The authors of a new book on atheistic living held a contest in which they invited secularists to submit their suggestions for “10 Atheist Non-Commandments.” (By the way—isn’t it interesting that they are doing what the devil has been doing since Genesis 3: trying to counterfeit what God has done?)
According to CNN, this contest received 2,800 submissions from 18 different countries. But really, what is the point of atheists writing up a list of non-commandments? What is a “non-commandment” anyway? They have no basis for their moral views other than their own opinions, which can vary from atheist to atheist on certain matters! Without an absolute standard given by our Creator, atheists have no foundation for their moral beliefs, as the name “non-commandments” implies. Morality simply becomes “everyone doing what is right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Of course, these non-commandments are just a mockery of the commandments handed to us by our Lord and Creator. Another verse that sums up what these increasingly aggressive atheists in our culture are doing is this one:
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20).
These are the 10 winning entries into this non-commandments contest (with my comments and use of Scripture in response)
1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.
Romans 1:18–23 tells us that everyone—including atheists—knows that there is a God, but that many suppress this truth in unrighteousness. These atheists need to have their eyes opened to see the truth that is clearly evident in all that God has made—there is a Creator, the God of the Bible.
2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.
Second Peter 3:5–6 says that no one is an unbiased seeker of the truth but, rather, that those who reject the history of the Bible do so willingly: “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.”
3. The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.
Scripture makes it plain that the scientific method is not enough to understand the world around us because there is a spiritual reality. But a person without God’s Holy Spirit cannot properly understand the world because spiritual things are discerned only by those who have God’s Spirit, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
4. Every person has the right to control their body.
Second Peter 2:19 says it all, “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.”
5. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Also, I think of this verse: “So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God” (Luke 18:19).
6. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.
In an atheistic, evolutionary worldview why should anyone even care about the consequences of my actions, as long as it doesn’t hurt me? And why do I have to take responsibility for my actions? According to evolutionary thinking, we are just animals. No one punishes a lion for killing an antelope, so why should I be responsible if I decide to take the life of another “animal”? But we are not animals, and each person is responsible and accountable for their actions—accountable to their Creator, the Judge (2 Thessalonians 1:7–10).
7. Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.
This is a biblical—not an atheistic—principle. See Luke 6:31–36. To be atheistic, a secularist should say that you can treat others however you want to—there are no boundaries.
8. We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.
Again, this is a biblical principle (John 13:34; cf. John 3:16 and John 15:13). Now, from a biblical worldview, it makes sense that we are responsible to our Creator for how we treat others, but in an atheistic worldview what, or who gives me any responsibility to consider others? Isn’t evolution supposed to be about the survival of the fittest? If you die and that’s it, why does it matter how I treated others while I lived? In order for atheists to say that we are responsible for how we treat others, they have to borrow from a biblical worldview!
9. There is no one right way to live.
Who says that there is no one right way to live? By what authority can they say this? And if there really is no one right way to live, then what is the point of this list about how atheists should live? And, by saying this, they are declaring that their way of living is superior to those who would disagree with this statement! Actually, there is only one right way to live—by living with the life that Jesus offers (John 14:6).
10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.
In an atheistic worldview, why should we have to leave Earth better than we found it? Who defines “better” anyway? If life really is the result of evolutionary processes, then life should be about the strongest surviving and the weakest dying and that certainly doesn’t imply that we should care about the world. Here, yet again, the atheist is borrowing from the biblical teaching of stewardship (Genesis 1:28, 2:15).
These 10 Atheist Non-Commandments are meaningless in an atheistic worldview because they are not grounded in anything. The issue of morality is an insurmountable problem for an atheistic worldview. But in a biblical worldview having 10 Commandments makes sense because we have a Creator who made us and who therefore has the right to set the rules. And God has revealed those rules and absolutes to us through His Word. Only in a biblical worldview does morality make sense!