Atheists: How do you feel during the Christmas season?

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MCalavera
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22 Oct 2013, 9:30 pm

Logical fallacy galore. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:



MCalavera
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22 Oct 2013, 9:41 pm

hurtloam wrote:
Well, this is much more interesting than the thread I started.

Never mind the date... when did Jesus ever ask anyone to celebrate his birthday anyway?

If one is arguing that Christmas is Christian and supported by the bible, surely then it would have been endorsed by Christ, hence justifying the name "Christmas". So where in the bible is it written that he asked people to celebrate the day of his birth. Where in the bible does it say Gabriel told Mary she was pregnant in March? Of course catholics are going to think that this happened in March working back from the idea that Jesus was born in December.

Where does it say it was winter in Bethlehem when Jesus was born? A couple of people have mentioned that shepherds wouldn't be out with their sheep in winter which I think is an interesting observation because from school I remember the shepherds being a big part of the nativity scene. I once played an ox in the Christmas play... not that that's relevant, but that's why I remember the nativity so vividly.


The March question is a good one, but I don't know where it came from exactly. You are spot on to suggest it may have been derived from the idea that December 25 was Christmas mainstream date.

But either way, we also don't know what came first in terms of December 25 anyway: Sol Invictus or Christmas? Even skeptics challenge the view that Sol Invictus came before; some say it was the other way around, that Sol Invictus was coincided with the Christmas mainstream date.

Either way, all this is really irrelevant at the end of the day when we ponder where the essence of Christmas itself comes from. The Nativity itself is Christian in origin, myth or not. People who argue otherwise have the burden of proof on their shoulders, not mine.



MCalavera
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22 Oct 2013, 9:43 pm

hurtloam wrote:
Hang on, how did I end up in this section. I'm never in here.... thread must have been moved.

Yes a friend of mine pointed that out to me about 10 years ago. He encouraged me to read the gospels. His words were "they're nothing like the nativity."


Really? Did your friend ever read Matthew and Luke?



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22 Oct 2013, 10:03 pm

I stated my sources,what are yours?Eyerolls don't count as sources.
Some more reading material.
"For a person with such historical impact,there are relatively few concrete or undisputed details about the birth,life,and death of Jesus.For example,December the 25th,Christmas,traditionally celebrated as the date of Jesus' birth,is almost certainly inaccurate,as is the belief that Jesus was born in the year 1A.D.The December date was imposed in Rome sometime in the sixth century during the reign of Justinian,ostensibly to coincide with established festivals of the winter solstice.According to information in the Gospel of Luke,there were shepherds tending their flocks in the fields on the night of Jesus' birth.Shepherds in the Bethlehem area still tend their sheep at night-but only during the blistering days of late summer and early fall,when it's too hot for the sheep to graze in the daylight hours.So,in fact Jesus may have been born in July or August."
James Natal from The People's Almanac

You are not a very good example of a Christian.Where is your peace on earth good will towards all men?I doubt Jesus was as grumpy as you.you are certainly not going to attract any followers for him,and isn't that your mission as a Christian?Where's that Christian love you all preach about?


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MCalavera
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22 Oct 2013, 10:39 pm

And yet still no primary sources.

Also, do I look like I'm a Christian. Have you ever read any of my posts outside of this thread?



MCalavera
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22 Oct 2013, 10:44 pm

Also, if you're just going to quote material from recent authors, that's just going to be pointless:

I might as well post link to Bulfinch's Mythology (heard of it?):

http://www.greekmythology.com/Books/Bul ... finch.html

What does this prove, though? Nothing. But at least it's much more accurate than the stuff you're quoting.

Also, I never said Jesus was born on December 25 anyway. You keep committing strawmen fallacies on me.

EDIT: Good luck finding a virgin birth in there.



MCalavera
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22 Oct 2013, 10:48 pm

hurtloam wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
hurtloam wrote:
Well, this is much more interesting than the thread I started.

Never mind the date... when did Jesus ever ask anyone to celebrate his birthday anyway?

If one is arguing that Christmas is Christian and supported by the bible, surely then it would have been endorsed by Christ, hence justifying the name "Christmas". So where in the bible is it written that he asked people to celebrate the day of his birth. Where in the bible does it say Gabriel told Mary she was pregnant in March? Of course catholics are going to think that this happened in March working back from the idea that Jesus was born in December.

