The only possible basis for a sound morality is mutual tolerance and respect: tolerance of one another’s customs and opinions; respect for one another’s rights and feelings; awareness of one another’s needs.

A J Ayer, 1910–1989, Philosopher

A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

Albert Einstein, 1879–1955, physicist

Those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires.

Bertrand Russell, 1872–1970, philosopher, mathematician, social reformer and pacifist

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other ‘sins’ are invented nonsense.

Robert Heinlein, 1907–1988, novelist

Toleration is the best religion.

Victor Hugo, 1802–1885 poet, playwright, novelist, essayist

Live so that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.

Will Rogers, 1879–1935, Cherokee-American actor, comedian, social commentator

A Humanist Code of Ethics

Do no harm to the earth, she is your mother.
Being is more important than having.
Never promote yourself at another’s expense.
Hold life sacred; treat it with reverence.
Allow each person the digity of his or her labor.
Open your home to the wayfarer.
Be ready to receive your deepest dreams;
sometimes they are the speech of unblighted conscience.
Always make restitutions to the ones you have harmed.
Never think less of yourself than you are.
Never think that you are more than another.

Arthur Dobrin, Professor of Humanities