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New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century 

Do you think the Ten Commandments should be updated to reflect modern times?
Yes: They are outdated 33%  33%  [ 3 ]
No: They are just find the way they are 22%  22%  [ 2 ]
Maybe: I want to change some and keep others 44%  44%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 9

New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century 
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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
DWill wrote:
Okay, so not 10 min. after that last post, I found that the mailman had left Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart on my doorstep. One thing I can clear up now: the authors list their 10 Non-commandments toward the end of the book.

You know how you think you can judge a book when you first look at it, not by its cover alone but not by a whole lot of investigation, either? I have a favorable feeling about this book--for what little that is worth at this point!


Good to know, you can tell something by skimming through it a bit, one thing I don't like about ebooks.



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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
I've now got my book and Dexter should have his within a few days.



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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
I've ordered this book as well, the actual book.

Amazon charges $27 for the hardcover versus $17 for the Kindle version. But you can get the brand new book from third party sellers (on Amazon) for about $13. There's nothing about that pricing makes sense to me.


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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
Yes, $27 is pretty damn steep. The author sent me a copy so I lucked out on this one. But had he not sent me a copy I'd have gone for a used version or at least the Kindle version.

We do have plenty of book discussions where the books are either free online or relatively cheap through Amazon.com. For this one I think the price will be worth the great discussion. But we'll try to have the next non-fiction discussion a bit cheaper.



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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
If you do own a Kindle, you can download the introduction for free. It's subtitled: Questioning Everything.


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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
Chris OConnor wrote:
My issue is that the "10 Commandments" were commandments from a non-existent deity. So I have no interest in revising "fake" commandments. They should go in the garbage with no hesitation.


Well, now, the existence of the person, place, or thing where the message comes from doesn't necessarily make the message meaningless. Just because Gandalf is a made-up character, doesn't make any of the things he said unimportant literary or personally enriching.

Guy Montag's lessons and words in FAHRENHEIT 451are no less captivating when I consider that he's no more than ink of the page.

This is not me saying one way or the other the value of the 10 Commandments; however, the non-existence of the Judeo-Christian God does not, in my opinion, necessarily mean to toss out the entire thing without thought. But that's just my opinion.


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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
You make a good point, Movie Nerd. But I don't know if anyone is saying, "Throw them out," in the sense that the Big 10 have no validity or meaning. The authors are talking about updating them, after all. The way I'm going to look at their use of the 10 Commandments as a platform is as a hook they're using in an increasingly crowded market for books offering alternatives to religion. You'd like for people to buy your book if you've taken the time to write one, and so they think they've come up with a pretty good theme to draw people in. Where they end up, with their 10 Non-commandments, is a far cry from the old 10, so they do appear to be fashioning something new, rather than trading on the notoriety of the original ones that Moses carried down the mountain.

However, implicitly they do validate the idea of 10 Commandments as a statement of foundational beliefs. So perhaps they would see the 10 Cs in a evolutionary context, with the old ones having served a purpose but now needing some rather drastic revision.



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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
DWill wrote:
You make a good point, Movie Nerd. But I don't know if anyone is saying, "Throw them out," in the sense that the Big 10 have no validity or meaning. The authors are talking about updating them, after all. The way I'm going to look at their use of the 10 Commandments as a platform is as a hook they're using in an increasingly crowded market for books offering alternatives to religion. You'd like for people to buy your book if you've taken the time to write one, and so they think they've come up with a pretty good theme to draw people in. Where they end up, with their 10 Non-commandments, is a far cry from the old 10, so they do appear to be fashioning something new, rather than trading on the notoriety of the original ones that Moses carried down the mountain.

However, implicitly they do validate the idea of 10 Commandments as a statement of foundational beliefs. So perhaps they would see the 10 Cs in a evolutionary context, with the old ones having served a purpose but now needing some rather drastic revision.


That is very true DWill. But I wasn't referring to the authors of the book. I was referencing what one of the posters said regarding their beliefs on the Commandments.

I plan on buying this book, if I can afford to order it the next time I'm at Barnes & Noble.


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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
Oh, right, my mistake.



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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
I suspect this book has very little to do with the commandments anyway. Maybe the authors are saying we need to "Rewrite the Ten Commandments" in a metaphoric way.

By the way, you don't need a Kindle to read the introduction. It's available on the web site.

http://www.atheistmindhumanistheart.com/sample-chapter/


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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
geo wrote:
I suspect this book has very little to do with the commandments anyway. Maybe the authors are saying we need to "Rewrite the Ten Commandments" in a metaphoric way.


If I may assume for a moment that the ideology from which the authors are coming to us (and ideology is more than likely the wrong word I want to use here, but please bear with me) is that of an athiest who lives morally but needs no list of rules conscious in the back of their minds, then yes, I would of assumed they were talking metaphorically. In fact, I would assume that the premis of the book is based off of the basic philosophical principle of the Commandments as opposed to any sort of semiotics or real live religious discussion.


