I've found that behind many actions lies fear. Many things we do, or more importantly, what we don't do, can be traced to fear. We have the obvious examples. You don't walk into moving traffic for fear of getting run over. You don't say "George Bush is an intelligent man" in public, for fear of being stoned to death. You don't put your hand on the stove for fear of being burnt.
Then you have your more complex examples. You don't drink coffee with sugar because that smell brings you back to the morning you saw the Twin Towers being destroyed, when you witnessed your security being brought to shambles. You don't respond well to compliments, because you fear people are using your weakness for flattery to manipulate you. But I think, above all else, we fear the unknown.
Personally, I think we may have invented God or Allah or Brahma or whoever so we could sleep at night. We didn't understand why lightning struck, why the grass was green. We didn't understand why the sun came up and why it went down. We didn't understand where we came from or where we were going.
So we made up this all-powerful being that created and watched everything. Our guardian, or protector. The one we could always count on.
Maybe we made up this being so things could be simpler, so things had a definite reason and place in our world. We made all this up so we could make sense out of the things that were uncertain. We made all this up so we could feel we knew. Then, over time, advances in technology told us lightning was simply static electricity, the grass is green because of chlorophyll, and the sun appears to come up and down because our planet rotates a full 360 degrees in 24 hours. And all those stories we once looked upon as Truth now became folklore.
Now some would say the Bible is their reference, and that it is fact. Which it might be; I don't know. But what I'm saying is how literally should we take it?
Because we didn't document things as thoroughly as we do now, we don't know for sure who wrote the Bible and whether what they wrote in the Bible was passed down in the spoken word for centuries before someone got around to writing it down. We don't know whether the people who wrote the Bible intended it to be taken as fact rather than metaphorical lessons of life and morals. Plain and simple, we don't know.
If we have no evidence to back up our beliefs, then why be so stubborn that you are right? I guess that's why they call it "faith."
Now, as atheist as all of this sounds, I'm actually agnostic. I really haven't decided whether I believe in a higher power. For one, I realize if we needed proof for everything, O.J. Simpson wouldn't have gotten off. But in all seriousness, with all that is unknown to our simple selves, who are we to say that a higher power does exist, and for that matter, who are we to say that it doesn't?
Sarah Robinson is a ninth-grader at Southwest Junior High School.