Poor logic in atheists disappoints me. War on Christmas thoughts.

Sapient's picture

I'm often reminded that atheists are not impervious to exhibitions of poor critical thinking, something that the theists who visit this page may find solace in. A good friend of mine has even backed off slightly from his activism against religion to be replaced by activism for solid modes of thought because as he's seen the real problem isn't religion, but it's poor critical thinking skills. Atheism does not always equal rationality or high intelligence or ones ability to abstain from making poor assumptions. I almost feel as if I should qualify my last sentence to note that theistic belief is never rational, as you might assume our position has changed in some way.

In the last few days I have been disheartened by some of the horrible logic my fellow atheists will use to vocalize a negative opinion about our "War on Christmas." I'm reluctant to post anything further because at the heart of this matter is the error of asserting a position of ignorance, that is to say that quite a few atheists have vocalized an opinion about our War on Christmas without having any clue as to what it is, and without having researched it. It is clear, had they researched our War they would not have asserted the positions they did. Again, don't assume this means I think an informed person wont disagree, I'm stating the positions that have been asserted were invalid based on information already posted by us to the contrary. So as I say, I'm reluctant to write more, because those who will assert positions of ignorance, are likely not even reading this blog. Nevertheless I digress, and in the hope of making the information easy to access for the lazy thinkers, I will explain a little further, some of the information that was already readily available should one have chosen to research what we're up to.

First of all I should point out some of the places where we have already given quite a bit of information on the War on Christmas.

Here is a link to some of the history behind the war including Press Releases that explain that we're merely engaging in mockery. You can also download some of our on radio interviews to get a better idea.

Here is a link to a welcome letter we extend to Christians including an offer to get The God Who Wasn't There movie for free.

Now, furthermore, let me address some of the comments we've been getting:

Comment: That's a dumb name, "The War on Christmas."

Answer: It was created by Fox news anchor John Gibson. We're merely using their terminology to mock them. Read.

Comment: Christmas has nothing to do with Christ, it was stolen from previous holidays.

Answer: Yes we know. In fact, that's part of the campaign. Isn't it ironic that Christians are upset that people are saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," yet the Holiday has it's origins in a place other than Jesus. Christians can steal the holiday from the Pagans, but when we try to embrace diversity of beliefs in this country, they cry foul... how cute. Here's a video made for us illustrating that point (Christians actually denying Giftmas as their holiday!). Also, this video gives you a more historical look at Christmas origins.

Comment: Dont you think your going alittle to far with this whole war on christmas bs? I mean come on, if people want to believe that let them.

Answer: No, we're not going too far, we're likely not going far enough. If your best friend believed heroin was good for him, would you just let him believe that as he slowly killed himself? The fact remains the evidence for Jesus is lacking, even if we accept Jesus existed, the evidence for God is lacking even more so than for Jesus. If you're proposing that we should live in a world where we just believe things because we can, because we want to, then I would like to slowly distance myself from you, even though you are an atheist. Religion breeds ignorance, I can't support it. I will gladly support peoples right to believe whatever they want, but I can't support irrational beliefs themselves.

Comment: We are no different than the radical christians pushing their beliefs on people if we act like this.

Answer: Bullshit. I have no problem with people trying to get others to believe the way they do. That is the way of the world. If we didn't push our beliefs on others, we'd have no teachers, we'd have nobody passing on knowledge to each other. I hear atheists use this argument often, and I implore them to rid their vocabulary of it. Radical Christianity is not bad because it seeks to convince others of what they hold to be true, in fact you just sought to convince me of your beliefs in this email. Radical Christianity is bad because it is founded on unproven beliefs. My beliefs are founded on that which can be proven. And it's in this way, that I'll never be "as bad" as radical Christians.

Comment: It's a season of greed, a season of pride, a season of fun,. Xmas is the most sinful holiday there is, thus leave it alone

Answer: I sense this comment was meant humorously, nevertheless it's a good opportunity for me to mention something some people don't seem to be getting. Christmas itself is a HOLYday for Christians, it's not a holyday for atheists. However, should you as an atheist choose to use it as a day to gather with your family and exchange gifts, we see nothing wrong with that. Personally I don't need an excuse to be generous to my loved ones, I don't need an excuse to gather with my loved ones, and I implore you to think the same way. The "spirit of Christmas" should be everyday, for every family. Personally I'm considering going to a homeless shelter on Christmas day and helping run the kitchen.

