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Is it moral for an objectivist to celebrate "winter" instead o

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Dreamspirit
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f christian christmas?

I love christmas, but not for religious reasons. I like the decorations, the colors, some of the traditions within reason, and basically all of the "pagan" elements. Now that I have read some of Rand's works and have become more enlightened and rational about validating my opinions, I can say with certainty that I don't celebrate christian christmas anymore. I think celebrating it in terms of a pagan holiday is moral even though paganism is mystical because the mystical elements are really so obsurd that they don't have any meaning. You can celebrate "Yule" (although I would still call it Christmas) because it is really celebrating abundance and good spirits in winter which can suggest a meaning of greatness. Yule doesn't stray from the conventional holiday too much, except there are no judeo-christian elements like praying, going to church, or putting up shepherd families in your yard.

I think it is mean for atheist parents to take a holiday away from their kids. It doesn't have to mean anything religious, you can adjust christmas to incorporate your values.

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So you don't think putting more of an emphasis on the beauty of nature is in any way immoral? I was just making sure. I think Rand might have considered it so because she often described naturalism as "cruel." To me a paganistic holiday is not only aesthetic (ie. christmas trees, snowy scenes etc.) but implies the morality of the value of using our mind and the resources around us for our own pleasure and the advancement of humankind.

I would probably never create a santa illusion for my children because I'd rather get credit for it and be "the best mom ever" but I don't really think it is a very big deal anyway, because children are naturally grandiose before they are mature enough to have a clear understanding of the facts like adults. Also, normal children have an integrated knowledge that santa is not real (I know that I did) because they for example see a santa at every mall and realize that it doesn't actually make sense for it to be real, but it is enjoyable for it to feel real, it's just like make believe play. If children are pretending to be a fictional character, it wouldn't be any fun for them to be constantly reminding themselves it's not real. It's the whole point of the game. I'm not sure if this is true for every child, but it was for me. For this reason, I can say that believing in santa as a young child was not harmful because I saw it as a playful, affectionate gesture.

On the other hand, I would say it is harmful to FORCE their children to believe in it or get too into it, like saying "You've gotta really believe" and stuff like that. That might confuse or frustrate the child. If it is more directed at making it seem "fun" than convincing the child of magic then I think it's ok. For example, I really liked it when my parents put out a half eaten carrot and put a hoof print on the note left from santa, but deep down inside, I knew it wasn't really possible. It is especially fun and precious to the child for the parent to relate to them in such a way.

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Why do you imply that a goddamn philosophy will tell you how and when to celebrate? All it can tell you is that you should have the values of your own.

Why are you so combative?

Winter and Yule (let's cut the Christ out of a lovely tradition) are very contemplative and beautiful. I say celebrate it, if you enjoy it, but don't fall for any equation to Christ or any mystical elements.

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Why are you so combative?

Yes, maybe I shouldn't have said "goddamn." That was not my original intention.

I just wanted to emphasize it: A philosophy is compounded of highly abstract principles, not of detached concretes.

That is unto the individual to decide how to deal with concretes, unless it it really a matter of contradicting Oism or remaining consistent with it.

You can formulate your own reasoning on why to like or dislike Xmas

But one thing is for sure: Christmas is certainly not "immoral for an Objectivist," and such questions should be asked outside the context of Objectivism as a philosophy.

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Why do you imply that a goddamn philosophy will tell you how and when to celebrate? All it can tell you is that you should have the values of your own.

because yule has mystical reasons behind it's traditions and a holiday IMO could be objectively measured for esthetic value kind of like art. Therefore, I think it might be irrational and result of psychological weakness to celebrate something coming from such things instead of completely making a holiday to fit your own values. It just feels weird to celebrate a Xmas with no sentimentality. I worry that perhaps it is a result of psychological weakness and I don't want to indulge in my own lethargy when I could have a better lifestyle. It doesn't mean I'm going to be a real "pagan" but I'm saying the only comfortable option I can think of is making up my own traditions that fit my lifestyle (ie. going skiing with friends) and giving them a paganistic base because it is anti-religious but still sentimental. I know this sounds silly but I am just the sort of person who needs sentimentality, I suppose it has to do with social needs and having a spontaneous yet famililally oriented personality. It depresses me to wake up on Christmas and do normal, non seasonal things that don't feel sentimental.

