Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Commandments

Amy is still ghost hunting at an undisclosed Novella Brother’s house. A quick update: after a week onsite, and in time for Dia de los Muertos, she has finally convinced “Schmeve” (not his real name) that the sheets in the dryer are merely tumbling, and not actually ghosts trapped inside the machine. I have a feeling this on-site assignment is going to take longer than expected.

Penn Jillette recently released a new book, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales. In it, he discusses coming up with a new “atheists 10 commandments” after being challenged by Glenn Beck, and they are as follows:

1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.
2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let’s scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I’ll be there to help.)
3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to (G)od is now quite simply respecting yourself.)
4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you’re religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you’re a Vegas magician, that’ll be the day with the lowest grosses.)
5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)
6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that “Thou shalt not kill” only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it’s all human life.)
7. Keep your promises. (If you can’t be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don’t make that deal.)
8. Don’t steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)
9. Don’t lie. (You know, unless you’re doing magic tricks and it’s part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)
10. Don’t waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it’ll make you bugnutty.

What do you think of these? What commandments would you add? What do you think about having a 10 Commandments for atheists? Do you think this list should be satisfactory to atheists’ critics?

 

Elyse

Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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66 Comments

  1. I think my biggest change would be to all the human-centricity. Respect and protect all life (within reason), the highest ideals are intelligence (period), creativity, etc… One of my biggest problems with religion has always been the generalized stance of “humans are special, so they’re the only ones we should apply our morals to”.

    Maybe I’d add “Do whatever you can to reduce suffering”.

    1. I agree, Wilson! That’s totally what I came here to comment about. I know atheists have a lot of different views on how humans should treat and relate to non-human animals. But singling out *human* intelligence as one of the highest ideals ignores facets of being for which humans probably aren’t the front runners in intelligence. Bonobos have figured out (I know, I know, “figured out”) how not to murder each other, jellyfish how to potentially be immortal, and ants how to smell directions. Atheists should be particularly well-positioned to learn about and respect the wonders of the non-human world, as well as the ways in which human intelligence so often fails.

    2. Yeah, I totally agree. While our ‘intelligence’ may be our niche, that doesn’t make humans more special than any other animal. Elevating humans above other animals leaves room open for the abuse of those other animals. I’m not saying that we should all become vegetarian treehuggers, but a little respect for the creatures with which we share this planet is important, I think. I’ve always found the lack of respect for non-human life and the environment in general a severe problem in the world’s big (Abrahamic) religions.

  2. #2 is the heart of all my arguments with people about politics. I insist on a reasonable minimum positive outcome for everyone, where no one starves or winds up homeless while others have more than they will ever need, with as much freedom as possible once that goal is met. Whatever politics gets us there is fine with me. If you start with the politics and then try to excuse negative outcomes, you aren’t a good person in my book.

  3. These are silly. No commandments are required for a non-group of people. Maybe one: don’t accept gods exist without evidence.

    Penn is silly for writing these. And even more so for hanging with that idiot Beck.

  4. I really dislike number 5. Not as it’s written here, mind you, but as he defends it in the following chapters. Not everyone has an amazing family. Not all family members deserve better treatment than friends, or even co-workers. I would have preferred a statement more like “Your family is whomever you make it. Adopted family is every bit as important, sometimes more important, that biological family.”

    Also, unlike Penn, I would turn in a family member in a heartbeat if it meant saving the lives of millions of innocent people. I find it cruel and heartless that he values one guilty life of millions of innocents simply because he has a biological relationship with the one.

    1. That’s the problem I always had with the original commandment Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother.

      What if you father and/or mother aren’t honorable? What if they are detestible? I also don’t agree with blanket statment of “respect authority”. Respect should be earned, not automatically given because of a title.

      1. yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Do fundamentalist religious parents deserve honoring by their children who they throw out of the house for being gay/transgendered/not of their religion or wanting to love or marry someone other than who their parents pick out for them?

        I think honoring your parents is a good thing, but only if they’ve led you to being a reasonably stable adult.

      2. Which I think is why I like this version better than the original. This requires that parents are as “honorable” to their children as they are to their parents. It’s two ways. And I think, ideally, that if commandments are commandments, then families would be commanded to be loving. So you wouldn’t be loving someone who is awful to you.

