"There are no atheists in foxholes" -...

"There are no atheists in foxholes" - true or false?

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Level 2

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#1 Sep 25, 2013
I've heard people use this phrase referring to both the literal sense (you're in over your head in a war zone) and the figurative sense (you're in over your head at work, in a marriage, etc). Either way, the phrase is saying that once you're completely backed up against a wall and your last desperate turn is to turn to God, then you *will* turn to God, disregarding prior beliefs.

A friend of mine served in Iraq and he believes that this phrase is true. Another friend of mine admitted to saying a prayer in desperation regarding severe problems at work.

Any thoughts?

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#2 Sep 25, 2013
Official video - "Rooster" by Alice In Chains, written by Jerry Cantrell

http://m.youtube.com/watch...

Contains interview footage with Jerry "Rooster" Cantrell Sr., a Vietnam War veteran, and real Vietnam War documentary and news footage (as well as extremely realistic and graphic re-enactments).

This song is what led me to ask the question which is the topic of this thread.

"Walkin' tall machine gun man
They spit on me in my homeland
Gloria sent me pictures of my boy
Mmmmm
Got my pills 'gainst mosquito death
My buddy's breathin' his dyin' breath
Oh God, please, won't you help me make it through?
Mmmmm"

Level 2

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#3 Sep 25, 2013
Lady Greensleeves wrote:
Official video - "Rooster" by Alice In Chains, written by Jerry Cantrell

http://m.youtube.com/watch...

Contains interview footage with Jerry "Rooster" Cantrell Sr., a Vietnam War veteran, and real Vietnam War documentary and news footage (as well as extremely realistic and graphic re-enactments).

This song is what led me to ask the question which is the topic of this thread.

"Walkin' tall machine gun man
They spit on me in my homeland
Gloria sent me pictures of my boy
Mmmmm
Got my pills 'gainst mosquito death
My buddy's breathin' his dyin' breath
Oh God, please, won't you help me make it through?
Mmmmm"
--- Also contains interview footage with Jerry Cantrell.

“Helping you ”

Level 8

Since: Jul 11

achieve perfection

#4 Sep 25, 2013
Lady Greensleeves wrote:
I've heard people use this phrase referring to both the literal sense (you're in over your head in a war zone) and the figurative sense (you're in over your head at work, in a marriage, etc). Either way, the phrase is saying that once you're completely backed up against a wall and your last desperate turn is to turn to God, then you *will* turn to God, disregarding prior beliefs.
A friend of mine served in Iraq and he believes that this phrase is true. Another friend of mine admitted to saying a prayer in desperation regarding severe problems at work.
Any thoughts?
Interesting post :)

The concept of "God" is the most power thought that the human mind is capable of thinking. Our thinking and thought process and ability to imagine comes to a halt at the supreme being level. We can not think of anything more powerful than God.

I think that God purposely engraved this into us at creation. Also "God" in general is thought to be embedded into us as well as the human mind natural looks for a creator and practically is born knowing that there is indeed a higher power.

With this being said.. the foxhole situation as well as any other sense of danger awakens a natural defense in the body. For instance, if you get something in your nose, your body tries to sneeze it out naturally.. or something in your thought your bodies natural reaction is to cough it out.

So when danger beyond your control arises, your natural reaction is to call on God.

God made us this way.

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#5 Sep 25, 2013
MrAnderson9 wrote:
<quoted text>Interesting post :)

The concept of "God" is the most power thought that the human mind is capable of thinking. Our thinking and thought process and ability to imagine comes to a halt at the supreme being level. We can not think of anything more powerful than God.

I think that God purposely engraved this into us at creation. Also "God" in general is thought to be embedded into us as well as the human mind natural looks for a creator and practically is born knowing that there is indeed a higher power.

With this being said.. the foxhole situation as well as any other sense of danger awakens a natural defense in the body. For instance, if you get something in your nose, your body tries to sneeze it out naturally.. or something in your thought your bodies natural reaction is to cough it out.

So when danger beyond your control arises, your natural reaction is to call on God.

God made us this way.
Excellent post.:) I agree with you.

