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Why Do We Wear Clothes?

Updated on October 24, 2015
Asa2141 profile image

Asa is an autodidactic Christian apologist. He currently lives in Idaho with his family.

Why Clothes?
Why Clothes? | Source

Why Do We Wear Clothes?

Why do we wear clothes? Why do we feel shame over our nakedness? If we all came from animals, this makes no sense. When was the last time you came upon an animal wearing clothes? Does your dog ever express a need to cover it's body parts? When was the last time you saw an ape in a zoo ashamed because people were looking at him naked?

Another reason I believe in God is because it makes sense of why we wear clothes. It should be noted that I am not saying wearing clothes is proof that God exists, but I am saying that wearing clothes makes sense in a Christian worldview.

Monkeys Ashamed of Being Naked?

As the Smithsonian Institution puts it, "Humans are primates." If this is true, why are we the only primates that wear clothes? Why do we feel shame over our nakedness? Are monkeys embarrassed when we snap pictures of them naked? If you were walking down the street and I came up behind you and pulled down your pants, the first thing you would do, without giving it a thought, is to jerk them back up. When a woman has her dress or skirt blown up by the wind, her immediate reaction is to cover herself (yes, even Marilyn Monroe, who otherwise enjoyed flaunting her body). Why? Why this feeling of shame?

Why don't monkeys get embarrassed when we snap pictures of them naked?
Why don't monkeys get embarrassed when we snap pictures of them naked? | Source
Source

Possible Objections

"What about people in nudist colonies?"

It is true that there are tiny groups of people who chose to try to live without the "restraint" of clothes, but it does not erase the fact that they felt shame. They may try really hard to overcome this shame, but it is still there, and they must consciously work to overcome it, at least in the beginning. They were not born without a sense of modesty.

"Mostly we wear clothes because it's cold." Even on tropical islands where the weather is always warm and absolutely no clothes are required, people still wear clothes. The Christian speaker Bodie Hodge tells a story of his debate with an atheist who said that the reason he was wearing clothes was because it was cold.

"I continued by saying, ‘You are an atheist, right, where you believe people are just animals, so why are you wearing clothes?’ Then he [the atheist] paused and thought for a moment and said. ‘Because it’s cold.’ So I instantly came back and said, ‘When it warms up you don’t wear clothes?’ Obviously, he had not considered, in his professed worldview, why he wore clothes, yet there he was, with shirt and pants on!"

"But wait!" someone may say, "What about remote tribes in Africa or the ancient Hawaiians who wore no clothes?"

First, these people groups were not entirely without clothing. For example, ancient Hawaiian women would go totally naked some time especially if they were swimming or washing, but many of them still wore some vestiges of clothing. Most of the men, on the other hand, only wore small loin clothes or were utterly nude as the accounts of Captain Cook tell us. The point is not the amount of clothing, but why clothing at all? We have the words 'modest' and 'immodesty'. By saying these people were 'immodest' we are implying that there is even a standard of shameful, inappropriate etc. covering.

Anyone can train themselves out of feeling shame as Las Vegas strippers or some African tribes show, but the question is why is there even a standard if we are all monkeys?

Ancient Adam and Eve Depiction

Source

The Biblical Account of Why We Wear Clothes

The Bible gives us this account of how mankind came to feel shame over his nakedness and why we feel the need to wear clothes.

Genesis 2:21-25

So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone,and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,'because she was taken from ‘man.’ This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.

Genesis 3:1-7

The serpent [Satan] was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.

6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

(See "Can Christians Really Trust Genesis?")

Why all these clothes, I ask...
Why all these clothes, I ask... | Source

Conclusion

Being created in the image of God makes sense of every aspect of our lives - including wearing clothes. This is another reason why I believe in God, the Bible, and the Christian worldview.


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    • Asa2141 profile image
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      Asa Schneidermann 2 years ago from Boise

      "I admit to bashing parts of Christianity and/or religious instances that cause harm and have little to no logic behind them whatsoever. Yeah, how terrible of me and pretty much any upstanding citizen to do, whether it be about religion or some other thing. Truly evil..."

