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10 non-commandments of atheism

Be compassionate, rely on science, take responsibility. Such ideas resonate throughout the 10 non-commandments of atheism, which are the product of a recent contest conducted by Lex Bayer and John Figdor, co-authors of the book Atheist Heart, Humanist Mind.

The contest drew more than 2,800 submissions from 18 countries and 27 U.S. states — a figure that reflects the exponential rise of atheism around the world. A 2013 Pew study found that one-third of Americans under 30 — and one-fifth of the general population — have no religious affiliation.

Thirteen judges selected the winners, who each received $1,000 for their contribution.

Here are the ten non-commandments chosen as the winners:

1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.

2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.

3. The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.

4. Every person has the right to control of their body.

5. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.

6. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.

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.

8. We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.

9. There is no one right way to live.

10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.