Comment: My kids are 4 and 6 and I had to remove you from my myspace friends because your profile image says that Santa is fake. This is an important time for them, and fantasy is part of that. [paraphrased]

Answer: Ack! First of all, maybe your kids shouldn't be on your myspace profile at 4 and 6. You could have always taken us off your top friends and put us on the back list. Secondly, why are you lying to your children? Shouldn't you be leading by example? I imagine you're teaching your children the importance of honesty, do you think there's a chance they'll have a hard time reconciling your dishonesty with your claim that we should be honest? It's important to note, it's not fantasy to you, it's simply fantasy to them. How about engaging in games where you play make believe, and you are both on equal footing? You both can embrace a make believe world together, under the guise that you both know that it's just pretend. Perhaps your parents lied to you, but you can stop the lies here and now, in this generation. Your children are likely to appreciate you more if you expose the secret and instead tell them that it's you buying all the presents, it's your love and generosity that is the cause of the gifts they're receiving. If your just itching to keep Santa involved in the day, maybe you could consider doing what my friend Jake does. He tells his daughter that we are all Santa and she has to give a gift to someone else and write "from Santa" on it.

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Christen's picture

People will always disagree

People will always disagree with each other, including atheists.

Hambydammit's picture

Keep your chin up,

Keep your chin up, Sapient!

In the last week or two, I've had at least a half dozen conversations, both online and in RL, that have left me feeling a little bummed. There's nothing quite so discouraging as explaining a perfectly logical concept and then having it blasted by people who are theoretically on your side... especially when they clearly don't understand, or don't want to understand what you're saying.

And there are definitely some irrational ideas being carried around by atheists. Lucky for us we don't claim absolute rationality, eh?

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Sapient's picture

Christen wrote:People will

Christen wrote:
People will always disagree with each other, including atheists.

Definetly I agree. But wouldn't it be nice if we could all agree to abstain from making assertions without knowledge of what we're asserting? Or at least we could all agree to only hold true, what we can prove?

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Hambydammit's picture

I've been bitched at

I've been bitched at recently for asking that very question.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Christen's picture

Sapient wrote:Christen

Sapient wrote:
Christen wrote:
People will always disagree with each other, including atheists.

Definetly I agree. But wouldn't it be nice if we could all agree to abstain from making assertions without knowledge of what we're asserting? Or at least we could all agree to only hold true, what we can prove?

Sure. Would you still have a problem with an atheist that disagrees with you on this, even after they have read up on what you're doing?

Sapient's picture

Christen wrote: Sure. Would

Christen wrote:

Sure. Would you still have a problem with an atheist that disagrees with you on this, even after they have read up on what you're doing?

Problem with the atheist, no. I can still be close, and get along with people who disagree with specific projects I engage in. Obviously I may disagree, and an agree to disagree rule may have to get put into play.

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Conn_in_Brooklyn's picture

Often ...

While I don't associate with any of the examples above (and while this may be a non-sequitor), I do tend to feel a sense of anomie about this holiday season. I mean, I know the history surrounding the misapporpriation of Christmas (many times over), but I do still reserve a romantic idea of the season (esp. living in New York City where all kinds of holidays create atmospheres that are, at best, charming and, at worst, disarming to our critical senses).

And to compound this, I've shifted my view of the scriptures from that of being the, you know, work of the divine, etc. to that of literature with social and historical value, but also, dare I say, artisitic value. And with that, I tend to see it as valuable in the way I see the Greek Tregedies valuable also ... the point here is that, though I know its not true, I tend to like aspects of the Bible (I feel I can pick and choose because I am an Atheist) and one story I rather like is the "Christmas" story. Now this "liking" is wholly subjective ... the same way I like the Grateful Dead or the tv show "Freaks and Geeks" - I guess I bring it up becuase it pertains to the holiday season and my feelings towards the thing.

(Forgive my use of your blog comments to rant ... and my first post too)
G

I'm off myspace.com so you can only find me here: http://geoffreymgolia.blogspot.com

Christen's picture

Sapient wrote:Christen

Sapient wrote:
Christen wrote:

Sure. Would you still have a problem with an atheist that disagrees with you on this, even after they have read up on what you're doing?

Problem with the atheist, no. I can still be close, and get along with people who disagree with specific projects I engage in. Obviously I may disagree, and an agree to disagree rule may have to get put into play.

