Christmas

Posted by flanap 5 years, 3 months ago to Philosophy
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Just curious why on a blog where the majority of participants/members are atheists, or at least other than believers in Jesus Christ, why so many "Merry Christmas" messages. Seems ironic.


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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 2 months ago
    I'm an atheist and don't generally say Merry Christmas, BUT most of how I see the holiday celebrated is secular. Most of the symbols are either Pagan, completely secular, or have only a vague relationship to the religious holiday.

    It seems like this must cut both ways for Christians, kind of like your brand name becoming generic like Kleenex. It's great your thing is so popular but you lose the brand.
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  • Posted by TruthFreedom1 5 years, 3 months ago
    It is an opportunity to wish your fellow man good wishes regardless of your personal beliefs.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 2 months ago
      But you can do that any day of the year.
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      • Posted by Hiraghm 5 years, 2 months ago
        You can watch football any day of the year. What's so special about the Superbowl?
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        • Posted by 5 years, 2 months ago
          Do you really think that is a valid analogy? What's so special about Christmas to provide a time to provide good wishes? To those who are not believers in Jesus Christ, it truly isn't any different a day, same as the Superbowl is, at the end of the day, another football game. If you wanted to improve the analogy, you should have compared the Superbowl to Resurrection Day (which pagans call Easter).
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 5 years, 2 months ago
    Merry Christmas doesn't have anything to do with my religious or non-religious beliefs. It is one of a very few times in today's America when people tend to be just a little more civil to each other. I enjoy that.
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  • Posted by Dan8 5 years, 2 months ago
    Some simple facts. Rand is just a bit off base but not far. Yes, Christmas has been utterly secularized. True Christmas (Christ's Mass, The Mass of Christ) has been celebrated for 2000 years by Christians primarily Catholics in the Mass on the eve of Christ's birth. The exchange of presents portraying the gifts of the Magi came later along with the accompanying goodwill. The tree and the lights came about even later.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 2 months ago
      Fair enough (I don't want to pick apart Catholic ritualistic theology regarding Mass), but still, this doesn't address why atheists would be so interested in acknowledging Christmas positively.
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      • Posted by Dan8 5 years, 2 months ago
        I think simply because they choose not to understand it as a religious holiday but as some sort of general whateveryouwantocallitmightaswellbechristmassinceeverybodyelsedoes occasion to celebrate goodwill towards each other.
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  • Posted by  $  stargeezer 5 years, 2 months ago
    Not a atheist here. I'll not add my pedigree, but most certainly not atheist.

    I'm not to sure where this notion originated, it's just not born out by fact. Care to enlighten us? Or was this based on your own views?
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    • Posted by 5 years, 2 months ago
      Notion? What notion? Are you referring to me believing that most of the members of this forum are atheists, or why so many here are positively acknowledging Christmas? Please elaborate? I will say this is based on my own experience, not on some other input necessarily.
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      • Posted by  $  stargeezer 5 years, 2 months ago
        I would contend that your assertion that most members here a atheists are a fallacy. I doubt that this could be fact.

        Many ARE shocked to discover that not everybody shares their views on much of anything.

        Back when Al Gore and George Bush were slugging it out to be the president and all the votes were finally counted and everything was decided we were visiting at a friends home for Christmas. Their daughter and new son-in-law were visiting and the son-in-law made the statement that it was hard to believe that there were so many people who failed to see things like they did. It was a moment that I allowed to pass, quietly thinking to myself that these two had much to learn.

        Fast forward to this Christmas and we were back at our friends with the daughter and son-in-law AND two grandchildren. At one point we briefly turned on the news to catch some weather, and there were some comments about BO and Obamacare. I was surprised to hear this same young man say that he just hoped and prayed that the country can stay intact long enough for this "person" to be removed from office and a conservative to be elected.

        13 years (and two children) made a great change in his outlook, and I'm sure that if he remembers the comment he made back then, he certainly regrets it. He has also come to understand that making statements like "everyone here thinks like ....", when you don't know how everyone thinks, is opening a door to reveal egg on ones face.
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        • Posted by 5 years, 2 months ago
          You are right that I do make an assumption that the majority are atheists, but perhaps I should have edited it to say, the largest portion, which means the largest percentage and not necessarily more than 50%. A poll would likely solve this, assuming a very high percentage of members would respond. Since Ms. Rand was an atheist, it isn't a long shot to extrapolate her religious view to the largest percentage of members on a sight dedicated to her philosophy.
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          • Posted by  $  stargeezer 5 years, 2 months ago
            As far as I know, nobody here places Ayn Rand on a pedestal as anything other than a great author and to a lessor extent philosopher. I have never made a in depth study into her views on God apart from discovering that she was indeed a atheist.

