I was asked by an Xtian if I decorated for Christmas.
When I answered "NO" - I got the questions I have heard before.
"Are you against Religion? Are you against Christmas."
(Religion is bad - so yes I am against religion)
Any of you here get these same questions?
How do you handle them?
The afterlife is a strange concept really, but it is said to give people comfort because they cannot understand their own mortality. In earlier life as a christian I was so afraid of death, but today that fear has melted away. Maybe that is because a person can realize that we are all a part of everything that is, and we all have our part to play. Like Mark Twain once said, "I was dead for billions of years before I was born, and it didn't bother me one bit."
Today I am somewhat militant against religion because of all the idiot crap it teaches. Once we take the bait we swallow it all hook, line, and sinker. I'm amazed at a burial when the body and casket is finally lowered into the ground and someone immediately claims "she's in heaven now." Did they not see what just happened? If you engage in conversation with such a person they can tell you "she was in heaven the instant she died." (Of course, if they were Catholic there might be some in between and money paid to get the person out of this state. Yep, that's how we get rich.) For those who saw the body go into the grave, and they understand that fully, the next step is talking about that person's "soul." Then it becomes the soul that is in heaven, and here we go all over again. No one has enough knowledge to understand that you are the "soul." You do not have a "soul." Belief in a soul helps the religious believe they are special and are separate from the animals, but nowhere in their buybull does it say god gave you a soul.
Now we move along to that "rapture" or 2nd coming when the dead rise to meet jesus in the air. In my lifetime it was preached about the graves opening, bodies alive and caught up to meet him, etc. WAIT! Today they go more towards the idea that it's only your "soul" going, but they are too dumb to see that this scripture would have to be wrong because your soul already went to heaven. It was never in the grave, so why is jesus coming back for your body? If you need one, he could just make a new one. So much for stupid beliefs and the infallible buybull.
I'm repeating again, but now we move on to little Johnny crying over the loss of his puppy. He mopes around for days and finally his mother says "don't cry, little Johnny. Your dog is up there in heaven now with jesus." Johnny blurts out "no he's not. I saw you and daddy bury him in the back yard last week." Apparently Johnny is smarter than the adults here, but don't tell this story to a christian. The first thing they tell you back is that "there are no animals in heaven." (Perfect thinking for a christian.) I usually say "really? Read your Old Testament again." (They still don't get it because animals "don't have a soul."
SO, am I against religion and against Christmas. HELL YES! Religion is blind obedience into corrupted beliefs and christ or jesus was never in Christmas from the beginning.
I liked your reply, especially the first paragraph. It's been my experience that religious people are much more afraid of death than atheists. I'm sure religious people would deny this, but it's true. They think a scary judgement game will begin after they take their last breath. That definitely is scary. Like you, I believe I'm a part of everything. Being me was just a temporary thing, and that's fine. In fact, I'm honored to have been a part of life. This seems much better than believing in false gods. Merry Xmas, everyone.
When those who know I'm a non-theist ask me why I put up lights (modest amount) this time of year, I just say to celebrate the solstice, which is the longest night of the year. I explain the practice has been around a lot longer than Xmas tradition.
That is a good response Karl.
I would answer, it's not so much that I'm against Christmas or religion; it's that I'm for Encyclopedism. If you were to study Encyclopedists such as Diderot, Condorcet, and Galiani you would find many of the views you hold about freedom, separation of powers, public education and freedom of thought are based on what they wrote. You would find you are also largely for Encyclopedism. If you looked at the historical progress of human understanding you would see human understanding is accumulative. You would see how Encyclopedism progressed out of Christianity; which progressed out of Judaism and so on.... You would see the decrease in supernatural explanations till they are eliminated. It is all part of our intellectual evolution.
Encyclopedism, LOL, I was into encyclopedism since I was 10 and my parents purchased a full set of Chambers Encyclopedia, it was in that very open, unbiased encyclopedia that I learned of the concepts concerning the non-existence of Jesus.
I also read their account of the history of religion which did not place any truth in Christianity when compared to other religions.
It was from that set of encyclopedias that I became agnostic leaning towards atheism.
The rest was just more learning and encyclopedic knowledge that developed my atheism.
It's the encounters with religion and creationists as I'm fully into science, also from my parents purchasing a set of Science Encyclopedias that I became Anti-Theistic.
I'm now an ardent Anti-Theist, because of the blatant, rampant, stupidity that religion keeps confronting me with.
Growing up I had a set of encyclopedia's too. I learned so much from reading those. Learning is a wonderful gift and I love learning.
So True Steph, Though, learning came in stages for me, at school from years 4 to 7, I was considered as the class professor, even teachers used me as the class reference. From years 8 to 10, I stopped reading the encyclopedia and science texts, and simply played games and helped on the farm, learned very little from books, most learning was from experiencing until I became an adult and then I slowly crept back into reading. I could read fluently at the age of 6, I suppose by the time I was 13, I had simply burned out and stopped.
I was very slow getting back into it, I even went through a semi-religious phase before I finally became a fully fledged anti-theist.
I suppose I had to learn from the inside, before I could really criticize religion properly.
Though, those that knew me from my early years, still call me Professor!
I have always "celebrated" Christmas. As a child belief = gifts. As an adult it is, to me, a time of happiness and celebration- not of the birth of "Jesus" but of a time of year when we can show joy and a silly happiness that might not be appropriate during other times of the year. I do not, in any way, think of it as a religious holiday but as a time when Santa comes to make us merry.
As a funny note: My grandson asked why they have religious music on a radio station that's playing Christmas music. He heard a song about Jesus and thought that belonged on the religious station and NOT on a station playing Christmas music. I really had to smile at that one!
So, I celebrate Christmas and I enjoy Christmas. For me it is a season that bring out the best in each of us. But I have been an atheist since the age of 12, when I thought about it.
However, I still don't understand how people can believe this stuff! It defies reason and drives me crazy! People that I care about believe in god and I have a very, very hard time not telling them that I think they're nuts! :) Happy Holidays!
That's funny, and great, about your grandson seeing Christmas as so thoroughly secular that a song about Jesus was out of place!
I still don't understand how people can believe this stuff!
Apropos: this illustration from Jim Huber's essay "Pascal's Sucker Bet" is priceless.
He reveals one of the hidden layers of meaning near the end of the essay. There's another that made me laugh out loud when I discovered it.
Thanks for that! Yes, I've heard the Pascal's Sucker Bet before and one relation actually tried it on me years ago when she wanted me to join her in a "Bible study". I told her then that if I only believed because I was afraid of what would happen to me if I didn't, I didn't really believe. I also said that if there was a god he'd rather have me be a good person than worry about whether I believed in him or not. I asked her that if I lead a good life but didn't believe was that sending me to hell while the person who was a murderer, thief, etc. but believed, could be "saved". She assured me that god is forgiving and if the murderer asked to be saved, he would be. I don't think that there is any rational argument that would make sense to these people as they believe this stuff, not because it makes sense, but because they want to believe it. Must be that way.
By the way, my grandson still believes in Santa. I know we've made a big mistake there but at least someday he will understand why we initiated him into that fallacy, Santa is fun and love and just wants you to be good. God, on the other hand, demands your financial support of his people and your willingness to not accept others and sometimes kill on his behalf.
Thank you Grinning Cat for the link to Pascal's Bet.