I think you'll always have people disagreeing with you no matter what you do, because you are putting yourself out there. I'm sure that's something you already know, though.

Dissident1's picture

Have you ever read Dilbert?

Dilbert is a comic in the newspapers. Dilbert has a dog named "Dogbert", who talks to him and holds some intensely intelligent conversations with him.

In one strip, several years ago, Dogbert was walking across a table with a cardboard tube. Dilbert asked, "What are you doing with that cardboard tube?" To which Dogbert promptly replied, "I'm going to go up to everyone who has a strong opinion about things that they know nothing about, and bop them over the head with this cardboard tube." Dilbert responded, "But, that would be everyone in the world except you and me!" Dogbert held up the tube and said, "Lean over here."

People invariably don't want to put much effort into anything. As a general rule, humans are simply very lazy. I really don't know how we have ever survived as a species. I believe it was Bertrand Russell that said, "Most people would rather die than think. In fact, they do so!"

So don't take much stock in the opinions of the willfully ignorant. If they don't understand something, it is usually because they don't want to understand it.

I am become death, destroyer of worlds

Yes, that would be grand and

Yes, that would be grand and ultimately lead to much more fruitful discussion. However, absolutism in one's assertions seems to be an inherent part of human psychology and asserting an opinion is far easier than actually studying up on it.

It happens so often that it should probably be a truism, that when engaged in debate about matters which go to the core of humanity, i.e. religion, politics, social issues, that far more opinions will be offered than knowledge and that both sides tend to misunderstand the other due to a lack of study and understanding.

My birthday approaches, which no doubt is why I've become a bit more thoughtful about how I conduct myself. Age, it seems, tends to inspire thoughts about how one has lived their life. But anyway, I have found that the only way to truly engage someone in debate on such weighty matters is to first step out of the idea that you are right and for a moment, truly grasp what it is to believe the other side. This goes beyond the logic and propositional phrasing and down to the psychological.

The prevalence of religious thought is not due to people's stupidity or the fact that religious thought is philosophically tenable. In understanding just why it is so virulent, one begins to see one's own susceptibility to it.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm

Yana Kanarski's picture

Sapient wrote: Secondly, why

Sapient wrote:

Secondly, why are you lying to your children? Shouldn't you be leading by example? I imagine you're teaching your children the importance of honesty, do you think there's a chance they'll have a hard time reconciling your dishonesty with your claim that we should be honest? It's important to note, it's not fantasy to you, it's simply fantasy to them. How about engaging in games where you play make believe, and you are both on equal footing? You both can embrace a make believe world together, under the guise that you both know that it's just pretend. Perhaps your parents lied to you, but you can stop the lies here and now, in this generation. Your children are likely to appreciate you more if you expose the secret and instead tell them that it's you buying all the presents, it's your love and generosity that is the cause of the gifts they're receiving.

When I have children, I plan to introduce them to "The Santa Hypothesis" and encourage them to debunk it themselves, through logic and reason. It's a great way to teach them critical thinking skills, and it could boost their self-esteem to know they are smart enough to disprove it without their parents just coming out and stating the truth.

Dissident1's picture

The Santa Hypothesis?

That is such a great idea! It would encourage them to take everything with a grain of sand, and not just to accept anything, from anyone, as gospel. I love it!

I am become death, destroyer of worlds

Hambydammit's picture

Wow. I don't want to have

Wow. I don't want to have kids, but if I did, I'd want to have them with someone like Yana. That is crazy smart.

I honestly think this is the first time I've ever heard of this idea, and it's mind boggling to me that nobody's mentioned it before, among all my atheist friends.

Yana, you are going to have wonderful children. Kuddos to you.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Tilberian's picture

c'mon...Santa?

Doing the Santa thing = lying to your kids? Aw c'mon. Maybe technically, but so what? I don't resent my parents for "lying" to me about Santa. I realize it was all in good fun and I sure as hell enjoyed the excitement at the time. Plus, coming to the realization that Santa wasn't real was an excellent exercise in critical thinking.

I know, I know, I'm using the same rationalization as theists use - we feel better if we believe so why not let us. Here's the difference: Santa is a harmless fantasy that all kids soon grow out of. God and religion is taken much more seriously and is often used for real-world social and political purposes. I guess I'm saying that we can afford belief in Santa in the name of humor and good fun, but that belief in God has proven too expensive.

