I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas.
I like to see the pleasure as people celebrate. I hate the crass commercialism and forgetting or not even knowing what it's all about.
Don't get me wrong. After some considerable musing on the subject, I decided I don't really believe in God. I don't bother her and she doesn't bother me. And I think the idea that Jesus suffered a horrible torture at the hands of the Romans to save us (all of us, for all time) from our supposed "sins" is obscene.
But part of the story of Jesus is what it's about, and if you're going to celebrate you'd better understand that. The tricky thing is how to explain it to my son. I want to tell him the story behind it but I don't want him to believe in God or Jesus.
Don't be so shocked! You want your children to hold to your values and beliefs, don't you. I bet a good many of my potential readers (I don't have any actual ones) send the kiddies to Sunday School while rarely darkening the doors of the church themselves. Or if they don't, they still talk about God and Jesus or send the kids to a church school. (The massive public funding of private schools sure is a great way to undermine the separation of church and state... but that's another blog post.)
So how are my aspirations any different?
Still, I've come to accept that most people seem to need a crutch. The scientific method doesn't offer that. While it seems less likely that major discoveries will be challenged and that we know more and more about everything, one principle remains. Anything can be contested. Find a new explanation for observed phenomena or behaviours based on solid data (whose acquisition ought to be repeatable), and out goes the old one.
There's not much solace in that. I suppose people want certainty. I revel in the uncertainty. It's exciting and challenging.
If you refuse to accept the scientific method by insisting that God exists with no evidence in support of the claim, you really ought to eschew everything that has come about as a result of the scientific method.
Imagine... No car, no phone, no television (hey, that's not a bad idea!), no refrigeration, no medicines formulated since about 1700. (You wouldn't be reading this either since it's on a computer screen.)
I suppose it's hard to do, though. Especially at this time of year when a thousand iPhones are flashing at you in the mall.