Author Topic: Death over Life & Anfauglir: "Pagan Deities - more than the sum of their parts?"  (Read 3660 times)

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Offline Anfauglir

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Before I begin, I will admit that I had forgotten to describe this when we were talking definitions, so for that, I apologize.

We spent several posts going through the definition of a deity.  YOU made the opening definition, which we then broke down slowly and carefully - as I said before, I took it painfully slowly to make sure I covered everything.  We arrived at a definition.  I asked if you were happy with it.  You said you were. 

I then began to challenge the worth to me of the thing described.....and suddenly there is a key part of the definition that you "forgot to describe".  You will hopefully forgive my frustration, but I feel I have wasted the last six weeks trying to reach a definition that I understand (and which, let us not forget, you agreed was suitable) only for you now to say "well, of course, it ISN'T a full definition because (x, y, and z)". 

I'm feeling frustrated; like I have wasted my time; I feel cheated.  I feel exactly as I have felt time and time again with the theists on this site.  In all honesty I came within a hair of giving up on the entire debate because I don't want to spend 6 more weeks nailing down a definition only to potentially again be told "oh, well, I forgot this bit" and having to start all over again.

I don't want or need a response to this - I just felt you should be aware how this has made me feel.


As for the problem, you are correct that at some point, somebody sat down and said "that tree makes me think of strength". What you aren't asking what you should be asking is actually the scientific method. We have the hypothesis. What did he observe and what conclusions did he come to to describe this, much less describe this to be a Deity? What this man did was observe Nature. He noticed that Nature follows patterns (or laws if you want to get technical on terminology). He reached his conclusion about the patterns and roles of nature and described it in a religious sense, calling them Deities and describing how they interact with the world and with man.

Take me through, please, the scientific method that this person used.  In this example. the man says "that tree makes me think of strength".  Another person might think of tree as "shelter".  Another might think of it as "provider".  Do all apply, all the time? 

"that plant makes me think of strength - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like strength Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the strength like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

"that plant makes me think of shelter - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like shelter Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the shelter like a tree gives) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

"that plant makes me think of stubbornness - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like stubbornness Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the stubbornness like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

....and so on.  Each person may look at "tree" and think something entirely different.  Hence I need you to take me step by step through "Tree" (since that seems a reasonable example) and demonstrated how the deity aspects of Tree were arrived at through that method of observation of specific natural processes.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline jaimehlers

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It's very important when involved in a debate to avoid errors like the one Death over Life just admitted to.  Agreeing to a definition with someone, and then at a later point - weeks later, as Anfauglir noted - saying, "whoops, I forgot this part, we need to include it too", isn't the sort of thing you get a pass on more than once.  Even under the most generous interpretation of the circumstances, it shows a much less than thorough understanding of the subject matter by a person who is supposed to be knowledgeable about it.  Especially when that same person, in this very debate, has suggested that serious deviations from orthodoxy aren't acceptable.  The distinction just raised could easily result in just such a serious deviation if this were teaching a fellow pagan as opposed to debating with a non-pagan.

For the sake of your own position, Death over Life, I trust that this will be the only revision you have to the agreed-upon definition?
Nullus In Verba, aka "Take nobody's word for it!"  If you can't show it, then you don't know it.

Offline Death over Life

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We spent several posts going through the definition of a deity.  YOU made the opening definition, which we then broke down slowly and carefully - as I said before, I took it painfully slowly to make sure I covered everything.  We arrived at a definition.  I asked if you were happy with it.  You said you were. 

I then began to challenge the worth to me of the thing described.....and suddenly there is a key part of the definition that you "forgot to describe".  You will hopefully forgive my frustration, but I feel I have wasted the last six weeks trying to reach a definition that I understand (and which, let us not forget, you agreed was suitable) only for you now to say "well, of course, it ISN'T a full definition because (x, y, and z)". 

I'm feeling frustrated; like I have wasted my time; I feel cheated.  I feel exactly as I have felt time and time again with the theists on this site.  In all honesty I came within a hair of giving up on the entire debate because I don't want to spend 6 more weeks nailing down a definition only to potentially again be told "oh, well, I forgot this bit" and having to start all over again.

I don't want or need a response to this - I just felt you should be aware how this has made me feel.