It isn't possible to think of a higher power than God... I presume that that is why we use the term "God". It's sort of like hitting a ceiling; one cannot go any higher. Of course, this sort of discussion has to come to "the clay pot and the potter". The clay pot is absolutely *nothing* in comparison to its creator, the potter. I cannot imagine the clay pot to be able to perceive *anything* greater than the potter, even in imagination. It would be an impossibility.(In this scenario, there would be nothing greater than the potter, anyway.)

As for God being ingrained or built into us... there are Bible verses that make one think, such as: "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." -Psalm 139:16 "Do men make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!" -Jeremiah 16:20 From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "27 The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for." "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." -Ecclesiastes 3:11 (meaning that we have an instinctive knowledge of the true God, and a yearning of a God to worship, and the knowledge of an afterlife).

In regards to the "foxhole" question, it reminds me of a child crying out to Mommy or Daddy. When one is a child, who is greater than Mommy or Daddy? They are God when one is that age. Then we come to the age of reason, and we begin thinking outward, perhaps "Who made Mommy and Daddy?" We begin learning about God on our own! Then when we cry out to God in a major bind, it's suggestive of when we used to cry out to the then all-powerful Mommy or Daddy.:)

Did you watch the video / listen to the lyrics?:)

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Since: Apr 12

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#6 Sep 25, 2013
Lady Greensleeves wrote:
Official video - "Rooster" by Alice In Chains, written by Jerry Cantrell
http://m.youtube.com/watch...
Contains interview footage with Jerry "Rooster" Cantrell Sr., a Vietnam War veteran, and real Vietnam War documentary and news footage (as well as extremely realistic and graphic re-enactments).
This song is what led me to ask the question which is the topic of this thread.
"Walkin' tall machine gun man
They spit on me in my homeland
Gloria sent me pictures of my boy
Mmmmm
Got my pills 'gainst mosquito death
My buddy's breathin' his dyin' breath
Oh God, please, won't you help me make it through?
Mmmmm"
I've always liked that song. I didn't know it was about the singer's father. Something I've been meaning to do is to try to ask my father more about his experience over there in the 'nam. When we were young he would tell us bits and pieces, mainly of time spent in Da Nang, and he showed us the many pictures he took, of children mostly. I was told later that he got PTSD from being over there, so I don't know how comfortable it would be to ask him more about his experiences closer to the front.

I believe I remember you said you had a grandfather in WWII? And you said he didn't want to talk about it? I'm pretty sure I remember you saying that. After having read about that time I can understand why.

As to the question if there are no atheists in foxholes, I don't really know. Maybe there really have been some hard core atheists, no matter how desperate or how dire the situation, who remained so the the bitter end. There has got to be something to that saying though.

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#7 Sep 25, 2013
Walter Henrickson wrote:
<quoted text>Sorry, I had to delete your text :(
I'm happy that I checked back.:) Hi Walter! It's good to see you on a thread that I created since I *almost never* create threads.:)

I've also always liked "Rooster". It has a very genuinely haunting quality to it. I love the video. Alice In Chains is absolutely one of the best bands of the 90's-- I never got into much of 90's bands.:) Not counting underground death- and black metal bands of the 90's: I like Blind Melon, Alice In Chains, Tool, some Nirvana; I'm sure that I'm leaving out at least one band, but whatever.:) If I compare 90's music to the music of the 00's and 10's, then my opinion of that kind of music shoots wayyyy up. Auto-tuned vocals and pre-programmed music that could easily be played with *actual* instruments drives me *crazy*! One doesn't need talent anymore to be a "musician".:(

Yes, my grandmother and grandfather had my Mom in their mid-40's. They were old enough to be my *great*-grandparents.:) My grandfather and both of my grandmother's brothers were in WWII. My grandfather never left being stationed in VA, something that my grandmother attributed to going to St. Anne's Shrine *every day* by bus to light a candle for exactly that-- that he'd never leave VA. There, my grandfather fixed trucks and other vehicles, did work that involved chemistry, and helped guard POWs. I'm sure that he did more. I'll have to ask my Mom.

It was my grandmother's two brothers that saw horrific action. One of them was on the beach at Normandy and survived. The other (older) brother dropped bombs out of the backs of planes and *always* volunteered for suicide missions, thinking that if he was killed, his little brother would live and go home (Irish!). He always came back, though. They both lived.

