Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Atheists Complain of "Spirituality" in Army's Mental Health Program
The Christian Post ^ | December 31, 2010 | Stephanie Samuel

Posted on 01/01/2011 2:50:50 PM PST by wmfights

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20 ... 81-100101-120121-140 ... 161-173 next last
To: A_perfect_lady; xzins; Alamo-Girl; spirited irish; YHAOS; iowaguy1972; wmfights; metmom; r9etb
... invisible entities....

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.

101 posted on 01/04/2011 12:00:06 PM PST by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 96 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady; xzins; Alamo-Girl; spirited irish; YHAOS; iowaguy1972; wmfights; metmom; r9etb
Because when you’re dead, you’re dead. You’re gone.

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.

102 posted on 01/04/2011 12:04:05 PM PST by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 99 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady

p.s.: Thank you sincerely for your service to our country!


103 posted on 01/04/2011 12:17:26 PM PST by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 96 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady; xzins; Alamo-Girl; spirited irish; YHAOS; iowaguy1972; wmfights; metmom; r9etb; ...
p.s.: As I said, "you keep saying that...over and over again."

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"....

104 posted on 01/04/2011 12:23:56 PM PST by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 102 | View Replies]

To: betty boop; xzins; YHAOS; hosepipe; spirited irish; wmfights; A_perfect_lady
What a wonderfully informative and engaging thread this has become! I thank you all for your insights. And especially your outstanding essay at post 41, dearest sister in Christ – and your specially informative insights at post 52, dear brother in Christ!

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:

God is not a hypothesis. He lives. His Name is I AM. I’ve known Him for a half century and counting.

It should be acknowledged right up front that no amount of reasoning or signs can result in faith, one must first have “ears to hear” which is a gift of God.

And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. - Deuteronomy 29:2-5

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

On to the atheists…

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 can’t 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?

A fly in your car is going 5 mph. That is his speed from his perspective as the observer. But your car in speeding down the road at 65 mph. So for the guy watching you from the roadside table, that fly is going 70 mph.

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 haven’t 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 fly’s perspective. If we go in the other direction as "observer" – the quantum – the cumulative velocities are even more mind-boggling.

And what man is continually aware that time is hand-in-glove to that velocity and his space/time coordinates (equivalence principle?)

For instance, during the inflationary phase of the universe, space/time expanded faster than the speed of light. One way to visualize the issue is to remember that the star’s light you observe in the night’s sky may have traveled 10 billion years to reach you, having begun its journey when the star was merely a billion light years away and even though you can see the star, it actually no longer exists.

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 doesn’t 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 earth’s 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.

Of a truth, God and God alone can see “all that there is” all at once - every where and every when. He alone knows objective truth. He alone speaks it. Indeed, God is Truth. When He says a thing, it is. It is because He says it.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. - Genesis 1:3

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

The atheist of course cannot accept that any One can see “all that there is” all at once - probably because he can’t. Indeed, the atheist's concept of reality itself is highly egocentric though I doubt he would accept that observation.

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 space, things cannot exist.

In the absence of time, events cannot occur.

Truly, all physical cosmologies rely on physical causation – space and time – whether inflationary, multi-verse, multi-world, ekpyrotic, cyclic, imaginary time, etc. All of the prior universe models superimpose this universe’s physical causation, space/time and indeed, physical laws onto prior universes all the while admitting that there is no such requirement that a prior universe would be like this one.

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:

Mathematically, the dimension of a space is the minimum number of coordinates (axes) necessary to identify a point within the space. A space of zero dimensions is a point; one dimension, a line, two dimensions, a plane; three, a cube, etc. That is the geometry of it. In zero dimensions, the mathematical point is indivisible.

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 doesn’t 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 space, things cannot exist.

In the absence of time, events cannot occur.

Both space and time are required for physical causation.

The wise man asks: Why this instead of nothing at all?

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.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: - Romans 1:20

The origin of space, time and physical causation – although striking - are not the only open questions that vex physical cosmologists. There is also no explanation for the origin of information (Shannon, successful communication,) inertia, semiosis, autonomy and so on. And yet the universe is logical – if it were not, we could not understand it at all.

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 God’s 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:”

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. – John 1:1-4

All of which brings me back to where I started: “ears to hear” which is a gift of God.

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 the very hairs of your head are all numbered. - Matthew 10:30

Mathematically speaking, in between the two extreme perspectives of cosmos and quantum is the geometric form of a particular man, rocketing through space and time from a definitive beginning space/time coordinate of his mortal life to a definitive ending space/time coordinate of his mortal life.

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 doesn’t 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.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. – Matt 12:36

But we mortal men are not just physical, like so many other life forms rocketing through space/time. And the message of “who we are” is not merely who we physically are. Indeed, Adam was specially given the very breath of God; he was made a living soul. That is part of the message of who we are that cannot be examined under a microscope as part of our DNA; it is nevertheless part of our information content, part of the “record.”

And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. – Genesis 2:7

Adam was not made for a mere physical existence like a bacteria, daffodil, fish or cow. He doesn’t “belong” in the physical realm and he knows it. But because he was banished to mortality, this peculiar creature made for Paradise/Eden, having immortality at his finger tips, now is grounded in the physical universe whose life forms were his to name.

