Odinism In The Age Of Man: The Dark Age Before the Return of Our Gods (book)

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Odinism In The Age Of Man: The Dark Age Before the Return of Our Gods (book)

fschmidt
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Odinism In The Age Of Man: The Dark Age Before the Return of Our Gods promotes Odinism which is an old Northern European religion.  This book made me think about religion in different terms, namely tribal religions versus universalist religions.  Odinism and Biblic Judaism are tribal religions while Christianity, Islam, and Liberalism are universalist religions.  I prefer tribal religions.  This book is short and mainly criticizes modern culture and offers Odinism as an alternative, but doesn't go into depth about what Odinism is.  I liked the writing style, so I will read more books by this author to get a more complete picture.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Odinism In The Age Of Man: The Dark Age Before the Return of Our Gods (book)

Cornfed
In addition of moving toward a tribal religion that could build group solidarity, the idea might be to get away from the Semitic concept of religion being a  separate designer package of ideas that one consciously chooses to buy into out of a set of competing packages, much in the same way you would decide to buy a particular car. In most societies there seemed to have been no distinction between religious ideas and non-religious ones and what we would call religious ideas were simply absorbed by osmosis as children in the way of most of the rest of people’s worldview. The people would then naturally act in their daily lives in accordance with these beliefs.

A modern example would be the theory of evolution, which many people seem to believe religiously, use as a prism through which to view the world and use as a guide to consequential action. So for example, if an evolutionist wanted to attract a girlfriend he might consciously or subconsciously think "Well, in the wild it would be beneficial for men to run down game animals, so I’ll try to become lean and somewhat muscular, and it would be genetically advantageous for women to breed with men who were assertive so I'll try to be more assertive ...". It is not necessary to resort to the idea of some god rewarding the evolutionist for acting in this way. The action just logically follows. So while the theory of evolution may be questionable and the answers they get may be wrong in a given instance, this religion is probably largely positive in directing behavior in a somewhat productive direction.

For adults it is already too late to adopt such a religion, but the idea would be to create as set of beliefs which moral behavior followed from as a logical consequence and the means to transmit them to children.
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Re: Odinism In The Age Of Man: The Dark Age Before the Return of Our Gods (book)

fschmidt
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What you are describing here is how all tribal religions used to work.  The most recent clear example is Shinto in Japan.  The problem is that such religions lose out to self-aware religions that actively promote themselves at the expense of other religions.  A key innovation of biblic Judaism was to consciously be aware of one's religion as distinct and to reject other religions.  This helps prevent decay caused by other religions seeping in.  In our world, the main threat is liberalism.  All societies that don't have a self-aware exclusive religion are becoming liberal.  I see this book "Odinism In The Age Of Man" as an attempt to make an old pagan religion self-aware and exclusive, and I think this makes sense.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Odinism In The Age Of Man: The Dark Age Before the Return of Our Gods (book)

Cornfed
A compromise might be to have a priestly class who were consciously aware of religious thought while the rest of the community were not necessarily. Adults founding the community would have to be members of this class. This is how I understand things worked in Europe in the middle ages, when priests could indulge in scholarly debates on the nature of religion while the average person spoke and thought in religious metaphors without realizing they were religious metaphors. The Protestants ruined things by encouraging the average bozo to contemplate the Bible for himself, which lead to the decay of Christianity, as elements of it which could neither be consciously perceived nor rationally justified were gradually stripped away. Modern liberalism/atheist-cult is arguably a decay product of Christianity.

It might also be possible to inoculate children against competing religions by making them consciously aware of the tenets of these religions, which are generally really stupid when you look at them. It should be possible to get the average community member to automatically dismiss any competing religion unless they were subjected to coercion and bribery over time, and there is no real defense against that.
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Re: Odinism In The Age Of Man: The Dark Age Before the Return of Our Gods (book)

fschmidt
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I agree that this can work, but what you are describing here isn't so far from traditional Christianity and Judaism.

I don't know if you have read this book yet, but one of the main points is the benefit of tribal religions over universal religions.  I will read more about Odinism next shabbat.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Odinism In The Age Of Man: The Dark Age Before the Return of Our Gods (book)

Cornfed
fschmidt wrote
I agree that this can work, but what you are describing here isn't so far from traditional Christianity and Judaism.
The problem as I see it with both Christianity and Judaism is that they disassociate belief from action. Judaism seems to be a set of injunctions one signs up to in order to be a member of the tribe, similar to an employment contract, without much underlying belief. (Perhaps this is why Jews live among other peoples and end up screwing them over over time. Without a shared vision, large organizations can only prevent members from serving their self interest at the expense of the organization, leading to the eventual destruction of the organization, when the common interest of members can be served by screwing over non-members.) Christianity goes the other way, relying on a shared faith in a vague, non-intuitive, implausible cosmology, with little instructional value. The few injunctions packaged with it are not strongly tied to the shared belief, leaving a Christian society open to behavioral decay.

Ideally people would share underlying beliefs which would lead to common, compatible actions. An example in the modern West would be that most people share the really stupid and evil religious belief that females are the owners and proprietors of any heterosexual sex acts and should decide whether they occur or not. Thus they take actions that are cause the current sexual and legal dysfunction, even when they don't like the consequences of their actions. It would be good to implant positive versions of such beliefs.
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Re: Odinism In The Age Of Man: The Dark Age Before the Return of Our Gods (book)

fschmidt
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I agree with your description of Christianity and Judaism.  But I think your example is a bad one because this example is a statement about action and is exactly the kind of issue that the Torah deals with (though the Torah doesn't address this specific question).  A better example would be the modern belief that men and women are equal.  This is an abstract belief not directly tied to action that is about as plausible as virgin birth.

My problem with regulating belief is that different kinds of people need different beliefs.  Stupid people absolutely need a personal god to guide them.  There is no other way to make them behave.  Intelligent people do not need a personal god.  So my ideal religion has to be flexible enough regarding belief that both views are accepted.  What should be shared is a basic set of principles regarding behavior.  Your example falls into this category and is the kind of thing that Judaism focuses on.  My post Support the Family is an example of Jewish thinking where I take the principles of the Torah and apply them to modern conditions.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture