Penn Jillette's 10 Commandments for atheists

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#1
(RNS) In his new book, "God, No!" atheist magician Penn Jillette tells how he was challenged by conservative radio host Glenn Beck to come up with an atheist's version of The Ten Commandments.

"I wanted to see how many of the ideas that many people think are handed down from (G)od really make sense to someone who says, 'I don't know.'"
Here's his list:


1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.

2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let's scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I'll be there to help.)

3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to (G)od is now quite simply respecting yourself.)

4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you're religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you're a Vegas magician, that'll be the day with the lowest grosses.)

5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)

6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that "Thou shalt not kill" only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it's all human life.)

7. Keep your promises. (If you can't be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don't make that deal.)

8. Don't steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)

9. Don't lie. (You know, unless you're doing magic tricks and it's part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)

10. Don't waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it'll make you bugnutty.
Story Here
 
#5
Adam Corolla is the best atheist in that he doesn't give a shit about being an atheist. That's the kind of atheist I can roll with.

Penn Jillette is far too militant.
 
#6
Kill the heretic! Dawkins commandments are the truth.

(1) Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.

(2) In all things, strive to cause no harm.

(3) Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.

(4) Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.

(5) Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.

(6) Always seek to be learning something new.

(7) Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.

(8) Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.

(9) Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.

(10) Question everything.
 
#9
Spokker said:
Adam Corolla is the best atheist in that he doesn't give a shit about being an atheist. That's the kind of atheist I can roll with.

Penn Jillette is far too militant.
I actually have a little disdain for militant atheists and I've never once felt Penn Jillette came off that way. Did a miss a particular incident or something?
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
#14
These aren't really for atheists, they're for humanists, and I've never understood why prominent humanists have been so preoccupied by the God question when they're clearly intelligent thinkers and good writers when it comes to the far more important human question.

(this is not directed at Gaborn's title, but rather Penn's self-identification as atheist first and foremost)
 
#17
Stumpokapow said:
These aren't really for atheists, they're for humanists, and I've never understood why prominent humanists have been so preoccupied by the God question when they're clearly intelligent thinkers and good writers when it comes to the far more important human question.

(this is not directed at Gaborn's title, but rather Penn's self-identification as atheist first and foremost)
Was going to post something along the same lines. It's very human-centric/anthropomorphic and not quite atheist.
 
#19
I'm an atheist and no thanks to 1/2/6. I have no respect for the average person. At this point life is much better/easier when assuming anyone I don't personally know has the mental capacity of a golden retriever/toddler at best.

Also unless we love 80/90% of the population in the next few years I don't see much value in most human life. Not that I would randomly murder someone but I really only feel bad when kids suffer because they never had a chance to change their situation. Some adult idiot kills/maims themselves with fire works, or drunk drives into a concrete barrier? Couldn't care less than they died.
 
#26
teruterubozu said:
Was going to post something along the same lines. It's very human-centric/anthropomorphic and not quite atheist.
Er, well what else can atheism be?

And isn't actual humanism something from the united nations?
 
#27
As an atheist I'd like to say that I am really starting to hate atheists. Quit trying to be like theists. It's annoying. Take that fucking evolution bumper sticker off of your car while you're at it.
 
#34
LuchaShaq said:
I'm an atheist and no thanks to 1/2/6. I have no respect for the average person. At this point life is much better/easier when assuming anyone I don't personally know has the mental capacity of a golden retriever/toddler at best.

Also unless we love 80/90% of the population in the next few years I don't see much value in most human life. Not that I would randomly murder someone but I really only feel bad when kids suffer because they never had a chance to change their situation. Some adult idiot kills/maims themselves with fire works, or drunk drives into a concrete barrier? Couldn't care less than they died.
Yeah...well...that's like your opinion, man.

But seriously, relax man. Learn to love. Life in general is valuable. You don't care for others yet you wouldn't be where you are today if not for the lives of many before you. Civilization is a wonderful thing. If you don't like your fellow humans, then go live in the woods or something. Go chill with some bears and beavers, live off the land and shit.

But if you're going to be apart of this society, then learn to love and help your fellow man. Cause when you get sick, it's gonna be another human that will take care of you. Whether it's a doctor or your love ones, you won't last long without us.
 
#37
Tideas said:
what happens when intelligence, creativity, and love conflicts?

What should be held higher?
That's the best part about being human. We get to make those tough decisions.

As a logical person, I sometimes let love make the decisions for me. Mostly because I don't want to be a dick.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
#38
Tideas said:
what happens when intelligence, creativity, and love conflicts?
Seems pretty easy to me. Love wins, because it's important to avoid violence and coercion to begin with (2, 5, 6). Both sides to a dispute should be willing to give up things for the other side. It should be more important to solve the problem then to get your way. Once a tone of mutual respect and compromise or consensus has been adopted, you rely on rational evidence to proceed and if a win-lose solution is needed to a problem, intelligence / rational evidence should dictate who wins (2, 7, 8, 9, 10). Within those bounds, creativity should be encouraged flourish as much as possible, and win/win outcomes should be preferable to win/lose outcomes to provide for that.
 
#40
Tideas said:
what happens when intelligence, creativity, and love conflicts?

What should be held higher?
In a fully realized person, the vertical integration of these traits allow them to be one and the same thing.

Conflict avoided.

That is to say, to be intelligent is to respect the virtue of love, or rather an understanding and acceptance, while giving sufficient freedom for us to explore the boundaries of creativity from a safe base that sufficiently tethers our creativity in a manner that is applicable to the real world.
 
#42
why the fuck should I listen to him any more than I should listen to god?
this whole "we need "prophets" too" drive among atheist is making no sense...
 

Ushojax

Should probably not trust the 7-11 security cameras quite so much
#45
Yuck. There's only one rule you always need to follow and that's the Golden Rule. Anything else is a bunch of sentimental crap.
 
#46
Enosh said:
why the fuck should I listen to him any more than I should listen to god?
this whole "we need "prophets" too" drive among atheist is making no sense...
God doesn't exist and he does? He can provide reasons for his thoughts and God often doesn't?

Your idea that atheists apparently have some sought of want for prophets is something I've never encountered. All the atheists I've seen with an opinion on this issue think we ourselves are perfectly capable of being reasonable and kind human beings without any help.
 
#47
Enosh said:
why the fuck should I listen to him any more than I should listen to god?
this whole "we need "prophets" too" drive among atheist is making no sense...
He answered a challenge, he isn't saying you should listen to him.

What the fuck are you talking about with the prophets thing? Who has ever said that?
 
#49
DeathIsTheEnd said:
God doesn't exist and he does? He can provide reasons for his thoughts and God often doesn't?

Your idea that atheists apparently have some sought of want for prophets is something I've never encountered. All the atheists I've seen with an opinion on this issue think we ourselves are perfectly capable of being reasonable and kind human beings without any help.
But what about Pope Dawkins?

Praise be to Science.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-63cTYJDCA
 
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