Re: How to proceed?
- "Karl Donaldsson" hfg@... wrote:
> Lissa spake:There's a huge range in there. There aren't "right" answers because
> > 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."
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,An academic approach on a site that wants to build towards a university.
> > 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?
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, whichI remember Dirk Mahling's attempt to find a necessary and sufficient
> seems as varied as any individual to another.
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 anySome folks love scripted ceremonies. Some love to make their own up
> > of that is not really that important.
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.Yet there are topics that are subject to rational analysis. Runes with
> > 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.
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