Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Dec 2007 20:24 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes From the OSNews team, we'd like to wish everyone a merry Christmas (it's Christmas Eve in my country already), or a happy whatever other holiday you might celebrate; it so happens that Hanukkah and Eid ul-Adha have already passed, so my best wishes are in retrospect if you practice the Jewish or Muslim religion. These matters are always like tight-rope walking on the internet, but I'd like to say one thing: please, emphasize not our differences, but celebrate our similarities. And yes, even if you are not religious (like myself), I'd still like to wish you very happy holidays. Enjoy the food, but realise this.
Order by: Score:
Happy Holidays
by mnem0 on Mon 24th Dec 2007 20:47 UTC
mnem0
Member since:
2006-03-23

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Reply Score: 18

RE: Happy Holidays
by protagonist on Mon 24th Dec 2007 21:31 UTC in reply to "Happy Holidays"
protagonist Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks for the greeting. I would like to caution against being too judgemental, though. In many societies the family Christmas gathering can be quite large so two carts full of food might not be out of line. When I was growing up we often times had fifteen or more people at the dinner table. I will be at my sons house and there will more than likely be at least ten people and that is a lot of food.

Also, in our family it is a tradition to portion out the leftover food so that everybody takes food home with them. So what looks like gluttony may actually be something entirely different.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Happy Holidays
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 24th Dec 2007 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy Holidays"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So what looks like gluttony may actually be something entirely different.


Yeah, you are of course right on this one. I just needed a symbol to get the entry started, and this anecdote was a good fit, and I'm fairly sure you get what I'm hinting at there ;) .

Additionally, in the village where that supermarket was located (one village up north from mine) everybody knows everyone, so we kinda know for whom those trollies were meant ;) .

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Happy Holidays
by AlexandreAM on Tue 25th Dec 2007 14:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy Holidays"
AlexandreAM Member since:
2006-02-06

I'd second that. And add a bit. Some of us have the Christmas gathering taking more than just the Christmas eve.

Last night we got a reunion of our family, for like six hours, it's pretty much a tradition for us. Now, each one went to their homes and I'm getting ready to keep the gathering happening for like 10 or 12 hours.

And hey, let's talk about a lot of people on those gatherings, to emphasize your point: My family came from Portugal to Brasil 60 years ago. My grandfather and grandmother are already gone, but we are still a family of 5 of their sons with each one's wifes/husbands and "children". And we have their children's children too!

Add to that a few of the friends we got for living a family large as that in the same neighborhood (in a 2 miles radius around our late grandmother's house) and you'll understand that we easily count our gathering guests by the dozen ;)

Yesterday we had 31 people present at our dinner and pretty much all of them stayed for the celebrations after it. And I'm guessing we'll have a few more today, because there were no outsiders yesterday, they were probably all with their families.

We are simply a too-big-of-a-family and we incorporate our friends as part of the family too. So, can you imagine the size of our trollies ?

Now, A Merry-Continuation-Of-Christmas for you guys, for I'm going back there.

See ya at night.

Reply Score: 1

v More socialist liberal nonsense
by bloodandsoil on Mon 24th Dec 2007 21:22 UTC
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

It's not a good vs. bad comparison, there are good things and bad things in western civilizations, like in other civilizations. People just have to be humble enough to admit it otherwise we will still have wars everywhere on Earth like we've had so far because of egoitism.

Back to topic, yeah, I'm happy that we have this new release right for Christmas. I'm gonna grab me a copy right away ;)

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You probably want to use a different name than "bloodandsoil". Last time that frase was used it was by an Austrian. We didn't like it back then and we don't like it now.

Reply Score: 2

bloodandsoil Member since:
2007-08-24

You probably want to use a different name than "bloodandsoil". Last time that frase was used it was by an Austrian. We didn't like it back then and we don't like it now.


Who is 'we'?

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Your neighbours.

Reply Score: 2

bloodandsoil Member since:
2007-08-24

Would you please be more specific?

You are from Denmark and you are not my neighbor.

So who are you talking about when you say 'we' didn't like it then and 'we' don't like it now?

Reply Score: 1

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Well, I don't like it. I'm an Irishman living in Luxembourg and the scars of the last world war are still visible in this part of the world.

Frankly, living it up at the expensive of my fellow human beings is not something I would encourage, never mind be proud of.

You're idea that we some how have a right to 'pig out' because our ancestors supposedly had more brains than everyone else is patently wrong. Our ancestors got lucky, and then used the advantages that luck brought to subjugate and exploit the rest of the world.

If you want to be proud of that, fine. Just keep in mind that unless you like sounding like a right wing redneck hick, you might want to actually study up on what your talking about.

Reply Score: 2

bloodandsoil Member since:
2007-08-24

Frankly, living it up at the expensive of my fellow human beings is not something I would encourage, never mind be proud of.


We already 'live it up' without any expense to our fellow human beings. So what is the problem?

Our ancestors got lucky, and then used the advantages that luck brought to subjugate and exploit the rest of the world.


How can you dismiss the progress of Western civilization as 'luck'?

You are spitting in the face of Plato, Copernicus, Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton, Voltaire, and Charles Darwin. You are spitting in the face of the free thinkers who invented the mechanical clock, antibiotics, the airplane, the internal-combustion engine, and on and on...

Reply Score: 1

US Slant ...
by PLan on Mon 24th Dec 2007 21:34 UTC
PLan
Member since:
2006-01-10

>These matters are always like tight-rope walking on the internet

From all I've heard (and watched on US TV) it's only a tightrope in the US. Here in the UK it's ¨Merry Christmas¨ (not politically correct nonsense like ¨Happy Holidays¨), like it or lump it.

