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Balls to Winterval...

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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pauldsims
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Joined: November 15th, 2007, 10:24 am

Balls to Winterval...

#1 Post by pauldsims » December 1st, 2007, 2:09 pm

When the editor of New Humanist invited the British writer Michael Bywater for a Christmas drink, jokingly referring to it as "Winterval", Bywater replied with a fantastic rant on the absurdity of referring to the period as anything other than Christmas (read the rant here: http://newhumanist.org.uk/1659).

It's a question that comes up every year as millions of atheists take part in a Christain festival despite the fact that they don't believe a word of it! So we thought we'd publish Bywater's rant and see what our readers have to say on the matter. We're inviting discussion on our blog (http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2007/11/ ... stmas.html), along with a poll on what atheists should call Christmas.

What do people in this forum have to say?

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Alan C.
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#2 Post by Alan C. » December 1st, 2007, 5:24 pm

I call it what it is and has always been, the Winter solstice. I have no problem if somebody wants to call it Christmas, I do have a problem with the men in frocks telling people it's the birthday of a two thousand year old Jewish hippy, and the people believing it!!
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Maria Mac
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#3 Post by Maria Mac » December 2nd, 2007, 11:31 am

If I cared enough, I'd agree with Bywater.


I'm moving this to MD.

Diane
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#4 Post by Diane » December 2nd, 2007, 1:19 pm

Winterval is OK as long it's clear it's a joke. We risk making ourselves look ridiculous if we are too pc about such things.

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Oxfordrocks
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#5 Post by Oxfordrocks » December 3rd, 2007, 8:19 pm

Nothing wrong with the word "Christmas" as a description. (IMO)
A long as I get a couple of days off, people can call it whatever they damn well please.

Arguing the case against is just being anal.
Go with the flow and chill out dudes.:wink:
There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating staying in EU.

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of staying in the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens will be caused by leaving EU?
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fullerwiser
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#6 Post by fullerwiser » December 5th, 2007, 9:56 pm

Don't become part of the War On Christmas...

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Heurismus
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#7 Post by Heurismus » December 6th, 2007, 12:20 pm

Intellectually I think Mid Winter Solstice Festivities, but I would never dream of changing Christmas to anything else.
The reason being that it is not just Christians who celebrate at this time of year, nearly everyone does. Those who can't are scrooges and tiny minded people who cannot call a truce even 'fer a wee game a fitbah in no man's land'.
Celebrate whatever way you want, but let's just call a truce at this time of year and think of the poor and suffering as we enjoy whatever little we can. Are humanists really stormtroopers for reason; I think not, so why should we give any excuse to the enemy to claim a moral victory over something humanity generally celebrates in their own way- a festival observing the Mid Winter Solstice- by denying its very existence.

Happy Crimble everyone!
The most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its power. - J.S. Mill

Phaedo
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#8 Post by Phaedo » December 13th, 2007, 10:45 am

How's about if we found an enterprising greeting card publisher to produce a Celebration Of Life card with the Humanist H in a prominent position. After all they produce cards for the daftest of occasions. We could send these to all those folk who send us Xmas cards. Leaving aside the myths and superstitions Christianity has imposed on the midwinter festival there is a deeply Humanist element to the "Goodwill to all men" message. Just as Christianity hi-jacked the festival for their own ends we could make a start in reclaiming it for humanity, ushering in another stage in its evolution.
True lovers of knowledge are temperate and brave...
Socrates

Noggin
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#9 Post by Noggin » December 13th, 2007, 11:06 am

Is everyone aware of Humanist Cards?

I don't find them particularly inspiring, personally.
It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man. -- Old Norse Proverb

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Oxfordrocks
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#10 Post by Oxfordrocks » December 13th, 2007, 4:18 pm

Does anyone actually take much notice of the design on cards that are given at Xmas?

I don't much care for cards anyway....ecologically unsound.
There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating staying in EU.

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of staying in the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens will be caused by leaving EU?
3. Should the supreme court ruling on British subjects be based in UK?

