Difference between revisions of "There Are No Atheists In Foxholes"

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(Combat readiness, physical fitness, military drilling and death anxiety)
(There are no atheists on a sinking ship)
 
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[[Edgar Harrell]], one of the 317 survivors of the sinking of the [[USS Indianapolis]] declared: "Clearly there were no atheists in the water that day. Gone was that damnable attitude of pride that deceives men into thinking that there is no God...".<ref>[https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon-illustrations/83155/no-atheists-in-the-water-by-paul-barreca No Atheists In The Water], Sermon Central</ref> See also: [[Atheism and arrogance]]
 
[[Edgar Harrell]], one of the 317 survivors of the sinking of the [[USS Indianapolis]] declared: "Clearly there were no atheists in the water that day. Gone was that damnable attitude of pride that deceives men into thinking that there is no God...".<ref>[https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon-illustrations/83155/no-atheists-in-the-water-by-paul-barreca No Atheists In The Water], Sermon Central</ref> See also: [[Atheism and arrogance]]
  
Sir [[Robin Knox-Johnston]], the famous round-the-world sailor, indicated: “There is no such thing as an atheist in the [[Southern Ocean]].”<ref>[https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/bear-grylls-on-faith Bear Grylls: ‘To have faith in our everyday lives takes courage’], GQ Magazine</ref>
+
Sir [[Robin Knox-Johnston]], the famous round-the-world sailor, indicated: “[[There is no such thing as an atheist in the Southern Ocean]].”<ref>[https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/bear-grylls-on-faith Bear Grylls: ‘To have faith in our everyday lives takes courage’], GQ Magazine</ref>
  
 
For more information about the phrase "There are no atheists on a sinking ship", please see: [[There are no atheists on a sinking ship]]
 
For more information about the phrase "There are no atheists on a sinking ship", please see: [[There are no atheists on a sinking ship]]

Latest revision as of 06:24, 7 November 2019

Reverend William T. Cummings is famous for declaring There are no atheists in foxholes.[1]

Reverend William T. Cummings, who served at Bataan, is famous for declaring "There are no atheists in foxholes."[1] The exact origin of the phrase "There are no atheists in foxholes" is unclear, but it appears to be of World War I origin. [2][3]

Chaplain F.W. Lawson of the 302d Machine Gun Battalion, who was wounded twice in wartime, declared "I doubt if there is such a thing as an atheist. At least there isn't in a front line trench."[1] Hannah More wrote: "In agony or danger, no nature is atheist. The mind that knows not what to fly to, flies to God."[4]

President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared in remarks broadcast from the White House as part of a February 7, 1954 American Legion Program:

As a former soldier, I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth-that there are no atheists in the foxholes. They know that in time of test and trial, we instinctively turn to God for new courage…Whatever our individual church, whatever our personal creed, our common faith in God is a common bond among us.[5]

In recent years the organization Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers has taken up use of the slogan "Atheists in Foxholes" as a list of those men and women who serve the country while lacking a belief in God/gods.[6]

Research study: Combat Intensity and Religious Behavior

In September of 2013, in the Journal of Religion and Health, Brian Wansink and Craig S. Wansink published a study entitled Are There Atheists in Foxholes? Combat Intensity and Religious Behavior and the journal article abstract declares:

Abstract: After battle, the moral and mortality stresses influence different soldiers in different ways. Using two large-scale surveys of World War II veterans, this research investigates the impact of combat on religiosity. Study 1 shows that as combat became more frightening, the percentage of soldiers who reported praying rose from 42 to 72 %. Study 2 shows that 50 years later, many soldiers still exhibited religious behavior, but it varied by their war experience. Soldiers who faced heavy combat (vs. no combat) attended church 21 % more often if they claimed their war experience was negative, but those who claimed their experience was positive attended 26 % less often. The more a combat veteran disliked the war, the more religious they were 50 years later. While implications for counselors, clergy, support groups, and health practitioners are outlined, saying there are no atheists in foxholes may be less of an argument against atheism than it is against foxholes."[7]

Atheism and death anxiety

According to a study performed in the United States by researchers Wink and Scott, very religious people fear death the least.[8] See: Atheism and death

See also: Atheism and death and Atheism and anxiety and Atheism and cryonics

On April 2, 2012, Science Daily reported that Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God.[9] In a 2012 Psychology Today article, Dr. Nathan A. Heflick reported similar results in other studies.[10] For more information on death anxiety in atheists and other types of individuals based on brain research studies (including studies that examined the effects of stress), please see the article: Atheism and death

(Under stress, the brain's processing works in a way that prefers unconscious thinking.[11])

A United States study and a Taiwanese study indicated that the irreligious fear death more than the very religious (Please see the article: Atheism and death).

