Lesson 14: Secularism

Acknowledge your shadow

What does it mean to be secular? It is not the opposite of being religious. Rather, it is the ability to differentiate between what is truth and what is belief. There is a number of qualities that the ideal, secular person follows. Here they are:

Truth - A secular person is committed to seeking the truth, which is based on observation and evidence, rather than on faith.

Compassion - A secular person is committed to a deep appreciation of suffering (instead of obeying the laws of this or that God). They don’t kill others, because it gives them pain and suffering, not because “God says so”.

Equality - This is the result of the two previous commitments. Suffering is suffering, no matter who experiences it, and knowledge is knowledge, no matter who discovered it.

Freedom - Secular people cherish the freedom to think, investigate, and experiment.

Courage - Secular people must have the courage to fight biases and oppressive regimes, and even more courage to admit ignorance and venture into the unknown.

Responsibility - Secular people know that they are responsible for everything that’s happening around them and that people are responsible for all the problems in the world. The responsibility is in their hands, not in the hands of God.

The biggest advantage of secular science over any religion, ideology, or a worldview, is that secular science is able to admit mistakes and blind spots. If you believe that a higher power has revealed an absolute truth, you cannot admit that it's a mistake, even if evidence suggests otherwise.