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Tysyacha
06-23-2010, 11:26 PM
...about specific religions besides Judaism and Christianity, FROM THEIR PRACTITIONERS, and not some Google or Wikipedia link. So, I humbly ask...

Are you a practicing...

...Muslim?
...Buddhist?
...Taoist?
...Hindu?
...Pagan/Neo-Pagan?

If so, please explain your faith in simple layman's terms, and what it means to you. What are the things that you believe, and why do you believe them? I'm not meaning to be insulting or critical--just curious. I await your responses! :)

Arcesious
06-24-2010, 12:19 AM
Do you want a full range of responses from all philosophies in the realm of 'beliefs' or only responses that are taken from a religious point of view? Just checking, you seem specific enough, but if that is what you wish, then I'll refrain from posting about my own point of view. Given, with enough self control I bet that people from the full range of personal beliefs/opinions/stances can easily avoid turning this in to a debate.

(Off-topic: By the way, Dragon Age Origins is awesome, isn't it? Playing as a Solo Mage is really fun.)

Sabretooth
06-24-2010, 02:03 AM
If so, please explain your faith in simple layman's terms, and what it means to you.
I don't practice anything, but I'll do a spin on this because I'm a wise and knowledgeable person who is well-respected in his continent.


...Hindu?

A vast collection of lifestyles and beliefs that were merged into one in the 18th Century for (British) convenience.

While originating from the ancient Aryan Vedic religion, it has accumulated elements from every other culture it has met, from Buddhism to Islam to Christianity, and even atheism (famously, it's possible to be both Hindu and atheist).

Elements that are almost universally agreed amongst Hindus are:

- That the body and soul and different, and the body is temporary

- That after death, one is reincarnated into either a higher or lower form of life

- This is determined by the actions in your life, good deeds or sins.

- For committing sins, you are sent to a penitentiary to serve your
punishment for a very, very long time, a place called Hell.

- There is one supreme, amorphous God who is manifest in all things and all of creation (samsara), which makes the religion a pantheist one

- There are several deities who all have their jurisdictions of management, for eg. Brahma responsible for creation, Ganesha for wisdom, Saraswati for education and arts, etc.

- There is a complex mythology behind these deities, detailed in the ancient Hindu texts, the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads and others.

- The Bhagvad Gita is the most sacred and relevant text to Hindus, it states, in a gist: Do whatever duty is assigned to you, either by your superiors or as dictated by ethics, and do not let doubt cloud your judgement. Either that, or: it's awesome fun to shoot an arrow into the man who taught you archery.

- Offer a sacrifice of Soma to Gods while chanting hymns. Blessed will you be, the Soma-presser.

- Drink of Soma, Soma-drinker thou!! (not you, this is the Gods)

- Lots of rites and rituals and prayers, but all of these are pretty much dependent on where you live and what is the local flavour of worship there. There are Hindu communities where they barely ever pray, there are Hindu communities where they have to be as deathly pious as... as... well, one of them papists.

- Classical Hinduism also acknowledged and encouraged the caste system, something that is considered bunk in the Reformation of the 18/19th Centuries. In a gist: do what your dad did, marry between people who do things that your dad did.

- It is agreed however, that Hindu canon never suggested stringently enforcing the caste system and only used it as a yardstick for division of labour. Over time, everyone in a position of power from village chiefs to emperors enforced it, as it strengthened their own position of power.

- No, Hindus don't live in Orzammar.

- Rama from the Ramayana is the ideal human being, the ubermensch, if you will. But he used cheats anyway, since he was a reincarnation of the god Vishnu. But his quest is something of a guidebook for how you should be in your life: unyeilding and determined in your task, hold supreme respect for your elders and teachers, be gallant to both friends and enemies, and be the wiser man.

- Also amusingly, modern Hindu fundamentalists will emphasize how Hindu culture is modest and simple, and quite unlike these disgustingly obscene Western cultures; while sociologists agree that Hindu culture must have been very sexually open in the past (not unlike the Greeks or Romans), and the suppression of this is a result of Muslim and Victorian invasions.


