From Protestants to Pastafarians, from Mormons to Muslims, spirituality is as old as man, and so is discussing religion.
I've thought about this for a considerable amount of time (approx. 20 mins) and I think, on balance, it is mainly a Christian thing.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... m-egg-hunt
I find the egg thing tricky, though. Does anyone have any plausible explanations for that?
If you believe it's a Christian celebration, then it is.
If you believe it's about the chocolate eggs, then it is.
Theresa May is right though, even if she's a twunt. Whatever you think Easter is about, it's still Easter, innit? It's not Egg Day or Cadbury Day, much as Cadbury would like that, I'm sure.
But isn't that just a thought blancmange? Surely there needs to be some kind of backing for beliefs at some point? Otherwise it's all just bollocks.
Cadbury have won whatever the result, although as you say an additional Cadbury Day in the calendar and they'd be creaming their jeans.
What do you mean by 'backing'?
I just meant that any given holiday can mean whatever the individual wants it to mean. There doesn't have to be some national consensus about it. I realise some people get upset about the word "Christ" and insist on referring to "Xmas", but it's still (mostly) called "Christmas", and Christians and non-Christians alike do pretty much the same things on Christmas day, ie., falling out with the family, getting bloated and at least halfway ratarsed, and watching 40-year-old movies on TV. If we ever made Eid al-Fitr a public holiday in the UK, would we actually rename it Stuff Your Face Until You're Sick Day to "appeal to people of other faiths, or none?". Seems a bit unlikely.
Or take May Day. I don't believe in morris dancers, but there they are, still flaunting their existence in my face. May Day makes morris dancers real. Renaming it to something else won't make them go away. And what on earth does May Day "mean", anyway? As far as I'm concerned it's just a day off when people sit inside their cars on motorways.
Anyway, life would be boring without a healthy dose of bollocks, IMO.
That's why removing references to beliefs can often have unintended side-effects, I reckon. When you attempt to delete a belief, something else creeps in to fill the space.
By 'backing' I mean some kind of historical background. There is a stronger story for a Christian Easter than there is a non-Christian Easter.
Morris dancers offered to perform at my wedding. Odd chaps they are.
I suspect they already have. Ever eaten one of these?
I suppose it helps. But ultimately a belief is just a belief. The UK might not have many actual Christians left, but the memes of protestantism still run strong through its social fabric. To a certain extent, those memes made the country what it is: a people who believe (broadly speaking) in being truthful are less likely to tolerate a corrupt judiciary, for example. Belief in being truthful has no basis in anything except for some mythical stone tablet that said "thou shalt not bear false witness".
Morris dancing, IMO, is some diabolical ritual designed to hasten the end of the world. Or at least to make you wish it would hasten.
Learned a bit about Easter eggs here.
We should go back to the good old days when the holiday was filled with the conception of the Christian spirit
http://www.supercartoons.net/cartoon/74 ... yeggs.html
That's absurd. Being truthful has positive effects which are a perfectly rational basis for such a belief--and a logical basis for inclusion for whoever wrote that bit of theater :)
If you're really lucky I'll introduce you to Aunt Sally.
It's absurd to you because you grew up steeped in Christian tradition. Meanwhile, a goodly percentage of our fellow simians thinks it's rational to fuck people over at every opportunity, and kill them afterwards if you can get away with it. Do you think this is irrational? I don't. If you start with the right axioms (eg., "the only person in the world who matters is me"), it's as rational as anything else out there.
Yeah, for a supposedly Christian country, Britain has always had a weird undercurrent of unpleasant rituals. It's just my opinion, but I reckon inconsistency with (professed) religious beliefs had some hand in their demise. The fall of the slave trade is a well-documented example.
It doesn't matter if I "grew up steeped in Christian tradition". Actually it was Catholic, so according to you it wasn't right? The point is that there are benefits to honesty which make its value a perfectly valid belief in its own right, regardless of who else subscribes to it or who has advanced it to one or another degree over the years. If that is not a belief that is universally subscribed to in whatever dystopian wasteland you think is relevant, that's not my problem, nor is it if you think a belief such as "the only person in the world who matters is me" is rational. There is room in the world for many kinds of beliefs. And plenty of room for belief in concepts of obvious benefit. You don't get to call dibs on them just because someone wrote them down at some point, and not even the first to do so!
I meant your culture, not your family. IIRC you're American, which means you come from a place that likes to post copies of the Ten Commandments in public spaces.
No. Go and read some game theory. The value of honesty (and I won't disagree that it's immensely valuable) depends on a certain majority adhering to the same belief.
