June 11, 2014

Simple Morality

What is the right thing to do?

Morality is simple. Virtually every major religion can be boiled down to one easy to understand concept. Don't be an asshole.

No one automatically deserves to be happy just because they are alive. You have to work at achieving happiness. How?

By not being an asshole. Some people find this easier to do than others.

Immanuel Kant once wrote, "Morality is not properly the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness."

Every religious text has the same advice for becoming worthy of having happiness flow into your life. They just don't state the Golden Rule in quite the same way I do.

You will find no mentions of assholes here, but you will certainly learn how to avoid becoming one.

It's simple.


"Regard your neighbour's gain as your gain, and your neighbour's loss as your own loss."

- Tai Shang Kan Ying Pien, 213-218


"In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you."

- Jesus Matthew 7:12


"I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all."

- Guru Granth Sahib, pg 1299


"We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

- Unitarian principle

Native Spirituality

"We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive."

- Chief Dan George


"Do not do unto others what is injurious to yourself."

- Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29


"One should treat all creatures of the world as one would like to be treated."
- Mahavira, Sutrakritanga

Note: I do not think that any of you are assholes. However, you probably know one or two, in which case you might kindly refer them to this post. If reading this rehabilitates even one A-hole, I will consider it to be a worthwhile effort.

Thank you.


  1. Anonymous6/11/2014

    On your travels, have you encountered a few holes of the ass variety?

    1. Anon,

      It seems that most everyone I meet face to face is a pretty decent human being.

      There are people in the news that fit the description, though.

  2. Replies
    1. T.M.,

      It may sound a bit like a kindergarten lesson, but if only each and every person strove to follow the Golden Rule, everything else would work out just fine.

      It may be simple, but it is not easy. But it is not impossible.

  3. Anonymous6/11/2014

    After reading the quotes from the many world religions, I am once again reminded of how their similarities outweigh their differences. If only we humans could meditate on this and implement it . . .as for assholes, I try to remember that when someone acts like a total jerk to me, I have two choices: 1) return their assholism and feel good for an hour or so and then feel like I'm a jerk for descending to their level or 2) try REALLY hard to return kindness for idiocy and (hopefully) feel good for a much longer time. I'm getting better at option #2 but it can be a struggle!

    1. Anon,

      If only we could realize that we are ONE, we are interconnected, and we are dependent on each other.

      I love your two choices. Choice 1 never feels good for long. Choice 2 is much harder, but in the end it really is the only thing that works for both parties involved.

      I commend you for your efforts, and thank you for sharing your approach.

  4. Anonymous6/12/2014

    Assholes will stay assholes I think. Preaching good moral values would mostly be to no use. Better stay away from them. I try to not become a asshole in responce to assholes. Falling down to asshole level is mentally corrupting. eurofarmer

    1. eurofarmer,

      Avoidance is definitely a worthy strategy. I try to keep away from soul-sucking individuals as much as I can, although thankfully I have met very few in my life. But you are right - meeting assholism with assholism is toxic for everyone involved.

      There are reasons for people to indulge in asshole-ish behaviour that can be forgiven. For example: brain damage, stress, poverty, ill health, a nasty childhood, etc. I always try to remember this when I run into asshole-like behaviour.

  5. Anonymous6/15/2014

    Loved this - simple advice is always the best advice!


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