Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Constructing secular morality


You must listen to the voices of the white angel!



N.B.: The much broader writing of mine that discusses the sources of morality, entitled Sciences and Values, is available here. Read it through carefully! 


Human beings first appeared on Earth 400.000 years ago,/1/ much older than the birth of the oldest religion so far as science can show. According to the latest archaeological findings, the oldest religion was constructed 70.000 years ago among Basarwa people in Botswana, Ngamiland, South Africa./2/

If ancient humans could live for such a long time (330.000 years) without having any religions, we can reasonably assume that they had secular morality which gave them directions in controlling their life. Without morality that rules, any societies across space and time cannot live and survive for a long time.

But, what are the sources for the secular morality that ancient humans built and developed? Ancient humans used, of course, their mind, knowledge, life experiences, and intuition, to produce secular ethics sufficient to regulate their simple life.

If ancient humans were able to live morally even though they had no religions, we in the modern era are able too even more. Using our modern sciences, mind, life experiences, and intuition, we too can construct secular moral views regarding everything to direct us in our complex lives. Science helps to construct secular ethics, i.e. ethics constructed not from religious texts but from scientific views of the good and the bad. But, can science give you moral views about everything in the world? Absolutely! The separation of moral values and sciences is an illusion resulting from the incorrect view that only religions can produce morality. It is said wrongly that sciences concern only with facts and theories, not with values; only religions are able to deal with values. This view is illusory. This illusion is to be removed from our modern consciousness once for all. In his recent book The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values Sam Harris states that “the split between facts and values-- and, therefore, between science and morality-- is an illusion.”/3/

Does science really concern with moral values? Yes, it does. I can argue for it via real examples which I myself can think about so far.