|My Ten Commandments
||[Dec. 7th, 2009|06:05 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
I made a promise to myself that, once I finished reading The Ethics Toolkit: A Compendium of Ethical Concepts and Methods by Julian Baggini & Peter S. Fosl, I would write my own sort of liberal-influenced ten commandments.
This originally came about because, during the last election, there was a great hue and cry that liberals have no moral center. Frankly, I disagree with that. But I do think that there hasn't been a lot of effort to boil down the complex set of ethics to which liberals tend to adhere into a ten-statement oversimplification with fancy words attached.
Thus, I thought I might try that. Then I realized I don't know jack shit about ethics. So I did some research and ended up buying this book. And it's a great book, don't get me wrong, but it's sort of encyclopedic. Not that it's huge — each entry is only 2-4 pages long — but it is seriously DENSE with information and complicated concepts. So I've only been reading a few entries per week. I think I've been reading this book a little longer than Obama's been in office.
Anyway, I finally finished it today and I just wanted to get the goddamn ball rolling, because I've been thinking about this for over a year now. But I keep not writing anything down, thinking, oh, that's not good enough. Well, fuck it. It's good enough to start. Feel free to chime in or share this link with folks you believe would help refine the damn thing.
My Ten Commandments
1. First, do no harm.
2. All people are created equal and deserve to be treated with the dignity and respect that entails.
3. Be good, do good.
4. Protect the weak; stand up to the strong.
5. Suffer not bullies to keep bullying.
6. Love your parents; respect your elders.
7. Listen to wisdom, respect experience, but do not close your mind to new things.
8. Honor your promises; respect the oaths of others.
9. Seek happiness, accept joy, but let anger and sorrow flow through you and pass on without taking action while in their embrace.
10. Love everyone, including you.
I think probably 4 & 5 should be combined. Maybe.
I'm kinda excited by the idea of a list of things you should do, rather than a list of things you shouldn't do. But maybe I need to preclude stealing, cheating, and killing explicitly? I dunno.
What do you think? What are your ten commandments? (Or eight. Or twelve.)