Reply Score: 7

RE: US Slant ...
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 24th Dec 2007 21:36 UTC in reply to "US Slant ..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

From all I've heard (and watched on US TV) it's only a tightrope in the US. Here in the UK it's �Merry Christmas� (not politically correct nonsense like �Happy Holidays�), like it or lump it.


I wasn't referring to that bit - I was referring to the religions thing in general.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: US Slant ...
by memson on Wed 26th Dec 2007 00:44 UTC in reply to "RE: US Slant ..."
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

In the UK, there is no real thust to using a non offensive and 'pc' term.

Besides, 'holiday' means something different here anyway. Your holiday is your 'annual leave' or what you would call 'vacation' in the US. We refer to Christmas as just that, or to be pedantic maybe 'Christmas holiday'. We do the same with Easter too. We'd therefore need to say 'Happy Christmas holiday' to get the same meaning. To a Brit, 'happy holidays' sounds really false and meaningless.

Good Yule to all, anyway!

Reply Score: 2

RE: US Slant ...
by kernelpanicked on Mon 24th Dec 2007 22:08 UTC in reply to "US Slant ..."
kernelpanicked Member since:
2006-02-01

Finally something I can agree with the UK'ers on. Personally, there is one single meaning to Christmas, CHRIST, that's why his name gets top billing for the season you know.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: US Slant ...
by BurningShadow on Tue 25th Dec 2007 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE: US Slant ..."
BurningShadow Member since:
2006-09-07

Personally, there is one single meaning to Christmas, CHRIST, that's why his name gets top billing for the season you know.

Christmas got nothing to do with christianity, and I can't believe that you really don't know that...

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: US Slant ...
by sbergman27 on Tue 25th Dec 2007 00:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: US Slant ..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Maybe it would be good if we all just happily agreed to disagree on stuff like that in this thread. It is a time for reflection upon, and celebration of, our own personal philosophies, whatever they may be. I happen to be atheist; And I celebrate along with everyone else. I don't mind it being called Christmas. That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.

Edited 2007-12-25 00:45

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: US Slant ...
by raver31 on Tue 25th Dec 2007 09:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: US Slant ..."
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

I too am an atheist, and I too will be eating vast amounts of food and consuming large amounts of alcohol with my family and friends over the next few days.

I also know that this time of the year was picked to mark the birth of the Christ, as it is the start of the nights getting longer in the northern hemisphere.

However, I have noticed that with all the bickering among the different religions, it is people like me, and sbergman27 who seem to enjoy Christmas the most, as we do not associate anything deeper to it, other than an excuse to pig out with people you care about.

And

Although I do not care for any of you in the slightest...

Have a peaceful, relaxing and most of all a Happy Christmas.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: US Slant ...
by Gone fishing on Tue 25th Dec 2007 08:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: US Slant ..."
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Merry Christmas

A good Christmas - a time to eat, drink, too much, be with family (or at least think about them) and generally have a warm fuzzy feeling about humanity. No bad thing.

To the Christians try not to be too ideologically committed to your doctrine, remember this is supposed to be a time of good will (I think in the UK the only people to ban Christmas were Christians) and I suppose the same goes to every one else.

Have as good day.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: US Slant ...
by dylansmrjones on Wed 26th Dec 2007 13:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: US Slant ..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually Christmas has a lot to do with Christ - but Yule has little to do with Christmas.

It's just that we from Scandinavia has managed to blend things better (taking the traditions from south and keeping our own terms).

Imagine a Dane calling "Jul" for "Kristmesse" - oh dear...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: US Slant ...
by chmeee on Wed 26th Dec 2007 15:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: US Slant ..."
chmeee Member since:
2006-01-10

"Christmas" is a Christian holiday derived from the German tribes, and other tribes, tradition of the celebration of the winter solstice. Many of the traditions -- dragging a tree into the house, lighting it, a giant feast, are all from those "pagan" traditions. The religious component is the part that makes it Christmas. Everything else is a celebration of Winter and the solstice, nothing more, nothing less. Even though I'm not a practicing christian, I still say "Merry Christmas", even my *** friend says "Marry Christmas", simply because that's what December 25 is -- Christmas Day. Not "Festivus day", "Holidays Day", or "Seasons Greetings Day", it's "Christmas Day". Anyone who gets their panties in a knot over that just wants to start something.

So I end this rant with a belated "Merry Christmas to all" -- to all the jews, muslims, christians, hindus, buddhists, everybody. Now go hug your husband, kiss your wife, tell your girlfriend, boyfriend, kids, that you love them, and thank $DEITY that you're around for another winter. That's what the real meaning of Christmas is.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: US Slant ...
by croco on Thu 27th Dec 2007 10:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: US Slant ..."
croco Member since:
2005-09-16

By BurningShadow:
> Christmas got nothing to do with christianity, and I can't believe that you really don't know that...

Christmas has pagan origins, that's correct:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas#Pre-Christian_origins

"...In part, the Christmas celebration was created by the early Church in order to entice pagan Romans to convert to Christianity without losing their own winter celebrations..."

But how about reading the whole article? ;-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

"Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. It refers both to the day celebrating the birth, as well as to the season which that day inaugurates, which concludes with the Feast of the Epiphany."

Click on Epiphany:

"Epiphany (Greek: ..., "appearance" or "manifestation") is a Christian feast intended to celebrate the "shining forth" or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus."

So Christmas has definitely a lot to do with Christianity.

