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XtianChris
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I've been debating joining the military for a few reasons, mostly personal. As an extian, I'm torn. Here's my thoughts as it relates to the religious aspects of the military.

 

Pros:

1) I might get the chance to kill (directly or indirectly) radical Islamists. If I'm lucky, I'll live to see the day when I would have the chance to kill radical Christians.

2) I'd be another number to add to the atheists in foxholes count.

3) When my fellow soldiers see the evils in the world and express their doubts in God, I can be there to encourage them

 

Cons:

1) I could die before I get to do any good.

2) I would be supporting a war started mainly for religious reasons.

3) Due to discrimination against atheists, I could become ineffective when I share my beliefs and/or end up wasting my time there.

 

Aside from these religious considerations, I have other reasons for wanting to join and other reasons for not wanting to. I'd like to see what the forum thinks about these points though. Are there other religious considerations that I'm missing? If not, do you have any words of advice on this topic?

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I just think killing is wrong. Aren't there better ways to do good and prove that atheists are good, honest, and courageous people. That is my knee-jerk response and it may not be the best advice.

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I am one who thinks that war is sometimes necessary and unavoidable CJ. However I also think that it is not something to be entered into lightly. I imagine that killing another human being would change you and not necessarily for the better.

 

I am of the humble opinion that you should examine yourself carefully in this. Please don't do this lightly.

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I've been debating joining the military for a few reasons, mostly personal. As an extian, I'm torn. Here's my thoughts as it relates to the religious aspects of the military.

 

Pros:

1) I might get the chance to kill (directly or indirectly) radical Islamists. If I'm lucky, I'll live to see the day when I would have the chance to kill radical Christians.

2) I'd be another number to add to the atheists in foxholes count.

3) When my fellow soldiers see the evils in the world and express their doubts in God, I can be there to encourage them

 

Cons:

1) I could die before I get to do any good.

2) I would be supporting a war started mainly for religious reasons.

3) Due to discrimination against atheists, I could become ineffective when I share my beliefs and/or end up wasting my time there.

 

Aside from these religious considerations, I have other reasons for wanting to join and other reasons for not wanting to. I'd like to see what the forum thinks about these points though. Are there other religious considerations that I'm missing? If not, do you have any words of advice on this topic?

 

You forgot to add 'explosions' to the pro's list.

 

There's also the serviceman's habit of returning from war with large numbers of the region's women in tow. I expect you'll see a lot more Mid-eastern women hanging from the arms of those returning quite often in normal society after the war is over. It's happened in every major war we've been involved in, this one won't be any different.

 

We also tend to pick the best ones, and not all of them will stay married either.

 

In an odd way, it will probably boost the islamic culture in the US.

 

This could be a pro, or a con. Mid-eastern ladies can be really hot, but the food really sucks. I'm kind of conflicted.

 

As a former service member, be prepared for your brainwashing. They will at least tell you that they are doing it to you, and remind you constantly that you are contractually theirs, and have signed over a great many of your rights to serve them.

 

Not a nice environment for free thinkers, but if you can keep your mouth shut and eat a heafty portion of bullshit, it's not a bad life.

 

In an odd way, at the end of the day, it's a job. Not a safe job, or a fun job, but a job none the less.

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Terribly Gross Pointe Blank...

 

"I was sitting there alone on prom night, in a goddamn rented tuxedo, and my whole life flashed before my eyes. And I realized finally, and for the first time, that I wanted to kill somebody."

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Pros:

1) I might get the chance to kill (directly or indirectly) radical Islamists. If I'm lucky, I'll live to see the day when I would have the chance to kill radical Christians.

 

 

:twitch: I hardly see this as a "Pro" I would prefer education as opposed to killing someone over their choice or upbringing of beliefs. This is a video game mentality and you should probably talk to some Vets if you think 'killing the enemy' falls on the pro side of things.

 

Cons:

 

Once in the forces you are considered government property and can't even get a sunburn or anything else that will hinder your performance. When they say your ass belongs to Uncle Sam, it's the truth.

