“Hospitality, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Hospitality

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

I have been struggling with something for a while now and that is the ability to connect with people. When I was pastor fo my last church I created a small group of people with the idea of sharing and prayer for one another. I called it Living Stones based on `1 Peter 2:4-5:

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The point was to share one’s struggles and triumphs in one’s spiritual walk with Christ to become drawn together in relationship with each other and Christ as living stones.  it was good in that it was for a while one of the best support groups I was ever a part of and my main motivation for creating it was my need for companionship where I could be open with people about some of my feelings.  It is the support group aspect I miss very much.

Hospitality is the same virtue if you take a broad definition of showing care and concern for others.  Asatru’s definition is about sharing when one can, especially with those far from home. Being kind. But for me, it is also about gathering with others in an environment that is safe so one can share more than prosperity, but one’s life with others.  I miss it.  But I also have developed through the painful experience of trusting others that people can betray you when you need them the most.

The atheist community is foreign to me.  I mean not completely so, but I am just starting in it nad it is good that through the Clergy Project I have a group and it did meet my goal.  But it isn’t the same as having people in your life every day or a couple times a week. Real flesh and blood that you have hospitality with.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

I still need something but I am not sure I will ever have it again.  Fellowship.  I lack fellowship and it is eating at me.  The problem is I don’t trust anyone anymore. How does one meet a need in your life when you have trouble trusting those that could provide it?

Wants (Freki):

On a want level, I want this in other relationships to be deeper, but once again trust or my high expectations seem to get in the way.  So better not to trust at all than being disappointed.  Hospitality demands I trust and boy do I struggle with it even though it would gain for me something I need and want.

Reason (Huginn):

So what is the reasonable thing to do?  It is the question I will have for my therapist on Woden’s Day. I am glad to have a group to talk to and her about this, but how far do I trust them even. Or is the better question, how far do I trust them?  I hate being lonely on the one hand, but I can’t trust people at times enough to open up so I am not lonely. Will I ever find someone to be fully transparent with again?

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom is very cloudy on this issue for me.  Grey and overcast. Hopefully, something will become clear.

Conclusion:

Hospitality is the virtue I struggle with the most. I just don’t know what to do about it.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Pagan Athiest?” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

I am an atheist who wears a Thor’s Hammer on Thor’s Day (Thursday).  I meditate on the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru because it is quite frankly the best list of virtues from my point of view. My moral philosophy is based on a concept of Odin as a wanderer with his wolves and ravens.  Everything about my ‘spirituality’ centers on the simple concept as presented here within Odin’s Eye – changing one form of sight for another.  Mostly discarding the fear of Christianity and embracing the powerful reality of reality.

So yes, I am a pagan atheist.   I borrow from paganism a lot of things that are simply far more true than most things elsewhere.  I just don’t believe in gods, goddesses or divine powers.  The essence of paganism with its wonder of creation, its respect for life, the individual, free-will, and nature, I can very much embrace.

See the source image

I suppose my former faith would say I have become liberal in a lot of things.  I would say this is true for a lot of things, but I also am more human.  More accepting of others as human beings.  I have studied too much history to be a socialist/ communist as those economic systems violate the laws of economics and fail.  I also don’t follow the gun control notions as I have long studied the history of tyrants and one of the first actions of wolves is to take the teeth away from the sheep.  But other than that, I can respect human beings and their freedom a lot more as an atheist who also has borrowed his ethics and little of his understanding of the world around him from pagans.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Meditation:

My meditations still remain on the Nine Noble Virtues as well as my moral philosophy and outlook on life.  Insight into my life is a desire here and the world around me and its reality not the fantasy of made-up notions.  I find this is far more useful to my life in practical ways of applying virtue to my life are beneficial consistently.

Mystery:

There is still much to be discovered, I don’t know everything and never will.  But perhaps I can contribute something useful to knowledge or human progress before I am gone.  Something that will also allow me to be remembered for a little while after I am gone. All I know is that I still have a sense of mystery about the universe, but it isn’t fanciful just a wonder that is far more powerful than any religious wonder I have had because it is grounded in the real world.

