Difference Between Secularism And Capitalism

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Secularism is the principle of separating religious institutions and dignitaries from government institutions and people mandated to represent the state (Urban, 2008). The principle emphasizes on the importance of doing away with religious influences in society to promote the reign of free ideas. Secularism has close associations with modernization and atheism because it stresses the insignificance of relying on religion to solve life’s crucial problems. Several philosophers have been attributed to the development of secularism, with some notable figures including John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Thomas Paine. Religion plays an insignificant role in determining the development of secular societies.

Capitalism, on the other hand is an economic system that emphasizes placing the responsibility of production and creation of goods and services to private firms for profit. Competition is a critical element of capitalism because it encourages the growth of businesses and exploitation of resources all around the world for monetary gain. Some of the main features of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, private ownership of property and wage labor. Capitalism as a model for organizing society has spread to almost all nations of the world with profit as a primary motive for most actions in society.


Secularism continues to have a growing influence all around the world, although religion still dominates major ways of thinking. Historians and philosophers have complained that the scope of secularism is not extending to its fullest potential because of religious restrictions and persecution. Secularism explores the idea of seeking solutions to common problems through critical thinking and applying other philosophies rather than relying on faith and religion. Most secular societies continue to occupy a limited scope in present-day society as most government institutions around the world are still affiliated to one religion or another.

Capitalism, on the other hand, has a much wider scope than secularism; almost all countries in the world are capitalist, especially after the United States achieved global hegemony after the collapse of Soviet Russia in the 1990s (Maximiliano, 2015). Capitalist tendencies control the interest of almost all countries because all economies of the world are influenced by competition, labor and profit. Development in the world is being achieved primarily by the principles of capitalism because money is needed to achieve any progress in the community. The profit motive is guiding several nations in the world, and governments even have budgets and systems that reflect the scope of capitalism worldwide.


The focus of secularism is developing principles that radically eliminate religion in society. According to some Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, secularism is a way of achieving progress because there are no restrictions on knowledge. Religion confines the pursuit of pertinent information because scientific discoveries and technological advancements are often in conflict with the principles of religion. Religious studies place an emphasis on retaining traditionalized structures in the community whereby secularism encourages progress and development by constantly changing known facts. The basis of secularism revolves around limiting the influence of religion in making crucial decisions (King, 2007).

The focus of capitalism, however, is profit because almost all global institutions operate in order to make money. The pursuit of profit is the primary focus of any capitalist society as systems and principles are modified in order to boost financial gains. Capitalistic activities have the simple principle of boosting monetary gains regardless of social and environmental costs, and this limits the growth of this principle. All capitalist nations on Earth pursue different activities that help to add to their financial power and increase profits for the foreseeable future. Profitability is the primary method of thinking in a capitalist society.

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