...Pagan/Neo-Pagan?

Chrisitianity killed many guys and is fail in general lolamirite Ima worship ancient nature gods because they were my ancestors who were killed by the bastard violent christians

Don't tell my boss that btw thx

Tysyacha
06-24-2010, 09:45 AM
Sabretooth,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful, in-depth, and curiosity-satisfying response! :)

Arcesious,

I was actually hoping to receive responses along Sabertooth's line. Perfect example! :)

jrrtoken
06-24-2010, 10:31 PM
...Muslim?Islam is, in many ways, much like its sister religions Judaism and Christianity, but is also unlike them in many ways as well. It's hard to sum it up in a sentence, so I guess semantics will work; Islam literally translates as "submission" (to God). In English, that sounds rather crude and masochistic, but behind the term it entails pure, unadulterated monotheism. The Judeo-Christian concept of God is the same as in Islam, but Islam takes it a bit farther than just a patriarchal creator; God is both immune to and free from form.

The main scripture in Islam is, obviously, the Qur'an. It's not exactly the "Muslim's Bible" as others would claim; the structure is entirely different than the Bible, and instead of third-person narratives, it's really personified as God's direct revelation to Muhammad through Gabriel. Because of this, it mixes first, second, and third-person views, and becomes rather confusing in context. For example, because every revelation was spontaneous and the entire Qur'an was revealed over twenty years, it's like a school lesson; every revelation was, supposedly, repeated again and again, so that Muhammad would commit it to memory. Once Muhammad memorized each revelation, he recited it to others, who committed it to both memory and paper. So, because Islam essentially founded from near-scratch, it was necessary to repeat the same teachings and theology, even if it get's rather annoying seeing the same phrase every ten pages. :p

The majority of laws in Islam, much like Judaism and Christianity, are extra-canonical from the core texts; when you read the Qur'an, and compare it to what is practiced by modern Muslims, it feels like an entirely different religion. This is where we find hadith, or commentaries of the life of Muhammad. Hadith are more Biblical in form, and usually consist of this: "Aisha reports that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to wear sequent-coated pants and would frolic in the dunes at dusk, proclaiming 'Freemasons unite!'" Essentially, sayings, practices, and suggestions supposedly created by Muhammad were interpreted as mandatory law; words like "should", "try", and "attempt" were all interpreted as "must" and "it is incumbent". Personally, I believe that the Qur'an should be interpreted as lawful canon, and Muslims are at least responsible for upholding it, but hadith, authentic or not, are simply supplementary; Muslims would certainly be better Muslims for trying to emulate the life of Muhammad, but they aren't going to blaspheme by not trying to.

One can see Islam as an attempt to "get back" to a simpler, more personal relationship with God; it's a religion that recognizes the human nature, including the bad and the good, and tries to rid of the former and support the latter. When it comes to practice and lifestyle, it can all be summed up as "moderation"; for example, every person should be generous and give charity when appropriate, but only if it is not detrimental to oneself or one's family. The same goes for fasting during the month of Ramadan; all adult Muslims must fast during daylight hours, but those who are either traveling, ill, or elderly, etc., are not obliged to do so. Alcohol and gambling are prohibited, but the Qur'an does acknowledge the good that can come from alcohol use and gambling, but ultimately concludes that the bad outweighs the good.

Many other Biblical prophets and narratives are found in the Qur'an, and they even mention prophets, events, and scriptures that we, today, don't even know about. The figure of Abraham, is seen as one of the first "Muslims", for his life parallels Muhammad, almost to the letter; both were raised among a polytheist-majority society, both yearned for moral integrity and a "true" god, and both subsequently received revelations from God. Mary is revered almost as a prophetess; she is mentioned more in the Qur'an than even the Gospels. Jesus shares many traits found within his description found in the Gospels, but also has actions which are found in now-gnostic apocrypha.