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Thanks for the posts so far. Before it gets out of hand, I want to clarify my thoughts about killing.

 

When I say killing radicals, that's exactly what I mean. If I had been alive at the time of WWII I wouldn't feel bad about killing a Nazi, especially if I knew that they had personally tortured or killed one or more Jews simply because they were Jews. I see no difference in a radical Islamic (if that's the right word) who tortures or kills Christians simply because they are Christians. Nor do I see a difference in a radical Christian who tortures or kills Muslims simply because they are Muslims.

 

That's simply where I'm going with point #1. Would killing change me for the worse? I think so. But if I could help prevent another 9-11, Holocaust, or Crusade, my wellbeing is a small price to pay.

 

Having said this, I'd like to add another con myself:

4) I might accidentally and/or unknowingly cause the deaths of innocent people. This in itself is a strong reason not to join, and something I definitely do not take lightly.

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Thanks for the posts so far. Before it gets out of hand, I want to clarify my thoughts about killing.

 

When I say killing radicals, that's exactly what I mean. If I had been alive at the time of WWII I wouldn't feel bad about killing a Nazi, especially if I knew that they had personally tortured or killed one or more Jews simply because they were Jews. I see no difference in a radical Islamic (if that's the right word) who tortures or kills Christians simply because they are Christians. Nor do I see a difference in a radical Christian who tortures or kills Muslims simply because they are Muslims.

 

Understood. Is it better to be a rabid American killing Muslims simply because that is what Uncle Sam has set up as the present target?

 

That's simply where I'm going with point #1. Would killing change me for the worse? I think so. But if I could help prevent another 9-11, Holocaust, or Crusade, my wellbeing is a small price to pay.

 

I think we are talking about more than your personal well-being. What about the kids who grow up with a war veteran dad who has frozen his feelings because it's the only way he can live with his memories? If it changes you for the worse, in what way will it change you--besides the possibility of debilitating memories? Might it turn a formerly good guy into a criminal kind of person?

 

Having said this, I'd like to add another con myself:

4) I might accidentally and/or unknowingly cause the deaths of innocent people. This in itself is a strong reason not to join, and something I definitely do not take lightly.

 

Excellent point.

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I think we are talking about more than your personal well-being. What about the kids who grow up with a war veteran dad who has frozen his feelings because it's the only way he can live with his memories?

 

Very good point. Raising children is an incredible responsibility in my opinion, and I get quite upset with people who aren't responsible parents. I am not a father now and don't plan to be one in the near future. If I see that war has prevented me from becoming a responsible parent and providing the best life possible for a child, I will not even consider being a father.

 

If it changes you for the worse, in what way will it change you--besides the possibility of debilitating memories? Might it turn a formerly good guy into a criminal kind of person?

 

Possibly, but is there evidence to the contrary -- that some have turned from crime due being taught honor in the military? Is military experience a factor in whether or not a person commits crimes? Anyone know of any studies done in this area?

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I've been debating joining the military for a few reasons, mostly personal. As an extian, I'm torn. Here's my thoughts as it relates to the religious aspects of the military.

 

Pros:

1) I might get the chance to kill (directly or indirectly) radical Islamists. If I'm lucky, I'll live to see the day when I would have the chance to kill radical Christians.

2) I'd be another number to add to the atheists in foxholes count.

 

I hear ya there. I have strongly considered joining the army as well, both for training and the chance to fight for something. I entertained myself with the thought of fighting against and killing Taliban members. Not because of what the US gov says, but because of all the stuff they've done.

 

But I decided against it because the point of this war isn't remotely comparable to fighting against Nazis or similar. If the war in Afghanistan had been truly focused on fighting the Taliban and nowhere else, I probably would have enlisted.

 

But its not the case. The war there is amost totally ignored, and there's no way in hell I see the fight in Iraq as beeneficial. There's a difference between defending your country and doing the administration's dirty work.

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Your desire to kill other human beings shows me that you are probably not mature enough to make a decision that could have such dire consequences on your entire future. But that just makes you a typical Army recruit I guess.

