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Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Zeus is Loose!

A group of Greek pagans from Greece had a ceremony/ritual in Athens this week. That's pretty darned cool, but it really ticked off the Greek Orthodox Christians, saying
The president of the Association of Greek Clergymen, Father Efstathios Kollas, has described the followers of the Olympic gods as a handful of miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion who wish to return to the monstrous dark delusions of the past.

Whoa Nellie! Tell us how it really makes you feel man! But you know what? The Greek religion is way older than your little upstart religion, and the Greek religion died out because it was outlawed by the Christian Romans. It didn't exactly die a natural death. There was a whole lot of repression and persecution involved. And what makes the ancient Greek polytheistic faith so much more monstrous, dark, and delusional than Orthodox Christianity exactly? Was it the democracy the was born and flourished under it's influence? Was it the great works of art and theater that make it so monstrous? Was it the amazing architectural achievements that made it so dark? Or are you just pissy because Zeus can turn himself into a sweet smelling white bull and your god always appears as a (far less appealing) burning bush? And let's just not even talk about the subject of being delusional. It's pretty much a requirement for being a devotee of any religion.

8 Comments:

  • The kicker is that tourism supplies 15% of Greece's total GDP, and most of that tourism is based on the exploitation of the Ancient Greek mythos, whether it's on the beaches of volcanos, the Acropolis, or historic ruins of Delphi or Olympia.

    Dismissing worship of that mythos, whether it manifests itself as revivilist rites in ancient temples or nude sunbathing on Mykonos, is disrespectiful of your ancestry and detrimental to your national pocketbook. Without a historical legacy Greece might as well be Yugoslavia.

    Oh yeah, and if you visit Greece you find that so many Greeks espout their superiority as the cradle of democracy. Funny thing that this amazing democracy was borne of polytheism.

    By Blogger Kevin Fox, at 10:28 PM  

  • Oops. espout=espouse and revivilist=revivalist. I wish Blogger comments had spellchecking.

    By Blogger Kevin Fox, at 10:29 PM  

  • Whoa, that's a very catty statement for someone who should be above that.
    Has anyone told him, that statement like that are more likely to draw attention than not?
    I wonder how he feels about the Muslims next door in Turkey.

    By Blogger Chris S, at 9:51 AM  

  • I think it's cool that the Greek Orthodox guy had the balls to say what he really believes. The only thing worse for us postmoderns than being accused of narrow-mindedness would be appearing fanatical and exclusionary.

    Unfortunately, the ancient Greeks are just as guilty (as far as religious atrocities go) as the ancient Christians, slaughtering thousands of Jews and Canaanites in their outlying provinces who refused to worship their gods.

    I do agree that the Greeks should be allowed to worship whatever gods they choose, but I still have to admire the guy who's willing to stick his neck out and voice his beliefs, even when they're unpopular.

    Just my 2 cents.

    By Blogger Jessica, at 10:59 AM  

  • The Greek religion is way older than your little upstart religion

    The cult of Zeus appears to date back to some time in 1000–2000 BC (the Odyssey is from 750 BC). The Judeo-Christian religion dates back to 1800–2000 BC (the oldest Biblical texts date to around 750 BC at the latest), and is today by a substantial margin the most widespread religion on the planet.

    Was it the democracy the was born and flourished under it's influence? Was it the great works of art and theater that make it so monstrous? Was it the amazing architectural achievements that made it so dark?

    Correlation is not causation. Presumably Father Kollas is able to appreciate what their civilization achieved despite its religious practices at the time.

    Or are you just pissy because Zeus can turn himself into a sweet smelling white bull and your god always appears as a (far less appealing) burning bush?

    I can recall only one such occasion in 6000 years. He was far more impressive in person, as it happened (Exodus 33, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

    And let's just not even talk about the subject of being delusional. It's pretty much a requirement for being a devotee of any religion.

    That legendary liberal tolerance strikes again? Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Donald Knuth, George Ellis… delusional all! :-)

    By Blogger Michael, at 1:59 AM  

  • I could respond to the various things Michael says, and about his lack of grasp of history, et cetera, but really the only thing I'm compelled to say is that yes, delusional. To be religious is to believe in something that you have no evidence to support. You must delude yourself into believing in the god or gods solely on the basis that no one can prove it doesn't exist. That it is a mass delusion only makes it simpler to maintain, but by any standard of critical thinking, you're deep into the world of a critical thinking fallacy. That's fine for some people. They're welcome to believe what they want to believe (so long as they don't hurt others for the sake of their beliefs), but it doesn't make them less deluded. Call a spade a spade.

    And I'm not a tolerant liberal. I freely admit that my world view is a bit more extreme when it comes to religion. I think religion has done far more harm than good in the past century and would love to see it go away in favor of a more humanistic approach, but that's hardly typical of the average liberal. Many of my liberal friends are religious or spiritual. They can have their delusions/belief systems so long as it makes them happy and doesn't hurt others.

    By Blogger Ammy, at 2:45 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Michael, at 4:55 PM  

  • [Fixed 4:55 pm comment punctuation.]

    I could respond to the various things Michael says, and about his lack of grasp of history, et cetera

    Please cite facts. Perhaps the Encyclopædia Britannica is in need of an update!

    To be religious is to believe in something that you have no evidence to support.

    This is simply a false axiom leading to fallacy.

    You must delude yourself into believing in the god or gods solely on the basis that no one can prove it doesn't exist.

    Or perhaps you must delude yourself into believing in the absence of God solely on the basis that no one can disprove His existence?

    There is no shortage of evidence for Christianity for those who are prepared to look with an unprejudiced mind.

    Call a spade a spade.

    Very well. Your view of religion is clearly delusional. ;-)

    I think religion has done far more harm than good in the past century

    Throw out the vast majority of law, science, ethics and art, and what do you have left?

    By Blogger Michael, at 5:07 PM  

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