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Can you be a Pagan Atheists?

When asked whether worship of the gods was a fundamental component of Paganism, a majority – 53 percent – said it wasn’t. While the size of the sample for these questions was significant at more than 600 people, the sampling was not scientific. Nevertheless, it shows clearly that a significant number of people don’t think polytheism is essential to Paganism and – even among those who do – most don’t think it’s the defining element.

Reverence for nature fills that role.

Here's a small portion of the article. I'm interested in what you all think. I don't know how to do the clicky thing sorry :(

Answer Question

Asked by skinnyslokita at 2:40 PM on Apr. 18, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 31 (49,833 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Atheism is specifically not believing in a god. It's nothing to do with spirituality or believing in other non-deity forces at work. Technically speaking, Taoism is an atheist religion, as is Buddhism. So there are plenty of atheist beliefs under the "pagan" umbrella, but these days, pagan is like Christian - it encompasses so many different beliefs, the word is meaningless except to exclude things. Christian means anyone who is Abrahamic, but not Jewish or Muslim, just like pagan means anyone not Abrahamic.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:48 PM on Apr. 18, 2013

  • Is paganism based on a reverence for nature then? I'm asking because I'm genuinely curious.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:53 PM on Apr. 18, 2013

  • Pantheism is also considered pagan and it does not believe in a god. The technically definition of pagan means worshipping the God and Goddess or multiple Gods and Goddesses, but in today's common use of the word in America it essentially means anything not Christian or Jewish or Muslim.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:55 PM on Apr. 18, 2013

  • This reminds me of the concept of Atheist Jews who follow the laws and traditions without the belief in a god.

    It sounds contradictory to me because polytheism is so common, but I don't know a lot about paganism.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 3:10 PM on Apr. 18, 2013

  • Paganism is a diverse place and as I study it I am truly confused at times but I find beauty in it. While I have a non theistic I guess nature reverence I was wondering how many pagans or atheists would have an issues with mixing the two. If they felt they were contradictory to eqch other.I do not know enough about paganism. But I do wonder when people would want to use thier proper, specific labels as their religious titles instead of saying I'm pagan as an umbrella term. I guess pagan being such a broad term would it offend a pagan to see certain beliefs or teachings as not pagan? Idk hope I'm making sence.

    Comment by skinnyslokita (original poster) at 4:21 PM on Apr. 18, 2013

  • I can see it being mutual, in the sense that, one may recognize and pay tribute to other forces but, does not "worship" them (ie does not have to obey them).

    Answer by 3libras at 7:33 PM on Apr. 18, 2013

  • Is paganism based on a reverence for nature then? I'm asking because I'm genuinely curious.

    Paganism is a term that has been so overused it's now meaningless. It basically means every religion that isn't Jewish, Christian, and Muslim. There are no other commonalities beyond that - no one rule that applies to all religions that get lumped in as pagan. Some are nature focused, some are deity focused, some only believe in 2 deities (one god, one goddess), some have hundreds, some none.

    That's also why there's more of a push now among a lot of us to not be associated with paganism anymore. It's kind of a little battle going on - those who want all paganish things lumped in one group so it has bigger numbers politically vs those of us who don't feel like being drafted and don't like being associated with groups that are diametrically opposed to us on everything except that we're not Abrahamic.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 7:52 PM on Apr. 18, 2013

  • Pagan(Merriam-Webster):
    1: heathen 1; especially : a follower of a polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome)
    2: one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person
    3: neo-pagan

    Origin of PAGAN
    Middle English, from Late Latin paganus, from Latin, civilian, country dweller, from pagus country district; akin to Latin pangere to fix

    Related Words
    atheist, giaour, infidel, misbeliever, miscreant, nonbeliever, unbeliever; non-Christian, non-Jew, non-Muslim; neo-pagan, polytheist


    I have a friend who is an Atheist Witch and acknowledges the natural energies. She believes that we are our own gods/goddesses.


    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 12:49 PM on Apr. 19, 2013

  • thats a good question, i met alot of Atheists that Celebrate Holidays so yeah they can be

    Answer by at 1:17 PM on Apr. 29, 2013

  • okay I can see how some people can see this because there are Pegan-Christians and there are Pegans. so I am thinking that some people think you can be pegan athiest because you don't believe in more Gods than just those you worship, but then that comes to another issues, if that is so true, then there is such thing as Christian athiest and such

    Answer by meliscool72 at 7:53 AM on May. 18, 2013

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