# Are Christians better off with modern secular values and morals?

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
I think that yes, modern-day secular values and morals have greatly benefitted Christians. Having moved away from so-called Biblical morality, we're all better off, and that includes Christians.

A good example of Christians better off now that we no longer rely on the Bible for morals are Christian kids. The Bible prescribes the barbaric practice of beating children and even killing them under some circumstances. Christian boys and girls are now protected from that kind of violence due to our replacing the Bible with reason.

Other groups benefitting from non-Biblical morality are gays, lesbians, and transsexuals. When men who proclaimed themselves to be God's prophets ruled, men caught in homosexual acts were to be executed. Today Christian gays need not live in fear of being murdered that way. All gays and lesbians including those who are Christians can now enjoy sex freely. We've even advanced to allowing same-sex marriage and are moving away from seeing transsexuals as freaks.

Women including Christian women are now benefitting from secular morality. According to the Bible, any woman caught in adultery and her lover were to be executed regardless of any mitigating circumstances. If a woman was raped, she could be executed for it! Jesus reputedly disallowed divorce under any circumstances except infidelity condemning many generations of women to being neglected and abused by their husbands. In all circumstances Christian "morality" meant second-class status for women forced to obey their husbands and to be his chattel. Thanks to our replacing injustices like that with more humane ways of seeing women, women including Christian women are now free to vote, divorce abusive husbands without shame and remarry, have greater control over how many children they must bear, and have many other rights and opportunities they were denied under Christian morality.

Other Christian groups benefitting from non-Biblical morality are small Christian sects that are seen as heretical by mainstream Christianity. Thanks to secularism, people including many Christians are now free to believe in whatever they want without fear of punishment. When Christianity ruled with its Biblically inspired morality, people who were seen as wrong in their Christian beliefs were often imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Secularism has done away with such barbarism in most developed nations, and millions of Christians are enjoying freedoms they never had before!

So we can see that yes, Christians for the most part are much better off now that we no longer impose Biblical morality on them. We're all better off thanks to secularism.

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
I think that yes, modern-day secular values and morals have greatly benefitted Christians. Having moved away from so-called Biblical morality, we're all better off, and that includes Christians.

A good example of Christians better off now that we no longer rely on the Bible for morals are Christian kids. The Bible prescribes the barbaric practice of beating children and even killing them under some circumstances. Christian boys and girls are now protected from that kind of violence due to our replacing the Bible with reason.

Other groups benefitting from non-Biblical morality are gays, lesbians, and transsexuals. When men who proclaimed themselves to be God's prophets ruled, men caught in homosexual acts were to be executed. Today Christian gays need not live in fear of being murdered that way. All gays and lesbians including those who are Christians can now enjoy sex freely. We've even advanced to allowing same-sex marriage and are moving away from seeing transsexuals as freaks.

Women including Christian women are now benefitting from secular morality. According to the Bible, any woman caught in adultery and her lover were to be executed regardless of any mitigating circumstances. If a woman was raped, she could be executed for it! Jesus reputedly disallowed divorce under any circumstances except infidelity condemning many generations of women to being neglected and abused by their husbands. In all circumstances Christian "morality" meant second-class status for women forced to obey their husbands and to be his chattel. Thanks to our replacing injustices like that with more humane ways of seeing women, women including Christian women are now free to vote, divorce abusive husbands without shame and remarry, have greater control over how many children they must bear, and have many other rights and opportunities they were denied under Christian morality.

Other Christian groups benefitting from non-Biblical morality are small Christian sects that are seen as heretical by mainstream Christianity. Thanks to secularism, people including many Christians are now free to believe in whatever they want without fear of punishment. When Christianity ruled with its Biblically inspired morality, people who were seen as wrong in their Christian beliefs were often imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Secularism has done away with such barbarism in most developed nations, and millions of Christians are enjoying freedoms they never had before!

So we can see that yes, Christians for the most part are much better off now that we no longer impose Biblical morality on them. We're all better off thanks to secularism.
OK. It looks like everybody knows that Christians are better off with secular morality.

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
Yeah I like cherries, too.

#### Harry Bosch

##### Contributor
I think that yes, modern-day secular values and morals have greatly benefitted Christians. Having moved away from so-called Biblical morality, we're all better off, and that includes Christians.

A good example of Christians better off now that we no longer rely on the Bible for morals are Christian kids. The Bible prescribes the barbaric practice of beating children and even killing them under some circumstances. Christian boys and girls are now protected from that kind of violence due to our replacing the Bible with reason.

