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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Most atheists on this forum equate religion to beliefs about a deity or deities and therefore since they do not believe in any happily declare themselves free of religion.

So here's a question: What dictates what holidays one celebrates? Traditionally religion. What dictates which option one chooses in ethically neutral situations? Traditionally religion. What dictates the rituals one has and the special occasions one marks? Religion.-- and so on.

Now if you're coming from a background where you can happily take these things for granted, they may seem religiously neutral to you. Yet if you are suddenly transported to somewhere with a markedly different cultural default religion, one will see how religiously non-neutral these things are.

It is impossible for a person to be without a religion except in a functional sense defined against a background of cultural privilege. Now that's perfectly fine but when an atheist then comes along and tells others how religiously neutral they are and how this is how gov't should be or how children should be raised etc, I must call bull shit. That's not religiously neutral; that's cultural privilege.

EDIT:
This pseudo-secularism for example also underlies the French approach to secularism which in practice conflates cultural Christianity with secularism or lack of religion.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Celebrate holidays, I assume you mean use them. Celebrate does not mean use.

Many atheists do not "celebrate Christmas", Still others think that things like the rules on eastern closing need to be done away with. Moreover many places expect you to take these holidays, it is not a mater of choice (I know I have tried to not take them, and take alternative days of).

As to rituals, what Rituals?

To a degree you are right, we live with institutions and holidays created by religious people, but many of those have long moved away from any real religious connotation. They are there because (such as Sunday trading) people fight tooth and claw to keep them, not because people like me want top observe them.

This make me no more "not without religion" then breathing in car exhaust fumes makes me "not without owning a car".

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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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I don't mean use; I mean observe in the sense of treating them in any manner as holidays even if it's just a day off from work or a more casual atmosphere at work with a few words from the boss.

What rituals? Do you shake hands? Do you do anything before and after meals? What foods do you eat? How do you eat them? What clothes do you wear? and so on in every aspect of life.
 
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Xmas? Most atheists exchange gifts with family and friends on 25 December. That's celebrating Xmas.
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Boaty McBoatface
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whac3 wrote:
I don't mean use; I mean observe in the sense of treating them in any manner as holidays even if it's just a day off from work or a more casual atmosphere at work with a few words from the boss.
Sorry but taking a day of work because I am told to because it is shut is not "religious observance". To be an observance I have to have a choice.
Quote:


What rituals? Do you shake hands? Do you do anything before and after meals? What foods do you eat? How do you eat them? What clothes do you wear? and so on in every aspect of life.
Shaking hands is not religious, it is showing you are unarmed. As to clothes, again what has that got to do with religion?
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Boaty McBoatface
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whac3 wrote:
Xmas? Most atheists exchange gifts with family and friends on 25 December. That's celebrating Xmas.
Sorry but I disagree

In a sense this makes the point, Christmas is no longer religious. It is a commercialized secualr holiday that is utterly divorced form any celebration of the Birth of Christ. It is also a hang over, no more. It is something your are expected to do, not something you choose to do in celebration of anything. To be religious observance you have to be celebrating the religious aspect of the festival.

If it is celebrating anything for most people it is family and friends.
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whac3 wrote:
Xmas? Most atheists exchange gifts with family and friends on 25 December. That's celebrating Xmas.


It's celebrating the secular tradition of Christmas that grew out of the Christian tradition.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Dolphinandrew wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Xmas? Most atheists exchange gifts with family and friends on 25 December. That's celebrating Xmas.


It's celebrating the secular tradition of Christmas that grew out of the Christian tradition.

Secular my arse. It's only viewed as secular where Christianity is the cultural default.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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Slater;

If you work is closed on a particular day, that company is marking the day. That's not a counter-argument to it being an observance.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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whac3 wrote:
Slater;

If you work is closed on a particular day, that company is marking the day. That's not a counter-argument to it being an observance.
No, but it is a counter to it being my observance (which seemed to be your argument).

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Boaty McBoatface
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whac3 wrote:
Dolphinandrew wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Xmas? Most atheists exchange gifts with family and friends on 25 December. That's celebrating Xmas.


It's celebrating the secular tradition of Christmas that grew out of the Christian tradition.

Secular my arse. It's only viewed as secular where Christianity is the cultural default.
http://japan-magazine.jnto.go.jp/en/1112_christmas.html
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Ron Preisach
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The closest I come to "celebrating" any holiday would be the 4th of July. I exchange gifts at Christmas but, though it has religious roots, there is nothing religious about it for me or most of my family. Since it's just a Christian coopting of far older winter festivals, I don't feel it ever had a religious component.

I find holidays to just be convenient times of the year when family and friends can get together because we've been relieved of our work obligations on these same particular days.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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slatersteven wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Slater;

If you work is closed on a particular day, that company is marking the day. That's not a counter-argument to it being an observance.
No, but it is a counter to it being my observance (which seemed to be your argument).


Why is it counter? Do you insist on working from home?
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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One important point.

Atheism is not anti-theism.

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Ron Preisach
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If we are to take that religion can be equated to the generalized routine that our lives tend to follow, then fine. I guess I've got a religion. So what?

The supernatural beliefs, especially the deities, are where the batshit craziness lies. I don't have those.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Sure. Holidays are for you convenient days off. What if those days off were Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, etc.? Would those still be convenient for you?

There are plenty of Israeli atheists who culturally default to Judaism or Islam. They make the holidays that their family does typically even if marking that day only means visiting family and/or friends.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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whac3 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Slater;

If you work is closed on a particular day, that company is marking the day. That's not a counter-argument to it being an observance.
No, but it is a counter to it being my observance (which seemed to be your argument).


Why is it counter? Do you insist on working from home?


Do you understand that many jobs (most?) do not have facilities for working from home (such as factories or shops)?

