So he was responsible for the killing of a god. And, no, he didn’t show any remorse.
Being a scandinavian it would seem right to go with the Asatru.
Unfortunately it gave up with a whimper and gave way to Christianity long ago, and have lived in suspended animation before someone somewhere decided to revive the corpse. Fortunately the stories did live on and have provided me with many hours of good reading.
Somewhere along the lines, and many other lines, I realised that the old Norse Gods are just as boring and predictable as all other gods, just like they should be, as the god(s) are the foundation of the culture and societies everywhere.
Luckily there is Loke, son of two giants, father of Wolf Fenris, Midgårdsorm, Hel and the mother of Sleipner. He and his family are almost singlehandedly the destroyers of the Asirs at Ragnarök, but still he is the blood-brother of Odin, travelling companion of Thor and purveyor of Thors Hammer and other nice stuff to the Asirs. Some even claims that our word for Saturday, Lørdag, is derived from Loke and shows how important he is.
Nice complex personality.
So what are the virtues? None.
He is the primarily the “Lord of changes”, which is why his prime enemy is Heimdal, watchman of Asgård, sounding his horn when the Jotuns arrive at Ragnarök. Loke is the one who keeps the gods from stagnation, both by being responsible for the death of Balder ( and thereby also preparing him for the ressurection after Ragnarök) and generally keeping them on their toes. He is the mirror that plays tricks on you to confront you with your own stupidity.
Secondly he is a thief. This is an underlining of Loke as the “Lord of Changes”. So how can being a thief have anything to do with changes?
Time for some philosopher abuse.
There is no rational reason for punishing the thief. The acts of a thief do not have negative consequences for other than the victim. The thief is happy, the locksmiths and the insurance people are happy with the need for their jobs who wouldn’t exist without the thief, and the people at the bottom of our societys are happy to be able to obtain the goods of the upper half at a reasonable price.
The only reason for punishing the thief is the collective sentiment that goods are rewards for useful participation in society.
These collective sentiments are the reason that a society without crime is impossible. This would mean that sentiments would have to exist to the same degree and intensity in all people. (Really boring)
What defines the character of crime and criminal is the collective conscience. If the moral conscience is too excessive there will be stronger reactions against crime resulting in stronger reactions against minor behaviour.
“The harder the rules and regulations, the greater the number of those who will steal” (Tao Te Ching)
This leads to a reduction in the ability to express individual originality, which again leads to stagnation and lack of progress in the society.
If the idealist is to express himself, so will the criminal, one can’t occur without the other.
What is said here is that both morality and law will have to change to avoid stagnation, lack of progress and eventually the demise of the society (or culture).
What is also contained is the fact that “consensus is truth”, since it is the collective conscience that defines crime.(The Romans saw the gladiator fights not as a sign of decadence, but as the antidote because it was good for morality to see people die in a noble fight)
Which brings us back to Loke.
He is, as earlier mentioned, the mirror to show your own stupidity, he raises the questions in you, he is the destroyer on the small scale that makes it possible for the world to keep on existing, and if you tie down the one who is responsible for the dynamics of the world for too long, he will break free and bring about the end of the world as you know it.
So Loke isn’t so bad after all. Mostly you gain more than you lose.