Atheists Seek Chaplain Role in the Military

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posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 12:29 PM
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Atheists Seek Chaplain Role in the Military


www.nytimes.com...

Strange as it sounds, groups representing atheists and secular humanists are pushing for the appointment of one of their own to the chaplaincy, hoping to give voice to what they say is a large — and largely underground — population of nonbelievers in the military.
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 00:08:30 -0500 by MemoryShock because: To Fix Link




posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 12:29 PM
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While it sounds ironic and even silly, a few thoughts come to mind here:

1 -- Spiritual isn't the same as religious. Everything can (and probably should) be a spiritual experience. College, work, sex, a walk in the park can all be spiritual experiences. (Actually, making work or sex a religious experience could ruin it for all involved.)

2 -- There are some (not all) atheists who practice their atheism with a religious zeal. Some preach, write books, seek conversions, and become apologists for a brand of 'fundamentalist atheism.'

Therefor, as silly as it sounds, why not have atheist chaplains to cater to the spiritual needs of atheists?

www.nytimes.com..." target="_blank" class="postlink">https:
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 12:49 PM
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Thats neat, I hope they succeed. As a non practicing muslim I experience the western world differently, I never consider myself an Atheist, perhaps spiritual is the best description. Most people are very seeded in tradition, which I am not apposed, however change is inevitable, and so I am glad to see it happening for the military. Everyones voice should be heard, perhaps this will be a big step for real religious and spiritual freedoms.



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 12:54 PM
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this is stupid
If atheists need a chaplain then that means they don't know what atheism is.

Organized Atheism coming to a neighbourhood near you!

How is organized atheism any better than organized religion?

This is why I chose to be an agnostic, because I actually have a brain



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 12:55 PM
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This adds to the belief that atheism is a form of religion in it's self.
edit on 28-4-2011 by Chewingonmushrooms because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 01:08 PM
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I am the farthest thing from what you would call a religious person and even I see this as a "how far can we go" game. The world has zero respect for religion and I think it's disgusting. This is blatant disrespect and a mockery and I shame all who are involved, all who support and all who allow this to happen. Atheists DO NOT have spiritual needs.



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 01:20 PM
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So…

Atheism IS a religion.

Nicely done.

Chaplain - A member of the clergy attached to a private chapel, institution, ship, branch of the armed forces, etc.

Clergy - The body of all people ordained for religious duties.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 01:31 PM
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reply to post by 4Starlight2Decay0
 


Everybody has spiritual needs. I feel a deep seeded spiritual connection to the world, but I am not religious nor do I believe in a traditional deity. I am shaman.

An atheist chaplain would do well for the soldiers who want to speak about spiritual matters but do not subscribe to the major religions.



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 01:50 PM
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Maybe I am wrong in my view of atheists (not all are the same, just like any denomination), but wouldn't atheists scoff at the notion of differences between religion and spiritualism? I consider myself spiritual but certainly not religious (at least not in the organized sense), but any belief system not coming to the conclusion that when you die you cease to exist would be at odds with atheist, no?



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by mother1138
 


One of my best friends is an atheist in the military so I'm not at all surprised although I do think the idea of an atheist chaplain is a bit odd there definitely needs to be someone to speak for all the atheists that do indeed exist in foxholes.

reply to post by ModernAcademia
 




This is why I chose to be an agnostic, because I actually have a brain


First of all this is demeaning.

Second of all atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. I myself am an agnostic-atheist as are the vast majority of atheists. Perhaps you'd like to store that information in that so much better than the rest of us brain


Agnostic Atheism

edit on 28-4-2011 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by JohnnyTHSeed
 


No gods=no spirit=no need for a chaplain.To me chaplain is a respected title not to be loosely handed out to every new age hippy wannabe. Am I oppossed to atheists? No way I am not religious. Do I think they should show a little respect and make there own title? YES



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by mother1138
 


Totally unrelated but Danzig is freakin awesome



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by Chewingonmushrooms
Maybe I am wrong in my view of atheists (not all are the same, just like any denomination), but wouldn't atheists scoff at the notion of differences between religion and spiritualism?


