The Golden Rule

All the religions have their version of the Golden Rule:

religionrule.jpg

Suyka created the atheist version of that same poster:

atheistrule.jpg

(via Jamonation)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • Aj

    I saw the original on del.icio.us. I like the new version, that’s more like it.

  • Jen

    My grandma stayed at a state-funded old folks home for a few months, and I remember that poster was there. I thought it was kind of awesome that they had a room with all sorts of religious texts and a waterfall-type thing instead of a chapel room. They did the large game room that had large Bible verses on them, though, and way more Christian services than anything else.

    On topic? New poster is awesome.

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  • Mriana

    Yes, religions have the same a lot of things. Funny how some people can’t see it, just because it’s worded a bit differently.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    The Jewish statement about commentary is the funniest. I’m choosing to take it literally.

  • Karen

    Cool. More religious people need to see that their core doctrine is not unique and exclusionary.

  • Chas

    …or original. I’ve been in conversations about deriving morals without a bible, and have brought up the golden rule as a foundational premise. Most of the Christians will immediately take credit for that statement for Jesus, as if my using it somehow reveals me as some sort of a latent Christian.

    I’m not sure, but can I assume many of these statements pre-date Christianity?

  • http://www.secularplanet.org Secular Planet

    The “native spirituality” quote has nothing to do with the golden rule. It only tells us to take care of the earth so that we don’t die.

  • http://blog.myspace.com/johnpritzlaff John Pritzlaff

    Yes, Chas, that is correct.

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    I know it’s just supposed to be funny, but I suppose someone should point out that the atheist version isn’t really the same as the “golden rule”, it’s just a slam on religion. And sadly it conforms to the unfortunate stereotypes of atheists merely being negative about other people’s beliefs and not really putting forth an affirmative worldview of their own.

    Howabout a Humanist saying instead that could be added to the first poster?

  • http://www.thechristianmanifesto.wordpress.com C.E. Moore

    Athiests continuing to whine about not being invited to the party, I think. How many of you ACTUALLY disagree with the Christian version of the Golden Rule? How many of you are honestly running around thinking, “I can do one better than what JESUS said?”

  • http://www.thechristianmanifesto.wordpress.com C.E. Moore

    Atheists continuing to whine about not being invited to the party, I think. How many of you ACTUALLY disagree with the Christian version of the Golden Rule? How many of you are honestly running around thinking, “I can do one better than what JESUS said?”

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    sadly it conforms to the unfortunate stereotypes of atheists merely being negative about other people’s beliefs and not really putting forth an affirmative worldview of their own.

    Isn’t that what a-theism is though? Just a rejection of beliefs in Gods. We don’t replace it with a belief in anything else. That is for us to decide.

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    C.E., are you deliberately going out of your way to be rude? And if so, how is it that you square your disrespect towards others with the command in 1Peter 3:15-16 which I assume you’d affirm? Frankly dude, I think you’re channeling a little too much Driscoll lately. Let’s hold ourselves to a higher standard than that bro’.

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    Isn’t that what a-theism is though? Just a rejection of beliefs in Gods. We don’t replace it with a belief in anything else. That is for us to decide.

    Yes, exactly my point.

  • Siamang

    Howabout a Humanist saying instead that could be added to the first poster?

    Mike how about “Atheism: Be careful who’s toes you step on today, they may be connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.”

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    LOL Siamang… but I still honestly think you guys can do better. I’d suggest something myself if I were more versed in humanist writings.

  • Mriana

    OK how about this Mike, which is taken directly from the Humanist Manifesto III and is not poking fun at anyone:

    Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.

    Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.

    Put in my own words, strive to give everyone human dignity and compassion.

  • http://blog.myspace.com/johnpritzlaff John Pritzlaff

    C.E. Moore, most modern moral philosophies do way better than Jesus did. We’ve made a lot of progress since the simpleminded Sermon on the Mount.

