In this lesson students will evaluate whether some rules are more important than others and use moral dilemmas to explore whether rules always help. They will learn how humanists believe rules can often be helpful, but that we should also always think about the consequences of our behaviour when deciding how to act. They will go on to learn how many humanists follow the Golden Rule (treat others as you would like to be treated yourself), explore why humanists think this rule is so common because it evolved naturally alongside our capacity to reason and empathise, and investigate, though writing a letter, how humanists might respond to criticisms of the Golden Rule. Download
Can students say where these rules have come from and order them according to how important they are? Download
Is lying always wrong? A dilemma to get students to explore whether we should take rules or consequences into account when we act. Download
The Golden Rule
A student handout on the Golden Rule, including examples from around the world and a map on which to locate them. Download
Golden Rule letter
Can students write a reply to a letter from a child who has used the golden rule inappropriately and see how using the Golden Rule means taking other people's tastes and preferences into account? Download
Humanist responses: rules
Can students fill in the speech bubbles with humanist responses to statements and questions about rules? Download
Two examples of humanist guidance for living a good life to use as stimuli to inspire students to write their own. Download
What makes something right or wrong?
(Age 11+) A short animation about how humanists make decisions about how to act, and why they believe we should be proud that morality is a human invention. Watch
Why should we be good to others? How can I know the difference between right and wrong? Download
Ethics: The Golden Rule
What is the Golden Rule and where do humanists think it came from? Download
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.