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Symbols - What makes them good or evil?

We all know and associate the symbol of the Cross with Christianity, the symbol of the Pentagram with Paganism and the symbol of the Swastika with Nazis...

But in reality the Cross has been found to be a symbol that was used in may pre-christian cultures and religion. The Pentagram was used by the Christian Church for hundreds of years and the Swastika was used for hundreds or thousands of years as a religious symbol that had NOTHING to do with Nazis or the evil they represent.

My question is, so many people see a symbol and shy away, depending on their upbringing. I know many that are upset my by Pentagram, and yet they wear their crosses proudly. I have a friend with a Swastika Tattoo, that has NOTHING to do with Nazis or Hate. But he got it in honor of his heritage.

So, my question is this, what makes a symbol good or evil? Popular perception or personal? Modern usage or Original meanings?

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 6:58 PM on Sep. 27, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (43)
  • People that desided they were.

    Answer by louise2 at 7:00 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

  • I form no opinions on anything someone wears, be it a tattoo, jewelry, or piercing.

    Hey, I know what a rough night of partying can be like... You never know...

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:03 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

  • Well, you pose a very good question. The truth is most people will go with the current representation of any symbol. Though a swastika may mean something different to your friend, those who view it will automatically think Nazi. People who see a pentagram will see paganism. Many symbols have changed throughout history but people's perception of those symbols will only change with the times. Unfortunately, for you friend with the Swastika tatoo, he will have a very difficult time convincing others about it's meaning. The use of it by the Nazis is most likely never going to be forgotten due to the historical significance of their crimes. As for your pentagram, many people are beginning to accept different meanings for religious symbols. Many pre-christian symbols were adopted by christianity to purify those symbols, just as they attempted to use the same dates for holidays to purify those days. I hope this helps you.

    Answer by jessflynn at 7:08 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

  • How is a swastika about someone's heritage? I hope you don't say it is the German heritage. The German public didn't have a choice in what Hitler and the Nazi army did. Any one going against Hitler would of been executed.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:18 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

  • No, his grandfather had traced his family heritage back to the "vikings" and used to brag that he was the last living Viking... We of course have no idea if his heritage went back that far or not, but he believed it. And when Danny (my friend) was growing up he was always told "old viking" legends for stories.


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 7:26 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

  • Symbols are just that, symbols. They have no power unless we give it to them.

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 7:27 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

  • SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 7:28 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

  • the symbol is in the symbol maker. Hitler made the swastika evil, and because what and who it represents it is an evil symbol. History DOES change things. I know that upset people, but words, names and meaning change with the time.

    We aren't going to stay in the 2nd century-we move-evolve and change.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:36 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

  • NightPhoenix put it perfectly :) And the cross was a pre christian symbol and I have heard somewhere that the cross that Jesus was most likely crucified on was more of a capital T shape then a lowercase t. So maybe we christian should all be wearing big 'ol T's instead :P

    Answer by rhanford at 7:42 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

  • Anon- Not fighting, but I do want to get thoughts on this as well... Hitler made the swastika evil, because he popularized it as a sign for evil. Many thousands of others have and do see it as a sign of protection... So, in acordance with that belief that history changes things, are you saying that if those religions and people made a group effort to correct the view of the symbol it would change as popular views do? Or would it remain something of evil??

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 7:42 PM on Sep. 27, 2009

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