Posts Tagged ‘Ten Commandments’

Good advice from Penn Jillette

June 27, 2017

Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself.
==Penn Jillette, Ten Commandments for Atheists

The psychology of honesty

July 1, 2012

Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal about studies he and some other professors did on the subject of honesty.

They found that most people are mostly honest most of the time, but can be tempted to be a little bit dishonest depending on the risks, the rewards and what everybody else is doing.  No surprises there.  What I did find surprising was the following.

We took a group of 450 participants, split them into two groups and set them loose on our usual matrix task.  We asked half of them to recall the Ten Commandments and the other half to recall 10 books that they had read in high school.  Among the group who recalled the 10 books, we saw the typical widespread but moderate cheating.  But in the group that was asked to recall the Ten Commandments, we observed no cheating whatsoever.  We reran the experiment, reminding students of their schools’ honor codes instead of the Ten Commandments, and we got the same result.

We even reran the experiment on a group of self-declared atheists, asking them to swear on a Bible, and got the same no-cheating results yet again.

This experiment has obvious implications for the real world. While ethics lectures and training seem to have little to no effect on people, reminders of morality—right at the point where people are making a decision—appear to have an outsize effect on behavior.

Click on Why People Lie for the whole article.

My personal 10 commandments

April 17, 2011

One.  The truth is whatever it is.  Do not prefer lies or illusions to fact.

Two.  Do not devote your life to the pursuit of money, popularity or social status.

Three.  Do not use the language of religion, patriotism or idealism to justify superstition, intolerance or cruelty.

Four.  Take time to rededicate yourself to your best aspirations.

Five.  Honor those who nurtured and taught you.

Six.  Do not treat the lives of other people as less valuable than your own.

Seven.  Do not break promises or betray trusts.

Eight.  Do not cheat or exploit people, nor deny them what is due to them.

Nine.  Do not speak of other people falsely or maliciously.

Ten.  Do not envy someone else’s possessions, reputation, achievements or happiness, nor make yourself unhappy by comparing yourself to others.

(more…)

Bertrand Russell’s Ten Commandments

May 21, 2010

The philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote his own personal set of ten commandments. They were published under the title “My Ten Commandments” in Everyman magazine in 1930.

They ran as follows: –

1. Do not lie to yourself.russell_commandments

2. Do not lie to other people unless they are exercising tyranny.

3. When you think it is your duty to inflict pain, scrutinize your reasons closely.

4. When you desire power, examine yourself closely as to why you deserve it.

5. When you have power, use it to build up people, not to constrict them.

6. Do not attempt to live without vanity, since this is impossible, but choose the right audience from which to seek admiration.

7. Do not think of yourself as a wholly self-contained unit.

8. Be reliable.

9. Be just.

10. Be good-natured.

Years later he wrote another set of ten commandments, this one just for teachers. It was published in an article entitled “The Best Answer to Fanaticism – Liberalism” in the New York Times Magazine in 1951.

(more…)