            Even so, that does not require those of us who enjoy her writings to adopt this stance. And it is faulty logic to assume that this might be true. There is nothing in her writings about Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead that demand the rejection of God.

            To "extrapolate her religious view to the largest percentage of members on a sight dedicated to her philosophy" is simply a error. To repeat the error does not make it less illogical. You simply cannot claim it as true based on her beliefs.

            If you look to current polls (a pretty poor approach I freely admit) atheists account for less than 10% (I have not looked up the figures recently, but it's close) of the population. Of those polled 60% confessed to being Christian, 25% claimed other religious allegiances, 5% claimed some other none Christian belief (Satanist, wickken, other). With those numbers assuming that this group would be mostly atheist is, as I said, illogical.

            .
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            • Posted by  $  Maphesdus 5 years, 2 months ago
              "There is nothing in her writings about Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead that demand the rejection of God."
              ---
              I haven't read The Fountainhead, but a requirement to reject all forms of mysticism (i.e. religion) was one of the basic points of John Galt's speech in Atlas Shrugged.
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              • Posted by  $  stargeezer 5 years, 2 months ago
                You call it mysticism, I call it reality. I don't force you to believe, why is it atheists want to force me to not believe?
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                • Posted by  $  Maphesdus 5 years, 2 months ago
                  I don't call it mysticism, nor was I making any attempt to change your beliefs regarding religion.

                  I was simply pointing out that Ayn Rand does, in fact, demand the rejection of God as part of her philosophy.
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        • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 2 months ago
          Why is "person" in quotes?
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          • Posted by  $  stargeezer 5 years, 2 months ago
            A personal quibble, I dislike referring to him as President, or Commander In Chief, or even POTUS.

            I feel that he is a dishonor to the office that great men have held and served in. While his approach seems to be that the office is to serve him and that he views the troops that serve him as "play things", not men who will bleed and die. Men who took almost the same oath he did, except they will die before they dishonor it.

            In general, I feel he is a disgrace whom most of his Illinois voters voted for in order to get him out of this state.

            We are really all hoping he moves to Hawaii after he's out of office. Think of all the money we'll save not shuttling him back and forth on AF1. And he'll be able to golf everyday on his own dime.

            This IS all my opinion.
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  • Posted by  $  WillH 5 years, 2 months ago
    I am not an athiest either. There are many that are not and many that are. You do not have to believe in god to have goodwill toward your fellow men.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 2 months ago
      I do not grant you the premise that those who are not believers in Jesus Christ can objectively define "good." I have said this ad infinitum in other posts since I have joined here. The only way to define good from bad is from an external source to man, else, your definition is subjective. One's goodwill is another's hostility.
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      • Posted by  $  WillH 5 years, 2 months ago
        I would say first off say respectfully that I do not know you or see you as an authority over me. Therefore I do not need you to grant me any premise.

        Secondly. unless you are dealing with a sarcastic person whom you do not know you can usually tell if someone is being hostile or showing you goodwill. Common sense covers that pretty well. If you had said telling good from bad in the conduct of one's own life and morality comes from god then I would agree, but telling if someone is being hostile or not is usually obvious.
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        • Posted by 5 years, 2 months ago
          We all have premises/bases for making an argument. Yours is that your understanding of goodwill, and the general understanding by our fellow man, is the same everywhere, so everyone should know when goodwill is being extended vs hostility. I simply do not grant you that that is a valid premise, unless you are not basing your argument on that premise.

          If I am wrong about your premise, let me know please.
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          • Posted by  $  WillH 5 years, 2 months ago
            I am not asking you to grant or not grant anything. I do not see what is hard to understand about that. My premises exist independent of your approval. I do not need you to grant them.

            I have served overseas in multiple countries, and yes, people are not that different on a casual meeting basis. A smile and relaxed posture petty much means the same thing everywhere, even if people are from opposite sides of the planet. You are never going to go to a place with a culture that believes a smile to someone you meet is an invitation to open warfare. It does not work that way. Sure, some shake hands and some bow, but a friendly greeting between two people is pretty universal. The range of human expression is pretty limited. This does not account for subversive people of course, but they are hard to account for anyway.

            The intent of this thread was simply to wish people Merry Christmas. I find it strange that this was to you an invitation to pick at people's beliefs or lack thereof, but everyone has to have a hobby I suppose.

            I am going to do a really dangerous thing here and say Happy New Year. Yes, it is my premise that January 1 marks the new year, at least in our culture. Yes, I mean that as a goodwill gesture, and yes, I do know what goodwill is.
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  • Posted by  $  richrobinson 5 years, 3 months ago
    I don't go to Church but I celebrate Christmas. I enjoy the "goodwill message" of the season and find it hard to believe anyone could be offended. Ayn Rands views on Christmas were posted earlier. She approved and celebrated Christmas so I think it is appropriate for the Gulch.
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