        But also, awful people may need love more than less awful ones.

  5. Perhaps it *should* satisfy critics of atheism, but I don’t think it will. I think they have a hard time believing that mere mortals can stick to a set of rules without being bound by some cosmic glue and a threat of punishment.

  6. I would put a star on number six that specifies what we mean by human life, i.e. baby > fetus > embryo > zygote .

    Technically, a zygote is a form of human life, but I don’t want to think of myself as a murderer for having an IUD.

  7. Am I missing something here? There is only one “commandment” that atheists must follow.

    Don’t accept claims for God/s without sufficient proof. Period.
    Anything beyond that falls outside of the very definition of atheist.

    Silly humanist, commandments are for sheep.

  8. I like the following list. Dunno where I first saw them, but I liked the simplicity.

    1. Have fun.
    2. Do not hurt people.
    3. Do not accept defeat.
    4. Strive to be happy.

    Not all-encompassing, but a good start, I think.

    1. ihatemusic,

      Are you a supporter of animal rights? If so, what rights should animals have? Should medical research that has to be done on animals be abandoned due to the rights of the animal being violated? If so, would you be willing for your children to die for a lab rat? Would you be willing to die for a lab rat? If humans are not above animals, that’s what it comes down to. Either that, or humans don’t have rights either.

      1. Firstly, yes I am a supporter of animal rights but you don’t need to be to appreciate that the mere focus humans in this is unfortunate. Respecting nature and the environment and with it its life is hardly a radical notion but if you want to keep the world for a few more generations you can’t go without it.

        Secondly: you’re reasoning is bullcrap.

        ” If humans are not above animals, that’s what it comes down to.”
        No, it’s not. I didn’t say a life’s lab rat is more important than a human life.

        What I want and need are logical reasons for talking about worth and animal and human rights. Are we saying animals are worth less because of their intelligence? Then how can we kill and mistreat monkeys but go crazy if it’s done to human babies, who are emotionally and intellectually inferior to them.

        Or is because of the pain we feel? That animals feel, too?

        Seriously, if someone came up to me and asked “should i kill your cat or your boyfriend” I’d cry and tell them to leave my boyfriend alone. But unlike your cliché example most animal rights don’t collide with human rights at all.
        The pseudo “right” to eat and mistreat animals for fun&entertainment vs a pig’s natural instinct to stay alive, to reproduce, to eat. Well, that’s a pretty easy one. Why would I want to cause unnecessary pain and torture to other animals? Because I’m too desensitized to feel compassion?

        I know I’m a speciecist, I think it’s part of our natural biology to feel closer to your own species, but that doesn’t mean that logically humans are any more “worthy” or superior. Nature certainly doesn’t like us more, I mean, we are the one animal who’d properly shitting on nature and the environment and destroying it.

        1. “I know I’m a speciecist, I think it’s part of our natural biology to feel closer to your own species, but that doesn’t mean that logically humans are any more “worthy” or superior. Nature certainly doesn’t like us more, I mean, we are the one animal who’d properly shitting on nature and the environment and destroying it.”

          I completely agree. We have the capacity to make and use complex tools and solve a multitude of problems other animals can’t — while other animals are equipped with vastly superior strength and speed, fur, sharp teeth and claws, etc. I don’t see us as being too “special”. Unique, sure, but are we a class of completely higher and better beings? Nope.

  9. In my opinion, the only reason humans ought to preserve the environment is because humans need it to survive. The only reason humans ought to prevent suffering in animals is because animal cruelty dehumanizes humans,and makes them less kind to other humans.
    I strongly feel that humans who don’t put other humans before animals have potentially dangerous priorities.
    I try to live my life without damaging the environment any more than I can possibly help (having no car in a car-culture city being the hardest thing I do). And I abhor cruelty to animals. I also love my dog (the big hairy darling that she is!).
    But all this is not because I don’t think people deserve even greater respect and care.
    Animals are easier to love than humans, most of the time. That doesn’t mean it’s right to consider them equally (or even more) worthy of your care.
    In my opinion.