Edit: Original message from BurningShadow inserted

Edited 2007-12-27 10:26

Reply Score: 2

RE: US Slant ...
by Almafeta on Mon 24th Dec 2007 23:19 UTC in reply to "US Slant ..."
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

(not politically correct nonsense like �Happy Holidays�)


Uhm... even if you ignore every other religion's holidays around this time, "Happy Holidays" is also a way of saying "Happy New Year" too, the origin of the phrase... ^_^;

Myself, I'm a happy pagan, and I don't mind Christians who also celebratate my holiday -- it's the day to celebrate selflessness, charity, and goodwill towards others, after all. :>

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: US Slant ...
by kaiwai on Tue 25th Dec 2007 03:09 UTC in reply to "RE: US Slant ..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Uhm... even if you ignore every other religion's holidays around this time, "Happy Holidays" is also a way of saying "Happy New Year" too, the origin of the phrase... ^_^;


The issue is that there is a group of people who are constantly in the mode of "ooh, I better ensure that so-and-so doesn't feel left out by saying 'Christmas'" - for me, I'm not a Christian, but I certainly don't feel offended if someone says 'Merry Christmas' and I say 'Merry Christmas'.

PS. Side note the person raising about Christmas, yes, we know it was a 'dart board' guess in regards to Jesus's birth but I think that the birth, rather than the day it actually occurs on, is the more important thing to consider. Trivialities such as 'is this the right day' simply serve to distract.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: US Slant ...
by Nicholas Blachford on Tue 25th Dec 2007 20:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: US Slant ..."
Nicholas Blachford Member since:
2005-07-06

The issue is that there is a group of people who are constantly in the mode of "ooh, I better ensure that so-and-so doesn't feel left out by saying 'Christmas'".

While that's no doubt correct in some cases, I believe it's actually mostly due to a specific political philosophy that wishes to do away with religion so do all they can to remove all references to it. They used to be called communists but that's unpopular these days so they're known as the "politically correct" these days.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: US Slant ...
by Almafeta on Tue 25th Dec 2007 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: US Slant ..."
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

While that's no doubt correct in some cases, I believe it's actually mostly due to a specific political philosophy that wishes to do away with religion so do all they can to remove all references to it. They used to be called communists but that's unpopular these days so they're known as the "politically correct" these days.


(Surely unintentional) Comedy gold.

Reply Score: 2

Merry Christmas
by capricorn_tm on Mon 24th Dec 2007 21:39 UTC
capricorn_tm
Member since:
2005-12-31

Merry christmas to you all my friends and thanks for a sparkling year here on OsNews.

Let's do it all over again ;)

Reply Score: 4

Merry Christmas
by buff on Mon 24th Dec 2007 21:47 UTC
buff
Member since:
2005-11-12

Merry Christmas to all the Buddhists, Hindus,and neo-pagans out there too. It has been an interesting year. Bush is almost out of office and my holiday grows brighter each day! If you are not feeling so cheery then drink some eggnog and enjoy yourself!

Edited 2007-12-24 21:47

Reply Score: 3

RE: Merry Christmas
by atezun on Wed 26th Dec 2007 03:29 UTC in reply to "Merry Christmas"
atezun Member since:
2005-07-06

Hold the nog, just pass me the rum.

Merry Christmas everyone, from my liver to yours.

Reply Score: 2

Merry Christmas
by siimo on Mon 24th Dec 2007 22:03 UTC
siimo
Member since:
2006-06-22

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone on OS News. And I am looking forward to the AJAX version of the commenting system going live in 2008 hopefully. I have been using it exclusively for the last few months by going to www4.osnews.com

Reply Score: 2

Clearance Day
by JrezIN on Mon 24th Dec 2007 22:17 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

Happy Savings/Lot's_of_food day for everyone who don't celebrate anything special but still celebrating anyway! (why not?)

Clearance Day, Clearance Day! Twice the gifts for half the pay!

Reply Score: 2

Happy Hollidays
by fz105 on Mon 24th Dec 2007 22:54 UTC
fz105
Member since:
2007-03-20

"...and Eid ul-Adha have already passed, so my best wishes are in retrospect if you practice the ... Muslim religion"

Thank you for wishes Thom Holwerda, this was a very kind gesture. In that spirit I'd like to wish all my Christian and Jewish friends, and a matter of fact any other religion that might also be celebrating a holiday around this season, a very happy and save holiday season.

Here's looking forward to a wonderful 2008.

Reply Score: 7

Happy Holidays everyone
by archiesteel on Mon 24th Dec 2007 23:52 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Peace on Earth for people of good will. That I think we can all agree on. :-)

Reply Score: 3

Happy
by SlackerJack on Tue 25th Dec 2007 00:15 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

Christmas to you all and Jesus says we should all use Linux next year for peace on earth.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Happy
by judgen on Tue 25th Dec 2007 00:31 UTC in reply to "Happy"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

Yes, but what distro? =P

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Happy
by diskinetic on Tue 25th Dec 2007 00:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy"
diskinetic Member since:
2005-12-09

That's not the important thing... it what desktop environment He would choose. I myself see Jesus as a Gnome user who recently has been trying XFCE a bit...

Merry Merry Christmas to everyone, regardless!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Happy
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 25th Dec 2007 02:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Happy"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Naw, Jesus is a *box user. Probably Flux or Openbox. They're nothing more then he needs but are still modern. ;)

Happy Holidays!

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Happy
by atezun on Wed 26th Dec 2007 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Happy"
atezun Member since:
2005-07-06

Gnome user myself but everyone knows, Jesus uses Enlightenment. However as is my position on most things,

Gnome is evil
Gnome is sin
Sin is forgiven
So Gnome is in!

