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Religion = Military Strength


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#1 Ahmabeliever

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 02:46 PM

I consider the belief in the afterlife amongst population to be a key component in gaining military numbers. A soldier who believes they are to be rewarded in an afterlife will much more willingly work with a high chance of dieing than one who doesn't have some form of faith.

And we've all seen just how effective the promise of Heaven can be, acts like suicide bombings are all too common.

If you know you only got one shot, that this life is it, there is no more, that it is not "to be suffered through", but lived, why would you line up in front of someone elses weapons for pay.

I am interested to see the numbers of athiests in the armies of the world (volunteers) compared to the religious. Sure, there will be some people who get off on it. Sociopaths and psychopaths make up part of the population too.

Religion as a tool for conformity of the masses takes on a sinister new face in the light of this arguement. I surmise that Goverment are all too aware of what I am saying and so perpetuate religious belief despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Government without religion will find a population far more hesitant to fight their wars for them.

Religion also denies critical thinking as the paradigm for life is based in myth. This makes propaganda a far more effective tool, with a portion of the population ready to believe what they are told.

#2 Moontanman

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 04:23 PM

I consider the belief in the afterlife amongst population to be a key component in gaining military numbers. A soldier who believes they are to be rewarded in an afterlife will much more willingly work with a high chance of dieing than one who doesn't have some form of faith.

And we've all seen just how effective the promise of Heaven can be, acts like suicide bombings are all too common.

If you know you only got one shot, that this life is it, there is no more, that it is not "to be suffered through", but lived, why would you line up in front of someone elses weapons for pay.

I am interested to see the numbers of athiests in the armies of the world (volunteers) compared to the religious. Sure, there will be some people who get off on it. Sociopaths and psychopaths make up part of the population too.

Religion as a tool for conformity of the masses takes on a sinister new face in the light of this arguement. I surmise that Goverment are all too aware of what I am saying and so perpetuate religious belief despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Government without religion will find a population far more hesitant to fight their wars for them.

Religion also denies critical thinking as the paradigm for life is based in myth. This makes propaganda a far more effective tool, with a portion of the population ready to believe what they are told.


I totally disagree with you, as a matter of fact I can see how that atheism would be more likely to cause people to want to perserve their way of life after they die for their families. If you believe that when you die (as long as you live and believe the right way of course) you go to a better place then why fight? Why bother to fight against a tyrant when death releases you from what ever earth bound hell they want to put you through?

#3 Ahmabeliever

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 04:33 PM

I'm not talking about preserving way of life, as in defense, if you must defend yourself you must. I'm talking about volunteers who war abroad for whatever reasons are cooked up for them at the time.

I knew my statement would rouse patriotism, it's not about patriotism, it's about whether people that believe in an afterlife are easier to coax into battle.

#4 modest

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 04:49 PM

You’re taking the no atheists in foxholes saying too literally.

Don’t forget the point of warfare isn’t to die for your country, but to make the other guy die. Your insinuation that atheists are somehow worse at that is unfounded. I expect no afterlife party on my departure but that doesn’t mean I’m any less capable of putting a bullet down range. When my position is being overrun I would fight as hard and smart as my brothers in arms.

There is this constant accusation that atheists fear death. Anyone who spent half a minute thinking about that would realize how backwards the accusation is. If I feared death more than my theistic friends wouldn’t I join them in the placating self-deception they share?

How do you suppose the Israeli armed forces (very few whom would say they believe in an afterlife) did during the six day war? Did they kick *** to your standards of heroism? I believe they overwhelmingly decimated the entire Arab world which most certainly expects an afterlife.

Giving religion the credit for heroism :)

#5 Ahmabeliever

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 05:03 PM

It's not about bravery.

My point is not - do you have the balls to get shot at.

I've faced down men with guns before, some gangster types who wanted to kill a friend of mine, bluffed our way out, doesn't mean I EVER want to do it again. This isn't about bravery, it's about stupidity. Willingly going to potential death for God and Country. The seperation of church and state fails to apply with this saying.

I could be entirely wrong.

I theorise the bulk of voluntary troops are believers. The stats must be around somewhere.

#6 modest

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 05:20 PM

This isn't about bravery, it's about stupidity. Willingly going to potential death for God and Country.


Huh? Stupid people are better at battle? They are more willing to fight because they're stupid? Religious people are stupid? What are you saying? It's stupid to serve?

The stats must be around somewhere.


I already gave you the stats. The IDF may well be the best example of military perfection on the planet and most all of their wariors don't believe in an afterlife. Therefore,

I consider the belief in the afterlife amongst population to be a key component in gaining military numbers.


Is wrong.

-modest

#7 Moontanman

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 05:35 PM

I'm not talking about preserving way of life, as in defense, if you must defend yourself you must. I'm talking about volunteers who war abroad for whatever reasons are cooked up for them at the time.

I knew my statement would rouse patriotism, it's not about patriotism, it's about whether people that believe in an afterlife are easier to coax into battle.


I see what you mean, I'm not so sure it works like that but since I've never been to war I am probably not qualified to say one way or another.

#8 Ahmabeliever

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 06:57 PM

Don't see how an army with mandatory conscription has anything to do with it modest. Especially considering the constant state of threat the nation is under.

And yes, I do consider voluntary service to be stupid unless there is an actual real threat, not something concieved for political gain.

