Superiority of Secular Morality over Religious Systems


I agree with everything you presented there. That it is absurd to call the standard of “human well-being” a subjective point of reference for what is “good” and “bad” since those fundamental rules of the game of “human well-being” is all the innate attributes of just being human. Preferring life over death, peace over chaos, socialization over isolation, etc.

Not indiscriminately, but definitely not discussed and explained. They are dictations, not reasoned conclusions of mutual understanding. We can all improve on the 10 commandments in under three seconds. And we can all name off in our heads all the things that people can point to in religious texts that are barbaric to do, but biblical justified.
That is an example of why Secular Moral systems are superior to NonSecular Moral systems. The Secular Moral systems have an internal agreed upon goal of what to measure the good and the bad against. NonSecular Moral systems have an external imposed reference point that may or may not have it in the best interests of humanity for the good and the bad. No one can go grab your deity and force it to the table to explain itself.


I agree there are different levels of “love”. But to equate loving your spouse with the same emotional connection as you would a stranger is absurd. That is all I was pointing out.


Nope it is from ourselves. We all have an internal understanding of what we understand the good and the bad to be. That is how you are able to tell the difference between worshiping your deity and the devil. It’s actions on how it benefits humanity is what you took as a reference point of good or bad. Otherwise if that didn’t matter, then you’re just worshiping Might makes Right, since you claim your deity is more powerful. I hope you are not worshiping this deity just because of its power regardless of its actions, because then you have divorced yourself from being a moral agent and are just following orders.


No, subjective morality, not subjective secular morality. Every moral system has to have a reference point for labeling something as good or bad. You subjectively selected a deity. I subjectively selected Human Well-being. Mine, I can demonstrate is universal to human beings since the rules of playing that game are built within all of us, preference to life over death, peace over chaos, socialization over isolation, etc. There’s no more access to your deity than there is to superman for everyone.

In a country where the majority of the population is christian, you’d expect this to be different right? Well, in a secular government, where people have the freedom to practice their religion or non-religion, it seems all these christians are not acting christian as you would like. So you seem to be advocating for a government where the laws don’t allow people the freedom to choose to act religious according to their religious teachings, but would force people to act religious even if they wouldn’t given the freedom. This would save them from your deity’s judgement then? It wouldn’t be able to see through that? We’ve gone through the christian reformation so that it’s teeth and claws are removed. We’re never going back to that thank you very much. I’m sure women, minorities, and children wouldn’t appreciate being in a government where they are religiously required to be men’s property again.
This is why Secular Moral systems are superior to NonSecular Moral systems. It’s based off two points: everyone is allowed to the table to discuss what the reference point/the goal of the good and bad are for society and this point is mutually agreed upon. This is why having an internal system is better. These points are not imposed upon them from an outside source. Be it a dictatorship, religious deity, untouchable institution, deified historical texts, etc.


Are not the people “at the table” ALREADY infused with prior learning experiences–both religious and secular–based on their own culture and its norms of behavior? They are surely not “tabula rasa” people who have NOTHING in their heads to begin with. Therefore, they have already been socialized and enculturated, if not indoctrinated, by all sorts of OUTSIDE SOURCES including religious sources. Would not that interfere with and alter the decision-making process, which is purportedly meant to be apart from and devoid of the external source of religious contamination?


I disagree. If you are a Sola Scriptura protestant that may be the case, but Catholics have discussed and explained just about every moral rule they have, ad nauseam. As I’ve said before, Catholic moral teaching is rational and quite in depth, even from a secular standpoint. You may not agree with them, but they are rational arguments. Even as an agnostic atheist I recognized this and admired it. One of many reasons I returned to the Church.

Agreed upon by who? Who are the players in this decision making process? It’s logistically impossible to have everyone involved. Those with the most power, influence and ability to market the new “morality” will be making the rules. Just look around at how secularism is handling it nowadays. It’s chaotic, irrational and destructive.


No, morality comes from God. It was God who told Adam and Eve not to eat from a particular tree. Otherwise who cares what they ate.
Secular morality is based on natural law, that is the law that we can understand from our own reasoning. For example "Don’t kill don’t be killed, Don’t steal, and don’t get robbed, etc…


If people are going to destroy themselves or succeed, the responsibility for that necessarily is on them. You sir are advocating for a dear leader to save us from ourselves. Why is that? We have the tools to fix our problems ourselves and your continued whimpering for a dear leader to save us is what paves the way for demagogs, hucksters, and charlatans to swoop in and take power over an entire mind set of people trained to believe they are less than they could be. That is the story of the 20th century. People needing a dear leader to save them instead of working together to save ourselves like the Scandinavian countries are doing.


The religious discuss painting the bulls eye around the arrow their deity dictated, but the deity’s explanation and dialog is what is missing from the discussion. That was what I was pointing out.

The people engaged in the process.

We do the best we can for this goal, If we find a better way, then we’ll implement that way next. But that is the best goal post we have so far. Granting everyone a vote for the elections os a good example of how we’ve addressed part of implementing this process.

Of course it is, but the responsibility is where it needs to be for success or failure, on the people directly affected by it. It is always easier and more cowardice to be an adult and not take on our adult responsibilities by passing off our responsibilities to a dear leader. But we have to have more respect for ourselves and for what great things we can accomplish if we just get the mindset of try, fail, get back up, own our failure and try again till we succeed. We won’t solve everything, but at least our children won’t get passed on our problems that were ours to solve.