If the shop I work in shuts at Easter do you suggest I take stock home and open up my house as a retail outlet?
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Ron Preisach
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whac3 wrote:
Sure. Holidays are for you convenient days off. What if those days off were Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, etc.? Would those still be convenient for you?

There are plenty of Israeli atheists who culturally default to Judaism or Islam. They make the holidays that their family does typically even if marking that day only means visiting family and/or friends.


Yeah, I wouldn't care, especially if it lead to more days off.

EDIT: Less days off would be the only way that I would show a cultural/religious bias.
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Moshe Callen
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edgerunner76 wrote:
If we are to take that religion can be equated to the generalized routine that our lives tend to follow, then fine. I guess I've got a religion. So what?

The supernatural beliefs, especially the deities, are where the batshit craziness lies. I don't have those.

Totally agree. The "so what" only comes in when someone like you tries to push their brand of religion onto other people whether it's in gov't, raising kids or whatever. If you just do whatever you do and let others do what they do, it really doesn't matter. When it's pushed onto other people, then and only then it does matter.
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Boaty McBoatface
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whac3 wrote:
Sure. Holidays are for you convenient days off. What if those days off were Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, etc.? Would those still be convenient for you?

There are plenty of Israeli atheists who culturally default to Judaism or Islam. They make the holidays that their family does typically even if marking that day only means visiting family and/or friends.
Actually I do know of places in this country that shut for none Christian holidays.

Hell we even have certain protections that allow Jews to take Saturday of rather then Sunday.

As to whether they are convenient, no, but then neither are Christian ones. When given the chance I will work these so called holidays and take another day of of my choosing. That is my whole point, on Easter everything shuts, that is not a convenience.
 
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Moshe Callen
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slatersteven wrote:
whac3 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Slater;

If you work is closed on a particular day, that company is marking the day. That's not a counter-argument to it being an observance.
No, but it is a counter to it being my observance (which seemed to be your argument).


Why is it counter? Do you insist on working from home?


Do you understand that many jobs (most?) do not have facilities for working from home (such as factories or shops)?

If the shop I work in shuts at Easter do you suggest I take stock home and open up my house as a retail outlet?

So what? so the person is forced to mark the day? What do they think of that? If they take it for granted, guess what?
 
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Moshe Callen
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slatersteven wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Sure. Holidays are for you convenient days off. What if those days off were Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, etc.? Would those still be convenient for you?

There are plenty of Israeli atheists who culturally default to Judaism or Islam. They make the holidays that their family does typically even if marking that day only means visiting family and/or friends.
Actually I do know of places in this country that shut for none Christian holidays.

Hell we even have certain protections that allow Jews to take Saturday of rather then Sunday.

As to whether they are convenient, no, but then neither are Christian ones. When given the chance I will work these so called holidays and take another day of of my choosing. That is my whole point, on Easter everything shuts, that is not a convenience.

Exactly because there's a cultural Christian default. Thank you for the example.
 
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Chris
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Some examples:

Thanksgiving: (Not necessarily a religious holiday but still)Do you eat a large home cooked fancy meal usually consisting of Turkey, pumpkin pie etc? Do you decorate? Have a prayer?

Christmas: Again, do you have a large fancy meal? Decorate? Exchange gifts?

Easter: Do you take any time off? This is traditionally not a time businesses close. Any fancy meals? Decorate? Give baskets?

I think some people don't realize they celebrate religious holidays even though they are atheist. I think I get what Moshe is saying because the only family I have near me are my Jewish relatives, so I go over their house for Christmas so I am not lonely and depressed but they don't celebrate Christmas. It is so weird not exchanging gifts, no decorations, no watching traditional xmas movies, etc. All they do is go out to eat Chinese that day.

I have also been in Muslim countries when they are celebrating holidays and seeing everything closed and everything deserted when it's just another day to me and being quite annoyed I can't shop or do anything - because when they celebrate certain holidays everything shuts down hard.

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Boaty McBoatface
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whac3 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
whac3 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Slater;

If you work is closed on a particular day, that company is marking the day. That's not a counter-argument to it being an observance.
No, but it is a counter to it being my observance (which seemed to be your argument).


Why is it counter? Do you insist on working from home?


Do you understand that many jobs (most?) do not have facilities for working from home (such as factories or shops)?

If the shop I work in shuts at Easter do you suggest I take stock home and open up my house as a retail outlet?

So what? so the person is forced to mark the day? What do they think of that? If they take it for granted, guess what?
It means they have not chosen to do it.

Sure it means that the culture has some religious residues, that does not mean they are religious.
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Boaty McBoatface
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galad2003 wrote:
Some examples:

Thanksgiving: (Not necessarily a religious holiday but still)Do you eat a large home cooked fancy meal usually consisting of Turkey, pumpkin pie etc? Do you decorate? Have a prayer?

Christmas: Again, do you have a large fancy meal? Decorate? Exchange gifts?

Easter: Do you take any time off? This is traditionally not a time businesses close. Any fancy meals? Decorate? Give baskets?

I think some people don't realize they celebrate religious holidays even though they are atheist. I think I get what Moshe is saying because the only family I have near me are my Jewish relatives, so I go over their house for Christmas so I am not lonely and depressed but they don't celebrate Christmas. It is so weird not exchanging gifts, no decorations, no watching traditional xmas movies, etc. All they do is go out to eat Chinese that day.

I have also been in Muslim countries when they are celebrating holidays and seeing everything closed and everything deserted when it's just another day to me and being quite annoyed I can't shop or do anything - because when they celebrate certain holidays everything shuts down hard.

In the UK Easter is a very strictly enforced bank holiday.

https://www.gov.uk/trading-hours-for-retailers-the-law

Note this is just for shops, but most otehr places close as well, and do not try to catch a bus.
 
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