Spirituality:

I still long in some senses for a sense of community that is more close to myself.  it is probably the only area of spirituality I still need to work on. On the other hand, I have a huge case of trust no one.  My only hope is that the atheist/pagan community understand loyalty a little better.

Conclusion:

I guess I can look at religion for its fruits and decide as an atheist what ideas have been preserved by religion that are actually good. I mean I believe most things that are good were created by us humans and various religions grabbed them when it suited their purpose and used them.  I now know that by simply being social creatures, humans have developed virtues ethics because they aid with survival and prosperity.  Honestly – ‘live long and prosper’ is indeed our motivation and being a pagan atheist I can see what does that clearly.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Industriousness, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Industriousness

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

The heart and soul of industriousness is having a strong purpose.  Working with a purpose in mind usually means better work that is also done with a lot more joy.  Building something or accomplishing a goal that lines up with an overall purpose gives great satisfaction to any person.

My atheism does not change much here other than the purpose I have is not defined by anyone else.  The only one who can define this is me.  No gods, no masters.  Just me being in charge of my life’s purpose and executing it through hard work.

I can, as Asatru encourages, enjoy work for work’s sake.  I do find some joy in trying to approach any job trying to do it in a way that is more efficient than last time.  There is however a need now that I am no longer a pastor and Christian to redefine my purpose and make it strong. I have been engaged in this for some time but I think I am getting closer to fully understanding my purpose now.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

 

Needs (Geri):

I need purpose so my work has focus. Industriousness might tell me to work hard for the simple understanding of survival but there is prosperity I am after as well.  Not just a prosperity of possessions but the prosperity of mind and heart I am after as well.  There was a day in 2018, I thought I had found it and I have never felt more on top of the world, then it was gone. I need that back again.

Wants (Freki):

I want this because it keeps the Grey at a distance and allows me to look at life in a more positive light.  Talent gets beat my hard work if the talent does not work hard. At the same time talent coupled with hard work is unstoppable. I need to find my talents outside ministry and embrace them and work hard to make them work better.  I think writing is one of them, but I think I have others. I want to discover them and make them work for me.

Reason (Huginn):

I guess the biggest thing about being a person of reason is to note that those who are successful in some way work hard. Even if you were born with the highest level of privilege in life, it isn’t going to be better or larger unless you work hard to make it so.  It takes thinking and vision to make something better otherwise it just stagnates and dies.

Wisdom (Muninn):

The wisdom of working hard is noted in probably every philosophy and religion of note. However, like many things, this is simply those philosophies and religions borrowing something man has discovered by living life. Industriousness, as a virtue, works as hard as it demands you work.

Conclusion:

I don’t have a problem working hard even as an atheist.  My struggle is after so long letting another philosophy tell me what my purpose was, I now have to figure it out for myself.  I do however think the answer is found in working hard to find it.  Not hoping it falls out of the sky.  I suspect once I have found it, it will be the most wonderful thing for me.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“An Atheist/Pagan Thanksgiving?” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

There is no Norse correlation to the American Thanksgiving Holiday.  There is really no holiday at all from a Norse perspective at the end of November and the next holiday that would qualify would be Yule which is the last twelve days of December.  So what meaning could Thanksgiving have for an atheist/pagan?  Honestly, I think it is a nice celebration but it is the term ‘thanksgiving’ that gets me now – thankful to who? The implication is that there is an Invisible Sky Dad to be thankful to for stuff we have and we pause to give thanks to him. As an atheist, yeah no.

My pagan side centers on The Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru, being connected as possible to my heritage and family roots, and celebration of holidays that are based on the seasonal changes of the year.  Thanksgiving isn’t about any of that.  From my perspective as a harvest festival, it’s a little late in the northern clime where I live. Shit, we have had some snow already and most farmers have put away their shit for winter.

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If I am going to be thankful then, I am going to center on people and things that actually exist.  Notably, other people in my life that have actually done something to help me or make my life better.  Family, freinds and the people that created and founded this country on secular principles. It is after all a national holiday.