Cheers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Happy
by sbergman27 on Tue 25th Dec 2007 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

Yes, but what distro?

"""

I heard, through the grapevine, that he uses current versions of SLS on his desktop, and Yggdrasil on his laptop. (There are advantages to having ready access to the afterlife.)

That was intended to avert a flame war. But just watch one break out among the greybeards here anyway! :-P

Edited 2007-12-25 01:02

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Happy
by Jimbo on Tue 25th Dec 2007 02:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy"
Jimbo Member since:
2005-07-22

Yes, but what distro? =P


Well, I'm installing Ubuntu for my Mom this Christmas.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Happy
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 25th Dec 2007 02:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Arch of course. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Happy
by kernelpanicked on Tue 25th Dec 2007 03:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy"
kernelpanicked Member since:
2006-02-01

More importantly, Jesus is a vi man.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Happy
by justin.68 on Tue 25th Dec 2007 13:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy"
justin.68 Member since:
2006-09-16

Ubuntu Christian edition. ;)

Edited 2007-12-25 13:22

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Happy
by wakeupneo on Tue 25th Dec 2007 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy"
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

If Jesus used anything it'd be Haiku...think about it ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Happy
by orfanum on Wed 26th Dec 2007 14:41 UTC in reply to "Happy"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

Well, if it's explicitly about redemption and freedom, then:

http://dynebolic.org/

;-)

Reply Score: 1

:D
by Xaero_Vincent on Tue 25th Dec 2007 00:21 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Happy Holidays folks.

Time to get fat! LOL.

Reply Score: 2

IDIC
by sbergman27 on Tue 25th Dec 2007 00:29 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

please, emphasize not our differences, but celebrate our similarities.

"""

I would prefer to celebrate our differences.

Wishing you all Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations! :-)

http://tinyurl.com/yjatps

Edited 2007-12-25 00:29

Reply Score: 3

Merry Christmas:-)
by hitest on Tue 25th Dec 2007 01:10 UTC
hitest
Member since:
2006-10-28

Merry Christmas, OS News:-) I hope you are having a peaceful, happy time with your families.

hitest
Prince Rupert, BC, Canada (we're quite close to Alaska)

Edited 2007-12-25 01:12

Reply Score: 1

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
by RGCook on Tue 25th Dec 2007 01:23 UTC
RGCook
Member since:
2005-07-12

Another year...wow. Thanks for the blog Thom, I agree 100% with the message.

Best wishes to you all in 2008!

Reply Score: 2

happy holidays??? WTF?????
by gedmurphy on Tue 25th Dec 2007 01:35 UTC
gedmurphy
Member since:
2005-12-23

Please, this is not the land of the free, we can express ourselves correctly without worry....

Merry Christmas to everyone, and a happy new year

Reply Score: 2

Have a Merry One
by patrick_ on Tue 25th Dec 2007 02:12 UTC
patrick_
Member since:
2006-03-02

Merry Christmas to all.

About the "Merry Christmas" vs "Happy Holidays" debate, I just saw a commercial selling buttons that said "It's OK, you can wish me a Merry Christmas". Pretty funny ;)

http://www.wmamc.com/index.html

Reply Score: 4

Happy Holidays
by Cass on Tue 25th Dec 2007 02:39 UTC
Cass
Member since:
2006-03-17

A Happy Holidays from a Scottish guy here ... Who cares about the religious aspect, as long as we're having fun, not at work or being forced to go sign on the dole ... Have a good one people, i know i will :-)

EDIT - Ohh and for those who are working over the period im not wanting to discriminate against you either. have a good one also :-)

Edited 2007-12-25 02:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Joy to All
by tpaws on Tue 25th Dec 2007 03:11 UTC
tpaws
Member since:
2006-06-02

Where did the year go? Suddenly it is December......again - and we realize that with giant strides we started in January and within a blink of an eye, 2007 is on its back!

A big "Thank You" to each and everyone of you.......without you, I'm sure that 2007 would have been extremely boring.

From my side I wish you all a magical Festive Season filled with Loving Wishes and Beautiful Thoughts.

May 2008 mark the beginning of a Tidal Wave of Love, Happiness and Bright Futures.

And to those who need someone special, may you find that true love.

To those who need money, may your finances overflow.

To those who need caring, may you find a good heart.

To those who need friends, may you find fellowship.

To those who need life, may you find peace.

Reply Score: 7

Humbug! It's all a delusion.
by mind!dagger on Tue 25th Dec 2007 04:29 UTC
mind!dagger
Member since:
2007-06-26

Here is what I am hoping for in the next year:

1. A president with a brain. I did not for the current one either time. There are only two I see in the current crop which might fill the role well.

2. Pull all U.S. military forces home. I've wanted this for the last 30 years. Let the world fight its own battles in which we have no business in.

3. Cut off all grants-funds-monies being sent to other countries. It's time for Europe, Asia, Africa and all others to help their own.

4. Complete and total energy independence from all overseas sources. Green and renewable technologies taking the lead. Basically, I would like to see oil become near or completely worthless commodity.

5. The movement of society away from those based upon religions to ones based on science and human morality.

Notice the not-so-subtle shift in the thinking of the average U.S. citizen?

Maybe, just, maybe after these things, I could actually wish others happy holidays.

Edited 2007-12-25 04:41

Reply Score: 1

kernelpanicked Member since:
2006-02-01

Wow that's a lot of bitterness and baggage to be carrying around on a holiday that promotes love and giving. Merry Christmas to you. I don't say that as any kind of snide remark, but I genuinely think maybe you need it as much as anyone here.