    MikeClawson, actually I think the poster is saying that atheists are more moral than theists on a basic level, without even adding on humanism, which just raises us even higher. It’s saying that we don’t have quarrels over dogma, and that any more morality isn’t even necessary to raise us above the average level of morality for the average religious person. Once you add on humanism (and subtract the nihilism and inane relativism that a small percentage of new converts to atheism show at first), you can see that it’s definitely a lie that religious people are more moral than, or even as moral as, atheists.

    That said, I too would prefer if the poster displayed some humanist thought rather than simply showing the immorality of religious people. It would have been more positive.

  • Siamang

    Heck, I’d have preferred it if humanism or atheists were mentioned on the ORIGINAL poster.

    That we were deliberately excluded from such a “peace and love, can’t we all get along kumbaya” poster warrants Suyka’s snarky comeback. I guess we’ll have to settle for making our own posters… not even the liberal christians want us stinking up their posters!

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    We’ve made a lot of progress since the simpleminded Sermon on the Mount.

    Oh indeed, the War in Iraq (not to mention the whole history of the 20th century) certainly demonstrates that we’ve made tons of progress beyond “love your enemies”. :roll:

    MikeClawson, actually I think the poster is saying that atheists are more moral than theists on a basic level, without even adding on humanism, which just raises us even higher.

    And so you demonstrate this by trash talking others?

    The point of the first poster is that no one moral philosophy is better than the rest since we all teach essentially the same thing, while the point of the second poster is “Hey, we’re better than all the rest of you”. And which one am I supposed to respect? Sorry, but smug, self-righteous arrogance just doesn’t do it for me. I despise it among Christians, and I’m not too fond of it in others either.

  • http://www.thechristianmanifesto.wordpress.com C.E. Moore

    Mike,

    I can be even-handed (as evidenced by another athiest article being discussed at my site http://www.thechristianmanifesto.com) and I can be a bit biting and sarcastic, as you have been in your last post.

    Playing nice and being respectful is necessary…to a point. But, it feels like this is a place where scoffers tend to come to scoff and ONLY scoff. I’ve met a few like “Accountant By Day” who I respectfully disagree with. But, for the most part, Christians are lampooned and really not given any respect on this site. This is understandable, as many come here in a reactionary mood to begin with (Don’t believe me, then look at many of the comments on this site from its inception). Even the name of the site is a misnomer, as “Angry, Pissed-Off Atheist” isn’t going to attract ANY type of conversation.

    I was trying to be humorous, but I guess it was mistaken for something else.

    But, I agree with your point that “the simple-mined Sermon on the Mount” giving way to our new sophisticated philosophies have only given way to the worst century of warfare in the history of man.

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    Sorry, C.E. perhaps I shouldn’t have been so quick to jump on you. However, I have noticed a pattern of antagonism from you here. I agree that the title of this blog is increasingly a misnomer, and I understand that you feel that you are only giving as good as we’ve gotten. I admit that I sometimes do that too. I guess maybe I just need to hold myself to that higher standard as well.

  • Mriana

    Sometimes I feel like a Who.

    MikeC asked:

    How about a Humanist saying instead that could be added to the first poster?

    Mriana suggested:

    …strive to give everyone human dignity and compassion.

    I honestly tried to give a response that was not demeaning or irrespectful as to what could be said in place of the one on the poster, but the dispute continues. Maybe I shouldn’t appease in the hopes of defusing the argument(s). :(

    I agree that the title of this blog is increasingly a misnomer

    Not necessarily. Some of us still try to meet believers part way. Sometimes.

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    Sorry Mriana, I meant to respond to your quotes, but I got distracted (both in real life and here). Anyway, thought those quotes were great and exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. I think that first poster really should have had a spot for “Humanism” included in the first place – perhaps in place of the “Unitarian” spot, since 1) a lot of Unitarians are also humanists, 2) the Unitarian quote was the strangest of the bunch IMHO, and 3) what’s the difference between Unitarian and Baha’i really?

    Anyhow, thanks for sharing!

  • Mriana

    You’re welcome, Mike. Glad you appreciated them and I agree, it does make more sense than the one they used. I don’t think it would have hurt to have a spot for Humanism, either. I’m not even sure if Taoism is a religion or a philosophy, and even Buddhism leans more towards philosophy even though it’s consider a religion, so if they have those, they could have Humanism too.

