“There are no atheists in foxholes.”
This one simply is not true; and furthermore it is fairly easy to show it to be so. And the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers is rather good such evidence.
This link also has a rather nice discussion of this particular bromide:
And obviously, even if it were true, would it be worthwhile mentioning in debates with atheists? People often do not act rationally in exceedingly stressful circumstances (such as foxholes). If it turned out that theists recanted their beliefs when under extreme pressure, that would hardly constitute evidence in favor of atheism. It is better to discuss things which are believed after reasoned contemplation and discussion than those which are accepted under duress.
A closely related misconception:
“Atheists are just angry at God.” In other words, atheism is a wilful denial of something which atheists know to be true, but which they cannot accept for various reasons, such as: atheism allows them to justify a sinful lifestyle, or that they are too proud to admit a power than themselves, or something along those lines.
Now, this one is slightly more difficult to disprove. Attestations from atheists probably won’t work - since they’re exactly what an angry-at-God atheist would say. On the other hand - if atheists denied God so that they could live sinfully guilt-free, wouldn’t we expect that most atheists would, in fact, live sinful lives? But this doesn’t seem to be the case. And if most atheists denied God due to pride, wouldn’t we expect that they would also deny ther duties to humanity (a cause larger than themselves)? But it seems that the moral philosophy most associated with atheism is humanism, which calls for care and compassion for other humans - the acceptance of humanity as a cause larger than oneself.
Furthermore, this sort of claim is rather difficult to substantiate, for the same reasons that it is somewhat difficult to disprove. It seems that we’d need perform a rather thorough psychoanalytic examination of a large number of atheists, to determine whether they are in fact angry at God.
It also seems somewhat unlikely for a person to be able to be angry at something which they do not believe to exist. It might indeed be possible, for humans are strange creatures, but it seems unlikely that all atheists would suffer from this incoherency.
Lastly, it remains a bad argument, if one intends to debate the relative merits of theism and atheism. If, for some unknown reason, Newton believed that his theory of gravitation was true not because of empirical evidence, but instead because a faiiry told him, would that be good reason to disbelieve in his formulation of gravity? As another example, it is not enough to respond to a devil’s advocate by telling them that they don’t really believe what they’re saying - you’ve got to rebut the content of their arguments.