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A Good Read

Post  tayarlin on Sat May 04, 2013 1:50 pm

This popped up on my Tumblr the other day. Felt it could serve some purpose to others as well.

http://ethniki-epanastasi.blogspot.it/2013/04/walking-in-footsteps-of-plato-chat-with.html

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Re: A Good Read

Post  Erodius on Sat May 04, 2013 5:11 pm

As it seems to always happen online, they get tied up right away in a misunderstanding of 'orthopraxy vs. orthodoxy', putting these terms as two opposites on a spectrum, when they are really on different planes entirely. All religions are orthodoxies, in that what makes anyone an adherent of a religion is one's beliefs. 'Orthodoxy' does not mean 'blind faith', it means 'correct belief', literally, believing in that which is right and true. People who are 'reconstructionists', following primarily secondary, academic sources, have latched onto the largely erroneous belief that ancient Graeco-Roman religion was a largely homogenous entity, though essentially devoid of any systematic theology, focused entirely on the performance of rituals. This is absurd. It is understandable, however, that this view is so common, because, until rather recently, it was the prevailing view of (usually Christian) writers and teachers who sought to paint ancient religion as a flimsy, ritualistic, fatalistic and belief-devoid system that toppled like a house of cards in the wind when Christianity came and finally offered everyone a religion with some actual beliefs and values that could transform lives and save souls from their suffering — which is, likewise, hogwash.

Since ancient Greeks did not have a systematized theology or doctrine;

That is incorrect. There were a selection of thoroughly systematized theologies and doctrines, many of which were very popular. The fact that none of them enjoyed 100% universal acceptance is certainly not enough to discount the many that existed, and continue to exist. The ancient Greeks and Romans were not wandering around aimlessly, performing mindless and repetitive rituals to gods they were ambivalent about at best, while their minds slumbered in a Golden Age of Agnosticism — as many, both hardline Christian and modern, secularist, left-wingers, like to tout. I understand that their point was probably to indicate that there was no central definer of orthodoxy that applied to the entire religion — but I think such an indication is inherently misplaced and irrelevant in this situation. First off, 'Ellinismos' is not even a religion at all, as far as I discern, but is 'Greekness' as a whole, of which Olympianism is a major element, but I strongly disagree with the contemporary use of the word 'Ellinismos' as a synonym for 'Olympianism', because they are not synonymous. A great many people in the ancient Mediterranean practiced Olympianism, though they were not Greek. 'Ellinismos' was an appropriate term in Emperor Iulianus' time, in which 'Hellene' was synonymous with 'non-Christian', but in recent centuries 'Hellene' has been reclaimed to mean 'Greek.' A Greek Orthodox Christian who speaks Greek and was raised in Greece and with Greek cultural is absolutely, unquestionably, adhering to a form of 'Ellinismos'. Second, I am not aware of any religious family, other than perhaps Bahaiism, in which there is complete unity of orthodoxy and a central body for the entire religion. Christianity, for instance, has many, many orthodoxies, some of which are quite contradictory. Olympianism also had many orthodoxies, and, like Hinduism, was not and is not 'one religion', but rather a family of related religions.

It is not a bad article, it just rubbed me the wrong way by promulgating, likely unintentionally, several misleading and/or outright incorrect ideas.

Just goes to reaffirm a few of my truths of life:
1. a little bit of knowledge is a terrible thing
2. the Internet is the best possible tool for diffusing false information
and 3. the whole world needs to take a class in Religious Studies.


PS- I must apologize for the angry rant. I'm making a concerted effort to spout off fewer of them.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: A Good Read

Post  tayarlin on Sat May 04, 2013 5:18 pm

I see your point, now.

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Re: A Good Read

Post  tayarlin on Sat May 04, 2013 5:21 pm

I apologize if I offended you in any manner. I feel you are a great source of information.

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Re: A Good Read

Post  Erodius on Sat May 04, 2013 5:28 pm

Of course you didn't offend me! Why would you think that? Very Happy I must apologize if I made it seem like I was directing my tirade at you; that was not my intention. No

A few points in the article stepped on some of my last nerves, but you didn't write it.

I'm pretty good at 'not-shooting-the-messenger'. When I'm miffed, I'm very specifically miffed, and I always strive to make a distinction between a point of argument, and the person making it.

I was always taught as a kid, "When you disagree, disagree with statements, not with people."

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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The Orphic Way: www.hellenicgods.org
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Re: A Good Read

Post  tayarlin on Mon May 06, 2013 11:24 pm

Ahh, I see, I see! Smile

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