    As for the difference between Unitarian and Baha’i, I think Baha’i is more universal and inclusive religiously- not quite Universalism, but more religious than that. I don’t know. I’m just guessing.

  • http://hugotheatheist.blogspot.com/ Hugo

    The Humanist Manifesto or Humanism is not atheism.
    If the first or second poster had a Humanism heading and one of the quotes Mriana mentions that would be great.
    As it is the second poster is fun, a joke but still drives the point home that even when moderate religious people try to be inclusive and “human” they still are divisive and exclusive.

    And yes the Golden Rule in all it’s forms can be improved, the obvious faults are masochists, suicidal people, etc. the Humanist Manifesto has a better philosophy.

  • Mriana

    Hugo said,

    March 7, 2008 at 7:38 am

    The Humanist Manifesto or Humanism is not atheism.

    How are you defining Humanism? Humanism is a philosophy based on reason and compassion and living ethical lives without supernaturalism. It is a non-theistic belief. However, the values of Humanism can be virtually incorporated into almost any belief system. True Humanism though, has no belief of a deity, even within Religious Humanism- i.e. Greg Epstein is considered a religious humanist, but he has no belief in a deity.

    Given that is the definition of Humanism, albeit paraphrased, from the AHA, exactly how are you defining Humanism, Hugo?

  • http://hugotheatheist.blogspot.com/ Hugo

    … based on reason and compassion and living ethical lives without supernaturalism.

    True Humanism …

    -

    How are you defining Humanism?

    I think a bit like you are.
    Personally I cannot imagine claiming to be a Humanist and not being an atheist but people believe weird things and so long as someone agrees with the spirit of the Humanist Manifesto (and acts accordingly) they can call them self a Humanist, if they want to compartmentalize another belief system next to or or on top of that and if they can live with the inconsistencies and act in accordance then to me it does not mean that they are no longer Humanists.

    I imagine it is a bit like Christians not being able to imagine that someone like Phelps can also call himself a Christian but with the difference that I do not claim to be adhering to the One True Humanism :)

    Plus I can imagine some atheists not liking the human centered approach of Humanism and would like maybe a less species based philosophy. Or some cruel bastard atheists who do like violence … they’re still atheist but definitely not humanists.

  • Mriana

    OK now I understand what you are saying and I agree, even Spong and Culpitt consider themselves [Christian] Humanists and have a strong belief in the philosophy of Humanism. Yet, even though they are non-theists (or profess to be) they incorporate Christianity into Humanism. Christian Humanism, a more specific subcatagory of Religious Humanism, is one of the subcatagories under the large umbrella of Humanism. Even so, I cringe at this practice. I take no issue with appreciating things like 1 Corinthians 13 and alike, but the problem is, this Ground of All Being (AKA “God Talk”) doesn’t seem to fit into Humanism very well.

  • Aj

    orry, but smug, self-righteous arrogance just doesn’t do it for me.,

    Sorry, but smug, self-righteous arrogance just doesn’t do it for me.

    Pure gold, out of everyone here. Hypocrisy and religion make such good friends.

  • http://www.goldenruleradical.org David Keating

    I was glad to see the references to the humanist take on the Golden Rule. If anyone’s interested, there are more Golden Rule materials at the link in my name.

    For me, the trick is remember that the people who initially founded some of these beliefs were doing exactly what we’re doing now – trying to put come up with a way to live together in a specific place, time, and culture.

    It’s when we try to force their ideas to fit our circumstances that we get into trouble.

  • Siamang

    Pharyngula had this one today.

    An atheist’s creed

    I believe in time,
    matter, and energy,
    which make up the whole of the world.

    I believe in reason, evidence and the human mind,
    the only tools we have;
    they are the product of natural forces
    in a majestic but impersonal universe,
    grander and richer than we can imagine,
    a source of endless opportunities for discovery.