One note before we look through the eye – in concerning the former filter I had known as Faith – it is gone and I have decided not to replace it with something else.  Probably this is the best symbolism I can make concerning this issue.  One less cloudy filter to look through.  Live is mysterious enough without religion and faith to further muddy my vision.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Meditation:

Being thankful is probably more a part of the virtue of Hospitality, so it becomes a matter of who would one invite and show hospitality to as an expression of that thankfulness.  This is a matter for meditation but it ends with the people who have made decisions that have actually benefited my life. There is quite a list to lift a mug of mead to in that regard. Not just living today but in the past.  Ancestors both biological and philosophical that in the end revolutionized the world I live in right now.

Mystery:

I don’t think the mystery is so much divine any more to me but the question of who my ancestors actually were and what influence they had on my life.  There is a lot of unknowns that need to be discovered and I anxiously await the means to do so. If there is a legacy to be left to my grandchildren, it is to pull back the veil here and see the truth of who I am.

Spirituality:

The spirituality I can see with Thanksgiving is at some point my family will gather, we will share and meal and drink and talk about old times.  It’s the connections we have that make it a spiritual occasion.  Of course, I have to work that day but that isn’t my employer’s fault.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text that says 'austin @outsinned Ppl will really b like "omg cant believe I you have to work on thanksgiving, you should be home with you family!" While I'm scanning their shit like??? You're the fucking reason Karen Go home'

Conclusion:

I work in retail so I will be from noon till 9 pm on Thursday at work doing the initial Black “Friday” sales. I always find this an interesting study in human behavior.  People decry that we have to work and should be home like everyone else, while they are shopping on the very day.  If companies didn’t make money because no one showed up on principle, they wouldn’t do it. I suppose this is the best I can say for Thanksgiving – let the Christmas shopping begin.  Salute to all my brothers and sisters working this holiday season in retail – “May the odds be ever in your favor”.

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I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Self Reliance, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Self-Reliance

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

I recently changed the virtue of self-reliance’s definition, so it bears repeating:

“Self-Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved when each person is their own master and no one else’s’ .”

When it comes to atheism and the concept of self-reliance, there is a lot overlap here as the one thing one discards as an atheist is a dependence on the divine of any type.  There is no praying for rescue, no religion, no faith that can save you are help you.  The world is a harsh place sometimes and a lot fo the times we are on our own to face it,  Facing that reality is both terrifying and liberating.  Self-reliance is like that because you often wonder if you have what it takes to make it through each situation.

The flip side so self-reliance is the independence of it which is not only liberating but beneficial.  Once you have taken responsibility, then you get to make your own decisions at the end which have a higher likelihood of being beneficial to your situation than ones made by others.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Image result for heinlein quotes responsibility

Needs (Geri):

People do not grow as people without taking responsibility for themselves.  this is a value shared by atheists and followers of Asatru. Otherwise, a person stagnates in their personal development and does not grow because they have become dependent on others.  People need to take responsibility for their life for growth to take place.

Wants (Freki):

We want this as well. Self-reliance leads to reward.  We not only have a better chance of getting what we want but in the end, we build our pride. Something that allows us to walk the world without shame and with a great deal of honor. These are things everyone should desire.

Reason (Huginn):

The rational point of view that leads to self-reliance is summed up in the statement – ‘no gods, no masters.”.  To be free and independent, to enjoy the blessings of liberty, one must be rational and rationally self-reliant.  You simply do not get liberty by being reliant on others to the point of dependence. From a rational point of view, it is unhealthy because to be in any relationship to become overly dependent or dependent against ones will is to be a slave.

Wisdom (Muninn):

The wisdom is this, relationships need to be based on a lack of dominance to be good ones. Once one has assumed the role of master, liberty is gone.  It is the desire to not be someone slave or in return not to be anyone’s master that leads to self-reliance. You are not just a champion for your own self-reliance, but for the self-reliance of others. This is the wise path to liberty.

Conclusion:

I find that one of the dearest virtues of my heart is self-reliance.  It keeps me getting up in the morning and hustling for what I want. It is the spirit of independence and the essence of why I take responsibility for myself and my actions.  No gods, no masters – self-reliant.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Redefining Fidelity” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Sif’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

When you have had an affair wrestling with fidelity is an issue. You might say it has become a ‘what went wrong” issue for me. But that is not all that factors into this.  There are a lot of practical concerns not least of which is as an atheist the basis for marriage has to be practical and also involve spiritual issues from that standpoint.

