Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do We Need Religion To Have Ethics?

Ethics, or the ethos, is something which talks about what is morally right and wrong for a person, or for society as a whole. On the other hand, religion talks about the god, or a supreme being, providing insights of right and wrong in life. If these two topics are mixed together and the question of the necessity of religion for ethics is asked, we do get varied answers. Some say that there is no need of religion for ethics, as our life must be based on the ultimate right and wrong, and not on the guidance of an entity which we can feel, but we cannot touch or meet. But, as we go on to talk about this topic, we realize that the presence of religion in a person’s life does give rise to ethics.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some people who state that there is no need for religion in the pursuit for ethics in society. Well, they are right in their own way, and I agree with them as well. We reside in an age which is plagued by the vermin of crime, rape, and corruption. These men who practice these criminal activities do perform services for the Lord as well. These men are religiously a part of society, yet they go on to do the gory acts which the ethics of a simple man defy.

There are also the organizations like the Boy Scouts, and other NGOs which work to help people. The Boy Scouts have their main aim to be polite, honest, and helpful, and yet their guide book does not include any statement regarding religion. There is also an argument that religion makes you a bit biased in your moral and ethical decisions and could work against the main aim of following ethics. Well, that is surely true.

Various parts of the religious books say that man has never ceased to be evil. It is just the presence of a higher identity and a force which prevents him from proceeding to perform the cruel and vindictive acts. Well, yes. That is true. Let us take the example of a teenager. Being disallowed by religion to smoke or drink, the teenager in a bar with his friends will not move towards the drinks, even if he is forced to do it.

This is the effect which religion has on man. It creates a self-imposed boundary on the acts and at some point; it does have its effects. These limits may seem a bit farfetched at times, like in the case of a young girl who is pregnant because of being raped. This poor girl should be allowed an abortion at least in order to avoid the stares. That would be the best option when considered ethically and with a basic common sense. But a certain religion does prevent this. So, is religion guiding us in the right way here? Is it helping us to regulate ourselves, or is it stealing our freedom?

The restrictions posed by religion on drinking do hold us back from alcoholism, but are we being deprived of a good thing? A small quantity of alcoholic drinks are said to act as stimulants, and have been scientifically proved to be helpful as well. Brandy and wine are prescribed by doctors as well to help. But some religions reject this allowance, and thus there can be a moment when an ill person may be faced with a dilemma regarding this.

Stringent rules and laws, being placed by religion in this topic here, have always worked to hurt and contain the freedom of people. Is the loss of freedom ethically correct? No it is not. Freedom is the most integral aspects of a person’s life, and it must not be snatched away, even in the name of ethics. Along with this, ethics are based on people’s morals, and these must not be influenced by any other factor, and this would lead to a biased decision.

To sum it all up, religion does make you inclined decisions regarding pressing matters in life, and it also works to steal the freedom of people, to act, and to think as well. This is completely against the principals of man, as freedom is birthright for each and every being on the planet. And according to all the above, I strongly believe that religion is not necessary for ethics, as it causes harm in the decision, and also to mankind.


  1. I can fully comprehend your thoughts and i agree

  2. well written, I believe the same too!