I believe that you're thinking of the story that I told you when my great-aunt caught my great-uncle out of the blue starting to burn the massive amount of photos that he'd taken during the war! She stomped the fires that he'd started out and kept the photos hidden, thank God. My mother has them now since my grandmother and grandfather died.

*So* many people suffer from PTSD after seeing action. At least one of my great-uncles did (the photo burner). He always hated Germans with a passion after the war; he constantly called them "Krauts".:)

I would try to ease into talking about the Vietnam War with your dad... it's not information that you want to be gone forever someday! That bravery and service should be honored, remembered, and passed down. That might be a good reason to bring it up-- how proud you are of him-- or you could watch a few 'Nam movies together (Platoon, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now) and see how he reacts. It might just spark a conversation.:) That's how I got my fiance's dad to talk about Vietnam. He was/is a Green Beret, and went to Vietnam willingly.:)

I'm positive that you're correct in saying that there have had to be diehard atheists. I've heard from my fiance's dad that people not only called out for God, but also called out for their Moms and/or Dads. It's sort of the same thing, don't you think? Crying out for "the One" who can come and fix everything...

I just can't fathom what war like that is like, no matter what stories I hear or pictures I see. I wonder where the saying "There are no atheists in foxholes" originated? It's one of those sayings that I truly understand, and understand why people say it; maybe because it's so much deeper in meaning, with a particular ring of truth to it, than a saying such as "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". ;)

Level 2

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#8 Sep 25, 2013
Walter Henrickson wrote:
<quoted text>I've always liked that song. I didn't know it was about the singer's father. Something I've been meaning to do is to try to ask my father more about his experience over there in the 'nam. When we were young he would tell us bits and pieces, mainly of time spent in Da Nang, and he showed us the many pictures he took, of children mostly. I was told later that he got PTSD from being over there, so I don't know how comfortable it would be to ask him more about his experiences closer to the front.

I believe I remember you said you had a grandfather in WWII? And you said he didn't want to talk about it? I'm pretty sure I remember you saying that. After having read about that time I can understand why.

As to the question if there are no atheists in foxholes, I don't really know. Maybe there really have been some hard core atheists, no matter how desperate or how dire the situation, who remained so the the bitter end. There has got to be something to that saying though.
How far into double digits do you guess that this thread will go? Eleven? LoL, maybe if we go back and forth a few times we can pass that. ;)

I knew it wouldn't be a popular thread because it's not about interracial dating or anything else that gets people arguing. It's really too bad, because it's an interesting topic.:)

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Since: Sep 12

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#9 Sep 26, 2013
Only two people? Really?:/
Giggs

Manchester, UK

#11 Sep 26, 2013
Lady Greensleeves wrote:
I've heard people use this phrase referring to both the literal sense (you're in over your head in a war zone) and the figurative sense (you're in over your head at work, in a marriage, etc). Either way, the phrase is saying that once you're completely backed up against a wall and your last desperate turn is to turn to God, then you *will* turn to God, disregarding prior beliefs.
A friend of mine served in Iraq and he believes that this phrase is true. Another friend of mine admitted to saying a prayer in desperation regarding severe problems at work.
Any thoughts?
Its not true.

I know people who have gone to battle and still don't believe in God.
Stag_R_Lee

Scottsdale, AZ

#12 Sep 26, 2013
Psy Doc wrote:
<quoted text>
The only excuse for atheism is ignorance of Intelligent Design.
Anyone who gives the subject any thought at all will have to conclude the human mind cannot be the result of irrational natural forces at work.
"Intelligent Design" is a totally stupid idea. Merely ask yourself who designed the designer and you get lost in never ending verbiage. It's sad to say that people think they are so important that a God, made in their image must exist. It's a preposterous idea.
.
Leave the city, go out to sea or into the country. Look up at the stars. Try to grasp the enormity of the universe as compared with the triviality of your personal existence. If you can't do that, you're a slave and, in the end, hopeless. In other words, there's not a dozen virgins waiting for you.
.
Take it from Cab Calloway:

Stag_R_Lee

Scottsdale, AZ

#14 Sep 26, 2013
Catholid Ireland teaches atheism in its schools.
.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/26/...

