The 10 Commandments for Atheists

shaxhomeFebruary 5, 2013

(Quote) "The writer, philosopher and pillar of the Fourth Estate, Alain de Botton, has just published a set of 10 commandments for virtuous atheists.

Of course, the doctrinaire and the devout might argue that the term "virtuous atheist" is an oxymoron, but the less zealous among us are surely curious to know more about the (un) Holy Rule of de Botton.

How could he possibly upstage seven stern "Thou Shall Nots", two stirring decrees to Honour our parents and Keep the Sabbath and the thunderous edict to recognise the Lord our God and none others?

Surely the author of Religion for Atheists couldn't better Charlton Heston as Moses in Cecil B DeMille's 1956 classic, The Ten Commandments?

Well, he hasn't bettered him, and nor has he attempted to capture the Biblical cadences that make the original flow satisfyingly. But here's the thing: de Botton has done a marvellous job of summing up what it is to be a nice human being.

Where the Old Testament diktats were a potent form of social control, this manifesto for atheists is a 21st-century guide to pleasant coexistence with which no one could argue - except perhaps Richard Dawkins, because this list is all about the Unselfish Gene." (Unquote)

Here is a link that might be useful: The Story

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Thank you, Shax. Those are wise suggestions for everyone, not just atheists.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:07PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

We need to see this "commandments":

Alain de Botton's 'list for life'

Resilience: Keeping going even when things are looking dark.

Empathy: The capacity to connect imaginatively with the sufferings and unique experiences of another person.

Patience: We should grow calmer and more forgiving by being more realistic about how things actually happen.

Sacrifice: We won't ever manage to raise a family, love someone else or save the planet if we don't keep up with the art of sacrifice.

Politeness: Politeness is closely linked to tolerance, -the capacity to live alongside people whom one will never agree with, but at the same time, cannot avoid.

Humour: Like anger, humour springs from disappointment, but it is disappointment optimally channelled.

Self-awareness: To know oneself is to try not to blame others for one's troubles and moods; to have a sense of what's going on inside oneself, and what actually belongs to the world.

Forgiveness: It's recognising that living with others is not possible without excusing errors.

Hope: Pessimism is not necessarily deep, nor optimism shallow.

Confidence: Confidence is not arrogance - rather, it is based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we will ultimately lose from risking everything.

Read more:

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:42PM
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Put one foot in front of the other try to do the best you can with what you got. If you need help ask for it, if you can afford to help then try to help when asked!
That enough!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 11:40PM
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    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:06AM
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jon_in_wessex(z8/9 UK)

Like many pseudo-intellectuals, I get annoyed at De Botton's attempts to popularise and simplify philosophy - after all, what value can there be in something that ordinary people can read and actually understand? Even worse, he makes Money at it! (Same argument can be applied to Richard Dawkins :)

Favourite quote?'Religions are in the end too complex, wise and fascinating to be abandoned simply to those who happen actually to believe in them'.

Favourite atheist commandment? 'Thou shalt make no commandments.'

Best wishes

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:31AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Common sense seems to sum it up...

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 5:15AM
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As a non-believer, I don't follow a list of rules or anything that would signify organization... it reeks too much of religion, which I don't find conducive to healthy living.

Common sense, or simply being a decent human being, treating others decently... this is where it's at for me.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:46AM
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Agree, of course it's common sense. So why aren't more people doing it?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:58AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

too narcissistic

The I's will always try to win out in the end.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:54AM
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The ids always win out "In the begining"

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:15AM
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Why aren't more people doing it? In my opinion, it's because too many are too deeply entrenched in what organized religion and society offer... many without even realizing it.

It's easier to go with the flow than it is to buck the system.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:17AM
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So why aren't more people doing it?

IMO, for many it's because they can hide behind their religious veil.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Those are good suggestions. Too bad they are called commandments. Cloaking them in the language of religion kind of defeats the purpose.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:49PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

The author did not use "commandments" so blame the reporter.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:59PM
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