After 2,800 Entries, Here’s a Secular Version of the Ten Commandments

To promote their new book Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-first Century, authors Lex Bayer (a Silicon Valley entrepreneur) and John Figdor (the Humanist chaplain at Stanford University) held a contest in which atheists could suggest their own Commandments. Each winner would receive $1,000. (Disclosure: I was one of the judges.)

After 2,800 entries, the final list of Commandments is now out. What do you think?

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 over 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 recognise 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.

Even if any individual idea there strikes you the wrong way (the commenters at The Blaze are already spinning them in the worst possible ways), I feel we’d be living in a better society if God delivered these rules to Moses instead… in no small part because there’s no death penalty for violating these rules.

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