Penn Jillette’s 10 Commandments for Atheists

Penn Jillette, one half of the magic act and general ruckus raisers, Penn & Teller, has come up with a set of 10 commandments for atheists.

As expected from someone as entertaining as Penn Jillette, these commandments are way more fun and rational than the 10 commandments of ye olde testament. Here are his commandments:

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.

Western atheists seem to be co-opting cultural artifacts from Christian traditions for their own heathen ends recently, with AC Grayling recently coming out with his own atheist bible. What would your own 10 commandments for atheists be and are there local artifacts that atheists in the Philippines can co-opt? Discuss in the comments!




Image from NNDB


  1. “Lying is not immoral 100% of the time”

    Actually lying is always intrinsically immoral. Perhaps what you mean is that the moral culpability brought about by the circumstances which precipitated that lie is diminished. Lying as an act is always objectively wrong like killing someone in self defense. Killing is always wrong but the moral culpability of a person acting in defense of his or someone else’s life is diminished.

    • what about killing? is that also "always intrinsically immoral"?

      like the time your god told Abraham to go kill his son? or that time he went on a genocidal spree and killed all the first-born of Egypt? was that your god committing intrinsically immoral acts?

    • //Actually lying is always intrinsically immoral. //

      Your church would know all about lying to have an unmatched affinity with all of its moral grey areas, wouldn't it, dboncan?

  2. Lying is not immoral 100% of the time. What if this was the Rwandan massacre and you were a Rwandan that was hiding people from the Tutsi tribe against Hutus that want to kill them. If a Hutu asks you if you have seen any Tutsis, would you answer truthfully?

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