    1. This is very well said.
      Of course we should try to minimize animal cruelty as much as we can, to callously disregard animal suffering reduces our humanity. Having said that I do not understand the tendency for some to become more easily outraged by animal suffering then by human suffering. I support necessary animal testing, I eat meat, and I have had pets.
      But I understand the bond that humans can make with animals; even though it has been two months since we have lost our beloved Miss Mouse and even though we had lost our other mouse, Sadie, only a couple of weeks before that I can’t think of Miss Mouse without tearing up because she suffered for her last couple of days and I was unable to help her. I couldn’t clean her cage out for a month afterwards and still find myself thinking of her.
      When my grandmother died I was glad she was no longer in pain; when my daughter’s mouse died, while I’m glad she’s not in pain, I can’t seem to get past it.
      Intellectually I realize that it’s silly but emotionally I can’t get over it. Go figure.
      .
      Now if you’ll excuse me I need a tissue.

      1. I’d support necessary animal testing, too, but pretty much 99 % of animal testing doesn’t teach us anything about medicine because if you test something on a monkey its reaction doesn’t tell you how its going to be for humans. You have to test on animals with dangers in the end anyway.

        “Having said that I do not understand the tendency for some to become more easily outraged by animal suffering then by human suffering. ”
        I’ve actually never met anyone like that, I only keep hearing it as cliché when people talk of P.E.T.A. (horrible organisation) or animal rights advocates.

        I’m going to say the obvious here and say that it’s not silly to feel sad about the death of an animal friend. I’ll never understand, though, how people can be okay with animals being tortured and killed for their food with no good reasong but taste or custom, but treat them so nicely once they’re in the “pet” status.

        1. You say “I’ve actually never met anyone like that” (referring to people who get more outraged about animal than about human suffering).
          I have, although I think it is often fuelled by the fact that, as I said above, it’s easier to love animals than to love humans. Blog posts about cruelty to animals usually get way more comments than posts about cruelty to humans I think in part because you don’t have to worry about who committed the first atrocity, or if one is oneself partly responsible for the massacre in question, or if one ought to be doing something concrete about an impossibly huge incident of human suffering.
          But it is nevertheless incumbent on us to overcome these impulses and put whatever meagre efforts we feel we can afford toward helping our fellow humans.

        2. You say “I’ve actually never met anyone like that” (referring to people who get more outraged about animal than about human suffering).
          I have, although I think it is often fuelled by the fact that, as I said above, it’s easier to love animals than to love humans. Blog posts about cruelty to animals usually get way more comments than posts about cruelty to humans I think in part because you don’t have to worry about who committed the first atrocity, or if one is oneself partly responsible for the massacre in question, or if one ought to be doing something concrete about an impossibly huge incident of human suffering.
          But it is nevertheless incumbent on us to overcome these impulses and put whatever meagre efforts we feel we can afford toward helping our fellow humans.

    2. That is ONE reason to take care of the environment.

      “I strongly feel that humans who don’t put other humans before animals have potentially dangerous priorities.”

      Well, that’s panic. Not a good argument against animal rights, since no one proposes to put animals before humans. Humans are animals, they’re included in animal rights by definition. If you have compassion for every animal that doesn’t mean you can take things like intelligence, own species, etc, into account when you do have to make an “either or” decision.

      “But all this is not because I don’t think people deserve even greater respect and care.”
      What makes you think animal rights and human rights don’t go well together? I’m not saying “save the dolphins, fuck the orphans!”, most things you can do for the environment is good for animals, humans and the planet. Eating plant-based food instead of meat is good for the entire world, including humans.

      1. Exactly my thoughts. Having a moral consideration for humans does not prevent your from treating animals morally – and when it does, then you have to make a moral judgement.

        It doesn’t really hurt me to not eat meat but doing so hurts not only animals but all of humanity through its effect on the environment.

        My question always is, if we can’t expand our morality to include species aside from our own, how are we going to treat intelligent life-forms when(if) we encounter them. Are they going to have to prove they’re as smart as we are first? Are they going to have to “demand rights” like racial and sexual minorities have to now?

        Personally I think it’s immoral to not consider someone or something else’s rights/desires just because they can’t speak for themselves.

