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Buddhists, Athiests, Agnostics and others that fall under the Pagan Title that aren't really "Pagan"

Should there be a third religious category? As it stands you are Pagan or Christian. If you are not Christian you are Pagan even if you don't hold what would be called traditional pagan beliefs. Buddhists for example are far from polythiests, and Athiests believe in No Gods at all. Why are they being lumped in with Druids, Strega and Wiccan's when their beliefs fall no where within the same category?

Should there be a third non-christian non-pagan title for those that follow other paths that can't be lumped with these?

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 12:13 AM on Jun. 19, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (25)
  • Only Christians think that you are either Christian or Pagan. Pagan is an umbrella term, it's true, but it's for NATURE BASED religions, not all non-christian religions. Just like Christian is an umbrella term for Catholics, Protestants, Episcopalians etc.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 12:19 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • While this question is not directly asked of me, I have NEVER thought of buddhist, atheist or agnostics as pagans. Pagans(very general definition) have a belief in more than one God. Atheist do not believe in any God and are therefore not pagan. Agnostics so I guess they could be thinking of themselves as pagan.

    So it is inaccurate to say all these groups are pagans. or even thought of as pagans. And I have heard of very few people on or off cafemom that think of atheist as pagans.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:22 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • OH and I am Christian BTW and so are most my friends and my other Christian friends do not think of atheist as pagans.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:23 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • I guess that's my point. When I say Pagan, I'm never refering to Buddhists or Athiests. But when someone asks "What's a Pagan" the first answer is "anything that 's not Christian, Islamic or Jewish" So, shouldn't someone coin a word or category title for those that don't fit in to the others?

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:28 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • While I don't consider atheist pagan(I am Christian) if you go word for one it is possible to see how atheist is lumped with pagan
    pa·gan (pgn)
    1. One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, especially a worshiper of a polytheistic religion.
    *****2. One who has no religion.*******
    3. A non-Christian.
    4. A hedonist.
    5. A Neo-Pagan.
    1. Not Christian, Muslim, or Jewish.
    2. Professing no religion; heathen.
    3. Neo-Pagan.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:29 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • by all means Sabrina, coin the word but when an accepted definition is :One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew

    It is to be expected one will use this definition.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:31 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • Maybe the problem is you...maybe you are having a hard time accepting the definition.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:32 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • I am having an issue with the deffinition... YES... To me to lump people with totally different beliefs under one umbrella term is just assinine! But I'm not the only one that I have seen having this issue so what's with the tude? As someone who wants to be able to give someone a clear view of my beliefs by saying Pagan, I find it difficult when the deffinition is so broad. I have seen the same from Christians that try to claim that JWs, Mormons or Catholics are not Christian, simply because they have different views on the same beliefs. So, why am I the bad guy for asking why people with opposite beliefs should be lumped under one title?? An Athiest has no religion, no god. A "Pagan" usually has many... How does that even belong together in the same category? To me it doesn't. An Athiest or Buddhist is no more Pagan than they are Christian...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:40 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • there is a third title it is called atheist/agnostic/buddhist. Maybe you need to become accustom to using a thrid title to describe your beliefs. Who died and made you dictionary goddess? Why is YOUR definition of pagan the correct one? A popular and accepted definition is one who is not Christian, Muslims or Jewish. You are too good to follow this definition? Because you don't accept it it is wrong?

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:40 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • I do think it's misleading/confusing to include all non-Abrahamic faiths under the same umbrella term. It's kind of like dividing the world's cultures into 'American' and 'Other.' It's not really inaccurate and I guess you COULD do it that way, but you have to recognize that it makes the 'Other' category so broad and diverse as to make the label itself pretty much meaningless.

    However I don't think that all people use the Pagan term in it's broadest sense, especially when it comes down to the actual study of religion. In many cases faiths like Hinduism and Buddhism are referred to as the Dharmic faiths, which makes more sense and differentiates them from the faiths that self-identify as Pagan. So although dictionary definition may state that Pagan is anything not Christian/Jewish/Muslim, I do think that in practical use at least some people make further distinctions between very different faiths.

    Answer by Freela at 12:49 AM on Jun. 19, 2009

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