Atheists and foxholes

Published on 22 April 2023 at 23:49

This entry diverges from most others here because it's deeply personal. We often hear the saying, "There are no atheists in foxholes," suggesting that in dire circumstances, everyone cries out to a deity. From my experience, this isn't true. Such a claim isn't deeply philosophical. It's rooted in personal testimony and anecdotal evidence. While I recognize that many might pray or seek divine intervention during hardships, it's essential to note that not everyone will.

My personal trial came when I was diagnosed with cancer in October of 2019. Like many, I was devastated. Cancer and Alzheimer's are arguably the most feared medical diagnoses. After the initial shock, my mind raced with questions about the cancer's severity, its spread, and potential treatments. I consulted with my primary care doctor but needed specialists for detailed guidance. Informing my fiancée was emotional; we navigated the heartbreak together.

I then grappled with the implications of my diagnosis. Before seeing the oncologist and urologist, I thought it best to be prepared for the worst. I organized my affairs, ensuring my fiancée knew essential contacts and procedures, should the worst happen. My primary concern was my family's well-being.

Simultaneously, I reflected on my relationships. Would my loved ones remember me fondly? Was I a good partner, father, and friend? Did they truly know my love for them? These thoughts consumed me. The day before meeting the specialists, I spent quality time with my nine-year-old daughter, keeping the news from her to avoid unnecessary stress. That evening, my fiancée and I found comfort in each other's company.

Throughout this ordeal, the thought of seeking divine intervention never crossed my mind. Even if God were real, given my atheistic views, any prayer would be in vain. The concepts of God, philosophy, heaven, and hell seemed inconsequential compared to my family's well-being and the legacy I hoped to leave.

Fortunately, my story has a hopeful turn. The specialists believed the cancer was detected early enough for surgical removal. Subsequent tests have since confirmed that I remain cancer-free, and in the ensuing years, I've achieved notable milestones, including starting a blog, authoring a book, and earning an MBA. This journey has only solidified my atheism. My gratitude is directed towards the skilled doctors and surgeons who treated me.

When confronted with life-altering challenges like cancer, God was a non-factor for me. So, are there atheists in foxholes? Yes, I'm proof. While some might seek divine comfort in such moments, not all do. Thank you for reading

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