Reply Score: 2

mind!dagger Member since:
2007-06-26

Who said I believe in religion? I believe it is sheer hypocrisy to say Merry Christmas or any other religious mantra babble while we have religious wars going on today. As long as one human being oppresses another we really need to check our religions.

Maybe, just maybe, I am just an extremely jaded 44 year-old New Mexican. I doubt it. My green eyes have seen way too much violence in life to not believe we are descended from apes. Apes with violent and self-destructive tendencies. I am just waiting for the next religious nut job or mentally-imbalanced paranoid to prove me right ... again.

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

Maybe, just maybe, I am just an extremely jaded 44 year-old New Mexican. I doubt it. My green eyes have seen way too much violence in life to not believe we are descended from apes. Apes with violent and self-destructive tendencies. I am just waiting for the next religious nut job or mentally-imbalanced paranoid to prove me right ... again.

"""

Hi mind!dagger,

We're both 44. And I live just a state or two over from you in Oklahoma City, OK. (In what part of NM do you live?) And I'm also atheist. So that gives us a lot in common. I also see much harm derived from overzealous devotion to various religions. Though I'm currently listening to Bach (Sleepers, Wake), whose wonderful music was inspired very directly by the deeply abiding sense of God in his life. Religion, like any other powerful meme or tool, can result in both good and ill. Religion is an all too common motive and justification for perpetuating wars and atrocities. And yet it was a fervent search to understand the Mind of God which resulted in the enrichment of our understanding of the universe by Einstein in the last century. (Though his use of the word "God" is very often misinterpreted, his outlook and could only be described as being numinous in nature.)

It is not news that many things happen in this world every day, both good and bad, heart-warming and appalling, and plenty that simply defy categorization. As a powerful, indeed perhaps *the* most powerful, motivator of actions, religion is bound to figure into much of that, for good or ill.

All that we can do is to act with sense and compassion, setting a good example for others. And we must understand that doing so may not be enough; That in the grand scheme of things, we are very small, and our individual actions may not be enough to measurably change a world which encompasses 6+ thousand million other people. (Think of how difficult it can be to sway the views of even one!) Our sphere of influence is limited. I think it is important, if we want to be as effective as we can, to become comfortable with that unpleasant truth.

Getting back to the topic at hand, here we have a holiday at which people *are* encouraged to practice good will, even imperfectly. That is a good thing. The fact that we don't always do that is not really hypocritical. And more importantly, it doesn't really matter whether it is or not. What matters is that people are at least trying to make a special effort to do a little better, even temporarily. That is a very good thing. And throwing a wet blanket upon it is counterproductive.

On a more personal level, I believe that we can be most effective at helping the world when we, ourselves, have accepted the World as it is, all the horrors and wonders wrapped up, literally, into a big ball, and recognizing that that is what is, and that it is horrifying, wondrous, and completely beyond our conception all at once. (And that's just the earth; I'm not even addressing the Universe, here.)

I believe that we are more effective when acting not from anger that the world is not what we would like it to be, but from a more pragmatic sense of equanimity, and a desire to do what we can, however small. To be a part of the solution when we can. To refuse to be a part of the problem when we can. And to do ourselves the service of not getting bent out of shape over our limitations.

And although I do not believe in a deity in the sense that many people do, I would like end my post with this verse, originally written by Reinhold Niebuhr, which I think many of us could benefit from reflecting upon all year around. It's well known; Perhaps even clich'e. But read it. *Really* read it, this time. And consider how it might be put to better application in our everyday lives:


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Peace and Long Life,
Steve Bergman

Edited 2007-12-25 14:08

Reply Score: 5

mind!dagger Member since:
2007-06-26

Hello Steve,

I live in Portales, New Mexico. It's a small university village.

I would say, after the violent 9-11, that I am on the very thin line between atheism and an agnosticism.

I agree with you that religions perpetuate the human capacity for cruel and vicious things.

On the flip-side, I do have a respect for people, of faith and tradition, who lay down their swords, break them into plowshares, and devote their lives to living in complete and total peace.

I have seen the strength of non-violent human activities in action.

Personally, my mother’s family is a long line of Swiss, mostly from the French-speaking cantons, Mennonites. It may be the Mennonite influence which prevents me from completely rejecting the notion of a deity completely.

Beyond the deity question, I would say I have a strong aversion to faith-based violence being perpetuated under the power and approval of the 50 states and its people.

Faith-based revenge or violence is never justified under any circumstances. A social negative placed into another social negative never produced a social positive. A social negative into a social positive produces a social negative. A social positive introduced into a social negative may-or-may-not produce a social positive.

Maybe this is naive of me, but, should not people who claim faith-based good will and compassion practice it 365 days a year? Live it?

To me there are two 9-11 events. Both have altered the tinting on the mind’s lens.

One is when men, so we are told, of a certain faith-based teaching followed the orders of a certain person and slammed jet airliners into New York's Twin Towers on September 11.

This `day of human savagery` is abbreviated into a form, 9-11, and is, at least in the English-speaking world, `shorthand` for violence.

The other, 9-11, few remember this date, September 11, 1906 marks the beginning of non-violent resistance.

Using the non-violent resistance lens in which I see through, here are my original thoughts about what I am hoping for in the next year - reloaded.

We absolutely must have a president who thinks. I did not believe then and still hold now that the current selected executive at the top of the federal system is firing all neurons.

There are two political candidates in the current run for this office who have any conceptual idea of how to actively resist human savagery in a thinking and humane manner.

