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Faith or No Faith: Does It Matter?

by Linda Jenkinson |

You might say that in life the good things are whatever get you through the day. In that respect, for some people, faith in god(s) is a good thing. Yet, one of the main problems in human culture is taking responsibility for our actions.

People of faith believe that they are not responsible. Their god(s) are often someone to blame when things go wrong or they rhetorically pass the blame on to themselves. "What did I do to deserve this?" At best, the theist believes that the trials of life are all a part of "His" plan. When they reach a goal or achieve a victory, it is not due to their efforts, but attributed to the grace of their god(s). Their search for the real truth in life stops at their god(s).

For me, waking up from the faith coma was an epiphany.

Still, I am a person of faith. I have an unshakable faith in life.  I have a greater love and respect for life and a greater awe, love, and respect for the majesty of life in all forms—flora and fauna— than I ever did when I lived in pursuit of heaven and in fear of hell. I am free to experience the reverence of life itself, to love my life and everything, everybody that touches it without worshiping any of it. I have a lot of faith in my own capabilities as well as an increased recognition of my limitations but none of my faith is based on some ancient scribe's doctrine or the edicts of another human who is both as capable and as limited as I am. If that's all there is, then that is abundant.

But then, what happens at death? One answer is "what happens to the light when you snuff out a candle." To answer the question with a question I might ask, "Where were you before you were born?"

Life on Earth is no more than existence that commences at birth and ends at death. If we do not fear or worry about our pre-life, then why be concerned about our post-life? It seems to me that our primary concern should be the life that surrounds us: what we can see, hear, feel and act upon in every waking moment.

Perhaps death is only a long, dreamless sleep. How can that be worrisome? Shakespeare's Hamlet said, "To sleep. Perchance to dream."  But isn't a dreamless sleep better than the "perchance" of hellish nightmares that is only balanced by the "perchance" of a better hereafter?


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