Dare pondus idonea fumo

by Grania

Here’s a drive-by editorial submission to the Atheist Ten Commandments list by “It is”.

It is

Seeing as the original No. 4 was about a person’s right of control over their own body, I’m not sure how the unborn is supposed to exercise this control, particularly during the time before it actually has a brain capable of holding a notion of control or autonomy. As we all know where that statement is going, I guess we can also adduce that the amendment would be: all people have a right to control over their own body, except pregnant women; because pregnant women are, as we all know, not really people, they are vessels of the state.

End Note to “Is it”:

Hypothesizing is not the same thing as transcending.
You can’t just state that humanity’s ability to form hypotheses was not made by humanity until you can show teensy letters etched into our cells on a molecular level that say: Made in Heaven, by God (™) or something similar.
Atheists generally don’t actually think lists calling themselves The Atheist Ten Commandments are actually the laws by which they must live their lives. We regard them as points for discussion.



  1. GBJames
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink


    • Filippo
      Posted December 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted December 20, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink


  3. NewEnglandBob
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I smell a Deepak.

    • Sastra
      Posted December 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Maybe. But any religion which tries to deal with basic spiritual metaphysics in any detail sounds New Age whether it is or not. It could be a fundamentalist Christian (or Muslim) laying out the dualistic groundwork. Or yeah, it could be Spiritual-But-Not-Religious liberal Chopra fan. The scent of anti-abortion signals towards a possibility it’s the former. But imo there’s not enough info for the call. Our noses sniff the air and make guesses.

  4. muffy
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Well, if women would just stop having sex, then they would have the right to bodily autonomy!


  5. Gordon
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    vessel or vassal of the state? Although it comes to much the same thing in the end

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted December 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      I meant vessel. The actual phrase came from the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture on how Irish law on abortion treats women.


      • Gordon
        Posted December 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Apologies, wasn’t intended as a criticism of your use – more a cheap linguistic point

        • Grania Spingies
          Posted December 20, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          No offence taken. I was only clarifying because once you pointed it out I thought that yes, vassal would be a more expected term to see in that sentence, at least outside of Ireland.

  6. steve oberski
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    these 10 commandments are unfoundable

    But for some reason the 3 sets of overlapping and contradictory commandments in that fun filled book of iron age snuff porn are not.

  7. neil
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Another person who maybe needs to consider the “Zeroth Commandment”; ‘Try to be a bit less of an idiot than i was yesterday…’

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted December 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink


    • Grania Devine
      Posted December 20, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink


  8. Sastra
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Methinks someone is equivocating on the term “transcend,” which is apparently another deepity incorporating stealth dualism.

    A hypothesis only “transcends” the facts it unifies when we’re dealing with the concept of abstraction — which is not a magical realm which “exists above and independent of the material experience of the universe,” as this lazy thinker imagines. Abstractions are mental patterns. They are grounded in experience and neural activity.

    One might as well say that words “transcend” the objects they name and invent a proof of God from Semantics. Also known as “equivocation.”

  9. R. R. Besch
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    If women can’t own and control their own body regardless of condition, they are in slavery. Which is the fundamental meaning of it.

    • muffy
      Posted December 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      “Forced birth isn’t slavery, it can’t be, it’s NATURAL”

      They say.

      They always fall back on ‘nature’ to excuse all of their abuses.

      • Marella
        Posted December 20, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Slavery is pretty much women’s natural condition. We have had to work very hard to raise ourselves out of it, which is why I get so pissed off at women who claim not to be feminists. When people discuss slavery I always remind myself that until very recently most women’s lives were very little different from the slavery that men found so intolerable. In Biblical times women had no choice over who they married, they could be divorced at will and left penniless to beg on the streets, they could be beaten and if necessary, sold into slavery to pay off their husband’s debts.

        “Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.”

        While Rose was theist she had a very clear understanding of the value of the natural.

        • muffy
          Posted December 20, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Yep. There is a horrible thread on The Friendly Atheist right now, where a Christian is defending the Amalekite genocide and rape and capture of virgin girls. She says that the women would be offered a good life as slaves, and that their husbands would respect them and *never* demand sex without consent, because biblical men really really respected women cuz ‘the bible’


          • Marella
            Posted December 20, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

            The only defense would be that their lives wouldn’t be much worse than any other woman’s life in that time and place. Except, of course, that they know that all their family and friends are dead. A woman’s consent to anything was clearly not a concept that existed, any more than a sheep could consent to being shorn.

