Skip to comments.Atheists Complain of "Spirituality" in Army's Mental Health Program
Posted on 01/01/2011 2:50:50 PM PST by wmfights
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Oh, you mean invisible entities like mathematics, scientific laws, human languages, or "the laws of Nature and of Nature's God," as Thomas Jefferson put it in the Declaration of Independence? [Not to mention souls, which you deny "in principle" a sector of reality to be adamantly denied because it does not fit your presuppositions!]
I guess I'll have to check with xzins on this; for as a former military chaplain, he'd be the "expert" on this question, not I: I strongly doubt spiritual counseling is a mandated matter. But I am pretty sure it would be made available even to atheists, should they request it.
You keep saying that, A_perfect_lady over and over again. But you haven't provided a single scrap of evidence that this is so.
And so we're back to where we started with a unsupported assertion.
p.s.: Thank you sincerely for your service to our country!
Two possibilities come to mind here:
(1) You somehow think that language alone can shape/reshape Reality. If we say "thus and so" often enough, the world itself yields to our preference, conforms itself to it. I find this a very dubious proposition. It smacks of a "magical operation."
(2) You are "whistling past the graveyard"....
Rather than attempting to play catch-up by addressing points raised specifically, I am posting below my general albeit lengthy reply to atheism per se.
First, my testimony:
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:- Matt 13:14
Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word. John 8:43
All mortals suffer from what betty boop has coined The Observer Problem. Chief among these is a false sense of self importance. Indeed, God has made a hundred billion people and counting. That means that each one of us is roughly equivalent to a drop of water in an Olympic sized swimming pool.
And not only are we mortals insignificant, we are blind and stupid. Without the gift of ears to hear all that any of us can perceive is limited by our physical sensory perception and minds. We cannot see over the horizon; we cannot peer into the distant past or future. We physically cannot see other dimensions or particles or quantum fields or the cosmos. We cant see the contents of a closed box or perceive what the other sentient being perceives.
We physically cannot understand.
For instance, we have a woefully limited sense of time and velocity. What man is constantly aware that he is rocketing through space at more than 550,000 miles per hour?
But the road you have taken is on the equator and the circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles and the earth rotates once every 24 hours. So that fly is now going 1,100 mph + 70 mph = 1,170 mph.
Moreover, the orbital length of earth traveling around the sun is 149,600,000 miles, traveled in 365.25 days. That is 67,000 miles per hour. So add that in, and the fly is going 68,170 mph. The sun orbits the Milky Way galaxy at a speed of 486,000 miles per hour. Add that in, and the fly is now going 554,170 miles per hour.
All of this and we havent gotten to the accelerating expansion of the universe, i.e. space/time itself.
A galaxy 1 million light years away would seem to be moving away from us at a rate of 60,000 miles per hour. For every 3.26 million light years further out that we look, the galaxies seem to be moving away from us at an additional 162,000 miles per hour In sum, the universe is currently at least 156 billion light years wide.
And that is from the flys perspective. If we go in the other direction as "observer" the quantum the cumulative velocities are even more mind-boggling.
The reason its light didn't reach you in a billion years is that space/time itself expands. Or to put it another way, space/time doesnt pre-exist, it is created as the universe expands.
As another example, if you were an observer near the horizon of a black hole while a week elapsed for you, forty years may elapse on earth.
As another example, if you are on an observer on a spaceship accelerating at one earths gravity - for you, 25.3 years would elapse but for the observer on earth, 5x1010 years would elapse. Spacetime Wheel
Of course these are simplifications because space/time itself is warped by gravity (general relativity v. special relativity) and no thing is at rest in the universe. The universe is expanding and accelerating.
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. - Psalms 33:6
He says he has no god but of a truth, his god is physical causation (cause>effect) because he can physically sense it, understand it with his mind and prove it to himself. But physical causation requires both space and time and there was a beginning of real space and real time. From the 1960s forward, measurements consistently agree that the universe is expanding, that there was a beginning of real space and real time. Indeed, that was the most theological statement ever to come out of modern science. (Jastrow) In the beginning, God
In the absence of time, events cannot occur.
