What sort of ethics and moral code do you follow in your life?
Do you follow the Humanism principles? As a Humanist I try to follow these.
The Affirmations of Humanism:
A Statement of Principles
We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.
We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation.
We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.
We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.
We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.
We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.
We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.
We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so that they will be able to help themselves.
We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.
We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other species.
We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest.
We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.
We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.
We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.
We are deeply concerned with the moral education of our children. We want to nourish reason and compassion.
We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences.
We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to be made in the cosmos.
We are skeptical of untested claims to knowledge, and we are open to novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.
We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service to others.
We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.
We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we are capable of as human beings
I just like the quote .. that we should not hurt others unnecessarily .. I am not talking about any thing else about his background here.
The only possible basis for a sound morality is mutual tolerance and respect: tolerance of one another’s customs and opinions; respect for one another’s rights and feelings; awareness of one another’s needs.
A J Ayer, 1910–1989, Philosopher
A Humanist Code of Ethics
Do no harm to the earth, she is your mother.
Being is more important than having.
Never promote yourself at another's expense.
Hold life sacred; treat it with reverence.
Allow each person the digity of his or her labor.
Open your home to the wayfarer.
Be ready to receive your deepest dreams;
sometimes they are the speech of unblighted conscience.
Always make restitutions to the ones you have harmed.
Never think less of yourself than you are.
Never think that you are more than another.
Arthur Dobrin, Professor of Humanities
The Human Basis Of Laws And Ethics
Without God, how can you be moral?
by Fred Edwords
Steph, thank you for posting this statement of principle. For almost all of them, I would say that I agree 100%. I think these are humanist, and not atheist per se. A christian, buddhist, or muslim could also have these principles, and an atheist does not necessarily. In fact, I know atheists personally who are Macchiavellian. And I know some christians or deists who live by these principles.
The challenge for me is "We beleive in optimism...." etc. I am optimism-challenged, personally. There is a dark side to me that I would love to excise, but it is there and is part of me. I would love to believe in those positive attributes, and I love being around people who have them, but to some extent, they are not me. I wish they were.
The other part is "arts no less than sciences". I appreciate some of the arts, sometimes. But science is my thing. I am definitely much more a scientist than an artist.
These are not criticisms. The humanist principles are laudable and I love seeing them here. Thank you!
You show a great deal of positivity in your interests. I think you are just realistic about people.
I would say so. In fact, except as noted above, I would say I aspire to all of them. But I don't think that all atheists do, and I think that some non-atheists do as well. (hows that - "non-atheist" - someone who does not think that there is not a god?)
Sentient I try to aspire to these codes of conduct as well.
I think they are a good guide.
Objectivism has been mentioned, but not explained. There is a reason we don't like charity.
Here's objectivism in a nutshell:
What is important to an objectivist are reason, giving value for value and people as an end to themselves.
Reason is our means of acquiring knowledge and precieving reality, reality is not to be created and is not subject to our consciousness (rejects faith and the supernatural).
Giving value for value means that people should deal with each other as traders, i.e. everyone is entitled to what they have earned or produced and are right to expect payment when giving, but must pay for what they recieve.
People are an end to themselves, means we do not live for the sake of others, nor ask others to live for our sake, i.e. no one should live for someone else or sacrifice themselves because everyone has a right and responsibility to seek thier own happiness and achievments.
Getting back to charity, we don't agree with the idea because we do not see it as fair or good for one person to sacrifice what they have earned for someone who has not earned it or for someone to be rewarded for not being productive.
*Please note this is very condensed.*
Objectivism blows. A still more condensed version: Complete self-interest. "People are an end to themselves"? But they treat other people completely as a means to selfish ends. Explain to me how an Objectivist would be able to argue that it is wrong to use up all the resources on the planet for the sole end of making one's own life as enjoyable as possible. Why should an Objectivist have to think about how one's own actions effect other beings, ever, so long as it doesn't end up badly for the selfish Objectivist?