Are we compatible? Are we good for each other?  Etc.  Feelings of love aside there is the simple question of ‘what is the purpose of marriage, or any other relationship for that matter if there is no god to answer to?’  When the vows you took have no basis to you anymore why do you have to be faithful and should you? It is a discussion my therapist and I are starting to have.

But fidelity is bigger than marriage and my largest problem with my definition of the virtue of fidelity is that it is taken from Asatru which assumes the existence of gods to be loyal to.  It has probably needed a rewrite for some months because of this.  Mostly this idea of gods needs to be addressed but there is also the issue of friends and being loyal to myself.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Goal: To be following a full Paleo Diet by March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April 30th, 2020 – Beltane.

I really have no problem with this definition of discipline. One might quibble about the ideas involving others in light of my new understanding of self-reliance, but leadership does require good discipline of the group you lead to be an effective leader.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking, and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

No problems.

Fidelity:

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s moral philosophy, to one’s family, one’s friends, and most important to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends is valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation (achieved)

Bucket List: Discover all the countries of origin from my genetics and visit them all by March 18th, 2029.

  1. Changed gods and goddesses to moral philosophy
  2. Added freinds officially to the list of groups to be loyal to
  3. Emphasized loyalty to self.
  4. I moved things to the present tense instead of the past tense.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

Wisdom is found in consistency.  As a writer, I dislike plot holes, dangling side plots, etc.  In a same vein, I don’t like inconsistency in one’s viewpoint.  Hypocrisy might have an excuse in someone who believes that simply by believing in atonement their hypocrisies are forgiven and thus justified. There is no such idea in atheism.  You better have some level of pride to be an atheist and this means to have honor and being ashamed when you fail.

Rest Day Routine: 

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  4. Cleaning – varies but one room of the apartment at least.
  5. Reading – 1/7th of a book
  6. Writing – 3000 Words

Solid, it’s just when I have days off I tend to get lazy about things.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

Goals Achieved: 5

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019
  3. Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation – June 2019
  4. Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).
  5. By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Faith Isn’t a Virtue” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

I have been wrestling with the idea of faith for a long time but the struggle for the last six months or so is whether or not faith has any value whatsoever. It doesn’t seem to have a purpose anymore in my moral philosophy or the way I live my life.  I don’t take anything on faith anymore and insist on solid evidence for claims.  The bigger the claim, the large amount of evidence should be expected to prove it.

Odin’s Eye as a topic head has been for the most part about the stuff that I am still trying to figure out form a spiritual point of view.  As I have pointed out atheists do have spirituality, it is just based on human experience and consciousness rather than blind leaps of faith.

The issue is one of my filters for Odin’s Eye has been Faith, and I think it has run its course. Religion gave way to Meditation and Theology has given way to Mystery.  So Faith gives way to what?   Do I need a replacement or do I just discard it and move on without it in Odin’s Eye?

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Faith:

This will be the last time faith will appear in Odin’s Eye.  The main reason: I no longer consider faith a virtue.  There is nothing virtuous about making absolute claims with no evidence whatsoever.  It is not a virtue to believe in something because you want or need to believe it despite the fact there is no evidence for it or worse strong evidence against it. That’s not a virtue; that is wilful deliberate ignorance and there is nothing virtuous about deliberate ignorance.  It is actually a very dishonest position to hold.

Meditation:

Meditation is the last trappings of my religious life.  But it is also demonstrable that it helps calm a person down., clears their head and allows one to focus.  By meditating on the virtues one holds true one can change one’s attitude and perspective – change the nature of one’s consciousness.  That isn’t faith-based at all but neuroscience and practical experience.

Mystery:

Dumping theology was hard because in a sense I still use the skills I learned as a theologian as far as understanding theological points of view.  I use it to debunk them now and I rather talk about mysteries of life not for the purpose of glorying in mystery but for the purpose of discovery of the answers to them. The process of doing this is really anti-faith as it isn’t about acceptance of mystery but solving them.

