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How can a pagan be an atheist?

A pagan stated in an answer earlier that this is possible. That makes no sense to me at all. I thought a pagan was anyone that believed in a god or gods other than the God of Abraham. This is not a troll question. I want to understand.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Heh. Well, the term “Pagan” actually comes from the latin “Paganus”, which has been translated to mean rural, peasant, civilian or outsider. At its broadest interpretation it means “pertaining to the worship or worshipers of any religion that is neither Christian, Jewish, nor Muslim.”
    The only unifying trait about Pagans I have met is that we hold that there is more to the world than what can be easily measured. This leads to a general respect and appreciation of nature and the desire to learn. Other than that it -really- depends on what specific path they follow. So, it is possible for an Atheist to be a Pagan, as a worship of a deity is not required to be Pagan. Just as an Atheist may be spiritual and not religious.

  2. It makes very little sense to me also, but I have heard some pagans claim to espouse pagan like ideas alongside of not believing in dieties.

  3. No.
    Don’t think so.
    Look in the real world.
    Not pagan are non-believer.
    Just self lack of knowledge.
    Without being aware one is still primitive in the twilight zone
    Without being aware on how to advance in time with self lack of knowledge in different time zone in time.
    Luke 6.39-40,51-45,46-49
    What do you think?

  4. I think where the confusion lies is that the term “pagan” is a very broad word, that, as you mentioned, usually applies to folks who believe in god/gods other than Abraham’s god. Hinduism can be called “pagan.” There are some Wiccas who consider themselves “pagans.” Then there are other “pagans” who are nature-worshippers. To me, Hinduism is pretty far removed from the nature-worshippers – but yet they both get lumped under “pagan.” I’m sure there are even other groups, who label themselves as “pagans” – who do not believe in any deity or power greater than themselves – hence call themselves atheists.

  5. ‘Pagan’ is an umbrella term for several different belief systems.
    You can be be an atheistic Pagan, where you are indeed a Pagan, but you don’t believe that there is a god or any form of deity.
    It’s the same idea as being an atheistic Buddhist.

  6. A Pagan is anyone that is not a Christian, Muslim or Jew.
    A pagan is anyone that practices a Religion other than Christianity, Judaism or Islam…
    Pagans can have millions of Gods or no God, it does not make them any more or less of a Pagan.
    ===
    Coming from a Pagan, me 🙂
    I am friends with many Pagans, I have heard many different beliefs in Deity, ranging from Hard Polytheism, to Atheism.
    One of my friends who is a very knowledgeable Pagan told me once that the closest thing she has to a Goddess is the Moon itself.
    Most pagans do have a God, or a Pantheon of Gods (or anywhere in between) Many Pagans see God as being Archetypal, others see God as being Illogical and worship themselves, or worship nature and Natural phenomena.
    There are too many varying beliefs Pagans hold for me to list them all on a Q&A board…
    I have answered your question as best I could.

  7. Presumably by not believing in gods and by being an animist, ancestor worshiper, follower of some kind of spirit religion, or any nameless supernatural belief system that does not involve a god or gods.
    There’s also the possibility they are cobbling together or fabricating their own spirituality.

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