The big bang is the most widely accepted point of agreement among them, but a singularity is not nothing the big bang also requires space and time:
It is not nothing. It is a spatial point. A singularity is not nothing.
In ex nihilo Creation (beginning of space/time) - the dimensions are not merely zero, they are null, dimensions do not exist at all. There is no space and no time. Period.
There is no mathematical point, no volume, no content, no scalar quantities. Ex nihilo doesnt exist in relationship to anything else; there is no thing.
In an existing physical space, each point (e.g. particle) can be parameterized by a quantity such as mass. The parameter (e.g. a specific quantity within the range of possible quantities) is in effect another descriptor or quasi-dimension that uniquely identifies the point within the space.
Moreover, if the quantity of the parameter changes for a point, then a time dimension is invoked. For example, at one moment the point value is 0 and the next it is 1.
Wave propagation (e.g. big bang, inflation) cannot occur in null dimensions nor can it occur in zero spatial dimensions, a mathematical point; a dimension of time is required for any fluctuation in a parameter value at a point.
Moreover, wave propagation must also have a spatial/temporal relation from cause point to effect point, i.e. physical causation.
For instance 0 at point nt causes 1 at point n+1t+1 which causes "0" at point n+1t+2 etc..
Obviously, physical wave propagation (e.g. big bang/inflationary model) cannot precede space/time and physical causality. Again,
In the absence of time, events cannot occur.
And he realizes that only God, beyond space/time and physical causation, can be the uncaused cause of causation, the first cause, The Creator of the beginning.
Space, time and physical causation are not properties of God the Creator. They are properties of the Creation. Only God is uncaused.
Order cannot arise from chaos in an unguided physical system. Period. There are always guides to the system whether one is using chaos theory, self-organizing complexity, cellular automata or whatever to analyze complexification, entropy and order.
Indeed, to me, the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics (Wigner) is Gods copyright notice on the cosmos.
Logos is the Greek word which is translated Word in the following passage. It is also the root for the word Logic:
The divine calculus, in my view, begins with understanding who man is.
In the strictest terms, no physical man is the center of the physical universe. God, on the other hand, sees all of it, all at once and not just a cosmic overview but all the way down to the quantum fields or particles.
But that is just the physical man.
And neither his form (geometry of his autonomy) nor his constituent molecules sum up to who the man is. Indeed all of his molecules are replaced every seven years as I recall. And his form is relative over space and time. It is all quite dynamic in this physical creation.
Man is not the sum of his physical parts.
Indeed, I aver that who a particular man is whether physically or spiritually as a living soul - is information, i.e. a particular message being communicated.
Bear with me
Physically speaking, the message is DNA a message unique to each one of us. The message is who a man physically is. As long as the message is being communicated throughout his autonomous physical body, the man is physically alive. When it ceases to be communicated, he is physically dead. He is physically dead not because the message disappears (DNA doesnt yield to entropy right away) but because the message is not being communicated.
Moreover, by the very fact of his existence on some finite worldline of the space/time continuum, the universe has been physically informed. Physically, who he is and his entire life is on the record. God sees all of it.
And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof. Genesis 2:19
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
We are rescued by a message being communicated to us (ears to hear.) And that message is not who we are but rather, Who Christ IS. Spiritually speaking, we Christians are that message being communicated to us, in us and through us.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. - Matthew 16:15-18
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. I Corinthians 12:3
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: - John 10:27
So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. - Romans 10:17
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. - John 3:5-8
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? - I Corinthians 6:19
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. - Romans 8:9
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Romans 12:4-5
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. II Cor 2:6-16
Give us this day our daily bread. Matt 6:11
I am that bread of life. John 6:48
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life. John 6:63
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:15-17
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. - Revelation 1:7-8
Short answer: There is no reason why we should.
On the other hand, the "laws" that are being proposed are perfectly suited to barnyard animals....
Lost in all this is the nature of man qua man.
2) We're back to where we started because I never left. The world is what it is. You live and then you die. Make the most of life, is my advice. It's not rocket science.
3) My language doesn't reshape reality. Reality is what it is, simple, clear, and right in front of you. If you want to make up extra narratives with a metaphysical Good vs Evil endgame psychodrama, go ahead. But you're making it up. You're taking previous generations' fantasies and reinterpreting them for your own amusement. You're free to do this. Just don't try to make others do it.
