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# What defines the identity of an object or event?

Posted by on Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:08 AM
• 12 Replies
1 mom liked this

Suppose two people look at a picture of a man who is holding their hand near their head.

The first person says "That guy's saluting".

The second person says "That guy is waving to someone else who is out of shot".

To which the first person replied "A salute is a subset of waving.  It is a special type of wave, intended to have a specific purpose.  But anyone who does that physical gesture is saluting, whether they intended to or not."

While the second person maintains "I disagree.  I think whether or not something is a salute is defined by the intention, and the mechanics of conveying that intention is secondary.   Thus ships can salute using guns - no hand waving involved."

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Ok, this thread is a spin-off from here, where:

Quoting blondekosmic15:
Quoting Pema_Jampa:

Christmas is a pagan holiday.

Christmas is not a pagan holiday.

Who defines what "Christmas" is?   Is it fundamentally an event that's defined by activities (such as singing songs around a tree, and giving presents), and the name (or even the precise date) are secondary to that?

Or is it an event that's defined by the name someone uses to refer to it, and a second person who looks at precisely the same people giving presents on precisely the same day and location, is not referring to that same event if they use a different name to describe it, such as "Saturnalia" ?

by on Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:08 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Silver Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Actually Christmas the day is Mithra's birthday.  Christ  b'day is jan 1st.

by Platinum Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:22 AM
Quoting BaronSamedi:

Actually Christmas the day is Mithra's birthday.  Christ  b'day is jan 1st.

### Etymology

"Christmas" is a compound word originating in the term "Christ's Mass". It is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which is from Old English Crīstesmæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038[7] followed by the word Cristes-messe in 1131.[27] Crīst (genitive Crīstes) is from Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ (מָשִׁיחַ), "Messiah", meaning "annointed";[28][29] and mæsse is from Latin missa, the celebration of the Eucharist. The form "Christenmas" was also historically used, but is now considered archaic and dialectal;[30] it derives from Middle English Cristenmasse, literally "Christian mass".[31] "Xmas" is an abbreviation of Christmas found particularly in print, based on the initial letter chi (Χ) in Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), "Christ", though numerous style guides discourage its use;[32] it has precedent in Middle English Χρ̄es masse (where "Χρ̄" is an abbreviation for Χριστός).[31]

### Other names

In addition to "Christmas", the holiday has been known by various other names throughout its history. The Anglo-Saxons referred to the feast as "midwinter",[33][34] or, more rarely, as Nātiuiteð (from Latin nātīvitās below).[33][35] "Nativity", meaning "birth", is from Latin nātīvitās.[36] In Old English, Gēola ("Yule") referred to the period corresponding to January and December;[37] the cognate Old Norse Jól was later the name of a pagan Scandinavian holiday which merged with Christmas around 1000.[33] "Noel" (or "Nowell") entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French noël or naël, itself ultimately from the Latin nātālis (diēs), "(day) of birth".[38]

by Platinum Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:28 AM
Quoting BaronSamedi:

Actually Christmas the day is Mithra's birthday.  Christ  b'day is jan 1st.

Saturnalia is a festival of light leading to the winter solstice, with the abundant presence of candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth.[5] The renewal of light and the coming of the new year was celebrated in the later Roman Empire at the Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus, the "Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun," on December 25.[6]

A dies natalis was a birthday ("natal day"; see also dies lustricus above) or more generally the anniversary of a founding event. The Romans celebrated an individual's birthday annually, in contrast to the Greek practice of marking the date each month with a simple libation. The Roman dies natalis was connected with the cult owed to the Genius.[155] A public figure might schedule a major event on his birthday: Pompeius Magnus ("Pompey the Great") waited seven months after he returned from his military campaigns in the East before he staged his triumph, so he could celebrate it on his birthday.[156] The coincidence of birthdays and anniversaries could have a positive or negative significance: news of Decimus Brutus's victory at Mutina was announced at Rome on his birthday, while Caesar's assassin Cassius suffered defeat at Philippi on his birthday and committed suicide.[157] Birthdays were one of the dates on which the dead were commemorated.[158]

Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol,[1] a revival of the cult of Elagabalus[2] or completely new.[3] The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine.[4]

