Ten Atheistic Commandments

I’ve seen this around a number of places now. My immediate reaction upon reading these the other day was…bleah.

1. Thou SHALT NOT believe all thou art told.

Then don’t believe this list, either…because there’s a friggin’ agenda.

2. Thou SHALT seek knowledge and truth constantly.

Which means that anything that doesn’t fit in the currently accepted definition of “truth” is irrational and a falsehood. Why did the pendulum swing so far away from science? Was it not pushed by decades of this that and the other scientific toy? The belief that science was the only rational tool for improving people’s lives?

3. Thou SHALT educate thy fellow man in the Laws of Science.

Thou SHALT force your beliefs down someone else’s throat. Science doesn’t understand what’s going on any better than religion does–people need both spirituality and rationality. The world works the way it works regardless of whether physics groks it or not. Science makes for a good description of the world in certain, limited areas…but so does religion. Science can tell you it’s OK to hurt people who aren’t genetically ideal…science can tell you it’s OK to come up with biological weapons (as long as they aren’t really intended to be used, of course!) Science can justify dehumanizing “stupid” people.

4. Thou SHALT NOT forget the atrocities committed in the name of god.

And will you forgive them or not? Religion is a tool that people use. Mistakes have been made. Science is a tool that people use. Mistakes have been made. Shall we not forget the atrocities committed in the name of rationality? Hiroshima? Holocaust, anyone?

5. Thou SHALT leave valuable contributions for future generations.

Because they’re damned well going to grow up to appreciate it, whether they like it or not. Was it religion that invented the internal combustion engine?

6. Thou SHALT live in peace with thy fellow man.

Even if that peace is oppression. Even if your leaders are actively destroying the things you hold dear. Pacifism has flaws, too. Is this really something you want people to believe in?

7. Thou SHALT live this one life thou hast to its fullest.

Even if it means doing so at someone else’s expense. I don’t see anything in here about compassion…kindness…appreciation…just peace and contributions.

8. Thou SHALT follow a Personal Code of Ethics.

And what does that mean, exactly?

9. Thou SHALT maintain a strict separation between Church and State.

Because it’s a great rallying point between “Us” and “Them.”

10. Thou SHALT support those who follow these commandments.

And nobody else?

I don’t care for the Old Testament’s 10 commandments, either, but these are just instructions for turning the atheism/religion spectrum into a self-sustaining Middle Eastern conflict. Path to unendingly unpleasant place, good intentions, I’m sure.

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3 Comments

  1. ***Dave Hill

    I see where you’re coming from on this, De — if taken as an exclusionary, authoritarian, or self-righteous set of “This is why we, in lockstep, are better than you,” then, yes, not good things. I do think that it is possible (as with lists of most moral/ethical guidelines) to construe these in a fashion that is positive.

  2. DeAnna

    Yes…as long as you follow your own conscience first. But if you’re following your own conscience first, lists like these only reaffirm what you already know.

  3. ***Dave Hill

    Well, they serve as a nice reminder, which sometimes is necessary. For me, at least. 🙂

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