Thursday, June 25, 2009

10 New Commandments Good Ideas To Live And Raise Your Children By

I remember listening as my mother read me the original, biblical 10 commandments when I was a child. My first thought? I'm screwed. I've lied, I've sworn, I've been a brat with my parents and I've had doubts about the bible stories I was told. At about 8 years old, I found myself frantically wondering if I'd committed adultery yet. I was convinced I was going straight to hell.

Now, consider this:
  1. Do not do unto others what you would not want them to do unto you.
  2. In all things, strive to cause no harm.
  3. Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.
  4. Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.
  5. Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
  6. Always seek to be learning something new.
  7. Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
  8. Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.
  9. Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.
  10. Question everything.
These were originally put together on the atheist website http://www.ebonmusings.com. Here's the full article.

Richard Dawkins mentions them in his book "The God Delusion", describes them as "endearing" (I agree) and adds that somewhere in there, he'd like to find room for these:
  • Enjoy your own sex life (so long as it damages nobody else) and leave others to enjoy theirs in private whatever their inclinations, which are none of your business.
  • Do not discriminate or oppress on the basis of sex, race or (as far as possible) species.
  • Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.
  • Value the future on a timescale longer than your own.


My point? You do not need religion or the fear of God to be a decent human being.

These rules aren't absolute. Nobody is going to smite you down and damn you to an eternity of being barbecued alive by an evil, winged, goat-demon if you don't follow them.

But doesn't just reading them fill you with a sense of well-being?

Isn't *this* the kind of thing you want to be reading to your children at bedtime?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"These rules aren't absolute. Nobody is going to smite you down and damn you to an eternity of being barbecued alive by an evil, winged, goat-demon if you don't follow them."

Hence, by your own logic, escaping religion equates endeavouring to escape accountability for one's actions?

Think about it.

Ri said...

Dear Anonymous,

This post isn't about accountability for one's actions at all (which by the way, I believe one should have, just not to an imaginary 'higher power').

It's about the difference between using basic common sense, humanity and simple logic as gentle guidelines for impressionable young minds as opposed to the threat of an eternal hell-fire as punishment for not following the rules as supposedly told to some old dude on a mountain.

KI said...

Hmm...

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