Friday, December 26, 2014

The Atheist Ten Commandments

These are actually called the "Ten Non-Commandments," as chosen in this contest from "Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart."

Anyway, from CNN, here are the winners. (My thanks to Jim Harris for the link.)
1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.

2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.

3. The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.

4. Every person has the right to control of their body.

5. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.

6. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.

7. Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.

8. We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.

9. There is no one right way to live.

10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.

Not bad. Much better than the original set! I think there's one missing, though - a commandment suggested by Mark Twain:
So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: "Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbor's religion is." Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code.

I'd replace #9 with that, not because the 9th "Non-Commandment" isn't wise, but just because human beings really seem to need Mark Twain's addition.

Of course, many of these aren't commandments at all. And since Christians didn't let the Golden Rule stop them from committing atrocities, it's hard to imagine that this would have worked, either. It's an interesting thought-experiment, though.


jeff725 said...

What are your thoughts on George Carlin's "10 Commandments?"

Instead of 10 things, I try as best I can to live by 3 things:

1) It DOES MATTER how you treat people ( and Bo Pelini wonders why he is no longer employed at the Univ. of Nebraska)

2) The credo of a West Point cadet : "I will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate anyone who does." (Wall St. and the GOP have a habit of overlooking this)

3) Replace your divot. (I guess it's asking too much of Big Oil to apply by simple golfers' etiquette to the environment)

Merry Xmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa (belated) and Happy New Year.

WCG said...

Happy holidays, Jeff. Yes, when I posted this, I figured you might bring up George Carlin.

Frankly, I'm not big on "commandments" at all. Commandments are directed by an authority. Should I obey an authority without question? Of course not. But if there are good reasons for these things, why not just tell me those reasons?

Laws are different. Laws, we decide ourselves. You don't have to agree with a law to obey it. Obviously, we're social animals, so we have to live together, but we're not always going to agree on everything (or on anything?).

Commandments always rub me the wrong way, because I insist on asking, "Why?" So I kind of like that these were called the "Ten Non-Commandments." It's not very catchy, though.

"Rules to Live By" might be better. I like yours. :)