PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
NuttyZA
 
Comments: 43
Article views: 529
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all NuttyZA's badges.
 

Of Atheists and Foxholes

07 January 2013, 11:05

“There are no atheists in foxholes”…

This little gem is often trotted out by Christians during heated arguments with atheists as if it is some silver bullet which ends all debate.

 However, what does this statement actually imply?

I am afraid of dying, therefore, to believe in a god, will ensure my continued survival in the face of impending death.

Now, I am not naïve enough to think that this is the sole basis to anyone’s belief in god/s but I do believe that this fear of mortality, is a strong motivator for many believers. This need for eternal life.

But why do we have this fear/need?

The human is the only creature in the animal kingdom that is intellectually aware of its own mortality. This is in direct conflict with our ingrained survival instinct. We are “programmed” to survive at any cost. On one hand, we know we are going to die, on the other we have an overwhelming urge to survive. In psychological terms, this creates what is called cognitive dissonance in our minds.

Cognitive dissonance theory posits that people seek consonance between their expectations of what is real (e.g. we live forever) and reality (e.g. we all die).  Cognitive dissonance creates the feeling of imbalance, anxiety, dread, guilt, frustration etc. within the human mind. Thus the human mind needs to reduce this dissonance and achieves this by either reducing the importance of one of the dissonant elements OR by altering existing cognitions (e.g. we do not die after all).

The only possible way we can intellectually accept that we do not die, is to hold the belief that when we do pass away, a part of us will live forever. This concept is the only commonality held by all religions which have existed since the beginning of recorded history… from the African and North American Indian belief in ancestral spirits watching over us, the Buddhist belief in reincarnation, to the Abrahamic religions’ belief in a heaven and eternal bliss. Belief in an afterlife is an essential element for any persons’ religious beliefs. Without an afterlife, there would be no purpose in worshipping any god i.e. even if a god did exist, to worship it would be a futile exercise if there is no reward in it for us.

So as a Christian, the next time you feel the urge to quote “There are no atheists in foxholes”, bear in mind that what you are actually doing, is confirming the atheists’ belief that the only reason you are religious, is because you are afraid of death.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
43 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Dr. G. Dharmaraja
NUMSA launching the left party

NUMSA has been expected to fulfill the longstanding dream of South Africa’s toiling masses: a new movement for socialism.  Read more...

3 comments 290 views
Submitted by
Trevor McArthur
In defence of the opposition to s...

To the security cluster ministers: It is not the EFF that is posing a threat to national security but yourselves! Read more...

6 comments 164 views
Submitted by
Inspired Parenting
Parenting Leaders

A new law is being drafted in SA to stop parents smacking their children. This is extremely good news. Read more...

12 comments 191 views
Submitted by
JohnDough
Denied access to your children?

I understand that each and every divorce case is different, but the denial of access and withholding of maintenance are way too often used as weapons.  Read more...

7 comments 354 views
Submitted by
lizeka.maduna
Vagrants took to the streets

Scores of Vagrants took to the streets in Durban on Friday. Durban whoonga addicts paraded down West Street to the Durban City hall to hand over a memorandum to eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo.  Read more...

6 comments 421 views
Submitted by
John Madhiri
Freedom of expression

I get the idea that whilst we are free to express ourselves we should endeavour not to be offensive of to incite responses that lead to disharmony! Read more...

3 comments 146 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.