Author Topic: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist  (Read 1123 times)

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Offline Lectus

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When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« on: October 27, 2012, 09:17:13 AM »
"When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist"

This is a very common theistic argument. They claim when people are desperate everybody asks God for help.

This isn't true. However, I find the opposite to be true. When confronted with a heart attack theists will go to emergency room in the hospital instead of praying to God and waiting to be healed.

This destroys the idea that faith healing works. If it worked theists could rely completely on faith. Hospitals would be empty. The government would have no trouble managing money for building more hospitals. It would be enough to pray and wait.

Clearly, theists need this reality check.
Religion: The belief that an all powerful God or gods created the entire universe so that we tiny humans can be happy. And we also make war about it.

Offline JeffPT

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 09:35:03 AM »
They say that because when your afraid of dying and you have nowhere else to turn, you still instinctively ask for help, even though there's nobody to hear you.  If theists actually realized that God was watching when they first got the disease, and that he stood by and allowed it to happen, they might not be so quick with asking for his help. 

Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline kindred

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2012, 09:54:37 AM »
Not a very good argument.

When your argument relies on irrationality, adrenaline, despair or straight-up brain damage, it does not bode well for the merits of your case.

People who are desperate and dying aren't exactly the model of human intelligence.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 10:09:53 AM »
My beloved father died an atheist, surrounded by the people who loved him most.  During his last day of semi-consciousness, he talked about Cheney and oil and Pakistan, and other topics that made the hospice worker frown.

My sweet, stubborn mother declared that she was dying, even though the doctors assured me and her that she was expected to recover from her mini-strokes just fine, and that with therapy, should would regain much of the motor control that she had lost.  Out of nowhere, she died of a heart attack. 

But in the days before her unexpected death,[1] she spoke about pride in her accomplishments, her love for me, her regrets about not seeing me complete my adoption, and her satisfaction with many of her life decisions.  There was no talk of an afterlife.   
 1. Unexpected to me and the doctors.  She had already declared that she was dying.

Offline The Newer Atheist

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2012, 10:48:21 AM »
As Hitchens warned before his own death, deathbed conversions can be attributed to the sickness and stress of the moment. Same goes for "no atheists in foxholes" - if a panicked "prayer" is a foundation for belief, then I'd say the belief isn't well-built.

Even granting sincerity to the idea, why do theists wish to discuss such things? Surely those who only repent when threatened aren't treating belief with the faith it should (in their eyes) be given. As a theist, the idea of someone pulling a U-turn at the last minute always seemed more disrespectful than content non-belief.

Offline jetson

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2012, 11:40:04 AM »
Welcome The Newer Atheist!  May we refer to you as TNA?

 >:(

Offline Nam

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2012, 11:42:43 AM »
Christians (and perhaps other religions) use prayer for the silliest of things. They know they will die yet pray that they don't. I say this is silly because most Christians (at least the one's I know or have read about) tend to want to be with the loved ones they lost, be with Jesus, be with Biblegod, and can't wait to go to heaven.

Also, many of them can't wait for the rapture.

Yet, on their death bed; they want nothing more to live.

-Nam
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 12:22:26 PM by Nam »
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Garja

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2012, 11:50:58 AM »
^ True.  Curious huh?  Its almost as if in the end there is part of their brain that goes... "oh shit, heaven? I know thats probably bullshit"
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Offline Traveler

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2012, 02:04:33 PM »
I am a breast cancer survivor. Nearly a year in treatment, multiple surgeries, several hospital stays with a white blood count so low I was in serious danger, chemo making me sick all the time, etc. It never, ever occurred to me to believe in god, despite having friends praying for me all the time.

My dad was a secular humanist since childhood. He died at the age of 84. Never ever occurred to him to believe in god. In his later years he said "I believe in the truth." A scientist to the very end.

There are plenty of atheists in fox holes. Anyone who thinks differently simply doesn't get it.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2012, 02:22:56 PM »
"When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist"
Clearly, theists need this reality check.
True - this comes from "There are no atheists in a foxhole." Quite frankly, the person who said this first needs to be tied to a lamppost and beaten to death with a bible. Why a sudden delusion should come across you, when what is required is a real-world solution, defeats me.
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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2012, 07:22:34 PM »
"When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist"

As others have noted, this is usually expressed as there are no atheists in foxholes. Whenever theists use that canard, I respond with two observations. First, I ask them if they mean it is only theists who kill each other in wars. They usually then indignantly claim that everyone turns to a god when they are in danger of imminent death. I point out what they are saying is fear drives people to religious belief. I can understand why some people who are actually in fear of imminent death with bullets thudding into the ground all around them would turn to anything they think may save them, but what excuse do most religious believers have for their beliefs when their death is nowhere near imminent? How fearful and anxious must people be to need to believe right from the beginning of their lives that they will never really die?

