So I saw a Facebook post that led me to this story- Lex Bayer and John Figador, authors of "Atheist Mind, Human Heart", held a crowdsource contest to create an atheist 10 commandments. The idea was to " determine the 10 best atheist commandments and to modernize Old Testament ideals, creating an inclusive value set that they say is applicable in the modern era." I would like to go through these commandments.
I. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.
Now, I have to analyze these not just with the Bible but with my experience in the thought processes of many atheists. And the first one honestly made me chuckle.To be open to new ideas, that includes being open to ideas that don't fit your worldview. I have many times asked atheists to put themselves into my shoes, to say "what if" about God, and have gotten (at best), why bother? A simple hypothetical is more than what they are willing to deal with. So already, I'm guessing that just like the true Commandments for Christians and Jews, these commandments will be a lot harder to implement than to carve in stone.
God's Angle? Start with Hebrews 13:
7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.…
Matthew 5: 17"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19"Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.…
And chapter 24:
…34"Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
II. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.
I also am amused by this, considering the scientific studies on the odds of life just evolving, of the exacting conditions allowing life on earth to exist- Astrophysicist Hugh Ross estimates that to be one in 10 to 138th power- but they consider evolution "likely to be true", rather than "What they'd like to be true."
God's take? Isaiah 45:
18For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), "I am the LORD, and there is none else. 19"I have not spoken in secret, In some dark land; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, 'Seek Me in a waste place'; I, the LORD, speak righteousness, Declaring things that are upright. 20"Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, Who carry about their wooden idol And pray to a god who cannot save.…
III. The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.
And as I have said many times, the problem with the scientific method is that today's "scientists" aren't doing observe-theorize-test-prove, they are doing theory-choose the observations that fit- call it "proof".
God's take? Job 38:
4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
9When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
10And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
11And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
12Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;
13That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
14It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
15And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
16Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
17Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? Declare if thou knowest it all.
IV. Every person has the right to control over their body.
This is an obvious attempt to justify abortion. The key as always is, when do you define personhood? And the answer is the same with the womb as it will be when "Soylent Green" becomes fact. God's take- among others, Psalm 139:
14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.…
V. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.
Ah, now we get to the crux of the story. And it is true, so far as it goes...
Matthew 5:44"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?…
But the Christian perspective is on the next life, where those good deeds and meaningful life mean little...
Isaiah 64:5 Behold, You were angry, for we sinned, We continued in them a long time; And shall we be saved? 6For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7There is no one who calls on Your name, Who arouses himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.…
I could bring up the Charlie Brown saying about wearing dark pants, but you get the idea.
VI. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.
Destined to be the most-broken rule of the list. If the very presence of commandment IV doesn't negate this, commandment IX sure will.
VII. Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.
This one gets crippled the same way I does. The largest share of the atheists I have personally crossed swords with (though by no means all) not only could care less about any perspective that allows for a Supreme Being, it also has no room for being polite or even civil about it. Most of them state their case in the first salvo, and then insult you after your response. (And then tell me, "Well we do that because it was done to us first". First grade much?) Which, other than repeating their own intellectually-bankrupt logic, is all they can do in most cases. So you see, I don't have a problem with SOME of these commandments; but the ones I have the least problem with are the ones they least follow. And if they weren't so hate blinded, they might see where they got both VI and VII:
Matthew 7: 12 In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
VIII. We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.
Realizing this is their pean to the earth-mother, but extremely laughable when you consider the intent of IV. Consider future generations, as long as they are on one side or the other of the conception-to-birth period. As long as you don't mind them being marched blindly into hell.
Matthew 18: 5"And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
IX. There is no one right way to live.
Don't bother rubbing your eyes... you read that right. You make up your own morality as you go, and wait to see society shift to your desires. I had a drawn out argument with a particularly diseased atheist who basically told me that whether God or Satan was more righteous in the Garden of Eden was a matter of perspective. That the only "sin" the serpent committed was he didn't see obedience or disobedience to God as evil, but as a free choice. And thus God was more wrong for demanding obedience. This POV was extreme, but is borne out in all of these philosophies. "As long as I don't hurt anyone", they say, and then Ferguson happens, and it becomes, "the law should have recognized HIS culture (which apparently included using force to get what he wanted), and then it becomes two cops shot from behind in their car yesterday. But, that's okay, because it was the killer's right way to live, and besides, the recent protestors wanted it to happen. But are they just as responsible as the killer? "What, our protest had nothing to do with one disturbed individual."
Proverbs 14: 12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
It never ceases to amaze me how these people can see their lives described in detail in the Bible and not recognize themselves.
X. Leave the world a better place than you found it.
By taking away the ability to practice one's faith in public. By robbing holidays of their beauty and disrespecting the dear-held beliefs of others. By sucking joy and kindness from everything that doesn't conform to their thought pattern.
I look at this rule and I think of the Nazis lying to the Jews and Poles that the gas chambers were showers, to avoid the panic that would have come with knowing that their execution lie just beyond the next gate. They can make themselves believe that they are good by doing every good and right work in this world, delude those that hear them that it is a good thing. But the one giving the orders knows what lies on the other side.
Luke 16: 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.