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The Ageless Laws Throughout history, our conceptions of “good” and “evil” have been dictated largely by the dominant religious leaders of the day. So, at different times, cultural majorities have declared it “good” that women accused of witchcraft be beaten and burned alive, that children of enemy tribes be slaughtered, that those who investigate motion of planets and stars be imprisoned for heresy, and that hate, violence, and ignorance, in the name of religion (or at least the powerful religious leaders), be propagated. Since these religious views are so drastically incompatible with one another, they cannot all be correct. Today, we may resolve this problem by simply choosing our preferred religion among the many and proclaiming it “correct.” Alternately, we may learn some lessons from centuries of experience with religious morality. We may choose to follow a more universal and, many would say, more just, more loving, more rational, and truer code of morality. Most of our great religions have touched on these “universal” laws of morality at one time or another, but almost as often, these laws of universal good and evil have been warped or hijacked by those in power.

The Ageless Laws for Knowing Good and Evil

1. Evil judges and despises others; Good strives to understand and love others, even those who seem evil. 2. Evil fears its own suffering but rejoices in the suffering of enemies; Good strives bravely to ameliorate the suffering of all people, even those who seem evil. 3. Evil surrounds itself with like minds; Good constantly seeks to understand different viewpoints, even those that seem evil. 4. Evil considers itself wise and seeks applause; Good considers itself ignorant and constantly seeks wisdom. 5. Evil wields fear and deception whenever it serves its purposes; Good wields reason, truth, and compassion, even when it provides no immediate personal advantage. 6. Evil follows rules blindly; Good has a vigilantly open, independent, and questioning mind. 7. Evil constantly seeks advantage and victory; Good constantly seeks justice and fairness. 8. Evil values tenacious belief despite contrary or lack of evidence; Good is always ready to discard cherished and self-serving beliefs when facts indicate that they are wrong. 9. Evil takes the easiest and most well-worn path, but constantly proclaims it hard; Good takes the path to truth, even when it is hard, and does not draw attention to it. 10. Evil seeks to drown out the voices of others; Good always respects the rights of others to disagree.

Good and Evil  

A Working Document for Modern Morality