Other groups benefitting from non-Biblical morality are gays, lesbians, and transsexuals. When men who proclaimed themselves to be God's prophets ruled, men caught in homosexual acts were to be executed. Today Christian gays need not live in fear of being murdered that way. All gays and lesbians including those who are Christians can now enjoy sex freely. We've even advanced to allowing same-sex marriage and are moving away from seeing transsexuals as freaks.

Women including Christian women are now benefitting from secular morality. According to the Bible, any woman caught in adultery and her lover were to be executed regardless of any mitigating circumstances. If a woman was raped, she could be executed for it! Jesus reputedly disallowed divorce under any circumstances except infidelity condemning many generations of women to being neglected and abused by their husbands. In all circumstances Christian "morality" meant second-class status for women forced to obey their husbands and to be his chattel. Thanks to our replacing injustices like that with more humane ways of seeing women, women including Christian women are now free to vote, divorce abusive husbands without shame and remarry, have greater control over how many children they must bear, and have many other rights and opportunities they were denied under Christian morality.

Other Christian groups benefitting from non-Biblical morality are small Christian sects that are seen as heretical by mainstream Christianity. Thanks to secularism, people including many Christians are now free to believe in whatever they want without fear of punishment. When Christianity ruled with its Biblically inspired morality, people who were seen as wrong in their Christian beliefs were often imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Secularism has done away with such barbarism in most developed nations, and millions of Christians are enjoying freedoms they never had before!

So we can see that yes, Christians for the most part are much better off now that we no longer impose Biblical morality on them. We're all better off thanks to secularism.
OK. It looks like everybody knows that Christians are better off with secular morality.
Yep! Sadly, there are very few religious people on this forum anymore. I like debate and wish that there were more.

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
I love religion, but there's not much promise of discussion here. Yes, if you define everything you like as "secular values" and everything you dislike as "Christian values", then European history probably looks rather one-sided with the Christians as the villains. But in real life, there isn't really a distinction between Christian and secular values the way that the OP suggests, they have always influenced one another and are not really distinguishable.

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
Yep! Sadly, there are very few religious people on this forum anymore. I like debate and wish that there were more.

Those are my feelings too. The benefits Christians enjoy from secular morality are rarely recognized by them, and it would be great to let more Christians know that they do benefit not only from secular morality but benefit from our leaving religious morality in the past. I'd love to see more Christians in this forum to debate such issues.

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
Yep! Sadly, there are very few religious people on this forum anymore. I like debate and wish that there were more.

Those are my feelings too. The benefits Christians enjoy from secular morality are rarely recognized by them, and it would be great to let more Christians know that they do benefit not only from secular morality but benefit from our leaving religious morality in the past. I'd love to see more Christians in this forum to debate such issues.
Alright, defend your argument, then. What is a "secular value", what is a "Christian value", and how do you define which is which?

#### braces_for_impact

##### Veteran Member
Sadly, for many Christians, they have the stick of hell and the carrot of heaven in front of them. By making their afterlife their top priority, it cheapens this one, the real one, they're actually living in. Many of you have probably noticed that more often than not, many Christians, especially the fundamentalist variety, are on the wrong side of virtually every moral issue. Even the simplest of moral questions aren't answerable, like allowing human beings to own each other as property. Why? Because their afterlife! People are getting hurt in the here and now? Don't worry, it will all be worth it in the end when you get to heaven! Are your policies and theology hurting people? It's worth it! ANYTHING is worth it, and can justified, because your entire afterlife is what is at stake.

These attitudes cheapen real values that propel humanity forward, like unconditional love, respect, kindness, and empathy. Christianity is a very destructive force in the world.

#### Tigers!

##### Veteran Member
Yep! Sadly, there are very few religious people on this forum anymore. I like debate and wish that there were more.
Perhaps some thought as to why that might be be case could be useful?

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
Sadly, for many Christians, they have the stick of hell and the carrot of heaven in front of them. By making their afterlife their top priority, it cheapens this one, the real one, they're actually living in. Many of you have probably noticed that more often than not, many Christians, especially the fundamentalist variety, are on the wrong side of virtually every moral issue. Even the simplest of moral questions aren't answerable, like allowing human beings to own each other as property. Why? Because their afterlife! People are getting hurt in the here and now? Don't worry, it will all be worth it in the end when you get to heaven! Are your policies and theology hurting people? It's worth it! ANYTHING is worth it, and can justified, because your entire afterlife is what is at stake.

These attitudes cheapen real values that propel humanity forward, like unconditional love, respect, kindness, and empathy. Christianity is a very destructive force in the world.
I oppose slavery.

