I. Treat every person with dignity and respect, regard less of her or his position in society or life circumstances.
II. Be kind to animals, especially golden retrievers.
III. Tip generously, at least 20 to 30 percent.
V. Challenge the status quo, especially its inequities and inequalities.
VI. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight, by far my greatest challenge.
VII. Practice moderation in all things; this is pretty challenging too.
VIII. Develop and maintain a sense of humor.
IX. Don’t take yourself too seriously; nobody else does.
X. Respect Diversity—Teach Tolerance—Fight Hate!
XI. Embrace the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
XII. Don’t be afraid of death; it’s a part of life. In that regard, it has been said that “From the moment of our conception, we are pregnant with death.”
XIII. Do ponder the reality of dying, which is another matter, a subject worthy of concern and worry in its own right. There are, after all, many ways of dying, some of them decidedly more unpleasant than others.
XIV. Don’t pray; it’s a waste of time. Do think; it can get you into trouble, but it can also get you out of it.
XV. Don’t have faith in an unseen being; do have confidence in reason and science.
*Aka “The Fifteen Commandments According to One Secular Humanist.”
Richard G. Dumont, author of books and articles on sociology, is a frequent contributor to Free Inquiry. His article “Cremation and Religiosity” appeared in the December 2013/January 2014 issue.