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

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, AHA Legal Director Dave Niose talks abou...

14 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Do you or your family have any holiday traditions?

16 hours ago

American Humanist Association

What are you thankful for?

18 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Yet again, Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down a movie we love! Neil, your'e are su...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

We all have a "dark side" but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Psychologist...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

UCoR proudly announces the official launch of the Rhode Island CoR with a bus ad...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

It is wonderful to see so many skeptics, atheists, humanists, and non-theists co...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

How the AHA and local Colorado humanists helped to defeat the anti-choice person...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Suspended for a week for defending evolution? That is a bit of an over-reaction...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

What if you could win $1,000 for telling the world what is important to you? Al...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason, the new b...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Things that make you go hmmm....

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is a cool new Kickstarter campaign to create a children's book for non-bel...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA board member Howard Katz is at Skepticon representing! Make sure to stop by...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

December 2nd is Giving Tuesday. This holiday season, while you are buying gifts...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Hey, It's our favorite science guy! Clay Farris Naff talks with past AHA humanis...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Who is ready for Skepticon 2014?! If you are attending the event, make sure to s...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today is National Transgender Day of Remembrance. Today we remember transgenders...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Many people don't believe that a person can be good without a god. What are thos...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Yesterday, AHA's David Niose presented his argument that the phrase "under God"...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

A Congressional hearing on religious accommodations in the armed services is hap...

8 days ago