I truly and genuinely care about my god-believing family and friends, and I want to offer support but I always feel that language fails me at such moments, and that I end up not really knowing what to say that sounds as concerned or caring as the magical incantations. There’s often a very fine line between appropriate and offensive which we must be careful of in people’s “time of need”. What we really want to say would be cruel when people are worried, sick and needing their god crutch.
So, what is an appropriate thing for the atheist to say? I try to direct my comments to the doctors and staff, that I am sure they will do all they can for the person who is ill. If a person is going through some sort of life crisis, financial or otherwise, all I can say is “I hope things work out” and that would be the honest truth. There is no way I could ever bring myself to be a hypocrite and write that they are in my prayers or whatever like everyone else.
What should an atheist offer instead of prayers?