Secular education

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Secular education is education that is not concerned with religious precepts or values. Its opposite is religious education. Public education in countries which practice the separation of church and state is usually secular.


The enslavement of his weaker brethren — "the labour of those who do not enjoy, for the enjoyment of those who do not labour" — the degradation of women — the torture of the animal world — these are the steps of the ladder by which man is ascending to his higher civilization. Selfishness is the keynote of all purely secular education.[1] (Charles Dodgson)

Take care what you are about, for unless you base all this on religion, you are only making so many clever devils.[2]

To know the laws of the physical world, the properties of their own bodies and minds, the past history of their species, is as much a benefit to the Jew, the Mussulman, the Deist, the Atheist, as to the orthodox churchman; and it is as iniquitous to withhold it from them. Education provided by the public must be education for all, and to be education for all it must be purely secular education.[3]


  2. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Philip Henry, Fifth Earl Stanhope, Notes of Conversation with the Duke of Wellington, 1831-1851 (1886)
  3. John Stuart Mill, Speech on Secular Education, 1849.