This statement has to be one of the most arrogant, presumptuous and irritating that I’ve heard, and I’m so sick of reading it on social media.
It’s apparently a ‘aphorism’ which is considered an observational general truth, or principle. What it means is that in times of duress, where your life could be close to its end, especially in a foxhole during a war, there are no atheists as everyone will be praying to a higher power to save them, or protect them.
This implies that no one can face death with honour and dignity. It suggests that even the most anti-theist will disregard their life-long principles and suddenly ‘believe’ in the hope of being saved. I don’t know about any of you, but I’d rather stare death in the face with my head held up high, that go out like a weak- willed coward.
It’s a typical arrogant quote that’s come from Christianity, as they generally can’t accept that atheists exist. They think that everyone believes in God, and if they say they don’t they hate God, or they are living in denial.
Is it a direct attack at atheism?
Some may say it is, but if anything it just proves how disposable faith and religion is. I’m a life-long atheist, and I’m quite sure if facing potential death, the first thing on my mind would be to prevent it, and if it was unpreventable, I’d hope it happened quickly. The last thing on my mind would be asking a God that I’m quite sure doesn’t exist to help me.
At the end of the day, if my death is imminent, would I want to spend my last few moments praying to a man-made God, and grovelling for forgiveness for not believing in him? Or would I stand up like a man, and face what’s coming? If I end up facing an eternity at Satan’s mercy, then that was always something that I was prepared to face.
“Maybe there are only atheists in foxholes. If the faithful truly and fully believe in a protective deity, why would they dive into a foxhole to protect themselves from the bullets whizzing by ? A part of their brain knows damn well that if they do not protect themselves, the bullets will hardly discriminate between those who claim faith and those who reject it.” – J. Anderson Thomson
This saying needs to stop. It’s making a mockery of the military, as they accept that there are atheists enlisted, it’s mocking atheism as it’s suggesting that everyone of them is a hypocrite, and it’s mocking faith, as it’s suggesting it’s a convenient ‘get out of jail free’ card when times get tough.