Spirituality:

My spirituality isn’t about faith at all, rather being skeptical.  Proof my human relationships and consciousness are accurate are important under spirituality.  This is not some blind faith, but rather a genuine attempt to understand all the world around me using my consciousness, my experience and most importantly my rational mind.

Conclusion:

This post marks the end fo faith as a virtue for me.  I see it now for what it is  – deliberate ignorance and ultimately dishonest.  It can’t stay.  The only question now is if it deserves a replacement in Odin’s Eye, or does it deserve the status of a blinder thrown off.  Have I, like Odin, plucked out my eye of faith as a sacrifice? I just perhaps need to put a patch over where it used to be and move along.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Atheism, Asatru and Truth”- Of Wolves and Ravens – Truth

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

Truth is painful but liberating.  It is this commitment to truth that brought me where I am today so it could be argued whether truth as virtue is something more universal, but I don’t think certain forces are som much committed to truth as they are committed to creating beautiful comfortable lies that people would rather have in their lives than the painful truth.

The painful truth is there is no evidence whatsoever that there is an afterlife, cosmic justice after death or even karma. There is no evidence we are special or unique beyond our genetics and that means a whole lot of truth that people not only do not want face is painful to confront.

Asatru’s commitment to truth is one an atheist can resonate with but would state that Asatru believes in things that cannot be verified as truth.  That said the idea of the virtue of truth is more about what to do with truth rather than discovering it.  It is about standing for truth when there is a need and being silent in the presence of fools.  It is about what to do with truth once you have discovered it.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

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Needs (Geri):

We need truth to guide our lives effectively.  The issue is acting on the truth rather than being passive.  There is more to taking the red pill than just knowledge, there becomes a need to act on it or there is no point in knowing the truth. Truth is only effective when it is acted on.

Wants (Freki):

More than need I want the truth because it makes me stop wasting my time, energy and resources on lies.  The issue for me with both religion and government is that the whole of both is based on a lot of lies. Things that not only cannot be proven but also can be demonstrated to be false.  To continue to pour one’s life into a falsehood simply because it gives comfort is still wasting your life.

Reason (Huginn):

It is been said that regarding ‘belief’ that one still should believe in the chance that God is real and an afterlife, but this seems strange to me as wouldn’t an all-knowing god know this s my motivation and what is good about this motivation.  No.  I would rather live my life in truth no matter what fears it might cause.  I don’t waste time, resources or energy anymore on things that are lies or based on lies.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom is hard on this one.  But it comes down to that the truth should make your life efficient because you are not ordering your life on fantasy.  Nothing wrong with science fiction or fantasy as entertainment, but not as a way to live life fully and completely. Wisdom is found in accepting the truth and then navigating through both the pain of it and the liberation of it.  Pain is fuel for freedom is the wisdom here.

Conclusion:

My recognition that I was an atheist was the result of a long journey, but in the end, I feel the truth of it has caused me to recognize what is really important and not waste time energy or resources on something that is essentially organized deception. It was not going into darkness but rath facing the painful truth and coming out of my beautiful lie to being real and authentic. It has been an interesting combination of atheistic philosophy and Asatru in its virtue of Truth that has brought me to this place.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Which God Have Atheists Created?” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

As I explore the spiritual side of atheism, I have to talk about a danger that I see atheists falling into which is creating a new god for themselves.  I am part of a couple atheist groups and one is a group fo fellow atheist libertarians.  One discussion we were having was on this very issue and one of them remarked that some people leave faith and worship of a god and only turn around and start worshiping the government god or the climate change god, etc.  I agree.

Gods of all types are usually constructs of our own minds.  When we don’t understand something in truth by investigation our mind fills the gaps with some sort ‘god’ to hold that place and we either gather more evidence to find the truth or settle for this imaginary gap filler.

A good example is when an atheist starts talking about climate change and starts saying – ‘the science is settled’.  Such a statement of antithetical to science, as science is supposed to always be amendable to new information. Yes, theories form, and scientific theories are strong (such as the theory of evolution) but science is a tool, not an omniscient force.  If it tries to pass itself off as omniscient, or the final word on a matter, then it isn’t science anymore.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Faith:

Faith is becoming a difficult subject for me.  Mostly because I don’t see it as a virtue anymore and am starting to come to the point of view it is the most dishonest position one can take to simply believe something without evidence.  Then to assert it as an absolute and try to force it on others compounds the dishonesty with violence. I have noted historically speaking faith has caused far more wars than reason.

