by Karmak Bagisbayev

Verdict: THE LAST FAITH is a palatable, amenable read from which to ruminate on the possible answers with regards to religion and cosmology.

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THE LAST FAITH offers a philosophical back-and-forth between the author, and a “God” of his own making, regarding why human beings do what they do. This is a “big picture” discussion, a conversation on cosmology. Through the text, author Karmak Bagisbayev unveils his “own” religion based on two pieces of natural legislation he has identified: the Law of Gene Preservation and that of Freedom of Choice. Gene preservation is a stand-in for traditional behavior and culture, freedom of choice is representative of modernity and is the thing that keeps growing – that can’t be stopped once unleashed – making the world more open, better-informed, less atavistic, less repressive.

In fact, human evolution is tied to the development of this particular freedom of individuals to choose, and without it we would not have science, art, wanderlust or anything else anathema to traditional culture and powerful Law of Gene Preservation. “The level of a people’s development is defined by the degree to which freedom of choice exists within it,” writes Bagisbayev. The two natural laws are in a kind of creative tension dissected by the author and God in a way that recalls Socrates and his curious student Glaucon. This is not the God of the Old Testament or any other accepted text of international weight, but the God of author’s conjuring: a God that created everything, but claims not to influence things any further. He is almost dismissive of going-on in the little corner of his universe known as Earth.

Bagisbayev is a former denizen of the Soviet Union, which is what they called Russia under communism, and, as such, his experience and conclusions are colored by experience under that system, his literary references skewed toward Easter European cultural output. Although the Soviet Union was a revolutionary society, Bagisbayev’s remembrance is of a system where tradition and dogma crushed the law of individual freedom of choice He is enthusiastic about the direction of humanity, and of the ability of western liberal democracies to lead the way. THE LAST FAITH he prescribes, “is about the need for people to choose their own path, every day of their life.”

Bagisbayev is not breaking much new ground here, rather reshuffling the deck of questions that have been asked for millennia. But more people are always being made who ask those questions anew. THE LAST FAITH is a palatable, amenable read from which to ruminate on the possible answers.

~Stephen Siciliano for IndieReader

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