The new Ten Commandments for the 21st Century announced!

A collaborative exercise organised by Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur Lex Bayer and Stanford University humanist chaplain John Figdor, authors of the book Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart has come up with a new set of Ten Commandments for the 21st Century.

According to the “Winning Beliefs” page of the authors’ website, 13 judges selected the ten from 2,804 submissions from survey respondents across 18 countries and 27 U.S. states. More than 6,100 votes were cast online to create a shortlist for the judges to vet.

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.

Democracy has so far failed to change the dysfunctional politics of the Philippines.
Democracy has so far failed to change the dysfunctional politics of the Philippines.
The obvious atheist underpinnings of this work and the exercise that led to it (as well as the likely profile of Netizens who participated in it) may be off-putting to people in the mainstream who might want to seriously consider these as an alternative or even replacement for the standing de facto Ten Commandments issued by the Hebrew prophet Moses thousands of years ago. But the people behind Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart assert that “atheism need not be reactionary (against religion and God), but rather, offers a clear set of constructive principles to live by that establish atheism as a positive worldview.”

Indeed, Third World countries like the Philippines have the most to gain from re-thinking their core beliefs and morality frameworks. Filipinos, for one, have become weary of the emerging long-view dynamic of their society, one they perceive to be deeply-flawed, immune to reform, and subject to the influence of a tiny elite clique of oligarchs that has left their country desperately impoverished. Included amongst this small class of opinion-shapers are the country’s religious leaders, many of whom agressively apply long tried-and-proven persuasion methods to induce mind-crushing groupthink and exact lemming-like collectivism in their adherents, often in close collaboration with their counterparts in politics and big business.

Long traditionally thought to be the empowering silver bullet to chronic poverty and ignorance in the Philippines, “democracy” and the “freedom” it supposedly “gave back” to Filipinos following the 1986 “people power revolution” has so far failed miserably to embed much-needed change at a profound enough level in Philippine society. Observers have long asserted that the missing ingredient for democracy to work in the Philippines lies in essential thinking skills that are lacking in ordinary Filipinos. Indeed, despite almost three decades of “democracy”, Filipinos continue to suffer the same — if not worse — sort of patronage politics that results in the widespread banal injustice and thievery that their country is world-renowned for today.

Perhaps it is high time that Filipinos ditch a way of thinking and a way of life that has so far delivered zero results. As Raquel Welch was once said to have said:

Insanity is expecting different results while doing the same things again and again.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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81 Comments on "The new Ten Commandments for the 21st Century announced!"

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den
Guest

occurred to me you are still writing about the same dysfunctions of philippine society. things haven’t changed after all those years. have you considered doing things differently?

MidwayHaven
Guest

From what I’ve seen there are new dysfunctions cropping up in the Philippines almost every day; there really doesn’t seem to be a need to stop writing about them.

d_forsaken
Guest

There are many parts of my youth that I’m not proud of. There were loose threads – untidy parts of me that I would like to remove. But when I pulled on one of those threads, it unraveled the tapestry of my life.

Grimwald
Guest

I’m not an atheist but I find these new commandments an improvement over the old and worn value system we Filipinos have. Very good job there benign0. It’s why I choose to read articles on this blog as often as I can.

While I think that religion is a good thing as it forms the basis for a strong moral foundation, Pinoys tend to miss out on the spirit of the values they claim to follow. More often than not, our values system is contradictory or even outright hypocritical, especially when it comes to things like adultery and corruption.

ChinoF
Member

Whoops, I posted my comment below before I read this. But yes, I agree. It makes we wonder how public morals would have developed without religion. Perhaps they would still develop, but at greater cost to human life and dignity, an example of which would be the situation in communist Russia.

Add
Guest

@ChinoF
” ..It makes we wonder how public morals would have developed without religion”

Bingo. The question now is which religion? There are man-made religions, and there is a true religion. If there is a God, would there be one true religion? If there is one, would it manifest itself in various forms, or just one form?

El Presidente
Guest

Just imagine human history without religion, and how brutal would it be…

Sea Bee
Guest

It is hard to imagine history being any more brutal than it has been. There was a war in Europe that lasted a hundred years. It was fought by Protestants vs. Catholics.

ChinoF
Member

Religion or no religion, I’m sure humans will always think of a reason to be brutal. Perhaps religion is a result of that, or not, but I think humans will always be brutal.

Amir Al Bahr
Member

It kinda feels weird to me that advocates of atheism would use a template that is associated with a religion in order to advance its principles.