        1. Well, if you’ll re-read my comment you’ll see that I didn’t argue we should care most for humans because of our superior intelligence. I argued we should prioritize humans because we ourselves are humans.
          I would consider it pretty unethical, for instance, to value the life of a dolphin, however intelligent, over the life of a severely mentally handicapped human, though naturally I’d like the dolphin’s life to be valued too (for the reasons I stated in my original comment).

        2. “how are we going to treat intelligent life-forms when(if) we encounter them. Are they going to have to prove they’re as smart as we are first? Are they going to have to “demand rights” like racial and sexual minorities have to now?”

          You see, I find this exactly the sort of comment that worries me – in order to defend the rights of non-humans, you are thus equating disadvantaged humans to non-human species. In this case: racial and sexual minorities are like aliens???

          1. Only in that they have often been considered “the other” and been discriminated against because of that. Drawing a comparison of one aspect is not an equation. Personally, I don’t think that animals should be taken into account as equals to humans. I just think they should be taken into account – and that our resistance toward doing so has similar roots as racism and homophobia – our tendency to care more about something the more like us it is.

          2. I just wonder, what exactly is going to happen if you say “humans arent any more special than other animals?” if you say every animal has a right to life, too?

  10. I won’t try to argue with you since you seem to have made up your mind but you may want to look into that 99% of animal tests tell us nothing statement before hanging you hat on it. It is nonsense and while I don’t doubt that animals are overused in testing it is not even remotely true that animal models can teach us next to nothing about human disease.
    It strikes me also as rather dismissive to decide that I am ok with animals being tortured because I choose not to be vegetarian. I see life as trade offs and realize that I live in a state of grey.
    Is there any grey in your life or does sanctimony banish all of that?

    1. That sweater the vegetarians are wearing? May have come from a country that condones slave labor. Same with the parts in their fancy smartphones.

      http://consumerist.com/2011/11/how-many-slaves-work-for-you-take-this-survey-and-find-out.html

      I am totally fine with people being vegetarians or vegans, but I really, really hate this holier-than-thou attitude. The couple vegetarian commenters here aren’t even trying to hide their accusations (if you eat meat, you like to torture animals). All while they happily use their iPhone, which most certainly contains slave-labor parts.

      I see life as trade offs and realize that I live in a state of grey.

      This is so important. And it’s a point often lost on people who are so concerned with their one pet cause (vegetarianism, in this case).

      1. Oh life is all about the trade offs. I support space exploration, does that mean I don’t care about the atmosphere considering the size hole each rocket punches out of it? No it doesn’t, I am simply weighing what good comes from exploration against the temporary damage done to the ozone.
        .
        I don’t think vegan/vegetarian concerns come from a bad place; I just think that passion without restraint leads to things like regurgitating “facts” that only PETA, ALF, or ELF would believe and assigning unfounded motives.
        .
        I truly believe that people like those behind documetaries like Food, Inc. have the best intentions but sloppy reasoning and emotive music does not make up for the fact that, while there were real points to be had in that movie, most of it was logical fallacy after logical fallacy. The movie ended up being as manipulative as any Michael Moore film or Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.
        A shame really, since there is a lot of room for improving how we (especially in the US) look at our diets.

      2. Of course that’s important, but you’re not getting anywhere trying to poison the well, either of you. Basically using Dawkins argument against Rebecca against us: “You can’t say this because worse things happen”. I think anyone on this site would admit that they commit any multitude of immoral acts unthinkingly. Why should we be shouted down for pointing one of them out? That’s what makes moral considerations such interesting conversation topics – because they’re almost always in grey territories.

        Of course you might not be responding to my points really, but I think I’m the only other “vegetarian” arguing aside from ihatemusic, with whom I disagree with on several portions of their posts.

        1. ““You can’t say this because worse things happen”

          We never said that. We said life is about trade-offs. It’s not the same thing.

          No one is shouting you down. You are more than welcome to be a vegetarian and to be so for any reason you want to, but that certainly doesn’t give you the right to imply that those who are not vegetarian/vegan are somehow okay with the torturing of animals, which was implied several times.

          “I don’t think vegan/vegetarian concerns come from a bad place; I just think that passion without restraint leads to things like regurgitating “facts” that only PETA, ALF, or ELF would believe and assigning unfounded motives.”

          This was the best point made in regards to the trade-offs line of topic.

