This is another silly question; it is pointless.
Atheists don’t believe God or gods exist. That is it!
Atheists don’t recognize or celebrate anything religious, e.G., Christmas, Easter. But, they do celebrate those Holiday festivities with their relatives and friends who are Christians.
Christmas has not been about Jesus’s birth in the last century, except for the religious fanatics. Most people do not go to church on Christmas or Easter. For children, Christmas has never been about Jesus’s birth; it is about getting presents. Same is true about Easter; it is about hunting for eggs and candy. These are huge family events, mainly for the kids. Sure, you might say a prayer over the dinner meal; but, that is the only time during Christmas or Easter Day that God or Jesus is mentioned. When prayers are said, as an Atheist, I keep my eyes open, do not bow my head, and do not recite any words; and, I say to myself how superstitious, when will this nonsense stop?
Buddhists (300 million), Hindus (1 Billion), Sikhs (23 million), Muslims (1.6 Billion), Bahais (5 million) and others do not celebrate or recognize Christmas or Easter. The total world population is 7.1 Billion. Just on those listed, 41% of the World’s population does not celebrate Christmas or Easter.
During the first 300 years after Jesus’s death, his birthday was not celebrated. The early church did not give much emphasis to birthdays – not even the birth of Christ. No one knows for sure on what day Christ was born or died.
“Dionysus Exiguus, a sixth century monk, who was the first to date all of history from December 25th, the year of our Lord 1. Other traditions gave dates as early as mid-November or as late as March. How did Christmas come to be celebrated on December 25th? Cultures around the Mediterranean and across Europe observed feasts on or around December 25th, marking the winter solstice. The Jews had a festival of lights. Germans had a yule festival. Celtic legends connected the solstice with Balder, the Scandinavian sun god who was struck down by a mistletoe arrow. At the pagan festival of Saturnalia, Romans feasted and gave gifts to the poor. Drinking was closely connected with these pagan feasts. At some point, a Christian bishop may have adopted the day to keep his people from indulging in the old pagan festival.”
That being said, Atheists do not live in a vacuum or in isolation. Most atheists have relatives or friends that celebrate Christmas and Easter. Atheists participate in those holidays, not as believers, but as family members.
It's not hurting me if someone wants to practice the secularized version of religious traditions. For Christmas we have both Santa and Jesus as icons for the holiday, and with Easter we also have Jesus and the Easter Bunny. As long as you don't try to change it from religious to secular for everyone (for example, banning nativity scenes or trying to take "Christ" out of Christmas), then it's fine. Most people celebrate those holidays anyway. If someone feels they shouldn't, then leave that candy on the shelf for the next guy. In fact, many Christians don't celebrate those holidays because they were originally a marriage of pagan and Catholic traditions (hardly what they are today).
You do realize when most people think of Christmas, they don't think of Christ being born. They think of gifts, Santa, and Coke, the soda that made Santa famous. Holidays and more commerstalized tradtions then they are religious holidays. If your family invites you to a Christmas party, are you going to say, "Are you going to hail Jesus when I come?" No. Your going to say, "Oh, sure, what do you want me to bring."
Ok this actually upset me. JUST BECAUSE I may or may not believe in your god does not mean I may not celebrate Christmas or Easter. My family is Catholic on my dads side and Lutheran on my Moms side. So I grew up with Christmas and Easter. To us it is not about the birth of Christ or giving gifts its about surrounding ourselves with our Family and being near our loved ones.
Some members of my family really get into it being about the birth of christ and his resurrection which i respect their practice, but to me it is not about that, again its about being near family.
Everyone has the right to celebrate any way they wish as long as they do not cause physical harm to another. In practicing religious celebrations in a superficial way, atheists may be encouraged to devote fully to the religion so something to win for religions too by allowing non-believers to celebrate as they do. Even more so it helps spread the religion if more people are aware of it.
When people start actually educating themselves on facts and true origins of all different kinds of things the world will be a more harmonious place to live. When you start to pick and choose how anyone lives their lives, as long as it's not overtly harming anyone, then why does it matter? Life is chaos, be kind.
Know your history, Christmas is not a religious holiday. Christ was not born on Dec 25th. It's A secular holiday with pagan roots. Those who actually read the bible would know that Jesus forbids celebrating pagan holidays. Putting up/ decorating a tree(pagan) burning yule logs(pagan) caroling(pagan) kissing under mistletoe(druid) and the gift giving began with the solstice festivals. The Catholic church, at one point tried to outlaw gift giving. Its a holiday for celebrating cultural and family traditions. So, it's a personal choice. Celebrate it for whatever reason you please. Or Don't, but its no-ones place to tell anyone that they shouldn't/ can't celebrate.
You're a complete idiot if you think Christmas celebrates Christ. If you can read and google the information, it's easy to see that Jesus wasn't even born in the winter. You're celebrating what remains of a pagan holiday, so you're actually breaking the oath to your own religion by celebrating Christmas.
Even as an atheist, I recognize the strength of these traditions in the society I share with Christians, people of other religions and agnostics and see them as a touchstone we all can share in. The sharing of a common culture shouldn't require us to all agree on matters of faith, but exploring this aspect of our culture gives us a common frame of reference on which to build better understanding between believers and non-believers and that's the cornerstone on which a tolerant society may be built. Should it be mandatory that an atheist (or anyone else) be required to celebrate Easter? Of course not.
