SUNDAY, DEC 7, 2014 03:59 AM PST

Humanist chaplain John Figdor: “Religion introduces moral problems that wouldn’t exist otherwise”

Let's start with this one: "There is no God"

MICHAEL SCHULSON

When students come to John Figdor, the humanist chaplain at Stanford, they’re often comfortable with their atheism. Big questions about God aren’t necessarily on their minds. Big questions about ethics are. “I began to notice that students were less interested in debating the question of whether God exists than in discussing what to do and how to live,” Figdor writes in “Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart,” a new book that he co-authored with Lex Bayer.

In step with many millennial atheists, Figdor and Bayer are looking for principles by which to live. In “Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart,” they rewrite the Ten Commandments. Like the original set, Figdor and Bayer’s commandments are more than moral rules; they’re statements about cosmic order. Commandment IV: “All truth is proportional to the evidence.” Commandment V: “There is no God.”

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Menlo Church Multi Faith Panel

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Morality in a Godless World

"John and Ken welcome guest John Figdor, Humanist chaplain at Stanford University and co-author of Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-First Century. Figdor is first asked what it is exactly a humanist chaplain does; he explains that his responsibilities consist of providing counseling for students on campus and advocating for a non-religious perspective, hosting large public events to educate the Stanford campus about atheism and non-religious belief, and hosting service projects like blood drives, park cleanups, and other charitable events."

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Many claim that good and moral acts cannot exist outside of the concept of God.  Many also believe that humanity has become increasingly turbulent, violent, sinful and wicked, and they yearn for the simple, moral days of old. In this broadcast, we speak with three special guests about "goodness:"   1)  John Figdor, Humanist Chaplain at Stanford University and co-author of the book, "Atheist Mind / Humanist Heart" 2)  Dale McGowan, educator on secular parenting and Executive Director of the Foundation Beyond Belief  3)  Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine and author of the new book, "The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom.

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Here's A Secular Alternative to The Ten Commandments

"Earlier this year, the Christian polling organization The Barna Group shocked the Christian world by producing research showing that 38% of Americans were essentially secular, a category they called “the unchurched.” The category,
which describes people who “do not participate in activities such as believing in God, attending church or reading the Bible,” shows that nearly two in five Americans live essentially nonreligious lives. These numbers are consistent with findings
from Gallup and Pew showing that one-third of people under 30 are nonreligious and that coastal cities like San Francisco
and Boston are 45% nonreligious."

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Behold, atheists' new Ten Commandments

By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor
Updated 9:57 AM ET, Sat December 20, 2014

"What if, instead of climbing Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God, Moses had turned to the Israelites and asked: Hey, what do you guys think we should do?"

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