Basic Human Decency

United States
February 17, 2009 1:43am CST
We all know society needs certain rules to function well. Some of these rules and guidelines seem universal in nature, and have been adapted into the doctrine of many major world religions. It seems to me that if a person strays from such a guideline, they risk being reproached as un-whatever (fill in presumed religion here); this can cause unnecessary feelings of confusion, frustration, shame, or even anger. Wouldn't it be better as a whole to think of such guidelines as the precepts of basic human decency? After all, pretty much everyone in the world that's relatively sane agrees that it's not nice to steal, kill, sexually abuse others, or do similarly hurtful things. Thinking in terms of basic human decency could also help remove religious misunderstandings and persecution and temper "holier-than-thou" attitudes, since virtually anyone of virtually any religion can abide by such guidelines without worrying about "denying" their faith (yet another problem area for some people--many wars are fought to "prove" one faith's supposed superiority over another). It seems to me that shifting our perception of social and/or religious guidelines to that of basic human decency might help avoid many of these problems.
3 people like this
2 responses
• Janesville, Wisconsin
17 Feb 09
Rules vary and different so much so in culture to culture religion to religion... But to state it in my Heinzist Way: Remain True to Spirit (G-d.Allah.buddha) Yourself, and others. Respect the rights of all things and beings.. (what people sees as rights varies) Follow the Golden Rule... (Treat others as you want to be treated do unto others as you would..etc.. ) And Agree to Disagree... (Meaning.. We can not agree on whose right both feel we are right and other is wrong so lets agree to disagree to agree the neither of us can prove our point and drop the topic as neutral) The last one is not as universal as I would have thought it was.. But the others appear to be definately universal. - DNatureofDTrain
• United States
17 Feb 09
I think those are a really good start. Perhaps we could word it as: 1. Be true to yourself. 2. Respect all things and all beings. 3. Treat others with compassion, and do not do onto others what you would not want done to yourself. 4. Be willing to compromise and to accept that perceptions may vary but that does not mean one is necessarily better than another. 5. Don't brag, boast, steal, or do anything to harm or disparage another (see number three).
2 people like this
• United States
17 Feb 09
I forgot one: 6. "Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right." (Isacc Asimov)
2 people like this
• United States
20 Feb 09
I think you're on to something with this one. I get tired of hearing "Well, they are not being -----" or what not. It shouldn't have anything to do with what their faith is. As you said, we live in a community, we should simply respect others as we want to be treated. I also feel we should not generalize and throw everyone into one batch either. People have issues on individual bases, yet somehow we as humans get caught up in lumping everyone under a label and throwing out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. Perhaps the best saying I've heard, and I may have this quote wrong so correct if I do, but "Love is the law, love under will". Namaste-Anora
2 people like this
• United States
20 Feb 09
The quote's perfect, and perfectly true. Interestingly enough, I saw a quote by the Dalai Lama on a bumper sticker today that read, "My religion is Kindness." This attitude speaks directly to my line of thinking on this subject. Thanks for the response!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 09
It's interesting. Since I've been here on Mylot I've seen a great deal of what you are speaking about in this very conversation. It's too bad not more people have read this particular thread, because it's much needed. I have to wonder why people cannot respect that others may have a point of view that differs from their own. Is it so bad that we are all individuals? Perhaps it is that some wish to be a part of a collective hive, maybe something Jungian in that. I hope that more will read this thread and start a good conversation and discussion around it because it's definately been on my mind. Namaste-Anora