Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
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13-11-2012, 07:36 AM
Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
A guy I'm friends with on FaceBook posted a thought about atheists. He's an old classmate I recently connected with, and I don't know him well, but he seemed at first to be the kind of person who enjoyed calm, rational discussion. So I replied to his post calmly and rationally. And then he and his buddy quit just as it was gonna' get more interesting! Whatthehell! You call it--does this mean I won? Here's the conversation:

ORIGINAL POSTER: I find it very telling when someone calls themselves an atheist. To me, it means they have never been in a situation where they are 100% certain that they are going to die. That's why I call myself agnostic.

HIS BUDDY: We had a lot of atheists in the Army till the first shot was fired. As I recall a lot of people came to believe in the power of prayer that day.

ORIGINAL POSTER: two places you will never find an atheist, a foxhole and a ship in a storm.

ME: The two aren't mutually exclusive most atheists are also agnostic--it's arrogant to claim that one knows for certain that no gods exist & people who came to atheism from an intellectual thought process (as opposed to it being an emotional decision) know this.

ME: Also, if you're interested: http:// militaryatheists.org/atheists-in-foxholes/

ORIGINAL POSTER: That article is not what I was talking about, just because you are in the military does not mean you are in a foxhole. At least in the sense I was talking about. I was speaking of situations like in the end of the movie Platoon. The enemy is coming and you don't know from which direction (they also outnumber you heavily and you have no where to run too) so you dig holes that are neck high and camouflage them, with 2 men in each. The holes are equi-spaced around the base and the first foxhole hit has dead men in it, and in all probability most of the guys in foxholes will die. You will never find an atheist in one of those foxholes.

HIS BUDDY: Lets have this conversation when everyone has had that crystal clear moment , that this may be their very last moment. Then we can discuss the values of faith, love and God.

ME: I think that's a broad generalization to make. Help me see your rationale here. What is it about the certainty of death that would change one's mind? How would the isolation and terror of the literal foxhole cause an atheist to then decide they were wrong; there's probably a god after all; they now believe?

[NOTE: I actually posted two comments back-to-back, but because the Original Poster had already begun his reply before I posted the 2nd part, his showed up first]

ORIGINAL POSTER: When someone is in a situation where they are 100% sure you are gonna die and all you can do is sit and wait for it, I think most people would pray whether they believe or not. I remember a couple times on the boat when I was sure we weren't gonna make it, I prayed to everyone from God to Bhudda to Krishna. Survival instinct. I don't believe, but in those moments, you grasp for anything.

ME: ...and, as an agnostic, what do you imagine your position might be in that situation? Agnosticism is the position that you cannot or do not know if a deity exists. If you were in the foxhole, would that position of not-knowing change? If you were faced with possibly your last moment alive, do you suppose that you might then believe in god? If so, what stops you from believing now? not-knowing change? If you were faced with possibly your last moment alive, do you suppose that you might then believe in god? If so, what stops you from believing now?

ORIGINAL POSTER: Just because you don't believe in something, it doesn't mean you can't hope that it does exist.

HIS BUDDY: I think this debate is going no where. Maybe is best to take God off the table and move in to something safe like politics.

ORIGINAL POSTER: I second that.

ME (in my wee little pea-brain): Aaaaagggggghhhhhh!

======================================

1) it's not an article, it's a website, and obviously he didn't read the testimonials on it.

2) calling out for some sort of help when in trouble does not equate to belief

3) ...and he said as much!

4) where'd they *want* the "debate" to go?

5) are my thoughts worth naught because I've never faced death?

6) (the zinger) does he not realize he just called himself an atheist????!!!!!!!


That is all. Carry on.

~Valerie

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13-11-2012, 07:42 AM (This post was last modified: 13-11-2012 07:54 AM by Vera.)
RE: Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
Where they wanted the debate to go?
Why, everyone saying "you're so right", of course.
Facebook - the ultimate attempt at convincing ourselves that someone is watching us (and gives a crap).
(Their arguments are ridiculous though; the last thing you have when you're scared shitless, is lucidity and a crystal clear moment. Actually, becoming religious under such circumstances is much more comparable to becoming one under duress, than is it a sign of clear thinking.)

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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13-11-2012, 07:50 AM
RE: Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
First of all, there's a section for this kind of shit... Dodgy

Second, someone 100% certain of death, ain't got nothing to say afterwards.

Third, I have difficulty believing that anybody having been in this type of situation making this kind of argument. Cause I've been there - me and my Gwynnies - and thinking about, "man, I'm gonna die now" lasted about a nanosecond. The thought that lingered - that me and my Gwynnies roflstomped - was, "man, this is gonna fucking hurt."

Which leads to number four. This is special pleading from a whiny little bitch who cannot handle the thought of his own mortality.

The situations these motherfuckers try to shoe-horn their mofo god into, it is so fucking pathetic. And the opposite of Almighty. Dodgy

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13-11-2012, 08:59 AM
RE: Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
Oh Dear....he got you man! The second he pulled out the "End of the Movie Platoon" argument you were dead in the water! If you had kept on he might have pulled out the "Middle of the Movie Boogie Nights" or the dreaded "Opening sequence of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". RUN i tell you RUN! My personal favorite to combat these dreaded arguments is to quote all of sally fields lines from "Smokey and the Bandit"!!
Secondly, when dude said he started pulling gods out of his ass to pray to when he was near death.....man that sounds exhausting. Silly me, i would have been trying to figure out a way to stay alive instead of appealing to imaginary friends.
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13-11-2012, 12:04 PM
RE: Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
I wish he woulda' posted it on my page; then I would've continued my arguments. But I'm not going to be a jerk on his post on his own FB page. Drat. :/

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13-11-2012, 12:11 PM
RE: Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
Richard Tillman's brother Pat Tillman. Victory.

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13-11-2012, 12:19 PM
RE: Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
Sarcasm aside, what does their argument have anything to do with atheists in a fox hole?

Hell, if I find myself in a fox hole or any other situation where I'm fairly certain I'm going to die, I might just toss out a prayer myself. It would go something like this:

Yahweh, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That's what's important! Valor pleases you, Yahweh... so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

Or something like that.

Wouldn't make me less of an atheist because I would still assume that I was wasting my breath praying to an imaginary mythological fiction, but I would probably do it anyway. Couldn't hurt.

Doesn't mean I'm converting to theism.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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13-11-2012, 04:04 PM
RE: Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
People on Facebook only want to preach to their own choir. They claim to want to educate or some such drivel, but they really don't. They want people who will agree and like everything they say, so they can feel superior or relevant.

Kelly....who has around a hundred of these "types of friends"

Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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13-11-2012, 04:17 PM
RE: Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
I'd hazard a guess that some atheists might utter a prayer if they find themselves in a desperate situation, but only if they were brought up with the brainwashing.

Christians on the other hand, they sure as hell (Tongue) don't place enough faith in their deity to lay down their arms and pray that it simply smites the enemy. They rely on their training and on each other. One might say then, that there are ONLY atheists in foxholes.

'The world holds two classes of men: intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.' - Abdallah al-Ma'arri
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13-11-2012, 05:09 PM
RE: Atheists, foxholes, you know the drill...
(13-11-2012 04:17 PM)daylightisabadthing Wrote:  I'd hazard a guess that some atheists might utter a prayer if they find themselves in a desperate situation, but only if they were brought up with the brainwashing.

Christians on the other hand, they sure as hell (Tongue) don't place enough faith in their deity to lay down their arms and pray that it simply smites the enemy. They rely on their training and on each other. One might say then, that there are ONLY atheists in foxholes.

Oh good one!
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