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Ulfsark, I understood your explanation. I can't say I can relate to it but I understood it nonetheless.

 

Do you have a holy book? Prophecies? How has your religion been transmitted? Have you kept records of transmission? 

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I'd kind of like to know that myself. A lot of what he's said so far bears a striking resemblance to what's recorded in Bulfinch's Mythology but I've been nervous about assuming that these guys take any of its sources seriously. A lot of those old Nordic texts were written by medieval Christians who for some reason insisted on inserting biblical and Christological elements instead of sticking strictly to the original story. (You'd think they'd have counted such an act as blasphemous.) The degree of reliance on scripture varies from religion to religion and in some of the pagan ones, both ancient and modern, you'll find a striking amount of indifference to the subject. Wiccans, for example, don't seem to have shared texts of *any* kind and just write their own "books of shadows", which are mere spellbooks/diaries containing what they've learned so far. But then again I know very little about that.

Edited by IAmZamzam

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It is the first time I have ever heard of this religion. It is really something different from Islam. Like you agreed that you don't know about the rest of the world and who are their gods. I find this strange.

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Didn't he say that he has a certain amount of familiarity with Christianity, just not with Islam?

 

Yeah, I didn't know there were still Odin worshipers either. I realized this isn't good but at first I wondered if the whole thing was some kind of trick and dude was an atheist trying to pull an unusually subtle and complicated version of the old, "Make fun of believers by comparing their gods to mythological deities while being sure to insist to yourself that you're making a 100% fair intellectual argument and not being a tremendous snob." I forgot that it's the trademark annoying message board Christian evangelists who sometimes get deceptive like that, whereas the trademark annoying message board antitheists are much more in your face with their own respective vices. Why would they hide what they're doing?? They're too proud. I'm very sorry it even crossed my mind.

 

I'm having trouble understanding the thrust of your religion, Ulfsark. This often happens when widely contradictory faiths meet, seeing as religion is expressed through a lot of symbols, and because it can be difficult to summarize succinctly. Is there some kind of central creed, like articles of faith or something? For instance Islamic doctrine boils down to believing in six things: God (S), His prophets (P), His angels, His divine plan, His scripture, and Judgment Day. Is there anything like that?

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Ulfsark, I understood your explanation. I can't say I can relate to it but I understood it nonetheless.

 

Do you have a holy book? Prophecies? How has your religion been transmitted? Have you kept records of transmission? 

We have several books that are Holy. the Havamal, the Poetic and Prose Edda.along with the Sagas which tell the tales of my ancestors instead of the gods themselves.

 

We do in fact have many prophecies. the most important is probably the Voluspa: the prophecies of the Volva(Witch).

 

Do you mean transmitted from God to Man or from men to other men over time?

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I'd kind of like to know that myself. A lot of what he's said so far bears a striking resemblance to what's recorded in Bulfinch's Mythology but I've been nervous about assuming that these guys take any of its sources seriously. A lot of those old Nordic texts were written by medieval Christians who for some reason insisted on inserting biblical and Christological elements instead of sticking strictly to the original story. (You'd think they'd have counted such an act as blasphemous.) 

Unfortunately many of our stories have been corrupted, but its generally easy to identify them. Our tales are sung and when later people changed them, they were often ignorant of sentence structure and lyrical prose so the new passages stick out like a sore thumb.

Many of the tales are older though, its just a matter of sifting through the corrupted stuff.

We also have strong family traditions, I for instance have stories from my Father that I cant find anywhere else.

 

 

The degree of reliance on scripture varies from religion to religion and in some of the pagan ones, both ancient and modern, you'll find a striking amount of indifference to the subject. Wiccans, for example, don't seem to have shared texts of *any* kind and just write their own "books of shadows", which are mere spellbooks/diaries containing what they've learned so far. But then again I know very little about that.

Wiccans, Neo-pagans and their ilk are the bane of my existence simply because people often confuse us with each other. Those people are the eponymous "rebels without a cause" who think twirling around and muttering broken sentences in a dead language makes them stand out.