#### Tigers!

##### Veteran Member
Sadly, for many Christians, they have the stick of hell and the carrot of heaven in front of them. By making their afterlife their top priority, it cheapens this one, the real one, they're actually living in. Many of you have probably noticed that more often than not, many Christians, especially the fundamentalist variety, are on the wrong side of virtually every moral issue. Even the simplest of moral questions aren't answerable, like allowing human beings to own each other as property. Why? Because their afterlife! People are getting hurt in the here and now? Don't worry, it will all be worth it in the end when you get to heaven! Are your policies and theology hurting people? It's worth it! ANYTHING is worth it, and can justified, because your entire afterlife is what is at stake.

These attitudes cheapen real values that propel humanity forward, like unconditional love, respect, kindness, and empathy. Christianity is a very destructive force in the world.
Why do you think that having an afterlife cheapens this one? I certainly do not believe that for an instant.
Many of you have probably noticed that more often than not, many Christians, especially the fundamentalist variety, are on the wrong side of virtually every moral issue.
Do like the gratuitous assumption by your good self that Christians are on the wrong side. I assume by that you mean you are in disagreement with them. Such disagreement does not automatically assume either side is right or wrong,

#### southernhybrid

##### Contributor
Yep! Sadly, there are very few religious people on this forum anymore. I like debate and wish that there were more.
Perhaps some thought as to why that might be be case could be useful?
In the early days of IIDB, we had lots of Christians and even a few people from other religions come here to debate. I think when other forms of social media started becoming popular, we lost a lot of people, including a lot of Christians. We also stopped getting many new members. The debates weren't much different back then compared to now. The place was just a lot more active. One of my favorite former posters was a liberal Baptist pastor from Atlanta. He met with a group of us once in Atlanta and we all had a lot of fun together. He also started his own discussion board. I was one of two atheist members and the more liberal Christians frequently defended me when I was attacked by the evangelicals. Sadly, that place didn't last very long. All of this was before the larger social media sites were around. Sorry to go off topic, but I wanted to give my opinion as to why we no longer have that many Christian members. We simply have fewer active members now, regardless if they are religious believers or not.

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
Yep! Sadly, there are very few religious people on this forum anymore. I like debate and wish that there were more.

Those are my feelings too. The benefits Christians enjoy from secular morality are rarely recognized by them, and it would be great to let more Christians know that they do benefit not only from secular morality but benefit from our leaving religious morality in the past. I'd love to see more Christians in this forum to debate such issues.
Have you given up on the debate already? You have yet to clarify your argument. I've made a claim: that there is no meaningful distinction between "Christian" and "Secular" morality. If you disagree, you should be able to define your proposed categories, and justify how each of the cases you outline constitutes a secular value correcting a Christian one in a straightforward fashion. So far, your offered argument is not very convincing.

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
Sadly, for many Christians, they have the stick of hell and the carrot of heaven in front of them. By making their afterlife their top priority, it cheapens this one, the real one, they're actually living in. Many of you have probably noticed that more often than not, many Christians, especially the fundamentalist variety, are on the wrong side of virtually every moral issue. Even the simplest of moral questions aren't answerable, like allowing human beings to own each other as property. Why? Because their afterlife! People are getting hurt in the here and now? Don't worry, it will all be worth it in the end when you get to heaven! Are your policies and theology hurting people? It's worth it! ANYTHING is worth it, and can justified, because your entire afterlife is what is at stake.

These attitudes cheapen real values that propel humanity forward, like unconditional love, respect, kindness, and empathy. Christianity is a very destructive force in the world.
I can't disagree with any of that! As you say, when people have utopia as their prime motivator, then they have less motivation to make people a priority. If we don't bother appealing to the supernatural, then we can focus on people as our top priority. I think that's why secular morality often works so much better than religious morality.

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
I love religion, but there's not much promise of discussion here. Yes, if you define everything you like as "secular values" and everything you dislike as "Christian values", then European history probably looks rather one-sided with the Christians as the villains. But in real life, there isn't really a distinction between Christian and secular values the way that the OP suggests, they have always influenced one another and are not really distinguishable.
You can't tell the difference between what the Bible says about morality and what nonreligious morality is?

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
I love religion, but there's not much promise of discussion here. Yes, if you define everything you like as "secular values" and everything you dislike as "Christian values", then European history probably looks rather one-sided with the Christians as the villains. But in real life, there isn't really a distinction between Christian and secular values the way that the OP suggests, they have always influenced one another and are not really distinguishable.
You can't tell the difference between what the Bible says about morality and what nonreligious morality is?
Your post seems to indicate that if you like an idea, you consider it "secular", and if you dislike it, you consider it "Christian". Cherry-picking, in short. If you have a different criterion, perhaps you could explain it better so we can evaluate it. From a historical perspective, secularism is in and of itself an idea of Christian origin, which takes its name and its first four centuries of use from Christian theology. Secular ideas and practices have always been used and embraced primarily by Christians, which you seem to realize since you say that Christians are embracing "secular" values. But if that's the case, what makes them "secular", and what makes them distinguishable as having "originated" in secularism as opposed to Christianity, rather than simply originating in the perspectives of Christian secularists (like myself)?

