There is no god but man. (And here “man” is in the old general sense of “a human being or all humanity”.)
Man has no rights. Man has no duties. Man has no purpose and no goals. The universe does not give or demand any of these, and outside the universe there is nothing, so nothing from there either.
Do as thou wilt shall, then, be the whole of the law. But the law must be moderated, because that law gets complicated when there is more than one doer. When many human beings interact, their wilts, their wishes, their wills come into conflict: they cannot all do as they want to do. Thus there needs be a second formulation of the law —
Do as thou wilt, as long as ye trespass not on this same right of all others, shall be the whole of the law. And still even this shall not wholly do, lest all of humanity be frozen in inaction by the will of a fractious few. What then is the law, needs to consider the maximum of human happiness, carefully measured; but those measures must not forget this all is built on the simplest, truest and most right law of all: do as thou wilt shall be the heart of the law. The contradiction of this first law is the chief origin of wrong and crime; the expansion of this the birth of good and justice.
There is no god but man; and what she will is the heart of the law; not a law of nature, but the law of man, the only law there is.
* * *
I think (partly in rank ignorance, admittedly) that I’d much rather take Crowley’s Thelema (of which this is a bastardized “humanist version” of mine: a few famous phrases of his in a tapioca of my own cooking) or I’d even take LaVey’s Satanism as a rudimentary, superficial moral guide; both rather than that specter of the distasteful past Jesus, illuminated into translucency by two millennia of theology.
It’s a shame, really; the most sensible religious leader I’ve ever heard or read expounding his or her doctrines (see Wikinews, Point of Inquiry) is Peter Gilmore… the High Priest of the Church of Satan. (“Satanism is absolutely compatible with science!”) Try telling that to people who think you don’t care for any religions.
“Well, Mr. Atheist, surely you have some religious figure you can say you admire, even a teensy weensy little bit?”
“Er um well there’s…”
“Oh, the Dalai Lama, maybe? He’s as good as the Pope! Or what about Mother Teresa? Joseph Smith? Jim Jones? How about Jesus, hey?”
“Oh! From the Bible?”