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown

Sapient's picture

Hambydammit wrote:Wow. I

Hambydammit wrote:
Wow. I don't want to have kids, but if I did, I'd want to have them with someone like Yana.

Her drop dead gorgeous looks don't hurt either.

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

zarathustra's picture

Does the Free Market support Christmas

What effect would the dissolution of Christmas have on the economy? Although there is nothing ostensibly Christian about J.C. Penny (pun intended), nor the ceremony of counting up the receipts when the season is over, it would appear the ongoing belief in the birth of the Lord fuels the impetus for gift-giving, upon which the retail companies depend in a huge way. Granted, the economic desirability of a thriving retail economy doesn't confirm the existence Jesus (or Santa...maybe), but I can already see Pat & Jerry blaming us when the next recession hits.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††

It's to be expected from

It's to be expected from something that is so antisocial. Anything that challenges authority people re going to rally behind simply because of that, and there is no notion of authority greater than the idea of god. I mean, there is being "against the man" and then there is being "against THE man."

Consider this: the fact that god doesn't exist is horribly sad. No one can rationally desire that there be no god. But what you and other reasonable people understand is that that doesn't mean there is a god, or we should just pretend that there is a god (that is, have faith.) But look at how happy so many of these atheists are that there is no god - that alone makes them neccesarily irrational.

Tilberian's picture

Waterweave wrote: Consider

Waterweave wrote:

Consider this: the fact that god doesn't exist is horribly sad. No one can rationally desire that there be no god. But what you and other reasonable people understand is that that doesn't mean there is a god, or we should just pretend that there is a god (that is, have faith.) But look at how happy so many of these atheists are that there is no god - that alone makes them neccesarily irrational.

Atheists have all different feelings about the absence of god, but the most common feeling is complete indifference since it is senseless to be upset about the absence of a fictional character. I might just as well mope around bemoaning the fact that Winnie the Pooh isn't really out there bringing cuteness to the Hundred Acre Wood.

What atheists, as a group, do tend to get happy about is when others come to see the light and drop their baseless beliefs. This is because we hold out the slim hope that humanity will someday evolve away from our dependance on this mental security blanket.

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown

zarathustra's picture

The fact that god doesn't

The fact that god doesn't exist isn't horribly sad. It is a relief to know that there is no catankerous old man in the sky who cares that we believe in him, and cares what we do in the bedroom, and cares that we tithe him 10% every Sunday. It is happier for life to have no meaning, than to have a meaning you don't agree with.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††

Tilberian wrote:Atheists

Tilberian wrote:
Atheists have all different feelings about the absence of god, but the most common feeling is complete indifference since it is senseless to be upset about the absence of a fictional character. I might just as well mope around bemoaning the fact that Winnie the Pooh isn't really out there bringing cuteness to the Hundred Acre Wood.

What atheists, as a group, do tend to get happy about is when others come to see the light and drop their baseless beliefs. This is because we hold out the slim hope that humanity will someday evolve away from our dependance on this mental security blanket.

I don't think that the Winnie the Pooh example takes into account our humanity. We aren't creatures of knowledge but creatures of belief, and so while we should yield our minds to truth that doesn't mean that truth is what our minds value. When we learn that what we found value in was always only a lie, we are going to be hurt. And to be honest, I don't see why this hurt would be wrong.

If I think that my girlfriend is a loving woman who values intimacy and respects me, and then I find-out that she had been cheating on me throughout the entire relationship, I am going to be devastated. And this will be despite the fact that what I loved was only a fiction - who I thought she was was nothing more than a fictional character that the real her deceived me into thinking was a person. I would have lost nothing but a lie, and would have gained an understanding of the truth, yet I am still going to mourn. And I do not think that that is wrong. And so when someone learns that god is a fiction that they were deceived into believing in, I am not going to think that it is wrong for them to mourn.

You can tell me that this irrational, but I do not believe that any well-adjusted person could apathetically abandon everything they love when they find it to be a lie - they should abandon it anyways, but it would be derranged for them to claim that we are apathetic towards the loss of what they loved, even if it was only a loss in perception. That is why I believe that we ought be mourning god, not rejoicing that its always been dead.

zarathustra wrote:
The fact that god doesn't exist isn't horribly sad. It is a relief to know that there is no catankerous old man in the sky who cares that we believe in him, and cares what we do in the bedroom, and cares that we tithe him 10% every Sunday. It is happier for life to have no meaning, than to have a meaning you don't agree with.

