Hypocrisy of celebrating religious holidays

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(Counter-apologetics)
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This argument is most frequently used as a means of criticizing [[atheist]]s, or perhaps those of other [[faith]]s than their own, for celebrating a holiday not of their faith (or no faith). The argument does not seem to address anyone's actual beliefs aside from identifying what they are, and then quite possibly criticizing the person, so in that sense the argument is an [[ad hominem]].
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This argument may be used by a theist to criticize [[atheist]]s or those of different [[faith]]s for celebrating a holiday based on a faith not their own. The argument does not actually address beliefs about the nature of reality, and instead focuses a personal attack on the atheist or person of a different faith.  This is the logical fallacy of the [[ad hominem]], whereby one attempts to undermine the truth of a conclusion based not on evidence or reason, but by a personal attack on the holder of the conclusion. As such, It doesn't serve a productive purpose in a sincere discussion and should be called out as irrelevant to any question of the existence of gods.
It doesn't have much of a purpose in an actual argument or debate and usually leads to a pointless attempt to discredi the opponent or make them look silly or in a bad light.
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==Counter-apologetics==
 
==Counter-apologetics==
It may also be useful to realise that, for atheists, the holiday in question is not celebrated for its religious values and should not be considered hypocritical on any level. This is probably true for most other faiths although there is most likely some variation, the same holiday may be celebrated for different reasons by different Cultures or [[Religion]]s.
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It may be useful to point out that, for atheists, the holiday in question is not celebrated for its religious values, and that the holiday itself is not recognized by the government for its religious values, but as a matter of convenience. It is difficult to argue that an atheist is hypocritical for taking a holiday off, when society-at-large recognizes it as a day traditionally taken off from work and school.  For some holidays, even theists have different motivations for celebrating a day off; the same holiday may be celebrated for different reasons among different cultures or [[religion]]s.
  
 
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It is important to point out that a number of major religious holidays have been scheduled to co-opt existing holidays of other religions, such that the new religious tradition claims the day for itself. Both Christmas (see [[Sun#The sun in religion|The sun in religion]]) and Easter are old pagan celebrations subsequently claimed by Christianity.
Also, most holidays have been co-opted by newer religions which they then claim as their own. Both Christmas (see [[Sun#The sun in religion|The sun in religion]]) and Easter are old pagan celebrations that Christianity claimed.
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<ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas#Pre-Christian_background</ref>
 
<ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas#Pre-Christian_background</ref>
 
<ref>http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/apr/03/easter-pagan-symbolism</ref>
 
<ref>http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/apr/03/easter-pagan-symbolism</ref>
 
<ref>http://www.thercg.org/books/ttooe.html</ref>
 
<ref>http://www.thercg.org/books/ttooe.html</ref>
  
Another thing to point out is what people do on a Thursday. Thursday was originally the celebration of the Norse God Thor, the god of thunder. Every day of the week is a celebration of some sort to a Roman, Norse, or pagan god. There is a similarity for the origins of names for certain months.
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Another thing to point out is that we regularly denote the passage of time based on religious mythology we no longer accept. For example, the name ''Thursday'' originally celebrated the Norse God of thunder, Thor. In fact, every day of the week originally was a celebration of a Roman, Norse, or pagan god. The names of months, too, often have similar mythological origins. Are we hypocritical to recognize such days and months when we no longer hold such beliefs?
  
So the counter argument is simple: the apologetic is unknowingly hypocritical, they are themselves celebrating the holidays of other religions. It may also be worth asking whether, if the government in question made Diwali a public holiday, would the non-Hindu take the day off?
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Finally, it is obvious that the widespread celebration of Christmas is as much a cultural/secular celebration as a religious one.  To be a hypocrite on this matter, an atheist would have to both reject the Christian narrative of Jesus, while annually pretending during December to believe it for personal gain. However, since Christmas is celebrated without regard for personal beliefs about the existence of Jesus, no such hypocrisy is necessary or prevalent among atheists.  Essentially, just as a pagan holiday was co-opted by Christians, a Christian holiday has been co-opted by society-at-large. 
  
 
==References==
 
==References==

Revision as of 20:19, 16 March 2013

This argument may be used by a theist to criticize atheists or those of different faiths for celebrating a holiday based on a faith not their own. The argument does not actually address beliefs about the nature of reality, and instead focuses a personal attack on the atheist or person of a different faith. This is the logical fallacy of the ad hominem, whereby one attempts to undermine the truth of a conclusion based not on evidence or reason, but by a personal attack on the holder of the conclusion. As such, It doesn't serve a productive purpose in a sincere discussion and should be called out as irrelevant to any question of the existence of gods.

Counter-apologetics

It may be useful to point out that, for atheists, the holiday in question is not celebrated for its religious values, and that the holiday itself is not recognized by the government for its religious values, but as a matter of convenience. It is difficult to argue that an atheist is hypocritical for taking a holiday off, when society-at-large recognizes it as a day traditionally taken off from work and school. For some holidays, even theists have different motivations for celebrating a day off; the same holiday may be celebrated for different reasons among different cultures or religions.

It is important to point out that a number of major religious holidays have been scheduled to co-opt existing holidays of other religions, such that the new religious tradition claims the day for itself. Both Christmas (see The sun in religion) and Easter are old pagan celebrations subsequently claimed by Christianity. [1] [2] [3]

Another thing to point out is that we regularly denote the passage of time based on religious mythology we no longer accept. For example, the name Thursday originally celebrated the Norse God of thunder, Thor. In fact, every day of the week originally was a celebration of a Roman, Norse, or pagan god. The names of months, too, often have similar mythological origins. Are we hypocritical to recognize such days and months when we no longer hold such beliefs?

Finally, it is obvious that the widespread celebration of Christmas is as much a cultural/secular celebration as a religious one. To be a hypocrite on this matter, an atheist would have to both reject the Christian narrative of Jesus, while annually pretending during December to believe it for personal gain. However, since Christmas is celebrated without regard for personal beliefs about the existence of Jesus, no such hypocrisy is necessary or prevalent among atheists. Essentially, just as a pagan holiday was co-opted by Christians, a Christian holiday has been co-opted by society-at-large.

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas#Pre-Christian_background
  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/apr/03/easter-pagan-symbolism
  3. http://www.thercg.org/books/ttooe.html


v · d Common objections to atheism and counter-apologetics
Personal   Why are you trying to tear down other people's faith? · Why can't everyone just have their own beliefs? · What are your qualifications? · Atheists believe in nothing · You are a communist · Why do atheists inspire such hatred? · That's not my God
Religious   That's not in my Bible · They're not true Christians · You just want to sin · Atheists know there is a God · It takes more faith to disbelieve than it does to believe · God doesn't believe in atheists · Science is a faith · Atheism is a religion · Atheists worship materialism · Hypocrisy of celebrating religious holidays · Atheism is based on faith · Religious belief is beneficial
Science and logic   You can't prove God doesn't exist · Science can't touch god · God can't be defined · So you think we came from nothing / pondsoup / monkeys? · If God didn't create everything, who did? · That might be true for you, but its not true for me · Religion is another way of knowing · Apologetics and dinosaurs
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