Morals Without Religion


In the keynote lecture from the 2019 Humanists UK Convention, Humanists UK President Professor Alice Roberts, above, takes us on a personal exploration of Margaret Knight’s 1950s radio essay series, ‘Morals Without Religion’, to examine changing attitudes to, and controversies around, the idea of non-religious morality. She discusses the place of faith schools in modern Britain and why arguments against them often provoke fierce debate.

I consider myself a moral person, in fact, the further I move away from my early years when my existence was dominated by my religious upbringing the more moral I have become. You’ll notice I don’t use the words honest:

Honesty is a facet of moral character that connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere. — Wikipedia

I know many “religious” people who try to convert me to their beliefs… they have no chance. The kinder people are not aggressive and will merely pop in the odd “Jesus loves you” quote. The more militant god botherer abuses my acceptance of their convictions with a lack of respect for my way of life. They don’t accept that my moral code is acceptable because it’s not from their “holy” book.

Updated May 16, 2020

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