Friday, July 17, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Daily Bomb #4: Wrapping Up Shocking Revelations About the Wiccan Rede

The Daily Bomb was explained in detail in this first Daily Bomb post here. 

In a nutshell, there is a terrible epidemic of misinformation in Wicca... and it is important that Wiccans start correcting it (even if it means re-examining your previous ideas). 

Aaaannnnddd, just to neatly wrap up the Wiccan Rede bombs, here is the third and final one on it:

#4 The Wiccan Rede does not say Wiccans can not do harm. 

Before anyone's panties begin to bunch, I'm not saying that Wiccans should run around like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. 

Not recommended!!!

Wicca is an ethical religion; and it was ethical before the Rede ever got into it. It didn't need the Rede to be ethical before, and it doesn't need the Rede to be ethical now. Sorry to be so blunt, but if you really need a little commandment written in stone to stop you from going around hurting other people, then you might want to re-evaluate the issues of ethics and morality.

Come to think of it, anyone who needs an arbitrary commandment threatening telling them they have to be good, is probably not the kind of person that is going to follow arbitrary commandments telling them what to do.

The Wiccan Rede gets twisted a lot into some kind of commandment to do no harm. This makes no sense at all in the context of nature-- to live, you must do harm. You gotta eat? Well, you just killed plants and animals. You want to grow your own food? You just murdered millions of organisms by plowing your field. Want to be cancer free? Or get rid of that flu virus? Fine, but they were living things. Not in love with your girlfriend? Okay-- you have to break up with her. But it's going to wound her emotionally and there is nothing you can do about it.

Life is harm, there is no escaping it. There's no possible way to prevent harm.

The Wiccan Rede is an If/Then statement, it just omits the word 'then'. Let's take a look at If/Then statements:

  • IF you do your chores, THEN you may have some candy.
  • IF you break curfew, THEN you will be grounded.
  • IF it's raining out, THEN you can take the day off.
  • IF it harm none, THEN do what you will.  

If the 'IF' part doesn't get done, the 'THEN' part does not apply. 

  • IF you DON'T do your chores, THEN... (original statement doesn't say)
  • IF you DON'T break curfew, THEN... (original statement doesn't say)
  • IF it's NOT raining out, THEN... (original statement doesn't say)
You see where this is going... the Wiccan Rede is saying, "IF you're not doing harm, THEN go ahead and do what you will (or want, depending on how you want to translate that)." You don't have to feel guilty or let people jump on you for that. You're not hurting anyone, so don't worry about it. 

Sounds fair enough? I agree.

But IF you ARE doing harm? THEN... the Wiccan Rede doesn't say anything. It doesn't tell you what to do, or not do, if your actions cause harm. It doesn't say you can't do the action. It is completely silent on it.

You might imply it means 'THEN don't do what you will'. Okay, but it still doesn't tell me what I should do.  And it still doesn't tell me not to do the harm. Maybe I don't want to do harm, but it's necessary. The Wiccan Rede doesn't tell me what I should or shouldn't do.

Why? Because complex issues require complex moral reasoning... and the Wiccan Rede is just not that complex a moral statement. It's actually pretty trite and useless for most issues.  

Sometimes you just have to do harm, besides survival situations. In fact, you could argue that it is more immoral to let certain things happen than it is to cause harm and stop them. Ethics and morals are always debatable. 

So now that we've shattered some misconceptions about the Rede, how are you feeling? Are you angry? Confused? Feeling Let down by the Wiccans who have misinformed you? Or are you nodding your head like it finally makes sense? 

I hope you're not taking it personally. I really do; I'm not trying to cause anyone to have a crisis of faith, I'm trying to help you understand your faith better, to be aware of the facts. 

And It's not over... I've got some more bombs to drop in the next couple of days on other topics, so stay tuned.  

My Tip for You Today:  Spread the word. 


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