Wicca without “Woo”

I linked earlier to one of Eric Steinhart’s series of discussions and critiques of Wicca from a non-theistic philosophical perspective. Here is the last, apparently, on Wicca without the “woo”:

It’s probably not possible for Wicca to renounce the culture of woo.  But an atheistic nature-religion in the United States is possible.

Despite Steinhart’s perspective, however, his blogging annoyed some of the heavyweights at Freethoughtblogs.com, of which Camels with Hammers is part.

Having read a few of Eric’s contributions, I am disgusted. Prolix bafflegab, confusion, thinly veiled attempts to rationalize pagan mysticism, and just general longwinded bullshit. Why have you invited him here? He’s awful.

Woo indeed. Apparently Wicca comes under the heading of Things That May Not Be Discussed if you are a committed atheist. (Condemnation from the security of one’s armchair would be all right, I suppose.) If you take it seriously enough to discuss the possibility of an “atheistic nature religion,” you have become ideologically unclean.

Ironic, eh?

4 Comments

  1. There is a strain of contemporary atheism that holds that belief in magic is the root of all evil. To these atheists no world-view is more vile and condemnable than Paganism.

    But Steinhart is also completely wrong about the “old Platonic idea” of the immanent divinity of the physical world, which is not only explicitly theistic but emphatically polytheistic.

  2. Pitch313 says:

    I also find annoying the stream of atheism that concerns itself with what my thinking happens to be doing and wearing the way a peeping tom concerns himself with things folks get up to behind closed doors and drawn shades.

    I am more or less content and well within my world view. If it happens to be wrong, in some ultimate sense, it’s still my world view. I take responsibility for living in the world as I see fit.

    To the point, I want my Wicca with gobs, gallons, and gushes of WOO!!!

  3. Gene says:

    Over that last few years, I’ve dabbled in some outreach toward the New Atheists. I wish I could report it was a pleasant experience. There are indeed a few atheists out there who will engage you in worth while dialog, and I’ve met a few friends. However, the vast majority of the ‘heavy hitters’ on the scienceblogs (and their legion of minions) have a take-no-prisoners attitude toward even a passing nod to religion or spirituality. If you frequent the comments sections, your replies will quickly dry up once you come-out about your Paganism. A few of the more even-handed look at us as just a bunch of harmless rollplayers, out for a fun party. But most of the scienceblogers perceive religious people as dangerous or insane. Sometimes this characterization extends to those who study philosophy, or even just like to read fiction. A ‘rational discussion about religion’ is impossible, as for them ‘rational’ and ‘religion’ cannot appear in the same sentence.

    I’m looking forward to Eric’s completed work and welcome his analysis.