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Discussion 4 to Reflections on Ethics 14
Bernard Gert's New Ten Commandments

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In the February 2006 edition of Playboy, the Dartmouth College professor of philosophy, Bernard Gert listed a new ten commandments that he suggested were more suitable for display then the biblical commandments.

  1. Do not kill.
  2. Do not cause pain.
  3. Do not disable.
  4. Do not deprive of freedom.
  5. Do not deprive of pleasure.
  6. Do not deceive.
  7. Keep your promises.
  8. Do not cheat.
  9. Obey the law.
  10. Do your duty. (i.e. what is required by your job, social role of special circumstances.)

Gert noted that breaking any the first five will certainly hurt another person, and breaking any of the second five makes it more likely that another will be hurt. While circumstances may make it necessary to break one of these commandments, you should only break one if you are prepared to permit everyone in the world to break the same rule in the same circumstances.