Secular Morality

“Empiricism cannot establish any norm of morality. I am not saying that secular morality and Christian morality are different. A recent defense of abortion, a TV interview, was that the government should enforce only rational morality and not revelational morality. My point is that so-called “rational morality” does not exist. The reason should be easily understandable. Empirical philosophy claims to base all its truth on observation. Therefore any evaluations or moral judgements that empiricism makes must be inferred from observation. Now observations, at best, can only give statistical information as to what is the case.  It can record how many murders occurred in Philadelphia last month, how many divorces were granted in Washington, and how many cases of arson there was in Boston.    But a simple logical principle prevents the empiricist from concluding that murder is unjustifiable.  One of the essential requirements for a valid argument is the presence in the premises of every term found in the conclusion.  If any term in the conclusion is missing from the premises the argument is a fallacy.   Empirical premises contain nothing but statements of empirical facts.  They give observational data. They state what is.  Hence, nothing but observational data can be placed in the conclusions.  If the premise state only what is the conclusion can what ought to be.  There is no way of deriving a normative principle from an empirical observation.”
-Gordon H. Clark, Empiricism Lecture, Min 24-26