Friday, January 21, 2011

Fear is the key

The present seems to be the times of ‘jyothis”, “ makara jyothis”, and the arguments for and against its truth. Discussions were over ridden by expletives and derisive comments. Things went into the existence and beliefs in the ‘big brother’. People who were honestly anguished at the sufferings fraud and canard foisted in the name of faith, voiced their opinions. But the democracy that we have, where the views of the majority hold sway, the pleadings seem to be trivialised, unheeded.
What causes beliefs and the so called faith? There is only one word  that is the answer, “FEAR”.
I stumbled upon an interesting opinion , on th.e subject by one gentleman, Mike, and I do not know if that is  his given name or pseudonym. But he has a valid point borne out of his experience..
Please read on....

"When I first reconverted, I at first felt at a bit like I was stumbling around in the dark. I'd slowly but surely let go of my old world views and superstitions, but there was no philosophy of how to live to fill that gap.

It wasn't long before my thirst for knowledge led me to the realization that some of the greatest thinkers from antiquity to modernity had been addressing similar issues. I'm finding that even after twenty years of formal schooling I am only just beginning to learn how to learn, how to think, how to live.

The following quote made me think of my posts on salvation and hell.  My train of thought strayed from Russell's words somewhat, but it was inspired by them.

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertrand Russell, British mathematician & philosopher (1872 - 1970)

I used to be afraid of dying, afraid of not living with enough devotion to an entity that I had never seen, heard, felt, or otherwise sensed. There's a very simple reason why preachers who say "god is love" one minute will cry out about how our society is not "god-fearing" the next.

As soon as I took the risk of questioning my beliefs I realized that it was nonsense to fear a god that loved me, such a god would not penalize its people for not believing when it knows exactly what it would take to convince each and everyone of them.

Without the fear it suddenly became possible to see all the other inconsistencies, each and every continuity error, every hypocrisy. At some level I became angry and frustrated at god, at religion, as if it was its fault for the falsehood. But that silly notion came from the framework of the world that I'd been raised with, one deeply rooted in superstitions.

Gods are no more than fictional characters, and religions social constructs of shared mythos and mores. The more autocratic a religion the more control it can have over continuity and consistency. The more liberal a religion the less it will conform to a consistent narrative or ethical principle.

Seeing religion for what it is, culture and folklore, allows one to stop being afraid of life, of oneself, of those who are different, and start to see the best in everything".


Balachandran V said...

I had stumbled upon 'fear' a long time ago. Do you remember Alistair Mclean's novel, 'Fear is the Key?' I read it in my early teens, but the title stuck in my mind. Fear is the key - yes, it answers almost all questions we have about humanity.

anilkurup said...

@ Balan,

Yes that was a read long long ago.
And when you look back don't you feel that the conditioning we all have been put through at home, and in school was to develop fear, fear of the parents, the teacher, the policeman, god, fear of the unknown, fear of the poor"hanuman pandaram"who peeps through the gate for alms etc etc.
It is only wonder that at least a few of us could possibly shed the phobia that was instilled in us.

Happy Kitten said...

Maybe for a few, fear is the reason for their meekness or adherence to rituals and customs.. but personally for me, my faith in God liberated me from fear :)