Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hiatus/ Christmas Thoughts

Sorry for the hiatus. It's just been one of those periods where I've pretty much said everything I wanted to say on other people's blogs. I guess I need to start blogging more about what I am writing on other blogs.

I've been involved in some Second Amendment discussions, some presidential campaign discussions, the abortion debate etc.

Then again, this isn't my favorite time of the year. I hate what has happened to Christmas.

Now remember, I am not a Christian. I am a deist. But I am utterly opposed to taking the religion out of Christmas.

Turning Christmas into a secular holiday has just turned it into a celebration of conspicious consumption and greed. Now don't get me wrong, I'm firmly in favor of capitalism. However capitalism is an economic system, not a moral one. We need public morality, now more than ever.

So it's really hard for me not to be a Scrooge at Christmas. At heart I really am a generous person, but don't tell me it's my obligation to be generous. I really hate obligations. (It's a big reason I'm not married)

And I try real hard not to bum out people who really are into Christmas.

Take the staff Christmas party out at work. I never go. My colleagues and friends are always trying to get me to go, but I just can't seem to convince them that I would be a real drag, and that I want everyone else to be able to enjoy the night.

So, Merry Christmas.

10 comments:

Ed said...

So what morals are we losing because there isn't a nativity set in from of the county court house?

As a humanist and part time pastafarian. I am happy to see more and more pick a mythical story and stick to it. I'm glad they are picking the one with elves. Tolken would be proud

Gahrie said...

Well I do think it is important that we continue to be a Christian nation. ( I believe Christianity is the most benign religion available)I firmly believe that most people need extrinsic motivators to behave in a civilized manner. If tomorrow science came up with absolute, unquestionable evidence that there was no afterlife, and no reward/punishment for behavior on Earth, civilization would collapse, or at least go through another Dark Age, this time world wide.

I don't believe in the goodness of man. I believe man is a brutish, selfish, savage animal that was domesticated by religion enough to form societies, and eventually civilization.

As evidence, I cite every attempt to form a society that specifically excludes religion. For openers we have Revolutionary France and Communist Russia.

All that said, I simply think it's unfair to destroy a Christian religious holiday. No one is trying to destroy Ramadan or Yom Kippur.

Lastly I find the constant appeals to rampant consumerism and greed to be offensive.

Ed said...

To respond to those arguments I would say.

Read the God Delusion.

If you don't want to read that much then read Time magazines issue on why we do moral things.

To say we do moral things only because we think someone is watching I think is a sad statement.

Why would civilization collapse? There would be no reason to hate each other. No magical justification to kill people. I believe that religion justifies us to be "a brutish, selfish, savage animal..."

Gahrie said...

Ed:

Sad or not it is true. Is history full of stories of peaceful civilization and altruism? Or is history full of degradation, exploitation and subjigation?

Look at the world today...North Korea, Sudan, Somilia...

Morality has to be imposed and enforced on society. That's why we have courts and police. Now you can give your morality legitemacy in two ways...either through force, or through religion.

Once you have achieved a certain level of civilization you can appeal to persuasion, but as our society shows, that is not effecttive with vast numbers of people.

A republican form of government based on Christian morality and a capitalist economy has so far proven to provide the most stable, free and prosperous system.

Ed said...

Funny I see it the other way. I see a history of civilazations that use religion to justify "degradation, exploitation and subjigation." But instead of blamming religion you blame the people and say we need more.

look at the middle east. They need to tell children that a magical person in a magical place wants them to kill people so they and their family will get magical things and if they don't magically bad things will happen. If we are naturally bad why the outlandish justifications?

To paraphrase "For truely terrible things to happen, religion is required."

Gahrie said...

Ed:

Name a single instance in which a society has rejected religion and been anything but a bloody, brutal reign of terror

G-Man said...

The dialogue here seems to be stating two simple truths: Some people are motivated extrinsically while others are motivated intrinsically. As a believer, I know religion is a popular extrinsic motivator for those who need one.

G-Man said...

Oh yeah, as a believer, I see X-Mas as a capitalistic scam that should be treated the way it was 200 years ago worldwide: a debauchery. Remove the gift exchange aspect...too 2nd Century Romans for me (Saturnalia).

Kirbside said...

Hey bro, you saw it here, G-man doesnt want a present!!!!

Gahrie said...

Hell...I don't even have to get him birthday gifts...theheretic doesn't believe in them either....