The idea that Christians chose to celebrate the birth of Jesus on 25 December because this was the date of an already existing festival of the Sol Invictus was expressed in an annotation to a manuscript of a work by 12th-century Syrian bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi. The scribe who added it wrote: "It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day." [39]

This idea became popular especially in the 18th and 19th centuries[40][41] and is still widely accepted.[42]

In the judgement of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, this view has been seriously challenged[43] by a view based on an old tradition, according to which the date of Christmas was fixed at nine months after 25 March, the date of the vernal equinox, on which the Annunciation was celebrated.[44] The Jewish calendar date of 14 Nisan was believed to be that of the beginning of creation, as well as of the Exodus and so of Passover, and Christians held that the new creation, both the death of Jesus and the beginning of his human life, occurred on the same date, which some put at 25 March in the Julian calendar.[43][45][46] It was a traditional Jewish belief that great men lived a whole number of years, without fractions, so that Jesus was considered to have been conceived on 25 March, as he died on 25 March, which was calculated to have coincided with 14 Nisan.[47] Sextus Julius Africanus (c.160 – c.240) gave 25 March as the day of creation and of the conception of Jesus.[48] The tractate De solstitia et aequinoctia conceptionis et nativitatis Domini nostri Iesu Christi et Iohannis Baptistae falsely attributed to John Chrysostom also argued that Jesus was conceived and crucified on the same day of the year and calculated this as 25 March.[44][46] A passage of the Commentary on the prophet Daniel by Hippolytus of Rome, written in about 204, has also been appealed to.[49]

Among those who have put forward this view are Louis Duchesne,[50] Thomas J. Talley,[51] David J. Rothenberg,[52] J. Neil Alexander, [53] and Hugh Wybrew.[54]

Not all scholars who view the celebration of the birth of Jesus on 25 December as motivated by the choice of the winter solstice rather than calculated on the basis of the belief that he was conceived and died on 25 March agree that it constituted a deliberate Christianization of a festival of the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. Michael Alan Anderson writes:

Both the sun and Christ were said to be born anew on December 25. But while the solar associations with the birth of Christ created powerful metaphors, the surviving evidence does not support such a direct association with the Roman solar festivals. The earliest documentary evidence for the feast of Christmas makes no mention of the coincidence with the winter solstice. Thomas Talley has shown that, although the Emperor Aurelian's dedication of a temple to the sun god in the Campus Martius (C.E. 274) probably took place on the 'Birthday of the Invincible Sun' on December 25, the cult of the sun in pagan Rome ironically did not celebrate the winter solstice nor any of the other quarter-tense days, as one might expect. The origins of Christmas, then, may not be expressly rooted in the Roman festival.[55]

The same point is made by Hijmans: "It is cosmic symbolism...which inspired the Church leadership in Rome to elect the southern solstice, December 25, as the birthday of Christ ... While they were aware that pagans called this day the 'birthday' of Sol Invictus, this did not concern them and it did not play any role in their choice of date for Christmas."[56] He also states that, "while the winter solstice on or around December 25 was well established in the Roman imperial calendar, there is no evidence that a religious celebration of Sol on that day antedated the celebration of Christmas".[57]

The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought also remarks on the uncertainty about the order of precedence between the celebrations of the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun and the birthday of Jesus: "This 'calculations' hypothesis potentially establishes 25 December as a Christian festival before Aurelian's decree, which, when promulgated, might have provided for the Christian feast both opportunity and challenge."[58]

Susan K. Roll also calls "most extreme" the unproven hypothesis that "would call Christmas point-blank a 'christianization' of Natalis Solis Invicti, a direct conscious appropriation of the pre-Christian feast, arbitrarily placed on the same calendar date, assimilating and adapting some of its cosmic symbolism and abruptly usurping any lingering habitual loyalty that newly-converted Christians might feel to the feasts of the state gods".[59]

The comparison of Christ with the astronomical Sun is common in ancient Christian writings.[60] In the 5th century, Pope Leo I (the Great) spoke in several sermons on the Feast of the Nativity of how the celebration of Christ's birth coincided with increase of the sun's position in the sky. An example is: "But this Nativity which is to be adored in heaven and on earth is suggested to us by no day more than this when, with the early light still shedding its rays on nature, there is borne in upon our senses the brightness of this wondrous mystery.[61]

A study of Augustine of Hippo remarks that his exhortation in a Christmas sermon, "Let us celebrate this day as a feast not for the sake of this sun, which is beheld by believers as much as by ourselves, but for the sake of him who created the sun", shows that he was aware of the coincidence of the celebration of Christmas and the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun, although this pagan festival was celebrated at only a few places and was originally a peculiarity of the Roman city calendar.

by Platinum Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Quoting blondekosmic15:
Quoting nixore:
Quoting blondekosmic15:
Quoting Pema_Jampa:

Christmas is a pagan holiday.

