Strangely, though, many people who call themselves atheists spend excessive amounts of time thinking about God (and gods).
Consider, for example, John Figdor, a humanist chaplain at Stanford University, and Lex Bayer, an AirBnB executive.
These two atheists have now given unto the world their version of the Ten Commandments, CNN reports.
Their totally different Decalogue is called the 10 “non-commandments.” It comes from a larger book by called “Atheist Heart, Humanist Mind” (currently ranked #13,881 among all books at Amazon — but #11 in the atheism category, which apparently exists).
“A lot of atheists’ books are about whether to believe in God or not,” Bayer told CNN. “We wanted to consider: Okay, so you don’t believe in God, what’s next? And that’s actually a much harder question.”
Figdor and Bayer sponsored a “10 ‘Non-Commandments’ Contest” to generate ideas for their new commandments and to drum up advance publicity for their book. Prizes totaled $10,000.
Over 2,800 contestants from 18 countries entered their commandment ideas.
Submissions that somehow did not make the cut include “Don’t follow your nature” and “Thriving in space is the ultimate goal.”
Here, according to CNN, are the 10 winning non-commandments:
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 of 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 recognize 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.
Note that logic or cohesion are definitively not among the strong points of this set of commandments. For example, No. 1 and No. 9 completely contradict the whole concept of commandments.
Also, hilariously and poetically, the fifth atheist commandment manages to mention God.