10 practical suggestions on how to be ethical (i.e. not just for atheists; for anyone).
- Thou SHALT NOT believe all thou art told.
- Thou SHALT seek knowledge and truth constantly.
- Thou SHALT educate thy fellow man in the Laws of Science.
- Thou SHALT NOT forget the atrocities committed in the name of god.
- Thou SHALT leave valuable contributions for future generations.
- Thou SHALT live in peace with thy fellow man.
- Thou SHALT live this one life thou hast to its fullest.
- Thou SHALT follow a Personal Code of Ethics.
- Thou SHALT maintain a strict separation between Church and State.
- Thou SHALT support those who follow these commandments.
(via The J-Walk Blog)
Atheists put their faith in ethical behavior:
Atheists, they lament, are the last minority in this nation that is fair game for bigotry. Experts who study religion in public life concur.
“Atheists are not very well-thought-of in America,” says John Green, a senior fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. “It’s still acceptable to criticize atheists in a way that’s not polite. People may harbor negative views about Jews, Catholics, Muslims and evangelicals, but they know they’re not supposed to voice those views, so they don’t. But it’s still OK to say anything bad you want about atheists.”
The article provides a good definition of atheism, although I doubt most people who label themselves that have given much thought to it:
In a nutshell, atheists believe in reason alone, in those things that can be arrived at through intellect and the scientific method. Concrete evidence for God, they argue, simply doesn’t exist. They don’t cotton to leaps of faith or anything that involves a supernatural being reaching into human lives. They believe you can live a happy, respectable life based on human ethics that were derived not from God handing down a tablet but from a code of rules that emerged naturally through an evolutionary process in which humans learned how to live together successfully.