To be fair though, I have consistently and constantly mentioned the very thing I have forgotten in the debates. Specifically the posts here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30587.0.html

and here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,29705.msg720997.html#msg720997

You even commented on my first post saying I proved there is a sky, so I know you've seen this before. What frustrates me is as you said, we have spent 6 weeks on this subject and can't go anywhere. My rant is all this information is NOT hard to understand! In the same post above and in the same introduction to the debate we are having, I have used the same video because he has said the same thing I have been saying, but for some reason, nobody can understand him. I can understand him quite easily.



And if it helps anybody out, he recently released another similar video with similar content, but only 7 minutes long.

 

In my opinion, this all shows what makes an atheist worldview so deadly. It literally destroys the spirituality in humans into thinking in strictly linear-mechanical ways like today's science and Christianity do.

I'm going to make this as simplistic as possible: For the last 6 weeks, I have been explaining how Santa Claus works. I have been explaining how when we are kids we believe in Santa Claus and when we grow up, we find out things that aren't what we thought. When you find out around this time, you understand Santa Claus and what it's purpose was and what it was all about.

Here's the results from differing religions:

Christianity: Nu,uh! Santa Claus is real!

Atheism and Science: There is no Santa Claus! Santa Claus isn't real!

Paganism: Saint Nicholas was an old man who lived a while ago who had a hobby making toys. He met some poor and homeless children and felt so distraught by their suffering he gave them freely his toys he has made from his hobby. It is based on this man why we teach people the concept of Santa Claus. Santa Claus IS real, but not in the way you think!

Obviously, the correct interpretation is the Pagan interpretation. It's the same thing with all these Gods and Goddesses.

I want to pause the debate so instead of trying to get you to understand, I'm going to give you an outright example using a post from the past. Before then, I need this answered:

#2. What do you mean when you say fallible, subjective men? Unlike most of my previous questions, this isn't proving a point. I really need you to answer this in order for me to continue.

So, now that we both have let off some steam, do you accept my requests?

Offline Anfauglir

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Much as it pains me to do so, I think what is needed now is for you to re-state your definition of what pagan deities are.  Hopefully it will not require a complete re-start, but will only require examination and clarification of the additional aspects.

Regarding videos: I do not intend to consider them in formal debate, because I am discussing with YOU.  Not "random internet bloke".  If he says something, who can say we will both understand it the same way?  If he says something that I have subsequent questions on, I can't ask him to expand.  If everything he says is perfectly understandable to you, there is no problem with you using that information.  Nor do I intend to assume everything you may have said in other threads.  There may be threads I have not read, or forgotten, or did not understand.  That is the point of a formal debate thread - to include and discuss all the information you think necessary. 

"Fallible, subjective men."  Men can get things wrong.  Can misunderstand things.  Can "see what they want to see", as a result of their knowledge, intelligence, and the culture in which they live.  May - as a result of their inbuilt belief systems, project beliefs onto things and state things as fact when they have no clue what they are talking about.  As an example: the video guy above - is he the same guy who asserted confidently that Jupiter protects Earth from asteroids?  He would be an example of someone fallible and subjective.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Death over Life

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Much as it pains me to do so, I think what is needed now is for you to re-state your definition of what pagan deities are.  Hopefully it will not require a complete re-start, but will only require examination and clarification of the additional aspects.

If there is any condolences, it needs to be stated that no matter how much we know, we always have more room to know and reality changes to the point where it alters our information so we have to go back and redo them.

Long story short, like human beings, this religion isn't static. Like real life, it grows and changes as time goes on as I said.

Now, I did not know of this word when we started this whole discussion. I only learned of this word after the last post you approved of. So there was no ill intent or harm. It was another word that fits the description of what I am conveying. This word is called mnemonic. This is the definition of mnemonic:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mnemonic

Quote
A mnemonic (/n??m?n?k/,[1] the first "m" is silent) device, or memory device, is any learning technique that aids information retention in the human memory. Mnemonics make use of elaborative encoding, retrieval cues, and imagery as specific tools to encode any given information in a way that allows for efficient storage and retrieval. Mnemonics aid original information in becoming associated with something more meaningful—which, in turn, allows the brain to have better retention of the information. Commonly encountered mnemonics are often used for lists and in auditory form, such as short poems, acronyms, or memorable phrases, but mnemonics can also be used for other types of information and in visual or kinesthetic forms. Their use is based on the observation that the human mind more easily remembers spatial, personal, surprising, physical, sexual, humorous, or otherwise "relatable" information, rather than more abstract or impersonal forms of information.