If there were a god, then there would be no true death. If there were a god, then every single iota of suffering would have purpose. If there were a god, then there would be justice in judgment, security in faith, and peace in salvation. And so I simply do not understand how you can say that it isn't horribly sad that there is no god.

Perhaps you are looking at the contradictions, and how things like The Problem of Evil make it so that a good god simply couldn't exist. But when I say that it is sad that god doesn't exist, I don't mean the most rational idea of god (which is incoherent and can't be used), but what it is that people perceive god to be. And that is something good, loving, that makes death an illusion, etc.

As for the "better no meaning than meaning you don't agree with", well, I don't really understand this. The idea that you can be taught what is meaning is just outright baffling to me. So I can't really make sense out this, and I can't understand your point enough to agree with it. (We are all driven by a sense of value, and at worst the only thing we can do is come to be in denial of it... no one who truly doesn't care about anything cares enough to say it - everyone has a sense of value, and purpose, and believes that meaning exists.)

1225Truth's picture

what can we support that is socially tenable?

Quote:
If you're proposing that we should live in a world where we just believe things because we can, because we want to, then I would like to slowly distance myself from you, even though you are an atheist. Religion breeds ignorance, I can't support it. I will gladly support peoples right to believe whatever they want, but I can't support irrational beliefs themselves.

And that is the conundrum we deal with here in the Bible-belt. We live in a freedom-less haven where "peoples right to believe whatever they want" is routinely not supported as a cultural imperative in the contrived "culture war" of those "blessed by grace" vs. everyone else. Encouraging people to engage critical thinking skills in all aspects of their lives makes David's effort to slay a mighty Goliath a "piece of cake" by comparison.

Here, it is all about "the book", "the book", chapter and verse. For all its scattered inconsistencies, archaic cryptic unfathomable literary idiosyncracies, and many dubious ethical lapses, "the book" is presented as the inerrant foundational theorem for truth, ethical guidance, and prescription for positive infinite survival of the individual consciousness. Any other belief paradigm, whether based on critical thinking, whether tolerant of other paradigms is - not - to - be - tolerated. How does this compare with the social reality of the northeast, or California? We think that makes a difference on how we can best proceed.

Critical thinking, you say? We aspire first to wrest our friends and neighbors away from the wildly irrational insistent dogma that the medley of literary artifacts, the Holy Bible, scribally authored in goat and sheep herding societies, is indispensable to the human condition. If we can achieve that increment ( a big "if"), then that is a huge victory in its own right. After all, is that so different from what you seek? Your webcast platform Freethought Media hosts Abraxas, an up-front Christian Gnostic along with proponents of his belief paradigm, presumably far in advance of freethought than the more traditional orthodox brand. No, that is not my idea of the optimum conclusions derived from clear and conclusive critical thinking either. But ignoring the cultural context that has for so long run against the grain of rational process is like barfing into the wind of a hurricane.

That is why we chose the recommendation of Prof. Daniel Dennett in Breaking the Spell. We choose to simply lay out the facts of history and anthropology -- the information that buffoons like O'Reilly and Gibson at Faux News choose to be ingnorant of. As Sgt. Friday of the old Dragnet TV series used to say, " . . . just the facts, Ma'am. Just the facts." And yes, information that is readily known and accepted by minority theists as well as atheists. How people who accept the information choose to respond to it -- we say, let the chips fall where they may. If they reach the conclusions of optimum crtitical thinking about new information, cool! But always ensuring such a result presents a whole different challenge.

We breeched our policy this afternoon to endorse your inspired blasphemy challenge in a MySpace bulletin. Even some theists can deny the holy spirit, rationally and without contradiction.

BTW, we are enthusiasts of your position on the public relations inanity of "the War on Christmas". Our MySpace page has referenced the endchristmas.com website and will do so again.

Tilberian's picture

Waterweave wrote: I don't

Waterweave wrote:

I don't think that the Winnie the Pooh example takes into account our humanity. We aren't creatures of knowledge but creatures of belief, and so while we should yield our minds to truth that doesn't mean that truth is what our minds value. When we learn that what we found value in was always only a lie, we are going to be hurt. And to be honest, I don't see why this hurt would be wrong.