      So at first you tried to deny you bashed Christianity, now you are trying to make it look like I'm saying your evil because you do. LOL! I said you bashed Christianity. You tried to deny it.

      "If you are going to say something about me, I want you to provide some context for it. I can guarantee you right now I have never mocked and jeered anyone who has given me legitimate reasons for why they believe. On the flip side, I have zero qualms mocking and jeering people who give me their reasons for belief, tell me that Im wrong simply because I disagree with them, and then condemn me to hellfire or say my life is worthless after not being able t0 answer a question I asked them."

      Again, you at first tried to deny you mock and jeer Christians, now you say you do....a true political! The point is: there is no reason for you to go on and on about your non-beliefs, but it's not that you "don't see enough evidence" it's that you are fighting against God and Christianity.

      "Clearly they arent logical if I, and hundreds and thousands of others, are countering them. I know the difference between something I do not understand and something that doesnt make any logical sense whatsoever. Would you prefer I outright call it insanity rather than attempt to question any of it? Doesnt seem like a very intelligent way of going about anything."

      I almost laughed out loud at this! Are you kidding me? That is your argument? Allow me to use your same logic....clearly these things ARE LOGICAL because billions of people believe in them. This is called faulty appeal to numbers. I do not consider what the majority decides to be true anyway...I follow the evidence.

      "As far as truth goes, to me anything that can be shown to be consistent could be considered true. "The sky is blue during the day". Anywhere i go in the world, the sky is blue. If I ask people what color the sky is, an overwhelming majority are going to say blue. Not only do other people agree, but I can go out and see it for myself. Again, I dont know why you seem to think that atheism has some kind of doctrine behind it that everyone who considers themselves an atheist automatically agrees to."

      But there is doctrine behind atheism. Sure not every single atheist in the world agrees precisely about every single thing (this is not the standard for doctrine), but it still has doctrine. Such as evolution, relative morality, relative truth, traspermia etc. All of these things are atheist's doctrine.

      "Lol...how is it a red herring on my end if you brought it up to begin with?"

      I brought up a point, but you started talking about alien evidence. lol. Now you are getting desperate.

      "Pushing aside that it did slightly relate to what was being said, people dont go around demonizing others and enacting laws for their belief/non belief in aliens. Now god on the other hand..."

      Not true. NASA takes millions of tax dollars to look for extra terrestrial life. Besides, atheism cannot account for morality at all. All legislation is legislation of morality...no matter what religion or person it comes from.

      If only atheists only "put in their two cents", but you (or others like Barry) don't. You spend tons of time talking about your non-belief and bashing other's beliefs. That's because in our heart of hearts we ALL know God exists. You are fighting against Him.

      I think I'll start on a book called: "The Alien Delusion" or perhaps I could call it: "Aliens Are Not Great" or maybe "The End of Aliens"....Hmm...

    • Link10103 profile image

      Link10103 2 years ago

      "So you admit to bashing Christianity....but not as a whole? I guess if you want to split hairs...my point still stands."

      I admit to bashing parts of Christianity and/or religious instances that cause harm and have little to no logic behind them whatsoever. Yeah, how terrible of me and pretty much any upstanding citizen to do, whether it be about religion or some other thing. Truly evil...

      "Your implication that Christianity is not based on logic is wrong, which is why I write Hubs...to show that the Christian worldview accounts for all aspects of reality and to show how atheism falls short. I want people to understand it and become Christians so that they might live for eternity"

      Good on you. I would have expected though that when someone addresses something that doesnt make sense you would easily be able to make it clear without resorting to belittling what you seem to think their beliefs are.

      "On the flip side, why do atheists care about what anyone believes? We are all just going to die and fade into blackness."

      If atheists, and secular people as a whole really, didnt voice and act on their concerns, it would probably still be a thing to out your neighbor as a witch/evil atheist and get them killed because they forgot to give your lawnmower back...