ChinoF
Member

I think it proves one thing: religion, or spirituality at least, is one of the foundations of moral and ethical principles in this world. Without such, it would be less likely to have movements for equality and human rights in this modern world. Others should remember, some proponents of those were religious people. Like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Sea Bee
Guest
@ChinoF: Instead of focusing on what the new commandments have in common with the old; why not explore how they are different? One outstanding difference that I see is #9 above: “There is no right way to live.” Compare that with ” I am the Lord thy God and thou shalt have no gods before me.” Absolutism was challenged by the Age of Reason. In the Western, free world, it has been replaced by secular philosophy of relativism. Why are you afraid of choice? Why must we be compelled by a single authority? Revolutions were fought in order to over… Read more »
Add
Guest

But, is it good to have moral relativism? But, isn’t that just replacing God with Kant, Nietzche, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Russell, or Hegel? Or, do we further replace those fantastic philosophies with Dawkin’s half baked philosophy where he virtually installed “chance” the god, and trying to confuse the masses when he switches between concept of “improbable” and “impossible” at his convenience? (Or, should Dawkin just stay in biology — he has in hands full there already, as biologists are now intensely debating, thanks to him, whether evolution answers the origin of life question, or not?)

ChinoF
Member
Hi Seabee, neither do I like to compare the original 10 Commandments to the 21st century one. Obviously, they follow different premises. All I’m after is what is really valid. Or better put, what applies to me and helps me become a better person. Some may have forgotten or have not known in the New Testament that the 10 commandments have be replaced with, “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your fellow man,” which actually expand on the original 10 commandments. The old commandments are not even considered strict rules under the modern dispensation, they’re more of guides to… Read more »
Hyden Toro iy34
Guest
Humanism cannot go alone. Humanism, spirituality and Science can go hand in hand to advance our civilization. There are still many frontiers, that we have not gone. Many natural laws to be discovered. Religions were twisted by self serving “religious leaders” and so called:prophets. This is the reason we have these problems: radicalism and fundamentalism. I still believe in a Creator, because “Big Bang” Theory , nor the : Higgs’s Boson or Higg’s Field cannot satisfy my human curiosity. I cannot understand why creation are orderly…or understand many medical miracles. “For those who believe, no explanation is needed. For those… Read more »
Sea Bee
Guest

Just because something is a belief, is no guarantee of its validity or relevance. If you are truly curious, you would be willing to suspend your own beliefs; instead of using “god” as an explanation for anything that you cannot understand. See Commandment #1, above. Spirituality and Science do not go hand in hand. Only one of them relies upon evidence. The idea of a spiritual world occupied by invisible god is a stone-aged way of comprehending the universe. Let it go. It is just magic.

Hyden Toro 89jk
Guest

I believe it can go hand in hand…Science is not God…it is a tool to learn about: creation; laws of nature; the invisible world; the universe and galaxies, planetary system, etc…

I don’t believe that intelligent creation have existed, without a creator…

The Helix of the DNA alone, is too complicated to be formed in an accidental way…Even this Planet Earth, which sustains human life. The Beauty of the Unknown is too much to contemplate…
our body functions is too much to contemplate, also…life/death itself is still a mystery…

justined
Guest
To pitch in, politely: I’ve always heard about this logic that the complexity of DNA could only have been brought about by divine intervention. From my perspective, its just an everyday chemical reaction. The “accident” happens more often than you think, several million times in your own body, as natural as a magnet will bond to metal or salt will dissolve in water. Regarding the logic about morality as an exclusive product of religion – morality, spirituality and all enduring memes have a physical basis in the way our neurons are “wired”. There’s nothing mystical about trout instinctively swimming upstream… Read more »
Add
Guest

@SeaBee
Truth can not contradict truth. That is not pointless sophistry. Faith without reason is superstition, reason without faith is idolatry of man.

Add
Guest

@SeaBee
Why should evidence be the only basis? If your wife, or girlfriend, tell you she loves you, would you ask for evidence first before you proceed with your relationship, or do you proceed first with your relationship, evidence or no evidence, but just the belief on her love first?
Why can’t spirituality and science not go together? If it is real spirituality, should it not be in search of truth? Science is in search of truth too, so both are in search of truth, why can’t they go together?

Sea Bee
Guest

@Add: What if the two truths contradict one another? Religion is one type of language and science, another. Both have different definitions of the truth. Scientific truth can be demonstrated as valid by producing evidence and can be replicated again and again. Religious truth is revealed by god. It requires no proof. Are you searching for a hybrid between the two views? Or are you trying to find a scientific or logical way to prove that god exists? Why? To me, it seems like pointless sophistry. We do not need god. Like nationalism, it is an outdated and dangerous mindset.