If I think that my girlfriend is a loving woman who values intimacy and respects me, and then I find-out that she had been cheating on me throughout the entire relationship, I am going to be devastated. And this will be despite the fact that what I loved was only a fiction - who I thought she was was nothing more than a fictional character that the real her deceived me into thinking was a person. I would have lost nothing but a lie, and would have gained an understanding of the truth, yet I am still going to mourn. And I do not think that that is wrong. And so when someone learns that god is a fiction that they were deceived into believing in, I am not going to think that it is wrong for them to mourn.

You can tell me that this irrational, but I do not believe that any well-adjusted person could apathetically abandon everything they love when they find it to be a lie - they should abandon it anyways, but it would be derranged for them to claim that we are apathetic towards the loss of what they loved, even if it was only a loss in perception. That is why I believe that we ought be mourning god, not rejoicing that its always been dead.

Your compassion for the disillusioned theists is to your credit, Waterweave.

I will take small issue with your girlfriend analogy. You know that girlfriends exist. You know that some girlfriends love their boyfriends and are true to them. You were probably working on some empirical evidence to that effect when you came to the conclusion that your girlfriend loved you and was true to you. Therefore I would have much more sympathy for you when you find out that it's all a purposeful deception. Theists, on the other hand, have formed their beliefs without evidence. In most cases this isn't their fault - they were indoctrinated from birth. But the fact remains that throughout their adult lives, in most cases, they have failed to really examine their beliefs or even to read their own bible and discover what it's really saying. I don't feel very obligated to protect these people from the full force of the truth.

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown

JamesFOURTWO's picture

How "lucky" you are

Comment: Christmas has nothing to do with Christ; it was stolen from previous holidays. Let me say I'm not a history prof, bible scholar nor do I read any old "dead" lang. But I do know CHRISTmas has every thing to do with you, me, and yes CHRIST. For if it was not for you or me CHRIST would not have needed to come. Yes Christians keep traditions from pagans intended for pagans who had accepted the TRUTH of CHRIST--Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that (generally) involve a faith in a spiritual nature and a study of inherited ancestral traditions, knowledge and wisdom related to understanding human life. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to faith as well as to the larger shared systems of belief. So when you say” Religion breeds ignorance" and Atheism is a belief  system so yes you can be correct saying that. Being that atheism and Christian both have some members who like to just shut off the brain and say "THIS IS HOW IT IS" all Religion can breed ignorance even yours( I do realize that you know this).

You can not prove God does not exist any more then I can prove to you that he does. I love science God is a God of Law and Order he created science! Our big problem (this was mine at least for many o’ years) is that we trust in our own understanding on how this all “works”. You can not prove how old the world is or if it has always moved the same way or how the air tasted 6000 years ago.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

If you want a real good book on the investigation of Christ' life pick up The Case For Christ.

I don't care much for an image popularized by Coke a Cola ie Santa, but it is tradition and that is very hard to take away from people. I do like the story a Saint Nick. He understood what it meant to live for Christ. People today, even me a Christian , don’t fully “get” Christmas. It’s not about giving to “loved ones” it’s about giving to strangers, those less fortunate then your self 

Matthew 5:46-47

46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

Well I fear I must get back to work. Oh I say you’re lucky because you now have people praying for you.

James4_2

greydonsquare's picture

And This is Why....

We do what we do... Check it.... the argument is not that your god exists or not, atheists KNOW he does not, a you as a xtian KNOWS that he does. I propose a different logical issue, The logic of the existence of god itself. Christians assume that atheists believe that this universe came from nothing but xtians have no issue that god came from nothing, why is that? First the assumption is just wrong. Second the universe that we live in DOES exist because WE LIVE IN IT! There is no undeniable evidence available to 1 or more of the 5 senses that God DOES exist. I cannot see, touch, hear,taste or physically feel a god. Not just YOUR god, because YOUR god is ONE of MANY. Any god. And by quoting a book that first of all is one of the most historically inaccurate books in the planets history does not help your cause either. When you ACCEPT the contridictions and fallacies within that book, you will be taking the first step in the journey away from indoctrination. You werent born a christian. You were simply born in a region where christianity was the dominate faith. I have no doubt in my mind that had you been born in Saudi Arabia, you would be a fundamentalist muslim, with the same type of conviction, due to the type of person you are. All we ask you to is logically look at the evidence. Hopefully you will come to know the truth, that your god is one of many invisible supernatural creatures that DO NOT EXIST. Hopefully....But i doubt it.
Greydon SquareRational Response SquadGrand Unified Theory

Greydon SquareRational Response Squad Grand Unified Theory"The Best Cure For Christianity is the Bible."

