Paganism for Beginners: Controversies

Sleeping Under the Stars, Grapevine Hills, by Costa1973 on Flickr

Over recent years, there have been a number of controversies among Pagans which probably left a lot of newcomers to Paganism a bit baffled, especially when the terminology got a bit arcane. I think these controversies are interesting and illuminating because they raise important questions of who we are, how we relate to each other as a community and individually, what we hold sacred, and how we relate to deities and the world around us. [Read more...]

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Stephen Fry, burrowing insects, and lions and tigers and bears

The Horse Botfly, which lays its eggs on horses' skin and infests the horse's intestines.

Christianity assumes that humans are the pinnacle of “creation” and that the world exists for our benefit. Atheists often turn this on its head and claim that the universe is hostile, but fail to notice that we are just one species among other species. The universe is neither 100% hostile, nor is it 100% benign.

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Metaphors can kill

Image adapted from "Hobbit Home" by shes_so_high. Originally posted on Flickr. CC license 2.0

Metaphors are a very powerful thing. They can dictate how we we see the world, and therefore how we behave. They can constrain our expectations of what will happen, and how it will happen. The metaphorical connotations of an idea shape and limit what can be said about it. [Read more...]

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Atheist critiques of religion

"Wherever there is power, there is a temptation to encourage credulity in those who are subject to the power in question" - Bertrand Russell

I think the atheist critique does religions a great service – it’s like having an independent auditor to look at your work and check for shoddy bits. So how does Paganism measure up to the atheist yardstick? [Read more...]

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