Atheists can't have it both ways

Nov 13, 2011 Full story: Examiner.com 2,137

Captain Ryan Jean of the US Army wants recognition of himself as a humanist lay leader.

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“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#1 Nov 13, 2011
Atheism is not a religion, but it is a religious category from both a statistical and legal point of view. The Supreme Court made the latter clear in a case that defined the rights of atheist prisoners to meet and to have access to many of the same resources that are made available to religious prisoners. And while many atheists are also humanists, many others are not--the two are not the same. Humanism embraces a specific set of positive values. Atheism does not inherently embrace any values at all, but leaves each individual free to decide which ones to embrace.

Like many religious conservatives, Cosgriff combines a nearly complete lack of understanding of what atheism is with the certainty the he knows more about it than atheists themselves do. the questions that he thinks are fair reflect this pocket of ignorance in his intellectual landscape.

Most of the atheists I've known are skeptics who reject faith as a legitimate tool for reaching understanding of any sort. Rather than looking for reasons that support our faith, we try to look at reality free of such preconceptions and allow that reality to inform our minds. But reality is like the fabled elephant that "looks" different to blind men feeling different parts of it. It is so vast the no mind can take its entirety. As such, atheists can come to very different conclusions about it.

That's what Cosgriff doesn't understand. His questions might be fair if there were a universal atheist set of beliefs. But there aren't, just one tenuous agreement about whether any deities exists--that they probably do not.

As to the question about whether a humanistic atheist can be of any use to soldiers, I think that the main skill needed for that task is the ability to help young soldiers explore the questions that plague their minds without imposing one's own beliefs on them or trying to steer them toward any particular spiritual path. I don't think religious chaplains are capable of doing that. There is clearly a need for counselors who can.

“T-Warrior”

Since: Dec 07

El Paso Tx (Rochester NY)

#2 Nov 13, 2011
Declare athiesm a religion and be done with it, apply the separation of Church and State concept and get it out of our public schools.

Since Military Chaplains mus be certified by a religous organization to be a Chaplain, what organization is there to certify an athiest chaplain.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#3 Nov 13, 2011
The U.S. military is a pragmatic organization--it has to be. From a pragmatic point of view, a few questions lie at the core of the decision-making process:

1. Do atheist soldiers sometimes need the same sort of guidance and counseling in sorting out matters of conscience that pertain to their roles and tasks? I think the answer is yes.

2. Can Christian, Muslim, or even jewish chaplains provide such counseling without succumbing to the temptation to promote theistic beliefs? I think the answer is no.

3. Given the above, is there a need for counselors who can provide the needed guidance? Most emphatically yes.

Most enter the military as teens. Military discipline aids in some facets of the maturation process, but may hinder others. As their personal ethics develop and become more complex, some may have trouble seeing how they can fulfill their commitments. In addition, personal problems can crop up that require advice from a more mature soldier. If traditional chaplains cannot provide that guidance, helping each recruit to be the best soldier that he (or she) can be, military organizations must find another source in order to preserve the cohesion, unity, and effectiveness of their units.

From a military point of view, it's much more important to maximize effectiveness than it is to preserve theistic ideology.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#4 Nov 13, 2011
chief22 wrote:
Declare athiesm a religion and be done with it, apply the separation of Church and State concept and get it out of our public schools.
Since Military Chaplains mus be certified by a religous organization to be a Chaplain, what organization is there to certify an athiest chaplain.
Ok, so you declare atheism a religion, what exactly have you done? Will you invent some rules for the atheist to adhere to? What would they possibly be? Would atheist recognize, this religion as pertaining to them? Will you create for this new religion, a suitable dogma. What would it consist of, how would it be packaged? Can you tell me even one thing that could be considered atheism?

How do you delete that which doesn't exist? How would you get atheism out of any thing? Will you force every child to pick one of the thousands and thousands of gods, and compel that child to believe? Will the child choose his own god, or will the gods be doled out on an equal basis? Would siblings be issued the same god beliefs, would the parents have a say in which one, would be their children's god?

In answer to your question: Mensa.
redneck

Cave Junction, OR

#5 Nov 14, 2011
I will invent my own god. He will prefer my culture and hate the others. He will kill them all, man, woman & child. I will give him money and constantly worry about what he thinks.

