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Why do atheists celebrate Christmas ?

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Billlee
Billlee  85531 forum posts England
1 Dec 2010 - 7:47 PM

I know you will tell me that Christians adopted this winter celebration from pagans, but in it's present form it is all about the birth of Jesus Christ.
Seems a bit odd then that people who say He does not exist actually celebrate His birthday .......

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Gaucho
Gaucho e2 Member 122198 forum postsGaucho vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2010 - 7:56 PM

I'm not celebrating until the 27th, and that's because my kids arrive on that day. Wink

CaptivePhotons
CaptivePhotons e2 Member 111515 forum postsCaptivePhotons vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2010 - 7:56 PM


Quote: but in it's present form it is all about the birth of Jesus Christ

That may have been the case in the past, but now it is all about business and making money. Most of us have been indoctrinated by the big companies to buy presents at this time of the year. Christmas has very little to do with religion anymore.

Snapper
Snapper  93702 forum posts United States Minor Outlying Islands3 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2010 - 8:00 PM


Quote: I know you will tell me that Christians adopted this winter celebration from pagans, but in it's present form it is all about the birth of Jesus Christ.
Seems a bit odd then that people who say He does not exist actually celebrate His birthday .......

I'm not religious, but it's true that holidays tend to be at Christmas and Easter and we're happy to take them. I'm also happy to get Sundays off work as well or maybe double time if I have to work! Wink

gcarth
gcarth e2 Member 102255 forum postsgcarth vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2010 - 8:04 PM


Quote: I know you will tell me that Christians adopted this winter celebration from pagans, but in it's present form it is all about the birth of Jesus Christ.
Seems a bit odd then that people who say He does not exist actually celebrate His birthday .......

But most are not celebrating Christ's' birthday are they? It's just a good excuse for getting p***ed and generally over-indulging for most of us, isn't it?
Overall, Jesus (if in fact he did exist) was a pretty decent sort of guy but I would also put the Buddha right up there as a role model worth celebrating. Smile

going_digital

Well I guess if you truly celebrate Christmas in the actual sense then what you do is go to Church for a mass conducted in celebration of Christ. But that is not truly what Christmas is about for Christians and non-Christians alike. It is simply a tradition that gives most people time off and the opportunity to brighten the place up with trees and decorations, exchange gifts and maybe spend some time with family that otherwise may never happen. If you ignore for a moment that the origins of the Christmas festival have nothing to do with Christianity but rather has been adopted by Christianity and had the Christ story added to it, you don't have to believe or follow something to enjoy it. Most people don't believe in Witches and Warlocks but still they have fun dressing up and partying for Halloween, I have no particular allegiance or even know the details of the gunpowder plot but I can enjoy watching fireworks just as much because these things have just become traditions that interrupt the depressing cold dark winter nights. I celebrate new year, not because there is any significance in it, it is just an arbitrary date that has been chosen as a point for one year to end and a new one to start.

Christmas trees, exchanging presents, the Christmas meal all have nothing to do with the Christ Story. It might surprise you to learn that Atheists can enjoy the stories in the Bible, like Christian inspired art or even choral music, but they enjoy it for the beauty of the art or the wonder of the story while still not believing it. In the same way I can enjoy the fantasy of Merlin on the TV without believing that any of that is true. Just because we wish something is true doesn't make it so. I wish that magic were real and I could right many of the wrongs in the world by using magic but as wonderful as that would be it is just a fantasy.

loweskid
loweskid  122042 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2010 - 9:08 PM


Quote: In the same way I can enjoy the fantasy of Merlin on the TV without believing that any of that is true.

What...!! It's not true?? You mean there never were any talking dragons...?

Bummer.....

going_digital

Oh sorry I take it back, Father Christmas and Talking Dragons are all true, for my Sins I will be force fed Turky this Christmas.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139392 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2010 - 9:27 PM

Surely "aetheists" (assuming they actually know what it is they don't believe in! Grin) should work right through Christmas?

After all many Jewish, Hindu, Muslim people do so..........

fauxtography
1 Dec 2010 - 9:37 PM


Quote: but in it's present form it is all about the birth of Jesus Christ.

Really? I must remember that as I look through the TV schedule, or the Christmas cards, searching for the obligatory religious bit, tucked away in the corner, because the vast majority of the material that is created about this time of year is distinctly un-christian.

Christianity has had it's heyday over this particular holiday (which lasted for a good few hundred years), nicking it from the religions that came before it, now commercialism is the main driver and it has nicked that same holiday from Christianity, you reap what you sow (GALATIANS 6: 7-9) i guess Wink

What's the image that is associated by most people with this time of year? If you had to condense it to a picture of one person, it would be an image created by one of the commercial giants of the USA. Coca-cola.

Atheists are celebrating a holiday, one that has meant many things to many different people over many different centuries. And for a time way past any of us will ever know, will still mean different things. Enjoy this time of year for what it means to you, don't worry about what it means to others... plus there's plenty to choose from, Saturnalia (pre christian Roman) Yule, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, Christmas (and on...)... and as for the birth of Jesus Christ, well that day has changed several times over the centuries, it's arbitrary and as far as I remember some current thinking has it in being in September, try changing "Christmas" to that date and see how much it'll work.

Last Modified By fauxtography at 1 Dec 2010 - 9:38 PM
cambirder
cambirder  107202 forum posts England
1 Dec 2010 - 9:39 PM


Quote: assuming they actually know what it is they don't believe in!

Its very simple really, we don't believe in any super natural being or beings, that should not mean we have to work more days than those who do though Tongue

kaybee
kaybee  103767 forum posts Scotland24 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2010 - 9:54 PM


Quote: exchanging presents .....have nothing to do with the Christ Story

Ummmmmm .......................... I think you might that refers to the 3 kings bearing gifts

Big Bri
Big Bri  1315548 forum posts England
1 Dec 2010 - 10:02 PM

Don't worry, if the PC crowd have their way it won't be called Christmas much longer. It will be "festive season" or "holiday season" or some other such crap.

going_digital
1 Dec 2010 - 10:05 PM


Quote:
Ummmmmm .......................... I think you might that refers to the 3 kings bearing gifts

In pre-Christian Rome, the emperors compelled their most despised citizens to bring offerings and gifts during the Saturnalia (in December) and Kalends (in January). Later, this ritual expanded to include gift-giving among the general populace. The Catholic Church gave this custom a Christian flavor by re-rooting it in the supposed gift-giving of Saint Nicholas. Christian apologists today will make unsubstantiated claims like symbolised by 3 kings bearing gifts but that is just a futile attempt to attach Christianity to existing practices.

I'm afraid
Quote: Surely "aetheists" (assuming they actually know what it is they don't believe in! Grin) .

Hmm that is the funny thing many Atheists know more about Christianity than Christians that is why they choose not to believe as they see the bad bits as well as the good, not just the sanitised version preached by Christians. In fact research was carried out that proves this point, a number of questions about Bible stories were asked and the people who scored highest for Bible knowledge were Atheists.

keith selmes
1 Dec 2010 - 10:24 PM

It was Christians who banned Christmas, on grounds of it being a pagan festival.

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