      "Besides, according to atheists, truth is relative, so why try to learn anything? Just eat, drink, and party for tomorrow we die!"

      Its truly baffling how I've never seen an actual atheist use that train of thought. Its always a religious person saying that after an atheist has questioned their beliefs. If I had to give an answer that more or less represents most/all atheists, the point of learning anything is to make our lives and the lives of posterity easier. Also probably because its fun to learn certain things. Sorry for not wanting to live pretending to know everything there is to know when thats clearly not the case...

      "Fair enough. Please forgive me for being to 'harsh' with you. Next time I'll spend more time to copy and paste your snide comments toward Christians you've made to back up my point. Sorry for making such a broad statement...."

      If you are going to say something about me, I want you to provide some context for it. I can guarantee you right now I have never mocked and jeered anyone who has given me legitimate reasons for why they believe. On the flip side, I have zero qualms mocking and jeering people who give me their reasons for belief, tell me that Im wrong simply because I disagree with them, and then condemn me to hellfire or say my life is worthless after not being able t0 answer a question I asked them.

      "If you are not certain, why call yourself an 'atheist' "

      I dont believe in the existence of gods, yet I dont say that none exist. If you cant figure out why I call myself an atheist, especially when I gave you the definition for it earlier, I cant really help you there.

      "...and spend so much time countering logical Christian beliefs....after you are NOT certain it's untrue? In your own worldview, what makes you think 'truth' even exists?"

      Clearly they arent logical if I, and hundreds and thousands of others, are countering them. I know the difference between something I do not understand and something that doesnt make any logical sense whatsoever. Would you prefer I outright call it insanity rather than attempt to question any of it? Doesnt seem like a very intelligent way of going about anything.

      As far as truth goes, to me anything that can be shown to be consistent could be considered true. "The sky is blue during the day". Anywhere i go in the world, the sky is blue. If I ask people what color the sky is, an overwhelming majority are going to say blue. Not only do other people agree, but I can go out and see it for myself. Again, I dont know why you seem to think that atheism has some kind of doctrine behind it that everyone who considers themselves an atheist automatically agrees to.

      "This is a 'red herring' fallacy. The point of that paragraph was not about alien evidence, but about how ridiculous it is to spend so much time on a non-belief."

      Lol...how is it a red herring on my end if you brought it up to begin with? Pushing aside that it did slightly relate to what was being said, people dont go around demonizing others and enacting laws for their belief/non belief in aliens. Now god on the other hand...

      "Whatever helps you sleep at night....."

      Soo which one is it? Does Barry randomly come up to you guys screaming from head to toe about his certainty that god doesnt exist? If so, then I would probably agree with the possibility that he might secretly think otherwise.

      Or is god already being talked about and he gives his two cents, kinda like what I do?

    • Asa2141 profile image
      Author

      Asa Schneidermann 2 years ago from Boise

      "Please point them out, because what you seem to be implying is that I simply say something along the lines of "Christianity sucks" rather than address very specific problems it, along with religion in general, has caused. Even then, I dont recall ever bashing Christianity as a whole."

      So you admit to bashing Christianity....but not as a whole? I guess if you want to split hairs...my point still stands.

      "Im not sure why people seem to think myself and others go around specifically putting down people who simply say "I believe in god". I counter people who go around stating their opinions as if they were facts with nothing logical to show for it and who think that anyone who doesnt think their exact way is somehow wrong in living their life. "

      "Goes right back to my earlier point, were you not the one who posted this article first and allowed comments? You are stating things you view as facts but can clearly be shown to be nothing other than your opinion. Im sorry you cant go about defending your viewpoints properly without trying to belittle my own."

      Your implication that Christianity is not based on logic is wrong, which is why I write Hubs...to show that the Christian worldview accounts for all aspects of reality and to show how atheism falls short. I want people to understand it and become Christians so that they might live for eternity. On the flip side, why do atheists care about what anyone believes? We are all just going to die and fade into blackness. Besides, according to atheists, truth is relative, so why try to learn anything? Just eat, drink, and party for tomorrow we die!