Our union of 50 states has absolutely no business in the internal affairs of another union, legitimate or other, of people, provinces, states, etc.

Pull all the forces and resources home. Unless our immediate survival is in question we have absolutely no business in the internal affairs of other people and their countries.

Throwing or giving money at a problem does not make it go away much less resolve it. If a person needs a pair of shoes, take them to the store and buy them a pair of shoes; if they are hungry then take them to the store to purchase food or buy or fix them a meal; and if they need work, and it’s in you ability, then give them something that will help them retain their dignity as a human being.

What if the fuel I am purchasing for my automobile, no it’s not a new hybrid but it is small and older, passes money, eventually, into the hands of a person or group who follows a certain faith-based teaching who slammed jet airliners into New York's Twin Towers?

Complete and total energy independence from all overseas sources of fuel is not only national security it is family security as-well-as sane economics. Surely everyone knows you can make tables, chairs and other commodities from oil.

There is a noticeable and not-so-subtle shift in the thinking of the people in this area. This shift is the body and shadow of the violent 9-11.

For me, when a person says, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or other seasonal blessings, I envision a world based on reason, science and human civility.

A world where the living body and longer shadow of the `non-violent 9-11` will eventually displace the terrorism, neo-imperialism and all other forms of human savagery.

Please have a safe and relaxing time this time of year! If Oklahoma is anything like New Mexico then there will be a lot of festive drunks behind the wheels of SUVs and massive trucks.

Troy

Edited 2007-12-26 17:22

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I agree with you that religions perpetuate the human capacity for cruel and vicious things.


Utter nonsense, bogus, and hogwash. Violence is inherent to the human race - religion is just an excuse for said violence. Most wars in the world were fought for land and wealth, not for religion.

Reply Score: 1

mind!dagger Member since:
2007-06-26

Your socialism is peeking out! ;-) Zip it up before some poor political virgin runs screaming away! My question is, are you neo-Darwinian?

BTW, I'm a green who has democratic socialist tendencies and plain-label Darwinist.

Edited 2007-12-26 18:00

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

My question is, are you neo-Darwinian?


What on earth does that have to do with this? I fail to see the connection.

Reply Score: 1

mind!dagger Member since:
2007-06-26

A neo-Darwinist asserts evolution takes place because the environment is slowly changing, exerting selection pressure on the individuals within its population. The pressure and selection is relieved through aggression and genetic determinism to adapt and are more likely to survive to have offspring and pass on favorable characteristics.

I believe in `plain-label` Darwinism and `endo` genetics. This is, roughly, very roughly, where the organism or species `itself` alters the internal genome via bio-chemical triggers to adapt to the slowly or rapidly changing environment. Aggression is not the only pressure variable for the changes.

`Religions perpetuate the human capacity for cruel and vicious things` this is part of our total global human `historical` record and is still being done today. If you do not believe me then take a vacation to the Arabia and yell something offensive or move to certain parts Asia to oppose the governments. See how far your genome adapts to pass on a favorable gene when it looses a member of the body.

Edited 2007-12-26 18:41

Reply Score: 1

LucasJ Member since:
2007-12-27

I would say, after the violent 9-11, that I am on the very thin line between atheism and an agnosticism.

I agree with you that religions perpetuate the human capacity for cruel and vicious things.


Please, have some perspective! Tens upon tens of millions of people were killed only last century under the 'scientific atheism' of communism, with a moral foundation provided by evolution - survival of the fittest, killing people no worse than mowing your lawn, not answerable to God, no absolute right/wrong with morality reduced to shifting opinions, etc.

Still today, Christians are persecuted in China, with state controlled churches having leaders appointed by the government who demonstrate "political reliability". The teachings of these churches often conflict with the Bible, giving rise to the unregistered "house churches", which are illegal. Many house church members over the years have been imprisoned, tortured, or sent to labour camps for 're-education'.

History has shown that atheist-fanatics, who really substitute themself as God - their ideologies as their idols - have been far deadlier than religious-fanatics.

Just remember what the Godless are also capable of.

Lucas

Reply Score: 3

mind!dagger Member since:
2007-06-26

Hello Lucas,

I took the day off the computer to spend time with the children.

"Please, have some perspective!"

I do.

"Tens upon tens of millions of people were killed only last century under the 'scientific atheism' of communism,"

I agree with the fact millions were killed.

I sincerely doubt there was a group of athiests who saw Demitri with a Bible and say let's go slaughter his village, county, and province with their scientific atheism.

They were killed by a government of like-minded despots, the Soviet equivalent of `Good Ole Boys` here in the US.

That in-group chose to steal, plunder, rape, maim and murder under the guise of communist government an out-group.

Regardless of the tripe which has been thrown about regarding godless or near-godless people, I believe you will find them to be very `moral` and law-abiding people.

For myself, killing is killing, murder is murder, death is death. I consider this moral as part of our evolution. A species does not kill its own.

Reply Score: 1

6c1452 Member since:
2007-08-29

I can hazard the figure killed by secular governments at around hundred million last century without even needing to consult a list of atrocities, so it's probably well in excess of that. You are going to have an extrely hard time arguing that nontheistic people, or secular governments, are somehow more moral by nature than their religious counterparts.

Here's an alternate theory: People, religious or otherwise, have varying levels of morality. The ones with poor levels of morality are more likely to do bad things. Ideologies, whether religion, nationalism (by far the more dangerous of the two, so far) or others, can provide a vector for them to do so on a large scale (typically after an ideological movement puts a small group of psychopaths in power).

If I am correct, then the real enemy is excessively strong ideology. Trouble is, that's how change happens on a governmental level. Oh well.


