Difference Between Humanistic and Religious Approaches to Ethics.

Published: September 20, 2017

The religious approach to ethics derives ethical conduct from religious traditions. For example, ethics in Buddhism are based on the enlightened perspective of the Buddha; Christian ethical principles are based on the teachings within the Bible; Ethics in Hinduism is based on Veda, Upanishads, Nitishahstra,Dharmashastra and so on which teach us what makes a moral, ethical, virtuous life; Ethics in Islam is derived from Quran and Hadith, which ultimately asks men to discern Allah’s will and to abide by it. The religious approach to ethics is generally accompanied by metaphysical doctrines of reward and punishment i.e. heaven or hell.  Most of them talk on good deeds of this life with hopes and promises of the other-worldly life.
The humanistic or secular ethics is based solely on human faculties such as logic, empathy, reason or moral intuition, and not derived from supernatural revelation or guidance. This approach leaves God out of picture and includes normativity of social contracts, intrinsic moral values, intuition-based deontology, cultural moral relativism and scientific reasoning to reveal objective moral truth.

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