Happy holidays

I know the end of the Gregorian calendar year is not a holiday for everyone in the world, but it is in Australia, and I’m enjoying it very much. I’ll be back to blogging and forums in the new year, or earlier if I’m in the mood.

I’ll enjoy several beers, BBQs and an atheist-flavoured xmas: no carol singing or other religious stuff, just time with family and giving gifts to my kids. I go to bed fairly early every night, whether it’s new years or not. I got my son lots of Lego, my daughter lots of books, other toys, plus a media player for all their movies. They’ll be very happy.

I borrowed some David Eddings books from the library to re-read, too, and maybe if I’m feeling intellectual will mix it up with some science books. I’ve got quite a few to read waiting on my shelf from Antonio Damasio, Satyajit Das, Chris Frith,Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.

So, happy holidays!

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14 comments to Happy holidays

  • Zao

    I envy you for the non religous/traditional stuff. I’m going insane from all the stuff we’ve got to prepare.
    At least I got the awesome cooking collaboration between my grandma and my mom and a turkey sandwich on saturday!
     
    Merry Christmas you guys!

  • Adam

    Awesome mate sounds great, im an aussie too so il be enjoying a nice weekend off work/wow to enjoy time with RL friends :) boardies, flip-flops, VB and Boxing Day Test, cant wait.
     
    have a merry christmas champ, keep up the great work.

  • Toxsin

    Go with the Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins imo.  Moral Landscape is great, as is The Greatest Show on Earth, but I feel Sam Harris will be a bit more entertaining.  I guess it depends on what you find entertaining.

  • Branith

    “I’ll enjoy several beers, BBQs and an atheist-flavoured christmas: no carol singing or other religious stuff” 

    I try and not let silly stuff nother me, but as a practicing Christian, and a strong believer in religion giving mankind a morale compass I cant help but feel sorry for you, and perplexed in why any none religious individual would even consider celebrating a time of the year honoring and celebrating somehting they dont believe in.

    I myself would never ever celebrate, say a Buddhist holiday regardless if that holiday entailed giving presents or any “perceived” secular tradition.  There is a reason why Jesus is the reason for the season and anyone who celebrates yet doesnt profess to be either a practicing or born into Christian really baffles my mind.

    BTW Richard Dawkins is a complete idiot.  Watch Expelled: No Intellegience Allowed, and watch Ben Stein totally blow his theory out of the water and make him appear to be the blathering fool that he is.

    • Gravity
      Twitter: gravitydk

      I wondered whether a Christian would come and tell me “I’m wrong” rather than biting your tongue, as I do when Christian writers talk about their beliefs on gaming blogs.

      You were a tad presumptuous. For clarity, my family doesn’t “celebrate” xmas. We leverage it as a culturally-expected calendar date to give gifts to one another; we’re surrounded by the consumer-driven xmas messages in Australia, and you can’t pretend it’s not happening, so instead we refactor it to our own purposes. My kids know god doesn’t exist, and so we have zero overture to the origins of the festivity.

      Lastly, Dawkins is a masterful scientist and logician. I know it’s customary for someone defending their illogical belief in God to dismiss logic and probability, so I’ll leave it at that.

      • Húrin

        “I wondered whether a Christian would come and tell me “I’m wrong” rather than biting your tongue, as I do when Christian writers talk about their beliefs on gaming blogs.”
        It is wrong then and it is wrong now. I love this site for my theorycrafting. Don’t get me wrong. However, I am pretty touchy I suppose when I have spirituality (or lack of it) be forced upon me in my gaming sites. Granted, it is your site and you are entitled to whatever you choose to publish. Perhaps this is because I am a wildly private person about my own beliefs. It is pretty evident that this was more than just a run-down of your holiday to-do list. This was an overt attempt to throw it in people’s faces. I wouldn’t support a religious person doing this, and I don’t support you doing it either.
        “Lastly, Dawkins is a masterful scientist and logician. I know it’s customary for someone defending their illogical belief in God to dismiss logic and probability, so I’ll leave it at that.”
        A belief in God is no more or no less “illogical” than an absolute belief there isn’t. I’m not confirming or denying the existence of God, but claiming that someone can conclusively, without any hint of doubt, confirm the absence of some creationary force or higher power is intellectually dishonest and arrogant. Real science works in facts (read: information gained from experiments that can be repeated by many people and result in the same conclusions) to prove hypotheses wrong. No set of well presented thought processes (convincing as they may be) constitutes real admissible science fact. Likewise, Ben Stein offers no concrete evidence either. His arguments are based on, once again, convincing arguments for those whose minds are receptive to the notions. For me, saying, “The universe is just too complex to not have a creator,” is as scientifically accurate as saying, “I am certain that there is no higher power because there is too much suffering in the world.”
        Take it for what you will.

