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Secular ethics

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**Principles of Secular Ethics**:
– Human beings determine ethical grounds through empathy and reason
– Well-being of others is central to ethical decision-making
– Normative principles of behavior derived through logic and reason
– Ethical principles may supersede religious teachings
– Individuals have a moral responsibility to uphold ethical principles

**Humanist Ethics**:
– Endorse universal morality based on human nature
– Knowledge of right and wrong based on individual and joint interests
– Aim to enhance human well-being and eliminate suffering
– Promote a humane society through reason and free inquiry
– The International Humanist and Ethical Union is a global organization for humanists

**Secular Ethics and Religion**:
– Religion not deemed necessary for moral behavior
– Compassion and affection are viewed as human values independent of religion
– Rational ethics can lead to a fully expressed ethical life
Secular ethics and religion are not mutually exclusive
– Principles like the Golden Rule are present in both systems

**Examples of Secular Ethical Codes**:
– Humanist Manifestos outline humanist philosophical views
– United States Naval Academy honor concept emphasizes integrity and truthfulness
– Minnesota Principles guide international business activities
– Rotary Four-Way Test acts as a test of thoughts and actions for ethical practice

**Philosophers and Philosophical Texts**:
– Epicurus founded ethics of pleasure based on nature study
– Valluvar focused on secular ethics and morality in the Kural text
– Holyoake defined secularism as duty based on human considerations
– Nietzsche explored Master-Slave Morality and the will to power
– Kant’s ethics emphasized good will and intent over results

Secular ethics (Wikipedia)

Secular ethics is a branch of moral philosophy in which ethics is based solely on human faculties such as logic, empathy, reason or moral intuition, and not derived from belief in supernatural revelation or guidance—a source of ethics in many religions. Secular ethics refers to any ethical system that does not draw on the supernatural, and includes humanism, secularism and freethinking. A classical example of literature on secular ethics is the Kural text, authored by the ancient Indian philosopher Valluvar.

Secular ethical systems comprise a wide variety of ideas to include the normativity of social contracts, some form of attribution of intrinsic moral value, intuition-based deontology, cultural moral relativism, and the idea that scientific reasoning can reveal objective moral truth (known as science of morality).

Secular ethics frameworks are not always mutually exclusive from theological values. For example, the Golden Rule or a commitment to non-violence, could be supported by both religious and secular frameworks. Secular ethics systems can vary within the societal and cultural norms of a specific time period, and may also be used by a person of any religious persuasion, including atheists.

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