A #Christian Interview with Two #Pagans and a Skeptic: @OceanTheWizard, @Yrysbryd, and @TheBiblicalAth1

I have been conversing on social media and YouTube with a couple of pagans about their beliefs, yet I feel I’ve never received full clarity. Accordingly, I engaged them in an “interview” today to try to cement my understand. Below I have presented the conversation, which at times is somewhat amusing.

Dear Ocean the Wizard and Calon:

Please answer the following questions. I’d like clarification re: your pagan beliefs.

1. Which gods do you worship?

2. Are they fallible?

3. Do they give you purpose?

4. Are they personal, eternal and omniscient?
5. Are they responsible for stopping infinite regress?
6. Did they give us the Golden Rule?

 

Ocean the Wizard responds:

1. The Germanic deities. But also many others.
2. I don’t know how that would apply to the gods. Question is malformed.
3. Yes. But we can make it ourselves as well.
4. Yes, No, No.
5. Deity would be the end of regress in both our cases.
6. Frith would be exemplified by the gods.

Calon (Yr Wrach) responds:

1. Many but primarily Sumerian and Semitic
2. Yes
3. I make my own purpose  
4. Yes, yes, no
5. Yes Nammu is the prime mover
6: the Sumerian mythos are given by the gods so that humans would have civilization.

SJT requests further information:

So your gods are not omniscient or eternal? Where did they come from? Were they present before the Big Bang? Which was first to appear and why did s/he suddenly appear? Who made him or her? And who’s Frith?

Ocean the Wizard responds:

Frith is our equivalent of the golden rule. Peace between people.

And not all are eternal. Some may be. Origin points vary. To me that doesn’t matter as long as there’s consistency. Largely irrelevant to personal spirituality.

SJT requests further information:

Can you please answer all of the questions? They DO matter. I need to know the source of your “not eternal” gods.

Ocean the Wizard responds:

I did. What answer are you confused on?

SJT requests further information:

Where did your gods come from?

Ocean the Wizard responds:

There’s options. Out of Chaos, created by eternal deity/deities, or formed by the “gap” as the eternal ice and fire came into contact with one another. Any of these would work for polytheists. Opinions vary, but it’s not a point of heated argument between us.

Calon (Yr Wrach) adds:

Mine came from Nammu the primordial sea a metaphor for the unmoved mover.

SJT requests further information:

The unmoved mover must necessarily be eternal and transcendent. But pagan gods are not eternal nor transcendent. Please explain.

Calon (Yr Wrach) responds:

Nammu is eternal and transcendent she is simply the term we use for that being from her An(sky god or cosmos ) and ki (the earth ) came together  this Enlil and other gods were born. That’s my pantheon though different pagans have different terms. Nammu is illusive she is indeed the prime mover. As for being fallible I suppose so since she’s a free agent. [Being a free agent] means that they have free will and appear to whom they want when they want.

Ocean the Wizard responds:

This was already addressed when I said that some are or may be.

SJT’s thoughts at this point:

Ocean the Wizard does not want to continue this conversation as he has now stated that it is getting “a little weird” for him and that I have crossed a line. So, I am left wondering whether his gods are eternal. First he stated that they were not (see above). Then he said some were. Then he said that some of the some who were are in the form of “eternal fire and ice,” which clearly were not present prior to the Big Bang. Scientists have determined that no space, time, or matter were present prior to the Big Bang, so “eternal fire and ice” could not have been present. So, we are at an impasse. Such is life. Once again, I am left wondering about Ocean the Wizard’s specific beliefs.

To borrow from a Bible quote, it would be easier to squeeze a camel through a needle than to get clarification on Ocean the Wizard’s pagan beliefs.

Ocean the Wizard responds:

What inconsistency? Eternal nature isn’t necessary to godhood. I feel like you can get that out of my answers. If you want clarification, ask. Don’t make a public document and tweet it out without asking me of I want to communicate that way at all.

SJT asks for further clarification:

Can you please define “eternal nature?”

Ocean the Wizard responds:

You’re the one applying this to your deity. Anyway, your conclusion on your document is so far fetched that it leads me to believe that you’re not engaging honestly. Which is incredibly unfortunate. You’re ignoring several posts of clarification in search for a contradiction.

SJT responds:

Criminy. I’ve left it open for you to edit to be sure I don’t misrepresent you. I went through your TL to add to the comments and responses. Feel free to edit. If you don’t want to, please don’t accuse me of being “far fetched” and not honest. I’m trying to get your answers.

Ocean the Wizard responds:

I gave them to you. I have also told you both here and in the past that there are varying positions and that the origin issue is largely irrelevant to personal spirituality.

SJT offers her thoughts on the conversation at this point:

Anyway, I give up on getting answers to the questions I have posed to Ocean the Wizard. Fortunately, Calon has been much more forthcoming with her answers. Thank you to both for sharing your views.

SJT tweets the following to Ocean the Wizard:

Well, I have entered my final opinions into the Google Doc. I’m not sure what to do with the conversation as I still don’t have full clarity on your opinions. The origin issue is important, as is the issue of eternity (fire, ice, eternal nature….)

Ocean the Wizard responds:

What’s the importance of it? I genuinely don’t understand why Christians need this to be so settled.

SJT responds:

I’m still hoping for clarity: (1) Where did your gods come from? (2) Which were present prior to the Big Bang? (3) How do you define eternal nature, fire and ice? (4) What are your gods’ specific imperfections (since you said they’re fallible)?

Ocean the Wizard explains:

Multiple answers. Out of Chaos, from eternal deity/deities, Yggdrasil, etc. There’s several answers to that depending on tradition.

Unknown answer. Doesn’t matter to polytheism. Not generally something we’re concerned about. If there is a creator deity or deities, you could deduce that it/they exist prior to the Big Bang.

The fire-ice thing would be external to the universe and in mythic language. What that would translate to is unclear. Our universe would have grown off Yggdrasil, which grew from the fire-ice collision.

Depends largely on what you mean by fallibility. If it means that they can fail, the answer is yes. Otherwise, you’d have to explain what that means.

SJT responds:

So they can fail. How do they fail? Any examples?

Ocean the Wizard responds:

I mean, you’re getting straight answers. You might not like them, but you’re getting them.

SJT responds:

I appreciate that. It helps.

I think the final document is ready to go to an entertaining blog on our back-and-forth today. It’s in Google Docs, as you know. Let me know if you’d like to make any changes. I’ll post it tomorrow if you don’t. I can also change your name, if you prefer.

Ocean the Wizard responds:

Yeah this is a copy of our conversation. I’ve attempted to be as clear as possible in light of being distracted by work. If you have any further questions for your blog just @ me.

I mean you can say it was a conversation with me. No worries on that.

The Christian focus on origin is interesting to me. Polytheists obviously have disagreements, but it’s not an issue that comes up between us. Calon and I are both polytheists. We can fellowship spiritually with one another despite this disagreement. Hence why I call it irrelevant.

Biblical History Skeptic adds:

When I was leaning polytheist my origin ideas were pretty Greek. A divine logos that pervades the universe and the gods were personifications of the logos, each one being an emanation of a particular role of the logos. But overall origins were not particularly pertinent to me.

SJT responds:

That actually sounds very consistent with the particular Hindu beliefs I’ve learned about from a coworker and others I know. The “Supreme being” is a passive force, sort of like electricity. The gods are fallible and come from the Supreme being, ultimately.

Biblical History Skeptic responds:

For me the gods weren’t fallible precisely, as they were instead emanations of the logos. As such they were the personifications of things like wisdom, virtues, logic, form, etc. Much more abstract.

There were also two other forces: Ethos and Pathos (think Aristotelian methods of persuasion but more abstract), and the gods that came from them were respective personifications of those.

Calon (Yr Wrach) adds (to the conversation on diversity within the pagan beliefs):

Precisely there are no spiritual barrows that prevent us from doing so despite our differing views.

Ocean the Wizard adds:

Like we could hold ritual together with no issue whatsoever.

Calon (Yr Wrach) adds:

None at all though you may have to tell me proper praxis for it since I’m more used to Sumerian rituals.

SJT answers:

Well, I have three open questions: Can you be more specific about the “fire ice collision” and what sorts of imperfections the pagan gods you worship have? Also, which specific gods were present prior to the Big Bang?

Ocean the Wizard responds:

Imperfect in that they aren’t maximal. Odin is not maximally powerful or knowledgeable, for example.

Prior to Big Bang, deities could be many could be few. Again, whatever creator deities of the universe there are would be prior.

Fire/ice is mythic language. Its from a text written by a Christian which was meant to be a record of pagan beliefs. Take it how you will.

Conclusion

Thank you to Ocean the Wizard, Calon and even the Biblical History Skeptic (who’s now an agnostic) for sharing their views on their personal pagan/polytheist beliefs. I feel we have a better understanding of the following questions:

1. Which gods do you worship? This varies by the pagan sect, from Norse to Sumerian.
2. Are they fallible? Yes.
3. Do they give you purpose? Yes, but pagans also make their own purposes.
4. Are they personal, eternal and omniscient? Yes, yes (some), and no.
5. Are they responsible for stopping infinite regress? Yes.
6. Did they give us the Golden Rule? Yes: Frith is the pagan version of the Golden Rule, which is peace between people.

How do pagan views compare with Christian views?

In contrast, Christians worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which is the Holy Trinity. Unlike the pagan gods, the Christian Lord is perfect (infallible) and He gives us purpose, meaning, and spiritual gifts to fulfill our greater purpose. Like the pagan gods, He is personal and eternal, yet unlike the pagan gods, He is omniscient. He is further omnipresent, which means He is concurrently in our past, present and future. Like Calon’s Nammu, the Christian Lord is both immanent (in this universe) and transcendent (external to the universe). Our infinite regression of time, space, and matter was stopped at the Big Bang, which is the point at which scientists believe time, space and matter began. The Christian Lord powered inflation of the Big Bang, which is the start point for the universe.  The Christian Lord has further imbued all of humanity with the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is embraced by every major world religion, and also by atheists, humanists, and the United Nations (Kinnear, Kernes and Dautheribes, 2000).

The following Bible verse further explains the Christian point of view:

Romans 2: 14-15 “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.”

Thank you for your time.

Reference:

Kinnier, R.T., Kernes, J.L., and Dautheribes, T.M. (2000). A Short List of Universal Moral Values. Counseling and Values, 45: 4-16.

 

3 Replies to “A #Christian Interview with Two #Pagans and a Skeptic: @OceanTheWizard, @Yrysbryd, and @TheBiblicalAth1”

  1. Your conclusions was disingenuous and disparaged the entire point of the dialogue. If you were truly seeking answers, you could have said something much more simply than ending it with a scripture to imply that the answers given back up your claims.

    In order for the answers given to back up your claims, first you would have to have the interviewees admit to following your belief system. As they do not, the verse does not apply.

    Liked by 1 person

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