One thing that struck me when I first studied Islam was the gravity placed of religious tolerance; Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, are affectionately referred to as "People of the Book". They have all received divine truth, and therefore, are included within God's compassion. This term has also been applied to nearly every religion over the years, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and others. There have been many incidences of great non-Muslim and Muslim cooperation and pluralism throughout history, including Spain, Palestine, and India. Subsequently, there's also been quite the opposite, but the reasons were usually found upon the greed, pride, and zeal of a minority of Muslims.

God is also usually compasionate, yet just. Hell isn't exactly permanent for those who do sin for most of their lives; even people with "an atom of faith" are welcomed and forgiven by God. Hell is more like purgatory, really. The doctrine of original sin isn't found in Islam, and the reason is thusly: If God would forgive the multitude of sins committed by many today, then wouldn't God also forgive a petty thousands-upon-thousand-year-old grudge? Would God really damn the innocent for a sin that they themselves had no control over?

This whole next paragraph will sound quite pretentious and existential, so apologies in advance. When I studied Islam, I found it to be very "Christian" in practice and belief, and it was this very "Christian-ness" that made me embrace Islam. I did so, however, without refuting Christianity, however; instead, I found a greater appreciation for Christians and the faith, as well as many other religions, for they promoted similar practices, so they all probably had to come from one source. I found that living a pluralistic life is incumbant upon all Muslims, and we should most certainly find camaraderie within all people, regardless of faith.

tl;dr: I'm a Muslim, but I'm not a terrorist, and almost ecvery Muslim isn't, too. :p

machievelli
06-25-2010, 02:15 AM
An explanation of my religion. Considering the usual attitude, that's a switch. I am a pagan, and before I go on, a little judicious defining is needed.

Thanks in good part to Christianity, if you look up pagan or heathen in the dictionary, you will find 'athiest' or agnostic as a definition, as in 'not believing in god. As I have told several of the prosletyzing types of Christian, I believe in God, I just don't believe in yours.

You will also have the knee-jerk reaction types who equate pagan with satanism. Since we don't believe in you god, why should we believe in and worship your devil?

I cannot say what 'Pagans' believe in full, no more than a single Christian can honestly say what all christians believe completely. We are one of the least organized religions out there, maybe .5% of the polulation unless you toss the Hindu in because they are defined as pagan using the very first definition, as in 'Not a Christian Jew or Moslem'.

What I believe in is a loose personal pantheon formed from six different pantheons spanning Eurasia. Nice to be part of a religion that lets you 'shake and bake' your faith. Each supports me in ways I feel I need help.

Who are they? Starting in the Far North we have Loki and Odin, God of change and the Judge. Blood brothers regardless of the hype, and no Loki is NOT the Norse Satan. Coming south we have Hecate and Pan, Knower of all hidden things, and the original party animal, who I needed to add merely to be sociable in polite company. Heading East Ishtar, the mother and defender, and finally Kali who takes chaos, and creates order be removing the waste.

As for what they expect from me, I think the writer for the Japanese Anime Vandread said it best. They don't want anything from us, they create us, watch over us, and help when they can, but demand nothing in return. Unlike the Religions of Submission, most of the older religions weren't much into 'God said do it or die'. Oh before you ask, the Religions of Submission are the aforementioned 'if you ain't with us your all satanists' types.

If you read my works carefully, you'll see all of them in there. I was writing one scene in my 3rd Faerie book where I described a new contact team being sent out as being kicked out of the nest. Loki put in my head a picture of a mean old father bird walking along, kicking the nestlings out of the nest saying, 'fly ya little (expletive deleted)'. I even made the comment as a joke after one of the characters commented.

Every battle scene with it's confusion terror and pain came through Kali and Ishtar, Every time a Jedi I created made a decision, it was Odin and Hecate. The freewheeling fun when I had the practical joke war between the Jedi in my second pre Republic book, and the irrepressible boys slicing and dicing a ship in the first were pure Pan.

Darth Avlectus
06-28-2010, 05:14 PM
Well, I suppose I can try to tell you about my Native American roots, but that isn't on your list. If you're interested. Though I'm afraid there's not much to tell that isn't fairly common knowledge.

