Ethical Religion of William MacIntyre Salter. MK Gandhi “Is there a higher law?”

Ethical Religion by William MacIntyre Salter

A society has been founded which has shown, after an investigation of all religions, that not only do all of them teach morality, but they are based for the most part on ethical principles; that it is one’s duty to obey the laws of ethics whether or not one professes a religion;and that men who would not obey them could do no good either to themselves or to others in this world or the next. The object of these societies is to influence those who have been led to look down upon all religions because of the prevailing hypocrisy. The find out the fundamentals of all religions, discuss and write about the ethical principles common to them and live up to them. This creed they call Ethical Relgion. Gandhi’s “Ethical Religion” is a comparison of some of Salter’s Ethical Religion which shows that Gandhi stayed close to the text in the opening paragraphs but simplified the remaining argument, often reproducing more of the illustrations than of the reasoning.

Ethical Religion by M K Gandhi

The Gospel Of Freedom

THERE IS no such thing as slow freedom. Freedom is like a birth. Till we are fully free, we are slaves. All birth takes place in a moment. (Young India, 9-3-1922, p. 148.)


Hypocrisy has nowadays increased in the world. Whatever a man’s religion, he thinks of only its outward form and fails in his real duty. In our crazy pursuit of wealth, we seldom think of the harm we cause, or are likely to cause, to others. Women in Europe do not hesitate in the least to wear soft [kid] gloves even though these are made by killing young and tender animals. It is known the world over how Mr. Rockefeller, said to be the richest man in the world, violated many rules of morality in amassing his fortune. It is because such conditions prevail around them that many people in Europe and America have turned against religion. They argue that, if any religion worth the name existed in the world, the inordinate wickedness that is rampant all round would not be there. This is a mistaken view. As it is common for a workman to quarrel with his tools and not try to look for his own faults, so instead of thinking of the wickedness in themselves, men brand religion itself as humbug and go on acting and living as they please.

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