Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Manifesto for Atheists

Writer Alain de Botton has created a set of 10 new virtues for atheists, ironically reminding us of the 10 commandments format found in the Old Testament. Atheism is an increasing factor, mainly in the West; however, it is inevitable that even the modern epoch, the modern West takes its thought from a previous philosophical and theological school of thought, embedded in the culture and the way of thinking. Hence it is obvious that the following commandments are actually also Christian ideas and ideals. What does this say about the atheists?

The 10 commandments for atheists are:

1. Resilience. Keeping going even when things are looking dark.
2. Empathy. The capacity to connect imaginatively with the sufferings and unique experiences of another person.
3. Patience. We should grow calmer and more forgiving by getting more realistic about how things actually tend to go.
4. Sacrifice. We won't ever manage to raise a family, love someone else or save the planet if we don't keep up with the art of sacrifice.
5. Politeness. Politeness is very linked to tolerance, the capacity to live alongside people whom one will never agree with, but at the same time, can't avoid
6. Humour. Like anger, humour springs from disappointment, but it's disappointment optimally channelled.
7. Self-Awareness. To know oneself is to try not to blame others for one's troubles and moods; to have a sense of what's going on inside oneself, and what actually belongs to the world.
8. Forgiveness. It's recognising that living with others isn't possible without excusing errors.
9. Hope. Pessimism isn't necessarily deep, nor optimism shallow.
10. Confidence. Confidence isn't arrogance, it's based on a constant awareness of how short life is and how little we ultimately lose from risking everything.

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