There's a huge difference. There are atheists who have other spiritual beliefs. The word atheist means that a person doesn't believe in a deity. That's all. There are spiritual atheists.

I can see atheists in the military wanting someone to talk to with issues and problems... maybe losing a friend in battle or something... I can see that. Religious people go and talk to their chaplain about all sorts of life issues. Why not have someone for atheists to talk with?


Originally posted by 4Starlight2Decay0
No gods=no spirit


That's not true. You don't get to tell atheists what we believe in.
That's for us to say.
edit on 4/28/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by 4Starlight2Decay0
 


Oh how foolish of me, since I don't believe in a god - my belief in spirit is invalid. Thanks for setting me straight


In America, we (supposedly) have freedom to practice any religion we choose. Of course civilian life is very different from military life, but allowing non-traditional chaplains could only do good for those who seek them out. The atheist chaplain is not going to try to convert or denigrate people of faith. The will be available to those who want to pursue spiritual matters - like a spiritual therapist.

I don't see how this is "insulting" to anyone.



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:37 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Would it be ok to assume judging on rep that spiritual atheists are in the small minority? I know Buddhism can be taken as a form of atheism, but rarely would a buddhist acknowledge him/herself as atheist. Maybe many "self-proclaimed" atheists do not know the true meaning (yourself not included of course). I just did a Wiki look up and you are certainly right in that it's specifically means non belief in a deity. Spiritualism is also something that is hard to define.

Also would you agree with my original statement that Atheists do not believe in life (or consciousness for a better term) after death in any sense? Where do the Atheists that consider themselves spiritual fall on that scale and what would be their belief (not unified I know, just speaking in general). Curious really because I've always seen Atheists as almost an extension of scientific materialism/realism way of looking at things/mindset..


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posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:54 PM
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Originally posted by Chewingonmushrooms
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Would it be ok to assume judging on rep that spiritual atheists are in the small majority?


I don't think it's safe to assume ANYTHING about atheists - other than we don't believe in this "god" character. After that, any assumptions are just pure guesses. Atheists have ONE thing in common. They don't believe in God. That's it.



Maybe many "self-proclaimed" atheists do not know the true meaning (yourself not included of course).


I would guess that the self-proclaimed atheists do know the definition. It's everyone else who THINKS they know that spread these ideas.


What surprises me is that I ask my sister if she believes in God, she says "no". I ask if she considers herself an atheist and she looks at me strangely and says "NO". Same with my friends.
They don't know the meaning. And when I tell them, they say, "I guess I'm an atheist, then."




Also would you agree with my original statement that Atheists do not believe in life (or consciousness for a better term) after death in any sense?


I believe that we go on after our bodies die. So, no, I wouldn't agree.




Where do the Atheists that consider themselves spiritual fall on that scale and what would be their belief (not unified I know, just speaking in general).


I consider myself an agnostic spiritual atheist.


Remember: Gnosis means KNOWLEDGE and Theism means BELIEF.

I'm agnostic (Without KNOWLEDGE)
Spiritual (I believe in a spiritual realm or "world")
Atheist (Without BELIEF in a deity)

So, I don't KNOW, but I BELIEVE that there isn't a God, but I do BELIEVE in a spiritual realm.

Hope that helps with the understanding of what an atheist is.

And if I were in the military and my uncle died back home, I would want someone to talk it over with and help me deal with my feelings.



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by ModernAcademia
this is stupid
If atheists need a chaplain then that means they don't know what atheism is.

Organized Atheism coming to a neighbourhood near you!

How is organized atheism any better than organized religion?

This is why I chose to be an agnostic, because I actually have a brain


Not at all... you have to understand there are not therapists or counselors on Naval ships... there are only Chaplains... and Chaplains typically help people with existential crises... so who do Atheists turn to for this type of human need?

That's why they are asking for Chaplains... and it makes total sense.