For example, I shake my head at the people who keep traditions just because they're old when they could do something else that was more pleasurable, convenient etc. I was just watching a documentary on indigenous tribes in a part of Mexico to improve my Spanish comprehension and one of the people went on and on with the most irrational reasons about why they switched back to their traditional dye for textiles which isn't as easy to produce and doesn't look as good as the modern ones available to them. I wonder if folllowing a paganistic holiday is much more rational, just something that I've been conditioned to accept. I have found many things wrong with my lifestyle after adopting a clearer mind which I previously thought were just due to my personality, so I just wanted to know what the others on here thought concerning this issue.

Psychological weaknesses can be immoral IMO, especially when they involve other people. However, they are only truly immoral when the person is either partially or fully aware of their actions. For example, a repressive person who does passive agressive things to other people who doesn't cognitively recognize their situation in full is still immoral. A person who practices full volition but for example has a great deal of hostility and takes it out on other people unjustly is also immoral.

Edited by Dreamspirit
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because yule has mystical reasons behind it's traditions and a holiday IMO could be objectively measured for esthetic value kind of like art. Therefore, I think it might be irrational and result of psychological weakness to celebrate something coming from such things instead of completely making a holiday to fit your own values. It just feels weird to celebrate a Xmas with no sentimentality. I worry that perhaps it is a result of psychological weakness and I don't want to indulge in my own lethargy when I could have a better lifestyle. It doesn't mean I'm going to be a real "pagan" but I'm saying the only comfortable option I can think of is making up my own traditions that fit my lifestyle (ie. going skiing with friends) and giving them a paganistic base because it is anti-religious but still sentimental. I know this sounds silly but I am just the sort of person who needs sentimentality, I suppose it has to do with social needs and having a spontaneous yet famililally oriented personality. It depresses me to wake up on Christmas and do normal, non seasonal things that don't feel sentimental.
First, are there any reasons that are non-mystical to celebrate it? As long as you don't pray, all the Jesus songs are not of such importance.

Seconds, the fact that you maybe want to celebrate with your parents or friends doesn't necessarily indicate that you have psychological weakness. The question is, do you really like it?

Of course, if you celebrate it because you dread God (which is less likely) or because you want to be treated well by some strangers, then yes, it is irrational and you handle it.

Personally, I can perfectly get the later. I literally hate (arbitrarily-)extended family events. These are a few of the occasions on which I am not actually myself, nor anyone else: terrifically bored, I just respond whatever they want to hear of me (if the comment is necessary), and I understand that this is improper, but for now I have no choice. However, hopefully I shall get rid of it as I grow up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My parents are very very disgusted when I say I don't believe in God, so I tell them what they want to hear. The problem I have is there are some things I really like about my family members and some things I really dislike. For example, my sister and I have a lot in common. We are not religious, we like beauty and fashion, the same tv shows etc. but she is a control freak and acts quite condescending towards me at times. She has done very insulting things to me in the past like give me free money when I don't need it, talk down my choice of career (ie. if I say I want to be a genetic research assistant, she'll hint that she thinks I can't do it), act like she knows everything, and insist that my parents take me to the psychologist when I was a minor. When I complain about it she continues to be more condescending and treats me like I'm some idiot angst ridden child because that's how she sees me no matter how much I've changed. We can have a great time together and then she will all of the sudden say something insulting and pretends that I am just stupid and loony when I react. When I don't react she just acts all foreign and weird like I don't even exist. So yes, I'd say I have some attachment issues with my family, but I think that when I find my own (my bf and I are very close) I won't care anymore.

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