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Appendix B: Our Ten Non-commandments 
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 Appendix B: Our Ten Non-commandments
Appendix B: Our Ten Non-commandments

Please use this thread to discuss the above section of Lex Bayer and John Figdor’s “Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-first Century.”

You’re also welcome to create new threads however you see fit.



Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:25 pm
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Post Re: Appendix B: Our Ten Non-commandments
Quote:
Enter the "10 'Non-Commandments' Contest," in which atheists were asked to offer modern alternatives to the famous Decalogue. And, to sweeten the pot, the contest offered $10,000 in moolah to the winning would-be Moses. (If it helped boost atheists' public image and drum up publicity for his book, all the better, Bayer said.) The contest drew more than 2,800 submissions from 18 countries and 27 U.S. states, according to Bayer and Figdor. The proposed "non-commandments" ranged from the quizzical ("Don't follow your nature") to the quixotic ("Thriving in space is the ultimate goal"). A team of 13 judges selected 10 of the more sober and serious submissions, and announced the winners Friday.

12/20/14
http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/19/living/at ... ?hpt=hp_t2


Quote:
Here are the "Ten Non-Commandments" chosen as the winners:
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.



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Post Re: Appendix B: Our Ten Non-commandments
Since I'm not reading the book, hope I didn't screw things up by posting the above. I assume these 10 contest winners are different from what is offered in the book.

I'm interested in the perspective of what could have replaced the original 10 commandments (several versions of course) that are in the Bible that would have made a huge difference in human history. From that viewpoint many of these 10 commandments are terrible, they are completely modern. Folks from that time period several thousand years ago would not have been able to understand some of them at all. They wouldn't know what the "scientific method" is. Also take this one:

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.

The prevailing attitudes towards one's enemies in Biblical times was they were sub-human and so this commandment would not apply to them. They would still feel free to slaughter, rape, and enslave others despite that golden rule because they are of a lower animal status. One can see these attitudes during slavery in America: "All men are created equal" applied only to property owning white males. Extremely explicit prohibitions would have been required to get their attention and change morality. Something like "Thou shalt not enslave or rape anyone, whether family, friend, or enemy of any race or culture for they have exactly the same status as you." Imagine the difference that commandment would have made if it was incorporated into ethical systems thousands of years ago.

Or take this one:
10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.
The response in Biblical times, as in Nazi Germany, might have been "I killed a huge number of (insert ethnic group) which improved life for my children." Obviously much more clarity would have been needed in that commandment to eliminate those sorts of interpretations.

If we could rewrite that part of the Bible, what other commandments would been comprehended at that time and improved human history?



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Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:59 pm
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Post Re: Appendix B: Our Ten Non-commandments
Of course, Bayer and Figdor are trying for commandments that will function better in the 21st Century than they believe the originals do. The 10 Cs need updating. No, these new non-commandments (actually, the list you posted differ from B & F's statements in that most of them are indeed commandments) wouldn't have had a lot of traction in the ancient world. That we could argue that today they do have traction might indicate we've made progress. Anyway, I like to think so. The list that supposedly won the contest is a good one, but it's not that tight, contains overlap, and that makes me think that first off, we might want to cut back on the number, maybe to five. The Golden Rule (no. 7) has done pretty well all by itself as an all-purpose ethical commandment.



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Post Re: Appendix B: Our Ten Non-commandments
Hi, long time no post. I knew this book was being discussed here on BT. Saturday I was listening to The TED Radio hour and the show hit right into some of the themes of the book; especially the discussion on what the 10 Commandments ought to be. I will try to post a link to it at the end of my post. The speakers were 4 favorites of mine: Sally Kohn, Krista Tippett, Robert Wright, Karen Armstrong, and Daniel Goleman.

The name of the episode is:
Just A Little Nicer
Compassion is a universal virtue, but is it innate or taught? Have we lost touch with it? Can we be better at it? In this hour, TED speakers explore compassion: its roots, its meaning and its future.


http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/


And a Merry, Happy Holiday and end of the year!


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


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Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:47 pm
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Post Re: Appendix B: Our Ten Non-commandments
I heard snatches of that broadcast. You're right, it was in line with the perspective of the authors of this book. A good Christmas to you, too.



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