Others have addressed the insipid “How can you be moral without God?” pretty extensively already, and maybe we’ll offer our own take a bit later, but for right now, here’s a quick, anecdotal take on the superiority of irreligious morality:
I love to rub my wife’s feet. And here are some possible motivations for doing so:
- I expect when I’m done, she’ll rub MY feet; [the carrot]
- I know how cranky she’ll get if I don’t; [the stick] or
- She likes having her feet rubbed.
I’ll grant you, there could be other options. But let’s keep things simple for this example.
Now one could argue there’s a degree of self-interest to all three options, but I’d submit the latter is evidently the most selfless. Given my thesaurus accepts “altruistic”, “humanitarian”, and “magnanimous” as acceptable synonyms of “selfless”, and that altruism, humanitarianism, and magnanimity shouldn’t be excluded from the Venn circle of morality I’m trying to draw, I’d hope my point is made.
Isn’t un-coerced benevolence inarguably more sublime than any kindness motivated by self-regard?
Secular morality is superior, I’d submit, specifically because it doesn’t demand the reward of heaven, nor is it expressed under the threat of eternal torture.
The devout can never be truly selfless so long as they’re working toward their “immortality” merit badge, making selfless secular morality demonstrably superior…