My Personal 10 Commandments

picdump-20Butch and I had Brent and Tim (my fellow Morgantown Atheists cohorts) over for dinner the other night. (oh, and Tim brought his standard poodle Lucy, who was highly interesting to my crazy mutts. They were in love with her sexy Frenchness!) Anyway, over pizza, Tim challenged me to come up with my own personal list of 10 Commandments. The New 10 Commandments.

First let's look at the old fashioned set that so many people want festooned on government property to hopefully force everyone to be good, obedient, god-fearing christians.

According to the bible, there are 3 sets of commandments by Moses' god. (see Wikipedia's page here)

Most of these commandments are the words of an angry, jealous, childish god. They aren't helpful, moral or ethical. They don't advance us as a species. In fact they hold us back with threats and superstitions.

So here's my task, which I will gladly share with you:

  • Come up with 10 Personal Commandments (you can have 10 or less, and you can call them something besides commandments, if you like)

  • These are 10 rules, morals or virtues you set for yourself. You might want to hang them on your wall to remind you, or put them on your desk. You might want to teach them to your children.

  • Write them down and take your time with your list. (please leave a comment to let us know you're working on your list though! :) ) I need to have my list by October 11 for our local Morgantown Atheists meeting. So that is a good goal for you to have yours done as well.

  • Remember to keep each commandment succinct. That will make it easier to remember.

I'll try to remind you a few times to keep working on your list. Make yourself a note and keep it posted where you'll see it, like on your bathroom mirror, so that you keep it in the back of your mind.

What is important to you? What would you want to teach your children? What rules, morals and virtues matter to you?

On October 12, we'll follow up with a post of your lists as well as my own. So by October 11, email them to me, in succinct list form along with the name you want attached to it to Heaving Dead Cats. Put '10 Commandments' in the subject line to help me out.

Have fun with it. Really think about it. Let us know you're working on your list!


  1. It can be just one, correct? If so, mine is pretty much "Don't be a douche". It's really the only rule one needs to follow. I guess I could spend some time expanding on my list, but that is the major one.

  2. Ha, good one, Kaion. Yes, you can have just one. :) Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. I don't think all of the christian 10 commandments being that bad. Well, the first 3 of them are, in George Carlin's words, "pure bullshit". The 4th one doesn't always make sense, especially if you have crappy parents. The 5th is good, don't kill, not because god says it, but because there's a great chance of someone else coming and killing you too. Don't cheat on your wife and don't steal can also be ok. The rest are pure babbling.

    During the days in which I was very interested in Wicca, I got a book about the witch's 10 commandments, which made sense. I'll have to check that book as soon as I get home.

    BTW, Neece, I'm sorry for not getting back at you. The comments in my blog are now allowed for everyone. I'll be glad to see you around.

  4. Hi Diego,
    Sure, don't kill or steal are universal and ubiquitous in all societies. Monogamy is a personal decision to make with whoever you're in a relationship with.
    I'm interested in the witch's 10 commandments. I thought they only had one: And it harm none, do what you will. Or something along those lines...

  5. Yes, I had seen that one before, but I decided on that philosophy prior to seeing it. Still got a laugh out of it.

  6. I think it's the Wiccan Rede you're thinking of, Neece-

    Do what you want.
    Don't hurt anybody.
    What goes around comes around.

    It boils down to "Don't be a douche." :)

  7. Yes, Steve, you're right. I looked it up but forgot to comment. It's actually a good thought:
    If it harms no one (including yourself), do what you will.

    I don't believe the superstition that what goes around comes around, or that there is some power of 3 involved, of course.

    Yes, it does. I hate the word douche, though. I think I'd have to reword that slightly. LOL :D

  8. Oh, I don't believe the magical aspects of what goes around comes around either, but I have noticed that if I smile and remember my peas and queues, in general, people smile back- I think that how you treat others reflects how others treat you. Act like a jerk, they think you're a jerk and they'll treat you like a jerk.

    Nothing superstitious about it. ;)

  9. Yes, in that sense I agree with you. Treat others kindly and with respect, and often they will want to treat you with kindness and respect.

    Of course, this doesn't apply to the very rich. People seem to dote on the very rich or famous, even if they are jerks. But that makes sense because one would probably hope that the rich person will share some of their wealth or fame if they bend over backwards for them.