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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Morality from an evolutionary perspective is a code of conduct that regulates behavior within a group in order to promote social cohesion and stability. Both religion and secularism are grounded in the same moral psychology. How should the distinction between secular and religious ethics be assessed? Religious morality is a late-comer to the natural history of morality, reinforcing much of morality with a worldview about unnatural powers that humans’ brains are prone to projecting onto reality. However, the natural history of morality reveals that religious moral traditions do not originate moral rules but instead reinforce ancient moral intuitions. Secularism as a worldview works within an immanent frame, compared to the transcendent frame of religious worldviews. This distinction is helpful in understanding the relationship between religious violence and secular-ideological driven violence.

Keywords: morality, evolution, secular ethics, humanism, secularism, religious violence

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