Is there a group for us atheists to discuss ideas of faith, morality, life, the universe and everything (42!)? Note: I would not want this to become about dissing people of faith and would truly welcome discussion with anyone. This isn't about ridiculing anyone. I would be particularly interested in sharing ideas and discussing the social, anthropological, philosophical, political and psychological aspects of religion from an atheist point of view. Anyone else? I can provide and and .
Having a holiday on the same day as the Christians doesn't present any difficulty. I know that christians like to pretend that "trees, logs, fairy lights, decorations etc all 'belong' to them, but really our winter celebration came first and most of those were either part of it or introduced by pagans.
I can see it's harder for you in that you probably need to go to church over xmas, but that needn't be painful really. I am 100% atheist but I don't burst into flame in a church and unlike one famous Saviour, I don't feel any urge to throw the furniture about and make a scene
Hymns can be nice anyway - Is there anyone who doesn't like Jerusalem? - and you don't have to believe the words. I quite like the poetry in Lord Of the Rings too.
There are no tests for atheism! Mine won't be tested until I die and find myself facing a long staircase up and another going down ... but that isn't going to happen, I will just die and that'll be the end of me.
I spend about half my Christmases alone (no, it isn't sad,) and half with my sister's family, who celebrate Winterfest. That's one of the names for the old festival which, if you didn't know, was celebrated with lights, logs, feasts & gifts in late December.
If Jesus had existed, christian scholars say the likelihood is that he was born in the Spring as that's when the Romans did their tax registrations. So christians aren't celebrating his birthday on 25th December. They're celebrating his birth, three or four months early, on the date of Winterfest. I thought all adult christians knew that.
Can't tell you how comforting the idea of just dying and there being nothing is. I had an accident some time ago ago and my heart stopped and I had a literal near death experience. There was nothing. I was just unconscious and then I was conscious again.
In the most recent Doctor Who, the Doctor talks about the 'keepers of the flame of eternal life', only he calls them the 'keepers of the flame of utter boredom', and that's very much how it feels to me. Of course if I end up roasting in hell I'll rue the day, etc.
I had a literal near death experience. There was nothing. I was just unconscious and then I was conscious again. - Yep, me too. I crashed post-op & was revived. I just went from "I'm cold" to "That's better" with no clue as to the drama my body had just played out. No white lights, choruses, astrally roaming the hospital or dropping feathers on my friends.
Outside of that setting - I was already surrounded by medics with the right equipment - it has been shown that the body puts in a last-ditch effort, pumping out neurotransmitters all over the place to try and kick-start the system one more time. This would be likely to cause hallucinations which, if the effort was successful, the recovered individual would remember.
No problem with xmas here either - I rather enjoyed it when DD was at primary and there was the nativity play in infants and carol service in juniors (a chance to sing! - for which reason I also enjoy the cheesy santa etc seasonal songs. DD and I sing them in the car... usually starts after half term, we're a bit late this year come to think). Doesn't just about every culture at these latitudes have some sort of midwinter celebration?
Presumably everyone knows that the correct response if a Christian says something about 'putting Christ back into Christmas' is to ask them when they're going to put Oestre back into Easter? .
I'm happy being a 'cultural christian' - and also a 'cultural pagan/norse/druid/Roman/whatever-else' went into the mix of what we have today.