Atheist soldier takes shit from Christians. Imagine that.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/26/atheist.soldier.ap/index.html

Known as “the atheist guy,” Hall has been called immoral, a devil worshipper and — just as severe to some soldiers — gay, none of which, he says, is true. Hall even drove fellow soldiers to church in Iraq and paused while they prayed before meals. “

It eventually came out in Iraq in 2007, when he was in a firefight. Hall was a gunner on a Humvee, which took several bullets in its protective shield. Afterward, his commander asked whether he believed in God, Hall said.

“I said, ‘No, but I believe in Plexiglas,”‘ Hall said. “I’ve never believed I was going to a happy place. You get one life. When I die, I’m worm food.”

The issue came to a head when, according to Hall, a superior officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, threatened to bring charges against him for trying to hold a meeting of atheists in Iraq. Welborn has denied Hall’s allegations. “

Jeremy Hall: keep rockin’, Brobi Wan Kenobi.

As Dan Brown says, Christians love to act like they’re being oppressed by nearly everyone (it’s that damned Daniel in the lion’s den story and all that type of nonsense), but you should keep in mind the vast majority that they constitute–in this country, anyway.

Here’s a simple test for you determine the direction of the power flow: could there ever be an atheist president?

HELL NO.

I don’t know whether Hall was harassed or not. But I can tell you from personal experience that Christians do love to say the kinds of things that Hall alleges they did.

I hope Hall has some good evidence. One of moral of the story: when someone repeatedly gives you shit–record them.

Moral 2:

No one with Fort Riley, the Army or Defense Department would comment about Hall or the lawsuit. Each issued statements saying that discrimination will not be tolerated regardless of race, religion or gender.

“The department respects [and supports by its policy] the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs,” said Eileen Lainez, a spokeswoman for the Department of Defense. “

Atheism is not lacking a belief. It is having the belief that God doesn’t exist.

Since when did Christians get a monopoly on the word, “belief”?

DAMN.

More to follow on this. I’m hungry and gotta go eat some wings.
-MC Spanky McGee

11 thoughts on “Atheist soldier takes shit from Christians. Imagine that.

  1. I’m not sure I agree with Spanky’s “Atheism is not lacking a belief. It is having the belief that God doesn’t exist.” I think we can distinguish between those atheists that lack a belief in god and those that deny the existence of god. We might put it like this. A1 is atheist no. 1 and who denies that god exists. A2 is atheist no.2. and lacks belief in god.

    A1 believes that (x) (x does not = god). [For all x, x is not god, where x ranges over everything that exists]

    It is not the case that there is some x such that A2 believes that x is god.

    Maybe I got that right, maybe not.

    But anyway, I consider myself to be an atheist who simply lacks a belief in god. Do I believe that god exists? No. Do I believe that god does not exist? No. I just don’t know. Am I an agnostic? No, not if you take an agnostic to be someone who thinks you cannot know whether god exists. And I don’t believe the latter.

  2. I suppose it would have been better to mark the difference in the following way:

    A1 believes that it is not the case that there is an x such that x
    = god.

    It is not the case that there is an x such that A2 believes of x that x = god.

    Or am I missing something?

  3. Well, I am assume you mean “occurrent belief” in contrast with “dispositional belief.” If that is right, I don’t see how the distinction I suggested above implies or requires the beliefs to be occurrent.

  4. The lacking of occurrent or dispositional beliefs is not enough to make something an atheist.

    Otherwise rocks would be atheists.

    And your A2 case doesn’t work either.

    Atheism requires having a belief that God does not exist.

  5. Well now, come on! Rocks don’t have IQs above 70, but they aren’t retarded. Your rock “argument” is pretty poor.

    You still haven’t given any reason why the lacking of a belief (occurrent or dispositional) isn’t enough to be an atheist. Give me some reasons here!!

  6. No one would call a rock an atheist.

    It doesn’t have beliefs, but it’s not an atheist.

    The lacking of a belief is not sufficient to make one an atheist.

    QED.

    I already gave you reasons, but you’ve been uncharitable.

    NEXT!

  7. It seems to be that for one to be agnostic, one merely needs to reflectively suspend judgment on whether or not God exists.

    I agree with Spanky that merely not having the (occurent or dispositional) belief is not sufficient to make one an atheist. I think atheism involves reflectively endorsing the proposition that there is no God.

    There are many people out there who, I would argue, do not have a robust enough conception of God to count as believing in God, but they might still explicitly endorse the proposition ‘God exists’ (without reflecting on it too much). I think many religious people actually fall into this category. The concept ‘God’ does not have much (if any) content for these people, but I would resist calling them atheists, unless they recognize and endorse this fact as indicating that God does not, in fact, exist.

    So perhaps my definition of ‘atheist’ would be something along the lines of the following:
    (Ea)[a rbel[(x)(x does not = God)]]
    In other words, there is a person a such that a reflectively believes that for all x (where x ranges over all existing things), x is not God.

    I think this is in line with what Spanky says.

  8. I certainly agree that a good number of (perhaps most?) atheists actively deny that god exists. However, there is controversy as to how to distinguish between different kinds of atheism. Some people distinguish between implicit and explicit atheism, strong and weak atheism, and negative and positive atheism. One might wonder whether this all just a matter of semantics. And perhaps the position that I hold and that others have called weak atheism should best be called non-theism as opposed to atheism. However, I am not alone in saying that atheism does not just mean the denial of belief in a god or gods:

    Dan Barker: “There is a difference between believing there is no god and not believing there is a god — both are atheistic, though popular usage has ignored the latter…” “Losing Faith in Faith: From preacher to Atheist,” Freedom From Religion Foundation, (1992), Page 99.

    Antony Flew: “I want the originally Greek prefix ‘a’ to be read in the same way in ‘atheist’ as it customarily is read in such other Greco-English words as ‘amoral,’ ‘atypical,’ and ‘asymmetrical’. In this interpretation an atheist becomes: someone who is simply not a theist.” “God, Freedom and Immortality: A Critical Analysis,” Prometheus Books, (1984), Page 14.

    Michael Martin: “…an atheist would simply be someone without a belief in God, not necessarily someone who believes that God does not exist.” “Atheism: A Philosophical Justification,” Temple University Press, (1992), Page 463.

    Gordon Stein, Ed., “To be without a belief in God merely means that the term ‘god’ has no importance or possibly no meaning to you. Belief in God is not a factor in your life. Surely this is quite different from denying the existence of God. Atheism is not a belief as such. It is the lack of belief.” Gordon Stein, Ed, “An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism,” Prometheus Books, (1980), Page 3.

    So, as with just about anything “philosophical” there is controversy; and the above quotes don’t prove my point. Again, I cite them to emphasize that the position I am defending is not unheard of.

  9. Certainly the term ‘atheist’ etymologically implies that one is a non-theist. And just as someone who is not capable of or interested in playing the “morality game” might be characterized as ‘amoral’, we could call someone not involved in the “theism” game an ‘atheist’. However, I am relying here predominantly on current usage of the word, which implies that one explicitly and knowingly claims that there is no God. You’re right, SF, that it may come down to a purely stipulative distinction. However, I am doubtful that “strong atheists” would want to align themselves with the so-called “weak” or “implicit” atheists. Atheism as a doctrine of belief seems to me to imply reflective endorsement.

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