Why Christmas should matter to us whether we are ‘religious’ or not

There are many aspects of Christmas that, on reflection, make little sense. We are supposed to be secular-minded, rational and grown up in the way we apprehend the world around us. Richard Dawkins
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There are many aspects of Christmas that, on reflection, make little sense. We are supposed to be secular-minded, rational, and grown up in the way we apprehend the world around us. Richard Dawkins speaks for many when he draws a distinction between the “truth” of scientific discourse and the “falsehoods” perpetuated by religion which, as he tells us in The God Delusion, “teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding” (Dawkins, 2006). If this is so, then Christmas, with its extraordinary tales of virgin births and Santa Claus, should be a relic of a bygone age – a throwback perhaps to antiquity when the Church superimposed a Christian festival upon the pagan Saturnalia, Kalends, Yuletide or the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. Certainly, this writer is not alone when he contends that “nowadays, Christmas is, for many of us, a holiday that has no religious significance at all,” on the grounds that when one celebrates “good will,. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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