U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-01-2014, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,504,060 times
Reputation: 4898

Advertisements

Sure, I've attended those. It's about socially supporting people you care about and standing in solidarity with some new parents as they get ready for a future with their new baby. I celebrate being out with people I love and that they have had a successful birth. A christening is generally like a coming out party for a new baby, where the parents show off the child after the tribulations of pregnancy and birth. It's about celebrating a new life for me, and I ignore the religious nonsense, although I admit I do not like attending church ceremonies,they make me feel very uncomfortable, like a fish out of water. But if I really like the parents, I suck it up since it's really not that bad. It might be different though if I had to be exposed to more stuff like that then I am, as is I only have to go to a church ceremony once every few years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-01-2014, 09:19 PM
 
561 posts, read 1,034,845 times
Reputation: 384
It took me awhile to understand this, but not all nominally religious cerimonies are intended to be taken so seriously. Instead, they're primarily social gatherings. This certainly varies by the specific religion/sect/church, but not all believers are pious. For some, church is more social than supernatural.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2014, 05:12 AM
 
39,247 posts, read 10,913,531 times
Reputation: 5101
I'm with not raining on the parade. A very nice girl at my old job (we had dome interesting discussions) got married but didn't invite me because I was atheist. When someone asked me whether I was going and it got back to her..well, I was invited and did some backup-filming and in fact was happy to be able to provide much of the wedding video.

I also attended a Sikh wedding and a Christening (the colleague that really got me into gospel study with the resultant confirmation that Christ never existed).

So in a humanist world this stuff can be tolerated and can even be quite fun. It may even be socially necessary. I would not want to see 'Darwins' day' or 'freedom from religion' grand parades or 'turn a chapel into flats for the homeless' Telethons.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2014, 05:57 AM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,945,258 times
Reputation: 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeedPuller View Post
I consider myself a "non-theist" because while I don't believe that gods exist, I'm not militant about it.

I VERY strongly believe that it is wrong to indoctrinate (brainwash) children into religion and so I don't want to participate in any way in that process.

If you believe the same thing about children & religion, how would you handle an invitation to the christening of a relative's baby, and the family get together after?

Would family feeling or obligation outweigh your moral convictions? or vice versa?
What does the food situation look like afterwards?

Me attending or not attending some social function like this isn't going to change a single thing about how the parents raise their kids.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2014, 06:26 AM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,254,644 times
Reputation: 1317
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apathizer View Post
It took me awhile to understand this, but not all nominally religious cerimonies are intended to be taken so seriously. Instead, they're primarily social gatherings. This certainly varies by the specific religion/sect/church, but not all believers are pious. For some, church is more social than supernatural.
This is part of the equation for me. I would be a lot more uncomfortable attending, say, a baptism in a AoG or Baptist church. I might still do it, but I would probably be more uncomfortable. My wife and I have been to a couple of things for our friend's kids at their Lutheran church, and while I wouldn't go for fun, it doesn't bother me so much.

I only really have a problem if I am being pushed to participate in a religious way. I like the singing... Although, the churches I can stomach visiting somehow don't have the emphasis on participatory singing that the little country church of my childhood...

-NoCapo
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2014, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,102,293 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apathizer View Post
It took me awhile to understand this, but not all nominally religious ceremonies are intended to be taken so seriously. Instead, they're primarily social gatherings. This certainly varies by the specific religion/sect/church, but not all believers are pious. For some, church is more social than supernatural.
Repped you on this one because it's an excellent point. It is more a social event than a religious one for many. You always have to keep in mind that the church mediates a lot of socialization because it's handy to the purpose. Besides, as a deconvert from fundamentalism it's still hard for me to remember sometimes that most people don't take their faith beliefs nearly as seriously as I did. It hardly seems purposeful to bother. But I'm also an introvert, and forget how much the sense of community means to some.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2014, 08:17 AM
 
39,247 posts, read 10,913,531 times
Reputation: 5101
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
This is part of the equation for me. I would be a lot more uncomfortable attending, say, a baptism in a AoG or Baptist church. I might still do it, but I would probably be more uncomfortable. My wife and I have been to a couple of things for our friend's kids at their Lutheran church, and while I wouldn't go for fun, it doesn't bother me so much.

I only really have a problem if I am being pushed to participate in a religious way. I like the singing... Although, the churches I can stomach visiting somehow don't have the emphasis on participatory singing that the little country church of my childhood...

