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It Seems So Obvious

Lining the walls of my office are framed photos of men whom I see as excellent. Excellent in their achievements, their successes. Among these men, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Galileo, and Socrates. A common theme strings all these great men together. It is that they held onto their beliefs in times of doubt. Times when you could be killed for such beliefs, even if they were perfectly logical. This is why these men are great. During their time, their beliefs were seen as nonsensical by the masses. But today, in the extravagant and roaring era of the 20th century it is commonplace to understand gravity, to grasp the concept of the universe. Things which seemed so insane in their time are so fundamental to us. One would think that our race as a whole would learn to consider the theories of the intelligent before completely disregarding them. Much like our ancestors did not so long ago. Instead, I believe we have learned nothing from our past. Thus given the chance, history will gladly repeat itself again and again.

I was raised in a classic Italian-American household. I was told right and wrong and taught never to question what was said. This was a hard task for me as I am naturally skeptical, but being a Catholic boy in a boarding school, there was not much room for argument. I learned to accept things and take everything for face value without questioning it. All until one day, my beliefs crumbled around me and I questioned the very fiber of my being.

The death of my father marked a turning point in my life. After his wake and funeral, my youngest brother berated me with questions of death and life after death. As I began to tell him I realized what I was saying was not my own words. What I was saying was the words told to me by my minister, by my parents, by my teachers; but none were my own thoughts. Not once had I even thought that they could possibly be wrong. Things that appeared so obvious such as God, Heaven, and the human soul seemed ludicrous and mythological. As you can imagine this realization hit me especially hard and I began sobbing. Not because of my fathers demise but because I had been living my life in ignorance. I was trained to be accepting of religion and popular belief. From then on I knew I had to seek the truth. I knew that this could only be achieved through science and logic which must be proven before it is even taken seriously. Whereas in religion everything is taken as fact without an inkling of doubt.

I furiously searched through libraries, finding any and all scientific studies. I read everything I could get my hands on and then I read it all again. Since then seeking the truth has become my default mode of living. The fallacies fabricated by the church which I had once so easily agreed to seemed so obviously false now. But you see the point in this address is not to convert you to atheism, it is not to tell you your beliefs are wrong. I simply would like you all to question your beliefs and your very selves. I realize that there is no point in preaching unless your audience idly agrees with you and that is the opposite of what I want. Question everything I am saying right now, tell me why I am wrong, and I'll tell you why I believe I am right. Without evidence and proof what are we but a to of monkeys at the zoo, taking everything for face value. If we believe everything we're told without question; well then I believe we would still be living in straw huts patched together with mud. Open your mind and let the world rush in.

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