Are Atheists Hypocritical in Celebrating Christmas?

by Sea Breeze 68 Replies latest jw friends

  • jhine

    Agreed but Paul himself wouldn't sacrifice to idols .

    Jan from Tam

  • Vanderhoven7

    No, because partying, decorating trees and giving presents has nothing to do with pretending to be religious.

  • TD

    Fair point, Jan, but I think a comparable Christian parallel would be taking Communion or something equally serious.

    Even the Christmas carols, like the one that gets stuck in my head every time I watch Three Days of the Condor, aren't a statement of faith to an unbeliever --No more so than singing The Legend of John Henry's Hammer would be.

  • nicolaou
    However for Richard Dawkins to sing songs of praise to the God that he has spent most of his life denying does seem hypocritical

    But he isn't singing them to God is he Jan? He's sharing the experience with his friends and family and perhaps the community he lives in. He's joining them in their festivities and celebrations. Sounds like a pretty good example to set if you ask me.

    Would you refuse to share the experiences of Eid or Diwali with your colleagues and neighbours just because you aren't actually Muslim or Hindu?

    Merry Christmas ­čśü

  • PioneerSchmioneer


    Agreed but Paul himself wouldn't sacrifice to idols.

    Yes, but Paul was a Jewish Christian. Jews would not sacrifice to idols to begin with, whether Christian or not.

    We are talking about an atheist to whom Christmas carols and secular trappings mean something different or nothing at all. The person may even be doing these things to irritate believers. Unless the person has disclosed this, you don't know why the person does what they do.

    An atheist is not a person who lives in a bubble of non-belief. They merely do not believe in the God of Abraham or deities in general. But they have other personal convictions that they certainly believe in. So they prove true to these.

    Only when they prove false to their personal convictions, whatever these may be, can one say they are a hypocrite. But unless you know what these may be, you cannot say these with any of them.

  • jhine

    Nicolaou, that's a good question and something that l have never thought about. I would have to really consider how much of a part l would be comfortable in playing in an Eid or Diwali celebration. Certainly not to the point of praising a deity that l didn't believe in , l would feel hypocritical doing that.

    I would not expect anyone else to compromise their beliefs. My husband isn't religious and although happy to attend social events at church like quizes he doesn't come to services and l would never try to make him do anything that he felt uncomfortable with .

    Also l would not expect a Sikh or Hindu to attend a Christian service .

    Jan from Tam

  • TonusOH

    When I was a JW, I would never have taken part in any non-Christian observance (and frankly, as a JW I never took part in many Christian observances). To me, it would have been testing Jehovah and possibly stumbling non-JWs.

    Not being religious, I don't feel that restriction or concern. I don't seek out religious observances (old non-habits die hard!) but I don't feel uncomfortable around them anymore.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    Most people like all the cool stuff God made, but they just don't like him. Atheists are just a little more honest about it.

    God: So, here we are on judgment Day. Do you have anything to say in your defense?

    Atheist: Yes! I never knew you existed. You shouldn't judge me. (Atheists love telling God what he should do)

    God: Well, you did celebrate my birthday for 75 years when you were alive.

    Atheist: Yes, but it was only for selfish reasons.

    God: This is not looking good.

    So you're saying there's a chance? - Lloyd Christmas - quickmeme

  • TD

    No, because partying, decorating trees and giving presents has nothing to do with pretending to be religious.

    --Or sipping Gl├╝hwein in Germany, or dressing up as Krampus to frighten children in Austria, or putting your shoes out for Stekkjarstaur, Hur├░askellir, and the rest of the yule lads in Iceland, or swinging at a Pi├▒ata in Mexico, or putting Nisser figurines in you window in Denmark, or barbecuing fish and shrimp on the beach in New Zealand, to setting off fireworks in El Salvador, the observances are pretty far removed from American fundamentalism.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    No, there's no real hypocrisy going on.

    Christmas is a fusion of cultural and religious ideas.

    People can celebrate Christmas regardless of whether Jesus existed or not.

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