Do birthdays make any sense if you are an Atheist?
I grew up without birthdays because my mother was a member of the JW cult, so they are not a part of my childhood. I didn't celebrate my birthday until I was 18 and that was a horror show because my then girlfriend invited all of my friends, unfortunately these were friends that I compartmentalized because they were so different. Imagine a room filled with Bikers, Artsies, Punkers, Nerds, Jocks and Intelligencia.
Personally, I mark the date as my own personal year and I reflect upon how I have advanced or regressed over that year. How do you view your Birthday?
One of the religions I studied/read about/participated in was LaVeyan Satanism, basically atheism with rituals. One of the most important "holy days" for them is the person's birthday, because it marks the time their universe was created.
Personally, I try to do a little something special on my birthday since I have survived another year.
I don't see how birthdays have any religious meaning.
I see it as a day to celebrate your birth. They're less important if they're mine, but the people I love I want to celebrate their birth because I'm so glad they were born and came into my life. It's a way of saying "I'm glad you're alive, I appreciate your birth"
I was born. Which was a billion to one chance. So I have a birthday. And I celebrate that fact.
A billion to one? There are millions of sperm in each ejaculation and humans spend their lives humping like bunnies so it was a pretty much a given that you would be born or someone just like you. I think we over emphasize our importance but I don't have an issue with celebrating our existence. All I am say is that the ritual is religious in nature and that is a bit silly for an atheist. Besides, it's my birthday today so I get to say what I want. lol
@Surfpirate You seem to forget there is only one egg. Maybe two. I think men sometimes overestimate their importance.
@GoldenDoll Not at all, 3 years studying life sciences makes me well aware of how many ovum are in play but that's only half of the equation and there are millions on the other side, don't overestimate the female part.
@Surfpirate "the ritual is religious in nature"
How so? I'm not sure of the religious nature of eating cake and having parties. What makes the ritual so religious?
Birthdays are simply that. milestones in your journey called life
On another note, if I recall correctly (I may incorrect) while taking a religion class in college a few years ago that the Catholic Church had banned the practice of celebrating birthdays for a time because the reigning pope was adamantly against birthday celebrations for it having been related to Paganism.
That's a fact and some of the Protestant sects were against Birthdays for the same pagan religious roots of the celebration, going back to Artemis for the Greeks and the Romans and Egyptians had a similar religious connection with Birthdays as well. Everything comes from somewhere, there is nothing new under the sun just variations on a theme.
My birthday is on New Years Eve so there was always something going on (my parents had New Years Eve Parties, or my dad would have a gig to play with him being a musician) People usually had no idea it was my birthday and it was fine.
The only time it really bothered me was as a kid with it being so soon after Christmas I got the two for one gift deal.
Once I hit 30 I stopped counting and just treat it as any other day.
I like my birthday - I usually go out and play air hockey and bowling - there isn't a lot to do in Northern Ireland except see a lot of scenery and go for long walks - I can't quite see that there is anyhting at all religious about my birthday. Its just a day and only an excuse to lively up a bit
I don't see how celebrating birthdays has anything to do with religion. It's very secular.
So I am told by many people and that's all I have to say about that. If you want to do a google search on birthdays and religion then that's your business.
In my life, a birthday comes along and justifies how and why my body aches, my head hurts, my memory shrinks and muscles change in that I grow boobs..thats about it...
Wtf does religion have to do with managing to survive one more year?
Unless it's Christmas, we're not celebrating anything but that.
No worries birthdays were frowned upon initially by christians for being a pagan tradition.
Now that I am 65, my birthday is a marker that says I made it to another year. I had a set idea of what 65 would be like, but it isn't what I expected.
It is much, much better.
Also no holidays began as Christian holidays. Christmas was originally yule, which was just a celebration of the solstice. I'm all for celebrating because we survived another season. I celebrate Christmas without christ. I celebrate easter because it welcomes spring, not because I believe in the resurrection. I celebrate Halloween not because I believe demons will possess the living but because I really love scary things and free candy lol
Just because we celebrate something doesn't mean we are hypocritical. We celebrate because we like to celebrate. Boycotting all fun because of people of faith stealing the celebrations and slapping a Jesus sticker on them, well that's no better than Jehovahs Witnesses.
Well said. Religion is designed to make you feel guilty and insecure, and to get rid of all fun. I celebrate everything!
Birthdays are simply a celebration of the anniversary of your birth. While some may make it a religious affair, there's nothing inherently religious about it.
Interestingly enough, I believe it's the only holiday the Church of Satan recognizes. After all, what is more important to you than your own birth?
So what have I learned from all this hulla balloo about Birthdays? Well I can tell that they are very near and dear to people's hearts and whether or not they are religion based (check out birthdays and the ancient greeks, romans and egyptians if you are curious) it just doesn't matter because whether or not you are an atheist or not, most people are not about to give up their birthday. Wild horses won't stop people celebrating this most personal of days, old religious connections be damned because if you grew up with birthdays they probably hold a special place in your heart and that's why people will not accept any reason for why they shouldn't celebrate their birthday. Heck, I didn't grow up with birthdays or easter or xmas, etc. and I still like birthdays a bit, enough to go along with it for the sake of my wife who loves birthdays. Now Halloween is another story altogether, don't even try to mess with that awesome night of tricks and treats. 3
It tickles me when people forget my birthday, which is quite close to Christmas, in which they're all wrapped up in. My mom will probably call me.
I'm gonna set my age back this year. Not sure where to, but I'm changing that fkn number. ?
Hey, why not just change your birthday to sometime in August and tell everyone you're 47 years old? It's all good and you could pull it off, tweak the wardrobe with some age inappropriate stuff and maybe a shot of botox just to confuse everyone even further; have some fun with it but don't tell your mom cause she's still going to be calling you in December.
What could possibly be religious about celebrating? Any reason for a gathering of folks you like to be with is a good one, and a birthday is just as good as anything else. Someone else wrote that it depends upon which calendar you follow, and that is deep: choose a day or a week or a month or however long you want and enjoy that you are alive!
I've had too many birthdays. 50 of them. I still like them, but I'm in changed circumstances now and fewer people to share them with. I'll see what 51 looks like.
51 puts you on the edge of the curve that may lead to medical technology extending your life 3 fold. Exciting times.
Well I'm off to dinner and a show. May all of you mark your own personal year in the best way you see fit. I will not be having cake with candles myself as I never understood the point, although I did go through the motions for my children at the behest of my born again christian ex-wife just to keep the peace. The devil is in the details.
I never thought about it like that but very true.