December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

by Chris Randall
 



Normally, someone like me who is non-religious (I don't choose to use the term "atheist" because it implies actively disbelieving in something, which is in and of itself a belief) and who is decidedly left-of-center politically would be stumbling all over himself to provide a "Happy... something!" that is both completely ecumenical and entirely secular.

This is a difficult task, because you have to take in to account the "reason for the season," which (aside from the axial tilt of the planet) is essentially Judaeo-Christian in basis, plus the amalgamation of Christian, pagan, and modern inventions that comprise "Christmas," plus all the made-up recent shit (the Wiccan iteration of Yule, Kwanzaa, et al), plus real Atheists who get all prissy if you even imply that the modern version of Sinterklaas and the Baby Jesus have anything at all to do with the fact that it is late December. (I've actually heard someone utter the following phrase with righteous indignation: "First of all, Jesus was born in the summer.") Did I leave anyone out? Oh, Jews and Muslims, who have their own fucked up shit all wrapped up in words like "tradition" and what-not, but which conveniently fall close enough to the Christ Mass to cause all sorts of headaches. Cthulhu only knows what the hell goes on over in the exotic Orient.

So you know what? I just ain't gonna bother. It's Christmas. Have a good time! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and the best for your endeavors in the year to come, no matter where you are or what you believe!
 
 
 

36 comments:

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Dec.26.2011 @ 2:39 AM
cykranosh
Gnostic: One who has personal revelation of (a) god(s).
Agnostic: One who doesn't know if there are gods.

Theist: One who believes in (a) god(s).
Atheist: One who rejects the specific claims of theists.

There is no inherent positive statement about believing there are no gods in atheism. It's a response to specific theistic claims; it's not a blanket statement. Or, at least, this is how it's used with every single atheist I personally know and most of those I know of.

Sorry to harp on this, but, atheism is not "I believe there are no gods." That's a totally idiotic position.

Agnostic Atheist is essentially the "I Don't Give a Flying Fuck" option.

Ok, screw this religion talk that's as boring as it is tedious. Back to working on music.
 
 

 
Dec.26.2011 @ 4:11 AM
Table Man
ha! that's the best Christmas message I've read this year :-) Happy Christmas CR and all at Analog Industries..and to you all.. thanks for all the brilliant plug-ins.. here's to a fab 2012.
 
 

 
Dec.26.2011 @ 5:42 AM
Nostradamus
@bongo_x

"Atheists and Evangelicals are the same thing to me, two sides of a coin. They both pretend to know all about more than it's possible to know."

No, that's plainly wrong. An Atheist just states that the possibility of the existence of supra-natural entities is nearly 0. It's the church and their religious members who claim to know everything. They do that by turning back the meaning of the word "to believe". When a theist is talking about believing he means knowledge. He claims to KNOW that "god" exists.

As far as I'm concerned I'm very interested in the scientific approach. And that implies that there's always a certain amount of uncertainty in what scientists find out about the way how our world works. But again: it's very, very, very ... unlikely that there's something like a "god".
 
 

 
Dec.26.2011 @ 5:59 AM
Nostradamus
@Chris:
"... but my point was that I'm smart enough to know what I don't know ..."

That's logically impossible. You may find it pedantic, but this kind of fuzzy argumentation makes it hard to talk about this topic.

"This makes me happy, and proves the point that any absolute is simply a statement based upon observable evidence at the time the absolute is created."

Well, I'm not a physicists, but a huge part of modern physics is actually not based upon observation anymore. The time where the Newtonian mechanics was the limit of our knowledge has gone.
 
 

 
Dec.26.2011 @ 9:09 AM
Chris Randall
@nostrodamus: I maintain that it's not logically impossible.

I don't know if there's a god or not.

I know that question can't be answered by empirical evidence.

QED.

An unintelligent (or to be more accurate, uneducated) person looks at a lightbulb and says "look what God gave us!" because he lacks the education to know when a charge is provided at the opposite ends of a thin piece of wire in a vacuum it glows. Thus, he knows that God gave it to us. I know that it is as close to incorrect as it is possible to be. &c.

Regarding the physics bit, I don't have any understanding of how modern particle physics works. I just have faith.

-CR
 
 

 
Dec.26.2011 @ 10:21 AM
beauty pill
I like how we're solidly on the heaviest topic that humans can discuss, but we shied away from parsing Talking Heads. :)

Q.E.D. Talking Heads > God.

I HAVE SPOKEN!

- c
 
 

 
Dec.26.2011 @ 12:51 PM
shamann
I tend to think of myself as faith-ambivalent, or don'tgiveashit works too.

I'm mostly ambivalent to the Talking Heads too. I have no dislike for them, and in fact love to listen to some songs/records now and again, but if I never heard them again, I doubt I'd fret the absence.

Then again, I wouldn't miss most musicians/bands if they suddenly disappeared, but I would miss music writ large quite a lot if suddenly had to go without. Which ties into the religious conversation in some way, I'm sure.

Merry post-Christmas/happy new year to you lot.
 
 

 
Dec.26.2011 @ 1:37 PM
wgparham
If I believe in anything it is the genius of this story:

link [ansiblecomm.com]

(It's a link to my blog, but the video is embedded and I'm too lazy to look for the source on YouTube right now. So just scroll down a few lines and you'll see it)

-William
 
 

 
Dec.26.2011 @ 3:17 PM
DGillespie
I'm with beauty pill.

Have a happy everything, everyone. And Chris, thanks for the great blog where people can even discuss religion sensibly.
 
 

 
Dec.26.2011 @ 4:40 PM
Nostradamus
@Chris
"I know that question can't be answered by empirical evidence."

This is true. But this is also true for all other things I can imagine. If I claim that there's a flying teapot circling around of our solar system, can you proof that this is evidently wrong? You can't. But you can assume that the possibility for something like that is next to zero. It is also true that it's not possible to proof that something like "god" doesn't exist. But this is a logical problem since it's impossible to proof a non-existence of something.

"An unintelligent (or to be more accurate, uneducated) person looks at a lightbulb and says "look what God gave us!" because he lacks the education to know when a charge is provided at the opposite ends of a thin piece of wire in a vacuum it glows. Thus, he knows that God gave it to us."

This is exactly how religion and faith works.

"Regarding the physics bit, I don't have any understanding of how modern particle physics works. I just have faith."

I prefer to have trust. And a good dose of skepticism.
 
 

 
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