Atheists fasting for Lent.

By: KoritheMan , 2:56 AM GMT on March 06, 2014

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This is actually something I've seriously considered on more than one occasion; in fact, there's been nary a year since I became an atheist where I haven't thought about fasting for Lent. I obviously don't feel any obligation to do so out of some misguided devotion to a (in my mind) likely nonexistent deity, I just think it could be an interesting experiment. I guess a somewhat nerdy (but hopefully accurate) analogy would be like the intensive devotion and rigor a Jedi must undertake in the Star Wars universe; getting rid of attachments, as it were.

Anyone want to chime in with their thoughts and opinions? I'm not yet sure if I'm gonna do it this year, but I might. Not sure what I'd fast, though, nor am I completely certain if one is officially required to fast exclusively food.

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35. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
7:02 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
KoritheMan has created a new entry.
34. Astrometeor
6:10 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Almsgiving is a form of prayer because it is "giving to God" — and not mere philanthropy. It is a form of fasting because it demands sacrificial giving — not just giving something, but giving up something, giving till it hurts.

I don't like that last part. To paraphrase Max, "Like wth???".
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
33. KoritheMan
6:06 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
From Wiki:

"The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial."

No thanks. I rather like my position as Darth Sidious toward Christianity (but not the people! important distinction!). Almsgiving and self-denial I can get behind, but otherwise... >_>
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21333
32. Astrometeor
5:56 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Quoting 30. KoritheMan:
In that case, isn't Lent as an entire concept entirely arbitrary


Yes.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
31. KoritheMan
5:53 AM GMT on March 07, 2014

Quoting 28. Astrometeor:
I feel like I should be lame with my comments on this blog tonight, no idea why. Sorry if that comes across negatively to you, Kori.
I live and breathe negativity, son. Cynicism is my game. :)
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21333
30. KoritheMan
5:53 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Quoting 27. Astrometeor:


Unless you're arbitrarily assigning something to meet the doctrine that you state.
In that case, isn't Lent as an entire concept entirely arbitrary? ;)

Silly Nathan.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21333
29. Andrebrooks
5:40 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
My thinking is that an El Niño will come this year.
Member Since: March 25, 2013 Posts: 30 Comments: 1387
28. Astrometeor
5:39 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
I feel like I should be lame with my comments on this blog tonight, no idea why. Sorry if that comes across negatively to you, Kori.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
27. Astrometeor
5:38 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Quoting 26. KoritheMan:

Giving up something up is actual doctrine, Nathan. Ergo, it's not arbitrary, and therefore I'm not "assigning" anything.

That's my rebuttal.


Unless you're arbitrarily assigning something to meet the doctrine that you state.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
26. KoritheMan
5:35 AM GMT on March 07, 2014

Quoting 25. Astrometeor:


I'm going to take that as a "yes", since you haven't replied in a logical rebuttal yet.
Giving up something up is actual doctrine, Nathan. Ergo, it's not arbitrary, and therefore I'm not "assigning" anything.

That's my rebuttal.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21333
25. Astrometeor
5:31 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Quoting 24. KoritheMan:

nope


I'm going to take that as a "yes", since you haven't replied in a logical rebuttal yet.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
24. KoritheMan
5:30 AM GMT on March 07, 2014

Quoting 21. Astrometeor:

Does this mean I trumped you?
nope
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21333
23. KoritheMan
5:26 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Quoting 18. BaltimoreBrian:
Do it!
I am.


Quoting 20. BaltimoreBrian:
I will give up resisting temptation for Lent.
Good sacrifice. God would be proud, Brian. :)
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21333
22. BaltimoreBrian
5:13 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8918
21. Astrometeor
5:13 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Quoting 20. BaltimoreBrian:
I will give up resisting temptation for Lent.


LOL! That's easy.

Quoting 19. KoritheMan:

notfunny.jpeg

:D


Does this mean I trumped you?
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
20. BaltimoreBrian
5:12 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
I will give up resisting temptation for Lent.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8918
19. KoritheMan
5:11 AM GMT on March 07, 2014

Quoting 16. Astrometeor:


You are randomly assigning the mundane task of giving something up.

:)
notfunny.jpeg

:D
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21333
18. BaltimoreBrian
5:11 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Quoting 13. KoritheMan:
Bah, I honestly can't think of anything to fast. I was actually just gonna study for my GED every single day until Lent is over, but that sounds more heretical than theologically sound.
Do it!
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17. KoritheMan
5:10 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
At the very least it seems doctrinally unsound, which doesn't sit well with someone who's studied Christianity extensively.
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16. Astrometeor
5:10 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Quoting 15. KoritheMan:

Because as I understand it, Lent is merely fasting -- giving something up -- not randomly assigning a mundane task(s) to yourself.


You are randomly assigning the mundane task of giving something up.

:)
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
15. KoritheMan
5:07 AM GMT on March 07, 2014

Quoting 14. Astrometeor:


How?
Because as I understand it, Lent is merely fasting -- giving something up -- not randomly assigning a mundane task(s) to yourself.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21333
14. Astrometeor
5:06 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Quoting 13. KoritheMan:
Bah, I honestly can't think of anything to fast. I was actually just gonna study for my GED every single day until Lent is over, but that sounds more heretical than theologically sound.


How?
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
13. KoritheMan
5:01 AM GMT on March 07, 2014
Bah, I honestly can't think of anything to fast. I was actually just gonna study for my GED every single day until Lent is over, but that sounds more heretical than theologically sound.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21333
12. GardenGrrl
6:41 PM GMT on March 06, 2014
Never understood the reason for giving up something you like or fasting for Lent. I think Skyepony nailed it in her comment.