Dr. Nathan Heflick on death anxiety increasing atheists' unconscious belief in God

Due to research showing that death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God, Dr. Nathan Heflick declared in a Psychology Today article, "But, at a less conscious (or pre-conscious) level, this research suggests that there might be less atheism in foxholes than atheists in foxholes report."[12] For more information, please see: Atheism and death

Atheism and Hell

See also: Atheism and Hell

The journalist and ex-atheist Peter Hitchens, who is the brother of the late atheist Christopher Hitchens, said upon seeing an art exhibit of Michelangelo's painting The Last Judgment he came to the realization that he might be judged which startled him.[13] This started a train of thought within Peter Hichens that eventually led him to become a Christian.[14]

Atheism and life after death

Atheism/religion, moral courage, emotional intelligence and troop/unit morale

In combat conditions, the bravery/cowardice of soldiers is partially dependent on moral courage, emotional resilience, and troop/unit morale/cohesion.

Brain study: Religious belief vs. non-belief - Anxiety/stress reduction

Believing in God can help block anxiety and minimize stress, according to new University of Toronto research that shows distinct brain differences between believers and non-believers.[15] See: Atheism and anxiety and Atheism and the brain

See also: Religious belief vs. non-belief - Anxiety/stress reduction and Atheism and the brain

According to the leading science news website Phys.org:

Believing in God can help block anxiety and minimize stress, according to new University of Toronto research that shows distinct brain differences between believers and non-believers.

In two studies led by Assistant Psychology Professor Michael Inzlicht, participants performed a Stroop task - a well-known test of cognitive control - while hooked up to electrodes that measured their brain activity.[16]

Atheism and anxiety

Richard Dawkins
The Oxford University Professor Daniel Came wrote to the New Atheist Richard Dawkins:: "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[17] See also: Atheism and cowardice

Atheism and debates

See also: Atheism debates

As far as Christianity vs. atheism public debates, in recent years there have been a number of notable instances of atheists doing poorly in debates (see: Atheism vs. Christianity debates).

In recent years, there have been a number of notable instances of atheists refusing to debate and many ascribe this unwillingness to cowardice (see: Atheism and cowardice).

Atheism, religion and mental toughness

See: Atheism, religion and mental toughness

Combat readiness, physical fitness, military drilling and death anxiety

In addition, combat readiness in military personnel is enhanced through vigorous physical training and military drilling. The more combat ability military personnel have, the less their anxiety.

Please see:

Religion in the military

See also: Religion in the military

Encycylopedia.com states concerning religion in the military:

Religion in the Military. For more than 220 years, religion and religious leaders have provided a source of strength and faith for a total of 55 million Americans who have served in the military forces of the United States. The rigorous demands of military duties—separation from friends and family, training in remote locations, battle, and the possibility of violent death—have mandated support for those who serve and who may potentially lay down their lives for their country.[18]

Study: Nonreligious soldiers are less able to cope with traumatic combat experiences

See also: Atheism and emotional/intrapersonal intelligence

The abstract for the Journal of Religion and Health article entitled Religiosity as a Moderator of Self-Efficacy and Social Support in Predicting Traumatic Stress Among Combat Soldiers declares:

Based on a sample of 54 Israeli soldiers (51 % non-religious, 49 % religious) surveyed upon their return from combat, this study investigates the moderating role of religiosity as a factor that may strengthen cognitive processing tied to the belief in oneself to persevere (i.e., self-efficacy) after trauma and/or as a factor tied to enhanced external social support that religious individuals in particular may benefit from by their involvement in a religious community. Findings revealed (1) social support was tied to greater resilience within the general sample; (2) religious soldiers were less susceptible to traumatic stress than non-religious soldiers; and (3) religiosity moderated the relationship between self-efficacy and traumatic stress but not the relationship between social support and traumatic stress. Implications of findings are discussed.[19]

There are no atheists on a sinking ship

See also: There are no atheists on a sinking ship and There are no atheists on turbulent airplanes

A close variant of the phrase "There are no atheists in foxholes" is the phrase, "There are no atheists on a sinking ship".[20][21]

A close variant of the phrase "There are no atheists in foxholes" is the phrase, "There are no atheists on a sinking ship".[22][23]

For example, a sermon preached by the Reverend Peter Edwards in Great Malvern Priory indicates: "To refer back to the Titanic - it’s often said that there are no atheists on a sinking ship."[24]

Edgar Harrell, one of the 317 survivors of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis declared: "Clearly there were no atheists in the water that day. Gone was that damnable attitude of pride that deceives men into thinking that there is no God...".[25] See also: Atheism and arrogance

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the famous round-the-world sailor, indicated: “There is no such thing as an atheist in the Southern Ocean.”[26]

