Should atheists celebrate Christmas? Watch

Poll: Should atheists celebrate Christmas?
Yes (306)
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No (125)
29%
shadowdweller
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Whilst the meaning of Christmas has vastly changed to a more commercialised one, and continues to shift that way over the years, the premise is still one grounded in religion; to that end, do you think atheists should celebrate Christmas? Why/why not?
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Good bloke
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
Whilst the meaning of Christmas has vastly changed to a more commercialised one, and continues to shift that way over the years, the premise is still one grounded in religion; to that end, do you think atheists should celebrate Christmas? Why/why not?
If your argument is grounded in the principle that things should not change and should remain rooted in their origins, then the celebration should be a pagan one concerned with winter darkness, hunting, and Odin. The question would more properly be Should Christians have appropriated Yuletide?

Otherwise, as an atheist I celebrate the entirely secular season of jollity and family closeness called Christmas just like anyone else.
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JMR2019.
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
Whilst the meaning of Christmas has vastly changed to a more commercialised one, and continues to shift that way over the years, the premise is still one grounded in religion; to that end, do you think atheists should celebrate Christmas? Why/why not?
Well, Christmas was originally a pagan festival of Yuletide and the birth of Jesus was made to coincide with that, neither did Jesus ever celebrate his own birthday. So should a Christian be celebrating Christmas?
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ChaoticButterfly
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It has it's own sociological reasons for existing that are deeper than Christianity. So yeah... A consumerist holiday where I celebrate Super Mario helps me get through life and the darker months, just like Christmas used to help those who were fearful of the Sun not coming back. It can't be a coincidence Christmas comes from cultures of poeples who lived well north of the equator.

We now live in an age where it is common for yourself to be alienated from your family and close friends. Young people push off to cities and places of work leaving them far from family as apposed to when people more or less died in the same place they were born. Christmas is a time of year where everyone has time off at the same time and it is an excuse to meet people important to you. It serves an important function for social animals living in an very alienated and atomized post industrial capitalist society.

It's also part of the culture I have grown up in. Both the consumerist and religious aspect.
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SeanAnthony
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
Whilst the meaning of Christmas has vastly changed to a more commercialised one, and continues to shift that way over the years, the premise is still one grounded in religion; to that end, do you think atheists should celebrate Christmas? Why/why not?
I don't think so, I'm an Atheist and I decided a few years ago to stop celebrating Christmas. I used to be a Christian and now feel it's no longer appropriate, in the same way I wouldn't celebrate Hannukka.
Like the other posts here I'm aware of Christians appropriating Yuletide for their own celebrations and so as Atheists I feel we can do the same. I have been recognising Newton's day for a couple of years in an attempt to celebrate great thinkers and progressive attitudes. It is quite similar to Christmas but closer to what people think the true meaning of Christmas is, no individual presents just bring consumables to the party, spending time with family and helping those less fortunate than ourselves. I know this isn't going to be for everybody but I prefer to get away from any religious context and the commercialisation and greed that is currently associated with December.
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Napp
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Why not? I see nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of Santa.
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AstroNandos
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Feels more of a cultural than a religious thing now

I like presents

I like Christmas Dinner

Yeah why not seems fun
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dandiprat
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I think we can all share celebrations. What is not appropriate perhaps? The greediness, but that’s a far broader problem. A lot of people have no belief in the celebration besides the personal gains—money, presents, and so on—alas, that applies to more than just atheists.

I am not Christian yet I enjoy sharing and observing the celebrations: the feasting, the family gatherings, the gatherings of friends, the games, the spectacles, the memories. I will observe their nativities, I will pay my respects, even though I’m not a Christian. It’s enjoyable and communal; this year I visited our local Anglican Cathedral too, just to offer forth donations for their presents collection.

I insist people do not purchase myself gifts or give me cards, however, I will return the favour if they do. My favourite parts of Christmas are the historical shows and trying to recreate old recipes 😂 don’t usually turn out well because my oven is broken.

All the while, I still celebrate my own faith’s December celebrations and invite others to be a part of them too!
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Gwilym101
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This sums it up quite nicely.
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Rock Fan
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Christmas is a great time of year so yeah we should be allowed to celebrate it
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jonathanemptage
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#11
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why not it's more than just the religious festival it used to be it's also fun a few days where you spend time with family and friends eat nice food maybe have a sing song play some stupid party games and just generally have a nice time everybody can enjoy that.
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lilmunchkin18
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#12
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Over the years, the traditional (and literal) meaning of Christmas has been lost and is now mainly based around the act of giving and receiving presents without any acknowledgment of the reason it all started. So while anyone should be allowed to "celebrate" and give gifts to one another, I think it's pointless for them to participate in the traditional parts (that probably doesn't make any sense. Oh well.)