Sekigahara's picture

I must say Sapient, this is

I must say Sapient, this is quite a good post, and it is swell that you are putting this into the spotlight. I have been a part of several internet communities where apathy (usually disguised as tolerance) and ill-knowledge seem to go hand in hand, and so far I have not spoke out against it in many of them. Normally, I am the minority in this issue and I would easily be banned as well. This is one of the most informative communities I have signed on for a very long time, so kudos to you.... 

Tilberian's picture

JamesFOURTWO

JamesFOURTWO wrote:

Comment: Christmas has nothing to do with Christ; it was stolen from previous holidays. Let me say I'm not a history prof, bible scholar nor do I read any old "dead" lang. But I do know CHRISTmas has every thing to do with you, me, and yes CHRIST.

But you just admitted that you don't have any special knowledge about the bible or history.  How, then, can you argue with the statement, which was posted by someone who has researched this matter? 

JamesFOURTWO wrote:

 For if it was not for you or me CHRIST would not have needed to come.

Assumes that christ came, that he was god incarnate and that his coming was for the reasons given by the christian church.  Present evidence for these assumptions or stop repeating tired dogma that we've all heard a million times. 

JamesFOURTWO wrote:

Yes Christians keep traditions from pagans intended for pagans who had accepted the TRUTH of CHRIST-ote]

 

Fascinating.  How have you come by this amazing new information concerning the absorption of pagan ritual into early christian practice?  Intense historical research?  Oh, that's right, you don't know any history.  I guess we should conclude, then, that you just pulled that statement out of your ass, which is hardly surprising considering the rest of your post.

JamesFOURTWO wrote:

ligion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that (generally) involve a faith in a spiritual nature and a study of inherited ancestral traditions, knowledge and wisdom related to understanding human life. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to faith as well as to the larger shared systems of belief. So when you say” Religion breeds ignorance" and Atheism is a belief 

  

Yes, nothing like scattering a bunch of unrelated words around in different formats to really make a persuasive point.  It has one advantage:  you can't argue with it because there's no argument.

JamesFOURTWO wrote:

You can not prove God does not exist any more then I can prove to you that he does.

We don't have to.  You are the one claiming god exists.  Now prove it.  Or admit that in your world flying pink unicorns exist, too, because you also can't prove that they don't exist.

 

JamesFOURTWO wrote:

I love science God is a God of Law and Order he created science!

Evidence please. 

 

JamesFOURTWO wrote:

Our big problem (this was mine at least for many o’ years) is that we trust in our own understanding on how this all “works”.

In your case this would be a problem since you clearly have no understanding at all.

 

JamesFOURTWO wrote:
  

You can not prove how old the world is or if it has always moved the same way or how the air tasted 6000 years ago.

We can prove all these things.  Keep trying to tear down the science you "love," it only makes you look more ridiculous.

Proverbs 3:5
 

JamesFOURTWO wrote:
hrist.

I don't care much for an image popularized by Coke a Cola ie Santa, but it is tradition and that is very hard to take away from people.

You are aware that Santa was a popular christmas figure for decades before coke used him...aren't you?

 

JamesFOURTWO wrote:
  

I do like the story a Saint Nick. He understood what it meant to live for Christ. People today, even me a Christian , don’t fully “get” Christmas. It’s not about giving to “loved ones” it’s about giving to strangers, those less fortunate then your self

A christmas sentiment that probably predates christianity by millennia.

 

JamesFOURTWO wrote:

46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

*insert bible quote calling on christians to slaughter all unbelievers here*

Well I fear I must get back to work. Oh I say you’re lucky because you now have people praying for you.

James4_2

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown

Bodhitharta's picture

greydonsquare wrote: We do

greydonsquare wrote:
We do what we do... Check it.... the argument is not that your god exists or not, atheists KNOW he does not, a you as a xtian KNOWS that he does. I propose a different logical issue, The logic of the existence of god itself. Christians assume that atheists believe that this universe came from nothing but xtians have no issue that god came from nothing, why is that? First the assumption is just wrong. Second the universe that we live in DOES exist because WE LIVE IN IT! There is no undeniable evidence available to 1 or more of the 5 senses that God DOES exist. I cannot see, touch, hear,taste or physically feel a god. Not just YOUR god, because YOUR god is ONE of MANY. Any god. And by quoting a book that first of all is one of the most historically inaccurate books in the planets history does not help your cause either. When you ACCEPT the contridictions and fallacies within that book, you will be taking the first step in the journey away from indoctrination. You werent born a christian. You were simply born in a region where christianity was the dominate faith. I have no doubt in my mind that had you been born in Saudi Arabia, you would be a fundamentalist muslim, with the same type of conviction, due to the type of person you are. All we ask you to is logically look at the evidence. Hopefully you will come to know the truth, that your god is one of many invisible supernatural creatures that DO NOT EXIST. Hopefully....But i doubt it.
Greydon SquareRational Response SquadGrand Unified Theory