      "If this isnt a general statement and is meant specifically for me, I would ask you to point out those instances as well before swallowing your feet whole. I can clearly point out where I said earlier that if people have beliefs that personally make them happy, there isnt a problem. Odd how you glossed right over that."

      Fair enough. Please forgive me for being to 'harsh' with you. Next time I'll spend more time to copy and paste your snide comments toward Christians you've made to back up my point. Sorry for making such a broad statement....

      "Pretty sure I said that im not certain. And please, dont play the words game and take that as my subtle way of searching for the "truth" because I secretly want to believe. Already gave my reason just before, but it wouldnt surprise me if it gets ignored anyway..."

      If you are not certain, why call yourself an 'atheist' and spend so much time countering logical Christian beliefs....after you are NOT certain it's untrue? In your own worldview, what makes you think 'truth' even exists?

      "Is that a statement on your part? If so, how exactly do you know they dont? An alien can consist of anything from space invaders to just another form of intelligent life outside of earth. I dont really see the difference between an atheist saying for certain that god doesnt exist and you saying that aliens for certain dont exist. They are both equally arrogant and dishonest things to say."

      This is a 'red herring' fallacy. The point of that paragraph was not about alien evidence, but about how ridiculous it is to spend so much time on a non-belief.

      "I genuinely have to wonder if Barry randomly comes up to you guys and starts talking about how he doesnt believe in god. Although that's not impossible, the more likely scenario is that god is already being talked about, and from how you go about talking to atheists and your assertions about their "true" beliefs regardless of what they tell you point blank, I can imagine all too well the tone of those conversations."

      Whatever helps you sleep at night.....

    • Link10103 profile image

      Link10103 2 years ago

      "Not in that particular comment, but I've seen many other comments you have posted that bash Christianity."

      Please point them out, because what you seem to be implying is that I simply say something along the lines of "Christianity sucks" rather than address very specific problems it, along with religion in general, has caused. Even then, I dont recall ever bashing Christianity as a whole.

      "Then why spend so much time on Hubpages countering those who do believe?"

      Im not sure why people seem to think myself and others go around specifically putting down people who simply say "I believe in god". I counter people who go around stating their opinions as if they were facts with nothing logical to show for it and who think that anyone who doesnt think their exact way is somehow wrong in living their life.

      Goes right back to my earlier point, were you not the one who posted this article first and allowed comments? You are stating things you view as facts but can clearly be shown to be nothing other than your opinion. Im sorry you cant go about defending your viewpoints properly without trying to belittle my own.

      "You meekly say, "I don't see enough proof for God." Then turn around and make fun and jeer and mock people who give reasons why they do believe"

      If this isnt a general statement and is meant specifically for me, I would ask you to point out those instances as well before swallowing your feet whole. I can clearly point out where I said earlier that if people have beliefs that personally make them happy, there isnt a problem. Odd how you glossed right over that.

      "If you are certain God does not exist, why dwell on it?"

      Pretty sure I said that im not certain. And please, dont play the words game and take that as my subtle way of searching for the "truth" because I secretly want to believe. Already gave my reason just before, but it wouldnt surprise me if it gets ignored anyway...

      "Aliens do not exist; I don't really think about them; they have nothing to do with my life."

      Is that a statement on your part? If so, how exactly do you know they dont? An alien can consist of anything from space invaders to just another form of intelligent life outside of earth. I dont really see the difference between an atheist saying for certain that god doesnt exist and you saying that aliens for certain dont exist. They are both equally arrogant and dishonest things to say.

      " After all, if Barry is certain God does not exist, why does Barry talk about it all the time?"

      I genuinely have to wonder if Barry randomly comes up to you guys and starts talking about how he doesnt believe in god. Although that's not impossible, the more likely scenario is that god is already being talked about, and from how you go about talking to atheists and your assertions about their "true" beliefs regardless of what they tell you point blank, I can imagine all too well the tone of those conversations.

