An atheist in a foxhole
It's said that there are no atheists in a foxhole. When it comes time to stare death in the face, one's thoughts are supposed to turn to the hereafter, and to God. This is all nonsense, says blogger Annie Fox. With cancer placing her in that metaphorical foxhole for much of last year, she says there are most definitely atheists in foxholes - "and I’m one of them."
Although I did not want to die so young, I was not afraid of dying. But my lack of fear is not why I’m an atheist--even if I was terrified at the prospect of dying, I’d still be atheist. I'm an atheist because that is the only rational possibility.
I actually think I could turn the foxhole scenario around and say that on a sunny day at the beach all believers are atheists. The only reason I can fathom that they cling to their belief, is fear: fear of dying, or fear that life does not have that certain meaning, or fear that without religious structure life would be too chaotic, or fear that their family and friends would shun them should they not follow like sheep.
What kind of horrible mental gymnastics must this take - to dispel all the facts around you and cling to the impossible, just because you are afraid - sounds like a quick path to mental illness.
The premise of religionists that religion provides "hope" in times of trouble is an illusion built upon sophistry and lies. To found one's hope upon a fiction--in denial of the obvious facts around you--is the worst kind of fraud. At such times, relentless focus upon the facts is what saves you, not shroud-waving and false hope. As she concludes, one of the jobs of hospital security guards should be "to throw out religious vultures that prey on the scared and venerable in times of stress."
Read the whole post at Annie Fox's.