Sunday, November 1, 2009

Can a non religious person lead an honest and ethical life?

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.


  1. Last week, you wrote you will write about Hasan Mahmud's book "Islam and Shariah." I was waiting to see that. Please, write it on next week. I think that write-up will be interesting. From your last week's write-up, to me it seems Mr. Hasan Mahmud is a very pious and religious Muslim. From your book and writings, I can say that you are no longer a Muslim. You crossed that barrier. You don't believe in life after this world. That is one of very fundamental belief in Islam. As you don't believe in life after this world, you can no longer be a Muslim. A Muslim has to believe that Islam is the only acceptable religion to Allah (Swt.) and only Muslims will enter in paradise. You don't believe that. Please, write about your conversation with Mr. Hasan Mahmud. That will be very interesting and thought-provoking as you both are learned people about religion and one of you are Muslim and other person is non-muslim. We will know about both of your views. I like this blog as it is very thought provoking. I too think we all need to get the ultimate truth. We all need to know is there any God? Is particular religion correct? Is all religion correct? Is Islam is the only correct religion? We all need to know this. This blog helps me in searching that truth. Thanks a lot for your writing.

  2. I would like to display my name as truth_finder, but due to some issue it was displayed as truth. Please, get it as truth_finder. Mr. Mohit's English is so powerful, strong and rich. On the other hand my English is so poor. I am really sorry for that. Thanks to every one who visits this web site. Take care.

  3. I extend my apology to my truth_finder brother for not writing about Hasan’s book this week. It is easy to write about a good book, but not so when the book is a great one. It is taking me more time than I expected. I hope to post it soon though.

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