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
Your post seems to indicate that if you like an idea, you consider it "secular", and if you dislike it, you consider it "Christian". Cherry-picking, in short. If you have a different criterion, perhaps you could explain it better so we can evaluate it. From a historical perspective, secularism is in and of itself an idea of Christian origin, which takes its name and its first four centuries of use from Christian theology. Secular ideas and practices have always been used and embraced primarily by Christians, which you seem to realize since you say that Christians are embracing "secular" values. But if that's the case, what makes them "secular", and what makes them distinguishable as having "originated" in secularism as opposed to Christianity, rather than simply originating in the perspectives of Christian secularists (like myself)?

Religious morals are derived from some religious book like the Bible or the Koran and are supposed to be based on the will of some God or a human prophet who is believed to have received revelations from a supernatural source. Secular morality is admittedly based in human reason and sentiment and nothing more.

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
Your post seems to indicate that if you like an idea, you consider it "secular", and if you dislike it, you consider it "Christian". Cherry-picking, in short. If you have a different criterion, perhaps you could explain it better so we can evaluate it. From a historical perspective, secularism is in and of itself an idea of Christian origin, which takes its name and its first four centuries of use from Christian theology. Secular ideas and practices have always been used and embraced primarily by Christians, which you seem to realize since you say that Christians are embracing "secular" values. But if that's the case, what makes them "secular", and what makes them distinguishable as having "originated" in secularism as opposed to Christianity, rather than simply originating in the perspectives of Christian secularists (like myself)?

Religious morals are derived from some religious book like the Bible or the Koran and are supposed to be based on the will of some God or a human prophet who is believed to have received revelations from a supernatural source. Secular morality is admittedly based in human reason and sentiment and nothing more.
Who says? Not all religions even have sacred texts, and not all Christians and Muslims would either agree with your overall sentiment regarding the Bible and Qur'an nor agree that you are interpreting it accurately if you are only capable of finding evil morals in it.

#### Rhea

##### Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
Yep! Sadly, there are very few religious people on this forum anymore. I like debate and wish that there were more.
Perhaps some thought as to why that might be be case could be useful?

In my opinion, a lot of that had to do with the name change. When we were the “Internet Infidels” we were found by a lot of people who were looking for atheists to debate. When we became FreeRatio and then TalkFreethought, we no longer had a word title that people debating religion looked for. And we no longer had a word title that new and vigorously debating atheists looked for. We ended up with a forum that was a place for secular people to hang out, that had much less turnover. When people left, the numbers got smaller and they were not replaced as much.

If my thesis has merit, we may see more new people checking us out now that we are Internet Infidels again.

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
Who says?

That's a very odd response to your asking me how I define religious versus secular morality. Who else do you think says something that you ask them?

Not all religions even have sacred texts, and not all Christians and Muslims would either agree with your overall sentiment regarding the Bible and Qur'an nor agree that you are interpreting it accurately if you are only capable of finding evil morals in it.

None of that is relevant to the issue I raised. I think you're just being difficult.

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
Who says?

That's a very odd response to your asking me how I define religious versus secular morality. Who else do you think says something that you ask them?

Not all religions even have sacred texts, and not all Christians and Muslims would either agree with your overall sentiment regarding the Bible and Qur'an nor agree that you are interpreting it accurately if you are only capable of finding evil morals in it.

None of that is relevant to the issue I raised. I think you're just being difficult.
Well, yes. But I think if you have a very idiosyncratic view, it makes for an odd basis for an appeal you expect everyone to agree with a priori.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
This is why I think that it is harmful to describe secular humanism as a mere "absence of religion." The ideas that power it are really very sophisticated, and they are hard to teach. Skepticism is really rooted in a Pyrrhonist system of epoché, which is just a method of suspending judgment, that they had originally used to attain ataraxia, which is similar to the state-of-mind that we attempt to reach using mindfulness training, and that entire system is, in my opinion, probably derived from pre-Vedic Indian philosphy. Wildly enough, we skeptics are arguably practicing a sort of pre-Vedic meditation system. As easy as it sounds to just not believe something just because it feels good to believe it, that's really easier said than done, and it takes most of us a substantial amount of practice.

That is not even the only component of secular philosophy. To say that we did not have an "organized religion" would be way off-the-mark. It is a very complex system of thought with many functioning parts. Trying to say that you can get a full system of philosophy by simply subtracting religion is actually kind of wacky.

