"The time is fast approaching when many people who are living in ignorance with no knowledge of their Creator will be graced by faith in the
impending post-atheist world."
God and Mom and apple pie are images widely associated with the U.S. armed forces. Few rationalists would expect the military to harbor an enclave of
atheists and freethinkers. But those who think "You won't find any atheists in a foxhole" had better check the facts before they open their mouths.
Sergeant First Class Kathleen Johnson works for the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division (CID). In February 1998, she founded the Military
Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF). Since then, MAAF has become an active Internet community. Running the rapidly developing organization
entirely from her home, with no funding from membership dues and consequently no Internal Revenue Service entanglements, Johnson now lists more than
110 names on the MAAF roster. The group holds lively e-mail discussions on a daily basis, as well as monthly Internet chat sessions. "The Internet,"
Johnson says, "is what makes this group possible." MAAF is not active solely online. The group is affiliated with a few key organizations, such as
It is hard to believe that even intelligent and educated people could hold such an opinion, but they do! It seems never to have occurred to them that
the Greeks and Romans, whose gods and goddesses were something less than paragons of virtue, nevertheless led lives not obviously worse than those of
the Baptists of Alabama! Moreover, pagans such as Aristotle and Marcus Aurelius - although their systems are not suitable for us today - managed to
produce ethical treatises of great sophistication, a sophistication rarely if ever equaled by Christian moralists.
The answer to the questions posed above is, of course, "Absolutely not!" The behavior of Atheists is subject to the same rules of sociology,
psychology, and neurophysiology that govern the behavior of all members of our species, religionists included. Moreover, despite protestations to the
contrary, we may assert as a general rule that when religionists practice ethical behavior, it isn't really due to their fear of hell-fire and
damnation, nor is it due to their hopes of heaven. Ethical behavior - regardless of who the practitioner may be - results always from the same causes
and is regulated by the same forces, and has nothing to do with the presence or absence of religious belief. The nature of these causes and forces is
the subject of this essay.
Our history has been marked by a ceaseless struggle against ignorance and superstition. In ancient Greece the works of the materialist philosopher
Democritus, who first taught the atomic theory of matter, were destroyed. Anaxagoras was banished from Athens for being an Atheist. The materialist
philosopher Epicurus, revered by the ancients for having liberated man from fear of gods and for asserting the validity of science, was for 2000 years
anathematized and falsely depicted as an enemy of morality and a disseminator of vice. The Alexandria library, housing 700,000 scientific and literary
works, was burned by Christian monks in 391 AD. Pope Gregory I (590-604) destroyed many valuable works by ancient authors. In every society there have
been forces that have stood to lose by the dissemination of progressive scientific views. In the past these forces either directly persecuted
progressive scientists and philosophers or sought to distort scientific discoveries so as to deprive them of their progressive, materialistic
The Inquisition, a papal invention for suppressing all opposition to the Catholic Church, savagely persecuted all progressive thinkers; Giordano
Bruno, Ludilio Vanini, and Galileo come readily to mind.
Why the human species has invented so many words which refer to nothing in reality is a most interesting question for scientific investigation, and
probably would require a complete book to elucidate properly. In this article I shall only attempt to deal with a few such words, specifically, the
words spirit, soul, and mind.
It is a striking fact that nearly all languages of the world, extinct as well as extant, have — or have had — words which could be rendered as
'spirit' or 'soul' in English, At first glance, it would seem that this is a good argument in favor of the real existence of souls and spirits.
For, would it not be improbable that so many different peoples and languages could be mistaken? If many different unrelated languages have
independently invented words for soul, is that not a good reason to believe they did so because there really is such a thing?
I think not. The first clue to the solution of this puzzle comes from etymology, the study of word origins.
While the origin of the English word soul is obscure, the word almost certainly had its origin in a word which meant 'breath' or 'wind' or
'air', or something like that. The word spirit — generally a synonym for soul — comes from the Latin spiritus, and clearly meant 'breath'
originally. Spiritual and respiratory both derive from the same root!
People look to reglion to explain the unexplainable that is why people still think god exsits. I dont think there as ever been any real effort to find
out the number of athiests world wide. In effect reglion can be debunked . You cant really say anyone sources are biased on this thread because you
either belive in god or you dont. Its a yes or no question.