Since: Feb 09

Location hidden

#15 Sep 26, 2013
Lady Greensleeves wrote:
Official video - "Rooster" by Alice In Chains, written by Jerry Cantrell
http://m.youtube.com/watch...
Contains interview footage with Jerry "Rooster" Cantrell Sr., a Vietnam War veteran, and real Vietnam War documentary and news footage (as well as extremely realistic and graphic re-enactments).
This song is what led me to ask the question which is the topic of this thread.
"Walkin' tall machine gun man
They spit on me in my homeland
Gloria sent me pictures of my boy
Mmmmm
Got my pills 'gainst mosquito death
My buddy's breathin' his dyin' breath
Oh God, please, won't you help me make it through?
Mmmmm"
Great video. It's terrible how those vets were treated by some. It's almost impossible to believe anyone would spit on them, even if they were against the war. I have great love for the troops and anyone who serves, even if I disagree with a US policy for war.

I would also like to hear from people who have known very ill atheists at the end of their lives and how they discuss the end. Do they just talk of personal matters, to make sure their family is taken care of? Do they just say, Nice knowing you as I now cease to exist?
Stag_R_Lee

Scottsdale, AZ

#16 Sep 26, 2013
Psy Doc wrote:
<quoted text>
You didn't have much in the way of education, did you?
Ever wonder why the vast majority of Nobel Prize winning scientists are Theists?
http://www.adherents.com/people/100_Nobel.htm...
Check your list. Einstein for example lived as an agnostic, but later changed to Pantheism. As I recall, he was a prominent leader and proponent of the idea. It can be argued--and I don't want to get into it-- that those who say that God is a composite of all is an equivalent of saying that there is no God. As I say, check your list.

Since: Feb 09

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#17 Sep 26, 2013
Lady Greensleeves wrote:
<quoted text>

I My grandfather and both of my grandmother's brothers were in WWII. My grandfather never left being stationed in VA, something that my grandmother attributed to going to St. Anne's Shrine *every day* by bus to light a candle for exactly that-- that he'd never leave VA. There, my grandfather fixed trucks and other vehicles, did work that involved chemistry, and helped guard POWs. I'm sure that he did more. I'll have to ask my Mom.
It was my grandmother's two brothers that saw horrific action. One of them was on the beach at Normandy and survived. The other (older) brother dropped bombs out of the backs of planes and *always* volunteered for suicide missions, thinking that if he was killed, his little brother would live and go home (Irish!). He always came back, though. They both lived.
I believe that you're thinking of the story that I told you when my great-aunt caught my great-uncle out of the blue starting to burn the massive amount of photos that he'd taken during the war! She stomped the fires that he'd started out and kept the photos hidden, thank God. My mother has them now since my grandmother and grandfather died.
*So* many people suffer from PTSD after seeing action. At least one of my great-uncles did (the photo burner). He always hated Germans with a passion after the war; he constantly called them "Krauts".:)
I would try to ease into talking about the Vietnam War with your dad... it's not information that you want to be gone forever someday! That bravery and service should be honored, remembered, and passed down. That might be a good reason to bring it up-- how proud you are of him-- or you could watch a few 'Nam movies together (Platoon, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now) and see how he reacts. It might just spark a conversation.:) That's how I got my fiance's dad to talk about Vietnam. He was/is a Green Beret, and went to Vietnam willingly.:)
I'm positive that you're correct in saying that there have had to be diehard atheists. I've heard from my fiance's dad that people not only called out for God, but also called out for their Moms and/or Dads. It's sort of the same thing, don't you think? Crying out for "the One" who can come and fix everything...
Very interesting post. One of my great-grandfather's served in the European campaign in WW2. He was with the medics at Normandy. He eventually had to go fight at the Battle of the Bulge because so many were dying there. He had interesting stories to tell, but would only discuss a little here and there.

He told of watching a fellow soldier die during that battle who was from the county over from where he was from. The dying soldier asked that he contact his fiance and tell her that his last thoughts were of her and that he loved her. My g-grandfather promised that if he made it back he would go see her and tell her.

He said after he got home, he just wanted to block it all out- like it had been a bad dream. He thought about just writing the man's fiance a letter- said he couldn't stand the thought of being face to face and answering all the questions- but he did.