Unfortunately, many of us secular humanists underestimate our own minds' capability of doing things that are even worse than anything that comes from religion. I would hold up the example of deconstructionism. It is not a religion, yet it kind of acts like one. Adherents to that ideology can be just as bad as any religious zealots. They preach their gospel to you with the assumption that you are going to have some sort of "Road to Damascus" moment, and the "scales will fall from your eyes." On one hand, it is theoretically a form of secular philosophy. On the other hand, it is a dumb one, and it has a supernaturalistic quality about it. There are many types of inaccuracies we can develop, in our thinking, besides just believing in a religion.

Rational thought is truly the prince with a thousand enemies.

Run, rabbit, run
Dig that hole, forget the sun
When at last the work is done
Don't sit down, it's time to dig another one

Long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
Balanced on the highest wave
Race toward an early grave

I suspect that what you are probably referring to, @Unknown Soldier, is actually related to the old Stoic system of philosophy. It is a very old way of thinking. According to the ancient Stoics, we ought to treat people as equals, even if they are not equals. We should not care about the differences between people, even if they exist. Men and women might be born different, but the virtuous way to behave toward a human being is always the virtuous way to behave toward a human being. We do not treat them the same out of an incorrect belief that they are the same, but what constitutes virtuous behavior is always what constitutes virtuous behavior. If we let other people around us define us, then we lose control of who we are. It's about exercising an internal locus of control. This is really the core of egalitarian thinking.

Yes, people that happen to observe Christianity can use this set of ideas. It is secular philosophy, not atheist philosophy. There is a difference. It is just like saying that someone can be a Buddhist yet practice Taoism. Taoism is not a religion, but it is a philosophy that anybody can practice, including Buddhists or even Christians.

In fact, I would even argue that many aspects of secular philosophy might be even more widespread than Christianity. This might sound like a strange statement, but it makes more sense if you understand the concept that a Christian can also practice secular philosophy. Christians might practice it separately, or they might practice it as a form of syncretism, where they incorporate parts of secular philosophy into their own belief-system.

Even the idea of a social contract comes from Epicurean philosophy. The idea of the Constitution of the United States of America was probably an attempt by Thomas Jefferson to incorporate an Epicurean idea, regarding social contracts, into the development of a new independent state. Even though Thomas Jefferson was theoretically a Christian simply because you could not get anything, politically, done if you did not go to a church at some point, the cat actually loved the writings that he believed were correctly attributed to Epicurus.

I think that it would hurt our entire culture if we treated secular humanist philosophy as a sort of "He-Man Religion-Haters' Club: no theists allowed!" We ought to embrace the idea that anybody can understand these ideas, whether they are religious or not. Everybody can live better lives based off of these ideas.

Furthermore, I think we ought to embrace the idea that we represent an ancient and rich cultural heritage. Our cultural heritage is just as ancient and just as cool as that of any religion.

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
This is why I think that it is harmful to describe secular humanism as a mere "absence of religion." The ideas that power it are really very sophisticated, and they are hard to teach. Skepticism is really rooted in a Pyrrhonist system of epoché, which is just a method of suspending judgment, that they had originally used to attain ataraxia, which is similar to the state-of-mind that we attempt to reach using mindfulness training, and that entire system is, in my opinion, probably derived from pre-Vedic Indian philosphy. Wildly enough, we skeptics are arguably practicing a sort of pre-Vedic meditation system. As easy as it sounds to just not believe something just because it feels good to believe it, that's really easier said than done, and it takes most of us a substantial amount of practice.

That is not even the only component of secular philosophy. To say that we did not have an "organized religion" would be way off-the-mark. It is a very complex system of thought with many functioning parts. Trying to say that you can get a full system of philosophy by simply subtracting religion is actually kind of wacky.

Unfortunately, many of us secular humanists underestimate our own minds' capability of doing things that are even worse than anything that comes from religion. I would hold up the example of deconstructionism. It is not a religion, yet it kind of acts like one. Adherents to that ideology can be just as bad as any religious zealots. They preach their gospel to you with the assumption that you are going to have some sort of "Road to Damascus" moment, and the "scales will fall from your eyes." On one hand, it is theoretically a form of secular philosophy. On the other hand, it is a dumb one, and it has a supernaturalistic quality about it. There are many types of inaccuracies we can develop, in our thinking, besides just believing in a religion.

Rational thought is truly the prince with a thousand enemies.