Frank N Stein
Guest
@ Sea Bee, Religious ‘truth’ is called ‘faith’. You either have or you do not.The assertion that ‘divine intervention’ is the ‘only way’ that the complexity of DNA could have come about is simply untrue. Sorry but NO. Given all the elements and variants of elements as well as combinations of the two come down to a mathematical probability.It is a fact that the combinations in a strand of human DNA can be replicated every 8,125,000 times (the adenine,cytocene,gaunine,thiamine combinations on 23 pairs of chromosomes) in nature alone,nevermind when the laboratory gets involved. That said: people are funny when they… Read more »
Hyden Toro iy34
Guest

The worse scenario that humans did was: use religion in politics. The Aquinos did this; the Islamic radicals is doing this in our time. Religious fundamentalists of every color, are doing this, to get into political power…

Sea Bee
Guest

Religion has always been political. It is a tool used by the few to convince the many that they and their friends deserve to live in wealth and comfort, while the rest of us toil as slaves. Do you think it is a coincidence that churches look like palaces?

Hyden Toro 7oj
Guest

Prophets and Men of God, did not lived that way. It was the Political Leaders, who hijacked religion, as a “tool” to impose their will on people. So that; they can get power; grow rich; grow famous; and other self serving ulterior motives…

Add
Guest
..”5. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.” If God does not exist, is there a need to state whether he is necessary or not? If God exist, is there a need to state whether he is necessary or not. Or, is it sufficient to say: “be a good person”? If God does not exist, what is the objective parameter by which “good” is determined? Is it by law, by consensus of a community, a nation? What will be the philosophical foundation of the law or consensus? Will it be… Read more »
Sea Bee
Guest

@Add: Which would you prefer: common values reached through a free discussion and debate of ideas…or stone tablet handed to one of you by a dictator in the sky?

Add
Guest
@SeaBee Common values on the basis of what? Humans, or above humans? If we can think of values above us, doesn’t that give a hint that there must be something super-human? Where and how do we get that notion? Why do all humans ask for objective ruling and not a subjective one? What is ultimate then that which is objective? If there is a God, of course, he will appear as a dictator? That God would have to be infinite, isn’t it? So, how could you compare that which is finite with that which is infinite? Will He not really… Read more »
Sea Bee
Guest
@Add: My mind is swimming trying to follow your train of thought. You are obviously better read than I am. I know this is simplistic, but, imagine a dozen people getting together in a neighborhood meeting. They are not going to agree on everything; but there are some standards they all can agree on. They can formulate a set of rules that apply to their neighborhood without a priest or bible being used as a reference. Just because these rules do not apply to all neighborhoods on earth, does not mean that they have no value and are of no… Read more »
Add
Guest

@SeaBee
Agree, communities can get together to formulate their rules. But, we are talking of a “ten-commandment” which is supposed to have universal application.

“My mind is swimming trying to follow your train of thought.”
You are probably referring to my 3rd paragraph. Aplogies for that, I should not have, it is a brief (very brief) ontological argument for the existence of God.

Hyden Toro ui7
Guest

You cannot define : “Good” without God. God and Good is the same. You cannot define: “Evil”, also without God…Evil is against all that is the goodness of God…

Sea Bee
Guest

@Hyden Toro ui7:

see: “circular reasoning” and “begging the question.”

Add
Guest

@SeaBee
Of course it is begging the question if the POSSIBILITY of god is immediately discounted. But, is that the way we seek knowledge, But I thought #1 and #2 in above essay were essential.

jameboy
Guest

God and good is the same? So, the ISIS god is good?

Evil is against all that is the goodness of God?

Don’t you think that evil is also the creation of God?

yup
Guest

Physics have laws like Laws of Motion and Cause and Effect. Balance. Yin and Yang.

Hyden Toro 7oj
Guest

ISIS has a wrong way of defining “good”. It is a “baluktot” way. Killing Infidels to them is good. Enslaving women to them is good. Taking hostages and cutting their heads, to them is good.

What I mean is goodness , in terms of the Judeo-Christian tradition…or any other religion that defines “good” in the proper way.

Sea Bee
Guest

@Hyden Toro 7oj: LOL….Let me guess: the proper way is “your” way. Right? I do not think this debate is about what is good or evil. Or whether or not god exists. Instead, it is the danger that the “true believer” mindset poses to the world community.

Add
Guest

@Hyden Toro ui7
“..You cannot define: “Evil”, also without God.”

I don’t remember whether it was CS Lewis or GK Chesterton who said “I believe there must be a god because there are atheists. You cannot have a negative, without first having a positive.”

