Have you heard of the Rethink Prize? The idea is to rewrite the ten commandments, in a secular way. The winner, the person who submits what is judged to be the best set of ten rules for living life in a moral way, will receive a ten thousand dollar prize.
The contest to rewrite the ten commandments was announced in October, but Adam Savage, the host of Mythbusters (one of only two, these days) announced on Friday (November 21) that he would be joining the project as a judge, causing a new surge of interest and awareness for the contest — so much that the contest website crashed shortly after his tweet.
I’ve been asked to judge a contest called the Re-Think Prize. Submit your 10 Commandments alternative to win $10K! http://t.co/Z8CRfXgKJh
— Adam Savage (@donttrythis) November 21, 2014
Still, Adam has already been given some suggestions:
How about: Don’t hurt other people x 5. Don’t take their stuff x 5. Just to make it 10. @donttrythis
— Don Kilmer (@donkilmer) November 21, 2014
According to the contest organizers’ Facebook page, other judges of the commandments submissions will include Harvard University’s Humanist Chaplain, Greg Epstein, and Robyn Blumner, an executive director for the Richard Dawkins Foundation.
The organizers, by the way, are the authors of a book that centers around the same idea. Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-First Century, by John Figdor and Lex Bayer, is about figuring out what moral principles a person should live by, if that person no longer feels comfortable relying on God to supply a moral code.
In their Reddit AMA, the authors explain why they see a need to rewrite the ten commandments.
“Did you know that polling shows forty-five million Americans consider themselves non-religious? This number is on the rise, with a third of adults under the age of thirty self-identifying as non-believers. With atheism replacing religion for so many, the question arises: what do atheists believe in?
“We used a philosophical approach grounded in logic and evidence to determine how to live a reasonable, ethical, and happy life without God, and we wrote a book about it.”
Do you see a need to rewrite the ten commandments for an increasingly secular world, and if so, what would you include?