Pagan Ethical Codes

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Forums -> Other Paths -> Pagan Ethical Codes

Pagan Ethical Codes
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 1
One thing which people often forget is that the Rede is the WICCAN Rede and appropriately only applies to Wiccans. Other paths and individuals might chose to use the Rede as a guideline, but they are certainly under no obligation to do so.

That is not, of course, to say that other Pagan paths don't have their own ethical teachings to follow or that by not following the Rede they are somehow "Bad". Several of the paths that I know of have very specific sets of values which guide their ethical choices as the Rede guides the choices of Wiccans.

For the Asatruar the guidelines are called the Nine Noble Virtues and in many ways they are more like the warrior code that might have been followed by a Viking in actual Pagan society.

Kemetic (Egyptian) Reconstructionists base their values on the Laws of
Ma'at, many of which are taken directly from temple texts left from ancient Egypt. Living according to Ma'at we extremely important to an ancient Egyptian since failure to do so could result in his soul's destruction upon his death. Sekhmet was a goddess whose purpose was to defend Ma'at. (Ma'at here being both a Goddess and a term which could be translated as "right living".)

Hellenic (Greek) Reconstructionists try to follow the ethical codes discussed in surviving texts from ancient Greece. These laws primarily addressed the virtues of family and community. Interestingly to the ancient Greeks, strangers were not necessarily to be treated with the same ethical behavior as those of family or community.

Celtic Reconstructionists also draw from what is known of Celtic society, while acknowledging that some of the values of the ancient Celts may not fit well into modern society.

Modern Druids have taken the ancient Brehon laws, many of which were written down by early Christian monks, and modified them to be more in keeping with modern society. Here's a good article on that.

And finally for those that follow the Religio Romano (Roman Reconstructionists) there are virtues and values which actually have been handed down in the surviving writings of Roman philosophers, and which seem very applicable even in today's society.

So I think that it is important that those who have not perhaps been exposed to the teachings of Pagan religions other than Wicca realize that when someone says to you "I don't follow the Rede" it does not mean that they are dishonorable or unethical. Rather than going ewwwww, it would be more appropriate to ask them what they consider to be the ethical virtues and guidelines of the path they follow. You might just be surprised.
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Re: Pagan Ethical Codes
By: / Novice
Post # 2
Great post as always lark. I must say as an eclectic pagan it can get very frustrating at times when those from other paths insist that their way is the only way. There are many paths with different ethical criteria.
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Re: Pagan Ethical Codes
Post # 3
I follow the nine noble virtues myself.
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