Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ten Commandments?

A good friend linked to an article titled "The Atheist Ten Commandments". I consider myself a "Damfino" rather than the usual labels of agnostic or atheist. Some folks differentiate between the two, but linguistically they are the same word, "a" meaning not or without, and "theist" and "gnostic" relating to "god", and in fact meaning without any of the three to five thousand gods currently being claimed by the earth's various cultures. I personally find the question, "To god, or not to god?" irrelevant. No one can know the unknowable, so what is really important here? Why should one try to be a good person? I reject the idea that we will be judged in some supernatural court after we die as a reason for requiring certain behaviors. Rather I think we are all on a search here, and anybody who claims to "know" is fooling themselves and wants to fool the rest of us as well. I profoundly disagree with the imposition of religious tenets upon others. That seems nothing short of evil to me. What we should be doing is coming together and discussing how we should live in order to give the most of us a leg up in "the pursuit of happiness".

With that in mind and pleading with you to understand that this is a work in progress, I have edited the linked "commandments" into what I call,

Goals of Living

1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your understandings with new evidence.

2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe and justify what you wish to be true.

3. Know that the scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world. Learn to think critically and face the truths you discover with personal honesty.

4. Accept control over your own body and leave others' to their own choices. You are challenged to not become a burden to others by your actions.

5. Consider that religion has nothing whatsoever to do with being a good person or living a full and meaningful life. You may make your ideas and arguments known but you may not impose your beliefs on others.

6. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them. Your quest for happiness should include doing the least damage, creating the most good, and helping others with their own quest for happiness.

7. Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.

8. Accept the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.

9. Consider that here is no one correct way to live, but all good ways of living promote the well being of all other living things as well as ourselves.

10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.

I can certainly add more or condense what I've written. I'll read these again often and do just that when and if I can perceive any value in doing so. Please feel free to write your own versions.

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