Now, this certainly isn't a problem that will likely escalate into violence, and it's certainly not like the DC-40 event that happened last year. But it is damn annoying.
As we all know, words in our languages constantly change their meaning. Dictionary.com has updated their definition of the word "Agnostic." For the most part it has stayed the same, and for now, I will skip definition #1.
2. A person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.
3. A person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic: Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality.
4. Of or pertaining to agnostics or agnosticism.
5. Asserting the uncertainty of all claims to knowledge.
6. Holding neither of two opposing positions: If you take an agnostic view of technology, then it becomes clear that your decisions to implement one solution or another should be driven by need.
So we don't see any real problem for us, not yet. Agnostics are - as they've been for ages - people who are "on the fence" regarding any system of belief Now we come to definition 1.
1. A person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. Synonyms: disbeliever, nonbeliever, unbeliever; doubter, skeptic, secularist, empiricist; heathen, heretic, infidel, pagan.
So we are now synonymous with people uncertain of their beliefs? While some of these terms and ideals on religion and faith can and do apply to some Pagans I'm sure, there are some of us - many of us - who are very firm in our beliefs. We believe our Gods to be more than "unknowable" forces, and we feel a very strong, understanding connection to them.
And what of other religions? Muslims, Jews, Hindus and many others are constantly called "nonbeliever" by Christians. In today's world, this term has become synonymous with "Non-Christian." Not only this, but one can be a heretic or an infidel and still believe very strongly in another God.
I have sent Dictionary.com two requests to change or remove these four italicized words from the definition of Agnosticism on the grounds of my strong belief in my Gods as more than "unknowable." They have been since ignored. As such, I feel a stronger non-Christian response and outcry is needed. If we remain silent while the world changes around us, then we truly will pass into antiquity and the definitions will accurately define a people who did not stand up for their beliefs and their right to be recognized.
As defined by Oxford, "Pagan" means a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions: a member of a modern religious movement which seeks to incorporate beliefs or practices from outside the main world religions, especially nature worship. So by this definition, you as a Nature Worshiper are correct to identify as Pagan.
And yet were not the Druids nature worshipers? Unnamed neolithic beliefs before them? They are hardly Neo-Pagans.
MANY dispute that any DRUIDS survived.........the DRUIDS today are "neo Druids......"......okey doke......
Druids today would be, I would agree to that. What I meant was that "Nature Worshiper" is far from limited to the newer generations of Pagans.
INDEED! Many respect Nature too,if not worship it in many paths. MANY of the olde ways used Nature in conjunction with their path. the awareness was there because of the close contact with Mother Earth daily. To think or assume it is ONLY NEW AGE folks that respect,honor or give tribute to Nature is,ah,limiting......
As far as my experience goes, that's pretty much what "Nature Worshipers" do. They don't literally bow down and pray to a tree, they just have immense reverence for nature and the Elements. The "language" may be modern, but the practices aren't necessarily new.
And I would ask that you read the above not with an argumentative tone, I just wanted to get that in. I'm actually physically too exhausted to get into too heated debates tonight.
That's actually a fair point, thank you. I've simply grown very used to using "Pagan" in everyday speech as it's easier and quicker than saying "Neopagan." But Neopagan is more accurate to describe Pagans today. As we were discussing on another thread (I think it was the split one,) technically everyone practicing in this age is "new age" as none of us belong to the ancient cultures.
I'm still moderately confused, and upon reviewing the Oxford definition I don't think Neopagan would be accurate to what I am. I think, like you, I would be considered a "Modern Pagan." I don't belong to any movements per se, I simply believe what I believe, and it does fall within the OED definition of Pagan.
I'm sure you have imagined that I'm this 'mean' person who is just here to derail your discussion and hurt your feelings.
Currently this is all I have the mental energy to address, not at fault of anyone just generally felling cruddy. I don't think you're a "mean person," just very strong-willed. Likewise I'm not trying to be a willfully ignorant person, I think there are just some points that I'm not quite understanding. Hence why I never claim to be wise or intelligent. I do appreciate your persistence in trying to clarify the words used and language associated with them, and appreciate your lack of personal attacks and "snarky" remarks.
And now I begin a medicated hiatus from the forums. Ciao.
Synonyms are not meant to be wholly interchangeable; their appropriateness depends on context.
Anyone remember the episode of 'Friends' in which Joey writes a letter, and in an attempt to sound more intelligent, uses a thesaurus for nearly every word? For example, "they have big hearts" becomes "they are in possession of full-sized aortic pumps". By the time he's finished, the letter has become completely nonsensical.