Moral Development Through a Secular Lens

A common question that secular humanists are asked is “where

do you get your morals from”? This is often in response to

someone saying they do not necessarily rely upon a holy text for

acquisition of their morals. On a macro societal level, our

development is the result of tens of millions of years of social

evolution. Society is always changing and that has been true

since documented societies began. I, like many others, have

acquired my morals from my parents. They themselves are

products of their social environments.

On a micro level, however, I would say that my group of friends

and overall social communities I have been part of throughout

my life. We are all influenced by our social communities. I

personally identify as a humanist and the crux of my morals are

centered around that which does the greatest amount of good for the

largest amount of people.

Growing up in the church, I was handed my morals on a

platter. I was told all of society’s ills are due to people not

praying enough. A simple answer for a complex solution. Being

young with still developing cognitive skills, I had

no recourse to dispute this. As I have gotten older, I have

adopted a different moral perspective and it is: complex

problems have complex answers. I say older and not wiser

because, just this week, I wondered how efficient it would be for

me to jump off of the roof of my house whilst wearing a wingsuit.

Nevertheless, self-discovery of morals is one of the most

rewarding experiences since I started embracing my secular

humanism. That is something which is developing as I acquire

additional information. Since embracing secularism, my

perspective is developing constantly and that certainly includes

my moral development. – J