Tysyacha
06-28-2010, 05:32 PM
Please, tell me! I know it wasn't on my list, but that counts as "another religion"!

machievelli
06-29-2010, 12:00 AM
Well, I suppose I can try to tell you about my Native American roots, but that isn't on your list. If you're interested. Though I'm afraid there's not much to tell that isn't fairly common knowledge.

The worship of the great spirits of nature would to a Christian as a Pagan religion, or as Tysyacha listed it, other, cut her some slack. As for me, I would love to hear a personal view.

Please, tell me! I know it wasn't on my list, but that counts as "another religion"!

A problem with definitions, I think

Darth Avlectus
06-29-2010, 02:50 AM
@ Mach: ehh, not sure I agree with "pagan" as I have seen it applied to the goths and vikings, to wiccans or I guess witchcraft, and stuff like that. Just seems too vague IMO.

Okay now. Salvaging what I can of it, I'll recount...
As you know tribal beliefs were either absorbed into Christianity or destroyed. Tribes also were in nations of their own; Individual tribes comprising collective tribes.

Quapaw is my tribe. "Downriver People". Though the Wiki atricle has information on this, we all know wikipedia's credibility is at best questionable. I have been told from my family it is a part of Cherokee Blackfoot nation, but I would need to verify this as well.

All I know is we spread out after we had interbred with colonists and other foreign inhabitants. Yes Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and my particular family relatives moved to Texas. I'm not sure if my particular branch is of relation to the french colonists but I do intend to verify and even visit all the various areas where the tribe now reside.

Anyway, before all that, as such they also had studied amongst themselves things like how farming can damage the ecology of an area in the long term, and how gathering together to make a city is similarly damaging. We'd studied our environment/climate (HOME) and knew all about it. Land formations. Water. Rare materials. Flora and fauna. Years before anyone else even came here.

My tribe considered rocks and trees to be like people, just of a different form. Rocks as "stone people" and trees as "tall people". Also they believed all life needed a certain level of reverence and respect.

That is NOT to say we didn't hunt or kill, or that we were these passive peaceful people (as hippies would to believe, especially ones who have not seen us hunt and skin a rabbit and toss it in the stew). We were called brutal, barbaric, and savage for good reasons. I'll leave that to your imagination.

Personally I believe the combative sharp reflex nature of that side of my family is due to our heritage. :)

Considering that we chopped down trees and used rocks to help make shelter...and we considered them people like ourselves but in different forms... well, it comes as no surprise (to me) that we had few if any issues with brutality or slaughter amongst fellow tribes. Still, we revered what we took for our own and paid respect to it.

We did honor our hunting kills. When you hunted a wild animal and killed it honorably it became one with you; essentially you made it a part of yourself once you took its remains. There was no frivolous killing, mostly because hunting took a bit of skill, patience, luck, brains, and obviously a lot of activity as well as facing dangers. "Path of the brave" as the saying goes. You did it but you had respect for it. So out of that such respect, we did not waste anything. We paid reverence before the hunt and after each kill.
Not sure how we worked out minor details, though, like sharing the hides of animals with family.

Doubtless there were exiles with no respect whatsoever that were just bloodthirsty, though.

We did believe in "the great spirit" and that mysterious/mystical energies were all around us bound us together. The earth, the seasons, the inhabitants of the earth, the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars, the wind. Not sure if we believed each element had a spirit (like in the sense of gods), but for sure we did believe spirits and energy were all around us. I personally think we did believe the elements had spirits of their own, but not quite in the way as christians or other european-centric beliefs understood it. That they did not have individual or personal entity as "gods" did. We did not believe in gods, only spirits. Still I do wonder if they didn't ponder the spirits having wills of their own. And of course we believed spirits of inhabitants (animals, people, trees, etc.) lived on roaming the earth.

