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Switch to Forum Live View Evil? Or "What to do about Bad People"?
7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 12:42AM #81
sam_i_am
Posts: 42
[QUOTE=AlucardNoMiko;70002]Okay, this question has really, really, really, really, REALLY been bugging me lately:

I think a lot of people call this "The Hitler Problem", as in: How do Pagans "deal with" people like Hitler? I know that some Pagans (Wiccans, especially) believe in reincarnation, but how do other Pagans deal with the question of evil? In other words, if someone were to ask me: "How do Pagans deal with people like Hitler if there is no concept of sin or (in most cases) eternal punishment for evil people?"

I realize the answers will be very diverse, but I would like different responses, I'm still grappling with this question myself (and I'm sure lots of other people are, too.)

So, does anyone have an answer to my question? Please feel free to rephrase it if something feels strange to you.

Thanks,

*ANM*[/QUOTE]

I agree with most of the post in this section. "Evil" or "misguidance" or mental illness exists in today's world. I feel that it is the responsibility of the sane and compassionate to correct the mishappence in today's world. In my opinion, to stand by and ignore "evil" and do nothing about it is wrong. Not taking action could and should be construed as a wrongdoing in itself.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 8:11AM #82
Treegoddess
Posts: 86
I think this is mostly a matter of semantics, the word "evil", yes?  It depends on what your definition of it is. 

I choose not to use the word evil b/c it has been used to describe something inhuman or all-powerful, related to the devil or some evil force in the world.  This, I do not believe in, so I feel the word inappropriate. 

I do believe that humans are "flawed" and can do bad things, awful things, wrong things.  It's a choice though, or a psychological issue and not something evil and otherworldly. 

As for what Pagan's do about making the right choices, I've always felt I had a fairly good grasp on making the "right" choice (although there have been plenty of times I have not made the right one) but I am still thinking on how to articulate this one.  It isn't as simple as just doing what causes the least harm to those around me...
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2008 - 11:21AM #83
Dromahair
Posts: 559
People seem to be much more comfortable thinking in terms of black and white - evil and good.  Shades of grey are harder to quantify but far easier to find.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 28, 2008 - 8:09PM #84
icecane
Posts: 26
[QUOTE=tameless_heart;71235]I'd say I agree with John. Kill 'em. Like John, my family has a strong millitary background,so that's probably why I agree with him. I'm a crack shot with a pistol.;) Bang! I like that John...evil is our rightful prey. *trails off in t hought*

As a dualist (?), I believe in both good and evil, and entities of both, so I never have doubts that either exist.[/QUOTE]
Reinstate capitol punishment. Old fashioned methods and beliefs are sometimes the best. Evil people do exist. Not everyone is sick or can be cured or wants to get well or rehabilitated. Hitler surely never did. Psychobabble and social worker-babble isn't the cure for everyone.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 28, 2008 - 8:14PM #85
icecane
Posts: 26
[QUOTE=sam_i_am;207817]I agree with most of the post in this section. "Evil" or "misguidance" or mental illness exists in today's world. I feel that it is the responsibility of the sane and compassionate to correct the mishappence in today's world. In my opinion, to stand by and ignore "evil" and do nothing about it is wrong. Not taking action could and should be construed as a wrongdoing in itself.[/QUOTE]
The ancient peoples who practiced Paganism and Earth Religions believed in capitol punishment and worse. They had no knowledge of mental illness, social ills or excuses people use today for whatever reason.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 28, 2008 - 8:24PM #86
Feinics
Posts: 2,539
[QUOTE=icecane;320950]Reinstate capitol punishment. Old fashioned methods and beliefs are sometimes the best. Evil people do exist. Not everyone is sick or can be cured or wants to get well or rehabilitated. Hitler surely never did. Psychobabble and social worker-babble isn't the cure for everyone.[/QUOTE]

i think the  point has been made a few times about hitler that he didnt see a need to be cured cos he prob didnt see himself as evil in the way we do!
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 28, 2008 - 9:12PM #87
Dromahair
Posts: 559
[QUOTE=icecane;320961]The ancient peoples who practiced Paganism and Earth Religions believed in capitol punishment and worse. They had no knowledge of mental illness, social ills or excuses people use today for whatever reason.[/QUOTE]

Well what the hell, let's pull out all the ol' torture equipment while we're at it - work over the folks who really tick us off.   /sarcasm
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 29, 2008 - 9:23AM #88
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
[QUOTE=icecane;320961]The ancient peoples who practiced Paganism and Earth Religions believed in capitol punishment and worse. They had no knowledge of mental illness, social ills or excuses people use today for whatever reason.[/QUOTE]

I am going to assume from your response that your education to date about the 'history' of Paganism may have been dominated by versions of history that are so often found published in books and today on websites. This is a dynamic and compelling  mythological history, whose roots can be traced back several generations to works of fiction, folklore, legends interwoven with  documented historical eventsout of their original contexts. The mythological history of there being 'ancient peoples who practiced Paganism and Earth Religions' is very inspirational and it resonates strongly with more than a few people. I do appreciate if that is the case for you but I would also strongly encourage you to do further research into both the roots of the mythological history and also into actual documented history. There has been some very good research published in the last decade on this subject.

You will discover if you take up that challenge that paganism is a term that has been applied to many different and diverse beliefs by many people for various reasons. It is a Latin word meaning civiliian and early Christians (who called themselves soldiers of Christ) used to to denote anyone and anything not of their faith. It has been projected backwards and forwards onto just about every culture, belief system, customs and traditions that weren't Abrahamic in origin. It was used for example as a generic term for the individualistic based self-defined 'religious' activities throughout the non-Christianized Roman Empire and a blanket term for already named religions and cults. There was a Paganism Movement circa 2nd Century ACE that attempted to merge Greek science with Christian theology. There as a second Paganism Movement circa 16th to 19th centuries in Europe that was an academic rebellion against Christianity and whose 'historical' publications form the foundation for much of the mythological history of modern paganism. This was a factor in the conception of the  third and modern Paganism Movement that began in the last century and within which one finds terms like Earth Religions emerging. Paganism along its etymological journey came to mean the Greek and Roman Empires (great but no Christian ethics) or as having hedonistic liberal religions (actually they had state religions). The Romantic Movement in Europe contributed the definition of harmony between nature, man and religion, the roots of the 'earth religions' mythos. Paganism continued to be used as well in well established occult fiction as a term for barbaric, idol-worshipping folks and so on.

Within such historical studies, you will also discover that blanket statements such as "They had no knowledge of mental illness, social ills or excuses people use today for whatever reason" does not hold true for ancient peoples and cultures though it may be true for those here and there. What we know of ancient peoples depends on historical survivialism of course as oral histories are edited and adapted from generation to generation. So we can't definitely say ancient peoples believed this or didn't believe that. But what has survived does indicate that the above blanket statement or really any blanket statement won't be universally true.

I hope you do take up such a challenge. History whether actual or mythological (and they are so dependent on each other!) is a fascinating subject on many levels.


Respectfully,

C.H..
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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