ForumTouchy Subjects ► Atheism
Why is it the First Commandment, then?
  
First commandment is to not worship any other gods, not that you must worship god. It's more of "You can only worship me, if you choose to worship"
  
From Mark 12:

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”


Here's an interesting point to discuss: religion is often a heavily cultural thing. A good number of holidays around the world are based on days of religious significance. How does one participate in cultural events, yet not the religion, when they are so often closely intertwined? Where do people draw that line?
  
The correlation between Christmas and Santa has already made it easy to untangle it from religion. If you don't want to make it religious, make it about getting presents or enjoying family time rather than religion.
  
If your family goes to a church then listen on Christmas or Easter and interpret whatever the priest/pastor is saying with an open mind and enjoy singing the songs because they’re pretty. Religiosity of the holidays eliminated for you. Frankly I find any kind of disdain for Christmas or any holiday to be ridiculous. At risk of putting my foot in my mouth, I think it comes from things like family issues and loneliness (spending holidays alone sucks) like everyone has. Or just pessimism or cynicism. I get really pessimistic around Christmas and start hating money and video games and cellphones and useless little trinkets and when people tell warn you they’re getting you a gift and the fact I can’t just get everyone some booze and food ‘cause people like to be impressed around holidays. And some of that may just be just relevant to my family and it’s not really going anywhere, again see what I said about why any kind of disdain is ridiculous.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 goes through my head every Christmas. Especially considering the end of the year plus a big holiday is crazy stressful and really soon after there’s more work to do. “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.”

If you’re not a normal kid living with your family or you’re not connected to your family or have otherwise no need or reason to take part in it then just don’t though.

Idk. Old farts, say something.
  
Coldfrost said:
Here's an interesting point to discuss: religion is often a heavily cultural thing. A good number of holidays around the world are based on days of religious significance. How does one participate in cultural events, yet not the religion, when they are so often closely intertwined? Where do people draw that line?


Lots of holidays are appropriated to some degree from earlier holidays and traditions. Christmas isn't when Christ was born, it is the appropriation of Saturnalia, a Pagan tradition which coincides with winter solstice to celebrate when days begin to get longer. Christians appropriated the holiday and its traditions in order to help normalize Christianity and practice as a religious minority. Easter was similarly adopted in large part from Pagan traditions.

If Christians can celebrate their holidays by taking from another cultural tradition and updating the meaning of it, I see no reason Atheists (or anyone for that matter) should not. So it really is not very difficult to apply new, Christ-less celebrations for December 25, and celebrate the coming of new hope, togetherness, warmth in darkness and the spirit of human kinship. Celebrating or treasuring those ideas is basically universal, and doing it around Christmas is a tradition in the Northern hemisphere that far predates Christianity.
  
Kylljoy said:
First commandment is to not worship any other gods, not that you must worship god. It's more of "You can only worship me, if you choose to worship"

That's the first of the Ten Commandments. The first and greatest commandment is to love thy God with all the heart, mind, might, and strength. The second is like unto it: love thy neighbor as thyself. All the proceeding commandments stem from these basic two.
  
Kylljoy said:
First commandment is to not worship any other gods, not that you must worship god. It's more of "You can only worship me, if you choose to worship"
If we want to be precise, the First Commandment is "no other gods before me". (Exodus 20:2, my emphasis)

So yeah I agree with your point that it doesn't specifically instruct followers to worship Yahweh at all. But it doesn't actually forbid the worship of other gods. Followers can worship other gods, as long as that god (Yahweh) is first.
  
I mean, if we want to be pedantic, the first commandment recorded is "let there be light".


Is this thread sufficiently derailed?
  
i think the commandments they’re referring to is of the Ten Commandments, rather than any sort of command in general. no one likes a pedant.
  
What is the first commandment is actually dependent on who you are and when you live. Some have interpreted "I am the Lord thy God" as the first commandment, which would inherently imply that atheism is breaking the first commandment, recognizing the existence of God.

In this interpretation, it would be:

1) Acknowledge God
2) Have no other Gods before God
3) Don't pray to or idolize other things
4) Don't talk shit about me
5) Celebrate God on the sabbath
6) Honor your parents
7) Don't take lives that ain't yours
8) Don't take people that ain't yours
9) Don't take shit that ain't yours
10) Don't lie
11) Don't even think about taking shit or people that ain't yours

And that'd mean atheists are breaking the commandments at the very start.