This life, not the next

Richard Hoggart ("The heart has its reasons", 20 December) is wrong to accept that "most moralities professed or neglected by Europeans have been founded on Judaeo-Christian belief". On the contrary, the most valuable ethical theories and moral practices in Europe have had little to do with the biblical concepts of sin and guilt, redemption and damnation, commandment and judgement, reward and punishment, faith, hope and charity, all directed to another life in another world. By contrast, they have preferred the more mundane concepts of co-operation and solidarity, welfare and mutuality, justice and decency, fairness and humanity, liberty, equality and fraternity, all directed to this life in this world.

Nicolas Walter
Rationalist Press Association, London N1

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