Where does it say it was winter in Bethlehem when Jesus was born? A couple of people have mentioned that shepherds wouldn't be out with their sheep in winter which I think is an interesting observation because from school I remember the shepherds being a big part of the nativity scene. I once played an ox in the Christmas play... not that that's relevant, but that's why I remember the nativity so vividly.

I think it is widely accepted by Christians (certainly those I know) that Jesus was not born on 25th December. However, the birth of Jesus is still something to be celebrated. Jesus didn't order it, that would be incredibly narcissistic, but it is a long held tradition within Christianity- hence a "Christian festival". Of course, a secular festival has sprung out of it, and that's just as legitimate, but it is also a Christian festival.


But he had no qualms about setting up the commemoration of his death... which I think legitimizes the question. "where did the commemoration of his birth originate from?" such as people have been asking here.


I missed this one.

I would say it came from the need/desire to celebrate his birth. It's just a simple speculation that should be assumed based on the evidence that Christians had muliple dates to celebrate Jesus birth before the maninstream date was ever established so it definitely had nothing to do with Sol Invictus anyway.



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22 Oct 2013, 11:17 pm

If you are not a Christian,why do you care?
Dr.Theodore Gastor ,a specialist in comparative religion.folklorist,fluent in 29 languages and dialects,former Chief of Hebraic Section of the Library of Congress,Curator of the Department of of Semitic and Egyptian Antiquities in Wellcome Museum,London,Fulbright Professor in History of Religions at the University of Rome.
This is who abridged and reviewed the later edition of Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough.
I find him a more credible source of info than you.
Again,your sources please.


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MCalavera
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22 Oct 2013, 11:50 pm

Source for what? That there is no virgin birth story before the Gospel story? That's just shifting the burden of proof on me when I'm not the one making the claims.

And I care about facts not being twisted. I don't need to be a Christian for that to happen.



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23 Oct 2013, 12:02 am

I don't think I'm twisting the facts,I gave proof there was previous virgin birth stories.If you don't want to consider there may be some validity to them,fine.I'm sure at one time,there may have been whole villages of pregnant girls who claimed that a God came through the window as a sunbeam,mist,rain,moonbeam,swan or whatever,and impregnated her.When in reality,it was the swine herd,not a god. :lol:
I admit to being mistaken about your religious orientation,weren't you a Christian once?


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MCalavera
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23 Oct 2013, 12:07 am

Misslizard wrote:
I don't think I'm twisting the facts,I gave proof there was previous virgin birth stories.


No, you didn't. The primary sources don't have them, at least not those predating the Gospel story.

Adonis (for example) was not born of a virgin, and I know the Adonis story quite well. Yet your beloved author likes to claim otherwise that he was.

Also, you do understand that virgin birth means the baby was born from a virgin, that is, the maiden herself did not have sex with any man or god in order to conceive and then give birth.

From all those years of reading mythology, I have never stumbled upon any story resembling the Nativity and that predates it.

Yes, the Jesus virgin birth story is a myth, but it is an original one and not copied from prior sources. And the whole Nativity story is definitely original.

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I admit to being mistaken about your religious orientation,weren't you a Christian once?


Yes, I was. And now I express strong disapproval of it and other religions.



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23 Oct 2013, 3:29 am

MCalavera wrote:
Misslizard wrote:
Yule logs,mistletoe,feasting,evergreens,lights.All the good stuff.


All of which came much later. And even if they were part of early Christmas, that still doesn't mean that Christmas itself is pagan.


Christianity came here 8th century. The Jul/Weihnachts costums came into christmas the 8th century here. Thats not later. ^^



MCalavera
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23 Oct 2013, 4:47 am

Schneekugel wrote:
MCalavera wrote:
Misslizard wrote:
Yule logs,mistletoe,feasting,evergreens,lights.All the good stuff.


All of which came much later. And even if they were part of early Christmas, that still doesn't mean that Christmas itself is pagan.


Christianity came here 8th century. The Jul/Weihnachts costums came into christmas the 8th century here. Thats not later. ^^


But the whole argument was never about the later variations added and the later Christmases, but about the essence of Christmas itself. The argument started by a remark a poster here made, and then me quoting that remark and asking for relevant evidence.

Whatever the current convolutions are as of now in this thread are all insignificant.



Schneekugel
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23 Oct 2013, 5:17 am

I dont know what the essence of christmas was, that was celebrated from 4th century to 8th century. I simply know, that the actual christmas that WE are celebrating is the pagan festival of JUL/Weihnacht, with all the same symbols including it. In the end, instead of celebrating the newborn sun, the bringer of hope (yop and that thinking of family and relatives was as well already included), or celebrating the newborn son, the bringer of hope, isnt that much of an difference.

