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It was a comic book religion when it started.
Wed Nov 8, 2017 11:07pm

I simply cannot believe that ANYBODY believe that there is this super-hero flying around with his magic hammer etc, etc.

Most (not all) of the "Sky God" religions have a strong sense of morality and decency. The Hebrew Religion BEGAN with the total rejection of human sacrifice for all time (the "binding of Isaac").

When you read up on Norse Mythology, you will discover the utter moral vacuousness of the whole thing.

And then, there was the ever-popular human sacrifice for the entertainment of the population (other than the poor bastards being sacrificed).
In the Eddic poem "Hyndluljóð", Freyja expresses appreciation for the many sacrifices of oxen made to her by her acolyte, Óttar.[194] In Hrafnkels saga, Hrafnkell is called Freysgoði for his many sacrifices to Freyr.[195][65] There may also be markers by which we can distinguish sacrifices to Odin,[196] who was associated with hanging,[197] and some texts particularly associate the ritual killing of a boar with sacrifices to Freyr;[197] but in general, archaeology is unable to identify the deity to whom a sacrifice was made.[196]

The texts frequently allude to human sacrifice. Temple wells in which people were sacrificially drowned are mentioned in Adam of Bremen's account of Uppsala[198] and in Icelandic sagas, where they are called blótkelda or blótgrǫf,[199] and Adam of Bremen also states that human victims were included among those hanging in the trees at Uppsala.[200] In Gautreks saga, people sacrifice themselves during a famine by jumping off cliffs,[201] and both the Historia Norwegiæ and Heimskringla refer to the willing death of King Dómaldi as a sacrifice after bad harvests.[202] Mentions of people being "sentenced to sacrifice" and of the "wrath of the gods" against criminals suggest a sacral meaning for the death penalty;[203] in Landnamabók the method of execution is given as having the back broken on a rock.[201] It is possible that some of the bog bodies recovered from peat bogs in northern Germany and Denmark and dated to the Iron Age were human sacrifices.[204] Such a practice may have been connected to the execution of criminals or of prisoners of war;[205] on the other hand, some textual mentions of a person being "offered" to a deity, such as a king offering his son, may refer to a non-sacrificial "dedication".[206]

Archaeological evidence supports Ibn Fadlan's report of funerary human sacrifice: in various cases, the burial of someone who died of natural causes is accompanied by another who died a violent death.[196][207] For example, at Birka a decapitated young man was placed atop an older man buried with weapons, and at Gerdrup, near Roskilde, a woman was buried alongside a man whose neck had been broken.[208] Many of the details of Ibn Fadlan's account are borne out by archaeology;[209][210][211] and it is possible that those elements which are not visible in the archaeological evidence—such as the sexual encounters—are also accurate.

Human sacrifice, a female angel of death and why the Vikings were even more savage than you thought: British Museum unveils the treasures of our most ferocious invaders

In some ways, history has got it wrong about the Vikings. Those supposedly horned helmets of theirs are a complete fabrication
And their leaders didn’t revel in names such as Eirik Bloodaxe, Thorfinn Skullsplitter and Harald Hardruler for nothing
There was also a peaceful, domesticated side to them and a rich cultural heritage to draw on
A splendid array of archaeological artefacts will show this in major exhibition, opening in a couple of weeks’ time at the British Museum

Ask your acquaintances whether human sacrifice is coming back.

It IS cool in some respects, but not a religion for the twenty-first century. It was, however, like an early version of Marvel Comics except 1000 times more violent.


  • Um...Poppet, Wed Nov 8 12:15pm
    Surely you recognize that these deities are literally a couple thousand years (at least) older than comic books. I fail to see how they're any less plausible than, say, ancient Middle-Eastern sky... more
    • It was a comic book religion when it started. — DFM, Wed Nov 8 11:07pm
      • I certainly won't argue against its absurdity or it's bloody-handedness. But on the former front, I find it no less absurd than most any other religion of the period (or most any period, for that... more
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