4) As long as it isn't mandated and isn't too expensive, I don't care.
We should obey “higher” laws (as you call them) because some of them will make our society safer, more civil, more comfortable, more conducive to human happiness and survival. But not all laws based on the desires of God (as revealed to certain politically ambitious historical figures) are as conducive. I’m pretty happy we don’t stone people anymore for having sex outside of marriage.
Perhaps that, then, is the root of your problem. If you cared, you'd try to find out.
Find out what?
Oh, I so agree!
But you're gliding right over the problem of what makes such laws "higher."
It’s not a problem. I called them “higher” because you called them “higher” and I didn’t see any point in arguing with you.
I believe spiritual evaluation, where appropriate, is part of a mandated psychological evaluation. If I understand the dispute properly.
I believe the Atheists want the "spiritual" evaluation deleted from everyone's evaluation. Apparently, the US military is to deny that anyone has spiritual needs.
There is no scientific proof of God but there is hard evidence of the God advantage. There are many exceptions but scientifically it is known that religious people don't fold as quickly under pressure, are more brave, heroic, optimistic, hold out hope, and have a winning edge. These are good things for our military to have, and it's worth spending some tax dollars on and supporting even if you personally are not religious. Some spiritual training should be mandatory for combat soldiers. They don't have to buy it, but sitting in a foxhole with bullets flying overhead, they just might find it in themselves to suspend disbelief and fight on and not crack.
If someone truly believes that God exists, for practical purpose God really does and the benefits are provided. This doesn't apply to things like believing in a personal ability to fly, but it truly does work to believe that God is on your side.
Combat, religion, and team sports (really practice combat) are all closely related going back thousands of years. We should not throw out tradition just because some of us were not blessed with the gift of faith. I want our military to have every winning advantage available, especially cultural traditions that are both scientifically proven and have withstood the test of time.
So it doesn’t matter if it’s true, we just want to make them believe so they fight better for us. Wow. I’m glad I got out.
By the way, just because you have designated “souls” as “a part of reality” doesn’t mean they are. They aren’t. You don’t get to add cultural beliefs to reality and declare that they are now part of that territory any more than I do. Unless you’re going to allow me to claim that astrology is part of reality, and then I can argue that what you call your soul is really just your Sun in Leo (which is clearly conjuncted with Uranus... or whatever.)
An atheist can simply just say *Declined* or N/A when it comes to the spiritual counseling part.
But it has to be mentioned and mentioning it is no violation of anyone’s rights.
But to mandate that it be deleted because they don’t believe it is, well, draconian and socialist.
For all practical purposes, it is true if they believe it. The effects are very real and unmistakable. Sports coaches and military leaders have used religion to inspire victory from what mathematically should have been certain defeat many times. If you don't want to win, don't mess with those that do.
Being on a mission from God is the reason Sarah Palin became Governor of Alaska, has a husband, big family, big house, and is now wealthy. Her imaginary friend has not been so imaginary in the results dept. She has it all, which infuriates the envious to no end. Many people who are anti-religion are actually driven by envy. They don't want to have what the religious have, but to destroy what they have, ban it in the workplace, ridicule it, make it illegal. That's evil.
Few people have the right attributes for a military career, and even fewer for combat. For that profession being a deep thinker is probably detrimental.
This is a common fall back position. The problem though is it is not based on the actual teachings in Scripture. There are only two faiths in this world that have the revealed Word of God, Christianity and Judaism. All other religions are pagan. I believe you will only find one time that God has instructed His people to eradicate a foe.
Look at the Old Testament: The Hebrews slaughtered the Canaanites, took the land, and lo, their might was evidence that their God was right (apparently.)
I believe this is the one time that God instructed any of His people to initiate a war and eradicate a people. In fact the inability of the Jews to do so (They didn't have the heart for it) is part of the reason we have such a problem in the middle east today.
Well, you’re arguing its utility, not its truth. I won’t bother arguing this because even if it is true (which I’m not necessarily accepting, as the kamikazes and Nazis seemed pretty good fighters) it’s just not a stance that interests me.