From Shermer’s Moral Arc
Provisional Rational Decalogue
1. The Golden Rule Principal: Behave toward others as you would desire that they behave toward you. (Reciprocal altruism… monkey nit pickers)
2. The Ask-First Principle: To find out whether an action is right or wrong, ask first. (The smoker in the restaurant might prefer that everybody smoked, but they should ask first to see if he is allowed.)
3. The Happiness Principle: It is a higher moral principal to always seek happiness with someone else’s happiness in mind, and never seek happiness when it leads to someone else’s unhappiness through force or fraud.
4. The Liberty Principle: It is a higher moral principle to always seek liberty with someone else’s liberty in mind, and never seek liberty when it leads to someone else’s loss of liberty through force or fraud.
5. The Fairness Principle: When contemplating a moral action imagine that you do not know if you will be the moral doer or receiver, and when in doubt err on the side if the other person.
6. The Reason Principle: Try to find rational reasons for your moral actions that are not self-justifications or rationalizations by consulting others first.
7. The Responsibility and Forgiveness Principle: Take full responsibility for your own moral actions and be prepared to be genuinely sorry and make restitution for your own wrongdoing to others; hold others fully accountable for their moral actions and be open to forgiving moral transgressors who are genuinely sorry and prepared to make restitution for their wrongdoing.
8. The Defend Others principle: Stand up to evil people and moral transgressors, and defend the defenseless when they are victimized.
9. The Expanding Moral Category Principle: Try to consider other people not your family, tribe, race, religion, nation, gender or sexual orientation as an honorary group member equal to you in moral standing.
10. The Biofilia Principle: Try to contribute to the survival and flourishing of other sentient beings, their ecosystems, and the biosphere as a whole. (Love of nature.)
If by fiat I had to reduce these ten principles to just one it would be this: Try to expand the moral sphere and to push the arc of the moral universe just a bit farther toward truth, justice, and freedom for more sentient beings in more places more of the time.
The Ten Commandments:
1 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
3 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6 You shall not murder.
7 You shall not commit adultery.
8 You shall not steal.
9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
So which the better moral guide?