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Published:August 2nd, 2009 17:24 EST
Faith No More

Faith No More

By Rouben Alikian

 Fie, brother, are you a believer? Whatever your answer, you believe in something be it a God, many gods or no gods at all. Faith is what has been driving humanity for the last time immemorial of our existence as a species. Maybe it`s that idea of some higher being guiding our way that makes us want to believe that there is a better existence waiting beyond these frail bodies where all of our desires that we could not achieve in this life will be granted.


And God is something unexplainable in its very essence. Some claim him to be just and righteous while others blame him for everything bad that has happened in their lifetimes, waiting for a face to face meeting to settle the score. Others say he guides our path, talks and speaks to us in many ways be they direct conversation through a delusional state of being or signs painted on walls and carvings. While others still declare him to be all powerful and the very meaning of strength, awe and rule over everything, something to feared of and worshipped for that very reason.


In this knowledge, what do we say of those who do not even believe in him? They say there is nothing controlling them from above or below other than their own convictions and deeds, their choices and their own desires. They say there is no need to fear, nothing to fear and nothing to listen to beyond the realm of fruitless prayer. However you look at it, fear is the quintessential ingredient of all faith and belief.


The Fear is the mother of all the gods and their religions. Fear of the unknown, the things we cannot explain of simply can and will not hear the answers to out of fear of what may lie beyond. Face it, without fear of and the need for comfort beyond this life, there will be no reason for any god to exist in this world.

 Had we not feared what awaits us in the shadows of the valley of death, we would not spend days of our lives in prayer and fear of that if we do not act according to some ethereal being`s demands, there will be nothing to guide our hand through the dark and into the light. And here the real nugget, the question that breeds that very fear, is there anything beyond this life?


Now, the fact is, our imagination stretches into the infinite and the unknown, so far that we are willing to know what awaits us and has forced us to use that very imagination to create and think up scenarios that we would want to be in or would fear enough to avoid.


On that note, without fear of God`s ever present counterpart, there would no business for either one. Without fear of the devil, his mischief, his temptations, his tricks and his offers, there would be no faith, no belief and nothing else.

 Maybe, the truth is there is nothing beyond this life, nothing to wait for but leave these biological concoctions of chemicals and disappear. It`s strange, but it`s true, few want to think of it at any time of day, preferring to leave that moment to the last, but the fear of death is there, deep down inside, making you want to believe in something that will bring salvation and most importantly, hope.


Or is it not hope which says we are not alone, not abandoned by the creator to this island of temporary existence, but have something better waiting for us. It`s chauvinism as a human species, because our mindset is centered around ourselves as the superior of all beings that we not only want to have the comfort of superiority in this life but even beyond it. And if fear is the mother of faith, hope will most certainly have to be its father.


Really, ask yourself, what do we do when all actions have proven futile? Where do we turn when whatever we say proves useless and everything seems to be crashing all around us? We need hope in those moments of desperation and where better to look for it than beyond the realm of heartless human indifference where we want to believe that something is always ready to listen and maybe, just maybe lend assistance. Whether assistance comes or not is another matter, but that is the very essence of hope, the expectation of something taking a turn for the better. If something does change, we are willing enough to attribute that change to something higher and this is where we as a species find our greatest dilemma. Why do we need God? Don`t we have enough faith in ourselves and our abilities? Do we doubt ourselves as a capable species that can do without the verbal mumbo jumbo of a thousand tricks and ceremonies? Or do we fear that if that bond of speech with our deepest subconscious being is lost, everything will fall to pieces? Maybe it`s a combination of all of these factors and the fact that we do not know everything that we would like to.


Even in such contemptuous thoughts, we return to the very heart and soul of this question, the fact that fear, the biological instinct of self preservation is what forces us to find meaning, meaning in life and beyond it.