 

How can you say "logically" look at the evidence when you ignore the evidence of God which is the entire creation?

 

What is historically inaccurate about the Bible? 

Then he is of those who believe and charge one another to show patience, and charge one another to show compassion.

Bodhitharta wrote: How can

Bodhitharta wrote:
How can you say "logically" look at the evidence when you ignore the evidence of God which is the entire creation?

Please prove god exists, preferable in the thread you started about it.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/4464 

Quote:
What is historically inaccurate about the Bible?

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forums/rook_hawkins/biblical_errancy/a_small_compilation_of_contradictions talks about how "historical" it is too.

Explicit Atheism's picture

Iv decided to educate the

Iv decided to educate the uneducated.

Christmas is an annual holiday that marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Christmas celebrations often combine the marking of Jesus' birth with various other traditions and customs, many of which were influenced by ancient winter festivals. Christmas traditions include the display of Nativity scenes, Holly and Christmas trees, the exchange of gifts and cards, and the arrival of Father Christmas (Santa Claus) on Christmas Eve. Popular Christmas themes include the promotion of goodwill, giving, compassion, and quality family time (Christan themes).

Christmas Day falls on December 25. It is preceded by Christmas Eve on December 24, and in some countries is followed by Boxing Day on December 26. The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas on January 6, while some Eastern Orthodox Churches (old rite or old style Orthodox) celebrate Christmas on January 7, the date on the Gregorian calendar which corresponds to 25 December on the Julian Calendar. The date as a birth date for Jesus is merely traditional, and is not widely considered to be his actual date of birth. Blowing your mind isn't it.

Christmas is celebrated in most countries around the world, owing to the spread of Christianity and Western culture. Various local and regional Christmas traditions are still practiced.

In Western culture, where the holiday is characterized by the exchange of gifts among friends and family members, some of the gifts are attributed to a character called Santa Claus (also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas or St. Nikolaus, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Joulupukki, Weihnachtsmann, Saint Basil and Father Frost).

The popular image of Santa Claus was created by the German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902), who drew a new image annually, beginning in 1863. By the 1880s, Nast's Santa had evolved into the form we now recognize. The image was standardized by advertisers in the 1920s.

Father Christmas, who predates the Santa Claus character, was first recorded in the 15th century, but was associated with holiday merrymaking and drunkenness. In Victorian Britain, his image was remade to match that of Santa. The French Père Noël evolved along similar lines, eventually adopting the Santa image. In Italy, Babbo Natale acts as Santa Claus, while La Befana, is the bringer of gifts and arrives on the eve of the Epiphany. It is said that La Befana set out to bring the baby Jesus gifts, but got lost along the way. Now, she brings gifts to all children.

In some cultures Santa Claus is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht, or Black Peter. In other versions, elves make the toys. His wife is referred to as Mrs. Claus.

The current tradition in several Latin American countries (such as Venezuela) holds that while Santa makes the toys, he then gives them to the Baby Jesus, who is the one who actually delivers them to the children's homes. This story is meant to be a reconciliation between traditional religious beliefs and modern day globalization, most notably the iconography of Santa Claus imported from the United States.

In Southern Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Südtirol and Liechtenstein the Christkind brings the presents. The German St. Nikolaus is not identical with the Weihnachtsman (who is the German version of Santa Claus). St. Nikolaus wears a bishop's dress and still brings small gifts (usually candies, nuts and fruits) on December 6 and is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht.

Although many parents around the world routinely teach their children about Santa Claus, some have come to reject this practice, considering it deceptive.

Basically, this marketing ploy is a genius idea to control people to make money much like religion has attempted to control others. No matter how you look at it lieing to your children for them to do what you want is bullshit.

"Freedom of religion, means freedom of religion"

-ME