About three weeks ago I was going about my routine and cooking dinner for my family. And out of nowhere it hit me: I’m generally a good and moral person. Now that probably doesn’t seem like a major revelation initially. But when I coupled it with the fact that I wasn’t part of an Abrahamic faith(or the ‘Desert Dogmas’ as a friend of mine calls them), it was an epiphany. I stopped making salat in November 2010. I hadn’t attended church religiously since 2009. Yet here I am, still an upright human being. I don’t treat my fellow humans any worse since leaving organized religion. I don’t cheat or steal. I don’t lie. I’m not violent. I abide by the laws of my community. I show the same love to my family and friends. I am not perfect, but I basically do the right thing. I treat people as I want to be treated.
It’s not a fear of eternal punishment that inspires me to live this way. Nor is it a desire to earn good behavior points from an Almighty Being. It doesn’t stem from a belief that all my deeds are being recorded for a Day of Judgment. No, I adhere to this ethical code because my conscience lets me know it’s the right thing to do. I now realize that I don’t need to attend church and hear “the word of God preached by a sent man of God” in order to know and do the right thing. I don’t need to bow in prayer five times a day and follow the sheikhs to know what is moral. God gave me the inner compass, all I have to do is listen to that. No further instruction is necessary.