Impact of Religion Upon the Economic Systems
Before discussing the prevailing economic systems in the world, I wish to point out that any religion that believes in the life after death has to firmly uphold the individual’s right to economic freedom.
The fact is that the world contains two kinds of nations: those who believe in religion and those who don’t. The latter may adopt any economic system that appeals to their reason. However, those who follow religion would insist upon an economic system that does not bear adversely on the life in the Hereafter. From this perspective, religions that believe in the life Hereafter must insist on individual choice and freedom. It is only then that a person’s good actions will find him a place in heaven, where he will attain God’s nearness, cognition and pleasure. God’s Holiness will protect him and free him of the weaknesses that afflicted him in this world. The nonbelievers may dismiss this conviction as false, but believers in the Hereafter will always give preference to the permanent life in the Hereafter in contrast to the temporary abode here on earth. The idea of spiritual merit in the life to come is fundamentally dependent upon virtuous acts performed voluntarily in this world. These voluntary acts turn life in this world into a field where you cultivate the spiritual seed and gather its fruits in the life to come. A farmer would not plant a seed that gave no yield; human actions performed under duress are similar to the seed that remains barren in the next life. However virtuous a person’s actions may seem on the surface, they yield no reward if done under compulsion. Meritorious life in the Hereafter is wholly dependent on good deeds done in this world voluntarily. Those who believe in the Hereafter can never support a system that compels humans to behave in a specified way, for in a system based on compulsion, the field of moral excellence and virtue is greatly constricted. A believer therefore must out of necessity demand an economic system where he is free to choose, except in areas where state intervention is unavoidable.