 

 

I'd kind of like to know that myself. A lot of what he's said so far bears a striking resemblance to what's recorded in Bulfinch's Mythology but I've been nervous about assuming that these guys take any of its sources seriousl. A lot of those old Nordic texts were written by medieval Christians who for some reason insisted on inserting biblical and Christological elements instead of sticking strictly to the original story. (You'd think they'd have counted such an act as blasphemous.) The degree of reliance on scripture varies from religion to religion and in some of the pagan ones, both ancient and modern, you'll find a striking amount of indifference to the subject. Wiccans, for example, don't seem to have shared texts of *any* kind and just write their own "books of shadows", which are mere spellbooks/diaries containing what they've learned so far. But then again I know very little about that.

I don't associate with them, and my group does not allow those who take such things to my religion with a welcome hand because they are not serious about the faith, I've seen it here that "Islam is not a hobby, its a lifestyle" Strangely enough, i often use exactly that phrase with Odinism.

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Didn't he say that he has a certain amount of familiarity with Christianity, just not with Islam?

 

Yeah, I didn't know there were still Odin worshipers either. I realized this isn't good but at first I wondered if the whole thing was some kind of trick and dude was an atheist trying to pull an unusually subtle and complicated version of the old, "Make fun of believers by comparing their gods to mythological deities while being sure to insist to yourself that you're making a 100% fair intellectual argument and not being a tremendous snob." I forgot that it's the trademark annoying message board Christian evangelists who sometimes get deceptive like that, whereas the trademark annoying message board antitheists are much more in your face with their own respective vices. Why would they hide what they're doing?? They're too proud. I'm very sorry it even crossed my mind.

 

I'm having trouble understanding the thrust of your religion, Ulfsark. This often happens when widely contradictory faiths meet, seeing as religion is expressed through a lot of symbols, and because it can be difficult to summarize succinctly. Is there some kind of central creed, like articles of faith or something? For instance Islamic doctrine boils down to believing in six things: God (S), His prophets (P), His angels, His divine plan, His scripture, and Judgment Day. Is there anything like that?

My religion emphasizes pride as a virtue, but I'm sorry if I have come across as snobbish.

 

I can understand the trouble, My ancestors did not separate their culture from their religion, so many things need to be spelled out whereas i could normally just say it.

We don't really have a central creed. We have the nine noble virtues and the nine charges, we have our stories and the advice of the Havamal. I think the difference is that Islam is a revealed religion, its meant to be taught to someone who then goes on to spread it. Mine is an inherited religion religion, we don't spread it and most of the things in it are taught as part of a culture instead of a separate religion.

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I did not mean to say that you came across as snobbish. If the misunderstanding was my fault then I'm sorry.

 

I don't see why any religion should be passed down only. If you consider it to be true, why make a point of not teaching it to anyone who falls outside of a certain accident of birth?? That doesn't sound fair to me.

Edited by IAmZamzam

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Because the faith is based on Blood ties and lineage. Those who are not my kinsmen cannot be of my faith.

 

It might not be the best way to spread something, but its simply the way it is.

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How many divine chromosomes are required? Does it suffice to be 1/4,096th from your bloodline? You do know that eventually a point must come when everything from the original genetic code is lost, just as when tumbleweed picks up new bits of bramble as it rolls along the ground, a time comes after a very long while when it consists entirely of newer bramble? Does the religion have to end at that point?

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No, it doesn't quite work out that way.

 

Its not about chromosomes, its about kinship on a more cultural level. Those who are closest to me are my family, my family will breed within my community and have already done so for thousands of years.

Then there are the people who do not resemble me, they do not share my traditions or culture, my beliefs or way of life. These are Stranger Folk to me. the fact that they happen to be of my species is of little concern.

 

 

 Does it suffice to be 1/4,096th from your bloodline?

No, a little shred is not enough. My gods call through the blood and they need that blood to call through. If someone is even only half of my people, then i would say that instead of being able to access both parents gods, they can access neither.

It doesn't require total purity though, and there is no real consensus on what level of descent is truly required.

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I think Odinism is not the only pagan religion where warlords and kings declare themselves gods to secure total loyalty and obedience from their people, taking advantage of people's ignorance and lack of faith in our One creator. It also gave them the chance to build a dynasty, securing power to their families and children for generations.

