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The NonreligiousUnderstanding Secular People and Societies$
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Phil Zuckerman, Luke W. Galen, and Frank L. Pasquale

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199924950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199924950.001.0001

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Secular Morality and Ethics

Secular Morality and Ethics

(p.146) 8 Secular Morality and Ethics
The Nonreligious

Phil Zuckerman

Luke W. Galen

Frank L. Pasquale

Oxford University Press

Perhaps no domain of secular studies has garnered as much interest as that involving comparisons and contrasts between the nonreligious and the religious in matters of ethics and morality. Indeed, there are strong stereotypes projected onto seculars reflecting concerns with how morality can be achieved in the absence of religious influences. This chapter first covers definitions and types of morality, including recent theories regarding their origin and the methods by which they are assessed. Secular attitudes and behaviors are examined in domains such as honesty, criminality, substance use, sexuality, prosociality, aggression, prejudice, helping, and altruism. Across these domains, a trend in secular morality is seen emphasizing individualism over group-binding. Among secular individuals, general morality reflects the use of reasoning over intuition, and moral consequentialism over deontology.

Keywords:   secular morality, secular ethics, secular prosociality, secular altruism, secular sexuality

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