A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion/nonreligion over other religions/nonreligion.
Among the first to delineate the nature of a secular society, D. L. Munby characterizes a secular society as one which:
- Refuses to commit itself as a whole to any one view of the nature of the universe and the role of man in it.
- Is not homogenous, but is pluralistic.
- Is tolerant. It widens the sphere of private decision-making.
- While every society must have some common aims, which implies there must be agreed on methods of problem-solving, and a common framework of law; in a secular society these are as limited as possible.
- Problem solving is approached rationally, through examination of the facts. While the secular society does not set any overall aim, it helps its members realize their aims.
- Is a society without any official images. Nor is there a common ideal type of behavior with universal application.