Christmas is not a pagan holiday.

Christmas has it's origins in a pagan holiday, and that's fact.  It was co-opted by Christians and they turned it into a day to celebrate the birth of their "savior", and that's fine.  I, for one, don't mind that a bit.  The fact that it survived into modern culture while still predominantly being celebrated as a Christian holiday is fine, too.  But that doesn't mean that it's OWNED by Christians.  Just as they co-opted it from another source, other groups can take that celebration and apply their own meanings and values to it.  Secular celebrations of Christmas as a holiday in which to spend time with family and give to others are no less valid and meaningful than the Christian version.

You can define Christmas however you like for yourself, but if you think your definition is universally true and anyone who celebrates differently is in denial of the "true" meaning...  Well, you're wrong.

God's will is not determined by pagan beliefs/practices. The Nativity of Jesus Christ was predestined before God created the earth & every human being. To claim the birthday of Jesus Christ is based upon certain pagan rituals & events is ludicrous. Paganism exists because God permits it & due to free will. Christianity entered the world thru Christ because of God's infinite love for each one of us. Those who wish to celebrate Christmas without Christ are free to do so. Christians embrace the miracle of the coming of Jesus into the world for the salvation of souls. The Holy Spirit enlightens us to the truth of the Sacred Scriptures, the Nativity of Our Lord. You may celebrate Christmas as you wish but the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus has existed thru out the centuries & will continue to be celebrated with reverence & love. The Angels are in awe @ the birth of the Savior.

You may define Christmas as a secular event but God's will & purpose trumps your opinion & perception of events~

Quote moved over from previous thread

by Platinum Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Quoting blondekosmic15:
Quoting Clairwil:

Who defines what "Christmas" is?   Is it fundamentally an event that's defined by activities (such as singing songs around a tree, and giving presents), and the name (or even the precise date) are secondary to that?

Or is it an event that's defined by the name someone uses to refer to it, and a second person who looks at precisely the same people giving presents on precisely the same day and location, is not referring to that same event if they use a different name to describe it, such as "Saturnalia" ?

Some define events thru the eyes of the world. Christians who espouse a close relationship with Our Lord see thru God's eyes. God is all knowing, infinite, full of wisdom & grace.

And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Mark 4:11-12

quote also moved

by Ruby Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Wikipedia, Clair...sorry I do not base my judgment & opinions according to this website.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting blondekosmic15:
Quoting Clairwil:

Who defines what "Christmas" is?   Is it fundamentally an event that's defined by activities (such as singing songs around a tree, and giving presents), and the name (or even the precise date) are secondary to that?

Or is it an event that's defined by the name someone uses to refer to it, and a second person who looks at precisely the same people giving presents on precisely the same day and location, is not referring to that same event if they use a different name to describe it, such as "Saturnalia" ?

Some define events thru the eyes of the world. Christians who espouse a close relationship with Our Lord see thru God's eyes. God is all knowing, infinite, full of wisdom & grace.

And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Mark 4:11-12

quote also moved

by Platinum Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Quoting blondekosmic15:

Wikipedia, Clair...sorry I do not base my judgment & opinions according to this website.

Nor should you.

But it can be a useful starting point.

And, in this case, it saved me having to type out myself the origin being "Christ's Mass".

Bearing in mind that the Bible doesn't mention the word, do you have any opinion on the claims made about the picking of the date, December 25th?

by Ruby Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting blondekosmic15:

Wikipedia, Clair...sorry I do not base my judgment & opinions according to this website.

Nor should you.

But it can be a useful starting point.

And, in this case, it saved me having to type out myself the origin being "Christ's Mass".