Morality is reasoned, discussed, and demonstated to be good in reference to our internal model if what we as people understand what is good and bad in reference to Human Well-being. That is how you were able to determine your deity was the good one and the devil was the bad one. You made the assessment that your deity’s moral model was what was most benefitial for humanity and yourself. You don’t become moral just by your existence. You have to demonstrate your morality and let it be assessed by moral agents. Entities who are able to understand what makes an action good or bad or just neutral. From an outside perspective, the story of the garden of eden makes your deity immoral to us, by the way.


You’re going to vote on ethics? That’s a terrible idea.

There already is a better way and that’s recognizing that there is objective morality, carefully discovering it’s principles and slowly refining them over generations. That’s one of the main goals of religion, Christian, Buddhist, Islam, whatever. Their success has been dependent on their acceptance by the masses and they work best when they’re voluntary, which sadly isn’t always the case.

If you’re voting on it, then it’s government controlled. Formal social controls by means of coercion. If all moral principles are dictated and controlled by government, you’re making things far worse. You’re trading God, the conception of perfect goodness, for manipulative people in high places.


Secular ideologies are incapable of building a consistent ethic / morality because they are dictated by the whims of the people. They are changeable, and over time they will change. Without being grounded in an external, unchanging, morality, they are incapable of doing anything other than fail.


No sir, the morality you just described is exactly the same thing I an talking about, just these groups already went through the process and we are stand on their hard work that you agree with.
Then you dismiss the process and label it government impossed. No sir, the process is interal, coming from the people who participated and gave their vote and concent for how they want to be governed. If you believe there is a problem with the governmental process, then change it. Giving up on changing it and thinking it is some external monolith is exactly the problem of the mind set from people who keep wanting a nonsecular moral system. They just don’t have the external monolith that they wanted. Well ditch it and come to the table with the rest of us to fix it instead of waiting around for your dear leader to swoop in and do the work you don’t want to.


Reasoned debate, discussion, and voting on a consensus is a whim to you? If that is what you mean by whim, then every decision you ever made, regardless of how important or trivial are whims as well. Choosing to be catholic, choosing your spouse, choosing to have children, etc. That is how ignorant your response is on this topic. According to your response then, just being human and making informed decisions are all whims.


That is irrelevant to the point of understanding if this reference point is actually good and benefits humanity. It may or may not. You have to demonstrate that it does these things. Also how do you gain understanding about morality and living the good life if your external reference point imposes its morality through commandments and not reasoned discussion and agreement? I assume you already agree with everything it is recorded to demand and then go figure out why. That is painting the arrow around the bulls eye and makes you a moral agent that refuses to assess the morality of your dear leader. Sorry you weren’t born in Russia 80 years ago to swoon over your dear leader. That is what can happen when you demand an external unfallible dictatorship and are taught that humanity by default shouldn’t even bother with the process of learning how to live the moral life on its own.


I fail to see the connection between your comment and the issue that I brought up regarding secular people’s religious foundation through their prior learning experiences and culture. If you wish to criticize my comments, that is fine and even appreciated, but then please make an effort to address the issues that I raised.


Within the context of the greater flow of history, yes, they are just whims. They are fleeting notions that, while certainly having a massive impact on the generations under which they are prominent, remain subject to the changing norms of a restless society. We have seen this clearly enough within our own lifetimes, with age-old moral principles being toppled over in a matter of seconds (relative to the length of time to which they were adhered).

So yes, I would say that whims is an apt description of the ever-changing notions of an unprincipled society.

Demonstrations of benefit are more or less inconsequential to people who have made up their minds. There’s plenty of information to demonstrate that promiscuous sexual behavior is damaging to both individuals and society. That doesn’t matter to the people engaged in those behaviors, because they want to do things their way.

People, collectively, are stupid; and no amount of demonstration of benefit will turn a group from a course its set itself on. That has been true throughout history. It’s only when the end result of those poor decisions is made manifest that people, and society, are willing to change.

As for how I came to accept the moral standpoint of Christianity, I experienced the difference it made within my own life. I saw how my life was when I lived without it, and then how my life was when i lived with it. I also saw how modern societies with and without such guiding principles operated. That was more than enough evidence to show me that the Catholic moral system has a real claim to “rightness”.


I see that I bypassed your concern with the education and mindset of the people involved with the secular moral discussion and went on to address the process difference between secular and nonsecular systems.
So to your point, people do not know they are wrong until that is pointed out in discussion. Just like how being indoctrinated is a problem with religious organizations. But is the process better or not for the people involved? Secular systems have a reference point of good and bad from an internal agreed upon point for good and bad. Nonsecular systems have an impossed external reference point that may or may not have the goal of good and bad be what best benefits humanity and it is unchallengable. Dictatorship, theocracy, unfallable church leadership with life time appointments, writtings from dead philosophers that are deified and unable to be updated and challenged, etc. Your point about the mindset of the people is irrelevant since it applies equally to both systems. At least the secualr system is fixable and we have access to the sourced reference point, Human Well-being and have agreed that should be the reference point. No one has access to your deity for a dialog and explanation for its commandments any more than we do for superman.


So you went and applied the process of reasoning, discussion, and evidence based results to come to your conclusion that catholicism is correct and then don’t see that your long rant about how people are always going to fail when they do this but some how it doesn’t apply to you. You are doing exactly what you just railed against.


Is this secular moral system supposed to be worldwide, that is, globally based, or is it contained within cultural traditions? Put another way, even if culture can be toppled (which I believe is unlikely), does that mean the end product must be universal? Also, if the end results happen to coincide with religious teaching (whatever parts of various religious beliefs), is that acceptable, or is the goal to depart from all religious principles (derived from belief in a deity) no matter what the conclusions of the discussion may be?

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