We believed that we "radiated" our own energies similarly to how the sun gives off light. So, it is also somewhat affirming with technology like Kirilian photography. And we knew our animals could see it coming from us as well. In fact in my own life I've observed pets acting strangely around people like they see something I don't. Interestingly enough we believed there were residual lingering spirit energies after a person or an animal dies. No consciousness that we know of but merely a silhouette of what once was. The only modern study I've heard of on anything even close to this is something like "shadow people". Unfortunately coast to coast is about as mainstream as something like this would get. Still, I'd be interested to find out about this stuff.

As to our rivalries with each other, we believed that war was an eternal and inevitable reality so long as we people lived. Our quarrels and feuds were all out of battle in some sort of way. As a kind of unconditional respect (perhaps our semblance of a code of honor) we did sort of believe in equitable trade amongst each other. Still, the infighting amongst us was a major reason we could not unite and were overtaken.

Not sure if ours was a Patriarchal tribe or a Matriarchal tribe, or if it switched around from time to time. Not unheard of for any tribes to have these differences.

My tribe in particular...we were just as bad as other tribes and as that of the "foreign invaders". Aside from our warriors, craftsmen, scouts, and farmers, (for lack of better analogies) we were also slave keepers. Of one another at least.

We fought our best against the invaders but eventually realized, though, that the foreign invaders had us outnumbered, out matched for weapons, and surrounded, and that we would not survive if we didn't try to reach out to them and cohabit/coexist with them in some way. We weren't fools. We knew also we would not get to keep the land if we didn't have citizenship. Though we tried to fool them with the fact we kept "slaves". :rolleyes::dozey: Nice huh? Anyways, fate was kind to us because the "foreign people" in our areas wished to live with us peaceably and amicably. Eventually we married off and interbred.

I look white but have some facial features of the natives. Also, there are few totally white people who have hair like mine. Thick, durable, voluminous and lots of it. We can grow it down to our waists on that side of my family. After having had this "mop" for over 11 years, I'm about ready to prune it, trim it, and cut it to donate to people who don't have any hair at all.

Anyways, that's the best I can recall for now. I do look forward to researching and finding out more.

machievelli
06-29-2010, 10:42 AM
@ Mach: ehh, not sure I agree with "pagan" as I have seen it applied to the goths and vikings, to wiccans or I guess witchcraft, and stuff like that. Just seems too vague IMO.

An interesting view of the world, I must say.

As for Pagan, it was a word coined by the Romans in imperial times, and referred to everyone outside the Roman borders. Within it, you were required to give lip service at least to the Roman Gods; a point of contention that cause a lot of problems in Palestine. If you didn't you were the 'hicks' or 'rubes' or 'yokels' all pushed together ad the Christians have since under the term Pagan. YOu just don't do it the way real city folk do.

Tysyacha
06-29-2010, 11:04 AM
GTA:SWcity,

I am absolutely and sincerely fascinated! I would love to see a picture of you, but I won't ask for it over "teh Internets" if you feel uncomfortable with that.

machievelli,

How long have you been Pagan? I personally have heard of all the gods you mentioned, though I'm much more familiar with the Greek/Roman pantheon than with the Norse, Egyptian, and Indian ones. Kali sounds like a complete "witch"!

Sabretooth,

I hear that Sikhism is a form of Hinduism. If true, what do Sikhs believe, and what do you yourself believe about that (possible) offshoot of your faith?

PastramiX,

How would you respond to those such as Osama bin Laden and the members of al-Qaeda, who say they are the true Muslims/Muslim martyrs? Those who say that jihad is meant to be physically waged against the "infidels"?

jrrtoken
06-29-2010, 08:29 PM
How would you respond to those such as Osama bin Laden and the members of al-Qaeda, who say they are the true Muslims/Muslim martyrs? Those who say that jihad is meant to be physically waged against the "infidels"?First of all, from a legal perespective, bin Laden has no authority when it comes to religious matters and legal opinions, or fatwas; those can only be issued by an imam, or any other respected Islamic scholar. Bin Laden, is, for lack of a better term, an unemployed heir, and has no legal authority whatsoever, to declare (in his view) defensive jihad. Of course, jihad is a difficult and rather vague term to begin with, but that's a whole other can of worms...

