You may or may not have noticed that I am currently lagging behind with the Pagan Blog Project- at the moment it’s 12:43am on a Sunday morning and I’m not going to be going to sleep until I do some entries and make sure I get back on track!
Proof is an elusive thing- as Pagans we’re often seen as people who reject science and live in some ridiculous fantasy land. I mean, we cast spells, work with crystals and believe in fairies- not things that are seen as ‘normal’ in any respect.
Talking to atheists and the like one word seems to stand out, and that word is ‘proof’ they all seem to want some kind of concrete evidence before placing their faith in something. They would want to see a real, live fairy placed on the table in front of them before making a comment on whether the Fay exist or not.
Now I’m not going to say that this is a bad thing, because it’s not. I’m an eternal pragmatist (something that I only realised after half a year of philosophy lessons) I’m very practical and realistic about pretty much everything.
The only comment I really want to make about all of this is that the word ‘proof’ is used like it’s objective, when in fact I consider it to be incredibly subjective. When people say they want ‘proof’ of something before they make a commitment it always strikes me as a bit odd- I mean, we all had proof of the Gods or the Fay before we decided to commit to a belief in them, but our ideas of proof all differ.
And to some people proof isn’t needed at all- I know that I find it very weird when people ask me if I believe in the Gods, it’s like someone asking me if I believe in the sky or the air that we’re breathing. When they go further and ask how I would prove their existence it honestly makes my head hurt slightly. The Gods are everything and everywhere, they are a part of the fabric of the world- proof is unimportant.
Going back to the example of placing the real, live fairy on the table as a form of proof we can see how subjective it can be once again. For some people just the physical presence of the fairy would be enough to make them believe in the Fay, but for others it would take it being tested and dissected and investigated for them to stand up and announce that they believe. Proof is different to everyone- it’s subjective, it would be nice if people stopped throwing it about like the final word.