Atheists in Foxholes?

#2
AndyPipkin said:
Richard Dawkins' site now features a military forum:

http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=11
When one reads some of the comments from people who served in Iraq/Afganistan and supposedly became atheists, I have to wonder about the following things.:

1.) Are they really Veterans? Did they really serve in Country?

2.) If they are Veterans, what was their job and what branch of the service did they serve in? Army, Navy or Air Force.

3.) Did they actually engage the enemy, in close combat?

4.) How old are they?

5.) How long have they seved in the military?

6.) What is the their level of formal education?

7.) Married with or without children?

8.) Are they actually American/British citizens?

9.) What religious group/church were they associated with, if any prior to taking the atheist outlook. What if anything, did you believe in prior to becoming an atheist?

10.) What specific incident, or serious of life events, caused the change from religious believes to being a non-believer? Was it really the combat or something else in your life that caused this choice?

I know there are real cases of combat causing soldiers, to become atheists; however, there are also a lot of 'walts' who like to get onto blogs and forums and make false claims, etc.

Most soldiers, that I knew that had some type of religion, prior to combat situations seem to get more religious when engaged in combat situations and have access to a Chaplain and/or religious services. etc.

In my own experience, during extended periods time in close contact with the enemy, where your unit is exposed to daily enemy fire (Small arms, arty, mortars, etc.) and you are taking KIA, WIA and MIAs every day, most troops seem to get closer to their God and do a lot of praying, etc.

I myself, never missed a chance to attend any function that our Chaplain provided, especially a blessing or prayer session prior to a major operation, or patrol, etc. This was also true of most soldiers in my unit.

I also noticed that when not in combat situations, my religious activity and attendance in church, etc wasn't as big of priority. :oops:
 
#3
One needs to remember that the whole thing about religion in America is vastly different to that which pertains in UK. NOT A CRITICISM or trying to knock. We are less open about such matters and, possibly, less religious anyway. Travel anywhere near a church in USA on a Sunday and will be likely to get caught in a traffic jam.
 
#4
Having just read Trip_Wires comments about what makes ppl become atheists, including questions about citizenship, marital status and education my belief is again confirmed? As a practicing Atheist i can asure TW becoming an Atheist is a gradual process, usually assisted by having to read comments such as his. Personally i dont think that becoming any closer to ones maker should make one feel more 'religious', usually the opposite. Here endeth the sermon.
 
#5
OldRedCap said:
One needs to remember that the whole thing about religion in America is vastly different to that which pertains in UK. NOT A CRITICISM or trying to knock. We are less open about such matters and, possibly, less religious anyway. Travel anywhere near a church in USA on a Sunday and will be likely to get caught in a traffic jam.
Thanks for your POV! I can't really speak for the average Brit, on such an issue; however, a high percentage of Americans do attend some type of religious ceremony on Sunday.

I do think you are talking about apples and oranges here though. We're (I'm) not talking about civilians, who are not serving in combat, or facing being killed or wounded on a daily basis. You're talking about the evey day church going religious citizen, attending church on his prescribed day, which in most cases is on Sunday. These people are not, for the most part, facing or seeing death and/or maiming by the hour like a soldier in combat.

I wonder though, if this also applies to soldiers, who become atheists after being in intense combat, which is what I was addressing, in this tread. It was also as I understand it, what the website in the reference was also about, if I'm not mistaken. I also thought it was what this tread was addressing as well.

What is your POV on that? As a combat veteran, I have expressed my views on getting closer to God and religion, when confronted with death on a daily basis, etc. What are your views on this, or don't you have any? :?:
 
#7
Having served in Northern Ireland and the Balkans i have found religion to be a catalyst for atrocities. Histroically speaking, religion has been used as a tool to manipulate the masses/soldiers/warriors and sow the seeds of destruction we are reeping now in various parts of the world.
 
#8
Carry_On_Tiffing said:
Having just read Trip_Wires comments about what makes ppl become atheists, including questions about citizenship, marital status and education my belief is again confirmed? As a practicing Atheist i can asure TW becoming an Atheist is a gradual process, usually assisted by having to read comments such as his. Personally i dont think that becoming any closer to ones maker should make one feel more 'religious', usually the opposite. Here endeth the sermon.
My questions that you cite, didn't have anything to do with making an atheist, They were questions that I would like to know, about the person that declares themselves an atheist, so I could better understand their decisions as well as that person. Also, many of the other questions were designed to out a walt, using combat in Iraq or any combat zone as the reason for such a decision.

As for your "becoming an Atheist is a gradual process." Yes, that may apply to you; however, the comments on the website by other Atheist, do not always reflect that same thing.

As for your statement "i dont think that becoming any closer to ones maker should make one feel more 'religious', usually the opposite."

I have expressed what I have seen with my own eyes, during my intense combat experience, in Korea, where incidently, I was wounded in combat. What I saw and heard among the soldiers in my unit, is what I expressed in my statement. IMHO they sought out comfort in their religion and guidence and support from their Chaplains.