Not just atheists though, I also think it's pointless for people of other religions to celebrate Christmas if they don't believe in Jesus in the first place. I for one (although I believe in Jesus) don't believe he was born on Christmas day so I don't celebrate it as it would be pointless for me to do so
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Deliciate
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I don't think it's fair that religious believers are commonly scrutinised for 'cherry-picking' when the same can be said for atheists. Christmas is a Christian celebration that glorifies the birth of Jesus and therefore it is not at all relevant to atheists who don't believe in Jesus. Yes, Christmas is a time to reflect, gather around with family and toast but you do not need Christmas as a reminder as to how great your family are, it should be remembered all year round. Stuffing them with presents means absolutely nothing. Equally, visiting them only once a year as a social obligation is quite horrendous. In essence, the primary focus of Christmas is not to reflect upon your own life but to reflect upon the life of Jesus. Sadly, Christmas really has become a secular celebration where the ideals of it has been completely shifted to gratify the world's monetary avarice and this is wrong. The clearly established meaning of Christmas hasn't changed and should never change but the way in which it is celebrated unfortunately has. There's nothing that can be done about this because people will always pick out the part of religion that appeals to them and bash the adverse.
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Ddraigdwr2
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(Original post by Deliciate)
I don't think it's fair that religious believers are commonly scrutinised for 'cherry-picking' when the same can be said for atheists. Christmas is a Christian celebration that glorifies the birth of Jesus and therefore it is not at all relevant to atheists who don't believe in Jesus. Yes, Christmas is a time to reflect, gather around with family and toast but you do not need Christmas as a reminder as to how great your family are, it should be remembered all year round. Stuffing them with presents means absolutely nothing. Equally, visiting them only once a year as a social obligation is quite horrendous. In essence, the primary focus of Christmas is not to reflect upon your own life but to reflect upon the life of Jesus. Sadly, Christmas really has become a secular celebration where the ideals of it has been completely shifted to gratify the world's monetary avarice and this is wrong. The clearly established meaning of Christmas hasn't changed and should never change but the way in which it is celebrated unfortunately has. There's nothing that can be done about this because people will always pick out the part of religion that appeals to them and bash the adverse.
I completely agree with you. Christmas has become so commercialised (particularly in the U.K.). Generally Christmas was celebrated by almost everyone here in the U.K. because it was a Christian country. However, since major companies picked up on the gift giving traditions of Christmas, the holiday has become commercialised and now celebrated by everyone else.

Also, to those who argue that Christmas took over the Pagan traditions that occur at a similar time: since no one actually knows when Jesus was born, the Church choose December since it was a time with other celebrations already.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Deliciate)
I don't think it's fair that religious believers are commonly scrutinised for 'cherry-picking'
Did you not read the several posts that pointed out that Christians actually stole the celebration from pagans?

(Original post by Ddraigdwr2)
since no one actually knows when Jesus was born, the Church choose December since it was a time with other celebrations already.
You don't get much more dishonest than that, do you? The church has no morality.
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Ddraigdwr2
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(Original post by Good bloke)
You don't get much more dishonest than that, do you? The church has no morality.
If you would like more reasons as to why Christmas is celebrated in December, feel free to read the following:

https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/25th.shtml

Also I would rather you didn't insult my faith and it's main institution (which church are you even referring to? A specific church? A parish? A denomination?)
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Ddraigdwr2)
If you would like more reasons as to why Christmas is celebrated in December, feel free to read the following:

https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/25th.shtml

Also I would rather you didn't insult my faith and it's main institution (which church are you even referring to? A specific church? A parish? A denomination?)
Yes, I'm fully aware of all that.

If you feel being rightly accused of appropriating pagan traditions (and dates) is an insult, then feel free to believe your church was insulted. The RCs are the culprits but all Christians have followed them so all are tarred with the same brush I fear.
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Golden State
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I used to be an Atheist and celebrated Christmas as a social and cultural tradition. So, I can't see why non-Christians can't celebrate it, as it's mostly the only real quality time you get to spend with your loved ones.
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Duncan2012
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We're halfway through the festival of Saturnalia. Plenty of eating, drinking, partying, playing games, gift-giving. Sound familiar...?
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Gwilym101)


This sums it up quite nicely.
Trust Puritans to ban Christmas :rofl:
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