Site Map The Secular Morality Project - Towards a Shared Morality

What is Morality?

Morality is guidance on how to live. What aspects of life that covers, and what the guidance should be, is not universally agreed. However we can understand a lot about morality by just recognising the truths that are evident about all guidance. "The 3 I's"
describes how our species is constantly discovering and codifying better ways of doing things.

There is nothing more surprising or magical about the fact that guidance has been codified for moral behaviour than the fact that we have guidance on how to use roads. In UK we have a policy of driving on the left hand side. We have laws about speeding and advice that we drum into our children on how to cross the road safely. All these are forms of guidance which have evolved in response to a human need to make a timely choice between alternative actions in a complex world.

This project will try to discover what behaviours we can all agree are covered by morality, leaving aside areas that some will always exclude. Within those areas it will also try to codify guidance on which we can all agree.

The following may need additional explanation:
Evolutionary model of morality - it is in our nature to develop guidance wherever it is useful and this includes issues in the moral sphere. We will therefore develop moral guidance for ourselves to meet the changing world we inhabit even if it is not provided from elsewhere. Moral guidance that fails to help us achieve our goals can be considered as of poor quality and in need of improvement. Some will believe their morals can only be provided by a god and will be scandalised at such a thought but we will refer to moral processes and tools to emphasise that they are man-made.
The scope of morality - although there is no universal agreement on what this is, and it is in any case subject to evolution, it is useful to consider what nearly everyone might include and might therefore be useful as a definition for this project.
The role of authority - A codification of moral guidance is frequently "owned" by some authority which is trying to control people's behaviour.

If you are happy with that then move on:

Agreement on the kind of morality that is desirable

Agreement on how it can be developed