As for your assertion that "A species does not kill its own," you're just plain wrong. Watch a documentary about primate groups sometime.

Reply Score: 1

LucasJ Member since:
2007-12-27

I sincerely doubt there was a group of athiests who saw Demitri with a Bible and say let's go slaughter his village, county, and province with their scientific atheism.


Communism is an atheist-based ideology. Their consciences were not weighed down by their acts of brutality. In having no God with universal laws for accountability, they determined what is right/wrong in their own minds. Their actions were consistent with their belief - under an evolution-based worldview, if everything is just evolved, there is nothing 'wrong' with murdering people, hence Stalin's belief of 'mowing the grass'.

Trotsky and Stalin converted to their atheist view of the world after reading Darwin. Trotsky wrote, 'Darwin destroyed the last of my ideological prejudices. ... In the Odessa prison I felt something like hard scientific ground under my feet.' As leader of his Society of the Godless, he spread much of the Soviets' anti-theistic propaganda and advocated an 'atheistic substitute' for religion.

Darwin was also one of Mao's favourite authors. When millions were dying from forced famine, Mao said to his doctor, 'We have so many people we can afford to lose a few.' In China, Communist Party officials have stated that membership with the Party and religious beliefs are incompatible, which is required for high-level positions in government and in state-owned businesses and organisations. I've already mentioned that Christians are violently persecuted in China for being Christians, but they suffer even worse under North Korea.

Regardless of the tripe which has been thrown about regarding godless or near-godless people, I believe you will find them to be very `moral` and law-abiding people.


Yes, I would agree most are, but the point of my post was that you seem to lean towards atheism based on the actions of religious fanatics (which are inconsistent with the teachings of Christ), whilst dismissing the actions of atheists (which are consistent with an evolutionary worldview). It can be argued that atheist worldviews also 'perpetuate the human capacity for cruel and vicious things'. Removing religion won't eliminate this capacity, but instead removes barriers to it.

For myself, killing is killing, murder is murder, death is death. I consider this moral as part of our evolution.


Yes, I don't doubt many atheists believe this, but your morality is based on opinion. Who's to say that giving evolution a helping hand by eliminating the 'weak', for the 'greater good' of humanity, is morally wrong, as happened in Nazi Germany. Eugenics is also rooted in Darwinism and was once seen as scientific and morally right. Tens of thousands of people were forcibly sterilised in the US because of this belief, and more in other countries.

A species does not kill its own.


Sure they do - there are many murderous and cannibalistic species out there. Evolutionists may even say they evolved this behaviour, so who's to say murderous humans are acting 'wrong'. I remember hearing about an evolutionist arguing that rape has an evolutionary basis.

I took the day off the computer to spend time with the children.


Yes, we should all spend time with family more often, but especially at this time of the year. I hope that you and your family are well and are enjoying the Christmas/New Year holidays.

Reply Score: 1

mind!dagger Member since:
2007-06-26

OSNews burped twice. Deleted it.

Edited 2007-12-25 05:25

Reply Score: 1

siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

All the above to all'y'all.

my kids are happy, Eid money AND christmas pressies within one week. Wow christmas done come early this year.

Reply Score: 1

Happy Holidays
by desNotes on Tue 25th Dec 2007 05:41 UTC
desNotes
Member since:
2006-05-26

Happy Holidays to all at OSNews. May the coming year bring peace and goodwill to all.

Thanks to Adam, Eugenia and Thom for their hard, informative and entertaining work.

desNotes

Reply Score: 4

Happy Holidays
by battlehorse on Tue 25th Dec 2007 09:28 UTC
battlehorse
Member since:
2005-07-06

Happy Holidays OSNews . Congratulations for the job you're doing and for keeping OSNews so good and pleasant to read.

Reply Score: 4

Extreme Coder
Member since:
2007-07-26

to everyone! How suddenly 2007 flew by! ;)

I'm Muslim myself, but there's nothing wrong in wishing everyone having happy holidays ;)

I got a nice amount of money from relatives and friends (it's a tradition in Eid here to give your loved ones a gift, or for small kids some money), but I'm not spending it yet. And I didn't eat lots of food unlike the rest of the people here ;)

Edited 2007-12-25 09:53

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I got a nice amount of money from relatives and friends (it's a tradition in Eid here to give your loved ones a gift, or for small kids some money),


See? Christian or Muslim, we're all the same ;) .

Reply Score: 1

Extreme Coder Member since:
2007-07-26

Indeed! ;)

If only the rest of the world could get along..

Reply Score: 1

siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

Amen ( or as we say Ameen) to that.

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by mind!dagger on Wed 26th Dec 2007 04:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy Christmas - Happy Eid - Happy Hanukkah.."
mind!dagger Member since:
2007-06-26

You really, really need to study religions. I studied Islam in depth for eight years. I can even quote surahs, know many hadiths, and even have Muslims as associates. There may be similarities but there are drastic differences.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Re:
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2007 09:50 UTC in reply to "Re:"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You really, really need to study religions. I studied Islam in depth for eight years. I can even quote surahs, know many hadiths, and even have Muslims as associates. There may be similarities but there are drastic differences.


On the microlevel, of course there are. But if you look at the bigger picture, the differences between values and goals of either religions (Islam, the Jewish faith, Christianity) is minimal.

Reply Score: 1

siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

an expensive week all round ;) . Especially if you got all brothers, sisters and cousins and all their respective kids nearby.

Reply Score: 1

Happy and Happy!
by jerrymy-zhang on Tue 25th Dec 2007 10:27 UTC
jerrymy-zhang
Member since:
2007-12-17

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

All will be better next year!

