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Monday, October 31, 2011

Atheist 10 Commandments

These commandments were developed by Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller fame):

1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.
2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let's scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I'll be there to help.)
3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to (G)od is now quite simply respecting yourself.)
4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you're religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you're a Vegas magician, that'll be the day with the lowest grosses.)
5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)
6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that "Thou shalt not kill" only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it's all human life.)
7. Keep your promises. (If you can't be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don't make that deal.)
8. Don't steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)
9. Don't lie. (You know, unless you're doing magic tricks and it's part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)
10. Don't waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it'll make you bugnutty.

Do these cover the ethical implications of the religious 10 commandments? What is missing?

1 comment:

  1. A quick scan, without lining them directly up against the "official" 10 Commandments, leads me to think that, yes, they do pretty well capture the ethics of the Moses Ten Commandments.

    One challenge is that because I am a Catholic/Protestant crossbreed, I never could keep straight their two versions of the list. (I know that the Catholic one excludes "Thou shalt not make graven images" as its own commandment, while Protestants included it way back, sort of out of spite.)