AS12: Atheists in Foxholes and Related Areas

Thomas and David discuss some comments, as well as this episode’s topic:  Whether or not atheists might have a harder time giving their lives for a cause.

4 thoughts on “AS12: Atheists in Foxholes and Related Areas”

  1. Love this podcast. And am living in a material world filtered through a brain that can be easily poked into perceiving the materials in a different ways. however if the world is only what I perceive, than if say 1+1 = 3 and no one can really prove otherwise….kaboom goes the brain.

    I’m inclined to really get into the idea that certain people can became radicalized easier than others (as perhaps hinted at by some psychological tests), well beyond socioeconomics,. A few high profile professionals being charged as terrorist (a couple of doctors) here in Canada really highlights this idea.

    Perhaps religion is just a really good tool in seeking out the willing and easily influenced rather than just a belief in the religion in itself.

    I will concede this is a much more complex issue than just saying some people do it, and some don’t.

    Here’s a great comprehensive report on who becomes terrorist that supports many of your arguments of who become a terrorist, as well as other interesting notes perhaps for a future podcast:

  2. My 16 year old and I were listening to this episode after his fencing lesson (wow, that sounds pretentious; it is in a warehouse turned gym, is that better?) and we discussed that terrorism was like eating pizza.

    I asked him why he eats pizza and he said because it is delicious and loves how it tastes. So, after a nice steak dinner and dessert, do you want pizza? He admitted, that no, he didn’t. So, you eat pizza because you’re hungry, right? Well, he’s not that easy to trap, “I can eat anything when I’m hungry, I choose pizza because it is delicious.”

    So, pizza is delicious, but you don’t eat it unless you’re hungry. Is terrorism any different? You can be a religous fanatic; you can be living in poverty; you can be under the sway of a charismatic leader; or . . . you can be all 3 at the same time and that leads to trouble.

  3. I was just listening to the beginning of this episode, where you talked about meaning and motivation, along with doing things for immediate gratification vs long term goals. Maybe this isn’t really the best place to discuss my personal problems, considering that this is a podcast that focuses specifically around atheist issues, however I’m not really too sure where I should really go to talk about this…

    I often have serious issues with motivation, and motivating myself to do things other than continually watch videos and podcasts and play a few games. I really feel as if I want to do more, that I really should do more, but that I can’t ever bring myself to do so.

    A large part of this might be that I’m transgender and a college student, two things that provide a lot of stress for me, particularly when I spend a lot of time thinking about these two things. I live in South Carolina, am not out to my conservative and somewhat religious parents or the rest of the family, am trying to finally work up the motivation go see a doctor so that I can stop self-medicating with spironolactone, am trying to keep a 4.0 GPA and very high grades so that I might can get into Duke university, and am trying to deal with the fact that I am poor and need some income but am reluctant to get a job anywhere because of my social anxiety and mtf transition.

    There are probably plenty of other issues that I could add on to my list, but when this all adds up to my potential lack of motivation in the first place, I generally just find myself overly stressed, putting things off, and drowning myself in things like youtube series to get a break from myself. I’m sure your initial reaction is likely to tell me to find a therapist, but the fact that I live in SC, have a great deal of social anxiety particularly around issues like the fact that I’m trans, and am rather poor, it just hasn’t been feasible. I live in a culture that just doesn’t really understand people like me, and I don’t really know how to talk to someone that does… Sure I have a few online atheist and trans friends, but somehow it’s just not enough… A few online friends can only really do/say so much. I feel like I’m just in over my head, and I’m just waiting for the bit of ground underneath my feet to break.

    Also, I think a distinction should be made between motivation to do something and what someone feels they should be or would like to be doing. I might want to be doing something or think I should be doing it, but just don’t have the motivation or will to pull through with it.

    Any comments/advice is appreciated. And again, sorry to just throw this all on you, considering how off topic it kinda is… It seems a bit silly of me. I’ll understand if you don’t give any reply.

    1. Hey this is Thomas, I can’t begin to understand how difficult your situation must be. The only thing I will venture to say is that it really sounds like you’d be so much happier in an environment that is more accepting of you. Also as far as feeling motivated, I think focusing on your education is a completely valid and full use of your time. I can relate to putting a lot of pressure on myself to do more than just be in school, but honestly I don’t know that it accomplished much more than me feeling shitty and like I wasn’t doing enough. Maybe cut yourself a little slack and focus really hard on those grades and transfer out somewhere you will be more accepted. I don’t feel too comfortable even offering this much advice, since I am not qualified to do so, but I hope that helps in any small way.

Leave a Reply