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  1. #91
    Senior Member AzulEyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Did it ever occur to you that not all the people celebrating at this time of year are observing Christmas? There are many holidays around this time: Hanukkah, Diwali, Yule, Kwanzaa, and yes, Christmas. All use light as a central symbol, not surprising as we are nearing the Winter Solstice, when the days are shortest for everyone, whatever we choose to celebrate.


    Exactly. I do get a chuckle the rest of the year, whenever Christians object to the five-pointed star as a Pagan, Wiccan, or even Satanic symbol. They have no problem putting one on the top of their "Christmas" tree, or even over their nativity scene. The Goddess giving birth to the new baby God at midwinter, as the light returns to the world. Some themes truly are universal.


    Not so at all. Easter corresponds with the Pagan holiday Ostara, coinciding with Spring Equinox, a time of balance when new life is returning to the world. The resurrected Christ is that new life, as are the new shoots in the field. Jesus' return from death even parallels the return of Persephone from her months in the underworld - another common theme. And that Easter Bunny and the eggs she brings? Symbols of fertility, of course, all with Pagan origins for obvious reason.

    That's how it is with Pagan symbols usually. Their meanings are obvious and intuitive, because they are based on the reality of the natural world around us, the world God(dess) created. We don't have to do mental gymnastics and see in the tree the cross on which Jesus hung to bring the life of redemption to the world. A tree can represent life just being its own tree self.

    FWIW, there are Pagan holidays corresponding to the equinoxes, solstices, and the cross-quarter dates halfway between these, making 8 yearly holidays. All of these have some vestiges in the modern and even the Christian world, though some, like Yule, are much more obvious than others.
    Sure- but I am specifically referring to Christmas in my OP.
    Atheists that I know in real life.
    People that do NOT believe in Jesus, the birth of Jesus or Christianity- balls out celebrating Christmas.
    I was curious about the rational a person does internally for doing such a thing.
    If I were atheist, I personally would never celebrate Christmas. I would personally feel it was hypocritical. And if I'm going to denounce the existance of something, I'm certainly not going to partake in celebratory traditions surrounding it.

    Many have shared their reasoning why they celebrate- and this is eye opening for me. I did not know there was such though that went behind it. I can only speak for me / what I would do. And I was referring to Xmas- which is the biggest holiday of them all- particuarly this time of year- we are having it shoved down our throats- like it or not.
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  2. #92
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzulEyes View Post
    Sure- but I am specifically referring to Christmas in my OP.
    Atheists that I know in real life.
    People that do NOT believe in Jesus, the birth of Jesus or Christianity- balls out celebrating Christmas.
    I was curious about the rational a person does internally for doing such a thing.
    If I were atheist, I personally would never celebrate Christmas. I would personally feel it was hypocritical. And if I'm going to denounce the existance of something, I'm certainly not going to partake in celebratory traditions surrounding it.
    My point was that people who look like they are celebrating Christmas may really be celebrating something else at this time of year, as there is much crossover in symbols and customs. I assume many true atheists (i.e. believe there is no God) simply celebrate 25 December as a cultural holiday, much like Thanksgiving or even July 4th; or do so to carry on valued family traditions that may indeed have originated in Christian practice.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #93
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Did it ever occur to you that not all the people celebrating at this time of year are observing Christmas? There are many holidays around this time: Hanukkah, Diwali, Yule, Kwanzaa, and yes, Christmas. All use light as a central symbol, not surprising as we are nearing the Winter Solstice, when the days are shortest for everyone, whatever we choose to celebrate.
    Exactly!





    Now my problem is with people who don't believe in Santa celebrating Christmas. I mean, why even bother?

    Freakin' asantaists.

  4. #94
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Atheism is a rational choice that would cease to be wise once I start rejecting delicious Christmas meals because of it.

  5. #95
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    ^

    Quote Originally Posted by AzulEyes View Post
    Sure- but I am specifically referring to Christmas in my OP.
    Atheists that I know in real life.
    People that do NOT believe in Jesus, the birth of Jesus or Christianity- balls out celebrating Christmas.
    I was curious about the rational a person does internally for doing such a thing.
    If I were atheist, I personally would never celebrate Christmas. I would personally feel it was hypocritical. And if I'm going to denounce the existance of something, I'm certainly not going to partake in celebratory traditions surrounding it.

    Many have shared their reasoning why they celebrate- and this is eye opening for me. I did not know there was such though that went behind it. I can only speak for me / what I would do. And I was referring to Xmas- which is the biggest holiday of them all- particuarly this time of year- we are having it shoved down our throats- like it or not.
    It's interesting to me that you feel like you would have such a counter-reaction towards it.

    It occurs to me that most atheists I know are "soft" atheists, or agnostic atheists, who do not see a rational argument for the existence of a specific God or gods as proposed but who do not lay claim to ultimate truth, either, as opposed to "hard" atheists who claim knowledge of the nonexistence of god/s. (There are some other overlapping terms for these beliefs, as well, but I have used the ones most familiar to me.) Following that, I think most atheists I know tend not to really care very much about the existence or non-existence of specific god/s. In a soft atheistic worldview it is essentially a non-issue, because one inherently constructs one's ethical set apart from notions on deity.