Run, rabbit, run
Dig that hole, forget the sun
When at last the work is done
Don't sit down, it's time to dig another one

Long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
Balanced on the highest wave
Race toward an early grave

I suspect that what you are probably referring to, @Unknown Soldier, is actually related to the old Stoic system of philosophy. It is a very old way of thinking. According to the ancient Stoics, we ought to treat people as equals, even if they are not equals. We should not care about the differences between people, even if they exist. Men and women might be born different, but the virtuous way to behave toward a human being is always the virtuous way to behave toward a human being. We do not treat them the same out of an incorrect belief that they are the same, but what constitutes virtuous behavior is always what constitutes virtuous behavior. If we let other people around us define us, then we lose control of who we are. It's about exercising an internal locus of control. This is really the core of egalitarian thinking.

Yes, people that happen to observe Christianity can use this set of ideas. It is secular philosophy, not atheist philosophy. There is a difference. It is just like saying that someone can be a Buddhist yet practice Taoism. Taoism is not a religion, but it is a philosophy that anybody can practice, including Buddhists or even Christians.

In fact, I would even argue that many aspects of secular philosophy might be even more widespread than Christianity. This might sound like a strange statement, but it makes more sense if you understand the concept that a Christian can also practice secular philosophy. Christians might practice it separately, or they might practice it as a form of syncretism, where they incorporate parts of secular philosophy into their own belief-system.

Even the idea of a social contract comes from Epicurean philosophy. The idea of the Constitution of the United States of America was probably an attempt by Thomas Jefferson to incorporate an Epicurean idea, regarding social contracts, into the development of a new independent state. Even though Thomas Jefferson was theoretically a Christian simply because you could not get anything, politically, done if you did not go to a church at some point, the cat actually loved the writings that he believed were correctly attributed to Epicurus.

I think that it would hurt our entire culture if we treated secular humanist philosophy as a sort of "He-Man Religion-Haters' Club: no theists allowed!" We ought to embrace the idea that anybody can understand these ideas, whether they are religious or not. Everybody can live better lives based off of these ideas.

Furthermore, I think we ought to embrace the idea that we represent an ancient and rich cultural heritage. Our cultural heritage is just as ancient and just as cool as that of any religion.

So are Christians better off with secular morality?

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
Well, yes. But I think if you have a very idiosyncratic view, it makes for an odd basis for an appeal you expect everyone to agree with a priori.

Can you answer the question in the OP?

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
Well, yes. But I think if you have a very idiosyncratic view, it makes for an odd basis for an appeal you expect everyone to agree with a priori.

Can you answer the question in the OP?
Yes. It's a meaningless distinction. Neither Christian nor "secular" values emerged in a vacuum, and the values now defined as secular were largely brought into being by Christians, whose values in turn were largely borrowed from other, older faiths. You have a narrow-minded view of the Bible and what its morality might dictate, but that was no doubt taught to you by narrow-minded Christians, not secular moralists. I don't personally believe that humans differ all that much from one another, regardless of the labels they may wear; you'll find kind decent people and nasty selfish people within the aegis of any religion or philosophy you could name.

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
Yes. It's a meaningless distinction. Neither Christian nor "secular" values emerged in a vacuum, and the values now defined as secular were largely brought into being by Christians, whose values in turn were largely borrowed from other, older faiths. You have a narrow-minded view of the Bible and what its morality might dictate, but that was no doubt taught to you by narrow-minded Christians, not secular moralists. I don't personally believe that humans differ all that much from one another, regardless of the labels they may wear; you'll find kind decent people and nasty selfish people within the aegis of any religion or philosophy you could name.

Compare "You will have no Gods before me" to "You can have any God you wish or no God at all and be free of punishment or pressure to change your choice." You cannot meaningfully distinguish the first moral as religious and the second as secular? Most people can easily see which one is religious and which one is secular.

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
Yes. It's a meaningless distinction. Neither Christian nor "secular" values emerged in a vacuum, and the values now defined as secular were largely brought into being by Christians, whose values in turn were largely borrowed from other, older faiths. You have a narrow-minded view of the Bible and what its morality might dictate, but that was no doubt taught to you by narrow-minded Christians, not secular moralists. I don't personally believe that humans differ all that much from one another, regardless of the labels they may wear; you'll find kind decent people and nasty selfish people within the aegis of any religion or philosophy you could name.

Compare "You will have no Gods before me" to "You can have any God you wish or no God at all and be free of punishment or pressure to change your choice." You cannot meaningfully distinguish the first moral as religious and the second as secular? Most people can easily see which one is religious and which one is secular.
So by "secular" you mean that the content of the rule is secular in nature somehow, as opposed to the source of the rule being secular?

