Somebody finally said the C word

For all of the evidence of Christian bigotry, there's tolerance and pluralism right there beside it.

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One thing I wish I could literally pound into Christian heads

If there is one thing I wish I could literally pound into Christian heads, it's this: Christianity is not the source of all that is good and righteous in our society. Other cultures and other faiths have contributed heavily. It's amazing that I even have to mention this where one house of the national legislature is called the Senate and the other has a ceremonial fasces. Even The Magnificent Seven was a remake.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Judaism

Pardon, but Judaism wasn't the original monotheism. Akhenaton introduced Atenism in Egypt, which may have influenced the development of Semitic polytheism into monotheistic Judaism.
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Strength

The virtue of paganism was strength; the virtue of Christianity is obedience.
     — Augustus Hare
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Freedom of religion

Freedom of religion does not mean deferring to Christianity.
     — NeoWayland

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NeoNotes — Which god?

Our nation in particular calls back to the classical Greeks and the Roman Republic.

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Depreciated polytheism

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have all depreciated polytheism as intrinsically inferior - primitive, crude, lost. But much of the profundity of Paganism lies in its deep appreciation for the complexity and richness of life, its embrace of the world that surrounds us, that indeed is us.
     — Frank Donnola from “Reconciling One and Many,” Gnosis № 28, Spring 1993
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Midwinter

It’s a day of contrasts and promises. Even as winter is at it’s greatest, light is born again.

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Aside for polyamory - revised

Thinking by blogging

It’s one of the few sexual labels that I bother with. It’s not that I disapprove of labels like gay, lesbian, transgender, and all the others. It’s just hard to see how the label applies to me unless we have sex.

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Naked pagans & sex - updated

Pagans do not “get nekkid” so you can get your jollies.

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Another place I talk Christianity

I talk about Christians and Christianity at my political blog Pagan Vigil.

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Bestest

You don’t have to use the Bestest as long as you can just do

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Love

It's what brings us together

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Why a Technopagan?

Tuesday musings

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Homework assignment

Morality ought to be filed under Philosophy, not Religion.
     — Chas S. Clifton, How to Ruin the Mysteries, or Religion is not Moral

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Semi-hermit

Thinking by blogging

Separation of faith and politics

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Today's wonders

Thinking by blogging

Look around and see the wonders

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On Christians and Pagan tolerance

Long, involved, but some good points

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“In the absence of understanding, triviality dominates.” - UPDATED

“”The

Sort of progress, still not sure if I am going to do it

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“You're not doing what I wanted you to do!”

Frustrated by unspoken expectations

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Harassment: Avoidance & Confrontation

Hopefully the first article under the NeoWayland byline

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Why are you Pagan?

My personal view

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Sunfell Tech Mage Rede Nine Words Serve The Tech Mage Best Keep What Works Fix What’s Broke Ditch The Rest

A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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