posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 03:19 PM
Before you read, those who are devout in religion should turn away now!!!
The following is an analogy on the realizations of myself and some other Atheists (not all), written by me, and may be offensive to the faithful.
In short, you've been warned!!!
Amidst a week long camping trip, a group of boys challenged themselves on who could best climb the cliff adjacent to the campsite. They would attach
the safety lines and one by one, they scaled the face of the cliff counting the number of slips along the way, rappelled back down, and challenged the
next boy to do better.
One of these children, Chris, had a fear of heights. Chris feared when his turn would come. He knew the safety lines wouldn't let him fall, but he
was afraid regardless. The jagged rocks and his onlooking peers haunted his imagined future climbs.
He tried to confide in some of the boys, asking if there was anything special they were doing to get to the top without falling.
“Yeah, don't slip” one said sarcastically.
His friend Aaron was a little more caring.
“Don't look down, focus on the cliff in front of you.”
Aaron understood that it was fear itself that caused the most failures.
Chris' turn finally came around. He attached the safety lines, approached the cliff-side, and began the climb. Chris made it a quarter way up the
cliff, and despite Aaron's warnings, Chris looked down. He locked up with fear, and began to tremble. His knees grew weak and buckled, and his
Aaron braced on the other end of the safety line and countered Chris' weight, carefully lowering him back to the ground.
Aaron thought about Chris' fear of heights. He understood that he had no trouble getting to the top himself because he didn't think about the fall.
He simply maintained confidence in himself and climbed, but what about Chris?
He realized that if Chris was going to get to the top, he was going to need faith in himself, even if there was no real foundation for it.
On Aaron's next climb, he took the time to stop at the grassy ridge at the top, found a small patch of clovers growing, picked one and carefully
placed it in his pocket, making sure not to crush it when he rappelled back down.
That night, Aaron spoke with Chris by the campfire. The cliff was illuminated by the fires glow, and Chris' stare was firmly fixed upon it.
Aaron began to speak.
“You wanna know how I make it to the top?”
Chris slowly shifted his gaze from the cliff to look at Aaron.
“At the top of the cliff, there's a patch of lucky clovers. If you wear one in your pocket you won't have to worry about falling, because you
see, the clovers want to be together, that's why they're bunched together up there, if they let you fall, they can't be together.”
Aaron pulled the clover he had picked out of his pocket and handed it to Chris.
“So long as you have a lucky clover with you, and you trust the clover, you'll make it to the top.”
“Thanks!” Said Chris, taking the clover. Chris now stared back at the cliff with a smile on his face.
Aaron however continued to look at Chris. He knew he had just lied to his friend and felt awful doing so, but he knew he had also given Chris
something that he needed; confidence in himself through faith.
The next day, Aaron watched as Chris put on the safety harness, attached the safety line, and with Aaron taking up the slack on the line, Chris began
Aaron held the line firmly, ready to catch Chris if he fell. Bit by bit, meter by meter, Chris rose until he stood at the top, grinning from ear to
ear now kissing the clover Aaron had given him.
He then began to look around him for the patch of clovers Aaron told him about. He found the small patch, and picked every last one of them, placing
them all into a pouch he had brought along for just that reason.
Once Chris had rappelled back down he ran up to Aaron and thanked him for the clover, and returned the original to him.
“I won't need this any more, I have my own.”
Aaron felt good. He felt accomplished in having given Chris what he needed, but he still couldn't shake the guilt of having lied to his friend to
make him believe something that just wasn't true. But to Chris it was true, true enough to give him the confidence he needed, and for now that's all
That night after some congratulating, everyone headed off to their tents except for Chris. Staring at the cliff, Chris' confidence and re-assured
faith in the clovers began to cloud his thoughts. He stood up and walked off toward the cliff.
Without the boys watching, without the safety gear, and without Aaron there to hold the safety line; Chris began to climb, the large pouch filled
with clovers hung over his shoulder.
Higher and higher he climbed until at about half way up the cliff, the pouch got in the way of his next move. Chris struggled to move the pouch out
of the way, and in doing so he slipped from the face of the cliff.
Chris fell back to the ground below, his leg snapped under him as he landed and he let out a painful cry.
The other boys were quick to run to Chris when they heard him. When Aaron got to Chris, he saw his friend laying in pain, holding his leg, with the
clovers scattered around him. “What have I done...” thought Aaron.
Aaron kneeled at Chris' side trying to figure out how to brace the leg. His mind was racing. He knew he would have to apologize to Chris for lying
to him about the clovers, and was certain their friendship would be over.
Before Aaron could get an apology out, Chris began to speak.
“The clovers...” he said, “... they didn't get me to the top.”
Aaron searched his mind for something to say, some way to explain why he lied, but Chris continued to talk.
“... I picked them all, I forgot what you said to me, you said the clovers want to be together, but I had them all, except for the one I gave
back to you. The clovers pulled me down instead, because that's where the last one was. I should have listened.”
Aaron looked at Chris in astonishment. Chris didn't question the clovers, he wanted too badly to believe in them. Instead, Chris expanded on
Aaron's lie to protect his new found faith in it.
Aaron reached into his pocket and pulled out the original clover Chris had given back to him after his first successful climb. Aaron avoided looking
Chris in the eye as he handed the clover back. He hated himself for lying to Chris. “Here, now you have all of them. They're all yours
Aaron continued to brace Chris' leg, unable to look at him.
Aaron felt awful. He hated what he had done, but knew of no other way he could have helped Chris.
Some people just need something to believe in, but in giving it to them, it becomes our responsibility to watch over them. Though we have no
faith in the lie ourselves, it's our responsibility to guide those who do, as it was our kind who started the lie.
It is our responsibility to continue shepherd the Faithful.
Without the lie, they'll never climb.
Without us to catch them, they'll fall.
And though it pains us to watch, sometimes, they take our lie a little too far. Though sometimes this hurts us directly, we mustn't turn our backs
We all know what happened while we were absent. Re-living the dark ages is not an option.
[edit on 12-4-2009 by johnsky]