#### Tigers!

##### Veteran Member
Yes. It's a meaningless distinction. Neither Christian nor "secular" values emerged in a vacuum, and the values now defined as secular were largely brought into being by Christians, whose values in turn were largely borrowed from other, older faiths. You have a narrow-minded view of the Bible and what its morality might dictate, but that was no doubt taught to you by narrow-minded Christians, not secular moralists. I don't personally believe that humans differ all that much from one another, regardless of the labels they may wear; you'll find kind decent people and nasty selfish people within the aegis of any religion or philosophy you could name.

Compare "You will have no Gods before me" to "You can have any God you wish or no God at all and be free of punishment or pressure to change your choice." You cannot meaningfully distinguish the first moral as religious and the second as secular? Most people can easily see which one is religious and which one is secular.
Is it worth pointing out that the 2nd statement cannot be shown to to be true in this life? You may make a claim to be free of punishment but that is unproveable.

#### Rhea

##### Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
Compare "You will have no Gods before me" to "You can have any God you wish or no God at all and be free of punishment or pressure to change your choice." You cannot meaningfully distinguish the first moral as religious and the second as secular? Most people can easily see which one is religious and which one is secular.
Is it worth pointing out that the 2nd statement cannot be shown to to be true in this life? You may make a claim to be free of punishment but that is unproveable.

Whether it is true or not has no bearing on whether the belief is secular or religious.
Can you not meaningfully distinguish the first moral as religious and the second as secular? Most people can easily see which one is religious and which one is secular.

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
So by "secular" you mean that the content of the rule is secular in nature somehow, as opposed to the source of the rule being secular?

Yes. Of course. You've been arguing a non sequitur claiming that since some religious people come up with nonreligious moral tenets, then those those moral tenets cannot be sensibly seen as nonreligious. However, the beliefs of the person who comes up with a moral tenet do not dictate whether the tenet is religious or secular. The philosophical and/or theological categories the belief falls into determine whether the tenet is religious or nonreligious.

All of this should be obvious.

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
So by "secular" you mean that the content of the rule is secular in nature somehow, as opposed to the source of the rule being secular?

Yes. Of course. You've been arguing a non sequitur claiming that since some religious people come up with nonreligious moral tenets, then those those moral tenets cannot be sensibly seen as nonreligious. However, the beliefs of the person who comes up with a moral tenet do not dictate whether the tenet is religious or secular. The philosophical and/or theological categories the belief falls into determine whether the tenet is religious or nonreligious.

All of this should be obvious.
It's not. If you want people to understand what the hell you're talking about, you need to make yourself clear, it's not our responsibility to try and guess what you might mean.

What is the definition of a "Christian moral" to you?

What is the definition of a "secular moral" to you?

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
All of this should be obvious.
It's not. If you want people to understand what the hell you're talking about, you need to make yourself clear, it's not our responsibility to try and guess what you might mean.

What is the definition of a "Christian moral" to you?

What is the definition of a "secular moral" to you?
Who is "our"? The only person here who supposedly cannot understand the difference between religious and secular morals is you.

"Christian morality" is morality that is related to the Christian God and what he is believed to have commanded. "Secular moral" is a nonreligious moral as we all know. Such a moral has no grounding in any Gods or the supernatural. A secular moral does not presuppose God or what he supposedly demands from us.

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
All of this should be obvious.
It's not. If you want people to understand what the hell you're talking about, you need to make yourself clear, it's not our responsibility to try and guess what you might mean.

What is the definition of a "Christian moral" to you?

What is the definition of a "secular moral" to you?
Who is "our"? The only person here who supposedly cannot understand the difference between religious and secular morals is you.

"Christian morality" is morality that is related to the Christian God and what he is believed to have commanded. "Secular moral" is a nonreligious moral as we all know. Such a moral has no grounding in any Gods or the supernatural. A secular moral does not presuppose God or what he supposedly demands from us.

So in theory:

A person who believes that because God loves us all equally, and said so in the Holy Word, the racist has no place in a Christian society, is following a Christian morality. Whereas if someone who believes all members of a certain minority race ought to be enslaved because of their genetic inferiority, they are following the secular morality. Correct? Whereas if someone believes in racial equality on the basis of secular humanism, that same opinion becomes a secular moral, and a person who advocates slavery because the Bible endorses it, now is following a religious moral despite advocating for the same political activity?

If you disagree, perhaps you can demonstrate why this wouldn't be an implication of your definitions, which seem to focus entirely on the perceived or accredited source or philosophical justification of the moral.

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
So in theory...
A person who believes that because God loves us all equally, and said so in the Holy Word, the racist has no place in a Christian society, is following a Christian morality.

You're getting into trouble right off the bat here because there is no such Christian moral even in theory because the Christian God divides people up into very unequal categories.