    In fact, when stepping further and further outside the bounds of belief (not toward disbelief, but toward lack of belief), one begins to see a huge spectrum of slightly different notions of deity. Instead of vastly important entities, deities may strike one as recurring manifestations of archetypes, temporal indicators of zeitgeist, glorification of historical figures, and so on. And Catholics seem to worship a slightly different deity than Protestants than Unitarians than Jews than Muslims than Zoroastrians and so on. It's very difficult in some ways to even tell where one god stops and another begins. Individuals may have personal judgments on where that line is drawn, but they do not always agree with one another, leaving quite a bit of gray area for who Christianity actually "belongs" to, much less this pagan-infused, commercially-advertised, culturally-aggregate holiday.

    So if a soft atheist gets to the point of wondering, "should I celebrate Christmas?", the considerations that they run along their internal system of ethics would probably include "will this hurt others unnecessarily?", as that seems to be a fairly pervasive consideration in most humans' judgments. However, it would probably not be particularly emphatic on the point of "do I believe in the specific deity/deities that certain groups of people (but perhaps not others) believe is the reason for this holiday?"... recall that the soft atheist formed their ethical system without consideration for deities, so the answer to that question will have zero impact on how a soft atheist chooses to act in the world. There is no hypocrisy because there is no assumed relation to begin with.

    Which may also be why many of us culturally Christian non-Christians tend to celebrate Christmas and enjoy it and not be particularly perturbed by it in general. The issue of specific deity just doesn't matter to us, and in the ways that are important to us, Christmas calculates out as a net positive in our books.

  6. #96
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    We clebrate christmas too and we are not christians. Infact we decorated the whole building with christmas and new year related decoratives and most if not all of us are non christians.

    As for why it is i believe a lit of people have already given a lot of answers. Mine is: christmas is a highly commercialized and marketed event and to its advantage falls right before new year adding to the seasonal effect. The west especially with movies and music influences the east a lot and christmas has an abundance of marketing within those two industries. So it's the marketing affect of lets celebrate the season the joy and laughter affect along with many others than the message of god being celebrated. The image of santa has a bigger elaffect on children of otber religious or athiest backgrounds than jesus or his father. So one could say it's huge advantage to chrisitianity to pass the positive image through.

    The western agnostics could as they have make thier own arguments.

  7. #97
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    No religion is better marketed than christianity and christmas is the world's best marketing campaign.

  8. #98
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzulEyes View Post
    And if I'm going to denounce the existance of something, I'm certainly not going to partake in celebratory traditions surrounding it.
    Well it's not like I held a press conference and said: I'm taking my talents to Atheism. I hereby denounce Jesus Christ, and all of the Judeo-Christian traditions that go with him. I'm pretty low-key about my lack of belief.

    And just because you don't believe in the truth of the scripture in a literal sense, doesn't mean you can't engage with the myths and rituals that go with it.

    Just like the Christians took Christmas and used it for their own purposes, I'm taking Christmas and using it to celebrate my values of generosity/togetherness/etc. It seems to me, that Jesus is being slowly extracted from the holiday anyway.

    And maybe, just maybe, appropriating another group's rituals for your own purposes is the most Christian thing to do of all. Perhaps I'm not so different from my Christian neighbors after all! It's a Christmas Miracle!

  9. #99
    Senior Member AzulEyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post
    Well it's not like I held a press conference and said: I'm taking my talents to Atheism. I hereby denounce Jesus Christ, and all of the Judeo-Christian traditions that go with him. I'm pretty low-key about my lack of belief.

    And just because you don't believe in the truth of the scripture in a literal sense, doesn't mean you can't engage with the myths and rituals that go with it.

    Just like the Christians took Christmas and used it for their own purposes, I'm taking Christmas and using it to celebrate my values of generosity/togetherness/etc. It seems to me, that Jesus is being slowly extracted from the holiday anyway.

    And maybe, just maybe, appropriating another group's rituals for your own purposes is the most Christian thing to do of all. Perhaps I'm not so different from my Christian neighbors after all! It's a Christmas Miracle!
    There is no harm indeed. I guess when you come from the angle I am at (believer in God, views the celebrations as religious in nature) it's more sacred I guess? For lack of a better word. Others celebrating it for reasons like, "it's fun," "the food," "brings family together," are all very nice things ---- but they exclude the sacredness of the occasion. That is the part where we just fundamentally view Christmas differently.
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  10. #100
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzulEyes View Post
    There is no harm indeed. I guess when you come from the angle I am at (believer in God, views the celebrations as religious in nature) it's more sacred I guess? For lack of a better word. Others celebrating it for reasons like, "it's fun," "the food," "brings family together," are all very nice things ---- but they exclude the sacredness of the occasion. That is the part where we just fundamentally view Christmas differently.
    Yeah, I'm actually pretty jealous of that sacredness...I'm trying to get back to that place, but I'm missing something. Still, I enjoy Christmas.

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