Secondly, even if al-Qaeda's campaign was a legitimate war, then it has violated most of the rulings and mandates concerning wartime ethics, chiefly being the targetting of civilians and non-combatants, which has been explicitly outlawed within both the Qur'an and by example. The Qur'an also emphasizes restraint, i.e. if one faction ceases the attack, then the other must do so, and vice-versa. It also mandates that war must only be fought in self-defense against a direct oppression, as in Muslims should not start conflicts without being attacked first. Of course, bin Laden has claimed that such a thing has happened to the Muslim world, and while this is partially true, his argument is rendered null and void; see the first paragraph.

On a moral basis, Islam teaches that murdering innocents is, obviously, a grievous sin; suicide also falls under this category. As far as martyrdom is concerned, it's a rather strange topic in Islam, in that martyrdom essentially equates to the death of a pious Muslim, regardless of cause of death. This becomes a finicky subject, as essentially anyone who dies, even by accidents like floods, fires, and childbirth, are considered martyrs, so to speak. The interpreted proviso, however, is that either the martyr must have been of high moral and pious fiber prior to death, or that the final act that the martyr committed (before he/she died) was not a sin, even if the martyr possessed the intention to sin. Since modern-day "martyrs" in Islam are usually perceived as suicide bombers, then their status of martyrdom is cancelled due to the act and intention of committing a sin.

Pavlos
06-29-2010, 08:51 PM
As for Pagan, it was a word coined by the Romans in imperial times, and referred to everyone outside the Roman borders. Within it, you were required to give lip service at least to the Roman Gods; a point of contention that cause a lot of problems in Palestine. If you didn't you were the 'hicks' or 'rubes' or 'yokels' all pushed together ad the Christians have since under the term Pagan. YOu just don't do it the way real city folk do.
This is an over-narrowing of the Latin paganus (along with its nominal form pagus).

The word more broadly means a rustic, someone from a country or village district. Sometimes it even refers to the lower-class areas of a town, as in Cicero 'nulli pagani aut montani' (Dom.28, 74), lit. 'no countryman nor mountain-dweller', but there is a reference to the 'plebei urbanae' (the plebs of the city) which seems to suggest a figurative use where the idea of height 'montani' is mapped onto social exclusivity, thus: 'no one from the poor or rich districts'. Classical Latin also allows for it to be used in contrast to 'milites', soldiers, as in Pliny (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0139%3Abook%3D10 %3Aletter%3D18%3Asection%3D2). My reading is (very) limited but just looking at the OED indicates that any religious sense doesn't come about until Christianity gets a foot in Rome's door around the fourth century and you have people like St. Augustine the Tremendously Confused and Ahead of his Time... of Hippo writing.

In short: the use you suppose is primarily ecclesiastical and from the evidence at hand it seems specious to suggest that the age of Virgil, an age before the conversion, had a sense of the heathen about the words.

Edit: Plus, I doubt the pre-Christian Romans could care less what those outside their borders believed in considering how they appropriated native gods left, right, and centre, such as Sulis at Bath.

machievelli
06-30-2010, 03:12 AM
This is an over-narrowing of the Latin paganus (along with its nominal form pagus).

The word more broadly means a rustic, someone from a country or village district. Sometimes it even refers to the lower-class areas of a town, as in Cicero 'nulli pagani aut montani' (Dom.28, 74), lit. 'no countryman nor mountain-dweller', but there is a reference to the 'plebei urbanae' (the plebs of the city) which seems to suggest a figurative use where the idea of height 'montani' is mapped onto social exclusivity, thus: 'no one from the poor or rich districts'. Classical Latin also allows for it to be used in contrast to 'milites', soldiers, as in Pliny (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0139%3Abook%3D10 %3Aletter%3D18%3Asection%3D2). My reading is (very) limited but just looking at the OED indicates that any religious sense doesn't come about until Christianity gets a foot in Rome's door around the fourth century and you have people like St. Augustine the Tremendously Confused and Ahead of his Time... of Hippo writing.

