This I Believe

Soa-Yih - Austin, Texas
Entered on May 3, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in ignorance, something that is misunderstood and misrepresented. I believe in the hypocrisy, and idiocy, and Dadaism that pervades through our world like some sort of anesthesia, dulling the mind and senses. It should not be Man’s duty in life to question and to know – his sole purpose is achieving the greatest possible amount of happiness, unhindered by the torture of knowledge embodies.

We inhabit a planet where we are incessantly bombarded with shocking stories meant to instill fear and hysteria. There’s Iraq, Vietnam of the Desert, where daily decapitations and unspeakable acts of terror occur that would make even the most esteemed associates of the Khmer Rouge or Taliban blush in embarrassment. Iran is creating nukes with the intent of making Israel nothing more than a giant smoldering crate. Their guise of peace and love shoddily masks intentions to unleash upon the world the next great arms race, and with it, the continuation of a new Cold War, albeit under much different circumstances.

In Asia, there are rumors of a bird flu whose destructive capability seems to be the stuff of legends, and which seems destined to create a second Black Death, the next influenza epidemic, a massive wipeout of the human race so inconceivably large that the combined losses from every war in history would seem like a blessing. Then there’s the issue of global warming. Entire cities, some of the greatest in the world, threaten to become the next “Atlantis”-es, and entire countries face the chilling prospect of non-existence. The ecosystem will collapse, millions will starve to death (if they’re lucky enough to survive the bird flu, of course), and Mother Nature will unleash disasters never seen in modern times. If karma happens to favor a few individuals, they’ll eventually perish from skin cancer caused by the hole in the ozone layer anyways. There are nights where I scare myself to sleep, haunted by thoughts of what the future may hold.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that the stupidest and most ill-informed individuals find themselves in the most enviable states of happiness. In a sickening twist of fate, these dysfunctional members of society have turned a trait that should have equated to a quick trip through natural selection and used it to flourish and thrive. They are impervious to reason or logic, unaffected by knowledge, and are guided solely by the here and now. Such idiocy is evident throughout history; with no race or culture has been spared. Religions that preach peace have ultimately caused more conflicts than they have prevented (see: the Inquisitions, Crusades, Islamic extremists, the fight over Israel). Blacks now use the cry of racism as a tool of manipulation rather than a sign of injustice. Orientals claim to be the world’s most enlightened individuals, yet are responsible for many of the worst human rights atrocities in history. White Americans rail against immigrants, “accidentally” forgetting that the very soil on which they stand on is not truly theirs. Hispanics demand rights of United States citizens, yet they wrap themselves in Mexican flags and chant “Viva la Mexico”.

As for those granted with intelligence beyond normal human capacity, they often reside their lives in misery, subjects of much ridicule and disdain. Da Vinci died in a state of deep depression, exiled from his birthplace. Socrates was forced to poison himself, Mozart died at 35, and Charles Darwin was more often portrayed as a monkey than a human being. The bookworm who lives in the library or the nerd who sits by himself at lunch is often plagued by depression and mental illnesses. Their intellect intimidates and undermines any making of a social life, and they are forced to bare upon their shoulders the weight of reason. Intelligence is not a blessing, but a curse that subjects those who carry it to a lifetime of alienation because they see beyond the veil of lies others have no chance of comprehending. Knowledge is a powerful weapon, but it imparts a terrible price on the beholder: the understanding of one’s morality, the discovery of problems that cannot be solved, and the realization of the wickedness others are capable of.

Reality is never an easy concept to grasp. The occurrences that are taking shape in today’s world are making it no easier task. It is becoming evermore apparent that man’s capacity for rational thought has turned into a demon that must be exorcised immediately. We can no longer allow reason to inhibit our God-given right to pursue happiness or to interfere in the quality of our life. After all, ignorance is bliss.