Guiding Principles Without Religion

Path of Truth ― Guiding Principles Without Religion

Is it possible to have guiding principles without religion?  Yes.  Are there principles for moral guidance superior to those in organized religion? Yes, there are. Come and see for yourself.

Path of Truth

Don’t want to join a religion but still want a set of principles to guide your moral compass?  That means you are a truth seeker, not a follower, and that makes a big difference.  You aren’t a follower; you are a spiritual explorer.

So, here are nine principles far superior to those you’ll find in all organized religions.  You don’t need stacks of doctrines and dogma, just nine principles.

Guiding Principles Without Religion

The most beautiful path promotes the health of everyone and the environment.  It is a path that rejects harmful bias and prejudice.

1) Reason, Not Superstition

Reason and common sense are the basis for critical thinking.  Your ability to reason is directly proportional to your use of common sense, so it is the basis for all principles.  It’s the foundation for the path of truth.

There are three primary rational thinking tools: logical reasoning, spotting logical fallacies, and the Truth-Seekers Axioms.  These three tools will enable you to separate fact from fiction.  And will guard you against the ploys of groupthink manipulation.

Reason stands in opposition to superstition, which is the basis of the world’s most popular religions; these are the Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  These systems are the rebranding of earlier Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions.  They freely admit this appropriation:

“Symbolism in a greater or lesser degree is essential to every kind of external worship, and we need not shrink from the conclusion that in the matter of baptisms and washings, of genuflections and other acts of reverence…

… of lights and sweet-smelling incense, of flowers and white vestitures, of spiritual unction’s and the imposing of hands, of sacrifice and the rite of the Communion banquet…

… the Church has borrowed without hesitation from the common stock of significant actions known to all periods and to all nations.  In such matters as these, Christianity claims no monopoly or originality.” ― The Catholic Encyclopedia and International Work, Vol. 14 (1907)

We believe logic is superior to superstition because it is the basis for every advancement of our modern world.  It is a solid foundation for guiding principles without religion.

2) Ethics, Not Dogma

Our behavior is a reflection of our ethics, which come from our values.  The dogma of Western organized religion is not a coherent ethical source.  It contains contradictions and justifications for every kind of harmful behavior, from genocide to genital mutilation.

We share something with all living things.  We all share the common desire to live in peace and be free from harm. As we mature from a child to an adult, our natural tendency is to grow.  We naturally want to expand our world and our thinking.  As our conscience develops, we naturally want everyone to live in peace.  We wish to live in harmony with other people and other living things.

The programming of doctrine can override our natural values. Instead, they install values contrary to our natural conscience. We can learn to hate to discriminate and harm others, and that’s just some harmful effects of dogma and doctrine.

“Religious people claim that it’s just the fundamentalists of each religion that cause problems. But there’s got to be something wrong with the religion itself if those who strictly adhere to its most fundamental principles are violent bigots and sexists.” — David G. McAfee

We need only to return to our natural state of innocence to live an ethical life.  There is no need for the doctrine or the dogma of religion.  The virtues of the spirit are the positive aspects of our nature before the pollution of any programming.

3) Respect, Not Worship

When we respect something or someone, we do so because we value them.  When we worship someone or something, it is because we have reverence and adoration.  The difference is between knowledge and emotional attachment.

When we respect all living things, we develop a global perspective.  Respect for other people and the environment is the basis of a healthy culture.

On the other hand, the worship of imaginary beings divides humanity. Religion uses its God to justify war, genocide, ethnic and gender discrimination.  These attributes disqualify religion as a source of moral guidance.

4) Courage, Not Fear

We need the courage to face the issues of global concern, and we need the courage to address the aberrant behavior of people who place profit above ethical and respectful behavior.  Courage necessitates we question everything about cultural folklore.

Fear is what the cultural narrative uses to manipulate.  The courage to do the right thing can be the basis for guiding principles without religion.  It contrasts with those who use fear of their imaginary friend as a basis for their moral behavior.  You don’t need religion to act responsibly; you need the courage to do the right thing.

Above all, fill your life with hope and allow yourself to become vulnerable.  Open your eyes to social injustice and learn to live a courageous lifeFace your fears, but act prudently.  The path of truth will lead you into conflict with those who hold religious dogma as a standard.

5) Morality, Not Religion

Morality does not have a basis in religion.  Ethics and respect for everyone and every living thing do not require membership in any belief system. Religious doctrine is not a good example of moral behavior.

