[extropy-chat] Why "Commandments" Re: Extropic Commandments

Olga Bourlin fauxever at sprynet.com
Fri Sep 29 05:46:51 UTC 2006

From: "spike" <spike66 at comcast.net>
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 10:08 PM

>> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Bret Kulakovich

>> In using the word "Commandments" you are seeking to engage, consciously 
>> or not, a group of people whose defense of this term will range from 
>> casual through deadly serious. I offer that we come up with a term that 
>> is non-competitive...

> Ja I see your point.  The ten suggestments?  Somehow that just lacks the 
> punch of the original.

Simply for the effect and sometimes for inviting discussion, I like the idea 
of pirating commonly used terms (e.g., lately, I've been saying I think the 
real Founding Fathers - and Mothers - were the pioneers of the civil rights 
struggles of the 20th century).

I remember reading Bertrand Russell's Decalogue a long time ago:


By Bertrand Russell
Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new 
decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. 
The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might 
be set forth as follows:
 1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

 2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the 
evidence is sure to come to light.

 3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

 4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or 
your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for 
a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

 5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always 
contrary authorities to be found.

 6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you 
do the opinions will suppress you.

 7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted 
was once eccentric.

 8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, 
for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper 
agreement than the latter.

 9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is 
more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

 10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's 
paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness."


"A Liberal Decalogue" is from The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 3: 
1944-1969, pp. 71-2.

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