Bearing in mind that the Bible doesn't mention the word, do you have any opinion on the claims made about the picking of the date, December 25th?

God has no need to use certain prophets & biblical events to reveal the coming of Jesus Christ but He chooses to use others according to his will, not because they empower God to do so.

```God, who with infinite wisdom brings things to maturity and
perfection in their proper season, disclosed this to men partially
and by degrees. He gave to Adam a promise and some knowledge of
it.[2] He renewed the same to Abraham, limiting it to his seed.[3]
He confirmed it to Isaac and Jacob.[4] In the prophecy of this
latter it was fixed in the tribe of Judah.[5] It was afterwards
clearly determined to belong to the posterity of David and
Solomon; which was repeated in all the succeeding prophets. In
these all the particular circumstances of Christ's birth, life,
death, and spiritual kingdom in his church are expressed; the
whole written law which was delivered to Moses consisted of types
expressive of the same, or alluding to him. The nearer the time
approached the fuller was the revelation of him. The prophecy of
turning "swords into ploughshares, and lances into pruning-
hooks,"[6] &c., expressed that a profound peace in which the world
should be was to be an emblem of the appearance of the "Prince of
Peace." According to the prophecy of Jacob,[7] the sceptre was to
be removed from the tribe of Judah' to show the establishment of
the new spiritual kingdom of the Messiah, which is to endure to
the end of the world.```

```
When Jesus Christ was born, the seventy weeks of Daniel were near
being accomplished
```
`Continued.....`

http://www.ewtn.com/library/CHRIST/NATIVITY.TXT

by Bronze Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Do you base it on the Bible? Because the Bible clearly says that the plan for Jesus to die (and be born) came after the fall of man, which means it was not predestined  before the beginning of man.The things you are arguing with are historical fact, they are not opinion. Are you really trying to say that Christmas wa created by God before time began (and before he determined that Jesus had to be sacrificed), so it doesn't really matter how Christmas came to be becuse it still belongs to Christians? I could see the argument that what it is now is largely because of Christians, but Christians don't own it and shouldn't be telling others how they can and can't celebrate it. Denying that established history happened is not going to win any arguments.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

Wikipedia, Clair...sorry I do not base my judgment & opinions according to this website.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting blondekosmic15:
Quoting Clairwil:

Who defines what "Christmas" is?   Is it fundamentally an event that's defined by activities (such as singing songs around a tree, and giving presents), and the name (or even the precise date) are secondary to that?

Or is it an event that's defined by the name someone uses to refer to it, and a second person who looks at precisely the same people giving presents on precisely the same day and location, is not referring to that same event if they use a different name to describe it, such as "Saturnalia" ?

Some define events thru the eyes of the world. Christians who espouse a close relationship with Our Lord see thru God's eyes. God is all knowing, infinite, full of wisdom & grace.

And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Mark 4:11-12

quote also moved

by Ruby Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Thank you for your response. I would like to take time to address your concerns as time permits. I have a busy day as most of you do. I will return asap.

Quoting motherslove82:

Do you base it on the Bible? Because the Bible clearly says that the plan for Jesus to die (and be born) came after the fall of man, which means it was not predestined  before the beginning of man.The things you are arguing with are historical fact, they are not opinion. Are you really trying to say that Christmas wa created by God before time began (and before he determined that Jesus had to be sacrificed), so it doesn't really matter how Christmas came to be becuse it still belongs to Christians? I could see the argument that what it is now is largely because of Christians, but Christians don't own it and shouldn't be telling others how they can and can't celebrate it. Denying that established history happened is not going to win any arguments.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

Wikipedia, Clair...sorry I do not base my judgment & opinions according to this website.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting blondekosmic15:
Quoting Clairwil:

Who defines what "Christmas" is?   Is it fundamentally an event that's defined by activities (such as singing songs around a tree, and giving presents), and the name (or even the precise date) are secondary to that?

Or is it an event that's defined by the name someone uses to refer to it, and a second person who looks at precisely the same people giving presents on precisely the same day and location, is not referring to that same event if they use a different name to describe it, such as "Saturnalia" ?

Some define events thru the eyes of the world. Christians who espouse a close relationship with Our Lord see thru God's eyes. God is all knowing, infinite, full of wisdom & grace.

And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Mark 4:11-12

quote also moved