Like I said, I only learned this a couple of days ago. If I learned this earlier, I would have used this definition in the beginning. Otherwise, everything else we have talked about stays the exact same.

"Fallible, subjective men."  Men can get things wrong.  Can misunderstand things.  Can "see what they want to see", as a result of their knowledge, intelligence, and the culture in which they live.  May - as a result of their inbuilt belief systems, project beliefs onto things and state things as fact when they have no clue what they are talking about.  As an example: the video guy above - is he the same guy who asserted confidently that Jupiter protects Earth from asteroids?  He would be an example of someone fallible and subjective.

Thank you for answering. This religion however IS a subjective religion that describes the objectivity. Subjectivity is NOT a negative trait which is what I was getting at.

Fallible, well, if I take you at your words, then I shouldn't listen to anybody because anybody and everybody messes up. If somebody is right 99% of the time, but because they got something wrong 1% of the time, I shouldn't listen to them because they are fallible? That makes no sense, considering just how often science has gotten many things wrong in the past, but it's treated as infallible.

I am hoping this information helps us finally see things on the same page.

Offline Anfauglir

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I'm going to tangent for a moment, as I believe it is important.

Fallible, well, if I take you at your words, then I shouldn't listen to anybody because anybody and everybody messes up. If somebody is right 99% of the time, but because they got something wrong 1% of the time, I shouldn't listen to them because they are fallible?

What it means is that we should not automatically assume that everything someone says is correct.  If someone is clearly shown to be dramatically, wilfully incorrect on a subject - as the video guy was - then that should, hopefully, cause the listener to pause and consider whether to trust the other things that were said.  Do we have confidence that this was a single, forgivable slip in an otherwise infallible source?  Or should we consider whether there is a chance that other statements made (which previously were accepted as being plausible) may be similarly incorrect? 

In THIS instance, my inclination is to the latter.  The colossal gap between what he claimed, and what is supported.  It takes very little research to disprove his claims - indeed, requires only elementary knowledge of the solar system's workings.  The conclusion can only be that he did NOT bother to check his facts on that subject before presenting them as truth - and, given that, I HAVE to wonder how much checking was done of any other facts.

It is also the case that his error can be seen as a natural outcome of his beliefs.  Given the nature of his general belief system, I can absolutely understand why he would believe what he believes about Jupiter - and yet, that particular belief is unsupported.  The conclusion must therefore be not only that he does not check his facts, but that he may have a tendency to specifically NOT do so in cases where a statement agrees with his preconceived beliefs. 

Taken together, there is ample reason for me to - at least - be wary of accepting any statement he makes as truth where those statements relate in general to his belief system.

You stated that "This religion however IS a subjective religion that describes the objectivity."  This gentleman has described subjectively an aspect of the religion that absolutely, categorically is NOT objective.  And that, in turn, has an impact on your statement: clearly, it is extremely easy to come to a subjective conclusion that does NOT have the support of the objective  - and that is why I raised the point that pagan deities are themselves created by "fallible, subjective men".

A couple of posts back, you made an assertion:

What you aren't asking what you should be asking is actually the scientific method. We have the hypothesis. What did he observe and what conclusions did he come to to describe this, much less describe this to be a Deity? What this man did was observe Nature. He noticed that Nature follows patterns (or laws if you want to get technical on terminology). He reached his conclusion about the patterns and roles of nature and described it in a religious sense, calling them Deities and describing how they interact with the world and with man.

Effectively, a longer phrasing of the claim that men made subjective statements grounded in objective observation.  My response was to ask to be taken through the process described - in these terms, to be shown how the objectivity of a tree was reflected in the subjective deity described, and (more importantly) how certain subjective interpretations could be shown to be incorrect.  Essentially, I am asking "how can we know that the creators of those deities did not make similar errors to video-guy?". 

"that plant makes me think of strength - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like strength Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the strength like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

"that plant makes me think of shelter - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like shelter Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the shelter like a tree gives) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

"that plant makes me think of stubbornness - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like stubbornness Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the stubbornness like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

....and so on.  Each person may look at "tree" and think something entirely different.  Hence I need you to take me step by step through "Tree" (since that seems a reasonable example) and demonstrate how the deity aspects of Tree were arrived at through that method of observation of specific natural processes.

