There are these two guys sitting together in a bar in the remote Alaskan wilderness. One of the guys is religious, the other is an atheist, and the two are arguing about the existence of God with that special intensity that comes after about the fourth beer.
And the atheist says, “Look, it’s not like I don’t have actual reasons for not believing in God. It’s not like I haven’t ever experimented with the whole God and prayer thing. Just last month I got caught away from the camp in that terrible blizzard, and I was totally lost and I couldn’t see a thing, and it was fifty below, and so I tried it: I fell to my knees in the snow and cried out ‘Oh, God, if there is a God, I’m lost in this blizzard, and I’m gonna die if you don’t help me.’”
The religious guy looks at the atheist all puzzled. “Well then you must believe now,” he says, “After all, here you are, alive.”
The atheist just rolls his eyes. “No, man, all that was was a couple Eskimos happened to come wandering by and showed me the way back to camp.”
David Foster Wallace told this anecdote in his commencement speech at Kenyon College, which in turn went viral, and now a lot of people are using bits and pieces from his speech to add weight to their own beliefs and ideas.
What I mean by this is that I am not the first person who writes about the power of belief, and how our beliefs shape our reality. After all, even though few bother to look behind the curtains, you can notice kind of the same things.
Or do you? Continue reading