Faced with the universal human belief in an afterlife he looks away.
Faced with the possibility that there might just be a final judgement in which he will have to give account of himself, he denies heartily that such a thing will happen.
“There is no God. There is no heaven. There is no hell. When you die you simply cease to exist.”
Now this sounds like some very serious wishful thinking because if his wish comes true then he can live as he wishes and never has to pay the cab fare. He gets a free ride.
It is the atheist, therefore who really thinks there will be pie in the sky when he dies, but his version of pie in the sky is a happy oblivion. It is simply going to sleep and not waking up.
Is it not in fact, simply his version of the “rest eternal” he blames Christians for wishing for?
The possibility of a hell of eternal torment is certainly a frightening prospect. Considering that practically every culture and religion across the world and down the ages have believed in the underworld and the possibility of going there, isn’t the atheist’s thinking not only wishful, but dangerously wishful?
The atheist portrays himself as a rational, common sense, scientific, careful and sensible sort of fellow, but given the possibility that there just might be a heaven, hell and judgement, isn’t it the believer who is, in fact, the sensible fellow?
He may be engaged in wishful thinking, or then he may simply be playing his cards right and placing his money (and his life) on a common sense bet.