Is "pagan deity tree" (a) in all aspects supported objectively, and (b) is it the only subjective interpretation that can be supported objectively?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Death over Life

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What it means is that we should not automatically assume that everything someone says is correct.  If someone is clearly shown to be dramatically, wilfully incorrect on a subject - as the video guy was - then that should, hopefully, cause the listener to pause and consider whether to trust the other things that were said.  Do we have confidence that this was a single, forgivable slip in an otherwise infallible source?  Or should we consider whether there is a chance that other statements made (which previously were accepted as being plausible) may be similarly incorrect? 

If this is your definition, great! You, me, and even "the video guy" all agree with each other!

Taken together, there is ample reason for me to - at least - be wary of accepting any statement he makes as truth where those statements relate in general to his belief system.

Then please list your grievances when they arrive. Isn't this how we learn? Comparing, contrasting, and scrutiny are what we do when we come into conflicting information and need things to straighten out. Flat out rejecting anything and everything because somebody was incorrect 1 time is nothing more than ignorance. How many times has science gotten something wrong and had to change it's position?

A couple of posts back, you made an assertion:

What you aren't asking what you should be asking is actually the scientific method. We have the hypothesis. What did he observe and what conclusions did he come to to describe this, much less describe this to be a Deity? What this man did was observe Nature. He noticed that Nature follows patterns (or laws if you want to get technical on terminology). He reached his conclusion about the patterns and roles of nature and described it in a religious sense, calling them Deities and describing how they interact with the world and with man.

Effectively, a longer phrasing of the claim that men made subjective statements grounded in objective observation.  My response was to ask to be taken through the process described - in these terms, to be shown how the objectivity of a tree was reflected in the subjective deity described, and (more importantly) how certain subjective interpretations could be shown to be incorrect.  Essentially, I am asking "how can we know that the creators of those deities did not make similar errors to video-guy?". 

I am assuming you are more than aware of the biology and ecosystem of a tree correct? They describe what is the very essence of what biology and ecology of a tree.

What we are addressing isn't the tree, but the symbolism of the tree.

"that plant makes me think of strength - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like strength Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the strength like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

"that plant makes me think of shelter - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like shelter Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the shelter like a tree gives) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

"that plant makes me think of stubbornness - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like stubbornness Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the stubbornness like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

....and so on.  Each person may look at "tree" and think something entirely different.  Hence I need you to take me step by step through "Tree" (since that seems a reasonable example) and demonstrate how the deity aspects of Tree were arrived at through that method of observation of specific natural processes.

Is "pagan deity tree" (a) in all aspects supported objectively, and (b) is it the only subjective interpretation that can be supported objectively?

And with that symbolism comes different meanings.

The tree itself is as we know it, a plant with roots and branches with leaves and for some, fruits and nuts, growing from it.

Certain stories regarding trees are related to fertility and reproduction. In addition, the stories are centered around reincarnation and the tree is the symbol of the cycle of life. This is why the tree is often related to immortality and why the sacred tree is called in religion the "Tree of Life".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_life

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yggdrasil

Where the arguments about subjectivity and objectivity are coming from are about interpretations within the context of the information it contains. This is why your question is a bit difficult to answer.

Back to the definitions, are you familiar with stoicism?

Offline Anfauglir

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As for the problem, you are correct that at some point, somebody sat down and said "that tree makes me think of strength". What you aren't asking what you should be asking is actually the scientific method. We have the hypothesis. What did he observe and what conclusions did he come to to describe this, much less describe this to be a Deity? What this man did was observe Nature. He noticed that Nature follows patterns (or laws if you want to get technical on terminology). He reached his conclusion about the patterns and roles of nature and described it in a religious sense, calling them Deities and describing how they interact with the world and with man.

Take me through, please, the scientific method that this person used.  In this example. the man says "that tree makes me think of strength".  Another person might think of tree as "shelter".  Another might think of it as "provider".  Do all apply, all the time? 

"that plant makes me think of strength - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like strength Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the strength like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

"that plant makes me think of shelter - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like shelter Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the shelter like a tree gives) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

"that plant makes me think of stubbornness - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like stubbornness Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the stubbornness like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

....and so on.  Each person may look at "tree" and think something entirely different.  Hence I need you to take me step by step through "Tree" (since that seems a reasonable example) and demonstrated how the deity aspects of Tree were arrived at through that method of observation of specific natural processes.

You told me specifically that I should be using the scientific process to determine the deity properties assigned to a tree, and you also said (quite specifically) that whatever meanings are assigned to things are not just "made up", but are the logically supportable outcomes of observation.  I asked you to take me through them.  I am still waiting. 

