My best old college bud unearthed quite a list from a Dec. 16, 1951 New York Times Magazine article. It's Bertrand Russel's own version of ten commandments.

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

2. Do not think it worthwhile to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

3. Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.

4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

9. Be scrupulously truthful even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

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... a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

That, and the setting of "commandments", brings to mind those authoritarian parents (often religious conservatives) who think it's perfectly fine to spank or paddle or otherwise hit their kids. They're creating resentment and teaching the unspoken lesson that "might makes right."

I also like this "commandment", which I think you introduced me to:

From High Atop Mount Stop & Shop, Atheism's One Commandment: [man in grocery store holding up two paper shopping bags like stone tablets] Don't Be An Asshole

Agree, GC - really this is the only commandment anyone needs. If everyone adhered to it, it would definitely be a better world. (Yes, what constitutes assholery is subjective, but everyone knows it when they see it.) It was my one classroom rule when I was teaching.

And of course, a well-known variation on that theme:

Seeing Russell's excellent set of commandments reminded me of Christopher Hitchens' take on those foolish original 10:

The only commandment I agree with (biblical) is ' do unto others'.
Better wording imho is 'treat everyone the way you would like to be treated'. I don't know why anyone would disagree with that.

There's only the caveat that their needs and desires might not be the same. An extreme example: I might love peanut butter cookies, but my friend might have a peanut allergy. People have proposed the Platinum Rule:

"Do unto others as they would have you do unto them."

(Yes, that's a corollary of "treat everyone with the kindness and consideration we'd like for ourselves.")

The problem with "Do unto others" is the existence of people such as masochists, who will have all sorts of things done unto them. With that in mind, I still like the version that goes:

That which you would NOT have done unto yourself, do not do unto another.

Thanks Loren. That had crossed my mind but I was just thinking about more general life. If we get specific I know there's a lot of stuff I wouldn't want ' done unto me'. Lol
Ask Mitch McConnell
Lol. Mitch would like fun all of us to die and let his god sort us out.

I concur with what others have said and about the 'Golden Rule'.  I have also liked this one from Mark Twain:

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

Gary, I've found this to be true. A nice young man, probably in his mid twenties,
walked by me when I was loading my car and noticed I had four bags of mulch on my cart. He stopped and asked if I would like him to load them for me. That kind gesture made my day. To few young people offer to help anyone with anything it seems.




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