The poll has closed and I am flabbergasted with your response.
Thirty people participated in the poll; I thank you all for taking time to convey your opinion. Sixty six percent of the respondent answered “yes” to the question. This indicates that I am dealing with a matured audience that has come of age and is ready to live without crutches. In my book One God in You and Me, I had hypothesized that a great number of people in our time is not ready to relinquish the crutch. Albeit, not my audience, you have indicated a level of illumination which is above normal.
Twenty six percent answered, “may be,” which is again very impressive since you are prepared to grant the breadth to other thought processes and deliberate the question with honesty. If you have come that far, you have left the base and are close to the transition to a higher plateau.
One person answered “don’t know,” theoretically there is not a great difference between you and the people who answered, “may be,” except that you are probably veering more on the side of caution. You too are ready for the leap.
I will reserve most of my comments for the person who answered “no.” I am sure you will agree that a religious person can live unethical life; in deed a mere look at the outside world is sufficient to exhibit that people who vouch in the name of religion do not always live ethical lives. The very basis of mechanics of war on terror, and the associated mayhem attests to this. Truly, there shall not be any confusion to the reality that a religious life is no guarantor to an ethical life.
Now the question is, if a person is not religious, can he live an ethical life? If not, why not? What prevents him from pursuing an ethical life? If fear of God and religion cannot ensure an ethical life why the absence of it would automatically propel one to the other spectrum? What kind of person leads non religious life, anyway?
Human society has imposed religious beliefs on its members from time immemorial. The cruder the society the greater was the force of authority. Collective thoughts have attempted to suppress contrary individual thoughts time and again. Without freedom of thought, the society rots and is ultimately subjugated by invaders. Quran says, there is no compulsion in religion, so do books of all other faiths. Consequently, freedom of thought is the fundamental human right; freedom to question, freedom to seek better ways, freedom to strive for perfection. That freedom of enquiry thrusts human generation to the next higher level of progression. Can religion be an impediment to that progress?
I dare say; it can. This is what I have tried to delineate in my book One God in You and Me, using various religious teachings, pre-religious customs, and science. That is why I would submit, there are ethical people who can continue to seek meaning of life outside the rigor of organized religions.