Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rules to live by…

Calling them Commandments just sounds so didactic, so immutable. This is probably why so many Christian fundamentalists want the big 10 posted, well, everywhere. But didn’t Jesus himself say (or get quoted as saying) that his word wiped out everything that came before it? Wouldn’t even a good Christian need to throw away the big 10 in favor of HIS word?

I’ve been reading a lot on alternate commandments recently. (This thanks to Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion, which is recommendably excellent.) Even the Jews have moved past Moses’ tired, old rules, in favor of a more humane way of living. So, here are some alternatives snatched off the web. Not bad ways to live, really. I wouldn’t mind seeing more people living along these lines.

(1) Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to 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.

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