In short: the use you suppose is primarily ecclesiastical and from the evidence at hand it seems specious to suggest that the age of Virgil, an age before the conversion, had a sense of the heathen about the words.

Edit: Plus, I doubt the pre-Christian Romans could care less what those outside their borders believed in considering how they appropriated native gods left, right, and centre, such as Sulis at Bath.

I never attributed a religious angle before the Christians took over. It was the uncivilized ones outside the Empire, and the civlized ones specifically in the cities. Of course the OED wasn't written by the Roman empire, and the athiest definition is less than forty years old. I should know it wasn't in my 1956 Unabridged Webster's.

Darth Avlectus
06-30-2010, 03:59 AM
I guess a few more small things: We believed in some kind of deservance value, I guess karma or something would closely resemble it.

Dishonoring hunts was something frowned upon I think.

Another dishonor might have been cowardice.

Disrespecting the dead. I've heard it was common for natives to recount how the spirits of the dead would haunt you for dishonor/disrespect...for example living on land that was once a graveyard.

A relative other shame might have been stealing, but considering how we warred it might only have applied in non-war situations as I understand it.

Not sure how families operated, but supposedly if you couldn't keep your mate for whatever reason it was a sign you were either a bad mate or misfortune was about you. Except in battle which brings me to...

Fighting or killing non-warriors. Seems to me that if you attacked a child or a woman (exception a warrior/hunter woman) and it wasn't a war or battle, but rather a heinous act, that was also dishonor. Wouldn't surprise me if this particularly was served with death. Your guess is as good as mine.

Mind you that since there wasn't much black and white, a few of these things were likely a bit ambiguous and depended largely on perception.

I'm sure there were several other ways one could bring shame upon him/her self.

An interesting view of the world, I must say.

As for Pagan, it was a word coined by the Romans in imperial times, and referred to everyone outside the Roman borders. Within it, you were required to give lip service at least to the Roman Gods; a point of contention that cause a lot of problems in Palestine. If you didn't you were the 'hicks' or 'rubes' or 'yokels' all pushed together ad the Christians have since under the term Pagan. YOu just don't do it the way real city folk do.

Mountain man. Sorta. :shades2:

GTA:SWcity,

I am absolutely and sincerely fascinated! I would love to see a picture of you, but I won't ask for it over "teh Internets" if you feel uncomfortable with that.

Yeah I'm apprehensive over personally identifying myself out openly with pics.

Though maybe some drawn character portrait of resemblance in the future perhaps. Thing is while I have some fanfic ideas in mind (and casting myself as a character or two) I am not confident about the fanfics being any good whatsoever. I'm 'meh' as far as atristry goes; I'm okay IMO but not noteworthy. :devsmoke: I suppose in a timely fashion I'll reveal my rather humble art if nothing else.

Pavlos
06-30-2010, 06:07 AM
I never attributed a religious angle before the Christians took over.
I'm sorry if I misread you but your post certainly seemed to imply that the word had pre-Christian religious over-tones:
Within it, you were required to give lip service at least to the Roman Gods; a point of contention that cause a lot of problems in Palestine. If you didn't you were the 'hicks' or 'rubes' or 'yokels' all pushed together ad the Christians have since under the term Pagan.

It was the uncivilized ones outside the Empire, and the civlized ones specifically in the cities.
Pagus/Paganus is not used to describe those 'uncivilised' people living outside the Roman Empire. The antithesis of romanus is barbarus, barbarian.

