Monday, March 12, 2007

Article of interest: Why soldiers pray

In an interesting article on why people pray and why there are sometimes atheists in foxholes, author Andrew Carroll observes:
"Some of my colleagues have wondered out loud how there can be a God with all of this suffering," Lt. Col. Scott Barnes wrote in an October 2005 email home from Iraq. It is a question that transcends war and relates to any catastrophe involving loss of life, and theologians and philosophers could not have provided a more impassioned answer: "Where is God?" Col. Barnes went on to write. "He is in the will of the sergeants helping organize a blood drive as only they can, He is in the hearts of the soldiers who immediately rolled up their sleeves to give what they had to save a dying brother whom they don't even know." Like those who came before and after him, Col. Barnes saw the worst of human nature in a war zone. But in the selflessness of his brothers and sisters in arms, he also witnessed the best.

The diminishing plausibility of materialism is more easily understood when we consider that this sort of behaviour, by no means rare, is regarded as the "problem" of altruism.

The article is in support of Carroll's just-published book Grace Under Fire: Letters of Faith in Times of War

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