Also- he was one who would go and pick up wounded from the Normandy battlefield. Apparently, there was either some official or unofficial "code" that if someone was apparently mortally wounded, yet still alive, they would leave them and go to the next wounded. My great-grandfather, being stubborn, as is the trait of my family, insisted on getting all of those who were alive. He would be with a partner as they picked up the wounded. Once, the partner wanted to leave a man who's body was blown open- but he was moaning for help. My g- grandfather said no, they wouldn't leave him. He found out later that this man and several others who would have been left to die survived and many of those went on to live normal lives.

Since: Feb 09

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#18 Sep 26, 2013
Walter Henrickson wrote:
<quoted text>
I've always liked that song. I didn't know it was about the singer's father. Something I've been meaning to do is to try to ask my father more about his experience over there in the 'nam. When we were young he would tell us bits and pieces, mainly of time spent in Da Nang, and he showed us the many pictures he took, of children mostly. I was told later that he got PTSD from being over there, so I don't know how comfortable it would be to ask him more about his experiences closer to the front.
I believe I remember you said you had a grandfather in WWII? And you said he didn't want to talk about it? I'm pretty sure I remember you saying that. After having read about that time I can understand why.
As to the question if there are no atheists in foxholes, I don't really know. Maybe there really have been some hard core atheists, no matter how desperate or how dire the situation, who remained so the the bitter end. There has got to be something to that saying though.
Hi Walter. None of my relatives were in Vietnam. The last person in my family who served in a war time situation was my grandfather who was in the Korean War. He won't talk about it to any degree at all.

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#19 Sep 26, 2013
Psy Doc wrote:
<quoted text>The only excuse for atheism is ignorance of Intelligent Design.
Anyone who gives the subject any thought at all will have to conclude the human mind cannot be the result of irrational natural forces at work.
I agree.:) The simple fact that the entire universe (and everything in it) is soundly based on mathematics and that all relates to each other thing rather than being utter chaos tells me that Intelligent Design is behind creation. The human mind is a master of mystery. Although we understand *some* of the brain, I don't believe that we are "intelligent" enough to figure out the entire brain, which would be *so* close to figuring out what makes us "us". It seems that someone / something more intelligent than us has designed the brain and the mind; someone / something that easily and fully understands us.
:)

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#20 Sep 26, 2013
Giggs wrote:
<quoted text>Its not true.

I know people who have gone to battle and still don't believe in God.
Let me put it this way: I've seen people being taken into emergency surgery who start praying, "Dear God, let me live...", "God, if I live through this, I promise you that...". After the life-threatening danger has passed, some people forget all about how they begged or bargained with God for a second chance. I think that this is the meaning behind "there are no atheists in foxholes". What do you think?

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#21 Sep 26, 2013
Stag_R_Lee wrote:
<quoted text>"Intelligent Design" is a totally stupid idea. Merely ask yourself who designed the designer and you get lost in never ending verbiage. It's sad to say that people think they are so important that a God, made in their image must exist. It's a preposterous idea.
.
Leave the city, go out to sea or into the country. Look up at the stars. Try to grasp the enormity of the universe as compared with the triviality of your personal existence. If you can't do that, you're a slave and, in the end, hopeless. In other words, there's not a dozen virgins waiting for you.
.
Take it from Cab Calloway:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =lBOgH5f36cQXX
Does the Designer need a designer if he/she/it is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent? Who could create such a being?

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#23 Sep 26, 2013
sONE wrote:
<quoted text>Great video. It's terrible how those vets were treated by some. It's almost impossible to believe anyone would spit on them, even if they were against the war. I have great love for the troops and anyone who serves, even if I disagree with a US policy for war.

I would also like to hear from people who have known very ill atheists at the end of their lives and how they discuss the end. Do they just talk of personal matters, to make sure their family is taken care of? Do they just say, Nice knowing you as I now cease to exist?
I love the video, too.:) The uncut version is even better.

Many of the anti-war peoples were severely misguided, blaming the soldiers instead of the persons who gave the soldiers their orders. It certainly had to be horrific. My fiance's dad told me that they also physically assaulted the soldiers with rocks and by many other means.(Then they turned around and said "Peace & Love!" ???)

I've heard dying people be *very* angry with God, and dying people who spend their time making peace with God.(I have many stories.) I infer that both of these situations implies a belief in God; how can one be angry with someone / something that doesn't exist?

People are so, so complicated!

(By the way, it's nice to talk with you again!)

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