By Michael Shermer
The Huffington Post
Originally published March 3, 2015
Here is an excerpt:
What is the cause of this moral progress? Most people associate it with religion, but in fact I believe that most of the moral development of the past several centuries has been the result of societies moving toward more secular forms of governance and politics, law and jurisprudence, moral reasoning and ethical analysis. Over time it has become less acceptable to argue that my beliefs, morals, and ways of life are better than yours simply because they are mine, or because they are traditional, or because my religion is better than your religion, or because my God is the One True God and yours is not.
It is no longer acceptable to simply assert your moral beliefs; you have to provide reasons for them, and those reasons had better be grounded in rational arguments and empirical evidence or else they will likely be ignored or rejected.
The entire article is here.