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Ten AI-Generated Rules for Being Good

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I’ve often wondered if there is an objective list of ways to be a genuinely good person. Religious texts try to provide guidance on this from all sorts of different viewpoints, but each also tends to claim to be the only source of objective truth. With this in mind, I thought it would be interesting to ask an artificial intelligence chatbot about a list of Ten Commandments to be a good person, since I figured AI might provide a modern interpretation of its best “understanding” of objective truth. At this point, AI is far from perfect, but it still provides an interesting insight into what it—and the massive database of text it depends on—“considers” to be agreeable and ethical ways to be a good person in the modern world.

So, I asked OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The results are below and can also be viewed in their original form here.

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Me: What would a modern list of Ten Commandments look like, to establish the most ethical and agreeable ways to be a genuinely good person? 

ChatGPT: Creating a list of modern-day commandments to establish ethical and agreeable behavior is subjective and can vary depending on cultural, religious, and philosophical perspectives. However, here's a suggested set of principles that aims to promote a genuinely good and ethical way of living:

1. Treat others with kindness and empathy: Show compassion and respect for the feelings and well-being of all individuals.

2. Embrace diversity and inclusivity: Value and celebrate the differences among people, fostering a society that is fair, just, and inclusive.

3. Practice honesty and integrity: Be truthful, trustworthy, and act with integrity in all your dealings with others.

4. Seek knowledge and pursue personal growth: Continuously educate yourself, learn from different perspectives, and strive for personal development.

5. Cultivate empathy and active listening: Make an effort to understand others' experiences, listen attentively, and respond with empathy.

6. Foster environmental stewardship: Protect and preserve the natural world, promoting sustainable practices to ensure a healthy planet for future generations.

7. Promote social justice and equality: Advocate for fairness, justice, and equality for all individuals, regardless of their race, gender, religion, or other characteristics.

8. Reject violence and harm: Resolve conflicts peacefully and renounce any form of violence, physical or emotional, against others.

9. Practice responsible consumption: Make conscious choices that minimize harm to others, animals, and the environment, considering the impact of your actions.

10. Promote personal accountability: Take responsibility for your actions, acknowledge mistakes, and work towards personal growth and making amends when necessary.

Remember that this list is not exhaustive, and different individuals or groups may have additional principles they consider essential. The pursuit of goodness and ethical behavior is an ongoing journey that requires continuous reflection, adaptation, and openness to diverse perspectives.

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Of course, if I were to ask ChatGPT the exact same question repeatedly, the list would look a bit different each time. For that reason and others, ChatGPT “knows” to equivocate about the objectivity of such a list. But, if there is objective truth about being a good person, I would certainly think any higher power cited by religious texts would want us to pursue it using any resources we have available—including artificial intelligence.

 


Steve Hergert is a cyber security engineer and also works as the webmaster at Spectrum. Born and raised in Loma Linda, California, he now resides in Cleveland, Ohio.

Title image generated by Canva.com’s AI tool from prompt: “Moses receiving Ten Commandments by typing with ChatGPT on laptop” (June 26, 2023).

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