Whereas if someone who believes all members of a certain minority race ought to be enslaved because of their genetic inferiority, they are following the secular morality. Correct?
I'm not sure because what's being said can be either religious or secular. I need that information to determine what category that tenet falls into.

Whereas if someone believes in racial equality on the basis of secular humanism, that same opinion becomes a secular moral, and a person who advocates slavery because the Bible endorses it, now is following a religious moral despite advocating for the same political activity?
I think I know what you're getting at. You are arguing that if some moral tenets can be either religious or secular, then all moral tenets can be either religious or secular. If so, then you are arguing a non sequitur because many moral tenets fall into one category or the other but not both. Allow me to explain using set theory.

Let R be the set of all religious morals and S be the set of all secular morality. The set of moral tenets that are both religious and secular tenets is the set R ∩ S, and the set of all moral tenets religious or secular is the set R ∪ S, the union of the two sets. The fallacy in your reasoning is your assumption that R ∩ S = R ∪ S which clearly need not be true. In other words, a moral k ∈ R can be k ∉ S and therefore k need not be an element of R ∩ S. In English that means that a moral tenet can be religious but not secular. There are many examples of such moral tenets.

If you disagree, perhaps you can demonstrate why this wouldn't be an implication of your definitions, which seem to focus entirely on the perceived or accredited source or philosophical justification of the moral.
You have your demonstration presented with mathematical rigor. I'd recommend studying set theory to see where you are going wrong.

#### Politesse

##### Lux Aeterna
So in theory...
A person who believes that because God loves us all equally, and said so in the Holy Word, the racist has no place in a Christian society, is following a Christian morality.

You're getting into trouble right off the bat here because there is no such Christian moral even in theory because the Christian God divides people up into very unequal categories.

Whereas if someone who believes all members of a certain minority race ought to be enslaved because of their genetic inferiority, they are following the secular morality. Correct?
I'm not sure because what's being said can be either religious or secular. I need that information to determine what category that tenet falls into.

Whereas if someone believes in racial equality on the basis of secular humanism, that same opinion becomes a secular moral, and a person who advocates slavery because the Bible endorses it, now is following a religious moral despite advocating for the same political activity?
I think I know what you're getting at. You are arguing that if some moral tenets can be either religious or secular, then all moral tenets can be either religious or secular. If so, then you are arguing a non sequitur because many moral tenets fall into one category or the other but not both. Allow me to explain using set theory.

Let R be the set of all religious morals and S be the set of all secular morality. The set of moral tenets that are both religious and secular tenets is the set R ∩ S, and the set of all moral tenets religious or secular is the set R ∪ S, the union of the two sets. The fallacy in your reasoning is your assumption that R ∩ S = R ∪ S which clearly need not be true. In other words, a moral k ∈ R can be k ∉ S and therefore k need not be an element of R ∩ S. In English that means that a moral tenet can be religious but not secular. There are many examples of such moral tenets.

If you disagree, perhaps you can demonstrate why this wouldn't be an implication of your definitions, which seem to focus entirely on the perceived or accredited source or philosophical justification of the moral.
You have your demonstration presented with mathematical rigor. I'd recommend studying set theory to see where you are going wrong.
This is the first time you have so much as suggested that a rule could be both religious and secular. Obviously I already knew this, as my argument is that there is no real meaningful distinction to be made in the first place. I continue to maintain that people justify their prerogatives with whatever moral system makes sense to them - generally, a complex blend of religious and secular sources passed down through a complex tangled history, largely through individuals who considered themselves religious but practiced a morality with many sources both religious and non-religious.

So is your revised claim that although most significant moral "rules" popular in society could be and are couched in both religious and secular terms depending on the speaker, you think there are enough exclusively religious morals that are bad, and enough exclusively secular morals that are good, that Christians should feel grateful for secular moral perspectives?

#### Unknown Soldier

##### Member
This is the first time you have so much as suggested that a rule could be both religious and secular. Obviously I already knew this, as my argument is that there is no real meaningful distinction to be made in the first place.

Again, study set theory to see where you are going wrong. Two sets can have an intersection, but it does not necessarily follow that the union of the two sets is the same as the intersection. Some moral tenets can be in one or the other set but not both. I posted examples of such tenets as far back as the OP.

So is your revised claim that although most significant moral "rules" popular in society could be and are couched in both religious and secular terms depending on the speaker, you think there are enough exclusively religious morals that are bad, and enough exclusively secular morals that are good, that Christians should feel grateful for secular moral perspectives?
I wouldn't say I revised any claims. What I said in the OP still stands. If math isn't to your fancy, then I'd recommend consulting a dictionary.