A lot is known about how ethical development occurs – a matter more of experience than of education. But the place of unearned privilege is too seldom recognized-the fact that some people, with little effort on their part, are more naturally able to behave ethically than others. I’m one of these people, and you probably are as well – but I don’t think we deserve much credit for it. We’re in a privileged position that makes it easier to be good. The most ethical response we can make is not to crow about our virtue, nor to lecture or scold, but to extend our relatively easy ethics to others by working for a more just, humane, and empathetic world.
Our guest, Dale McGowan, is the new National Director of Ethical Education for the American Ethical Union. He edited and co-authored Parenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers, the first comprehensive resources for nonreligious parents, as well as Voices of Unbelief (2012) and Atheism For Dummies (2013).