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die [literally, muwth muwth or “death death”]. – Genesis 2:17

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

Death entered the world because of Adam, not just physical death but muwth muwth – death death. Not just the death of his physical body, but the death of his living soul.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: - Romans 5:12

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

Now for our rescue…

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.

Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, [The Son] of David. - Matthew 22:42

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

But the parallel does not end there. Like our autonomous physical body is the boundary of the communication of who we physically are (the DNA) - we are part of His body because the message of Who He IS is communicated through us.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. - I Cor 12:12-14

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

From that last verse - “every one members one of another” – not because of who we are but because of Who He IS. That Spiritual communication or communion is what we Christians share. (emphasis mine)

Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

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

And again,

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. – Matt 4:4

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

So in the same way that we are physically alive because the message of who we are is being communicated throughout our autonomous form, the message of Who He IS binds us together in Him, spiritually.

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. – Colossians 3:3

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

I visualize each of us as a peculiar creature (a descendant of Adam rather than a mere animal like a cow or donkey or ape or dinosaur) free falling through space and time being “hooked” by His calling to us - or if you prefer, our grabbing hold of the life line He extends to us. Thus I am even while in the flesh, alive in Him. And when the physical body dies, the message of who I am continues thereafter caught up in the message of Who He IS.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. – John 5:24

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

All the above is summarized in His Name, I AM. YHwH, by the way, is often translated “The Lord” in the Old Testamant, but the word means HE IS.

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

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

To God be the glory, not man, never man.

105 posted on 01/04/2011 12:59:08 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 104 | View Replies]

To: wmfights; A_perfect_lady; Alamo-Girl; xzins; r9etb; YHAOS; TXnMA; MHGinTN; metmom; Diamond
If we are no more than barnyard animals why should we obey any higher laws?

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.

106 posted on 01/04/2011 1:02:18 PM PST by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 64 | View Replies]

To: betty boop
1) I'm okay with abstractions until you say they have desires and personalities and the ability to condemn a fictional part of my personality to a fictional place. Then I have just pat you on the head and smile.

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.

107 posted on 01/04/2011 1:03:03 PM PST by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 101 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

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.


108 posted on 01/04/2011 1:07:29 PM PST by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 106 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady
I don't care.

Perhaps that, then, is the root of your problem. If you cared, you'd try to find out.

109 posted on 01/04/2011 1:07:49 PM PST by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 107 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

Find out what?


110 posted on 01/04/2011 1:10:12 PM PST by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 109 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady; Alamo-Girl; wmfights; spirited irish; xzins; r9etb; YHAOS; TXnMA; MHGinTN; ...
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.

Oh, I so agree!

But you're gliding right over the problem of what makes such laws "higher."

111 posted on 01/04/2011 1:11:12 PM PST by betty boop (Seek truth and beauty together; you will never find them apart. — F. M. Cornford)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 108 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

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.


112 posted on 01/04/2011 1:13:08 PM PST by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 111 | View Replies]

To: betty boop; A_perfect_lady; xzins; Alamo-Girl; spirited irish; YHAOS; iowaguy1972; wmfights; ...
"I strongly doubt spiritual counseling is a mandated matter"

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.

113 posted on 01/04/2011 1:26:20 PM PST by YHAOS (you betcha!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 101 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady
Well, I haven't had to rule anything out. I look at the world, I see what is there, I deal with what is there, and I don't concern myself with invisible entities that other people believe in. And all I want is that they not insist I deal with their imaginations either. Particularly using tax payer money or government force. Hey, if the military wants to OFFER spiritual guidance, go on ahead. I was in the military for four years active duty and seven years reserve. I know that a lot of people have mental problems, and "spiritual" problems, and if it makes them feel better, go ahead. I only draw the line at mandated "spiritual" guidance. And don't spend too much of my tax dollars on it.

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.

114 posted on 01/04/2011 1:30:10 PM PST by Reeses
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 96 | View Replies]

To: Reeses

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.


115 posted on 01/04/2011 1:37:15 PM PST by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 114 | View Replies]

To: betty boop

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.)


116 posted on 01/04/2011 1:45:02 PM PST by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 111 | View Replies]

To: YHAOS; betty boop; A_perfect_lady; xzins; Alamo-Girl; spirited irish; iowaguy1972; wmfights

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.


117 posted on 01/04/2011 1:59:56 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 113 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady
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.

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.

118 posted on 01/04/2011 2:10:19 PM PST by Reeses
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 115 | View Replies]

To: A_perfect_lady
Witness the Middle East. Lots of God-fearing people there, and what advantage are they to anyone? As for might making right, it usually is accepted that it does, although people rarely admit it. Christianity gained a foothold in the 5th century through might, via the emporer Constantine (if I remember correctly.) The winners of wars tend to write the books, explaining why it was morally preferable that they win.

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.

119 posted on 01/04/2011 2:19:45 PM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 77 | View Replies]

To: Reeses

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.


120 posted on 01/04/2011 2:23:23 PM PST by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 118 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20 ... 81-100101-120121-140 ... 161-173 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson