Originally posted by forestlady
Originally posted by mmmeat
I disagree with DogHead, but I also have to say that believing that Paganism or Shamanism is the 'first religion' is somewhat naive.
Why do you think it is naive? I regularly read books by established authors/anthropologists/etc. and this is what they all say. It's pretty much the
established opinion of scholar who study these things. Do you have
knowledge that anothe religion was first, and if so what is it? Please explain why you think this and tell us what religion did come first, in your
I don't think
it's naive, I know
that it is.
You're confusing a set of thoroughly modern cult/spiritual practices with an all-encompassing term that is only all-encompassing to the neophyte:
To quote Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Paganism was (and still is, to a degree) a catch-all word - a stereotype, if you will - to the uninitiated for 'any religion that isn't
monotheistic,' like Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. Sort of like how every meat that isn't pork- or beef-based tastes like chicken ... Just
because it tastes
like chicken doesn't mean it is
chicken. And that's where many modern pagans get confused.
What you read and interpret isn't necessarily "what they all say," it's what you want
them to all say. Any scientist,
anthropologist or researcher worth his salt wouldn't get backed into that corner; new discoveries are made regularly that change how we 'connect the
dots' of history.
There are many religions that some classify as pagan simply because they don't believe in the Christian, Judeo or Islamic God. Others classify
polytheistic beliefs as being pagan. Most of the existing 'pagan' cults are based on ideology from the 1800s. But, at the end of the day, there
are non-pagan monotheistic religions that are based on belief in one - for lack of a better term - god, and that god isn't from any of the three
major religions. Throughout history people have worshipped bears. Dolphins. Their johnsons. Whatever. We've got proof of this. This doesn't
make the cult of the bear pagan; it only makes it a religion older than shamanism and older than paganism.
Attempting to connect modern paganism to the past - beyond the Roman definition of pagan, which simply meant 'hillbilly religion' - is like
attempting to connect modern Freemasonry to the builders of the pyramids. Sure, you could do it ... but it's not based on historical fact.
As far as your used of 'us' goes ... it's just you
, baby. No matter how much you think everyone is agreeing with you, or how badly
you want to be the spokesmodel for a group of people, or how many voices are clamoring for attention in your head ... you're
the only person
writing the post, and you're
the only person who is looking for a response from me. Hate to burst your bubble, but it's kind of a flimsy
bubble that doesn't stand up well. Sort of like the statement that paganism is the world's oldest religion.