Ted Harvey
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Joined: September 10th, 2007, 4:41 pm

#11 Post by Ted Harvey » December 14th, 2007, 2:03 pm

Wonderful more over-the-top-but-so-heartening stuff from Richard Dawkins; this time on what he calls the 'seasonal opportunism' that 'Christmas' has always been to Christians. I really love his notion of why not call it Happy Netwon's Day because that was the day on which Issac Newton, one of the world's greatest individuals was born!

The link is to Dawkins's piece in the New Statesman:

http://www.newstatesman.com/200712130029

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Heurismus
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#12 Post by Heurismus » December 15th, 2007, 2:03 am

I love Dawkins, however he hasn't got a monoploy on the truth, as I'm sure he would be the first to admit; but as to the world before arsehole whingeing artists (get a real job) with a cause came along, and timber barons rubbed their murderous nature killing but 'God ordained' hand wringing and clapping-hand certainty hands...

Golly (politically incorrect) Golly (politically incorrect) Golly (politically incorrect) Gosh (politically outdated)! What (too introspective) the (defininitive) fuck (shock , scream, horror) are (accusative to some, but un-pc to others) are (well I don't fucking know!) we (collectively us) really (deistically ambiguous) talking (connective discourse minus the babbling tower of Satan interperative fantasy) really (deistically dead, but alive and hopeful) talking about (well if you don't turn away [as in 'about'] now, I'll never be able to tell you) because (don't give me any of your God bothering Be' Cause right now bullshit) I don't care even if I do know, but because I'm an infidel I know only too well, and because I'm chastised and hit upon by every ignoramus who cannot disobey 'the word of the lord', therefore I'll individually (at the centre of my own universe) celebrate aeons of non religious tradition in my own way) by saving my pennies and telling everyone whan they refer to it; (Chritmas! Bah! Humbug! ) have a happy one (whatever having a happy one actually means).

On the other hand, but still in the same vein - Partially in response to the Pope's seasonal message (forthcoming in the grand croak it square of the 'Lord of the Sphincters', sorry 'Splinters') - I think trees have supported humanity for far too long and he that makes the cross, tables and biblical chairs has no longer any right to nail human sentiments to a commercial mini-simulacrum of that which shafted Jesus the way his supporters are shafting us now with some outdated overbleached bonsai communication medium i.e. paper. (and they laughingly complain about their over-success whilst really lamenting their greed filled and extremely limited commercial nous to control such an untitheable billion dollar industry)
Therefore I concur with the no card desire or the; 'who needs shit paper anywy, I've got a perfectly good hand and running water to clean my cleggies off' proclamation of independance' - and I'll sling it in your eye like my fellow chimpanzees do). But more importantly; I don't need one as I know your sentiments already, because I'm connected sociologically, fraternally and intellectually with you as you are with the rest of us as we spin (whee) around the only fixed point in our sky (Ahh!) and if we can but prevail - always fucking will.

I am fed up with recycling paper - therefore let's do away with it forever and stop wasting it with fucking cards of any and every sort.

But guys, I do see your point...why should bits of idealistically fashioned paper become so political?

Because the world will soon be dead...that's why. Carbon fucking symbols my arse! (Humans - Silly Ideas - Bah! Humbug) :wink:
The most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its power. - J.S. Mill

DougS
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Re:

#13 Post by DougS » December 20th, 2007, 12:38 am

Heurismus wrote: I am fed up with recycling paper - therefore let's do away with it forever and stop wasting it with fucking cards of any and every sort.
Much as I sympathise with this view, I've met too many lonely old people who genuinely seem to appreciate getting xmas cards. Apart from the site Noggin mentioned, there is also one that sells secular cards here:

http://www.cafepress.com/affable_atheist/1196969

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Heurismus
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Re: Balls to Winterval...

#14 Post by Heurismus » December 20th, 2007, 2:12 am

DougS, how could I be so mean?
My wee tongue-in-cheek rant didn't really mean to hurt anyone, especially me as I've now received 12 cards from co-workers and I guess the joke is really on yours truly.
Yep, I've got to buy enough cards to cover the actual senders and potentials as there are still three days of work left. Damn!
Here's to all the lonely people this Christmas, I guess cards are an important message that someone is thinking of you. Well I do, but I can't send them all one! :wink:
The most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its power. - J.S. Mill

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