Offline Tero

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2012, 07:37:55 PM »
Many people reach a stage of serious doubt. At this point religion does not play a major role. But something prevents them from going to full atheist.

Not then surpring if they go back a bit in the religion direction. Especially if a loved ones "pray" for them.

Wimps!
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 07:39:32 PM by Tero »

Offline Petey

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2012, 02:27:18 PM »
Many people reach a stage of serious doubt. At this point religion does not play a major role. But something prevents them from going to full atheist.

Fear.
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Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2012, 04:45:52 PM »
I feel that theists who say this are gravely dishonoring the sacrifice of men and women who are atheists and serve their country. Those same atheist soldiers are fighting for their freedom to say such nonsense. Pat Tillman was an atheist, who selflessly gave up an NFL career and millions of dollars to serve his country, knowing that if he was killed in action, there would never be a second chance for him. THAT friends is a REAL FUCKING SACRIFICE.  Tillman was a specialist in the Army Rangers and by definition a badass (I mean seriously, the guy had more muscle in his neck than I do my entire body).

In spite of his service he was opposed to the Iraq war, and was also vocal about his atheism. It was considered by General Wesley Clark, as "very possible" that Tillman was in fact murdered. If that were the case, then it would be very tempting to suggest it was because of his atheism and criticism of the war, particularly since the Bush administration tried so hard to cover it up, and Specialist Tillman had criticized Dubya's self-proclaimed "crusade". We can't have prominent people speaking ill of Big Brother, can we?

I even read one account (if I can find the link I will post it) about an incident where he and his squad were in a really tight spot, and one of the members got down on his knees and started praying, and he said something to the effect of "Get off your fucking knees and on your feet soldier! You have responsibility to this squad, not to God". Again that's not a direct quote, but from what I remember is pretty close to the mark. Wouldn't be too much of a stretch for a Bible believing Christian, who is commanded to kill all non believers, to think it was his duty to assassinate Tillman. This is of course speculative, but seems a plausible scenario. But Specialist Tillman died an atheist, who had likely occupied many foxholes.

I would like to see ANY Christian set a finer example than Specialist Tillman in regards to actually living the type of selfless, self sacrificing,  morally courageous life of service to a greater, better cause that they say Christianity espouses. And please don't say Mother Teresa. You DON'T want to go there.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline Bagheera

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 02:40:36 PM »
If I'm in desperate fear of my life, I wish primarily for the source of that fear to go away immediately and never come back. I suppose people have been exposed to the idea of god as 'real' might wish that God would take the threat away. Wishing for the threat to go away, and praying for it to go away, ultimately have the same statistical effect. People making that foxhole assertion inadvertently imply that praying for god's assistance is as effective as wishing for something to happen.

There are no atheists in foxholes could be more accurately phrased "there are few atheists in American foxholes", because the proportion of atheists to Christians is low in the US. One might as well say "There are few Christians in Iraqi foxholes" as a smug assertion that Allah is the One True God and Islam is the One True Faith.

Offline none

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2012, 02:54:01 PM »
"When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist"

This is a very common theistic argument. They claim when people are desperate everybody asks God for help.

This isn't true. However, I find the opposite to be true. When confronted with a heart attack theists will go to emergency room in the hospital instead of praying to God and waiting to be healed.

This destroys the idea that faith healing works. If it worked theists could rely completely on faith. Hospitals would be empty. The government would have no trouble managing money for building more hospitals. It would be enough to pray and wait.

Clearly, theists need this reality check.
just an opinion of course

Offline none

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2012, 06:12:02 PM »
Christians (and perhaps other religions) use prayer for the silliest of things. They know they will die yet pray that they don't. I say this is silly because most Christians (at least the one's I know or have read about) tend to want to be with the loved ones they lost, be with Jesus, be with Biblegod, and can't wait to go to heaven.

Also, many of them can't wait for the rapture.

Yet, on their death bed; they want nothing more to live.

-Nam
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2012, 03:35:56 AM »
I do find it particularly interesting that people who claim science is false and that it is God's way that is true, including beliefs that God will answer their prayers, but when they are ill, particularly when life threatening, they rely on science and not God, sure they'll pray, but it's always the science that cures them.