The essence of the celebrations are simply quite the same, its about hope, celebrating that life goes on with the ones you love and that you care for. Maybe more ancient christian traditions really do celebrate an origin christmas without all the pagan stuff. But the christmas we europeans and you americans are celebrating is simply the Julfest, that got in 8th century the "Jesus Christ was born."-patch.

That doesnt mean that the message was copied, but simply that the message of both festivities was so similar, that it could be so easily included for all folks. If you were to decide a date for celebrating the birth of the one, that brought the hope of gods mercy and redemption of sins, the promise of an everlasting life, simply a celebration of the birth of "The bringer of Hope", which better date was suitable then an date that is already traditional about something quiet similar?

I dont see, what you always have with that copying or whatever. Traditions simply melted. Thats as well something that can be experienced in asia in the regions, where buddhistic, hindusitic traditions melted, about topics that were similar. You simply take the new stuff you like and melt it with the old stuff that you like, to create something you like even more and feel comfortable.

Just like Santa Clause...at the origin it was an figure of northern mythology, that got with those settlers melted into US believes, while in middle europe the guy wasnt really known until 1970, but instead it was the Angel that guarded christus birth, that brought some small presents. With the coming knowledge of that Santa Clause guy with the media, some people here like his background more, and simply add this freely to their christmas festival. And therefore, that noone has a "wrong" christmas, kids are nowadays told that either Santa Claus and the "Christkind"-Angel are bringing them together and that they share that work. If you tell your kids two different versions, at least in kindergarten you have the mess. So you simply melt both traditions in a fitting way, and everyone is fine. That doesnt make the message of the celebration another one, simply because of both of these guys having the same message, which is the core of the festivity. Just as adding Jesus birth, having the same messsage, was fitting in easily. Who cares, that there is no reason for all of the surrounding stuff, as long as the core is quiet similar and so can easily be melted to receive an result you like?



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23 Oct 2013, 5:36 am

Speaking for myself: I quite like Christmas season because all towns are nicely decorated with lot of colourful lights, there is a party atmosphere and people tend to smile a lot, ... which is nice :) The religious aspect, being atheist myself, is of course of no importance to me. I don't celebrate it and just let the day pass (the day itself is rather boring due to many public places being closed) ; the season itself and the nice illuminated places and buildings are quite nice to see even if you're atheist.


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23 Oct 2013, 2:09 pm

MCalavera wrote:
hurtloam wrote:
Hang on, how did I end up in this section. I'm never in here.... thread must have been moved.

Yes a friend of mine pointed that out to me about 10 years ago. He encouraged me to read the gospels. His words were "they're nothing like the nativity."


Really? Did your friend ever read Matthew and Luke?


My friend would irritate you, he has an over enthusiastic way of expressing himself. I don't think he literally meant completely "nothing" is the same. He was just surprised by the differences he read in bible and the nativity he learned at school. You have to bear in mind this conversation happened 10 years ago so I can't remember what differences were pointed out to me, but I think as was mentioned earlier the bible says a non specific number of astrologers visited Jesus rather than 3 kings or 3 wise men as is common in school plays. It also says they went to a house to visit him as a young child and Herod mentioning children aged 2 and under, so the astrologers don't seem to have visited on the same night he was born. I suppose plays are always condensed versions of books anyway, but this got my friend a little heated up that it wasn't the exact same probably the same way I felt when I saw the Bourne Identity and was disappointed that it was nothing like the book.

On my other question about the date. I wonder why Christians felt at all compelled to celebrate Jesus date of birth? And it's really random to celebrate it on a day that seems to be no where near when the person was born. I've read the other New Testement books and noticed that there was a lot of discussion about how to celebrate or how to organise the communion meal observance, but nothing about how to celebrate Jesus birthday and I do wonder where the idea came from. I've always favoured this hijacking the re-birth of the sun idea because it makes sense. I could see people adapting it to suit.

A quick google has brough this idea up about conception and birtdates. Mary went to visit Elizabeth who was pregnant with Jesus cousin John when Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant. Mary had just found out she was pregnant at this time. John was probably born in March because his father had just been to a festival in June just before Elizabeth concieved, so Jesus was liable to be born in September. I'm really tired I can't double check this tonight, but I've heard the September date suggested before and it sticks in my mind. Why isn't Christmas in September... is it because there were no pagan festivals to hijack?