For more information about the phrase "There are no atheists on a sinking ship", please see: There are no atheists on a sinking ship

The endurance of the saying "There are no atheists in foxholes"

See: Endurance of the saying "There are no atheists in foxholes"

Kurt Vonnegut quote concering the saying "There are no atheists in foxholes"

See also: Atheism quotes

Kurt Vonnegut was a popular American novelist and short story writer. He was also an atheist/agnostic.[27]

Concerning the saying "There are no atheists in foxholes", Vonnegut said, “People say there are no atheists in foxholes. A lot of people think this is a good argument against atheism. Personally, I think it's a much better argument against foxholes.”[28]

Atheists in foxholes monument by the Freedom From Religion Foundation

Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation

See also: Atheists in foxholes monument and Freedom From Religion Foundation and Atheist organizations

The atheist organization the Freedom From Religion Foundation declares on their website:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation erected its monument to “Atheists in Foxholes” in 1999 at Lake Hypatia, Alabama. FFRF dedicated its second monument at the Rose Zerwick Memorial Garden and Courtyard adjoining Freethought Hall's new entrance.

The monument is dedicated to the many members of the military who were “atheists in foxholes,” as well as to all freethinkers (atheists, agnostics, and skeptics of any persuasion) who serve in the U.S. military.[29]

Recommended book

  • No Atheists In Foxholes: Reflections and Prayers From the Front by Patrick McLaughlin. Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 12, 2010), ISBN-10: 0785297820

World War One quote: There are no atheists in foxholes

"Tell the Territorials and soldiers at home that they must know God before they come to the front if they would face what lies before them. We have no atheists in the trenches. Men are not ashamed to say that, though they never prayed before, they pray now with all their hearts." - A speaker at a memorial service for a fallen soldier held at St. Matthias’ Church, Ilsham read from the letter of an unnamed chaplain serving at the front and quoted published in a British newspaper (Namely, 1914 November 6, The Western Times, Col. Burn’s Late Son: Torquay’s Expression of Sincere Sympathy, Quote Page 8, Column 3, Devon, England. (British Newspaper Archive)[30]

Contemporary music usage of the term "There are no atheists in foxholes"

"There are no atheists in foxholes. The pressure's getting to me. It's time to throw in the towel." - Sunshine Riptide, Fall Out Boy (American band)

See also

External Links

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Archived Discussion on Linguist List - Listserve
  2. There Are No Atheists in Foxholes, Quote Investigator website
  3. What is the origin of the phrase 'there are no atheists in a foxhole'?, Times of India, February 22, 2009
  4. Hannah More quotes
  5. Dwight Eisenhower: There are No Atheists in Foxholes
  6. Atheists in Foxholes, in Cockpits, and on Ships, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers website
  7. Are There Atheists in Foxholes? Combat Intensity and Religious Behaviorby Brian Wansink and Craig S. Wansink, Journal of Religion and Health, 2013
  8. Fear of death: worst if you’re a little religious?, World of Science]
  9. Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God, Science Daily], Date: April 2, 2012
  10. Atheists, Death and Belief in God The Effects of Death Reminders on Atheists' Supernatural Beliefs, Psychology Today, Published on May 25, 2012 by Nathan A. Heflick, Ph.D. in The Big Questions
  11. Atheists, Death and Belief in God The Effects of Death Reminders on Atheists' Supernatural Beliefs, Psychology Today, Published on May 25, 2012 by Nathan A. Heflick, Ph.D. in The Big Questions
  12. Interview of Peter Hitchens - Video at Vimeo
  13. Interview of Peter Hitchens - Video at Vimeo
  14. Researchers find brain differences between believers and non-believers, Phys.org, March 4, 2009
  15. Researchers find brain differences between believers and non-believers, Phys.org, March 4, 2009
  16. Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
  17. Religion in the military, Encylcylopedia.com
  18. Religiosity as a Moderator of Self-Efficacy and Social Support in Predicting Traumatic Stress Among Combat Soldiers, Journal of Religion and Health
  19. A sermon preached by the Reverend Peter Edwards in Great Malvern Priory
  20. There are no atheists on a sinking ship
  21. A sermon preached by the Reverend Peter Edwards in Great Malvern Priory
  22. There are no atheists on a sinking ship
  23. A sermon preached by the Reverend Peter Edwards in Great Malvern Priory
  24. No Atheists In The Water, Sermon Central
  25. Bear Grylls: ‘To have faith in our everyday lives takes courage’, GQ Magazine
  26. Kurt Vonnegut, “Christ-Loving Atheist” by Dan Wakefield, Salo University
  27. Kurt Vonnegut quote
  28. ATHEISTS IN FOXHOLES, Freedom From Religion Foundation website
  29. [There Are No Atheists in Foxholes], Quote Investigator website