Tag Archives: atheism

Guest post: Faith exists. But God?

29 Aug

The first guest blogger Narasimhan writes about faith and God and theism and the lack of it.

‘Lighthouses are more helpful than churches’ ,said the great Benjamin Franklin.

He wasn’t just referring to churches, he was saying guidance came more from knowledge of fact than acceptance of faith. A staunch rationalist, and a legitimate yet broad-minded thinker, I agree with him. Don’t brand me as an atheist. Don’t yet, at the least.

Let me first tell you more about myself before you judge me. I’m an engineering student, a nineteen year old youth. I’m an Indian, which means I’ve been born and brought up in a country where people take for granted the existence of God, to the extent that they believe more in it than in the darkness of night or the sweetness of sugar. When you’re born and brought up in a place where HE is everything, the sole reason for our existence, questioning HIS existence is not an idea that is bound to win you cheers. You might even become an outcast if you tried it here.

I’d read somewhere, a few days ago, the words of a man I found to be great. He’d said that faith was something that the common man believed to be true, the wise thought to be untrue, and the ruling class found to be useful. I couldn’t help but feel that what he said did somewhat describe how things were going on in this world.

Before debating into these very sensitive realms, I would like to ask myself and all of you one simple question. Does everybody here agree that our life compulsorily depends on some sort of trust on some entity, people, systems and the like ? I would guess yes. If you said no to that, it would mean you had no friends, no family, no security in life, no trust on your country’s governance… so on and so forth, basically implying your existence here has been completely of no meaning.

So, yes, right ?

Then I must wonder loudly, in a world where survival is a herculean task without trust on family, friends, systems, etc , how those who call themselves atheists can possibly think they can live without a trust or faith that is supreme, and a basis to all these other faiths ? But I might have the answer.

Atheists I see do not seem to lack faith. It’s just that rationalism is their faith. They believe, they trust. What they say without saying, is that they DO believe in God, but not the way the others do. They might deny it, but what I completely understand from their lives is that they do have faith in that ‘God’ the others talk about, but it’s not an idol, person, or a physical or eternal entity. It’s a way of life. It’s a system.

When things are done as they should be, when you do things you should, be whom you should be, and that you extends all over humanity, and the universe goes as it should because every trivial part of it goes as it should. When the whole universe seems to function in unison because every small seemingly disconnected part of it functions as it should, in rhythm, then, those with faith see order. Atheists see God.

Atheists are not people without faith. They are idealists, in one sense – idealists, who try their best to make sure their actions work to make the world they control as it should, but only that, instead of saying ‘Thank you God’ at the end of it, they, go ahead with the next endeavor so that people that the world calls ‘believers’ will have something to thank God for.

I’m not trying to say that atheists are the only ones who ever contribute to the world, no. I’ve seen a million people with faith, right in my own family whom I admire for who they are. Faith is what lives in them, and maybe to some extent helps them do what they do, but its still they who do it, and they realize they are the ones who have to.

Faith that there is some entity out there that is supremely powerful and wants nothing more than to help and protect us is most definitely comforting for most of us, especially given the wide range of problems we might face every day. This faith is what drives most of the people who are convinced they believe in God. In fact, that belief is existent in every one, however small, in some part of us or the other. But that should not mean we take everything thrown at us meekly, saying “He does it for a reason”. That is stupidity more than faith. Being too weak or lazy to take your life into your own hands is different from actually believing things happen for a reason.

Many people find it hard to justify the need for God, citing the fact that if science can explain everything, there is no need for a supreme. ‘Science is supreme’ , they’d say. Fine then, science is supreme. You still have faith in science then, don’t you ?

Faith is inevitable. Scientist, rational thinker, priest, worshipper, atheist, be what you may, be what your faith may, you still can never deny the presence of one. Anything you do today for a better tomorrow has in it a faith on the existence of a tomorrow. Every action done for another has in it  a faith on love and friendship. Every breath taken today has a faith on the air we breathe, imbibed in it.

God or no God, faith exists.

Narasimhan is studying to be a Mechanical Engineer from BITS, Pilani, Goa, India. He is also a member of the Mensa Club. He is The Alchemist’s(Purnima) cousin, just so you know. He likes reading a lot, especially on topics of philosophy and science, and believes  that everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions, however different they might be. He plays tennis when not whirling those wheels in his mind and listens to light music. Know more about  him at http://risingmoments.wordpress.com. You will be surprised to know he dabbles a bit in poetry too!

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