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Been in danger, still atheist

Published: May 30, 2011

I couldn’t ignore the temptation of responding to the ignorant statement “there are no atheists in foxholes” in the May 29 letter “Don’t dismiss all believers” — as I am an “atheist in a foxhole” and I’m not alone.

This is my second deployment to Iraq and I have traveled more than 8,000 miles “outside the wire” to several bases in northern Iraq. I’m a gun truck vehicle commander and responsible for securing personnel, supplies and equipment when in transportation between bases.

Every day that I leave the wire, I travel knowing of the inherent risks and, though I am confident that most risks to life and limb are negated by the armored MRAP and IED-defeating technology that protects me, I am not invincible; each new day could potentially be my last (literally). And although lately this has resulted in my near paranoiac fear of a catastrophic kill, I satisfactorily (and safely) complete the assigned task — as I have every intention of returning home to my lovely wife, who is also an atheist, and to whom I am faithful.

From what I have observed, all Christians are dependent on the following metaphysical foundations: 1) a belief in God; 2) that the Bible is literally correct; 3) that mankind is sinful and as necessary to be saved; and 4) that God sent his only son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrificial lamb so that 5) by believing in Christ and taking his name upon us we may be saved and have eternal life with God.

Am I far off mark here? I think not, as I was once “Christian” myself, but through continued education I discovered that the Christian mentality directly conflicts with scientific theories and facts about this world and life in general. There are no demons other than the ones we make for ourselves, just as there are no angels that protect us.

What was once a mystery and unexplainable is in reality discoverable and, by good scientific investigation and sound judgment, we can have knowledge about the world and the universe, though limited. The facts as I find presented by the natural sciences clearly suggest that, if correct, then the foundational beliefs of Christianity are false.

Albert Einstein had this to say on the matter: “I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the construction of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” I have found better sanity and happiness in agreeing with a profound and human genius than with insane men on ego trips who believe in “gods” and “devils” with their wild claims about “raptures” and “eternal life” but “join me (and give generous donations)” for which there are no clear facts; no proof of existence.

Staff Sgt. Gerald K. Adamson

Joint Base Balad, Iraq

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