Reply Score: 1

happy holidays
by Mellin on Tue 25th Dec 2007 11:20 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

happy holidays from Sweden

Reply Score: 2

Happy Holidays!
by Anonymous Penguin on Tue 25th Dec 2007 11:47 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Happy Holidays to everybody. I prefer this wish because it can be accepted by people of other religions or by people of no religion at all.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Happy Holidays!
by dylansmrjones on Tue 25th Dec 2007 23:26 UTC in reply to "Happy Holidays!"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It's pretty much a US-specific problem. The rest of us just wish you a "Glædelig Jul og et Godt Nytår". That's the benefit of living in a truely secular society (you don't have to consider other peoples religion because it is personal, so they cannot be offended by your use of your own term - just like you wouldn't be offended by their use of their own term) ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Happy Holidays!
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 26th Dec 2007 03:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Happy Holidays!"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, I know that Denmark is a truly secular society, I have been there ;)
Unfortunately one can't say the same of Italy...

Reply Score: 2

Simple solution...
by AdamW on Tue 25th Dec 2007 11:48 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

Happy winter solstice, everybody. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Simple solution...
by lord_rob on Tue 25th Dec 2007 12:58 UTC in reply to "Simple solution..."
lord_rob Member since:
2005-08-06

You forget all those people who live in the southern hemisphere ;-). Just say "Happy solstice everybody !" ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Simple solution...
by AdamW on Tue 25th Dec 2007 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Simple solution..."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Curses! You're right. It works IRL but not online. Thanks. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Simple solution...
by wakeupneo on Tue 25th Dec 2007 14:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Simple solution..."
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed. I'm sitting here at midnight and it's still 28 degrees outside...and forecastfox is telling me tomorrows forecast is.. "Very Hot with Blazing Sunshine, 41 Degrees"...ugh...so go ahead...rub it in with the whole winter bit there mate..much appreciated ;)

Merry Christmas Everyone from a salty and sunburnt Aussie!

08 is gonna be great! ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Simple solution...
by Anonymous Penguin on Tue 25th Dec 2007 13:07 UTC in reply to "Simple solution..."
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Happy winter solstice, everybody. ;)


Indeed ;) That is where this celebration originally comes from, the rebirth of the Sun God.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Simple solution...
by islander on Wed 26th Dec 2007 13:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Simple solution..."
islander Member since:
2007-04-11

Finally someone who knows their onions.The birth of the sun and not the son.Cheers mate and all the best for '08.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Simple solution...
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 26th Dec 2007 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Simple solution..."
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Cheers mate and all the best for '08


Thanks! The same to you ;)

Reply Score: 3

I Agree With Thom
by parrotjoe on Tue 25th Dec 2007 15:22 UTC
parrotjoe
Member since:
2005-07-06

I like that Dutch word meaning "the things that matter". I'm 56 years old, divorced and am basically alone. I take care of my 91 year old father. Yesterday afternoon I went to the annual Christmas Eve day gathering at my favorite watering hole/restaurant. That's always fun, but I was stunned when a good friend of mine, a waitress that works there, gave me a pecan pie she had made the previous night at 2am. It was for my father and I - especially because she knew my late mother made tremendous pecan pie and it would remind us of her.

To think that a waitress with children would stay up and do that with all else she had to do - these are the type of things that matter. It does not matter in world affairs, but it matters greatly *to me*.

Reply Score: 4

Merry Christmas
by Nicholas Blachford on Tue 25th Dec 2007 20:39 UTC
Nicholas Blachford
Member since:
2005-07-06

Merry Christmas, or happy holidays to those who don't celebrate it.

I also wish you a happy new year but to those not celebrating that either I don't know what to wish you but have a good one...

Reply Score: 1

MERRY CHRISTMAS
by historyb on Tue 25th Dec 2007 20:55 UTC
historyb
Member since:
2005-07-06

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Reply Score: 2

Peace on Earth
by rockwell on Tue 25th Dec 2007 21:37 UTC
rockwell
Member since:
2005-09-13

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Two things:

1.) I apologize for any rude comments I've posted here over the past year. I do enjoy the arguments, but confess I sometimes get carried away. Mea culpa.

2.) This is what I believe Christmas is all about: http://www.walkintheword.com/weeklywalk.aspx

Reply Score: 1

Oh dear...
by dylansmrjones on Tue 25th Dec 2007 23:23 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

...as a Christian from Denmark (yes, the capital of Stockholm ;) ) I just want to wish you all a:

Merry Yule!

(And yes, I know it's mostly for pagans when outside of Scandinavia, but I'm not outside of Scandinavia).

Reply Score: 4

RE: Oh dear...
by Soulbender on Wed 26th Dec 2007 09:16 UTC in reply to "Oh dear..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Jul is pagan?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oh dear...
by dylansmrjones on Wed 26th Dec 2007 13:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh dear..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It is outside Scandinavia.

Jul (Yule) is the old heathen solstice celebration. It can - in English - be used as a generic and neutral term for Christmas (Kristmesse).

However, it doesn't mean that the traditions of Scandinavian Jul (Jól in Faroese and Icelandic) are pagan in themselves. Just that we have blended pagan traditions with traditions from Christianity, and that we use a pagan word for our "Christmas" (like the Yule Buck (Julebuk)). I think it's beautiful ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Oh dear...
by Soulbender on Wed 26th Dec 2007 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh dear..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Oh man, where's my brain? I meant to say "Jul is Christian?".
Jul rocks, Christmas...not so much.

Reply Score: 1