    I believe in the power of doubt;
    I do not seek out reassurances,
    but embrace the question,
    and strive to challenge my own beliefs.

    I accept human mortality.

    We have but one life,
    brief and full of struggle,
    leavened with love and community,
    learning and exploration,
    beauty and the creation of
    new life, new art, and new ideas.

    I rejoice in this life that I have,
    and in the grandeur of a world that preceded me,
    and an earth that will abide without me.

    I don’t know if I like it better than “…the ass you may have to kiss tomorrow.”

    I think there’s a positive aspect to the fact that atheists can have a sense of humor about this stuff and don’t really have to take themselves so seriously every moment of the day. In one aspect, I like “An Atheist’s Creed” well enough. But on the other hand there’s something that really gets on my wick about such airy-fairy language such that if I had to hear it every day, or worse, had to recite it every day, I think I’d lose my lunch.

    Give me the Gospel According to Monty Python or Douglas Adams any day.

  • Karen

    I think there’s a positive aspect to the fact that atheists can have a sense of humor about this stuff and don’t really have to take themselves so seriously every moment of the day.

    Amen, brother! I had enough pious, self-righteous pronouncements from religion to last 3 lifetimes, I’m sure. Some religious people need to get over themselves already.

    In one aspect, I like “An Atheist’s Creed” well enough. But on the other hand there’s something that really gets on my wick about such airy-fairy language such that if I had to hear it every day, or worse, had to recite it every day, I think I’d lose my lunch.

    I wouldn’t want to recite it every day, but it might serve rather nicely as a standing statement that we could point people to who are always asking the questions about “what DO atheists believe” and asserting erroneously that we believe in “nothing.”

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    An atheist’s creed

    I think that’s a great statement and even as Christian I can affirm about 85% of it.

    And maybe as a former humanities major I don’t mind “airy-fairy” language as much as you do. :)

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    I had enough pious, self-righteous pronouncements from religion to last 3 lifetimes, I’m sure.

    I think the atheist poster above, as well as Pritzlaff’s comment about it, demonstrate that religious people don’t have the corner on “self-righteous pronouncements”.

  • Brent

    #1 definition of “creed” from American Heritage:

    A formal statement of religious belief; a confession of faith.

    Run away! Run away!

    Okay, I suppose the other definition isn’t quite as bad…but still.

    Does convey some good ideas though….

  • Siamang

    former humanities major

    Ditto here!

    I don’t mind well-written flowery language. But it seems that in this instance PZ Myers is just mimicking the Nicene creed in form and meter. A creed that might have come trippingly off the tongue in latin, but comes off as a bit of a shopping list in english, at least to my modern ears.

  • Karen

    religious people don’t have the corner on “self-righteous pronouncements”.

    Perhaps not, but they’ve certainly raised it to the level of high art. And atheist self-righteousness tends toward the smug, rather than the pious. (Yes, I was an English major!)

  • Mriana

    As a writer, I don’t mind flowery language either. One can use various words in an attempt to show us a mental picture or convey emotions. A writer has to also consider the audience too. Six or seven years ago, my mother came down with breast cancer and has been a surviver for about 6 years now. I wrote her a poem shortly after that and not long after that I finally decided I was a Humanist. I looked at the poem again and was about to redo it, but then I thought, “That poem has great meaning for my mother. To change it, would be neglecting my intended audience and changing the communication to her as to how grateful I am to the doctors for curing her.” So I left it as is and did not change a word of it, even though it has religious wording in it. The emotion is strong and communicates to the person I intended the poem for.

    Depending on the open-mindedness of the non-theist (and even theist) the emotional meaning is still apparent- which is my love for my mother, who happens to be a Christian, and how glad I still have her today. The poem is titled “For My Mother”, but almost anyone can appreciate the love that is expressed, esp if they can overlook the acknowledgement of her beliefs within the poem.

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    Perhaps not, but they’ve certainly raised it to the level of high art.

    I won’t argue with you there.

    And atheist self-righteousness tends toward the smug, rather than the pious.

    Indeed, which is why I left off “pious”. :)

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