Meditation:

I meditate on virtues, the caution for me is not to make them ‘gods’ either, they need to be amendable and in a week I may be doing some editing of them for this very reason.  Noting can be so absolutely known by us human beings that should not be amendable to reason and wisdom.

Mystery:

I find there is a mystery in the world, but the danger is to use mystery as an excuse to keep my ‘gods’ instead of casting them on the fire with the rest of the nonsense. I need to never accept mystery as an answer like theologians and the religious.  Nothing is exempt from being a subject of being studied and better understood.  Nothing is exempt from criticism.  Mystery should be an identifier of these things, not a cop-out.

Spirituality:

I have wrestled with how to get the human side of atheism expressed more and one of the things is not to be so dogmatic about so many things. Humans are prone to error and so even making humankind a god through humanism is no a good idea.  I put a lot of stock in humanities’ ability to overcome their problems but also know we could fail and that will mean the end of us and the universe would be off to form something else.

Conclusion:

I simply want to avoid making anything substitute for my former faith in the same way.  Filling the gaps with faith, mystery, and causes as substitute gods is not a good idea. The results are of the same negative vein as religion.  People get religious in their fervor to the point of harming others and that same fervor can be in atheists if they take on a new ‘god’.  This is something I wish to avoid.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Courage, Atheism and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Courage

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

Probably the most sobering moment for me as an atheist was to realize that my life is a one-shot.  This is all I get, and I need to make the most of it.  There has been a lot of attacks on atheism that courage might be difficult but I feel that atheists are actually the most courageous people in the world.  We face mortality with a great deal of reality.  We embrace what is true not what feels good.

For a long time, I kept my faith in the hope that an afterlife would give me a second shot. This a nice unprovable fiction. It feels good but it isn’t verifiably true and probably is nothing more than wishful thinking.  Time to flip this and face my convictions with courage and ask the tough questions of life and accept the reality of the answers that are true.

Asatru gave me a definition of courage I accept and still embrace.  The issue is Vikings no longer walk the earth in the old sense and Valhalla is just as much a fantasy story as heaven.  If an atheist lays down his life, he probably does it for far greater reasons than the religious.  The atheist is going to want his death to have some meaning, but more importantly their life as well. The atheist wants every moment to have purpose because once those moments are gone, they are gone. It takes a great deal of courage to live this way as well as die for something when you know that is the absolute finale.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

What I need is more of the courage of conviction. There is a battle in this world every single day and to do the right thing at the right time is a monumental task on a daily basis. The issue is having convictions that are about asking difficult questions and then accepting the answers. This a basic need of humankind but most people don’t have the courage to do this preferring to ask simple questions and accepting answers that comfort them rather than are genuinely true.

Wants (Freki):

The reason I want courage is that truth has far more benefit, even when uncomfortable than lies. Delusion, such as the kind found in any form of tribalistic ideology, is never helpful and often ends in the suffering of a kind that has long term consequences.  The truth may be painful at first, but if courageously embraced, it will lead to the prosperity of all types.

Reason (Huginn):

For me, courage starts with reason rather than feelings. It might be nice to die for a cause but one has no way of knowing if one’s death will actually be helpful.  The only way to really determine this would be to think about it.  Courage stemming from one’s rationally held convictions is far more likely to lead to something of value.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Of course, as an atheist, I pay far more attention to the lives of others. To their words and wisdom of age as they live.  People who live a long time are not always wise, but if they have wisdom it is usually rationally evident and convicts the intuition.  One knows wisdom when you hear it and it gives motivation as well as reason. Then all that is left is to act at the right time.

Conclusion:

We don’t live in a world of such constant warfare that dying and going to Valhalla is an option like of old.  Courage must express itself differently and in the case of an atheist, it is done by conviction and accepting of the truth regardless of feelings.  The real battle one must have courage with at times is the one inside one’s own mind.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!