Online Encyclopedia

SECULARISM

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 573 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SECULARISM, a term, applied specially (see SECULAR) to the system of social ethics associated with the name of G. J. Holyoake (q.v.). As the word implies, secularism is based solely on considerations of practical morality with a view to the physical, social and moral improvement of society. It neither affirms nor denies the theistic premises of religion, and is thus a particular variety of utilitarianism. Holyoake founded a society in London which subsequently under the leadership of Charles Bradlaugh advocated the disestablishment of the Church, the abolition of the Second Chamber and other political and economic reforms. See Holyoake's Principles of Secularism (1885).
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