Sunday, June 21, 2009

There are no atheists in foxholes B-huts...

I come across the saying that there are no atheists in foxholes rather often. It's a pretty common cliche, and I'm sure most people have seen it. It's a rather ridiculous claim saying that Atheists are all hypocrites. Although I am an atheist and I have been in foxholes, I've never been in one besides during training. I think the whole point of the quote is that when an atheist is in trouble that they turn towards god for help, especially in the case of mortal danger.

During my recent deployment to Afghanistan I was relatively safe, especially compared to some of my fellow soldiers. I believe the death rate at our base was actually safer than most cities, and highways, but I still think there were some cases where I can personally attest to whether or not there are atheists in foxholes B-huts. The best example would probably be in the early morning of Father's Day 2009 when we were awakened to a large explosion. We were close enough to the blast from an incoming rocket that debris rained down on our B-hut. There could have been more incoming rockets, and I was standing in my room trying to decide what to do. B-huts in case you aren't aware, are little buildings made of plywood and tin that soldiers in Afghanistan regularly sleep in if they are "lucky". An incoming rocket would have no problem destroying the building and seriously injuring or killing any inhabitants. So as an atheist in a life threatening situation did I suddenly fall to my knees and start praying? No. In fact, it wasn't even an idea that crossed my mind. You see, the key point to atheism is that I don't think there is a god. Why would I pray to something that I don't think exists? It's silly and I wouldn't. If there is a god, which I'm not saying there is or isn't, just that I seriously doubt there is, why would he value my wishes(prayers) over the wishes of all the other millions of starving and/or dying people in the world every day? All I wondered about was whether or not anyone was hurt, if more attacks were coming, and whether we should gear up and get in the bunkers or not.

If you are one of those people that like to use the fox hole cliche, maybe you should reconsider. It's silly, and untrue. Here is a link on the attack http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/21/terror/main5101364.shtml. Unfortunately we lost two American soldiers that morning. My heart goes out to their friends and family members.