Today Bob spoke to us about the ten commitments of Humanism.  The ten commitments Principles for teaching values in public schools.

ALTRUISM

Altruism is the unselfish concern for the welfare of others without expectation of reward, recognition, or return. 

CARING FOR THE WORLD AROUND US

Everyone can and ought to play a role in caring for the Earth and its inhabitants.  We learn that we are dependent on each other, on the natural world, and all that lives in it for food and shelter, space and beauty.

CRITICAL THINKING

We gain reliable knowledge because we are able to observe, report, experiment, and analyze what goes on around us. We also learn to raise questions that are clear and precise, to gather information, and to reason about the information we receive in a way that tests it for truthfulness.

EMPATHY

We human beings are capable of empathy, the ability to understand and enter imaginatively into another living being’s feelings, the sad ones and the happy ones as well. 

ETHICAL DEVELOPMENT

Questions of fairness, cooperation, and sharing are among the first moral issues we encounter in our ethical development as human beings. 

GLOBAL AWARENESS

We live in a world that is rich in cultural, social, and individual diversity, a world where interdependence is increasing rapidly so that events anywhere are more likely to have consequences everywhere.  We help others reach understanding about the interconnectedness of the welfare of all humanity.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Human rights is the idea that people should have rights just because they are human beings. 

PEACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

A curriculum that values and fosters peace education would promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among nations as well as among cultural and religious or philosophical groups. 

RESPONSIBILITY

Our behavior is morally responsible when we tell the truth, help someone in trouble, and live up to promises we've made.  Our behavior is legally responsible when we obey a just law and meet the requirements of membership or citizenship. But we also have a larger responsibility to be a caring member of our family, our community, and our world.  

SERVICE AND PARTICIPATION

Life’s fulfillment can emerge from an individual’s participation in the service of humane ideals.   School-based service-learning combines community service objectives and learning objectives with the intent that the activities change both the recipient and the provider.  

--------

A lively discussion ensued.  We Unitarians believe in the inherent goodness of all 10 of these commitments.  However, in the political world we now live in, we know that many people in this world are very opposed to some of these principles.  And so we had a long discussion about it.  The writings of Ayn Rand, for example teach that altruism is the leading cause of the destruction of modern governments.  Some evangelical Chrisitians in America have been teaching got wants us to take care of the earth as Adam and Ever were charged with taking care of the garden, but some evangelicals have been teaching that humans are put on the earth to use the environment not to preserve it.  In Texas there was a faction that wanted to de-emphasize teaching critical thinking because it lead to questioning of traditional Texas values.  And so it goes.  

If you believe in Humanist principles, then please come join us some Sunday.  We would love to meet you.

Peace,

Rick