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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
Since we're not talking about the book until December, maybe discussing the 10 Commandments would be a related way of filling the time. I should probably know more about them, especially about their historical importance. There was a book written from a non-religious viewpoint a few years ago that had some good press, but I haven't been able to find the title.

When I look at these imperatives from Exodus I see principles that relate too narrowly to one culture at a certain point in time. I don't mean that gave them no relevance for other times--obviously that's not the case--but they aren't universal enough in my view. The Lord God is the God of Israel and is the only authority acceptable. We all know what would happen to anyone who chose to follow another god: basically, there would be a required violation of the 6th Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." Also narrow is the injunction against graven images. This is the kind of purely cultural preference that makes no sense as a universal, merely creating 'evil others' for a trivial reason. Several of the other Commandments reflect solid ethical principles, but, yes, they can be improved upon. The authors of this book go in a more general direction rather than giving orders on specifics such as honoring one's parents. I find that to be a more effective approach.



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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
DWill wrote:
We all know what would happen to anyone who chose to follow another god: basically, there would be a required violation of the 6th Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."

How about "thou shalt not ask an exorbitant price for a book?" I haven't seen the book myself.
I think Dwill the commandment is better understood "thou shalt not murder."
The sanction for premeditated murder was death for the perpetrator.I think it's clear in context that the writer understood a distinction here between murder and an equivalent judicial sanction.
If someone owed a debt and refused to pay we wouldn't consider it theft for a court to rule on enforcing some sort of collateral compensation for the one who was owed the debt. This example is a bit fraught in light of banks and foreclosures and the historic murkiness and related ethics there.
It's the principle I'm thinking about.
As you say Israel was a theocracy and that's a big difference.Another difference which is obvious is who can command a naturalist about anything? The State can, but really it's a subjective choice generally with obvious exceptions like murder.
I suppose the whole exercise is attempting to replace the original commandments with secular humanist values. A better title might be "The Ten Suggestions" for modern secularists.
I imagine things like peer pressure and contemporary cultural values play a significant psychological role in our thinking and behaviour.



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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
Flann 5 wrote:
DWill wrote:
We all know what would happen to anyone who chose to follow another god: basically, there would be a required violation of the 6th Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."

How about "thou shalt not ask an exorbitant price for a book?" I haven't seen the book myself.
I think Dwill the commandment is better understood "thou shalt not murder."
The sanction for premeditated murder was death for the perpetrator.I think it's clear in context that the writer understood a distinction here between murder and an equivalent judicial sanction.
If someone owed a debt and refused to pay we wouldn't consider it theft for a court to rule on enforcing some sort of collateral compensation for the one who was owed the debt. This example is a bit fraught in light of banks and foreclosures and the historic murkiness and related ethics there.
It's the principle I'm thinking about.
As you say Israel was a theocracy and that's a big difference.Another difference which is obvious is who can command a naturalist about anything? The State can, but really it's a subjective choice generally with obvious exceptions like murder.
I suppose the whole exercise is attempting to replace the original commandments with secular humanist values. A better title might be "The Ten Suggestions" for modern secularists.
I imagine things like peer pressure and contemporary cultural values play a significant psychological role in our thinking and behaviour.


Well, I got the book for around 10 bucks hardcover, so there's often a way around the high asking price. Although I may tend to be a cheapskate, with books I'm often a little more willing to pay high if it might mean the authors will get a bigger chunk of the sales. Kind of like our food--I pay higher if the folks who produced the food get more of the profit, vs. various middlemen.

Whether the translation is murder or kill, God has in mind acceptable reasons to kill other human beings that will appall almost everyone today. I mean that in parts of the Bible he does, not that "God" is some unitary figure throughout the book. We certainly have no hesitation labeling the killing done by IS as murder, murder done in the name of wiping out infidels.



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Post Re: New Book: Atheist Mind Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century
DWill wrote:
Whether the translation is murder or kill, God has in mind acceptable reasons to kill other human beings that will appall almost everyone today. I mean that in parts of the Bible he does, not that "God" is some unitary figure throughout the book. We certainly have no hesitation labeling the killing done by IS as murder, murder done in the name of wiping out infidels.

Hi Dwill,
I'm not sure how relevant the original commandments actually are to this thread but I'll just respond to your comments.
I'm sure it is shocking to the modern mind to read the laws and penalties in the old testament. I think we tend to see these things in a way that we don't actually realise ourselves. Does God actually exist or not? If he does has he the right to make laws?
How we view this surely impacts how we would think about this.
I agree Dwill that what I.S. commits is murder. Dawkins and others make these kinds of parallels to genocides etc with the old testament.
Just to provide some context and balance here I'm going to provide a link where Peter J Williams a Christian responds to these understandable but I would suggest, inaccurate kinds of parallels.
I gave this link before but maybe you missed it at the time.It probably won't change anyone's mind but it might provide an informing way to understand these things.It's easy enough to be swept along by the rhetoric of Hitchens and co.
It's a good point about used books and royalties for authors.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7B5jokJsqk



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