-NoCapo
I agree. While I was not inclined to join in myself, I was struck by the spontaneous and very ceremonial social ...ritual, I suppose, put on outside her home after the death of princess Diana. That was a religious social event without any element of organised religion.

Religion uses this stuff, does as it does morality, grand architecture, music and art in order to manipulate people. Regimes - particularly atheistic or at least not religious-ones - use this stuff regularly to boost their appearance of authority.

It's something else that is instinctive, misunderstood and something we do need to understand to stop religion hi-jacking it and turning it a lead attached to all our noses.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2014, 09:46 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,362,978 times
Reputation: 4056
Sure, I would attend the ceremony. I would gleefully accept.

Then, at a critical juncture in the ceremony, I'd get up and hand out Darwin fish while holding a big sign that says, "God does not exist!" While waving that sign, I would give a speech about the benefits of atheism and why christenings are a load of primitive superstitious bunk!

LOL!

No, seriously, I think the one person who said his only concern was growing bored sums it up for me, as well. I'm not much on formal ceremonies and I'm even less inclined to attend events with large groups of people. I still hold to the Law of Loquaciousness which says that the quality of the conversation is inversely proportional to the number of people participating in it.

"Yes, Auntie May, that certainly is a nice hat" *yawn* "I'm glad you were able to fix that leaky faucet, Uncle John." *sigh* "Uh huh, yeah, sure, the local hardware store has better wallpaper patterns than the big box store just outside of town." *snore*

I'm about as good at small talk as I am at curing cancer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2014, 10:00 AM
 
561 posts, read 1,034,845 times
Reputation: 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Repped you on this one because it's an excellent point. It is more a social event than a religious one for many. You always have to keep in mind that the church mediates a lot of socialization because it's handy to the purpose. Besides, as a deconvert from fundamentalism it's still hard for me to remember sometimes that most people don't take their faith beliefs nearly as seriously as I did. It hardly seems purposeful to bother. But I'm also an introvert, and forget how much the sense of community means to some.
While I'm unapologetically secular I'm also a student (of sorts) of behaviorial science. While I won't pretend it's in any way an exact science, there's stong evidence that religious persons tend to be happier than us secularists.

The etiology of this tendency is complex and not entirely understood, but one of the probable reasons is that persons who attend religious cerimonies (seriously or not) have more extended and committed social ties. This in and of itself probably goes a long way in explaining the trend (most persons are social), and also creates a perceived sense of purpose which more difficult for us secularists to find. I mean if you accept the overwhelming likelihood that the world and universe just sort of happened, and that most things are random, find a sense of purpose is much more challenging. For me anyway...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-02-2014, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,102,293 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apathizer View Post
... if you accept the overwhelming likelihood that the world and universe just sort of happened, and that most things are random, find a sense of purpose is much more challenging. For me anyway...
It depends on the individual. Over the years the "purpose" and protection and even community provided via the church seemed less and less real, plausible and satisfying, and the cognitive dissonance between the Real World and trying to have any confidence in these things was painful for me in its own right. So by the time I lost my faith I wasn't getting any real benefit from it anyway. Leaving it behind was actually a huge relief. Other godless here have described the same feeling.

For a very extroverted person, or someone with lots of extended family tie-ins to the church, the equation could well be very different than for someone like myself -- an introvert with not that big an extended family, many of who have died off anyway. Another factor is the degree to which one's cultural and ethnic identity is mixed in with religion. I'm sure that, say, an Italian or Irish Catholic or a Swedish Lutheran has a much harder time leaving their faith than many evangelical protestants, because it tends to disturb a complex family dynamic that they feel very beholden to and even in need of. Peer pressure is not to be underestimated, especially when it's coming from family.

As to the question of purpose, I think sometimes we search for something really soaring, majestic and transcendent, when in fact real rubber-meets-the-road purpose and meaning is rather mundane. For me, purpose is interacting here, writing software I'm proud of, being a good listening ear to my wife, giving my favorite dog a nice belly rub, even paying my bills on time. I am in truth just a simple guy living an ordinary life, and my purpose and meaning must be found within that scope. The inflation of religion -- that you are immortal, that god cares what you eat for breakfast, that you are in some sense the star of your very own stage play -- is what makes meaning hard to find.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top