“T-Warrior”

Since: Dec 07

El Paso Tx (Rochester NY)

#6 Nov 14, 2011
NightSerf wrote:
The U.S. military is a pragmatic organization--it has to be. From a pragmatic point of view, a few questions lie at the core of the decision-making process:
1. Do atheist soldiers sometimes need the same sort of guidance and counseling in sorting out matters of conscience that pertain to their roles and tasks? I think the answer is yes.
2. Can Christian, Muslim, or even jewish chaplains provide such counseling without succumbing to the temptation to promote theistic beliefs? I think the answer is no.
3. Given the above, is there a need for counselors who can provide the needed guidance? Most emphatically yes.
Most enter the military as teens. Military discipline aids in some facets of the maturation process, but may hinder others. As their personal ethics develop and become more complex, some may have trouble seeing how they can fulfill their commitments. In addition, personal problems can crop up that require advice from a more mature soldier. If traditional chaplains cannot provide that guidance, helping each recruit to be the best soldier that he (or she) can be, military organizations must find another source in order to preserve the cohesion, unity, and effectiveness of their units.
From a military point of view, it's much more important to maximize effectiveness than it is to preserve theistic ideology.
Based on what you have written here, you have little if any experience with the Military and the Chaplains corps. Chaplains council of people of every denomination, muslim council Christians, and Jews, Wickens and every one else, if these are not adiquate there are Medical professionals, psychologists and others. There are councelors for financial, legal and others that cover nearly every possible topic that a soldier would need.

“T-Warrior”

Since: Dec 07

El Paso Tx (Rochester NY)

#7 Nov 14, 2011
Reason Personified wrote:
<quoted text>Ok, so you declare atheism a religion, what exactly have you done? Will you invent some rules for the atheist to adhere to? What would they possibly be? Would atheist recognize, this religion as pertaining to them? Will you create for this new religion, a suitable dogma. What would it consist of, how would it be packaged? Can you tell me even one thing that could be considered atheism?
How do you delete that which doesn't exist? How would you get atheism out of any thing? Will you force every child to pick one of the thousands and thousands of gods, and compel that child to believe? Will the child choose his own god, or will the gods be doled out on an equal basis? Would siblings be issued the same god beliefs, would the parents have a say in which one, would be their children's god?
In answer to your question: Mensa.
need to read the article, I didn't declare athiesm a religion, but that what would have to happen to have Chaplians assigned to it since that Corps is the spiritual councelors of the Military.

Since it would now be religion recognized by the Federal Government it falls under the auspises of the separation of church and state guise that many nonbelievers promote and the teaching that there is no God would no longer be allowed to be taught in Public schools, since now that sentament is now a religious teaching, and not allowed in the Public Schools.

“T-Warrior”

Since: Dec 07

El Paso Tx (Rochester NY)

#8 Nov 14, 2011
redneck wrote:
I will invent my own god. He will prefer my culture and hate the others. He will kill them all, man, woman & child. I will give him money and constantly worry about what he thinks.
That already exists, its calles islam
Steve

El Paso, TX

#9 Nov 14, 2011
chief22 wrote:
<quoted text>
That already exists, its calles islam
That already exists, its called religion.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#10 Nov 14, 2011
chief22 wrote:
<quoted text>
need to read the article, I didn't declare athiesm a religion, but that what would have to happen to have Chaplians assigned to it since that Corps is the spiritual councelors of the Military.
Since it would now be religion recognized by the Federal Government it falls under the auspises of the separation of church and state guise that many nonbelievers promote and the teaching that there is no God would no longer be allowed to be taught in Public schools, since now that sentament is now a religious teaching, and not allowed in the Public Schools.
Atheism can't be taught, it is being without theism. It is a negative, it is a non-thing.
nina

Surrey, Canada

#12 Nov 15, 2011
Reason Personified wrote:
<quoted text>Atheism can't be taught, it is being without theism. It is a negative, it is a non-thing.
seriously, atheism is the only world view that can be entirely fit on a bumper sticker.

know god, no peace
no god, know peace

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#13 Nov 15, 2011
Atheism a non-prophet endeavor

