Anselm said that to know we must first have firm faith. Honestly, we can’t figure out anything until we first stand on something.
DesCartes experimented with what he could know if he doubted everything. However, he was an amateur cynic. That which he accepted, his own existence, was doubted by others given the same set of criteria. The fact is, if we stand on nothing, we are left floating, aimless, pointless, purposeless. If we refuse all faith, we end up being led by others’ knowledge and our contradictory desires.
If we must remain firm about something, what should we remain firm on?
Some choose religion, a system of thought that someone else created. That’s good to begin with as long as when religion finally fails us, we must be ready to stand on something else.
Some choose a self-improving government because even if it fails today, we can always work toward a better tomorrow. Or law because it creates justice and bad laws can be done away with. But even government and law cannot be aimless. They, too, must rest on something.
Some, without thought, rest upon fear. They uphold the structures they are used to and the family they care for and either avoid or attack those who threaten these personal institutions. The problem with relying on fear is someone elses’ fear will end up attacking us. Fear leads to destruction, every time.
I think Tolstoy had it right. Love– or the well being of all people– is the only faith worth establishing. We still need to clearly define what love is, and how to make sure that everyone has well being, but this we know: love needs freedom. And if we give love freedom, then fear must be limited. Or possibly thrown away completely.
Once we rest on love, it doesn’t take to long before we realize that love needs power if it is to accomplish anything.
In that moment, may we fully understand that God is love.