Secular morality  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Secular morality is the aspect of philosophy that deals with morality outside of religious traditions. Modern examples include humanism, freethinking, and most versions of consequentialism. Additional philosophies with ancient roots include those such as skepticism and virtue ethics. Philosophers have proposed various ideas about how to determine right and wrong actions. An example is Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative.

A variety of positions are apparent regarding the relationship between religion and morality. Some believe that religion is necessary as a guide to a moral life. According to some, this idea has been with us for nearly 2,000 years. Others suggest this idea goes back at least 2,600 years as exemplified in Psalm 14 of the Hebrew Bible. According to others, the idea goes back as far as 4,000 years, with the ancient Egyptians' 42 Principles of Ma'at.

Others eschew the idea that religion is required to provide a guide to right and wrong behavior. The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics however states that religion and morality "are to be defined differently and have no definitional connections with each other". Some believe that religions provide poor guides to moral behavior. Various commentators, such as Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), Sam Harris (The End of Faith) and Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great) are among those who have asserted this view.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Secular morality" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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