I'm going to post my personal principles, or guidelines, or whatever you want to call them. At least the ones I can think of, at the moment, and which bear codification.
You could too, iffn you wanted.
Knowledge is preferable to ignorance.
Life is finite, and has no inherent meaning. However, the human mind is essentially an engine for generating meaning, and we can find, define, or create a meaning for our existence. This is as beautiful as being made from the stars.
Humans differ from other living things only in matters of degree, not in matters of type. Therefore, all living things deserve to be treated with respect, and should not be injured or aggravated without good reason.
So it follows: Compassion first. However, not all people or things are capable of compassion. So then: Justice, tempered by compassion.
However, everyone is biased.
Similarly, self-deception is something humans are very, very good at, and it is something we do constantly.
Science is a tool that when properly applied allows us to deal with our bias and self-deception and clearly see and understand the exterior world.
Religion is a tool that when properly applied allows us to deal with our bias and self-deception and clearly see and understand our interior world.
Our interior world and the exterior world are connected, but it's very dangerous to mix them up.
Humans have gotten to be the masters of the earth because of two traits: Our endless curiosity, and ability to cooperate. This would suggest these are the traits which define us, and which are our greatest assets. We are, however, inherently clannish and somewhat prone to violence. These traits are worsened by our biases, and our knack for self-deception. We forget both our strengths and our weaknesses at our peril.
There are a few things I might disagree with in this, but none I feel violent about, so let that bide. Even your assertion that humans are masters of the earth. We're just along for the ride too. To paraphrase the late, great, George Carlin, "The earth could shake us off like a case of fleas if we got too inconvenient."
We're masters of the earth in the sense that we are by far the most dominant multi-cellular species.
Originally Posted by Mark E. Hurling
There isn't a single ecosystem on the planet that doesn't feel our influence.
Are plankton multi-cellular? I tried deciphering it, and it's not entirely clear. But I suspect that they have an even more far reaching effect than we do in the bulk of the earth's surface composition of the oceans as a food source. And once they get a case of the ass it'll be over in fairly short order for us in one way or another.
There are a couple things missing:
All men die. Most women, too.
That's a very important consideration. People forget it or try to avoid it. All good philosophies and religions, however, think about it constantly.
This is a fact, not a principle.
Originally Posted by gzt
Everything that happens on the bandstand directly relates to how live should or should not be lived.
Laughs and Orgasms are the staff of life- never miss a chance at either.
Never do anything you dont love to do- there is no profit worth your soul.
If its not broke dont fix it.
Simplicity is the soul of happiness...
You are only as strong as your capacity for forgiveness and mercy and ability to be straightforward about your flaws.
You are only as sick as your secrets.
(are these principles? I dont really know- I haven't been the same since I lost my scruples)
Last edited by JM3; 06-11-2012 at 08:01 AM.
Ive agreed with many posted so far. Here are some random thoughts:
Speak the truth*
1) it's the right thing to do
2) in the end, people judge you on the value of your word*
Be on time - making others wait because you can't manage your calendar is the same as not keeping your word.*
Do what you say you will do. Anything other is as good as a lie. If circumstance prevents this, make appropriate amends as the failure dictates.*
Be polite to friends, acquaintances and strangers alike. It costs you nothing. (I admit I struggle with this one at times)
Practice acts of random kindness. It brightens the day of those around you.*
Family first. Always.*
Newton's "De Principia" had a lot of facts in it, too. And a lot of people are quite willingly blind to this fact.
Originally Posted by spar
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