Most in our largely secular world think there is no afterlife; no final judgement, no reward nor punishment in the hereafter. Yet most still wish to act morally and ascetically, delaying gratification, even in private, in favour of some future reward. Even though, without God or an afterlife, we think there is no-one watching and judging us, and that 'right and wrong' are merely human creations.
What do we gain from doing 'the right thing' when there is no reward in the hereafter? Why do we reject pleasures in this life now, in favour of acting morally, when we know that there is no final judgement and that we will not be rewarded for doing so in the afterlife? Do we act morally because we still subconsciously believe God is always watching over us and judging us? If we realise morality is based upon an non-existent afterlife, then should we abandom the very idea of morality altogether? Or is it enough for moral and ascetic acts to be good in-themselves?
Turkish journalist, author and activist Ece Temelkuran, Anglican priest and scholar Alison Milbank and philosopher of mind Peter Sjöstedt-H debate the existence of a secular morality