Wednesday, February 2, 2005

A new decalogue

Despite the title, this really has nothing to do with religion or the Christian Ten Commandments. Writer and futurist Joseph Coates comes up with a list of ten values that would serve as a guide for the ethical situations faced by people in the modern world. I think he does a pretty good job of it. The link provides more discussion, but in brief:

1. Realize that our own actions or failures to act will determine our future.

2. Honor future generations' rights, obligations, and needs.

3. Recognize our societal and genetic histories and work to mend their flaws.

4. Do not destroy; only improve.

5. Expand our knowledge and develop our understanding of all things.

6. Covet only what we have earned as a reward for use of our mental and/or physical abilities.

7. Honor all routes to truth, but never specious beliefs in infallability.

8. Be moderate in all things.

9. Recognize our limitiations as individuals and as societies.

10. Do not treat organizations and institutions as entities with intrensic rights.

To me the last one seemed out of place until I realized that it is about more than corporate personhood and the like. The government does not have a right to privacy; the process must be transparent to avoid quagmires like Iraq.


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