If one wants to strengthen their spirit regardless of the gods one chooses I find gratitude makes me feel better about my little world.

The whole hair shirt, self flagellation and starvation thing sounds less like religion and more like something requiring medication ;)
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 10018
11. Bluestorm5
5:51 AM GMT on March 06, 2014
Quoting 10. Astrometeor:


In Methodism, all we do is talk about the season and then spend each Sunday evening at a different church (at least where I am) and then have a second worship service with food following.

I don't think I have ever given up anything...the idea is ludicrous to me.
Yeah, Catholic's traditions for Easter were very interesting when I was young and I thought Stations of the Cross was a good way to teach us about Easter. My family have started to fade away from Catholic lifestyle though. They kind of stop going to church when I was in middle school because it wasn't worth giving up their day off since they are busy all the time. They are religious but they never pressured me or my brother to do the same, although I did become religious anyway because of Catholic deaf school. Right now, I'm the only one in family to go to church although I've been going to a Baptist church with my friends rather than staying with my family's roots. The funny thing is... I never knew Catholics fasted for Easter until today.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8075
10. Astrometeor
5:33 AM GMT on March 06, 2014
Quoting 9. Bluestorm5:
It's a Catholic thing, I believe. I know I celebrated few of them during my years at deaf school...


In Methodism, all we do is talk about the season and then spend each Sunday evening at a different church (at least where I am) and then have a second worship service with food following.

I don't think I have ever given up anything...the idea is ludicrous to me.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
9. Bluestorm5
5:28 AM GMT on March 06, 2014
Quoting 5. Astrometeor:


I didn't know today was Ash Wednesday until Mom told me yesterday that the holiday had arrived. Woops...

Then again, Fat Tuesday/Ash Wednesday and Lent aren't THAT big in Methodism...I only hear about the season really during worship service.
It's a Catholic thing, I believe. I know I celebrated few of them during my years at deaf school...

EDIT: I guess I should have read rest of comments first...
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8075
8. Grothar
5:26 AM GMT on March 06, 2014
Interesting thought, Kori. In the olden days, we had to give up one thing we really liked. Many strict Catholics used to actually do some serious fasting. I used to give up chocolate. However, Sunday was a special day of dispensation during lent and you were permitted to eat what you had given up for lent. I would stay up Saturday night and wait until 12 AM and eat any chocolate I could find. I usually had a stash hidden somewhere. Let us know how you do.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27211
7. Astrometeor
5:13 AM GMT on March 06, 2014
Whatever you do with Lent, Kori, don't give up the blogs.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
6. Skyepony (Mod)
3:58 AM GMT on March 06, 2014
those are some crazy bronze age rituals

If you are trying to make the most of your winter rations.. This is a perfect time of year to fast.

The foodies around here like to take a little fast on lemon & lime water about now (they are in season).. Suppose to do you all sorts of good.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 39467
5. Astrometeor
3:31 AM GMT on March 06, 2014
Quoting 1. Naga5000:
Fast? Oh you mean that time between breakfast and lunch, sure.

But seriously, I dropped all that stuff when I dropped religion. I didn't even realize today was Ash Wednesday until I heard it on the news. My wife's family is Orthodox Jewish so if I have to participate in any ritual it is usually with them out of respect, but I try to avoid holidays. Passover is the worst.


I didn't know today was Ash Wednesday until Mom told me yesterday that the holiday had arrived. Woops...

Then again, Fat Tuesday/Ash Wednesday and Lent aren't THAT big in Methodism...I only hear about the season really during worship service.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10500
4. KoritheMan
3:23 AM GMT on March 06, 2014

Quoting 3. Naga5000:


No, it doesn't say that, but most religious rituals are about some sort of self sacrifice for a religious end. For lent, it's about getting serious about being Catholic for the 40 days before Easter. That means, prayer and abstinence as well. As far as I'm concerned those are some crazy bronze age rituals, but if that's your thing go for it.

You should be allowed to participate if you want. I have found it much more simple and accommodating to my lifestyle to just ask, "What is lent?" with my mouth full of hamburger. :)
mmm hamburger
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3. Naga5000
3:21 AM GMT on March 06, 2014
Quoting 2. KoritheMan:

I hear ya.

In my case, one could use the defense that atheism is only a lack of belief in god(s); it doesn't say you can't willingly participate in religious rituals.


No, it doesn't say that, but most religious rituals are about some sort of self sacrifice for a religious end. For lent, it's about getting serious about being Catholic for the 40 days before Easter. That means, prayer and abstinence as well. As far as I'm concerned those are some crazy bronze age rituals, but if that's your thing go for it.

You should be allowed to participate if you want. I have found it much more simple and accommodating to my lifestyle to just ask, "What is lent?" with my mouth full of hamburger. :)
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3969
2. KoritheMan
3:13 AM GMT on March 06, 2014

Quoting 1. Naga5000:
Fast? Oh you mean that time between breakfast and lunch, sure.

But seriously, I dropped all that stuff when I dropped religion. I didn't even realize today was Ash Wednesday until I heard it on the news. My wife's family is Orthodox Jewish so if I have to participate in any ritual it is usually with them out of respect, but I try to avoid holidays. Passover is the worst.
I hear ya.

In my case, one could use the defense that atheism is only a lack of belief in god(s); it doesn't say you can't willingly participate in religious rituals.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21333
1. Naga5000
3:08 AM GMT on March 06, 2014
Fast? Oh you mean that time between breakfast and lunch, sure.

But seriously, I dropped all that stuff when I dropped religion. I didn't even realize today was Ash Wednesday until I heard it on the news. My wife's family is Orthodox Jewish so if I have to participate in any ritual it is usually with them out of respect, but I try to avoid holidays. Passover is the worst.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3969

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