This happened as far back in history as the ancient Egyptians, where pharaohs declared themselves gods with imaginative super powers..

  • The Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs were believed (throughout ancient Egyptian history) to be incarnations of the god Horus, derived by being the son of the sun deity, Hathor (or later, Isis), or the sky deity, Nut.
  • In Imperial China, an emperor was considered the Son of Heaven. The scion and representative of heaven on earth, he was the ruler of all under heaven, the bearer of the Mandate of Heaven, his commands considered sacred edicts. A number of legendary figures preceding the proper imperial era of China also hold the honorific title of emperor, such as the Yellow Emperor and the Jade Emperor.
  • In earliest Roman times the king was a spiritual and patrician figure and ranked higher than the flamines(priestly order), while later on in history only a shadow of the primordial condition was left with the sacrificial rex sacrorum linked closely to the plebeian orders.
  • In ancient Japan, it was customary for every clan to claim descendancy from gods (ujigami), and the royal family or clan tended to define their ancestor as the dominant, or most important kami of the time. Later in history, this was considered common practice by noble families, and the head members of the family, including that of the imperial family, were not seen to be divine. It was not until the Meiji period, that the Japanese Emperor began to be venerated under a system of State Shinto, along with a growing sense of nationalism.
  • In ancient south east Asia, Devaraja is the Hindu-Buddhist cult of deified royalty in Southeast Asia.[1] It is simply described as Southeast Asian concept ofdivine king. The concept viewed the monarch (king) as the living god, the incarnation of the supreme god, often attributed toShiva or Vishnu, on earth. The concept is closely related to Indian concept of Chakravartin (universal monarch). In politics, it is viewed as the divine justification of a king's rule. The concept gain its elaborate manifestations in ancient Java and Cambodia, where monuments such as Prambanan and Angkor Wat were erected to celebrate the king's divine rule on earth.
  • In Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism use the tulku system, an ancient way of finding the reincarnation of a previous deceased lama: they are usually young boys, sometimes of wealthy and influential families and sometimes of peasant families like the current 14th Dalai Lama, that are found and enthroned as the reincarnation of an enlightened person that has already deceased. Every tulku are still called on the title of Rinpoche and is given as much respect as his previous reincarnation. Complying with each and every wish of a child- or adult tulku is not unusual. Tulkus lead responsible lives because of their status as a bodhisattva. While many tulkus are monks, some tulkus choose to lead lay lives with families of their own.

Those all are understandable, when there were widespread ignorance and lack of faith in our creator. The myth of those "gods" achieved its purpose at the time. It made those warlords and kings more powerful, victorious in battles, and made it easier for them to suppress and silence any isolated objecting voices. But it is far more strange to find that there are still followers of such pagan religions until today. Our friend Ulfsark here, however, will find it hard to embrace any real religion, because he was taught that he is a descendant of his gods, which makes the whole thing a blood relation, not just a religion. I'm not arguing the blood relation, I believe him. But his relatives were merely humans not gods. It was to their advantage at the time to picture themselves as gods. That's probably why the Vikings were so powerful and victorious in their raids on neighboring European nations. But all that is gone now, mission accomplished, purpose served. Why still cling to those imaginative theories and make them your religion that you'll die with? I imagine, if those gods were around today, they would be surprised that people still believe it, and probably release their people from worshiping them any longer. Its OK to hold on to your ancestor's traditions and customs, after all its your identity. But to make it your religion? that is not understandable.

 

By the way, how many Odinism followers exist in the world today? I failed to find any stats.

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kings declare themselves gods to secure total loyalty and obedience from their people

Your evidently not familiar with the practice of Germanic Kingship. The freemen of a people elect the King(though it is often the kings son or one of his brothers) and at no point in time is total obedience even expected. As i said before "Not even to our Gods do Norsemen kneel" and certainly not to some King.

 

 

It was to their advantage at the time to picture themselves as gods. That's probably why the Vikings were so powerful and victorious in their raids on neighboring European nations.