          1. Well now we’re just arguing past each other, because I’m just being attributed things ihatemusic posted. Also, things that I posted in response to one person are being taken as responses to others.

            Still, trying to devalue our comments by labeling us hypocrites because we wear sweaters is poisoning the well. You’re right – you didn’t say the other thing explicitly. I wasn’t trying to nitpick or start another argument – just pointing out a logical fallacy on a skeptical site. I generally like what you post Marilove.

          2. Humans are hypocrites by nature. I just think there is a problem when you can’t admit that. Or admit that we make trade-offs every minute of every day. Or try to pretend that your choice (vegetarianism) is better than my choice (eating meat). (General “you/your” btw). That’s all my point was, really. :)

        2. And to further clarify, I didn’t mention the slave-labor thing because I think it’s more important than the vegetarian/vegan cause. I only mentioned it because the holier-than-thou vegans/vegetarians often imply or out-right say that they are superior because of their decisions, while completely ignoring the fact that they make “trade-offs” every day, including using or wearing things that may have originated from slave-labor. But they will ignore that completely, while railing against meat-eaters.

          We all have our pet causes. Mine is the LGBQT cause, for instance. I tend to ignore other causes, like the slave-labor I mentioned above, because I just don’t have the energy to pay attention to or rail against everything. That doesn’t mean I ignore that it exists, however, or somehow deny that I’m part of the problem (I don’t have a smartphone now, but I once did), or act like my cause is somehow superior. It’s not.

          1. Well, I’m not an animal rights supporter first. I would not be able to choose between feminism, animal rights, anti-globalisation, anti-racism or generally working to get closer to a really social democratic system unlike the one we have now. Helping to raise understanding of bisexuality is also a concern close to my heart for obvious reasons, because I feel most people I meet don’t even get the concept or dismiss it as being “sexually confused”.

            The thing about animal rights is that it’s one of the few things were a simple thing changes so much. Changing my diet changes so much and I don’t get an equivalent for the other causes. It’s so basic, so much easier and it helps to know what people would have to do/could change to help. I find with the other causes it’s a lot more complicated, takes a much longer time and you can’t help much by handing out tasty cookies to try.

            And this discussion wasn’t about omnivores being evil. At least it’s only PC to talk pro-homosexuality, race-diversity and trafficking, but animal rights are virtually still not mainstream. Even on a website like this you’re automatically the odd one out when you speak out for universal animal rights and being against the general belittling of the torture they go through thanks to the

            It is not mainstream at all. You can be a politician and talk of your love for burgers and no newspaper gives a shit because most people don’t find it wrong.

            I really doubt the whole judo-christian “animals are ours to use” notion is going to die out any time soon, but it doesn’t make it any more right.

        3. @Wilson
          My reply wasn’t actually pointed at you. I was replying specifically to something that @ihatemusic said (I failed to hit reply after coming back to the page) and, in hindsight, I did not need to include the final sarcastic line. You have not been comming off, in my view, as self-righteous.
          .
          I understand the concerns that vegans/vegetarians have about sustainability and animal rights and I agree with many of them. That particular cause is not near the top of my priority list (and I am not interested in being told that it should be) is all. I choose not to be vegetarian for many reasons (not just for taste or custom) but it doesn’t not mean I don’t care, just that at this particular point my trade-offs on this are below the threshold of changing my behavior; it may not always be but for now it is.
          .
          If someone wishes to change my mind on animal rights or vegetarianism the way to do it does not start with being concered about being confused with a cliched PETA supporter but still spouting “facts” that are wrong (99% of animal testing tells us nothing) or truly debatable (eating plant-based food instead of meat is good for the entire world) and are often the first tools used by said organization.

    2. ” won’t try to argue with you since you seem to have made up your mind but you may want to look into that 99% of animal tests tell us nothing statement before hanging you hat on it. It is nonsense and while I don’t doubt that animals are overused in testing it is not even remotely true that animal models can teach us next to nothing about human disease.”

      I have never 100 % made up my mind, I thought that’s what scepticism is about. Being open to new ideas and always questioning your own actions. Thats what I try to do at least.
      If you can show me some info on the important animal testing, I’d love to see it. Of course what I have read is biased towards animal rights but the data still sounded right. I HAVE read articles that were pro-animal testing but found them not confincing. I can think of some extreme cases when animal tests could be an option but most animal tests are done to test medicine for diseases we already have medicine for and for non-medical stuff.