Die for your country - glorious - or stupid. Buyer Beware.

#9 modest

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 08:11 PM

Don't see how an army with mandatory conscription has anything to do with it modest.


That’s ok, I’ll tell you. Israel is a democracy. Its population has collectively decided that defending itself via military service is so important as to necessitate the mandatory service of every able-bodied man and woman. They’ve decided to give up three years of their life and risk death in order to defend themselves. You have explicitly said that their disbelief in an afterlife should be counter to this sentiment. Clearly not the case.

The decision to defend your country comes from your belief in your country and your need to protect your family and your values - not because you believe in an afterlife.

Especially considering the constant state of threat the nation is under.


Yes! A person's attitude toward service is based more by far on the threat to the nation than his or her belief in an afterlife.

And yes, I do consider voluntary service to be stupid unless there is an actual real threat, not something concieved for political gain.


Then you think atheists are more likely to want to serve if there IS a real threat? This is completely counter to your original position:

A soldier who believes they are to be rewarded in an afterlife will much more willingly work with a high chance of dieing than one who doesn't have some form of faith.


which implies that the greater the danger, the less likely an atheist will face it. The fact is people who don't believe in God can believe in their country. If they don't believe in sacrificing for God they can believe in sacrificing for their family and for their way of life. Christianity doesn't make heroes of cowards. Having a military isn't a theistic idea. China doesn't have the largest military in the world because they're just so freaking religious.

One thing simply shouldn't be equated with the other.

-modest

#10 Jet2

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:12 PM

Religion = Military Strength ? I doubt it.

Most Religions teach people to be kind, good and respect other.
To me those who like to fight and kill are either animal or have brain malfunction.

#11 InfiniteNow

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:27 PM

To me those who like to fight and kill are either animal or have brain malfunction.


And this rules out religion, how exactly?




I accept the point that those who actively practice a religion are generally more malleable and accepting of (often "less than rational") social conditioning, however, I struggle to accept the extrapolation of that point to the opening premise of the thread.


I consider the belief in the afterlife amongst population to be a key component in gaining military numbers. A soldier who believes they are to be rewarded in an afterlife will much more willingly work with a high chance of dieing than one who doesn't have some form of faith.


As has been shown, religion itself is inherently biased toward those with a fear of death. Further, it's just non-sequitur, your point does not follow.

It is most certainly possible that there is a social cohesion and "like-minded grouping" effect of religion in the military, where those who "believe the same" have stronger social bonds.

There is also a great likelihood that the government seeks ways to manipulate people under it's rule into fighting for "their country," and that religion itself can often serve as a tool and conduit for this manipulation.


However, I struggle to accept that these likelihoods and actions have anything whatsoever to do with a belief in an afterlife. It's like saying that the health benefit in apples is in their color.

#12 Ahmabeliever

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:33 PM

You are correct! Good Sir's.

And I was wrong. What was I thinking... :nono:

It's like saying that the health benefit in apples is in their color.


Well, actually, :shrug: canthaxinthin is responsible for the red colouring which is a powerful antioxidant. So the previous statement is partially true for red apples.

:hihi:

#13 InfiniteNow

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 11:48 PM

Of course. I really need to give up analogies permanently. :hihi:

:nono:


Like I said, there is something to be said about the parallels, I just don't think it relates in any direct way to belief in an afterlife. :shrug:

#14 modest

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 12:23 AM

I wonder if the line from 'A Few Good Men' is really a common Marine Corps saying:

Unit, Corps, God, Country


Meaning service to your country is more important than god or the corp. It was probably just a movie line :shrug:

-modest

"...Private Santiago died because he had no honor...and God was watching."

and full metal jacket:

"Today... is Christmas! There will be a magic show at zero-nine-thirty! Chaplain Charlie will tell you about how the free world will conquer Communism with the aid of God and a few marines! God has a hard-on for marines because we kill everything we see! He plays His games, we play ours! To show our appreciation for so much power, we keep heaven packed with fresh souls! God was here before the Marine Corps! So you can give your heart to Jesus, but your *** belongs to the Corps! Do you ladies understand?" :nono:

#15 REASON

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 12:40 AM

I imagine the percentages of people in the military that are religious are directly proportional to mainstream society. I do think the importance of religion in the military has become more prominent over the last decade or so, and certain religious preferences have been advocated which I consider dangerous, and should be curtailed.

To me, belief in an afterlife has always served as a coping mechanism in humankind as a result of our ability to contemplate our deaths. If belief in an afterlife is common among soldiers, it is not surprising considering they find themselves in peril.

I do not think that belief, or lack thereof, in an afterlife has any real affect on the capabilities or bravery of a combat soldier. They are driven by belief in the nobility of their cause, survival instincts, training, adrenaline, and comradery.

Never confuse the dedication of a soldier with the abuse of their Commander in Chief.
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#16 Southtown

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 07:49 PM

Afterlife is not life. -- st :rolleyes:

#17 nutronjon

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 08:02 PM

The Christmas before last Billy Graham did a Christmas season show that strongly put across the idea that a good Christian felt called by God to serve in Iraq. It was such a moving show, I almost signed up myself, and I am a old woman, who isn't Christian and is strongly opposed to war. I am saying, the emotional appeal to serve in Iraq was very strong, leaving me to think war is good religion and religion is good for war.