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Atheists In Foxholes

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Atheists In Foxholes-

The phrase "There are no atheists in foxholes", has long been used by religious folks to suggest that, when it comes down to it, in times of great stress, everyone reverts back to a belief in god. Aside from being inaccurate (it has been shown time and again that there are atheists in the military) this is a disgustingly horrible argument for the validity of the belief in "the almighty".

Even if we suppose that the assumption behind this famous saying was true, and everyone who found themselves in such a desperate situation, where their life is at risk, did suddenly begin to embrace a belief in a higher power; that would only prove that people become irrational when they are faced with tremendous amounts of anxiety and fear. Emotions often run counter to rational thought and when people are feeling intense desperation and stress, they're often unable to think very logically.

In fact, the phrase "There are no atheists in foxholes" actually helps to point out the wretched nature of faith in general. This sentiment is expressed nicely in the quote by Oscar Wilde: "Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground". Faith tends to manifest as a result of earthly suffering and other various negative emotions and attitudes. The fact that many people can't stand the idea that "this is all that there is", causes them to want to "believe" that there is something more.

I would think that arguments for these kinds of believes would be much more convincing if people tended to turn to god when things were going very well. But, of course, you never hear the religious folks claiming that "There are no atheists in luxurious, five star resorts"! Even they recognize that a belief in god is best fostered in situations where people are suffering.

- False Prophet