Just because someone is an atheist doesn't meant that they don't need someone to talk to and listen to them in times of emotional trial...
edit on 28-4-2011 by HunkaHunka because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 03:22 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 




I don't think it's safe to assume ANYTHING about atheists - other than we don't believe in this "god" character. After that, any assumptions are just pure guesses. Atheists have ONE thing in common. They don't believe in God. That's it.


Fair enough. Atheists I guess would have more in common with spiritualists I guess in that there really isn't a good definition to describe "us" either. At least you have one thing in common, not sure I can say the same about us.



I would guess that the self-proclaimed atheists do know the definition. It's everyone else who THINKS they know that spread these ideas.


Hmmm, well I am judging not on my assumptions but through experience in my interactions with atheists in real life and on message boards. Common ideas of the atheists that I have come across were the belief in oblivion after death, the belief that life is an accident with no meaning besides the meaning that we attribute to it, and the belief that all Gods and religions are fairy tales. That's why I used the term "self proclaimed" atheist to describe them. What you are describing to me sounds quite different with the exception of denial of deity. Not judging either way.



What surprises me is that I ask my sister if she believes in God, she says "no". I ask if she considers herself an atheist and she looks at me strangely and says "NO". Same with my friends.
They don't know the meaning. And when I tell them, they say, "I guess I'm an atheist, then."



Well now that gets tricky. In my experience at least here in the states, when someone asks someone else do you believe in God, they automatically assume you are speaking of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. I don't believe in that God either, so would that make me Atheist? No according to your (and Wiki's) definition, because the closest thing that I would label myself would be Panentheistic. Again I try best not to label myself because my beliefs change all the time. About the only thing that doesn't get revised in my belief system is that we are immoral spirits or mind consciousness. Everything else is subject to change.




I believe that we go on after our bodies die. So, no, I wouldn't agree.



So I guess we believe the same in that instance then.





I consider myself an agnostic spiritual atheist.


Sorry I suck at this quoting business, I originally tried quoting the whole part. But I found the breaking down of your definition of who you are and why you believe what you believe to be very interesting. Maybe we are more similar than one would think.




Hope that helps with the understanding of what an atheist is.


Sure it's given me an understanding of your particular version of atheism. The are many levels and sects and dominations of Atheists I now realise. What I did learn though from your post was...

In Western culture, atheists are frequently assumed to be exclusively irreligious or unspiritual.[11] However, atheism also figures in certain religious and spiritual belief systems, such as Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Jainism and some forms of Buddhism do not advocate belief in gods,[12] whereas Hinduism holds atheism to be valid, but difficult to follow spiritually


Thanks for the info and clarification.



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by JohnnyTHSeed
 


I see it as an insult to the title and those who work hard to obtain and keep it. They can make there own title up.
edit on 04/28/2011 by 4Starlight2Decay0 because: a



posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by ModernAcademia

This is why I chose to be an agnostic, because I actually have a brain


The vast majority of atheists are agnostic. In fact, to my knowledge I have never met a gnostic atheist. It seems that in your attempt to make yourself seem smarter than other people, you instead displayed a lack of understanding of definitions of these terms.

----------

The issue about "spiritualism" is another case. Christians equate that with a spirit...an intangible ghost version of themselves that lives forever and hangs out with family members in heaven...so to them, if you are spiritual then you also believe in this sort of thing.

However, atheists tend to use "spirit" more like "condition". Like, laughing is good for the spirit. It's not good for a ghost version of me...it improves my personal happiness. In the same way, one may seek counsel on a variety of issues...anger, sadness, despair...and there would be no link to a ghost version of yourself. An atheist would agree that a good relationship and family etc is all good for the "spirit"...atheists just don't tend to think that the spirit is an eternal ghost...it's just "the state of being". No supernatural stuff needed.

Often, when an atheist in need of help reaches out, the help advises them to turn to god, go to church, pray...stuff like that. This sort of advice is useless, and often insulting to an atheist. So, I actually think that it is a good idea to have a nonreligious person that atheists can go to when they need a boost in spirit.

Of course, I would assume that the military already has psychologists and such for that sort of thing.





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