Secularism is the principle of dividing or separating the political institutions, government and persons of the state from the religious establishments and people. This means that activities and decisions of the state should not be based on religious rules, preaching and teachings, but should be based on scientific proof and objective facts. It maintains the idea that problems of any nature are to be solved by the superior intelligence, reasoning and thinking power of human beings while not depending on or even rejecting the invisible God. Many believe that assertive secularism has been developed out of intolerance towards religions, inclination towards atheism or agnosticism.
Secularism is definitely going to affect the future of faith both as a public engagement or personal commitment. The public policies and decisions which affect the poor and needy, ensuring equal opportunity and economic justice to everyone are more strongly backed up by secularism followers than religion supporters in a democratic set up. This helps in reducing gaps between the rich and the poor. Secularists believe that economic growth and justice can be achieved by investing more on education, infrastructure, etc. and raising taxes. Secularism calls for not only justice but also freedom in the public engagements. The process of formation or preparation of public policies and similar decisions making process, under secularism, gives equal voice and chance to all citizens to take part and make their contributions in terms of ideas and actions. Every human being gets respect without being judged. Public debates on the public ways of life will be entertained. The humanitarian actions of the state will be based on more logical reasons and honest bases. The goals and the processes employed for reaching the goals will be accepted based on their merits. The increased faith in secularism in public engagement calls for a more tolerant society that aims for the common good.
With regard to faith as personal commitments, the absence of extreme religiousness, bring more peace, happiness and choices to the person. The people can accept and acknowledge others ideas and become more open to discussion, observations, suggestions and criticisms. All these help to improve the merit of ideas, outlooks and their utilisation for the development. The people don’t judge others based on their religious affiliations but for their dignity and character. Secularism allows people to involve effectively in humanitarian and charity initiatives adding more meaning to their existence. Unlike the extremists’ views, people are free to choose partnerships, friendships, marriage and other associations with anyone making the associations more. Not involving aspects of God while making decisions regarding one’s life makes one more reasonable, logical and practical. Be it in the job, marriage or other activities, it makes the person less hypocritical and more humanitarian, being more faithful to the rational conscience than to the invisible God and religious dogmas.
Worthen, M., Douthat, R., Cox, H., and Dionne, E. J. “In Secularism we trust? The fate of religion in the 21st century”. Fordham University. E. Gerald Corrigan Conference Center, New York, USA. 18 November 2014. Lecture.