Here's an example. I was reading about some guy travelling in (IIRC) Cameroon who got a bit lost, and he asked a random loiterer whether he should turn left or right at the junction to get to such-and-such. Loiterer told him 'left'. After getting even more lost, he turned back, and eventually got back to the original junction. Loiterer was still there. Traveller was annoyed. "Why did you tell me left? You know damn well it's the wrong way". Loiterer is nonplussed. "Well, I have no idea who you are; you might have been an enemy". In the context of a society where everyone's primary intent is to fuck somebody over, that makes a certain amount of sense. Of course it creates a society where nobody can ever rise above bestial subsistence; on the other hand, it probably does maximise survival.
It's an axiom. It can't be derived by logical argument (except circular ones). The words 'rational' and 'non-rational' do not apply.
Anyway, my point was, in places where that belief is held by the majority, ideas about honesty are not rational at all. I'm starting to wonder if you know what "rational" actually means. You seem to use it interchangeably with "obvious [to me]". Do you have some background in formal logic? Any at all? I'm not an expert on the subject, but I do make an effort.
I wasn't. I used the phrase 'Christian tradition' to take a broad sweep across a whole bunch of different cultures, philosophies and ideas that coalesced into a single coherent stream of thought. However, "Do not tell lies" is not universal, or even particularly common. There are variations on the theme - for example, some cultures insist on honesty within the clan and betrayal outside of it.
I never saw one growing up. I did go to 12 years of Catholic school and grow up surrounded by mostly Catholic people.
No. I understand game theory. It's totally irrelevant. I'm not talking about the value of honesty or asserting that it is necessarily an optimal system for extracting the maximum personal benefit out of every situation, which is what you seem to think "rational" boils down to. We're talking about a belief. Honesty has obvious benefits which make belief in its value an entirely rational proposition without me being commanded to adhere to it like some sort of cosmic lackey.
I'll tell you what, I'm wondering the same. No lol, so what?
Lets go back and try to break this down.
You said, "Belief in being truthful has no basis in anything except for some mythical stone tablet that said "thou shalt not bear false witness".
I am asserting that there are perfectly rational reasons for believing in the value of being truthful. Before we go on, is this honestly a problem for you to accept?
It doesn't matter if it's universal. It's certainly not an unknown concept and not exclusive to the "Christian tradition". Not to mention, the "Christian tradition" has not done a notably great job of propagating the concept among its apparently passive minions over the course of its history. I think it's funny though how some Christians try to assume ownership of these simple concepts--as if it was some kind of fantastic revelation--just because some guy wrote them down a long time ago, and not the first.
It was pagan, with eggs symbolic of new life. Its now Christian and the egg is the stone that was rolled away from Jesus tomb.
Thus spoke me.
It's less common than it used to be. I've not really been following the debate, but there's been a long-running legal battle to determine whether displaying the ten commandments on government property violates the principle of "separation of Church and State", or whether it constitutes an explicit recognition of those principles underpinning the law of the land.
You totally lost me here. Of course it's a "valid belief". Nobody believes things that they can't justify to themselves. However, you can find equally practical justifications for dishonesty. There is nothing inherent in human nature which will impel civilisation towards honesty. That is, while you might be able to justify your honesty with logic, it doesn't work the other way: there is no logical reasoning which can take you from a position of dishonesty to honesty.
Certainly. But it remains a belief. Otherwise it would not be a belief, but an empirical fact that "honesty is the best policy".
Well ... I'm going to split hairs about that. Consider the existing legal system, which also commands you, cosmic lackey that you are: thou shalt not kill. Why do you not go around killing people? Is it because the law says you mustn't, or because you don't want to? If the latter, why don't you want to? Do you think it's possible that you were just brung up proper? That "thou shalt not kill" was planted in your head before you even could talk?
Now consider Jesus's Good Samaritan parable. Surely, if the local culture already incorporated such thoughts, he wouldn't have felt the need to elucidate the radical idea of looking after one's (nominal) foe? Even if you don't know the parable, Western culture has retained ideas of extending the Golden Rule not just to people you like, but even to people you don't much care for. It's the basis of a lot of management theory (eg., looking for win-win scenarios in negotiations), the Geneva Convention, and the Hague Conventions. Or do you think it's merely coincidental that these things didn't arise from, say, Hindu philosophy?
Whether you want to acknowledge the ultimate source of these ideas doesn't matter, I suppose. You can attribute them to friendly aliens if you want. The fact remains that they're so deeply embedded in our culture that you think they're just obvious. And yet some cultures never invented them.
As I said, I wasn't claiming exclusive ownership. But it is nevertheless a core principle of Judeo-Christian belief, from which US culture draws inspiration. If it didn't, then that aforementioned legal battle wouldn't exist, would it?