An Atheist’s Ten Commandments

Today, T.J. Kincaid—otherwise known as The Amazing Atheist—issued a challenge: “Write your own atheist ten commandments.”

While I’m not a fan of Kincaid’s profane, in-your-face style of delivery, this particular challenge was thought-provoking enough to warrant a response. The original Torah’s Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20 are useless—and, in context, the punishments for disobedience typically warrant death by stoning—so virtually anything can be considered an improvement. (Examples of superior commandments include those that actually predate the Torah, such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead’s Spell 125.)

With a challenge this easy, I found it difficult to pass up.

Here are this atheist’s ten commandments:

1. Question everything—even this.
2. Harm no sentient creature, and do what you can to lessen the suffering of sentient creatures.
3. Proportion your beliefs to the evidence.
4. Revise your beliefs in the face of new evidence.
5. Do not pretend to know things you do not know.
6. Learn something new every day.
7. Seek out opinions that differ from your own.
8. Appreciate and enjoy the one life you know you have.
9. Respect no authority and respect no gods.
10. Always be truthful—even when doing so is difficult.

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