          • Posted December 20, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

            That would be JazzQueen, no doubt.

        • Filippo
          Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          ” . . . women who claim not to be feminists.”

          I wonder with what if any word they would care to associate themselves. “Masculinist”?

          Doesn’t “masculinism” describe the mindset which totally dominated until the time of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and then against which with renewed energy and resolve women stood their ground in the 1960’s?

          The media declines (or has it simply not occurred to them?) to use the term “masculinist” (spell check doesn’t recognize it) to collectively describe opponents of feminism. What term do they use – “anti-feminist”?

          • muffy
            Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            And then there are women who *claim* to be feminists who operate under the assumption that ‘true’ feminists eschew birth control, as birth control was invented by the patriarchy to make women hate their bodies, and obviously, true feminists like to be forced to gestate, because pregnancy is what women were *made* for. Any woman who disagrees with the above is a tool of the patriarchy who has been convinced to hate her body.

          • Diane G.
            Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            “Masculinist” should be a positive term to retain the symmetry. There could conceivably be something for it to address. I think anti-feminist is best.

            I used to be just a feminist; now I’m both feminist and anti-feminist. The pomo stuff is such crap.

            Yes, 60’s era feminism is what I consider its “true” version. (And remember–the bra-burning was all a canard… 😀 )

            • merilee
              Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

              Yup – never met anyone who burnt her bra. We just stopped wearing them;-)

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

                Ha ha, I was thinking of adding that myself…

  10. Posted December 20, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I was told that when a person who is birth-impaired (through no fault of their own) struggles against the constraints imposed by their placentally-privileged mistress that they are “punching up” and should not be criticized for this prima facie violence. Was I misled?

    • Diane G.
      Posted December 20, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Such excellent satire! 😀

  11. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted December 20, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Whatever “It is” is about, it is deepities. Hypotheses extend data, ‘transcend’ it, in the same way that extra- or interpolation does – the latter embeds it within the data range.

    There should be an added rule: “Thou should not spout deepities into thy neighbor’s face.”

  12. Posted December 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    close to, not closet

    • Posted December 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      And on the wrong thread to, my apologies

  13. Posted December 20, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Including the unborn

    How, prey tell, is, for example, the first baby who’ll be born in Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital in 2016 supposed to exercise bodily autonomy today?

    Yet another example of some idiot who thinks life begins at conception, and doesn’t realize that life began but a single time a few billion years ago (with the caveat, of course, that the transition from chemistry to biology was a very fuzzy and long-drawn-out one).


  14. Neil
    Posted December 21, 2014 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    [in reference to (9)]
    “if this is true then these 10 commandments are unfoundable”

    not exactly sure what this is supposed to mean, but I guess I take it to mean that “no one right way to live” means the same thing to them as “there is no wrong way to live”

    I can think of several ways to cook an egg. While I can’t claim any of them are superior to the others, I can think of several ways that can only be categorized as “wrong.”

    • Posted December 21, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      I’m not even really sure what “unfoundable” means. “Undiscoverable”?

      • Posted December 21, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Maybe it means “not established by some supreme being so you fools are wasting your time.”

  15. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted December 21, 2014 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    I take the original No 4 to include that a woman has an absolute right to decide whether to have an abortion or not.

    The proposed amendment (besides as noted being meaningless) is obviously an attempt to subvert that and impart the opposite meaning.

    As Grania noted.

  16. SESE
    Posted December 21, 2014 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Revised with an eye to syntax, and some humanist overtones:
    1. Live a full and moral life, guided by reason and compassion.
    2. Work for the good of humanity, demanding justice and fairness from society.
    3. Recognize that my actions have consequences for which I am responsible.
    4. Be mindful of future generations, and leave the world a better place than I found it.
    5. Use the scientific method rather than wishful thinking to understand what is true.
    6. Rely on learning rather than dogma, and alter my beliefs as new evidence appears.
    7. Treat others as they wish (and tell me) they wish to be treated.
    8. Understand that there are many ways to live a moral life.
    9. Respect the individual’s right to control his or her own body.
    10. Celebrate life in the here and now.

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