Creative Arts

Thoughts From A Secular Humanist

Image credit : Bala Bhaskar

I have no invisible authority
I am not mentally enslaved,
I am not an unworthy sinner
Who is waiting to be saved.
My actions are my own
Responsibility for which I will take,
Credit for the good and penalty for the bad
The payment for my deeds only I can make.

I’m not the innocent, confused child;
‘Humble’ messengers try to find,
I’m a skeptic with adult reasoning
Who has left Faith behind.
The answers gifted by logic and reason
Are far more appealing to me,
I keep searching for the still unknown
Not fitting baseless assumptions dishonestly.

Morality for me is not derived from an ancient book
With tiring tales of brutality and occasional verses of love,
To be good and to care for my fellow beings
I don’t need promises of gifts from above.
The knowledge and wisdom accumulated by science
Sincere and provable, without disguise,
Is what I find more comforting and reality revealing
Than ones given by power-hungry cults fighting over lies.

I’m not someone who thinks women
Compared to their men, are any less,
When her right to say ‘No’ is violated
I don’t blame it on her dress.
Her body is her own, her character not just her face
Rather than a world of fear and suppression,
They deserve a better place.

Things that others do without harming anyone or you
Are reason enough to make some disgusted or depressed
But when I come to know he loves another ‘he’,
I find myself hardly distressed.
It is better to judge people based on their actions
Not for ‘what’ they are,
Whether your genes played well or decided to change the rules
All of us are equal humans, who’ve managed to come this far.

I don’t believe that the Universe was ‘designed’
With a specific purpose, keeping any of us in mind,
A creator-free Universe is not uninteresting or colourless
But a lot more spectacular with added wonders to find.
Meaning is what we derive from the things that we strive
To achieve during our brief stay on this dot,
Knowing that none is bestowed with any special privileges
How many less battles would have been fought..

My love for this world and concern for its inhabitants
Is not restricted by any boundary line,
Whether you’re from the West and I’m from the East
We’re still on the same beautiful planet
So ought we not to get along fine?

I respect your right to believe what you want
I respect your right to choose,
But at times when what you believe and choose has a bearing on me
Don’t expect me to keep shut or not refuse.
As you read these words, if you find yourself offended
And feel that you need to complain,
I hope you’ll first pause for a second and try not to forget
How not being allowed to say it had once led our species
Into the Dark Ages of suffering and pain.

About the author

Anita Jose

A godless freethinker and a supporter of women's, differently-abled and LGBT rights. Currently doing her B.A. in sociology/psychology in IGNOU. She runs a page called 'Secular Voice' on Facebook, dedicated to promoting reason, science and secular humanism.

31 Comments

  • Great poem, it covers a lot of ground in such a short space – I’m beginning to see the value of poetry! The phrase “We’re still on the same beautiful planet/So ought we not to get along fine?” reminded me so much of Carl Sagan’s question – “Who speaks for Earth?”.

  • Profound words:

    Knowing that none is bestowed with any special privileges
    How many less battles would have been fought..

    Hats off to you Ania. The poem is simply superb.

  • Tears of happiness, tears of joy
    The feeling of knowing you, the feeling of pride
    The first touch when I carried you
    Said, you are close to my heart
    The bonding which I shared with you
    So touched to see you grow
    Proud to be associated with you
    Who says sky is the limit
    You will go beyond that
    Still for me you will be my little small wonder
    Who thinks so high….
    Keep going …all the best…

  • As you read these words, if you find yourself offended
    And feel that you need to complain,…

    When you know you want to be right (the poem reveals it), you don’t care about people getting offended…wordliness…but anyways, it’s what you wanted to
    write 🙂

    • It’s not about being right for the sake of being right. It’s the stand for a better world.
      Obviously it will offend a few (the hardcore fundamentalists who base everything on their ancient books), but the majority moderate/non-believing population gets the point. 🙂

      • Yes, you are right. The quest for a better world is in
        other words, the quest for utopia. But still that is
        a different thing altogether, in the context of this poem. What you have done here through this poem is to seperate oneself from the illusion of ‘God’. For people with scientific bent of mind, it is easy but for those who have been raised with stories of ‘God’ creating the universe, it is difficult. My opinion is that one has to either wait for science to reach The Ultimate Answer or evolve as a secular humanist. 🙂

        • Science has already been unravelling many of the fundamental questions that was previously depended on religion to be answered. We’re not that far away. Yes, its difficult for those who had been indoctrinated from childhood. The thought itself might be unbearable. Education is the key.

  • Wonderful piece. You’ve managed to capture all the different thoughts that have occurred to me at different points of time so well in one poem. I’m going to paste this link on my Facebook page if you don’t mind

  • “I respect your right to believe what you want
    I respect your right to choose,
    But at times when what you believe and choose has a bearing on me
    Don’t expect me to keep shut or not refuse ”

    Excellent… i dont get words to describe…just awesome.Hats Off Anita…! As said by Christopher Hitchens ” Never be a spectator of unfairness and stupidity, seek out argument and disputation for their own sake, The Grave will supply plenty of time for silence”

  • This is a piece of art, a sheer pleasure to read. You expressed what so many of us wouldn’t have the guts to even think through your magical words. Keep up the amazing work. All the best, Anita!

    • Thanks. 🙂
      No thought is unthinkable. Never limit your mind from any ideas nor keep any set of concepts unquestionable. Its only your actions that you may need to restrict at times.

  • So well written!!! I enjoyed reading every line of it. And, the line that stands out is “With tiring tales of brutality and occasional verses of love” 🙂

  • Fantastic; mesmerizing. Sum up the whole story of universe. “Gagar mein sagar”.convey the message beautifully. Live & let live. Heartily congratulations!!!

  • As your argument goes to be a secular humanist is also a matter of genes and not of ultimate truth. I respect your freedom to be a non believer but there is no reason to ridicule a believer. Mans endeavor to search for truth has resulted in recognition of God. As believers tell God is not see but present, so God cannot be known but experienced. Though in my younger days I also believed what you are telling, but as time passed I prefer to be a practising Christian and experience a glimpse of divinity.

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