31st December 2010
Five aphorisms for a personal value system
In my view, only five common sayings or aphorisms (or precepts) are needed to construct a viable personal value system. These are:
1. Search for the Truth:
Satyameva jayate (Truth Alone Triumphs) – Mundaka Upanisad (3.1.6) of the Atharva Veda
2. Use your reason:
Do not believe something just because it has been passed along and retold for many generations. Do not believe something merely because it has become a traditional practice. Do not believe something simply because it is well-known everywhere. Do not believe something just because it is cited in a text. Do not believe something solely on the grounds of logical reasoning. Do not believe something merely because it accords with your philosophy. Do not believe something because it appeals to ‘common sense’. Do not believe something just because you like the idea. Do not believe something because the speaker seems trustworthy. Do not believe something thinking, ‘This is what our teacher says. – The Buddha
3. Follow the Golden Rule:
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.
4. Observe the categorical imperative:
Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law. – Immanuel Kant
5. Defend human liberty:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – 1776 US Declaration of Independence
A very happy new year to you!
This is my last blog post for 2010. Will see you in the new year. Have a great new year's party!