In 1963 the magazine New Society ran an article by Ronald Fletcher, then a lecturer in sociology at Bedford College, London, entitled “A Humanist’s Decalogue”. The author was suggesting an updated version of the Biblical list of dos and don’ts as a set of non-commandments – “principles on which the individual must work out his/her own conduct when faced by particular problems”. The article was one of a series dealing especially with young people’s values. Fletcher’s four page article expanded on each non-commandment. Ronald Fletcher finished his academic career as Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Reading.
Fletcher’s list made an impression on me, at that time a lad of twenty-something years of age, and I kept the article. I have it still, and although it’s brown with age and getting increasingly tatty, its content still seems relevant to me.