People in minority religious communities, like Paganism, often feel isolated and even marginalized by others because of the lifestyle differences associated with their spiritual path.
Perhaps this is one of the last remaining strands of my Catholic upbringing, but to me the word ‘worship’ means absolute unquestioning affirmation of the authority of the deity. I’ll not have that in my life. If you are wise, neither will you.
I earned my Ph.D. in philosophy, and one of my specializations was the logic and mathematics of game theory. I’ve also got a degree in drama, so I know about stories, characterizations, plot arcs, and the like. Lots of game designers can do one or the other: I’ve got the skills for both.
The point of a philosophical spirit is to rely primarily upon one’s own thinking.
We immerse ourselves in escapist mass entertainment, such as ‘reality T.V.’ programs. We support fanatical politicians and preachers. Our politicians, in turn, support dictators and tyrants in other countries, all in the name of ‘security’ and ‘stability’. And we arm ourselves to the teeth, and pray to God to be saved.
What matters is being a particular kind of person. At the most basic level, it matters that you are the kind of person who resolves problems with force of thought and feeling instead of with the force of arms.
For those who struggle with anti-pagan prejudices and stereotypes, Humanist Paganism might be a powerful educational tool. It can show that a pagan can be a sophisticated, cosmopolitan, and enlightened person, and that a pagan culture can be artistically vibrant, environmentally conscious, intellectually stimulating, and socially just.
If loneliness is part of our essence, that is, our essential nature, that is only because of the way, in practical terms, we actually exist; that is, the way we move and work and live in the world.
Homer, Hesiod, Pythagoras, Plato, and Cicero, just to name a few, all lived in pagan societies. Some of the greatest political and military leaders of all time, such as Alexander the Great, Pericles of Athens, Hannibal of Carthage, and Julius Caesar of Rome, were all pagans, or else living in a pagan society.
The philosophical spirit is not satisfied to simply accept what it is told, no matter how much prestige the teller seems to have. This is true even if the teller is a god.