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Re: How to proceed?

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  • Doug Freyburger
    ... There s a huge range in there. There aren t right answers because religion is an assembly of opinions and people can disagree without being incorrect.
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 2, 2007
      "Karl Donaldsson" hfg@... wrote:
      > Lissa spake:
      > > It took some time, but I finally figure out what is bothering me about
      > > this discussion. It assumes there are right answers.
      > Maybe I missed this assumption. I was hoping that religion didn't have
      > lots of right answers, because that's what I see as "dogma."

      There's a huge range in there. There aren't "right" answers because
      religion is an assembly of opinions and people can disagree without
      being incorrect. Feeling that your opinions are right for you is right.
      Going to the extreme of wanting to impose your opinions gets into
      dogma and none here want that.

      There's also surveys of opinions and statistical analysis of the results.
      If there are large trends where the error bar is smaller than the range
      then describing that trend is a "right" answer. But just try expressing
      that some time and see the reaction. Folks never try comparing data
      sets, never pull out statistics formulas to figure out error bars, never
      discuss improving data sets to make them more representative. Folks
      just disagree and discard any observations by anyone else as

      And that's where I start taking Lissa's stance on this - People will find
      any disagreement they can no matter how the data was collected. They
      will take their disagreement and view the data as wrong. There simply
      can't be a right answer that works, no matter what sort of analysis you
      offer with the data. Therefore it's not a road that's worth going down.

      > > I'd feel more comfortable with trying to teach skills and techniques,
      > > rather than truth. For example, how does one evaluate the accuracy of
      > > different types of articles or books? Where do you find out how to
      > > evaluate 7th century Saxon grave goods? Do you evaluate 19th century
      > > historical sources differently than 20th century authors?

      An academic approach on a site that wants to build towards a university.
      I agree that this is the way to go for an advanced course. I have no idea
      if it's the way to go for an intermediate course. It isn't the way to present
      a beginner's course.

      > Let alone the modern life of modern heathens in a modern fashion, which
      > seems as varied as any individual to another.

      I remember Dirk Mahling's attempt to find a necessary and sufficient
      set of attributes that ended up with "The bedpost theory of Asatru". I
      no longer agree that his four points are all necessary but I still can't
      improve on the process he used to isolate them.

      > > Trying to map out modern Asatru,

      The way I see it there's no way that data can even be presented without
      triggering more problems than it's worth.

      > > or how exactly one does a blot or any
      > > of that is not really that important.

      Some folks love scripted ceremonies. Some love to make their own up
      from scratch. Some mine assorted written ones. During Yule I offered
      a simple call that I use as a structure and one kindred decided to use
      it to supply a structure where they filled in the main parts on their own.

      To me it's about ranges of options and degree of desired preparation.
      Offer new folks a wide range of structures and they'll tend to pick and
      chose per their tastes. Then encouraging non-new folks to innovate
      within some pattern becomes the next step.

      > > Learning to think critically is.
      > > If someone gets that down, they can negotiate the rest.
      > Of course -- but critical thinking and religion go hand-in-hand as often
      > as critical thinking and emotional responses do. Unfortuantely, religion
      > for many seems to be one of those "feel" things. No matter how much
      > critical thinking one does, this does nothing to teach one how to ride a
      > bicycle, surf, or sing. Somethings are not about cogitation, but rather,
      > about skill, practice, and subconscious understanding. I suppose it's why
      > I've never been successful at things like uitseta or seidhr, because I
      > lack the feel, skill, and practice with those things.

      Yet there are topics that are subject to rational analysis. Runes with
      good historical background. Surveys of what scholars think of tales
      in the lore versus what clueless but enthusiatic yahoos like me think
      of symbolic meanings within the tales of the lore, and why those
      vierws tend to differ so widely. Stuff that appears to be imported from
      related cultures like the Kelts, Slavs and so on.

      > Critical thinking is a keen and serviceable blade, but it doesn't wield
      > itself.
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