Of course they were not saying that atheism is evil per se, if it is an idea. We should welcome all ideas. It is just that we are all in different stages in our search for truth. Hopefully, we all seek the truth, that was their point.

Hyden Toro 89jk
Guest

No…just my opinion…if agree with me, it’s okay, if not it’s okay , also. I have struggled with the belief in God, in my work in the Technical Field…my blogs just coming from my heart…
Anyway…Merry Christmas to all!!! May you have a good year in 2015!!! “Gumagalang Po…Hyden”…

aer
Guest

Atheism is psychologically impossible. That is, according to the atheists themselves. Many in the list of commandments are senseless, which I will comment later.
http://www.science20.com/writer_on_the_edge/blog/scientists_discover_that_atheists_might_not_exist_and_thats_not_a_joke-139982

Pepe Rep
Guest
From a Christian or at least a theistic perspective, most of these items are all right. I just don’t know if atheism can actually justify these, especially, as “commandments”, suggestions perhaps? But that isn’t binding on anyone and hardly objective. 1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence. -No problem. From a scientific point of view, the evidence still points to a transcendent, powerful and personal creator of the universe. I don’t know if atheists are willing to alter their beliefs on this though. As they say, religion (a belief system) is pretty much deeply… Read more »
Johnny Saint
Guest

Like any belief system, these ‘commandments’ are binding insofar as we humans (regardless of philosophical persuasion) imbue them with intrinsic meaning and value. Being self contradictory has never bothered anyone determined to hate ‘organised religion.’

Pepe Rep
Guest

What you just said is true, that “being self contradictory has never bothered anyone determined to hate ‘organised religion.’” That position itself would be in violation of their commandment #2, they seem to “wish to be true” that the claims of ‘organized religion’ are all false, also against commandment #9, if there is no right way to live, how can they say that the ‘organized religion’ way is ‘wrong’? This is bunkin.

Johnny Saint
Guest

In my experience, the use of the term ‘open-mindedness’ in to-day’s society is an oxymoron. It’s often professed by hypocrites who maintain that they are tolerant but cannot abide anyone who does not share their assumptions. Then they proceed to devolve into rabid fruit loops and scream for the most horrific violence to be inflicted on the people they perceive to be their ‘enemies.’

Pepe Rep
Guest
Oh yes, I see that myself quite often online. Right you are! I also find that most online atheists insist on what agnostic philosopher/neurologist Dr. Raymond Tallis calls “The Aping of Mankind: Darwinitis, Neuromania and the Misrepresentation of Humanity” -that everything (especially morality, religion, I guess) can be explained in, more often than not, a simply unwarranted extrapolation of Darwinian evolution and brain-scanning techniques. Here’s one of his good talks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5baL9oh430 This is fallacious on at least two grounds (1) On Dr Tallis’ critique and (2) Even if true, ethicist William Sorely said “the fundamental error of all these approaches… Read more »
Sea Bee
Guest

The author of this blog has characterized the book as the “New Ten Commandments.” This is inaccurate. The title of the book is:
“Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty First Century.” In the text, they call them “Ten Non-Commandments.”

I may be leading a sheltered life, but the only people I have seen acting like rabid fruit loops, who scream for horrific violence to be inflicted on people are the fundamentalist Islamic clerics and Christian Evangelists of the far right. I haven’t seen any prophets of the open mind strapping on any suicide vests.

Pepe Rep
Guest

“I may be leading a sheltered life”
yes… maybe…

ChinoF
Member
Let me chime in with my own interpretation of these modern commandments. 1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence. – Even the Bible says “test everything” and “test the spirits whether they are from God.” Also, “everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial,” and so on. There is still a spirit of inquisitiveness and questioning in the Bible. It does not encourage blind obedience to an autocratic deity, rather it requires you use the faculties given you (or evolved in you) to think. 2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be… Read more »
aer
Guest
My comments comes from a Christian perspective. 1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence. This is only applicable to scientific theories and things that are not yet 100% fully certain. The first Biblical commandment: You shall have no other gods before Me. Is a logical command for men to follow from a creator who is one. There is no such a thing as other gods besides the creator, in the Biblical revelation of who is God. 2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to… Read more »
LA702
Guest

Atheism is laying the groundwork for a Vatican announcement in 2016 that: “man was not created by God and that man has no soul”.

