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2 pages/≈550 words
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APA
Subject:
Religion & Theology
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English (U.S.)
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Topic:

The Human Need to Worship and Its Impact on A Person's Life (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

student was asked to discuss the author's statement that atheism does not exist

source..
Content:
The Human Need to Worship and Its Impact on A Person’s Life
In his speech, This is Water, Wallace stated that there is no such thing as atheism. This proclamation is indeed unexpected because in different societies, there are people who do identify as atheists. Atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of a god or gods. However, Wallace argues that atheism simply does not exist, that all people in some way worship a few certain things if not an entity.
“There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships” (Wallace p.7 para.1). Wallace stated that some people might worship money, some their bodies, or power or intelligence, and that by doing so, they will time after time be inclined to feel that nothing is enough (7). I think that a highly ambitious academic for example, would naturally pursue higher education and even after a post doctorate, would then devote the rest of his life to research and other branches of studies to continue acquiring more knowledge, which might cause him to feel that his achievements are never enough. In Wallace’s example, a person who worships his intellect will constantly feel stupid. Furthermore, what makes this form of worship harmful is that they are unconsciously done (7). “They are default-settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing” (Wallace p.7 para.2). Wallace also notes that when one has a great regard for beauty, the process of aging could become frustrating, so much so that it feels like death every time one loses a certain attribute of youth (7). He states that one “will die a million deaths” (Wallace p.7 para.1) before it finally happens. In this regard, I think that the tendency is so natural that we do not think about it as a form of worship.
Despite its dangers, Wallace did state that this type of worship still has provided society with “extraordinary wealth and comfort, and personal freedom” (Wallace p.7. para.4), the freedom for people to be in control of their own domain. He relates this freedom to his earlier statement that a person has an innate belief that he is the center of the world. When undesirable circumstances happen, Wallace states that people tend to think that other people are getting in their way (5). He cites an example of himself shopping for grocery at a crowded shop after a long and tiring day, being unhappy about other shoppers. He says about them “how repulsive most of them are and how stupid and cow-like and dead-eyed and nonhuman they seem here in the checkout line, or at how annoying and rude it is that people are talking loudly on cell phones in the middle of the line, and look at how deeply unfair this is: I've worked really hard all day and I'm starved and tired and I can't even get home to eat and unwind because of all these stupid god-damn people” (Wallace p.5 para.1).
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