Dawkinswatch

Exposing Evolution As A Mess and Atheism As Hot-Air!

Atheists Please Improve The Ten Commandments

with 22 comments

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Well this should be fun, I challenge Atheist to improve on the ten commandments.

 I want to give enough room to think and I will not say much.

But let us go to Nicolo Machiavelli first ” the ends justify the means” and “it is better to be feared than loved.”ese were some of the commnds he gave to the Medicis in his infamous “The Prince”.  He was going in the opposite direction from the tenth commandments and he knew it.

The gates of hell have been opened and I shudder to think what will said.

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Written by dawkinswatch

February 26, 2008 at 3:31 pm

22 Responses

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  1. Here are my 10 commandments:

    1. Do not treat other human beings as property or solely as means to fulfilling your own ends. Seek happiness in ways that do not cause harm to others.

    2. Respect and protect the natural world we live in.

    3. Respect other people and avoid causing harm to their bodies or other possessions.

    4. Respect people’s right to express their views, even when you disagree with them. Tolerate intolerant people, but do not let their views go unchallenged, or tolerate expressions of their intolerance which may lead to harm to others.

    5. Defend yourself and others when necessary, but do not use excessive force to do so.

    6. Love, value and care for your friends and family, but do not be prejudiced against strangers or those who appear different to you.

    7. Take particular care of children and young people, and ensure that they have both time to play and an education that allows them to fulfil their potential in their own unique way.

    8. Be scrupulous about what you believe, and always consider that you may be wrong. Seek out the truth and make a positive contribution to humankind’s search for truth and knowledge. Do not let ego, authority, wishful thinking. claims of sacredness or an unwillingness to admit that you are wrong stand between you and the truth.

    9. Act in ways that are consistent with what you believe to be true. Examine the likely consequences of your actions in order to do as much good and as little harm as possible. If you find that your actions have been harmful, do what you can to make amends.

    10. Seek to grow throughout your life in love, compassion, forgiveness, honesty and knowledge of the world and the people in it.

    Before you ask, these are based on my atheistic upbringing and what I have learnt about how humans, and the world they live in, work. They are therefore 100% humanly inspired rather than divinely or religiously inspired (except insofar as religious humans have contributed to historical debates around morality).

    Why do you assume atheists are Machiavellian?

    lirone

    February 26, 2008 at 4:47 pm

  2. “But let us go to Nicolo Machiavelli first ” the ends justify the means” and “it is better to be feared than loved.””

    I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

    Joseph K. Frantz

    February 26, 2008 at 6:38 pm

  3. @ lirone
    Well done! I love them all, but if we’re going to put them on stone tablets, I think we need to shorten them up a bit.

    #8 is my fav.

    Lee

    February 26, 2008 at 7:18 pm

  4. While I have no fundamental disagreement with some of the tenets put forth in the Ten Commandments (no murder, sounds good to me), I don’t really need the fear of almighty retribution to make me want to hold true to such basic and quite frankly OBVIOUS moral codes. What a shame to believe that human kind can only be good when operating under the fear of retribution and divine punishment.

    I might wonder why you are so threatened by what I, as an atheist, do or don’t believe. Is your faith so insecure that you must rail fruitlessly against those who think and know something other than that which you do? Must you fall back on cheap school yard tricks of “Nanananana…you can’t write better commandments than MY god, you suck!!” and insults based on the works of Machiavelli, who wrote tracts of politic genius as opposed to works with religious overtones? Me thinks thou dost compare apples to organes…

    I also agree with everything Lirone posted…so here are 10 of quotes from authors I respect deeply that I try to live by:

    1. To thine own self be true (W. Shakespeare)

    2. Beauty is Truth,–Truth Beauty,–that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. (Keats)

    3. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (Jefferson et al)

    4. The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. (Jane Austen)

    5. If equal affection cannot be, / Let the more loving one be me.(W.H. Auden)

    6. I walk. I talk. I shop. I sneeze. I’m gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back. There’s trees in the desert since you moved out, and I don’t sleep on a bed of bones. (Buffy, “Restless,” Joss Whedon)

    7. “O wonder!/ How many goodly creatures are there here!/ How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world / That has such people in’t!” (W. Shakespeare, “The Tempest”)

    8. Heresy is another word for freedom of thought.
    (Graham Greene)

    9. “This isn’t about wishes. This is about choices… Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?” (Joss Whedon, Buffy, Chosen)

    10. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
    grievances. (US Constitution…)

    Sly

    February 26, 2008 at 7:46 pm

  5. yeah, what the heck did the machiavelli comment have to do with any of this? Please clarify

    Lee

    February 26, 2008 at 7:47 pm

  6. Lee- My assumption is that Dawkinswatch believes that without the Ten Commandments, the natural place for atheists to turn to for moral code (not, you know, say, POLITICAL code) would be Machiavelli. Ah, yes, from the Bible to the Price..such a natural progression in logic.

