Over at The Postmodern Polytheist, the Anarcho-Heathen published a critique of an older essay of mine, “The Disenchantment of Hard Polytheism”. At the time it was published, my essay provoked a quite a bit of controversy in the Pagan blogosphere. In it, I argued that certain forms of polytheism which view the gods as radically distinct individuals contribute to the ongoing disenchantment of the world, just as do certain reductive forms of scientism which view human and other beings as radically distinct individuals. In contrast to both these forms of alienation, I contrasted a form of Paganism which emphasizes the interconnectedness of everything, including humans and gods. Continue reading “Re-Thinking the Disenchantment of Hard Polytheism”
Yeah, we do it too.
Yesterday, I posted an essay about literal-minded polytheism. It’s likely to upset some polytheists (especially those who don’t read beyond the title), because they will read it as an attack on their belief. Actually, what I had intended in the article was to bracket the question of whether or not the gods are “real” and talk about the criteria we use to call something “real.” My thesis was that some polytheists (not all, by any means) have a very “disenchanted” way of talking about reality. By “disenchanted,” I mean they define what is real in terms of it’s level of disconnection from everything else.
But of course, the same could–and should–be said about many atheists as well. Disenchanted discourse is not limited to theists. In the same way that theists insist that their gods are “really, really real,” atheists insist that the gods are “really, really not real.” And what both sides seem to have in mind is a very objective–and hence, disenchanted–definition of reality. The assumption that both theists and atheists make in these arguments is that objective reality–reality in which the observer is separated from the observed–is somehow more real than subjective reality.