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A Rational Code of Ethics

Introduction to the Rational Code

About this article

This article simply presents the code. There are two accompanying articles: the first explains the background to the project and the second presents the code with explanatory notes and commentary.

About the code

The code is based on the conviction that Ethics can and should be taught in junior school, as a common core subject in its own right, without reference to any faith-based belief system or religion since these can never be universal. The code does not aim to cover every eventuality, but provides a reference against which more complex ethical matters can be discussed.

The code is in two parts:

  1. The Knowledge, comprising the three axioms on which the code is based.
  2. The Code, a framework of simple guidelines that a child can learn to apply.

Part One - The Knowledge

  1. We share the Earth with our fellow Humans, with Animal life and with Plant life.
  2. We are responsible first to each other and our future generations, then to all life on Earth.
  3. Sometimes we are subject to natural forces beyond our control.

Part Two - The Code

  1. Do not hurt, harm or abuse other people
  2. Do not force your will on other people
  3. Do not take what is not yours
  4. Do not be devious, treacherous or deceitful
  5. Do not be cruel to animals
  6. Be moderate in your consumption
  7. Try to be helpful to other people
  8. Be generous with your ideas and talents
  9. When misfortune occurs, do not give in to despair

Thank you for reading!

If interested in the project, please also read the two linked pages, on background and commentary. I would also like to thank everyone who offered feedback on my first draft. You convinced me that the final draft (above) and the project as a whole is not without merit.

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