Though there are exceptions and it is tragic, because it has happened when it's their kids that are ill, they'd rather rely on a preacher and maybe even an exorcism when taking them to the doctor would have saved their life. And of course JW's who believe blood transfusions are sinful and thus sacrifice the lives of their own children in the name of their faith. Stupid, stupid people.
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Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2012, 06:51:11 AM »
And of course JW's who believe blood transfusions are sinful and thus sacrifice the lives of their own children in the name of their faith. Stupid, stupid people.

Some JW's came to my door earlier this year. That was truly a fun time. I really felt sorry for this woman, as her church has obviously brainwashed her into nearly incurable ignorance. When I asked about the blood transfusion thing, I was told that there are other, Jehovah approved methods to save someones life. I said to her: "So suppose you were in a car accident, and you received a grievous wound to your thigh. Your femoral artery is severed, and blood is gushing like a fountain. The EMT's tourniquet your leg, but not until after you have lost an alarming amount of blood. You are taken to the ER, weak and near death from loss of blood. Only more blood will save your life. What would Jehovah do? What Jehovah approved medical procedure is going to save your life? Would you choose to die, because that is obviously what Jehovah intended for you?" I have never seen anyone more awkward or lost in my life than she was upon asking this. I felt sorry for the poor early teen girl (probably her daughter, brought along for some quality bonding indoctrination time with mom). Rather obviously I tore her mother to SHREDS (in an intellectual way, not a bears vs biblical children way). I can only hope that I made a good impression in favor of reason and science over superstitious lunacy in the mind of this young person. It's shameful to see children dumbed down by this garbage, when they have such creative and excellent minds. And I'm proud that my son thinks for himself and doesn't automatically believe whatever he is told. Cultivating a child's skepticism is much more valuable than cultivating their credulity.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Online stuffin

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2012, 09:37:42 AM »
"When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist"
Clearly, theists need this reality check.
True - this comes from "There are no atheists in a foxhole." Quite frankly, the person who said this first needs to be tied to a lamppost and beaten to death with a bible. Why a sudden delusion should come across you, when what is required is a real-world solution, defeats me.

I believe shredding many bibles, arranging the bible scraps around their feet, dosing with gasoline and setting it on fire would be more appropriate.
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Offline TheSadCat

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2012, 02:50:37 AM »
I do find it particularly interesting that people who claim science is false and that it is God's way that is true, including beliefs that God will answer their prayers, but when they are ill, particularly when life threatening, they rely on science and not God, sure they'll pray, but it's always the science that cures them.

I think that when someone is truly indoctrinated, everything flows outward from the one central idea that they have taken to heart, even if that idea is patently ridiculous. So when Christians go to the doctor, they see it as "God's guidance" or even to the point where the doctor is there for a "divine purpose" to heal them, which is rather scary for the rest of us. For example, I was having a discussion with my mother the other day, and I was explaining the many contradictions in the bible, culminating in an explanation of what the world would logically look like if the bible and intelligent design were true (which is a truly outlandish picture). Instead of saying, "well, the world doesn't look like that, therefore the source is incorrect," her reply was "Son, the world doesn't look like that, therefore you're wrong somehow." THAT'S NOT HOW REDUCTIO WORKS MOM.

In any case, I wish I could verify my observations with actual psychology, but those are my two cents for what it is worth.

Offline William

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Re: When a disease or death approaches nobody is an atheist
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2012, 09:52:38 AM »
When confronted with a heart attack theists will go to emergency room in the hospital instead of praying to God and waiting to be healed.

Amen ... that is truth  :) 

I attended church about 10-12 months back to assist my aging theist mother, and the priest (catholic) said, amongst many other absurdities:

Quote
Let us pray that scientists are blessed with the patience and knowledge to find cures for diseases, such as cancer and AIDS ....

Fcuk!!!!!!,  that is so offensive I had to work hard to suppress a public scream  - I didn't want to embarrass my old mum who is 85, very sick, and head over heels in love with the comfort her religion offers.

If God is such a helpful smartie pants then why not release the occasional addendum to his little instruction booklet, or an advance holy ghostly whispering to scientists  e.g. that thalidomide is not indicated for pregnant women:

Quote
German pharma firm apologizes 51 years later for Thalidomide, defect causing drug

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/german-pharma-firm-apologizes-51-years-thalidomide-defect-causing-drug-article-1.1149671#ixzz2GAWw47CK


http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/german-pharma-firm-apologizes-51-years-thalidomide-defect-causing-drug-article-1.1149671


Not a word, not a squeak from the fantastic God of Love, the Almighty. 
Just innocent sufferers with no answers except that science has made progress at their expense.


« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 09:55:11 AM by William »
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