        • Gravity
          Twitter: gravitydk

          That’s a balanced response, Hurin, thanks.

          I do wonder if my making any comment on my personal view on religion/belief or otherwise are completely taboo. The line of political correctness, to avoid offending people, can be drawn at all kinds of degrees, and you might say I was ‘in the face’ whereas I thought I was being quite reserved compared to what I might have said.

  • Waylandyr

    It’s amazing to me anytime someone makes a remark like this, that there is always at least one Christian jumping up to “defend the Christian holiday.” How does this person celebrating with their family affect you? They aren’t attempting to force their beliefs onto you, nor are they even going against the mood of the holiday, spending time with family and the giving of gifts.
    Christmas is only recently Jesus-related, before Christianity co-opted the holiday, it was a Winter Solstice celebration, Yule celebration and numerous other religious events. Christianity decided to celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25th solely to hi-jack the pagan holidays since they couldn’t abolish them at the time. In fact, the accepted factual birth of Jesus is the beginning of March.
     
    Really, what it comes down to is why bash someone about a holiday that is supposed to be about love, giving pure goodwill? It seems counterintuitive.

  • Hurric

    I’ve been staring at these comments for about an hour now, trying to formulate some kind of response to defend my fellow Christians…. but I can’t.
     
    So all I can say is, I am truly sorry that you have been subjected to comments that are not in line with the heart and words of Jesus. You should not have to suffer or be belittled because you do not belive like us. No, you should be welcomed and treated better because you do not believe like us.
     
    I’m sorry

  • Branith

    Celebrate gift giving on another day then, say Oct 14th.  Christmas regardless how you feel is the celebration Jesus’s birth.  Yes it was hijacked by the Consumer driven retailers but that doesnt make 2 wrongs a right.  As stated, I dont celebrate, say Ramadan or Yom Kipur both of which have certain religious overtures that christmas might have, but sense we live in a western Christian society the retailers here decided to hijack Christmas instead.

    As for Dawkins, watch Ben Steins Expelled no intelligence allowed, any scientist that promotes the beliefe in a supernatural space rock giving life to all sounds just as wacky to me as a belief in a God does to you.  Dawkins has been debated several different times by leading theologians and has looked the fool in each and every one.

    Lastly I never stated you were wrong, just seemed out of place to go out your way to denegrate a religion on one of its mostly Holy day of the year and I called you out on it. You are free to believe how you wish, but try using some tact to get your point across, least you wish to denegrate all religions on each of their holy days.  Then again I doubt you’d have the cajones to spell out what your post did to me as a Christian on a Muslim Holiday.  Again im sorry for the ramblings and i’ll shut up now but as a long time reader I appreciate the work you do on the site normally.  :)

  • BigKoala

    Gravity:  the Belgariad?  Every so often I dust that off to re-read.  I never read any of the Mallorean series, I heard it wasn’t as good and was satisfied with where the first series ended up.  (Glen Cook’s The Black Company — read the first three and stop, The Books of the South went south, as we say here in the USA.)
     
    “I’ll enjoy several beers, BBQs and an atheist-flavoured xmas: no carol singing or other religious stuff, just time with family and giving gifts to my kids.”
    Gravity, you fiend!  How dare you go out of your way to spit on Christians with such disgusting, offensive language.  Uh…. what?
     
    Branith:  Christmas isn’t about the birth of Jesus, it’s about hijacking the solstice away from numerous other religions.  At least learn the history of your own religion, jeez.
     

    • Gravity
      Twitter: gravitydk

      Hiya Big: I coiuldn’t find Belgariad at the library or would have borrowed it instead. Malloreon is not bad, but probably not as good as Belgariad. I did get the Diamond Throne too, which is really great, and will read that series next.

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