 

I don't think you are blood thirsty, just a product of propaganda. Putting the word "radical" in front of something nowadays justifies any act of cruelty and any amount of support for the government's hairbrained schemes.

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but the food really sucks.

 

You must have eaten in the wrong restaurants. I haven't had Iraqi food, but Iranians, Afghanis, Ethiopians, Egyptians, and Morracans offer some of the best cuisine on the planet.

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You get decent training, a chance to see the world, meet people from all over the country, educational benifits, and despite the misguidance of our leaders and religious nuts, I still feel the USA is a great country worth fighting for and spent 17 years in the Air Force till they medically retired me. I dont regret joining.

 

Having said that, joining to kill is an absurd and childish reason to join. You sign away your rights. You are OWNED. The only rights you have are the ones they say you have. They will remind you that you are no longer in a democracy. I'd definitly avoid joining the Marines or Army unless you like living in the dirt and want to spend years in Iraq/Middle East.

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When I say killing radicals, that's exactly what I mean.

 

In the military you don't get to pick and choose. You kill who they tell you to. Do you consider all those who are trying to protect their homeland against foreign invaders radical? If so, do you also think that American patriots who fought the British were radicals? If not, why were they different?

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That's simply where I'm going with point #1. Would killing change me for the worse? I think so. But if I could help prevent another 9-11, Holocaust, or Crusade, my wellbeing is a small price to pay.

 

Either that, or you could just protect another Exxon oil contract and come home with radiation poisoning from the depleted uranium that the US uses in their bombs and missiles. In any case, both options sound like a great way to start off your life.

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Your desire to kill other human beings shows me that you are probably not mature enough to make a decision that could have such dire consequences on your entire future.
I don't think you are blood thirsty, just a product of propaganda.

 

Good points. You are correct, there is much I have to learn and this may not be a good time for me to be making such a life-altering choice. One of the things I have to keep in mind though is my age. I'll be too old to join if I wait too long. I definitely won't rush into a decision though.

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In the military you don't get to pick and choose. You kill who they tell you to.

 

True, I won't be able to pick and choose who they tell me to kill, but I also don't have to follow every order. My personal morals take precedence over other factors in everything I do. I realize that the consequences of not following orders can be very grave, but allowing injustice is worse if you ask me. A poll was taken asking service men and women how many of them would report or prevent illegal or immoral actions taken by other military personnel, and roughly half of them said they would not. I would be in the other half, the half that upholds morals and the law. I may not last long in the military, depending on where I'm stationed and what I'm told to do, but there's a chance that I could be a voice of reason from within and that my voice might be heard.

 

Do you consider all those who are trying to protect their homeland against foreign invaders radical? If so, do you also think that American patriots who fought the British were radicals? If not, why were they different?

 

Definitely not. I use the word 'radical' to describe those who don't think for themselves but instead blindly follow religion or other propaganda and allow it to dictate their actions. Those who fight for liberty are far from being radicals. They are honorable soldiers, no matter who they fight for.

 

I believe the war in Iraq was started for the wrong reasons. If the true reason for starting this war was over WMD, I have a hard time believing that weren't able to either prove that the weapons existed or at least take steps to ensure that they wouldn't be able used without going to the extreme of overthrowing their government. Every excuse given since the initial WMD excuse has not convinced me. At best, we made stupid mistakes. At worst, the war was waged over oil and other financial interests. I won't make excuses for the wrongs that this country has done.

 

With that said, whether or not it was right to invade Iraq, we are currently involved in a war where there are innocent people who die every day at the hands of religious nuts who I call 'radicals'. Killing yourself along with dozens of innocent people to gain entrance into heaven and get rewarded with 70-some virgins? No way! These nuts need to be stopped. I wish reasoning would do the trick, but they have to be willing to listen in order for it to work. Those who aren't willing to listen and instead choose terrorism should be fought against. At the present time it seems that a military presence may be the lesser of two evils and may turn out to be the best solution after all, regardless of its unpopularity.

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