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Foxhole Atheist response to evangelical event on Fort Bragg - last commented 14 October 2010 10:38 PM

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Go to: There are only atheists in foxholes.

Justin Griffith's Avatar Jump to comment 90 by Justin Griffith

Justin Said

Their statement holds no water unless they believe in a bullet blocker deity. Which they don't.

@Stevehill said

You have completely misunderstood the position of the original proponent(s) of the notion that there are no atheists in foxholes.

They do not believe in a bullet-blocker deity.

You have completely misread or (stopped reading) my statement.

I don't know how to be more clear. This is not an attack in any way. It's a one-liner REPLY to an offensive statement. It gets them to think, smile, and laugh while learning. You are way off, and I'm speaking from experience.

They instantly recognize the fallacy in their position. They don't get offended. They stop saying it. What more could you want?

Mon, 15 Aug 2011 04:54:11 UTC | #861157

Go to: There are only atheists in foxholes.

Justin Griffith's Avatar Jump to comment 79 by Justin Griffith

I'm not arguing that we should say irrational things. I'm arguing that we should make statements that open their eyes to the irrationality of their statement. It's a mirror. It's a child calling out that the emperor has no clothes. Their statement holds no water unless they believe in a bullet blocker deity. Which they don't.

How do we convince them that they don't without having to go through 3 pages of philosophical what-ifs?

Remember, I'm standing 'at attention', talking to somebody at minimum 8 ranks higher than me. Somebody who I salute, and call sir. Somebody who doesn't have to listen to me at all. Somebody who is publicly mocking and berating atheists (possibly without even knowing it). Somebody who you have to go see if you are feeling depressed, having a troubled marriage, or fail a stupid quiz about your Spiritual Fitness. Somebody who has the ear of your commander and all of the top ranking officers in your unit. Somebody who quite literally has control over you and doesn't respect your world view at all. Somebody who has never been in a foxhole.

Let me get this straight. Your preference is for me to not demonstrate how foolish their statement is in one sentence? You'd prefer we take the scenic route, I take it. The 3 page response.

You are also likely under the impression that I consider the chaplains to be enemies. Far from it, I work very closely with them, and I am trying to get atheist groups supported by them for the first time in history. I volunteer for 24 hour shifts of 'staff duty' every Christmas, I help put up signs at the chapels, I've been patiently waiting for 7 months on a go/no go for approval on my efforts to simply be allowed to meet on post. My local group is still banned by army regulation from meeting on post until the chaplaincy approves us (despite the approval of the one-time festival). We still do not violate this silly order, and there are dozens of chaplains that have commiserated with me over this.

I've used the "No chaplains in foxholes" line on a friendly chaplain. He thought very hard about what he had said to me, and what I said to him. Then he smiled. He smiled really big. It was an obvious "click" in his brain. He respected me for it, and I know that a '3 page conversation' would not have been such an epiphany. I convinced him that he was wrong - in 5 seconds.

Once again, it is a reply. Not an attack, or a philosophical argument. It's a myth-shattering one-liner. Whatever is wrong with the statement - it's in your mind. Reality seems to be a big fan of it.

Sun, 14 Aug 2011 08:04:39 UTC | #860904

Go to: There are only atheists in foxholes.

Justin Griffith's Avatar Jump to comment 71 by Justin Griffith

Let me set a few things straight here, as most of you understandably aren't familiar with the US military.

About "There are no Chaplains in foxholes" In the US Military, Chaplains are non-combatants. They are not issued a weapon. They are not supposed to be on the front lines. A foxhole is a fighting position. They literally can't fight - it's even banned by the Geneva Convention category they fall under. If they were in a foxhole, it would just be a hole.

Game over. This is 100% true. When a Chaplain says 'there are no atheists in foxholes' he only makes the mistake once. He looks incredibly bad when his maliciously intended 'stumper' statement backfires, usually in a very public place in my experience. Everyone, including the chaplain goes slack-jaw, then everyone laughs like a bastard (if he's worth his salt, the chaplain too).

About "There are only atheists in foxholes" This is a reply to those that would say offensive shit like 'there are no atheists in foxholes'. This is a very commonly repeated saying, especially by evangelicals in the military. Think about it - a person who says the offense n.a.i.f. line must surely believe that atheists break down and pray / convert to theism when under fire for protection from the bullets flying overhead. They seriously are suggesting that I would be tempted to worship a bullet-blocker deity instead of I dunno, fighting back? Reloading? Calling for back-up? Saying "Tell my wife and daughter I love them"?

It's a way of saying that bullet-blocking deities are not only real, but the basis of a convincing argument. The quote from Dr. Thomson illustrates their hypocritical line of thinking - because these same offenders do not ever remove their helmet and armor, and walk directly into the intense shelling. Armor of God? Hardly.

Both statements are REPLIES to a statement that implies at least one presupposition (bullet-blocker god). And they both take different paths to completely annihilate the original statement, with bonus points for humor and simplicity.

Sun, 14 Aug 2011 03:52:16 UTC | #860872

Go to: Foxhole Atheist response to evangelical event on Fort Bragg

Justin Griffith's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Justin Griffith

@great teapot

We are not holding a 'deconversion' or 'debaptism' event. We are not going to put on any offensive or divisive entertainment.

The point of the event is to provide a day of secular entertainment. Many speakers/musicians may touch on their own personal atheism, agnosticism, humanism, but this is meant as a means of 'coming out' much like Richard Dawkins' brilliant scarlet A campaign. We'd love to help remove the negative stigma associated with the word 'atheist'.

I don't think getting up there and being angry and divisive would be the right answer.

We have a website that never strays into being anti-theist, or anti-religious, or anti-anything. Our event will stand on it's own, while being made possible by an earlier offensive event.

Sun, 10 Oct 2010 19:59:12 UTC | #531736

Go to: Public pressure to end intolerance fostered by religion

Justin Griffith's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Justin Griffith

I find it interesting that written letters are more influential, professional, and persuasive than an identical E-mail counterpart. The hassle of purchasing stamps and stationary must filter out the noise of people who don't really care that deeply, but still manage to hit 'contact me' for a quick drive-by insult.

Mon, 06 Sep 2010 15:06:30 UTC | #512435

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