Your statment says, that you feel different about being closer to God. etc. when in combat, etc., however; You hint at it, but you fail to mention any real close combat experience, etc.

If indeed, if you have served in close combat with an enemy and this was your POV, so be it; however, I doubt that you can speak for all that served with you on this matter, or do you read minds? :roll: :wink:
 
#9
If it wasn't for religion a good number of the people who've ever (literally or metaphorically) been in a foxhole wouldn't have been there in the first place!
 
#10
Carry_On_Tiffing said:
Having served in Northern Ireland and the Balkans i have found religion to be a catalyst for atrocities. Histroically speaking, religion has been used as a tool to manipulate the masses/soldiers/warriors and sow the seeds of destruction we are reeping now in various parts of the world.
I'm no expert on NI; however, most people who are supposed to be experts, do not think its about religion at all! :wink:

History is also full of Atheists who committed atrocities too!

Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao to name a few!

http://catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0214.htm

http://meatofthematter.wordpress.com/2006/10/30/the-new-atheism/
 
#11
TW, a very common religion-apologist retort. None of the people you mention committed atrocities because they were atheists, they committed them for ideological reasons unrelated to their belief in the Great Sky Pixie or otherwise. Whereas Al Queda, Torquemada, the Crusaders, the Conquiscadores, etc, all committed their atrocities for very much religious reasons.

I suggest you have a read of The God Delusion before continuing this debate - most of the arguments you're likely to employ are dealt with (in a generally humiliating manner) in it.

I just hope you were praying to the right 'God' in Korea - Baal might have been very upset if you got it wrong!
 
#12
AndyPipkin said:
TW, a very common religion-apologist retort. None of the people you mention committed atrocities because they were atheists, they committed them for ideological reasons unrelated to their belief in the Great Sky Pixie or otherwise. Whereas Al Queda, Torquemada, the Crusaders, the Conquiscadores, etc, all committed their atrocities for very much religious reasons.

I suggest you have a read of The God Delusion before continuing this debate - most of the arguments you're likely to employ are dealt with (in a generally humiliating manner) in it.

I just hope you were praying to the right 'God' in Korea - Baal might have been very upset if you got it wrong!
Must have been the right one ... I'm here alive and well with just a few scars! :roll: :wink:

I don't plan on reading "The God Delusion." No need too!

I have decided just what I want to think about the situation and have expresed just what my POVs are of and on this subject, especially for soldiers in combat situations, spnce they were made on the basis of real time experience. At this point in my life, no one is going to change my personal opinion on those thoughts and beliefs. :wink:

Others are welcome to have their POVs as well as their personal thoughts and religious and/or atheist beliefs.
 
#13
Isnt quoting Stalin in an Atheist thread a bit odd? Stalin had to carry out the equivalent of the UK industrial revolution in a few decades. Changing a feudal society to an industrial state resulted in many deaths as he could not import slaves like your fair country, so he used the locals.
 
#16
Carry_On_Tiffing said:
Isnt quoting Stalin in an Atheist thread a bit odd? Stalin had to carry out the equivalent of the UK industrial revolution in a few decades. Changing a feudal society to an industrial state resulted in many deaths as he could not import slaves like your fair country, so he used the locals.
http://www.gendercide.org/case_stalin.html

:wink:
 
#18
Pillager said:
In which case what of those that prayed and didnt come back?
Where was god for them?

and what of the guys that prayed to Baal and survived, Or is this a pluralist god?

(intentional small 'G's)
(Intentional Large 'G's)

BTW: I see that you're still up to your usual tactics of being critical and cynical, without adding to anything worthwhile, to the discussion as usual. Do you ever post anything worthwhile? If you have I must have missed it. :roll:

God works in many mysterious ways, that humans do not always understand. If for whatever reason, those who prayed and don't have their prayers answered or didn't come back, or who were wounded etc. Then these people were part of Gods plan for them, to be retured to his Bosum in the Kingdom of Heaven, for reasons known only to God.

There are many names for God; however, IMHO only one God!

As for Baal, or other demons to include Satan, if one wants to worship such things as their God, so be it! Lots of luck in the hearafter! If they survived combat, due to their prayers to such evil demons, perhaps it was to do the devils work! :evil: :wink:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baal
 
#19
Isnt the term 'god works in mysterious ways' a way of explaining the illogical functions of religon or god. As for the term 'there is only one god'? Surely god is a concept and open to personal interpretation, George Bush thinks that his god is behind his attempted domination of the world.
 
#20
Stalin trained as an Orthodox Priest, BTW, and Hitler was raised in a strict Catholic household. I think both certainly learned a great deal about blind obedience to abstract concepts and, in particular, the indoctrination of the young from their religious backgrounds.

As for "god works in mysterious ways", well that's just a blatant intellectual copout. Tell me, TW, does your god actually speak to you?
 

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