MidwayHaven
Guest

^ [citation needed]

El Presidente
Guest

Can you share with me whatever you’re smoking? That must be very good stuff, amigo.

fvckingpatrioticb00ks
Guest
fvckingpatrioticb00ks

Hey, Can somebody fucking address the philippines patriotic textbooks. pre-school, elementary, AND Highschool. After I fucking read some of the paraghraphs, Filipino, Science, and Ofcourse CLE It’s mind controlling. Turning goddamn filipInos into patriotic pieces of shit. If I were in school I might go to the principals office. Because you can’t have your own beliefs. And just to let you know, When you whine you’re being called a ‘little b1tch’ yeh, many filipinos do that.

Sea Bee
Guest

@fuckingpatrioticbOOks: The author presents an analysis of two books currently in use for social studies in the first year of high school:
“Filipino Images- Culture of the Public World” by Niels Mulder
(New Day Publishers, Quezon City, Philippines, 2000

Hayden Toro uh8
Guest

@Sea Bee

Proper way to me, is my way…of course. It is my way, not your way…
It is my belief and opinion.

If your proper way is the:enslaving of women; taking of hostages for ransom;cutting the heads of people, sowing war, hate, religious bigotry, prejudices, etc…

Then, I will not subscribe your way…

Sea Bee
Guest

@Hayden Toro uh8: Dig deeper. What you believe is not in question; but rather the nature of “belief” itself.

Budoy
Guest

Anyone hear about the atheist dyslexic?

He sat around pondering if there was a dog…

Hyden Toro ofw777
Guest
In fairness to all; with malice towards none; it was a good discussion about , if God exists, or not. I rest my case with the following arguments, as a Technical man: How about those : radio waves; cyberwaves/space; RADAR waves; atoms; Higgs field; Higg’s Boson; photons; DNA; etc…Did humans created them? Or Humans just discovered them? Who put them there in proper working order? The distance of this Planet Earth from the Sun, is just the “right” distance. Too far from the Sun; we would had frozen to death. Too near; we would had been fried by Solar Flares.… Read more »
Sea Bee
Guest

@Hyden Toro ofw77: I hate to pop your bubble; but, who made “the Maker?”

Hayden Toro 8ik
Guest

Sea Bee

There are still many mysteries, that we cannot comprehend. Our brains are to small to comprehend them.

If we know , who made this maker…then, we would be Gods…miracles happen, and we cannot comprehend them. Prayers are answered, and we cannot understand , why they are answered…in life; there are:joy, sorrow, failures, success, tribulations, etc…we don’t know why they are there.

I would have told you, if I know the reason for this…

Sea Bee
Guest

Merry Christmas…Peace be with you.

Hyden Toro 5gh
Guest

Thanks…Merry Christmas too…Peace!!!

Ricardo_Diaz
Guest

Filipinos are not very rational but rather emotional. And these are the educated bunch… which rather disappoints me. Getting them to follow these new commandments will be tricky since they want to follow their traditions and superstitions to the letter despite it being a cause of intense failure each and every time.

The video below is from a videogame, but it illustrates the point very well.

Robert Haighton
Guest
I am just wondering (not for the first time) if there will ever be a perfect world (an utopia?) without killing? Will there be the perfect world when we all are (roman) catholic; when we all are atheists? Or will there be a moment of perfectness when we just all accept each other, having all kinds of religions? There will always be envy and or jealousy as long as people earn different income (regardless of religion) There will always be envy and or jealousy as long as one person looks prettier (more beautiful) than the other. Personally, I dont believe… Read more »
Frank N Stein
Guest

Killing is normal. Animals do it to each other all the time.It is only the human species that projects onto its environment and ‘determines’ what that environment is (and not the other way around ) which is actually what reality is.Humans are one screwy bunch.

Robert Haighton
Guest

Animals are part of the food chain and need to kill to live and to survive. Human beings are not part of the food chain and therefore need not to kill (to live and to survive).

Frank N Stein
Guest

WELL,it was not very long ago(in terms of how old mother earth is reported to be) that human beings had to hide in caves because they were very much a part of the food chain.it may also be a fact that today Lions seem to be not too picky when it comes to consuming meat, human or otherwise.Your point being what?

Frank N Stein
Guest

How about these are ‘amendments’ to the original 10 commandments and make these 10 commandments #’s 11 through 20, and keep everybody happy !!!!

Add
Guest
Like any game (soccer, basketball..), life, I suppose, has rules. But, life being more complicated, I suppose the boundaries cannot just be defined by a 4-sided rectangular playing field as that of soccer, but by a ten-sided boundary that is not plain, but multi-dimensional. And, if we try to imagine this boundary, we will see a ten sided object more like a ball. And, if we try to imagine the original ten commandments as the boundaries of life, then the playing field would be outside of the ball, here the inside of the ball is hell, or the out of… Read more »
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