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Okay, I’ve already rewritten the Unitarian 1936 Doctrine twice, and I thought the original one was good, but my first one was more modern, and my second one more meaningful, but on rereading it today it became obvious that it lacks sparkle. There are two renditions of an idea about helping people to approach achievable human goals that I have revolved in my mind many times: Jefferson’s “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and Jesus’ “Live life and live it more abundantly.” Those are the basic ideas implicit in the old Unitarian Doctrine, and in the current one too. They are excellent, and I liked the original Unitarian attempt to make it a more concrete statement for modern people. Here is the original


Unitarians Agree

  1. —in affirming the primacy of the free exercise of intelligence in religion, believing that in the long run the safest guide to truth is human intelligence.
  2. —in affirming the paramount importance for the individual of his own moral convictions and purposes.
  3. —in affirming that the social implications of religion are indispensable to its vitality and validity, as expressed in terms of concern for social conditions and the struggle to create a just social order.
  4. —in affirming the importance of the church as the organized expression of religion.
  5. —in affirming the necessity for worship as a deliberate effort to strengthen the individual’s grasp of the highest spiritual values of which he is aware.
  6. —in affirming the rational nature of the universe.

Below is my first rendition …


Unitarians Agree

  1. —in affirming the primacy of the free exercise of intelligence, believing that in the long run, the safest guide into a more secure future is human intelligence.
  2. —in affirming the paramount importance for the individual of his own moral convictions and purposes.
  3. —in affirming that the social implications of religion are crucial to its vitality and validity, as expressed in terms of concern for social conditions and the struggle to create and maintain a just social order.
  4. —in affirming the importance of the UU church as the organized expression of a profound religion.
  5. —in affirming the necessity for a deliberate effort to strengthen the individual’s grasp of the highest values of which he can become aware.
  6. —in affirming the orderly nature of the universe.

Below is my second rendition …


Some people imagine

  1. —the free exercise of a single human intelligence isn’t an ideal path to a secure future and a group of involved people with opposing world views are more likely to find better solutions to inevitable conflicts.
  2. —that individuals are too removed from their own invisible thinking processes to ever understand their own convictions and reasons.
  3. —that to create and maintain an optimal society with minimal suffering that idea needs to be stated as a clear goal that is publicly defined as the ideal.
  4. —that there needs to be an organized declaration by an acknowledged group that affirms and struggles to minimize suffering.
  5. —that a deliberate effort is needed to strengthen every individual’s understanding of the highest values of which he can become aware.
  6. —there is an orderly nature in the Universe and support humanity’s efforts to better understand the natural order.

Below is my third and current rendition … p. 33 Unitarians are “stubborn only in the resolve to resist the temptation to become fixed and final.” The renditions above are not indifferent, they are clear and concise statements of things to be valued by all people, but the current language is slightly different and a new rendition needs more sparkle. I am reordering the ideas to move from the general Universe to the specific moral human actions.


We Unitarian Universalists choose seek to:

  1. (6)—discover the orderly nature of the Universe so we may be in closer agreement greater harmony with its behaviors.
  2. (4)—seek to minimize all suffering and to enhance human health and abundance.
  3. (3)—state clearly that we want to create and maintain an optimal ideal society so we may all live within a sustainable world.
  4. (2)—acknowledge that individuals are too removed from their own invisible thinking processes to ever clearly understand their own convictions and reasons.
  5. (1)—believe acknowledge that a group of involved people with opposing conflicting views are more likely to find solutions to conflicts than a single person an isolated individual.
  6. (5)—make a deliberate effort to strengthen every individual’s understanding of the highest values of which he they can become aware.

    Below is the above list is rewritten without the strikeouts.


We Unitarian Universalists seek to:

  1. (6)—discover the orderly nature of the Universe so we may be in greater harmony with its behaviors.
  2. (4)—minimize all suffering and to enhance human health and abundance.
  3. (3)—create and maintain an ideal society so we may all live within a sustainable world.
  4. (2)—acknowledge that individuals are too removed from their own invisible thinking processes to ever clearly understand their own convictions and reasons.
  5. (1)—acknowledge that a group of involved people with conflicting views are more likely to find solutions to conflicts than an isolated individual.
  6. (5)—make a deliberate effort to strengthen every individual’s understanding of the highest values of which they can become aware.

That is another attempt to state a personal point of view that might be an effective guide to UUs.

[Update 2019-05-13, the day after its first publication. In keeping with the page 33 quote above, and the new choice 5, I as an individual choose to invite others to help state these new choice goals in a way that would be more acceptable to Unitarian Universalists.]