Hnn | HNN Articles

The Humanist Ten Commandments

 

At a summit of Nobel Peace award winners in Warsaw, Polish Nobel Peace laureate Lech Walesa called for a “secular Ten Commandments,” a guide for universal values that transcend religious beliefs. The response has been a heated debate among secularists about what could constitute such a guide. And while some have criticized the idea for being too dogmatic, others have embraced the notion of a set of rules which might bridge the gap between evangelicals and nonbelievers.

Thus we propose herein to provide such a list, a Humanist Ten Commandments, that it might serve to aid those questioning the moralities of the universe regardless of their religious belief or nonbelief. Many of the ideas behind these commandments are inspired by the tenets of humanism, as outlined in the Humanist Manifesto, and by the Kochhar Humanist Education Center’s “Ten Commitments.”

First, though, it must be said that the idea of a secular Ten Commandments should best be viewed not as a set of rigid, unbreakable rules (for what punishment should a humanist fear from breaking them?). Rather, these should be read more as strongly-worded suggestions for living, the kinds of ideas that, if everyone followed them, might make the world a better place all around.

 

THE HUMANIST TEN COMMANDMENTS

1) Thou shalt strive to promote the greater good of humanity before all selfish desires.

2) Thou shalt be curious, for asking questions is the only way to find answers.

3) Harm to your fellow human is harm to humanity. Therefore, thou shalt not kill, rape, rob, or otherwise victimize anyone.

4) Thou shall treat all humans as equals, regardless of race, gender, age, creed, identity, orientation, physical ability, or status.

5) Thou shalt use reason as your guide. Science, knowledge, observation, and rational analysis are the best ways to determine any course of action.

6) Thou shalt not force your beliefs onto others, nor insist that yours be the only and correct way to live happily.

7) If thou dost govern, thou shalt govern with reason, not with superstition. Religion should have no place in any government which represents all people and beliefs.

8) Thou shalt act for the betterment of your fellow humans, and be, whenever possible, altruistic in your deeds.

9) Thou shalt be good to the Earth and its bounties, for without it, humankind is lost.

10) Thou shalt impart thy knowledge and wisdom gained in your lifetime to the next generation, so that with each passing century, humanity will grow wiser and more humane.

 

What are your thoughts about the Humanist Ten Commandments? Let us know in the comments!


Christian Hagen, Communications AssistantChristian Hagen is the communications assistant for the American Humanist Association.

blog comments powered by Disqus

American Humanist Association

Washington Post illustration by Herblock from 1963. Still an unsettled issue......

3 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Our lawsuit challenging 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance is trending on F...

4 hours ago

American Humanist Association

A major newspaper in New Jersey. The Star-Ledger, published an editorial in supp...

6 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Did you catch Roy Speckhardt's interview on Fox and Friends this morning? Watch...

8 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss it! AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt will be on Fox and Friends...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Pledge of Allegiance without the use of "Under God" did not cause harm to t...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Great News! Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island just issued a proclamation r...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

A great video for Earth Day! Isaac Asimov discusses saving the planet for future...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Responding to reporters this morning as the AHA's latest case gets national atte...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Lots of press coverage this morning on our New Jersey lawsuit challenging 'under...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Earth Day Everyone! Be kind to your Earth. It's where you live!

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Congratulations to Ventura County, California for now officially recognizing May...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Taken from a 1940's Justice Society Of America comic before "Under God" was adde...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association has filed lawsuit against “Under God” in the P...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

The 2014 American Atheists Conference was awesome! Check out pictures of the Ame...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday Everyone!

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Humanist Poll! http://thehumanist.com/arts_entertainment/culture/your-humanist-...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Announcing our 2014 AHA Annual Conference Keynote Speaker, Professor Max Tegmark...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Have you had this problem? The Ethical Dilemma: My Son Sends Me E-Mails Signed...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Hurry! Going to the AHA annual conference in Philly? May 5th is the last day to...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Rules Are for Schmucks: Darwin Award Nominee by Luis Granados. http://thehumani...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Cartoon History of Humanism Episode Three: The Archpoet, 12th-Century Gang...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday! The January/February, 1989 issue of the Humanist magazine...

6 days ago