There are no atheists in foxholes

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"There are no atheists in foxholes" is a saying that means, roughly, that when things are bad, everyone turns to God for help. The same sentiment has been expressed in other forms.


This is an incredibly weak argument. In essence, it boils down to

  1. I am not strong enough to handle all of life's problems on my own.
  2. Therefore, I want a higher power to help me.
  3. Therefore, that higher power exists.

While the first part is almost universally true, and the second is certainly understandable, the conclusion does not follow. Wishing for something does not make it true.

Real-life counterexamples

Even taken literally, the saying is not true. Many atheists have served in the military and have seen combat.

  • Pat Tillman - an American Football player who joined the military and died fighting in Afghanistan.
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