Reader Question #2: How do you start believing when you don’t (even if you know it would be good for you)?

Dear readers, a reminder: Helleneste kai Grammateus is open to questions. To take advantage of this, please read the Site Policy and complete the Ask a Question form. As always, this is a free service, but if you wish to help support this blog, I greately appreciate donations.

This comment came in response to a previous article, Why believe in divinity if you can’t prove it’s real?

One slight problem: if you know you’re just deluding yourself in order to live longer and healthier, how do you even believe? For those that aren’t, the fact that being religious is correlated to better health is of no significance. -Quintin

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The Pagan/Polytheist Health Survey

Medicine logotype

Symbol of Medicine Image via Wikipedia

I read about Kimberly Hunt’s Pagan Health Survey this on The Wild Hunt and after taking the survey, I want to encourage you, the reader, to contribute to her research.  Here are her reasons why:

As both a Pagan and cultural anthropologist, I felt it was vitally important that we help policy-makers and service providers understand our needs and beliefs. This will help us to meet the health care needs of our community and build public understanding of our religious and spiritual traditions. I designed the Pagan Health Survey to help people better understand us and our views on health. The results will be combined with what I have gained by being within the Pagan community and sitting in on healing panel discussions, workshops, and so forth, as well as interviews with Pagan clergy and health care practitioners.

And here are mine:

  • It allows your opinions to be heard by policy-makers.
  • Policy is informed by research.
  • We want more alternative healthcare options.
  • Why not?
    • It takes about five minutes.
    • They survey doesn’t ask for any identifying information (not even your email address).

Please take the survey here.  The last question is open-ended, allowing you to submit your thoughts in a cohesive manner.  Please save that answer and post it blow in the comments section. I’ll refrain from posting mine for now so as not to bias you.  I’ll post it later on next week.

What do you do to prevent health problems and treat them when they arise?  When it comes to your health, do you think science is in conflict with spiritual treatment?  Do you think they are separate?  Have you had bad (or good) experiences with MDs or spiritual healers?  If you are Atheist, what do you think of spiritual healing and prayer and have you ever tried it?   If you are a polytheist, in what cases would you employ western medicine?  Please comment below!

Tyler Clemente Dead at 18: Teasing and Bullying Teenagers is an Epidemic

This issue continues here: RIP Gay Victims of Abuse: Will YOU Wear Purple on October 20th?


My heart goes out to everyone who suffers from teasing and bullying.  They are forms of persecution, and it’s treated far to lightly in our culture when its targeted at children and teenagers.  Teenagers are already going through a difficult transition point in their lives, a point at which they are establishing their identity.  It’s an especially vulnerable time to be subject to attacks on that identity. Continue reading

Miasma and the Mentally Ill

Miasma: ritual pollution or defilement.

Is mental illness, and disease in general, inflicted by the gods as punishment for hubris and other “sins”? Are we punished for approaching the gods when afflicted by Miasma (ritual impurity), or simply ignored? Or, is Miasma the result of physical and mental illness, which when afflicts us, bars us from approaching the theoi (gods)? If so, what can we do to seek Their help when we most need it (when ill) and yet do so with respect?

How did the ancients approach this issue?
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More On Our Relationship with the Theoi (Gods)

As an insightful member of my demos said:

We are like cats to the gods. Sometimes they euthanize us, sometimes they just pick us up and move us to the next room. If you think a god is likely to do the former, try to escape the apartment and find one that will pet you and feed you the good food. If you pee on their furniture, they will get angry. Don’t assume you know what their furniture looks like. If you find one that really tries to understand things from your limited point of view and helps you be generally happy in this life, love them with all your heart.

The cat without a name

Image via Wikipedia

I’d also add, try to understand that when they are taking you to the vet, no matter how unpleasant and scary it is at the time, it is (usually) for your own good.

When the gods touch my life, I’m sometimes not sure if it will help me or hurt me. Just like when I pick eye-bookers from my cats’ eyes; they shy away a little bit but trust me enough to pick at their eyes and don’t run away. They don’t understand why I am doing it or that it’s to their benefit, let alone when I take them to the vet, but they trust that I’m not trying to hurt them. It should be the same way with one’s patron god(s).

Why believe in divinity if you can’t prove it’s real?

I fully respect differences in belief (and non-belief) in something greater than the physical world. However, there are some atheists who are quite . . forceful with their opinions, even challenging theists to prove the existence of their god(s). The following is my answer to the question: why believe when you can’t prove it?
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