Why would that make them more powerful? And it should be stated that by the time of the first Viking raids around 800BC, my faith had allready been around and documented in the germanic tribes since the time of Rome, one of the roman historians went to Sweden and spoke with the locals and reckoned that Freyr's son Fjolnir had ruled during or within a generation of 0BCE, so at the very least, it was already 800 years later.

 

 

It also gave them the chance to build a dynasty, securing power to their families and children for generations.

The Problem with that is my people have no such Kings based on Divine Right. All our people descend from the gods, not just the royal family(ies), so a man claiming descent from Odin is no more special and likely to be king than the next one.

 

 

find it hard to embrace any real religion

That speaks as though my faith were not a true religion, in which case i would have to ask exactly what makes a religion then?

 

 

if those gods were around today, they would be surprised that people still believe it, and probably release their people from worshiping them any longer.

Considering I believe that my gods are still active in the world, even sometimes coming in human form, i would have to firmly reject that.

 

 

By the way, how many Odinism followers exist in the world today? I failed to find any stats

Its a hard thing to find stats for due to various reasons.

 

The exact number of adherents worldwide is unknown, partly because of the lack of a clear definition separating Asatru (or Odinism) from other similar religions. There are perhaps a few thousand practitioners in North America (10,000 to 20,000 according to McNallen[49]), about 1950[50] in Iceland, a thousand or so in Melbourne, Australia, and 350 organized Asatru in Germany, with other groups scattered world wide. These figures, however, do not include the many thousands of Germanic heathens in Russia

I've seen Russian estimates as high as 500,000, but admittedly, it seems a tad high.

I cant truly say how many there are, I have an active community with no problem though, so it can't be too low, but is certainly not in the hundreds of millions or anything like that.

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"The Problem with that is my people have no such Kings based on Divine Right. All our people descend from the gods, not just the royal family(ies), so a man claiming descent from Odin is no more special and likely to be king than the next one."

 

That was hardly the point. But I don't find it at all hard to believe. I remember my old college anthropology textbook noting, in discussion of the universality of enthnocentrism, that when explorers traveled to other cultures they found a remarkable abundance of independent peoples whose name for themselves translates literally to things like "the people" or "the only people" or "the true people". For instance it may be considered less offensive to call someone Inuit than to call him Eskimo but the former ("the people", their name for themselves) is just as unnecessarily complimentary as the latter ("cannibals", the name given to them by equally ethnocentric settlers) is insulting. It's a no-win situation.

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If your gods created the first man, doesn't this mean that your gods are the gods of the whole human race?

 

If you don't kneel even to your gods, i.e. not worship them, what makes your gods gods? What constitutes a god in your religion? 

 

If you are a literal descendant of gods, how did the offspring of your gods turn into humans? 

 

"Do you mean transmitted from God to Man or from men to other men over time?"

 

Well I guess both. Did your people keep records of transmission, i.e. X transmitted a holy book to Y who in turn transmitted it to Z who in turn transmitted it  to A...all the way until the present day?

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Also: I've noticed that only Dot has really commented on anything. i would welcome any other opinions and insight as well. I Only bite a small amount, I promise.

 

lol Just following the conversation.  :D

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If your gods created the first man, doesn't this mean that your gods are the gods of the whole human race?

Not necessarily, as mentioned above, many cultures have a form of ethnocentrism, when my ancestors say that our gods created the first man and woman, they likely did not mean to imply that other people were also of the same stock.

 

 

If you don't kneel even to your gods, i.e. not worship them, what makes your gods gods? What constitutes a god in your religion? 

No, No, you misunderstand. We worship the gods but that is completely different from being obedient to them. its just a different world view between two religions I think, my Gods would look down upon a person who simply obeyed them as weak and pathetic and not worth he trouble of caring for. Unworthy of the blood in essence.

That's one of the main differences I think, in my faith we are not servants or slaves, but kin of the gods themselves.

 

 

If you are a literal descendant of gods, how did the offspring of your gods turn into humans?

They mated with humans and the offspring was human. (though generally very great humans, some of the offspring of gods and even generations later exhibited various powers, strength and wisdom beyond most men.)