If pagan deities - as made up by other people - are to be of any benefit to me, it needs to be the case that whatever "they" decided is inescapably correct.  I am waiting to be taken through that process please - ideally in a format such as "tree holds the meaning/s....(XXXX).  Meaning 'A' was obtained using scientific method (YYYY) - for these reasons the meaning is supported in all cases, and is the only possible meaning because (ZZZZ)"
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Death over Life

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As for the problem, you are correct that at some point, somebody sat down and said "that tree makes me think of strength". What you aren't asking what you should be asking is actually the scientific method. We have the hypothesis. What did he observe and what conclusions did he come to to describe this, much less describe this to be a Deity? What this man did was observe Nature. He noticed that Nature follows patterns (or laws if you want to get technical on terminology). He reached his conclusion about the patterns and roles of nature and described it in a religious sense, calling them Deities and describing how they interact with the world and with man.

Take me through, please, the scientific method that this person used.  In this example. the man says "that tree makes me think of strength".  Another person might think of tree as "shelter".  Another might think of it as "provider".  Do all apply, all the time? 

"that plant makes me think of strength - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like strength Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the strength like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

"that plant makes me think of shelter - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like shelter Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the shelter like a tree gives) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

"that plant makes me think of stubbornness - I will decide to call the embodiment of plant-like stubbornness Tree.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Tree (the stubbornness like a plant) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing"

....and so on.  Each person may look at "tree" and think something entirely different.  Hence I need you to take me step by step through "Tree" (since that seems a reasonable example) and demonstrated how the deity aspects of Tree were arrived at through that method of observation of specific natural processes.

You told me specifically that I should be using the scientific process to determine the deity properties assigned to a tree, and you also said (quite specifically) that whatever meanings are assigned to things are not just "made up", but are the logically supportable outcomes of observation.  I asked you to take me through them.  I am still waiting. 

I am still waiting on a moderator to approve of my posts in the white pride thread as well.

The scientific method used is the scientific method that is popularly called scientific method. It has been used all throughout the ages. It just wasn't coined until in modern times.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method



Notice how the scientific method is cyclical, not linear? I will also recommend you read very closely the points Make Observations, Think of Interesting Questions, Formulate Hypothesis, and Develop Testable Predictions.

In addition, you mentioning that many people can come up with many differing answers and interpretations to the questions and you are right! They do! That's why it's subjective, but it does not contradict the nature of a tree to see one view it's characteristic of strength and for one to see the characteristic of shelter, and another the characteristic of life.

I hope this satisfies you.

If pagan deities - as made up by other people - are to be of any benefit to me, it needs to be the case that whatever "they" decided is inescapably correct.  I am waiting to be taken through that process please - ideally in a format such as "tree holds the meaning/s....(XXXX).  Meaning 'A' was obtained using scientific method (YYYY) - for these reasons the meaning is supported in all cases, and is the only possible meaning because (ZZZZ)"

To begin, you have specifically stated you don't care about the Deities nor what they have to say here:

I have been a bit busy, so I haven't had the time to respond, until now.

Understanding more about the internal combustion engine will help me understand the development of the automobile - but I don't give a toss, frankly.  Since I have no interest in pagan peoples, I logically have no interest in pagan deities.  If I wanted to know more about the ancient Australian aborigines, I would - I concur - have to look at their mythology. But I don't have the interest, so I don't care about their gods (if indeed they have any).

You say this and if true, I have to ask this question. Why did you bother wanting to debate me in the first place if you have no interest in pagan peoples (since I am one of them) or pagan deities? Isn't this a little counter-productive?

Honestly no - I have NO interest in pagan deities or peoples per se.  But, it seems to be a massive part of your worldview that colours every communication you have on this site.  Having established what a pagan deity is, I am - at this point - singularly unimpressed.  Yet you regard the whole lot as being extremely important - that I find interesting, and I wonder whether it is possible I am missing something.

So no - I currently am unimpressed and disinterested in pagan deities.  But there is enough there to make the exchange worth continuing, for me.

In addition, you have stated there that you only care about how I am dedicated to these Deities which is why we are having the debate: Pagan Deities - more than the sum of their parts.

You will not find any use for them if you don't care for them. My purpose of this debate was to show that the Deities are real and that they are more than the sum of their parts. I am at the point where I think this has been accomplished to an extent and are now just nitpicking details.