“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, we should base it on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description.” — Albert Einstein

Western organized religion has been the basis of many of the world’s darkest times.  During the dark ages, the Church was in control, bringing civilization to the brink of destruction.  Religious extremist uses groupthink manipulation today as in times past.  The disease of religion propagates all the same old prejudice and hate.  Morality based on reason, ethics, respect, and courage is far superior.

Morality doesn’t require religion.  For example, Miguel Ruiz provides four simple agreements for moral behavior.  The Dalai Lama also has 18 principles that do not contain religious dogma.  These are all examples of the path of truth as opposed to the direction of religious ideology.

6) Clarity, Not Delusion

Clarity is the attribute one achieves when one can see the facts.  As mentioned above, logical reasoning is key to this.

Religion is the source of delusion.  It is the belief in things that have no proof.  To believe, one must accept metaphor as fact.   It teaches us to protect the belief system, even though it is a fabrication. It programs people to deny, ignore, and fight against any facts that threaten the belief system.

Belief in delusion is the opposite of clarity.  So, science and facts are the basis for guiding principles without religion.

7) Skeptic, Not Cynic

“A skeptic is one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient…” — Steven Novella

Being a skeptic does not make you a cynic. It is far more healthy to be a freethinker than to submit to the cultural narrative.  An informed skeptic is someone who uses the scientific method.

The scientific method is a process for investigating things.  It’s the best way to gain, correct, and integrate previous knowledge. To be scientific, the process of inquiry uses measurable evidence to form conclusions.  We can describe this process in six steps:

    1. Make an observation
    2. Record and communicate the observation accurately as possible
    3. Form questions concerning what we observe to find out more
    4. Form a hypothesis based on the evidence and what it could mean
    5. Conduct an experiment
    6. Analyze the data and draw conclusions

These Six-Step either confirms the hypothesis or leads to other questions.  The ability to make accurate observations is also essential to developing rational decisions.   So, a skeptic uses this type of process to make better decisions.

8) Rationality, Not Nationality

Again we return to logic.  Rational thinking is thinking logically and without the encumbrance of groupthink manipulation tactics.  Nationality is the belief in artificial boundaries.  Typically, these boundaries designate ownership and jurisdiction over natural resources.

Nationality refers to a group of people with a specific set of beliefs or ethnicity.  Nationalism is a political philosophy that justifies preferential treatment.  It is a way of explaining why discrimination and bias are okay.  Patriotism is pride in a national construct, which is nothing more than a smokescreen for nationalism.  Pride born out of patriotism spawns violence.  The bottom line, nationalism marginalizes and creates scapegoats that cannot defend themselves.

The underlying premise of nationalism is pride in a group based on geography’s artificial boundaries, which isn’t rational.  Countries are artificial creations of man.   A more reasonable approach is to understand that we are all people of this world.  We need to unite to solve the issues.

9) Logic, Not Ideology

Last for emphasis, logic, not ideology. Ideology is a system that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.  Most doctrines find their origin in mythology, not logic or fact. An ideology is a set of beliefs, which becomes the basis for religious and political factions. The ideas which underpin ideology are more often than not a religion. Whereas logic guides without the bias and prejudice of religious mythology and superstition.

The study of logical reasoning will guard against becoming a follower of Western organized religion.  Logic is an antidote to religion.

In Conclusion

Here is our list of guiding principles without religion:

1) Reason, Not Superstition
2) Ethics, Not Dogma
3) Respect, Not Worship
4) Courage, Not Fear
5) Morality, Not Religion
6) Clarity, Not Delusion
7) Skeptic, Not Cynic
8) Rationality, Not Nationality
9) Logic, Not Ideology

These guidelines provide antidotes to the superstition of religion.  They end the need for fear-based ideology and provide clarity and perspective against nationalism. These are remedies for superstition and mythology.  They eliminate the need for fear-based doctrine and provide clarity and perspective against nationalism.

If this article resonates, you’ll find more to spark your interest on our blog. To learn more about our organization, see our FAQ page.  Register on our site to receive discounts on training and unadvertised material. We comply with all GDPR guidelines and never share or sell your contact data.

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References

Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
The Dalai Lama, Wikipedia
Delusion, Wikipedia
Morality, Wikipedia
Respect, Wikipedia
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Wikipedia

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