Of course the OED wasn't written by the Roman empire, and the athiest definition is less than forty years old. I should know it wasn't in my 1956 Unabridged Webster's.
I wasn't really talking about the English word, I meant the etymology detailed in the OED suggests this development of the Latin one:
The semantic development of post-classical Latin paganus in the sense ‘non-Christian, heathen’ is unclear. The dating of this sense is controversial, but the 4th cent. seems most plausible. An earlier example has been suggested in Tertullian [a Christian] De Corona Militis xi, ‘Apud hunc [sc. Christum] tam miles est paganus fidelis quam paganus est miles infidelis,’ but here the word paganus may be interpreted in the sense ‘civilian’ rather than ‘heathen’.
There are three main explanations of the development:
(i) The older sense of classical Latin paganus is ‘of the country, rustic’ (also as noun). It has been argued that the transferred use reflects the fact that the ancient idolatry lingered on in the rural villages and hamlets after Christianity had been generally accepted in the towns and cities of the Roman Empire; compare Orosius Histories 1. Prol. ‘Ex locorum agrestium compitis et pagis pagani vocantur.’
(ii) The more common meaning of classical Latin paganus is ‘civilian, non-militant’ (adjective and noun). Christians called themselves milites ‘enrolled soldiers’ of Christ, members of his militant church, and applied to non-Christians the term applied by soldiers to all who were ‘not enrolled in the army’.
(iii) The sense ‘heathen’ arose from an interpretation of paganus as denoting a person who was outside a particular group or community, hence ‘not of the city’ or ‘rural’; compare Orosius Histories 1. Prol. ‘qui alieni a civitate dei..pagani vocantur.’ See C. Mohrmann Vigiliae Christianae 6 (1952) 9ff.

machievelli
06-30-2010, 03:27 PM
I'm sorry if I misread you but your post certainly seemed to imply that the word had pre-Christian religious over-tones:


ah, sorry for my lack of clarity. The problem in Palestine was linked to religion on only one end. The Romans mainly didn't care what religion you had, but ran straight into the monotheistic Jews.

They also pretty much left local laws alone. The fact was there were too many crimes under Judaism that were linked directly to religious law. So much so that finally the Romans would not allow the death penalty to be imposed without direct Roman approval; which is why Jesus had two trials, one illegal ecclesiatical one, and a legal one before Pilate.

Sabretooth
07-01-2010, 08:29 AM
Kali sounds like a complete "witch"!
Ever since Temple of Doom came out, she's been turned into that, unfortunately.

Kali looks fearsome: she is always depicted as having either four or ten hands, nude save for a loincloth of tigerskin, a necklace of human skulls, a lolling tongue covered with the blood of her enemies, vampire fangs, bloodshot eyes, and pitch-black skin.

She is the goddess of war, destruction and vengeance. You'd think it's a bad thing, but it's not - war is everywhere, and your side must always win, and it will if Kali is with you. Destruction is often good, for it does away with the evil, the old and the weak, bringing in the good, the strong and the new. And vengeance - even all those B-movie warrior heroines must have a God.

Sabretooth,

I hear that Sikhism is a form of Hinduism. If true, what do Sikhs believe, and what do you yourself believe about that (possible) offshoot of your faith?
That is a bit of a misconception you have there - Sikhism is a bona fide religion that was born out of Hinduism and Islam. The founder supposedly went through several villages, regardless of religion, and took the eldest son of each house to be his follower.

Sikhism blends elements of both Islam and Hinduism, so you have the mysticism of Hinduism and the piety of Islam. Culturally they are close to Hindu culture, but they are a different religion altogether. They are more rigid than other religions though - you don't hear of many converts in or out of Sikhism. It's mostly passed-down.

How would you respond to those such as Osama bin Laden and the members of al-Qaeda, who say they are the true Muslims/Muslim martyrs? Those who say that jihad is meant to be physically waged against the "infidels"?
I'm not Muslim, but I do have Muslim friends, and they're generally considered loonies using religion as an excuse to get what they want.

Q
07-06-2010, 10:59 AM
You could say that I work for the spiritual prosecuting attorney's office. ;)

Qui-Gon Glenn
07-06-2010, 11:44 AM
You could say that I work for the spiritual prosecuting attorney's office. ;)
I totally applied for that job :carms:

Q
07-06-2010, 11:50 AM
I was recruited.