    • Asa2141 profile image
      Author

      Asa Schneidermann 2 years ago from Boise

      "Weird how you jumped to that conclusion when I didnt even bash anything about Christianity in my comment."

      Not in that particular comment, but I've seen many other comments you have posted that bash Christianity.

      "I for one have never stated that a god does not exist"

      Then why spend so much time on Hubpages countering those who do believe?

      It's funny how atheists like yourself pretend you are 'neutral'. You meekly say, "I don't see enough proof for God." Then turn around and make fun and jeer and mock people who give reasons why they do believe. If you are certain God does not exist, why dwell on it? I personally don't believe in aliens, but I don't roam Hubpages countering everyone who believes in aliens. I don't give myself the title of "analienist". I don't write Hubs talking about their non-existence of belittling those who believe in them. There are millions of alien believers and I have many friends who believe in aliens but I still don't do this. Aliens do not exist; I don't really think about them; they have nothing to do with my life.

      That is what makes the atheist position so funny. That is why my friend - who still does not follow any religion but admits he will stand before God when he dies - was at least smart enough to see the ridiculousness of our co-workers staunch, atheistic position. After all, if Barry is certain God does not exist, why does Barry talk about it all the time?

    • Link10103 profile image

      Link10103 2 years ago

      "When atheists say, 'there is no God' they are making a declaration of what is true"

      You arent wrong, but I do hope you realize not all atheists state point blank that there is no god. I for one have never stated that a god does not exist as a fact, yet I fall under the definition of an atheist since I do not believe in the existence of any gods.

      "I've noticed that bashers of Christianity such as yourself are always trying to blur definitions"

      Weird how you jumped to that conclusion when I didnt even bash anything about Christianity in my comment. Oh and speaking of definitions:

      Atheism - the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

      or

      -disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

      Didn't blur anything about the definition. I fall under the second as most other atheists I have seen on HP do, and there are those that fall under the first as well. Its not my fault if you wish to rigidly stick to one definition and assume it applies to every individual atheist regardless of what they tell you.

      As for "talking about god all the time", were you not the one who posted this article first? I dont see how me commenting on what I see to be some very blatant flaws as some psychological way of denying the "truth" you think your co worker (and by extension myself I would imagine) seem to be hiding.

    • Asa2141 profile image
      Author

      Asa Schneidermann 2 years ago from Boise

      Thanks for the comment. My answer is in the "Possible Objections" above.

      ""Atheism" isnt a statement, and neither is "theism". They are both opinions on the subject of a god(s), not declarations of what is true."

      Are you serious? When atheists say, 'there is no God' they are making a declaration of what is true. When Christians say, 'there is a God' they are making a declaration of what is true.

      I've noticed that bashers of Christianity such as yourself are always trying to blur definitions. Perhaps it's because you realize how odd and tenuous your beliefs are. As my non-religious co-worker joked to me, "Yea, Barry says he's an atheist, but I'm like bro, if you don't believe in God...why are you always talking about it all the time?"

    • Link10103 profile image

      Link10103 2 years ago

      Is there a reason you used nudist colonies as an objection rather than the more obvious tribal groups in other parts of the world that either wear only a loincloth or absolutely nothing at all? They most likely believe in their own version of god or none at all yet still feel no shame, which kind of dismantles that part of your argument...

      If I even remotely remember some of your responses in religious based Q&A's, I dont particularly think you will care to listen but I'll go ahead and say it anyway. "Atheism" isnt a statement, and neither is "theism". They are both opinions on the subject of a god(s), not declarations of what is true.

      Christianity specifically, or any other specific religion, is a declaration of a supposed truth. As it stands, there is no "atheistic religion" counterpart that exists. If there is, they have about as much evidence as all the people saying that there is a god, which is next to none. Provided they are happy with their beliefs, thats not necessarily a problem.

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