Can We Be Moral Without Religion?

Divine Moral Code

 For centuries, there has been a continuous and fierce conflict among the divinely ordained moral codes of the religions. The moral code of one religion is against or different from another moral code of another religion. But every faith proclaims that its moral code is the only right one binding on all humanity and can be followed by all.  It has been an ethical turmoil involving rationalism and irrationalism in regard to religion.                                                                               Some of the religions try to forcibly impose their moral law on followers of other religions. The world knows that they use brute force and violence in the name of their God and their divine moral law against the followers of other faiths.

For them, the scriptures like the Bible, Koran, and the Vedas are the word of God and scriptural commands are God’s own orders.’There can be no morality unless there is a  deity’ and  ‘…the argument in effect says that there can be no moral code unless it is laid down, policed, punished and rewarded by a deity.'(A.C.Grayling, The God Argument). That is their rigid and dogmatic argument.

This irrational dogmatism in religion has inescapably resulted in horrendous crimes against humanity. Innocent people have lost their lives; some are maimed; children are mutilated in suicide bomb attacks and other armed attacks-all in the name of God and His moral code!  The threat of mindless religious violence has continued.  ‘Religion breeds wickedness’ and ‘So potent was religion in persuading to do wrong’ (Lucretius, The Nature of Things) even at that ancient time.

The pivotal question to be posed to humanity is: Should some inhuman religious bigots be allowed further to play with lives of innocent people? Has human conscience no answer and solution to this gigantic anti-human world problem?

Science has repeatedly and conclusively proved that there is no supernatural God in the theists’ sense.  The scriptures are not the word of God and are the records made by the religious followers of their faiths.In fact, based on these scriptures,  the followers of the religious prophets frame the ‘divine’  moral code also and enforce it. The ‘divinely’ authorized human beings are the sole ‘divine’ moral lawmakers.  It is another matter that they may have an axe to grind in discharging their ‘authorized’ duty of moral legislation.

Men, the Makers of Their Own Moral Code

Men can manage their moral life without a God and the divinely ordained moral code.They are able to make proper choices for the society in which they live. There is proof that the godless atheists and rationalists are morally exemplary and good citizens.Forty percent of the Czech population is atheist and they are morally faultless.They lead a happy life. Atheists and rationalists in other countries too live a morally disciplined and contented life.

Men are social animals and they have the inborn, intuitive empathy and responsibility towards, and interest in, the welfare of themselves and all their fellow beings.They intuitively adhere to the Confucian moral principle: ‘Do not do to others what you would not want done to yourself.’ Man is not-can not live- alone. No external threat or reward by a God is needed to make men moral. Men cannot be slaves to commands of a non-existent God and his blind followers. Punishment is necessary in case of abnormal men for their correction. As rational men, they are capable of framing their moral code and modifying it in tune and harmony with the changing social conditions.  Non-existent God and his followers’ religious bigotry and pressure cannot compel them to surrender their self-respect to irrational’ heavenly’ orders issued by the religious bigots.

Julian Baggini, the philosopher says, ‘I believe that at the root of morality is a kind of empathy or concern for the welfare of others, a recognition that their welfare also counts.This is, for most of us, a basic human instinct.’

Instinctually and naturally, men are born to live socially and morally, since to do so is in their natural and collective interest. They know how to manage their individual and social morality.No role or moral right the God and the scriptures have to lay down and enforce the ‘divine’ moral code in the humans’ ethical world.

What can be the urgent next step to eradicate the religious irrationalism from our planet?

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