Is there any thing called Secular Ethics?

 Is there any thing called Secular Ethics?

 

Edited and extracts from Malaysiakini’s column by Sim Kwang Yang,    “Is ethics possible without religion?”

We are all condemned to be moral agents. When we choose a course of actions, we make the decision according to whether it is morally good or bad.

In this confusing and increasingly secular world, a pertinent question would be: Is ethics possible without religion? Or are there any thing called Secular Ethics?

If this question is one on matter of fact, then the answer is a resounding “yes”. In Socrates and Confucius, we have two great philosophers who have expounded their ethics without recourse to any supernatural being.

The authority of Socratic system of ethics is his Form or Idea of the Good, which can be achieved by his epistemological method of dialectic. Many of his tenets have since haunted the Western world. Is it really true that ethics can neither be legislated nor taught? Is it really the case that to know the good is to do the good, and nobody does bad things intentionally?

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