THE FOLLOWING are the summary and analysis of the ways secularists explain some principles in Ethics such as the existence of moral law and the binding force of moral obligation.
1. ‘Sense of moral obligation is just the effect of social conditioning’
· Richard Robinson: “The original conscience… is a set of taboos and compulsions, acquired from…associates …” (An Atheist’s Values. 1964, p. 110).
· “The demands of conscience are due tosociety because society expresses disapproval of certain actions.”
· It is the intellect which can be molded or (socially) conditioned.
· The “sense of moral obligation” cannot be explained sufficiently by social conditioning—for there are innumerable situations where a person, although feeling a desire from society to adopt a certain course, feels the moral obligation to assume a course altogether different.