The Atheist 10 Commandments
I recently live-tweeted my way through Ann Widdecombe's 'The Commandments and Me', which included some rather strained encounters between the Catholic MP and two opponents of religion, Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry. My tweeting prompted one reader to send me the 'Atheist 10 Commandments', which were (inaccurately?) attributed to Richard Dawkins. What do you make of these moral precepts? Are they an improvement on the better-known list of moral commitments -- or do they miss the point?
(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.