Should an atheist be free to explore thought and reflect on the themes of these holidays? Of course; believing in only this life should make the idea of exploring and experiencing as much as possible in that short span of time as very appealing.
There are themes in these holidays that all human beings can recognize and identify with. Christmas has strong associations with love and the formation of family, our most important social structure. Easter is very much about death and renewal, a process as relevant and familiar as the four seasons and it's a celebration of the most admirable strictly human trait: the ability and willingness to sacrifice oneself for the benefit of others. An atheist does not need to share the faith to appreciate time set aside each year to celebrate these universally important themes. For atheists, who expect neither damnation nor reward in any "next life", reflection on these themes must be a necessary part of a considered life.
On another level, atheists need days off from the other religion that is consuming our existence: capitalism. If we mowed down the traditions that inspire several vacation days a year, the powers that be in government and business would be working us all 24/7 with no time for family or reflection.
There is no hypocrisy in human beings sharing a part of the human experience with those who believe differently. It's an essential part of tolerance, empathy and understanding.
I was uncomfortable reading answers from both sides of this debate and it took me a while to pin down how I felt. As a Christian I have no problem with non believers enjoying the Christmas and celebrating but I do have a problem with them telling me Christmas is no longer a religious holiday because it has been commercialised.
Think about this for a moment. With increasing multiculturalism we now teach about and celebrate Eid and Hanuka and other religions celebrations in our schools. Given a chance the shops with try to monopolise on this eventually and encourage us to celebrate. But typically once they are going with it they will suppress the religious nature of the celebration. If everyone started celebrating these occasions would it then be okay in 20 years time to tell a Jew that Hanuka is no longer about its religious meaning but about giving gifts just because now a non Jewish minority celebrate it incorrectly?
This is what has happened to Christmas. So in answer: I have no problem with atheists celebrating Christmas as long as they acknowledge what they are celebrating, even if they do not believe in it. Otherwise call it midwinter feast.
I do not think atheists should practice holidays like Christmas or Easter. I do not think they should because they are religious holidays and that is disrespecting the religion by not celebrating it or respecting it fully for what it actually is. I believe when someone who doesn't believe in something like an atheist ,pretends to celebrate a holiday, it is disrespectful to the religion.
Atheists believe that no God exists so why should they celebrate the birth of Christ, the founder of Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism) not mention he holds a significant place in Islam as a prophet. Easter is the same way, why do they want to be involved with the resurrection of Christ which they so blatantly denied ever happened. Christmas is not about the presents, candy canes, and lights, it's about the holy virgin birth. Unfortunately popular American culture has replaced Jesus with Santa Claus, and the resurrection with the Easter bunny (which in fact is a pagan fertility celebration dating back to Samarians).
So the same people that say that there is no God, and are affirmatively not a part of any religion, should take part in a religious festival honouring God. It is absolutely ridiculous, and any atheist who does take part in Christmas and Easter is entirely hypocritical. I mean why should someone who affirms no religion participate in a religious festival?
Atheist cannot celebrate a Christian Christmas holiday. I respect there religious views. But I draw the line at Christmas. Atheists cannot celebrate Christmas because the dum fucks don't believe in God. To all atheist who celebrate Christmas you are all hypocrats. No one asked you to celebrate Christmas, so don't.
....It is condescending and insulting. Akin to putting on a blackface play: the insult is very deep. And it is too long to explain here; if you don't get it -- look up a good essay on why blackface is shunned and performed only by ignorant people.
Don't be an ignorant atheist.
If atheists do not believe in God then why are they celebrating his birthday? This would be like saying you do not believe that a person exists but then celebrating his birthday...It is very stupid and proves how ignorant atheists are. I feel like atheists should not celebrate the birth of Christ, someone who they do not believe in.
You don't believe in God so don't celebrate. How dare you. Go to your damn job and work. Why should you get a holiday for a celebration you don't even believe in. Yes Christmas came from saturnalia, however that is not what we are celebrating. We are celebrating God, a being you don't even think exists. That is what the holiday is about. Your just being greedy. You just want your nice food and your presents but you should get nothing, why? BECAUSE YOU DON'T EVEN BELIEVE IN THE MEANING BEHIND THESE THINGS!
My family is Christian, and we do not celebrate other religions holidays. We do not celebrate chanukah, Yule, Ostara, etc. If you claim that you do not believe in Christ or worship him- then you should not celebrate his birth or resurrection! These are our holidays to celebrate our savior.
Athiests are such hypocrites. They bash Christianity and speak about it negatively, but then they celebrate religious holidays such as Christmas. Honestly, it really annoys me, because on one hand they say they don't believe in God and religious activities and but on the other hand they encourage Easter and Christmas! Like yikes, make up your minds!!
If I where to ask for presents during Hanukkah or attempt to celebrate Ramadan, people would think I'm insane. If you don't believe in the religion behind the holiday, you shouldn't get to celebrate it, receive gifts for it, or take enjoyment from something you spend your life mocking. Shove off!