Should Atheists Have Their Own Holidays?

Aug 29, 2011 Comments Off by

It is frequently remarked, that as most major holidays in the western world have strong religious significance, atheists should not celebrate them. The two obvious ones are Christmas and Easter.

The simplest response to this question is that both of these holidays have essentially very little religious significance left for the population as a whole. They are now widely considered commercial celebrations.

However whilst this is a sufficient response, the question leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of the new atheist at least, to be reminded that you’re celebrating something with its roots in religion.

The alternative is for all of atheism to agree on an idea that they would like to celebrate and find a relevant day. Though this approach has a downfall; it draws atheism closer to institutionalisation, giving it an uncomfortable similarity to religion. If this method were used, it would require a secular label, with every non-religious group in agreement, to avoid institutionalisation. No doubt it might be quite exciting to have new celebrations based on recent philosophy about humanity.

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