      “It strikes me also as rather dismissive to decide that I am ok with animals being tortured because I choose not to be vegetarian. I see life as trade offs and realize that I live in a state of grey.
      Is there any grey in your life or does sanctimony banish all of that?”

      Not a big fan of your agressiveness but I’ll try to discuss calmly anyway, since I don’t see what I said wrong.
      I didn’t say you’re okay with animal cruelty but you clearly are helping to produce a demand for animal torture, as well as producing tons of co2 (you could have a car instead actually, if you ate vegan, co2 and enviorment-wise, talking of trade-offs), without a good argument for it, as far as I can see. That is your option to do so and it’s okay if you want to live your life this way, but you can’t make high claims on acting ecological and animal-friendly when you’re not.

      There’s lots of grey in my life. My clothes aren’t 100% organic, neither is my food. It is more difficult since I study at university and work on the side to pay the rent, so expensive stuff isn’t always possible. I’ve also used an airplane 3-4 times in my life. These things do bother me, of course they do, so I at least try to do the easiest and most effective thing to not destroy the planet any further. I’d just feel too crappy eating food that I know caused pain to animals and helps to keep the poor starving. I’d not enjoy it anyway. If you can, good for you. I get really pissed off that you and so many many people who get annoyed by being confronted with their inconsistencies try to put the blame on people who try to do the right thing in their lives even when it’s not the most popular thing to do. I don’t have a “holier-than-thou” attitude but if people dismiss a real concern and hatred of war, racism, misogyny or animal torture as “just wanting to be a better person and showing off” then this is simply ignorant. I’m suffering from depression, low self esteem and other various mental health crap (hello sexual abuse!) and the idea of me thinking I am “better” than anyone else is just laughable, sadly.

      Animal rights is a real cause and I’m being realistic about it. It’s just pain and torture and it hurts me to know how many living beings, human beings and animals alike, are killed every day because of some flippant attitudes about “not wanting to be radical”. I’m pretty sure most people didn’t see the need to give up their slaves when everyone else had them but it didn’t make the torture or pain any less horrible.

      I really thought of not commenting again because discussions like this one are so draining of energy and I feel they go nowhere most of the time because most people go into these discussions with their minds already made up, but being called “holier-than-thou” just bothered me too much.

  11. After the birth of my niece, I began thinking about this a bit more. What would I want to tell her? To help her ponder and live a good life? I’m always revising them a little, but I think I’ve landed on a pretty stable list of alternative Ten Commandments.

    1. Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.

    2. You have the right to just treatment, and the responsibility to ensure justice for others.

    3. Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.

    4. Admit your own transgressions and do whatever needs to be done to make amends.

    5. In all things, strive to do no harm.

    6. Think for yourself and form your opinions based on your own reason and experience.

    7. Listen to the thoughts of others freely expressed, never cut yourself off from dissent.

    8. Respect the rights of others to disagree with you.

    9. Always seek to be learning something new.

    10. Value the future on a scale larger than the duration of your own life.

  12. I gave it a shot a while ago myself. Lost patience (and hope) about halfway through:
    1. Don’t kill – if you can avoid it. Unless you have to for (immediate) defense of self or others, or to eat. Notice, this does not say “Don’t kill nice people” or “Don’t kill people in your particular group” or even just “Don’t kill other humans”.
    2. Don’t steal – exceptions are made for literal starvation, otherwise if it’s not yours, behave.
    3. Don’t lie – if you can avoid it. Telling your grandmother you love her meatloaf is fine.
    4. Don’t rape – period. Really? Somebody actually has to state this one? Wow.
    5. Don’t maim, torture, mutilate, kick, etc. – Again…Really???? Tell me this is a rule everybody just knows…
    6. No slavery – period.
    7. Treat people equally – until their actions earn either praise or caution. Then be fair, and if you can’t be fair, err in the direction of kindness.
    8. Educate yourself – and others, when it’s not obnoxious.
    9. Think things through – just this one would help immensely.
    10. Control only yourself – let other people make their own decisions.

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