Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
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15-03-2012, 05:09 PM (This post was last modified: 16-03-2012 09:20 PM by GirlyMan.)
Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
My all-time favorite atheist has come out with 10 Atheist Suggestions when his friend Glenn Beck (:huhSmile asked him to come up with the atheist's version of the 10 Commandments.

Can't say there's any I disagree with.

"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." - Penn Jillette

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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15-03-2012, 06:45 PM
RE: Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
Personally I always have a problem with respect/love your parents.
That one should always be conditional.
There's simply no reason why one should respect or even love abusive parents. This commandment only puts guilt on victims of such crimes.

Parents don't earn respect just because they bring you up. That's their job.
I think they too start with point 6, general respect. They gain or lose (not beyond "Thou shalt not kill" of course...) respect in the process of bringing you up.
Expecting someone as a general commandment to love their crazy violent parents just because they gave the person shelter and food is unacceptable to me.


Further
I can accept don't lie as an ideal, but don't we all lie occasionally.
I think "Strive to speak the truth" would be better. it's a positive statement and its not an absolute. People sometimes lie to help others ot to avoid useless conflict.
But that one's just minor critique.

That said: as general ideals I would fully support the list, as absolutes, which commandments SHOULD be, i wouldn't.
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15-03-2012, 07:46 PM
RE: Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
Have to agree with Vipa...I spent a lot of years of guilt over the whole concept of respecting abusive parents. I made a certain peace with my dad before he died, haven't spoken with my mother in years...I couldn't take it any more. She still emotionally abuses my siblings but they are old enough to decide for themselves if they are going to continue to take it.

I so don't miss having her in my life.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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15-03-2012, 07:46 PM (This post was last modified: 15-03-2012 07:51 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
(15-03-2012 06:45 PM)Vipa Wrote:  That said: as general ideals I would fully support the list, as absolutes, which commandments SHOULD be, i wouldn't.

Penn Jillette gets this. That's why he calls them "suggestions".

(15-03-2012 06:45 PM)Vipa Wrote:  Personally I always have a problem with respect/love your parents. That one should always be conditional.
There's simply no reason why one should respect or even love abusive parents. This commandment only puts guilt on victims of such crimes.

(15-03-2012 07:46 PM)Anjele Wrote:  Have to agree with Vipa...


Point taken.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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16-03-2012, 05:20 AM
RE: Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
(15-03-2012 07:46 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Penn Jillette gets this. That's why he calls them "suggestions".

Oh, completely overlooked the suggestions part.
Anyway, I would always prefer these 10 points over the original. Every single one of them has a deeper and warmer meaning than the jealous useless counterparts of the bible.
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16-03-2012, 06:18 AM
RE: Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
As far as I see it even if it were more than a moral suggestion... the Parents in that situation have abolished that pattern by their behavior which puts a very clear exception upon how someone would judge a person.

It's a solid list overall. I think I would add something about be open and respectful to progressing ideas or supportive of safe advancements for the worlds life.
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16-03-2012, 06:28 AM
RE: Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
I think the original 10 commandments are rudimentary law. They were meant to bring order and civility into an early civilization that was lacking in that respect. They probably also were the reason so many people started following. The group that followed this had less to fear from their fellow believers and created an enclave of "lawfulness" where you could trust at least your neighbor.

There had to be a real reason why people started following this religion, and in their time and day I think the aspect of lawfulness had to be one of the big attractions. With all the slaying and violence about, people likely flocked to the thing that gave them at least temporary safety. If all in the group agreed to obey those commandments, daily life would be much improved and peace of mind would be gained.

And that in turn would give them the feeling of being the chosen ones, the ones whose life was better than that of non believers. I bet that was pretty powerful stuff in those savage days.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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16-03-2012, 06:45 AM
RE: Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
Makes sense. Also sense that anyone not abiding by even the tiniest part of the Law would be seen as threatening the whole structure - heigh ho heigh ho, it's back to barbarism we go. Ergo picking up sticks on Saturdays makes everyone else pick up rocks on Saturdays.
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16-03-2012, 07:20 AM
RE: Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
From observations of the many sorts of people alive today I'd have to question how intensely barbaric a group was pre religion of choice. Ancient history has a lot more killing but there are still societies. There is still that contract made between a group that they have a safe place at least for their own kind. However I look to the history of the world the most barbarous people were in that european area. Yes there were aggressive groups in every continent, but only in europe did the aggressors get so big as to force their way into other continents (genghis khan aside =p almost every other war tribe at most is attacking another portion of their same part of the world. Not fighting a battle that is more than a month at sea away).

Feudal life has always to me seemed the worst period of existence. Be it european, asian, whatever. When classes are created for any reason is when the expendables really start showing up. A lot of smaller groups don't really seem to bother.

My hypothesis is that pre judaism no one was stoned for picking up sticks on saturday =p I'm not an expert in sumeria so I wouldn't know exactly what the previous rules were, but I'm one to say that when rules start getting mandated that's where the real violence starts.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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16-03-2012, 07:48 AM
RE: Penn Jillette's 10 Atheist Suggestions
Yes, a new violence starts.

But, this violence is manageable. If I don't pick up sticks on Saturday, I won't get stoned.

It's a pretty perfect legal system for the times, which were pretty ruthless anyway. I doubt that a system devoid of all violence would have made it in those days.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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