Back in the Bronze Age two tablets containing ten moral rules were held up as mankind’s greatest moral guide. Some still defend them as such, but most of us are happy to celebrate the fact that we’ve come along way from the days of stoning-to-death adulterers and needing reminders not to worship molten idols.
What would a new list of commandments look like if they were written today? That was the thought process used to come up with this first attempt to codify the most important precepts of The New Morality and answer the question “What does it means to be a good person in the 21st century?”
Below is version 1.0 of The New Commandments compared with the commandments of old, both as images and in text:
The New Commandments
- Never murder, rape, enslave, or torture.
- Never stalk, abuse, blackmail, physically intimidate, harass, degrade, or molest.
- Never defraud, bilk, rob, or otherwise unfairly exploit.
- Avoid violence. Only threaten or use it to prevent greater suffering of innocent people, only when it is very certain that non-violent measures will not be effective, and only when all reasonably available measures have been taken to minimize the suffering the violence will incur.
- Uphold human rights for all, including the freedoms of thought, expression, association, and religion; and the rights to liberty, equality, privacy, due process of law, basic education, and peaceful assembly.
- Treat no one less fairly or less kindly on the basis of gender, skin color, ancestry, age, health, body shape, sexual orientation, financial status, physical or mental disability.
- Minimize the suffering you cause, directly or indirectly, to sentient animals.
- Avoid altering the environment in ways that would endanger the health and happiness of future generations.
- Help or seek aid for those in peril, so long as doing so is reasonably certain not to cause anyone grievous harm.
- Whenever you harm anyone through negligence in abiding by these commandments, acknowledge the harm you caused, sincerely apologize for it. and offer reasonable recompense when possible.
The Old Commandments
- Only worship the Judeo-Christian god, not any other gods.
- Do not make or worship idols.
- Do not blaspheme
the name of the Judeo-Christian god.
- One day a week, worship the Judeo-Christian god instead of working.
- Honor and obey your father and mother.
- Do not murder.
- Do not commit adultery.
- Do not steal.
- Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
- Do not yearn to posses your neighbor’s wife, slaves, animals, or other belongings.