 

 

Well I guess both. Did your people keep records of transmission, i.e. X transmitted a holy book to Y who in turn transmitted it to Z who in turn transmitted it  to A...all the way until the present day?

My people kept an Oral History that was deeply rooted in our culture. Deeds of greatness are very important to us and we had people in society who's job it was to memorize laws and old stories and create new songs for new hero's.

We didn't keep a written record of anything until after Christianity took hold and western culture as we know became dominant. Not that we didin't have forms of writing, Historians think Norsemen possessed some of the highest rates of literacy in the world at the time, almost everyone could read and write at least a little, but their were no books, most writing took the form of Runestones which were raised to honor dead ancestors or even ones self.

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when my ancestors say that our gods created the first man and woman, they likely did not mean to imply that other people were also of the same stock.

 

So do you believe that 'other people' were created by other gods that are different from your gods?

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This is the scale of the universe, as far as anyone can determine:

 

http://htwins.net/scale2/

 

(*grumling* They have to throw in that stupid teapot....)

 

Now tell me: is it pathetic to be subordinate to something unimaginably greater than yourself, or is it just common sense? All of this came from somewhere.

Edited by IAmZamzam

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So do you believe that 'other people' were created by other gods that are different from your gods?

I would think so, I don't discount the existence of other gods than my own and it would be unforward to proclaim my stories true and everyone else to be false.

 

 

Now tell me: is it pathetic to be subordinate to something unimaginably greater than yourself, or is it just common sense? All of this came from somewhere.

It entirely depends on how you show that subordination. It is right to follow those greater than yourself, it is part of Nature's Order and otherwise we would have chaos, but to plead and beg and grovel is pathetic, regardless of the power of the master, it is beneath me and any man.

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“It is right to follow those greater than yourself, it is part of Nature's Order and otherwise we would have chaos, but to plead and beg and grovel is pathetic, regardless of the power of the master, it is beneath me and any man.”

 

“In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace: All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds, the Most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace, Lord of the Day of Judgment! Thee alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid. Guide us the straight way, the way of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, not of those who have been condemned [by Thee], nor of those who go astray!”

 

That is the opening of The Qur’an and the central prayer of Islam (according to Asad’s translation). Does it sound objectionable?

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Not to a huge extent, no. But several parts are pandering.

 

 

The Most Gracious...All praise is due to God alone.... the Most Gracious (again)

I have issue with the way all the Abrahamic religions seem to revile themselves and constantly give compliments to God, often one after each other. The tendency to Both insult yourself by calling yourself or acting as if your weak and worthless and then telling the deity how much better he is in comparison.

 

Thor is stronger than me, Odin is wiser. That doesn't mean I would make songs about how weak and ignorant I am in comparison to them. 

Edited by Ulfsark

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It seems that once again your knowledge of Christianity alone has gotten in the way. Where does it say, "I know that nothing good dwells within me"? In The Qur'an? No. That's *nowhere* in The Qur'an. It's only in The Bible (Romans 7:18). The Qur'an says that man was made in the best of moulds (surah 95, verse 4). We have no concept of original sin. Indeed, the very first man was also the very first prophet (surah 3, verse 33). There is indeed a longstanding tradition in Christianity of positively ludicrous absolutism about seeing human nature as negatively as possible and good deeds as utterly meaningless. In Islam we believe that everyone is born pure (how could it be otherwise?) and those who become corrupt only do so later.

 

It is true, however, that our purpose is to serve the One who made us. I fail to see the flaw in the logic. When you invent something, it's so that it can perform some tasks or other--for *you*.

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That is interesting. I always thought that a god creates but not created.

And if your gods were created, shouldn't you worship the one who created them all, instead or worshiping his creations?

Who created them all, by the way? who is your god that created the universe?

Second, if you're descendants of your gods, it means that they're humans like yourself?

And if they're humans, who created them then? who created your first generation god?

 

Being Muslim, we do not believe multiple God. Believing on one God is the fundamental concept of Islam. In my opinion, Surat Al-Ikhlas (112, 1 - 4) is the best answer to concept God in Islam.

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I'm Going to be away from my computer for a few days, but I will get back to this conversation soon. 

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