    So I suppose if I also deny the necessity of following the teachings of the Gospels, I had better start brushing up on Sun Tzu’s Art of War for how to live my day to day life.

    Sly

    February 26, 2008 at 8:01 pm

  7. From my understanding, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is an excellent guide to how to run a business. Having never read it, I can’t guarantee it is true, but as it was explained to me in a Quality Management class; it’s not enough to conquer people and become their leader because you would always end with dissent. You must actually make your leadership result in the improvement of life for those ruled over.

    Lee

    February 26, 2008 at 8:08 pm

  8. When you think about it, if the Art of War does focus on planning, strategy, limited losses and improving conditions, this really isn’t a bad code to live by. Though, I’m sure there is some killing stuff in there that you might want to skip in terms of life lessons.

    Lee

    February 26, 2008 at 8:11 pm

  9. Lee- Word. Machiavelli says much of the same.

    Sly

    February 26, 2008 at 8:13 pm

  10. I think all of the commandments can be boiled down to one very simple creed:

    “When presented with a choice, choose love.”

    I can’t see how that puts me on the expressline to Hell. But I’m sure someone will try to justify it.

    jester

    February 26, 2008 at 8:31 pm

  11. Lee – good point! Having said that, technology as well as morality has moved on, so instead of stone tablets we could have an open-source webpage… 😉

    lirone

    February 26, 2008 at 10:38 pm

  12. Jester It is good to see you guys on the site, I have not see you guys for a while.

    dawkinswatch

    February 26, 2008 at 10:48 pm

  13. Actually, Now that I think about it, they should definitely NOT be on stone tablets. The fact that there are no absolutes and that there are nuance in every situation should be reflected in the medium these commandments are presented in. I suggest pencil and paper with plenty of room in the margins!

    Lee

    February 26, 2008 at 10:56 pm

  14. 1 Think first. If you don’t have a reason try to find an explanation.
    2 Never follow command morality. Ever. If the only reason to do something is because you were told to you probably shouldn’t do it.
    3 Don’t abuse power. Use it for what it is to be used for and take the praise, salary and job as its own reward.
    4 Don’t fear death- it will get us all eventually. Plus you’ll still die, but you won’t be able to live how you want.
    5 Knowledge is power- it will provide you the chance to stop things that in the past that would normally kill you. Plus it provides cool toys. Cultivate it like you would a tuffula tree.
    6 Being good is its own reward.
    7 If you have to ask yourself “would I like this done to me?” the answer is probably no.
    8 Fight evil when you can- if you let it be it will spread unchecked
    9 Evil is pain, suffering, humiliation, death- all done for personal gain. Don’t be evil.
    10 Not everyone is like you. Some people don’t like decision making, some are obcessed with knowledge, some are dreamers… don’t force people to be just like you (personality).

    Samuel Skinner

    February 27, 2008 at 5:53 am

  15. Now llook at the original commandents and compare them with what has been said, which are better?

    dawkinswatch

    February 28, 2008 at 5:59 pm

  16. Sins of commission – the originals:

    -legitimise slavery
    -put women on the same level as donkeys as male posessions
    -are 30-40% about paying homage to a jealous and vengeful god (neither of which are attractive attributes for anybody, let alone an omnipotent being)
    -are rather repetitive

    Sins of omission – the originals don’t mention:

    -searching for the truth
    -considering the effect of your actions on other people
    -protecting the natural world
    -recognising that other people are different and have different views
    -seeking to become a better person

    So I much prefer the alternatives on this thread.

    lirone

    February 28, 2008 at 8:50 pm

  17. Plus we won’t kill you for not obeying ours.

    Samuel Skinner

    February 29, 2008 at 11:36 pm

  18. Hi Dawkinswatch –

    Well, you’ve had a variety of thoughtful replies to your challenge, and as far as I can tell the gates of hell are not open!

    Would you still claim that the originals are better?

    And would you still claim that atheists are by definition Machiavellian?

    Lirone

    Lirone

    March 11, 2008 at 5:54 pm

  19. Lirone,

    Which of the above are better than the ten commandments and have we lived up to them?

    dawkinswatch

    March 12, 2008 at 5:35 pm

  20. Well, you asked people to make suggestions that were better than the originals, and that’s what I think I did. (I like many of the other suggestions too!) I think they’re a positive improvement for the reasons I gave in comment 16.

    And yes, these are the principles that I try to live by. I don’t always live up to them perfectly, but then some are quite challenging – e.g. there’s always more that you can do to protect the natural world, and seeking for truth is an ongoing process.

    I obviously can’t comment on whether you or anyone else lives up to them….

    lirone

    March 12, 2008 at 8:40 pm

  21. […] when I asked my Atheist buddies to come up wth the new ten commandments ? Here is a […]

  22. […] Well someone has already written new ten commandments. […]


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