One of the aspects of Paganism and "Tree" that you are failing or even refusing to acknowledge, especially with your example of what you want me to use as an example of the scientific method pertaining to observing a tree, is that all of these symbols, stories, myths, Deities etc. have MULTIPLE meanings! I literally cannot give you as you said:

for these reasons the meaning is supported in all cases, and is the only possible meaning because (ZZZZ)"

Because there is not only 1 universal meaning and that meaning isn't supported in every case regarding every myth, story, tale, and is not the only possible meaning to have.

The key to understanding which symbol means what definition and how it relates to the story is context. The method that you have wanted me to call the scientific method and apply it to everything all the time is a linear, mechanical way of thinking in which you will never be able to understand it. Once again, this is why I understand it so well yet, it seems like rocket science for the "scientific" atheists. Every time I turn around, you are taking this discussion as a Christian meaning a linear and mechanical way of interpretation. Pagans think in a cyclical matter. That's how you have to approach this subject. For a bonus, you will be able to see the origins of the Christian and Islamic myths when you see their holy books this way as well. A big example is Christ being based on a combination of Odin and Baldur while of course missing the entire meaning and point of Odin and Baldur.

But anyway, I feel the discussion is drifting from the crux of the argument, are Pagan Deities more than the sum of their parts? Paganism isn't the authoritarian view as it's being portrayed.

Offline Anfauglir

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In addition, you mentioning that many people can come up with many differing answers and interpretations to the questions and you are right! They do! That's why it's subjective, but it does not contradict the nature of a tree to see one view it's characteristic of strength and for one to see the characteristic of shelter, and another the characteristic of life.
.....
One of the aspects of Paganism and "Tree" that you are failing or even refusing to acknowledge, especially with your example of what you want me to use as an example of the scientific method pertaining to observing a tree, is that all of these symbols, stories, myths, Deities etc. have MULTIPLE meanings! I literally cannot give you as you said:
.....
I hope this satisfies you.

So therefore any person is quite capable, at any time, of looking at any aspect of nature and saying "that is what (this part of nature) means to me".  It means that I can quite legitimately ignore any and all interpretations that came before, and use the ones that have meaning to me.

Which, if correct, surely makes a nonsense of any claim to "orthodoxy", because there can BE no orthodoxy as such: there can be "chosen interpretations", but no such group will have any justification for saying "our way is right".   Similarly it renders moot any suggestion that I should care "because ancestors": I may have an interest in the historical sense, but (if any interpretation is valid) then what my direct line ancestor thought is as relevant, or irrelevant, as someone to whom I have no genetic connection.

My purpose of this debate was to show that the Deities are real and that they are more than the sum of their parts. I am at the point where I think this has been accomplished to an extent and are now just nitpicking details.

That a deity can be defined and is therefore "real", I agree.  I am yet however to see any evidence at all that they are anything more than that.  And - in honesty - I do rather object to being told I am "nitpicking" when my specific questions, in response to specific statements of yours, are ignored.

You said that the deities are the product of the scientific method.  I asked you to take me through the process of the creation of just one.  You chose to post a description of the scientific method, rather than answer the question I actually posed.

I know how the scientific method works.  And one of the foundations of it is that it is repeatable =- that, when repeated, the same results will apply.   If the process of "deity creation" does, indeed, follow the scientific process, then the deity arrived at from the starting point of "there is a tree" will always be identical.

I am struggling with this debate because (it seems to me) that your position is switching whenever I push too hard in one direction.  When I say that deities are irrelevant because they are constructs that are subjective to the person who made them up, you tell me that no - they are all constructed according to an inevitable scientific process.  When I ask for that process to be detailed, so that I can see the inevitability and objectivity of the deities, then again they become subjective and open to whatever interpretation an individual chooses.

It feels, in honesty, like I am pushing at a revolving door, and that the answers you give will alter from post to post.  Can we be quite clear please: is my statement below correct, or incorrect?

"Any person may observe any aspect of nature and decide what it means to them, and construct a deity accordingly.  As such, any other person or persons chosen deities cannot automatically be taken to be valid for me, as my process from nature to deity may[1] differ, while being equally valid as a conclusion".

Quite happy for the rest of this post not to be responded to: it is that paragraph above that I would like to focus on, as it is my current understanding of deities based on your most recent posts.
 1. Though it is quite possible that they may be compatible in whole or in part (which would be how traditions arise within groups or factions) but this is not guaranteed.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?