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#14 Nov 15, 2011
nina wrote:
<quoted text>
seriously, atheism is the only world view that can be entirely fit on a bumper sticker.
know god, no peace
no god, know peace
That is true, but the theist will never stop trying to make it some convoluted miss-mash like their bibles, their gods and their religions are.
Today I have been pondering something rather interesting.
Do you know that the bible god was extremely supportive of men making eunuchs of themselves? When it was done for his glory, the removal of the testes was wonderful. He liked also spotless, non-bruised clean penises and piles of foreskins.
Well, when I found this>>>>> the secrets of Thomas, as I said in another post the "apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
114. Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life."
Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows...
In those "taken from the originals", but yet not incorporated into the current bibles, are what is referred to as the lost books, and from those lost books, comes strange things.
Things just keep getting weirder.

“T-Warrior”

Since: Dec 07

El Paso Tx (Rochester NY)

#15 Nov 15, 2011
Reason Personified wrote:
<quoted text>Atheism can't be taught, it is being without theism. It is a negative, it is a non-thing.
Thats not what these people are pushing for, even the Supreme Court of Wisconson, or Minisota that has declared that Athiesm is a religion as far as law is concerned. What I refer to is teaching children there is no God, that teaching would now be a religious teaching.

“T-Warrior”

Since: Dec 07

El Paso Tx (Rochester NY)

#16 Nov 15, 2011
Steve wrote:
<quoted text>
That already exists, its called religion.
in islam the guiding doctrine, liturture calls for killing of non believer, other religions men have called killing in the "name" of the faith.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#17 Nov 16, 2011
chief22 wrote:
<quoted text>
Thats not what these people are pushing for, even the Supreme Court of Wisconson, or Minisota that has declared that Athiesm is a religion as far as law is concerned. What I refer to is teaching children there is no God, that teaching would now be a religious teaching.
There is no need to teach children there is no god, silly!

That is the >>default<< state of children--

-- if you fail to teach them there is a god?

They will not be contaminated by that silly idea in the first place.

Children are born without knowledge of god-- they are born atheists, in other words-- no faith in gods.

All you needs do is prevent the contamination by the lies (god is real) until they reach adulthood.

Then?

They will not be taken in by the adult fairy tale (god is real--a fairy tale).

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#18 Nov 16, 2011
chief22 wrote:
<quoted text>
in islam the guiding doctrine, liturture calls for killing of non believer, other religions men have called killing in the "name" of the faith.
All religions of the desert have murdered others in the name of their respective gods.

Islam, being the youngest, is just still in it's murder-non-islamist phase right now.

But make no mistake, Judaism and Xianity is just as guilty.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#19 Nov 16, 2011
chief22 wrote:
<quoted text>
Thats not what these people are pushing for, even the Supreme Court of Wisconson, or Minisota that has declared that Athiesm is a religion as far as law is concerned. What I refer to is teaching children there is no God, that teaching would now be a religious teaching.
If you wish to teach a child that are no gods, shouldn't that and any teachings concerning such, be done at home? After all, shouldn't children receive the education that will prepare them to enter the adult world as productive people. I hardly think religion in any of it's forms* qualify as higher learning. More aptly it could be considered as the exact opposite.

* No matter how you or any one else claims it, being atheist is anything but a religion.

Contort it how you like, not having a religion will never be a religion. That the laws of our country have not yet, just recognised that all humans, may at times need human discourse. For some it is in one form, for others a different form.

My adult children were no less human, and no less prone to questioning their steps out into the world, than any other adult children.

I think a country such as ours, should be able to let a person express doubt or emotion without dragging in invisable and magic non-entities to provide non-answers, which needed nothing more than a human voice saying. "There are things in our lives that test us, sit down let's talk."

No one should have to hear some of the insane crap that I've heard contained in prayers. It gives nothing to the non-believer, it just discounts the prior words as tripe, that came from the scripture spasm sufferer.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#20 Nov 16, 2011
I left out a thought from the above post.>>>>

If you want to teach a child there are no gods, first someone will have to teach them that there are. All children until indoctrinated are atheist
Steve

El Paso, TX

#21 Nov 16, 2011
chief22 wrote:
<quoted text>
in islam the guiding doctrine, liturture calls for killing of non believer, other religions men have called killing in the "name" of the faith.
Yep, people use their religion to justify what they want.

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